A Circuitous Route

wpid-IMG_20130501_094144.jpgI am walking by the  way of winding.
Stepping back and moving forth.
Finding paths  like Mother May I
Stops and starts and winnowing backs.

I am breathing deep the air of waiting.
Laying down in fields of pining.
Grasping roots of ever-changing.
Finding great in fair to midland, growing.

I am holding on to glory
Surprised by every simple turn en route
Seeing through the lens poetic
Covered in sweet redemption singing.

I am walking round the labyrinth
Praying for the walk to bring
Joy in seeing eyes wide open, squinting barely letting in the light
Weeding out the root, watering dry soil.

I am seeing like a child again
Each turn of spoke and wheel
The way circuitous though it is
Is marked with everlasting wonder, change.

And I am seeing bends and breaks
A slowing with the margins wide
The ratcheted down, down gear shift
The death though slow of pride

Yes I am seeing childlike
The awe and wonder on the route
Parking trains, planes and automobiles
Awhile to walk the more
Circuitous route.

I am holding on to slippery Trust
Blinking back the saline droplets
Finding fresh the seeds of simple
Watering the heart to burst wide open, stretched.

I am knowing in deep places
That the dizzy winding way
Littered with uncertain lingering
Leads me still beside the place I am born to be.

So walk with me the route circuitous
Stumble on the rocks that bruise the skin
Run the race with wheels made to turn slow and steady
Trust  the way of wonder, winding serpentine with grace.

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Joining Duane, Shelly, and Jennifer

Not As They Appear, These Things, At All

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Feet in the sand blue sky canopy we step into the day. She painter, artist, friend. I write.
We walk into the day. She paints. I weave words, slice them up and move them all around.
There is an unfurling that begins, feet hit the ground, sun up, eyes up. It is what it is.
Or it is what you see, you see. Or how.

You should paint that.. I say, she sees. We see together, we see  different.
And I tell her what it is that I am seeing in the rags flapping in the wind. Barnacle laiden flying into the blue.

I tell her of my love for what looks like burlap, though it is not. When we look closer, the burlap was a mesh. It was not as it appeared.

We see different.

And isn’t that the way of the artist. Her art hangs on gallery wall, exhibited and displayed in place of prominence, by selection. Money changes hands between artist and art lover.

Her beautiful eye and her beautiful hand and her beautiful palette of paints will see the world in one beautiful way. The way of artist Laurie.

So she will not paint the flapping brown rags released on  line to dry out in the sun, bake out the pluff mud this tool of Lowcountry oyster catcher man.

No she will not paint it, not at all. She will not, can not paint it, paint them, filthy rags.

She will not paint the worn bags on a canvas, capture the bits of white stuck in the mesh like diamonds adorning the fabric of royal silk. Value and beauty in the rubble hanging and dancing in the salty Lowcountry wind, this day.

They whisper to me, come write my story.

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Of where I have been drenched in the sea in worn hands of man. Of where I have been dragged across the jagged shore and held the shells which hold the pearl. Holding on and holding dinner.

Out to sea and back again. Out and back, dragged and drug and hung again. To flap and sail swinging in the wind. Tool of man, art to one.

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And feet back in  the sand, dog in hand, under the oaks we walk and talk. Hit the road.  And stop to stare at peacock, hen. As she stands statuesque. I know this bird. But if we had not met I would have thought her dead, not alive. Her stillness, still as stone, her glassy stare belied a bird alive.

Things different. Things changed. Things not quite as they appear after all.

And painter friend she sees what I do not. This walk of artists in the sand. Brings eyes. They collide seeing different. Seeing same.

The Lowcountry  littered with joggling boards. Rite of passage for every child along the way. In the south, for children’s play.

And lady peacock, hen has her own. A perch which I could not see. My eyes beheld the beauty  only of the bird.  At first.

But two together, they double the image, compound beauty.

Bird on a beam. Bird on a board. Bird suspended mid-air. We stare.

So painter, writer see the world through different eyes. But the beauty is compounded when combined.

So husband, father,  wife and mother,  Christian One and Christian Two. We all do. Our views collide and complement. Artist, painter, artist, writer.

He brings his eyes and I bring mine. She sees the bird up on the board. At first I see the peacock hen and then the board. She is my improved vision. She corrects the lens on life. He is my improved vision. He corrects my lens on life. The complement, the shift in view. Four eyes, two hearts can see together what alone we cannot.

Four friends in search of oysters for our meal and we prefer the singles. Stop by the market ,ask around. Ask some more. The singles are the best and more expensive than the others. The clusters are  less desirable in the oyster world.

We buy the clusters or it is no oysters at all. Grab the knives, hold them hot. Fresh from the steamer, grab the hot sauce, lemon and the saltine cracker, eat them up. Can’t get enough. Oysters, hot, delicious clusters. We convert. We elevate these mangled masses of jagged shell to a status new for lover of this delightful delicacy.

And in the world of seafood too. Things are not as they appear. There is delicious delight en masse in groups. These clusters delight the souls of man under the crescent moon. Split open each with a frenzied pace. And let them slide down the throat into the belly.

If you love oysters.

You would love the clusters. The singles no where to be found, the hot commodity. In demand.

We huddle up and split open each, one by one, the oysters held in groups of white grey calloused shell.

The gift is in the blended views. We are lost. We are found. We are both.

We are better with each other. Artist, writer, painter, friend, husband, wife, Christian One and Christian Two. Poetry and prose.

I need you. You help me see. I am found. I am lost. I am both.

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Joining Laura and Ann today.

And counting gifts with Ann

*New ways of seeing life

*Old friends

*Days on the coast, rediscovering old favorites

*Consoling a child in her grief and finding beauty in the loss of life. Somewhere.

*Hearing a friend’s words at just the right time.

*Watching the dog herd her free range chickens. And delighting in the dance and art there

*Walking in the sun

*Walking under the moon

*New mercies

*New vision
new fave for art quote

Dancing – Movement of the Heart (Day 5)


Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

Robert Frost

Dance – Movement of the Heart

Elizabeth W. Marshall

If only all would dance. Simply, a little more.
As shadows, sun’s rays, and white foam waves,
Their rhythmic breaking in and on the shore.
What a gentle teacher ocean is.
Of how to find your rhythm, how to learn to dance.
Water, foam and wave thrust on shelly sand.
The dance of wave on wave, eyes Beauty from the shore.

And we think far too often to save it for the feasts.
For man to do a pas de deux when woman dresses up for out.
But what of the dance of the everyday, the simple celebrations.
Of life and living, joy in the daily, movement becomes art.
And what of running fingers down the page, and letting words join in.
The dance of wordplay, phrase finds rhythm on the page,
Partners up with thought and steps from line to line, a dance.

What if words would partner with the heart, to do a dance of lyrical  along
The lines of prose, does it become poetic and more a jig with steps more
Light and gay, where space is left so eyes can linger, breathing soft and slow.
Creates a space for eyes and hearts to partner up with mind, and waltz and
Sway, no need to rush, the pace is slow, the soul can take her time.
The pace of living can slow and savor, seeking steps which linger,
Long and longer, sweet and merry, hurry left behind.

And do we long to dance, because so early on we did, swayed and rocked as babies
The motion taught so young, to drift and sway and rock and sing, why leave that
Back in childhood. Can’t every movement restore Dance, isn’t life worth dancing truly?
Find steps light and graceful, feasting on the now, with song, and grateful pairing up
As happy partners, loving life and dancing in the moment.
Learning from trees their limbs sway, the tails of dog, like metronome have rhythm.
If only all would simply dance, a little more when living.

(Thank you for joining me on this 31 Days – A Series of Words. This is the Part 5 in the series. Other posts have included Ordinary, Savor, Hope, and The Poetic if you would like to back travel and read. Grateful to have you journeying with this pilgrim.) Note, in crediting Robert Frost’s quote on dance and my subsequent piece, I have placed my name beside my writing. Please know this is for clarification simply and that I highly esteem Robert Frost’s work and feel humbled to even be on the same page. This was to give credit, no form of comparison. Please note this, and extend grace for any wrong association or comparison which was never intended. Thanks, for grace. –Elizabeth.

Pay Attention On The Road

Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

( Mary Oliver)




The Road

Pay attention to the road.

And the traffic.

The directions too.

You may get lost.

Wander off on a path, into the unknown.

Where Discovery waits.

To greet your heart.

Bust it wide open, into the light. Into the world. Into the bright.

Pay attention to the mom with the pain. The one on black top blank stare, hurting insides.

Pay attention to one on the platform, as the rat runs by.

The one with the words looking for a place to light, to land, to rest.

Pay attention to the the one wearing ink for clothing with sadness oozing out and over and into your arms.

Pay attention to the all, the one, the single soul with a hole to fill to make them whole.

And your words may touch and your presence may help. Might even heal. A bit. A place.

He did it well. He paid attention. To the woman at the well.

To the prostitute. To the leper.

Pay attention to even one, to the least.

Discover the joy.

In discovering the moment.

Connect with the one, the child, the mom, the man on his commute.

Let Mercy pierce your heart.And Love spill from your lips.

And stumble down that path.

The one marked well for you.