Reading Poetry With Mother

 

Reading Poetry To Mother

You may say it is akin to shop talk
Poetry on poetry
But stay with me and think again
Of playfulness and rhyme
For I say, oh the things we learn
From poetry
Carved into
Yellowed, aging lines
Meant for
All of us
Though hidden in the open
in children’s
Poetic verse
Prose
And rhyme

Penned for children

Such as Christopher Robin
And Pooh
The silly old worn bear

Try reading
Yes aloud
To those who
Hold it buried
in the wrinkled folds of
Youth
Fertilizer for the soul
The where they went to run
And play
To hide
To laugh
The words that they grew up with
Those that
Comforted, provided calm
A place to run away
To laugh
When life was not so
Gay

No, not at all
No, not all all

You may say you silly goose
Sitting round in broad daylight
Uncovering a mother’s past
Through words of poetry
And prose

But  have you seen
The cover, stained
By water marks
Made from rings of iced cold tea
Or glasses
Of sweet fresh milk, or
Is it a more
A ring of tears, perhaps

And  have you seen the belly jiggle
Born witness to a head cocked laugh
Pausing to catch one’s breath
Choking on the silliness
The
Dawdling on the page
Savoring the humor
Of simple, ordinary rhyme

Lingering on every word
Of boys, and woods
And bears
And of
Dragging off
Sleepily to bed

Poetry with mother
Reveals
As poetry is known to do
It is
Nothing short of healing
As poetry is known to do
Too
Especially when it’s Pooh

Yet in our stale and stoic state
Of almighty grownup-hood
We find no time for rhyme
And lines of boyhood
Ramblings
Written from the hand of
Such a tender man

We muse and wonder
How did he
Crawl into the chidhood soul
How could he know so much of
Loneliness and hiding
And making up new friends
Pretending this pretending that
He is all of us
When we were oh so very young

You may say its akin to shop talk
Poets writing poetry on reading poetry
Aloud
But I can say
Quite humbly
I met and made
Some friends along the way
Milne and Pooh and all of his
Friends and relations
Are now mine

But so much more than that
I grew to love my mother
As a child
Once again
For we both became children
In one poetic moment
At the exact same place in time
Reading Milne’s most
Cleverest of rhymes
Sitting there together
Soaking
In the wit
Making memories
As we laughed and lingered
On the page
Without so much as a worry
Or a care
Lingering over life
And rhymes
About a boy and his bear

wpid-20140821_093105.jpg

 

The Glider and The One In Which We Grieve While Living

the glider

The Glider

Calls her out
Into the night

Anchors the seating
For souls
To search

Stars with wings
The lightening bugs
Of all the things we recall
Are insects in a Mason Jar
Holes punched through to last the night

Conversation
In the crosshairs
We open Pooh and cry at the news
Of loss, our Mia

We go back
And forth
Counting on a change
Then see it was made
After all

The wall art reminds
We live forward
But understand in looking back
Truth proclaimed in pottery
Words lined up and down
In the cross

No idle living
On the porch
If metal spoke
It would tell
Of healing there
Black metal harbinger of hope

A forty dollar yard sale
Piece
Be with you
Found and tossed
Find a seat
Gather
Afresh
Huddle anew

The glider
Guides
Groups
Out under the waxing
Moon

She waxes poetic

Remembering her friend
The one who died too soon

Cancer
Claimed another

Come glide with me
The days are numbered
The phone has rung
And doctors tell of cancer
And the fighting man
Who loves to rock and hold a glass
Always more than half way full
Of hope, spins it good and glorious

Sit and rock
Roll back the rock of death
It lost its sting
And tell me all

We’ll knit one pearl two
And make the days

Count
Don’t drop a stitch
In time
The stitches one by one
Will make a perfect
Covering
Come

And glide
You must not move
Mother may I

Gather on your
Glider
Under our moon
With you

Death has lost its sting
Forty dollars
Buys a lot of living

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

482px-A_a_milne

In Which We Grieve While Living

Death both stops you in your tracks and thrusts you onward. Propels you forward, harder, faster, fighting mad that it came at all. Births a new desire to grasp the days like a starving man, deprived of food and all that is good. To savor, taste and see that it is good, so good. The all He makes and made. We  ride the waves of grief, nestle in the glory goodness that it wakes us up to see.

Life is revealed in death. We float in seas of salty remembering. Hold on to each other harder, stronger, longer and buoy a grievous soul in love. Linking arms and planning how to rip the wrapping off the day. Crazy to unwrap the gift.

Awake anew to the mystery of the world. The unknowing of the numbered days. Shot out of a canon,  we declare we will press on in living with our grief and sacred remembering of the lives that end. Ended. Continue on in heavenly glory. Bless and pray and thank and grieve. But live. In a holy place of remembering.

We  weep at life without our loves. People, those who have marked our lives, the lives of a child, importantly. Who have invested, sacrificed and loved us well. Smiled when aching, loved when hurting, played while pushing back their own sorrows. They teach us love while living life. Show us mercy upon mercy. Currents of grace whirl round their brilliant countenances.

And we are changed forever and ever, amen.

And it is then we pull out Pooh. Because it is an anchor with its words on living and mysteries, child-like exploration into unknown forests and chasing after demons disguised as hephalumps. We gather the musty pages which smell of childhood and life. That smell of laughter. And yellow smells wise and knowing. Turn the mustard colored pages where a child has added to  with scribbles of their own. Crayons colored green and red have left their waxy mark of random scribbly scrabbly child’s play.

In my home, Pooh anchors with belly laughs. And memories of the best times. Of silly sayings and pages which read a hundred and leventy leven times ninety sound new and as fresh as a the morning’s first drips from a French Press. The world wakes us up. Turns in circles and cycles seem comforting. As life is supposed to be.

Cycles of life, cycles of death, cycles of grief. And Pooh.

My mother read it to my grandmother in her eighty’s. In the home. And in Latin. And they laughed tears, tracking down aging cheeks in salty rivulets.

And on the morning of more news of death, we pull out Milne and let him take us back to happy youth. Where rabbits and owls and kangaroos talk and donkeys struggle with depression and angsty life views. Where a small pig can be a best friend. Where loss and grief loose a little of their sting in the imaginations of an Englishman, a poet a writer a giver of hope.  Years upon years after his birth and death.

His words, a healing gift.

So we press on a little  more gaily into our day. Looking for honey in the sour sorrow of loss. My mother reads Pooh aloud and the pain diminishes a small amount. Our family gathers around grief.

And around story. Childhood joys. We will pray tonight. And lift up the grieving ones to God. We will bow and lift and whisper and cry.

But for now its words of poetry and children’s lit. At times like this, it is always  words. Of prayer.

And a bear.

*************

photo of A.A. Milne – Wikipedia.org

photo of glide – Elizabeth W. Marshall, poetry and prose through a lens of grace

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