It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

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It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

When my speaking voice
My writing prose, writer’s voice
Are released to run free into the wide open spaces of the blogosphere and the world wide web
Compressed language, brevity and pithy phrasing
Fail me
You could say I am a long-winded fool
A verbose jaw flapper, writer of long and winding words
Lover of the adverb
Repeater of things, lover of and
Funny how you swear you don’t give a twit or a flea or a flick
About what the naysayer’s say
Because
Isn’t it odd that the naysayers take up more space with their naysaying than the non-naysayers

So you go into your place where you hide all the brave
And you pull out all the tools and the stops
And you assess things, take the lay of the land
(Names have been changed to protect me)
Hold your finger high in the sky to take an opinion poll
Check the collective temperature of the crowd that you aim to please
Imagine what all the readers want to read
Second guess the lay of the land
And craft the project to fit the need

And loose yourself in the process
(Flipping through the Yellow Pages you search and opine the lack of  attorney’s who specialize in break-up’s
Between poetry and writer, writer and poetry)
Wondering if you’ve flipped a switch
Most folks would just ditch the poetry without a thought
Not even looking back

You start to write some words of the Dear John sort
Tell poetry how grateful you are to have had her help in shaping your prose
And gently console her with what would I have done without you’s
(She is a she, poetry, duh)
And you get out the hats and blowers and confetti
Send her on her way
Tell her, “Have you seen the poetry section at Barnes and Noble?”
(There is a poem about that, you can Google it, I wrote it, I should know)

Have you been in the room with people who look a hole as wide as the Hoover dam
Right through your insides when you say “Poetry”
And people with M.D.’s and degrees
And retirees and Ph.d’s and common people who are civilized and polite to the n’th degree
On all other occasions but this very one
Givers of the blank stare (they are grieving your loss of sales as they drop their jaw)
And you swear
And you swear off poetry
Well not really off, just less

Settle into the place that the naysayer’s swore was the safest bet
And the surest sure thing

The place where the agents live and thrive and the publishers always go
And then for the life of you
You decide to go down swinging
To take your beloved poetry with you
To leave no poetic child behind
To go after the one lost poetic soul
To bring every poetic voice home for a proper, oh never mind

It is not like I was trying to ditch poetry anyway
And even if I was
It won’t let me

Anyway

Look for poetry to find a place
And settle into at least a chapter or verse
Of the long-wided wind bag’s
Imaginary book of dreams
The names have been changed to protect poetry

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A Few Things I Learned In June {Joining Emily Freeman}

I learned a few things in June. What a month. Packed with life in all its wonder, glory, joy and pain.

I am still processing so much of what this month revealed to me. And if you have been reading along here for awhile you have heard me say “I am a slow processor.” Think the crockpot of cookeries up against the ultimate microwave. I process the things of life which I ingest over a longish period of time. Hours not minutes. Days not hours. Often.

That is to say, I am not ready to share all that I have learned. But here are a few things which I am longing to share.

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1. When we choose to do that one small thing, its impact is multiplied. Simply put, simple things can and do become grand things. Small gestures can and do become life-impacting.  The Small and The Simple are to be embraced, cherished and sought after. They take on the attributes of the magnificent. Capitalizing the lowercase things of this world.

They, after all are the game-changers, the life-changers, the emotional softening of the hard and crusty places. In June alone, I have seen this played out over and over and over again. My eyes leak and my heart hurts at the beauty and wonder of the transformative power of small. Look with me. Do you see how beautiful the small things of this world are. In a wink, a blink and a nod there are pieces of beautiful waiting to be captured, recorded and cherished. Cataloging life this way fills me up to over-flowing.

And I am learning this again and again. I am learning and believing that this is the way we are meant to see the world. I am a slow learner. And slow is really okay.

2. As a writer, I am called to use my words. And as a reader, you are invited to enter in and see the picture on the canvas that is the page. Have you seen the gold balls that drop down from the heavenlies. I found two pods this week.

(If you follow my instagram feed you may know I am in the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for a respite). You can Google with me….there is a tree which drops gold, rounded pods. And they are fragile as parchment paper, bumpy like a golfball, golden like Oriental silk. And beautiful. I am always looking for wonder and posting what I find on Instagram. It helps me to stay awake at the wheel. And no I did not take a picture of the golden balls. But we will find them on Google together.

The day I found one, I proclaimed. Gold balls are falling from heaven. No anomaly was that. I found a second. Don’t we love Google for solving the earthly mysteries, like gold balls which nature has made. Amazing.

3. Voxer is my new best friend. This I did not learn in June. This I have had amplified in June. As I am writing this post I am Voxering my very special friend Shelly Miller in London  (which by the way this “What I Learned Series” is a favorite tradition within the bloggy world  – thank you very much Emily Freeman)

Voxer is a phone app which allows you to talk, walkie-talkie style, text and send photos. Welp. That is pretty much a communication dream package, you hit the lottery, what more could you ask for. I know there are some downsides somewhere in there, but for me (and I haven’t even up-graded to Pro yet) it is the bomb-diggity. People. I get to stay in touch with writers, bloggers and friends all over the whole wide world.

4. Releasing often, maybe always involves trust. A young couple approached me at the gas station last week. They asked me for one dollar and fifty cents. For the bus. I cannot stop thinking about their need. Their circumstances, because they told me the Reader’s Digest version of their story. I am still thinking about them. Hoping for them. And when I remember to I hope I will pray for them. That small interchange, eye-ball to eye-ball, exchange of money from my hand to theirs leaves me changed. Who asks for so little. Why didn’t they go for a 20 or more. They had a need for a bus ticket from one town to the next. Small again. I wish I had been willing to give them more.

5. People like to talk about their gardens. If you know anyone who has a garden, ask them. How are your radishes this year. How are the rainfall and the soil in your world. Ask them what is thriving and what is wilting. I think the vocabulary of gardeners is the vocabulary of the soul. And if you want an ice breaker, conversation starter, or if you just want to connect on a human level with another human being, ask them about their garden. Open the garden gate and see what transpires. And you can ask yours truly about hers or follow me on instagram, where beginning July 1, it is all about my garden and chickens. AGAIN.

Gardens are a beautiful, never-grows old, metaphor for life. A place of paradox. Life and death, thriving and struggling, flourishing and floundering.

How does your garden grow?

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When Dormancy Wakes You Up

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Orchids woo me with their elegance. If they spoke, opened up their petals as lips and breathed words, their cadence would roll off their tongues with eloquence. In their presence, I am drunk on  beauty. I study the lines of their face. Trace with my eyes the silhouette of their tender, tall strength.

I marvel and stare. Feel drawn in by their fragile soil-birthed beauty. All my senses feel alive when I am in their presence. Every stem, petal, bulb, and leaf bear something of natural wonder.

And then they leave me. Go dormant. And I struggle to care for them. I cannot seem to meet their needs. Tend to them in the proper way. They are the Rubik’s cube of my world. And then, as with many things circling around my soul places these days, I hear what I could not hear before. I really listen. I listen to things I did not formerly hear. I know. And I am renewed by their lessons.

All around my yard, in the garden, in my home, in my art, things are being born. I hold a vigil of uncertainty. I cannot seem to fall into their rhythm. I am an impatient observer and an anxious excavator of beauty. I believe that I am on guard and alert. I believe that I am eyes-wide open and prepared to receive. I am the citadel guarding the places of new birth. Caretaker of the ordinary and of my art.

But I have not allowed for the full mystery of surprise in all the ordinary and extraordinary things. I have not factored in the unknown. The goings on under the soil. The backstage preparations  behind the veil. I am not leaning into the marvelous perfection of the timing of the Spirit of God.

And trust is thrust into the light. Once again.

I feel as though I am doing my part. With my art. Wrapping my soul in words. Preparing the phases and stages of my poetry and prose to fling them out of the nest. Into the spine of a book. Out of one cradle into another. Into the places that hunger for words of hope and faith.

But this a dormant time. Ripening and waiting are part of the care package.  Waiting and trusting the unseen things is faith. Breathing out while breathing in and knowing the next breath will come and with it new mercy. That is my designated role. Trusting while breathing.


Living with hopeful expectancy.

The orchid that I held onto for a long forever will bloom a second time. The one that I almost walked to the trash can and tossed. The first one of my orchids to bloom again holds signs of beauty a second time.

The bloom is tightly held. It is wrapped and protected. It is just as it should be. Dormant and alive.

I trust my poetry and prose are held in this same place. Of tender waiting. And I trust the cradle will rock and toss a bit, yet, protect my art in every stage before the release.

The spines of a book, they may or may not be out there. But I am waiting and watching. Expecting with renewed hope and wonder. Because my orchid will bloom again.

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Joining beautiful writer friend and blogger Kelly Chripczuk over at A Field Of Wild Flowers

Waxing In The Waning

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I have not sought the moon this Spring. Intentionally looked up and made mental notes of its stage and size. Cycle and rhythms. Dimness and brightness. Color and stage. But I should be. Marking and noting. There are lessons there for me in the heavenlies.

Rather I have been looking down and to the side. Over and under the small spaces. Seeking the growing. Cataloguing the seed, the bloom and the fruits of the earth and of the the sea. Miniscule milestones in the garden and broken pieces of shells coughed up by the sea. Roughed up and beaten up and then honed into the beautiful.

Waxing in the waning is a banner over my life. Growing in the dimming. Increasing in the lessening. Smallness is wearing her beautiful crown. She is royalty and majesty. The paradox is grand. The center is a whisper, faintly wooing with her call to pause in the now.

I live on the cusp of exploration. Steps from the salty marsh where so much mystery hides in the folds. The waves weave a hiding place. The tides will unveil, pulling the curtain back for peaks. But stand guard, awake and present. Or you will miss much in the changing of the guard.

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The dolphin break through the glass ceiling that is the glassy sea. Looking at us as we  strain to study their graceful acrobatics. A day is labeled wonderful if we have spent time with a pod. Or even a mother and her young. We are students of the sea. Since I was a child, I have been near in my soul or body or both to the place of salty mystery. Everything is new. Again and again. I remain a child at the seeking of pieces of joy hidden, then revealed. Revealed and then hidden.

Before I even touch the snow pea to my lips I have savored goodness with my eyes. This is just the crescent. But the crescent is enough. The moon in all her fullness. The pea at her ripest, cooked or raw, eaten or not. Archiving the now, fully alive, fully awake fills us with His goodness. Seeing the holy moments. The holy in the moment. Touching and smelling. Seeing and tasting all that He has created brings us closer to the Creator. And that is where abundance is poured out. Every blade and seed, He made. Every dolphin nose. Wet and sleek.

There is a waning to my years. I do not recall the glory-filled details of much of my living from long ago. I come from Dementia. My mother, my grandmother and my aunt have known it too well. And I may be traveling toward Dementia. I may well be in the line of that fiery disease.

But I am going down fighting for a magnificent, magnified view of the poetic now.

And there is a moon and there will always be a moon. And she will meet me in the heavens tonight. This I know.

For now.

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