Left Behind – A Very Very Short Story or When Art Holds You Hostage

wide angle books31 days button 500x500

Today is Day 14. We are rolling right along on this journey. I am honored and over-joyed that you are along for this ride. And if you missed a previous invitation to subscribe to all posts in this series, You are cordially invited to subscribe. And follow along on twitter and on facebook if you’d like.

To read Days 1 through 13, click here to catch up and see a listing of all the offerings in this 31 day writing challenging.(I am joining the nester at the nester dot com.)

Books, Art, Library

Once upon a college tour a day or two ago, I was help hostage by art.

Well, loosely speaking. My rather large group of perspective students and parents went on a tour of a college which is right up there at the top of her list. Let’s just say, this place is saturated in history, fantastic architecture and an overall cool vibe.

So as my guide, slash our guide, lead us through the library, of which they are extremely proud, why was I the only one who slammed on the breaks for art. I know of their pride of place because she described in great detail the size, comparable to three football fields, and you people the place is beautiful. Really. But they left me in the dust, the whole group including the tour guide. I was the only one that stopped and took a picture.

Ya’ll I savored this amazing display made from books and shredded paper. Alone. Admittedly, I wanted to appreciate the art with another soul. To discuss what we were ingesting. What was being said, communicated, displayed for us in the center of this grand space.

I live in a wee little shrimping village so you may think I don’t get out much. And hey, that explains her being left behind.  But I have lived in New York and Paris. And I do live right down the road from Charleston, with all its art, museums and history. So I have seen a little more than shrimp boats in my short, well not that short, life. But I slammed on the breaks for this beauty.

My practical side knows that if we had stopped we would have made undesirable library noices with our oooh’s and aaah’s.  But we were on the first level and we had already been told that the third level was the “you can hear a pin drop” level.  So that leads me to believe that these other people on the tour must see really cool sculpture made from books and shredded paper every day.

Either that or we, as a people,  are not easily amused. Or we don’t care about art made from books and shredded paper. Or we are in a hurry or we have become jaded.

People, stop and savor the art. Some talented artisan crafted something valuable here in a sea of shredded trees.

In the noticing is discovery, in the discovery is amazement, in the amazement is gratitude and in the gratitude is a sense of joy and wonder.

I can only think about all the art I have missed along my hurried way.   I was a willing victim in this hostage taking, in the library, one recent day on a college tour.
I would like to hear what she is saying.  I want to hear what everyone is saying. What about you?

Ready, set, go notice.

books in a row


I am joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com for her Playdates at The Wellspring. One of the joys of my Mondays. Join me there?

A Few Of My Favorite Things, In One Place – Tweetspeak Poetry


Blue Bicycle Books

Well I have to tell you that I fell in love with Charleston.  And I fell in love with my husband, well duh, and it all started in Charleston. So I really do have an incredible love affair with this city. I might love almost everything about it. The way it smells, like a city dipped in salt and sea, drying out on the edge of this Lowcountry region which I call hone. The way it looks, with steeple upon steeple reaching up through the sticky humid air. Always heavenward. The holy city. The homes and gardens which I find myself staring at like a young girl with a high school crush. The little bit of bustle which reminds me of Europe and a Southern New York CIty rolled into one small charming city that feels more like a town.

And poetry. And books. And very old things.  In Charleston. Well put them in a pot of goodness and you have some yummies for my Southern born and bred heart and soul.

Today I am honored to be at Tweetspeak Poetry with a  piece I wrote for their Literary Tour column. Come see what I write about and help keep me company over there.

You are cordially invited. And I promise to roll out a little Southern Hospitality. I might get a little lonely away from my home here. So come visit and leave a comment.

two bikes in charleston

Follow me over there for my words at Tweetspeak Poetry. Click here. Oh you already knew that. Thanks friends.

I am honored and humbled to be with such a warm community. You will like it too if you have never been.

Blue Bicycle Books 2

Just Give Me All The Children’s Books

There is this line of Pooh that shows up time and time again.
You painted lines on your stairs
And left them there when that house sold.
Poetry on the stairs and ragged Pooh propped there too.
Folded worn out bear.
A tribute on the stairs.
But you took Pooh with you, as you always did.

You gave her Pooh in Latin, the only
Octogenarian in the home with Latin Pooh bedside.
If I doubted before I knew for certain then
That this branded deep a generation, two or three
Around the prose of Milne.
You read it bedside night by night.
As children we were  lost in a friendship of a bear and boy.

We grew up in the hundred acre woods
And laughed at rotund bear and all his portly ponderings.
Each character mirrors men or women in our world.
You don’t look far before you see the Eeyore’s in your life.
And know those wearing their insecurities as Piglet did,
Poor pig and all his anxiety. Its not so funny after all.

You could write a book of all the metaphors of Pooh and you.
Him and you as child, adult
You and he and a language learned from Milne.
What would you do without your Pooh and maybe even visa versa.
Its as if he knows you too, the friendship runs so deep.

He must have felt your eyes, your hands, your heart
And all the love you dripped on pages in the dark.
And under cover, pages worn down and worn out from love of word.
What if there were no children’s books, after all they speak to all.
What if the books written for the young are really for the grown.

If I could choose I might pick a  pile of the treasures
Of my youth
To hide away and steal away, to bury in the corners of my heart,
While buried under quilt. To read of Charlotte, Wilbur and that
Giving tree, so generous and bare.
And even Dick and Jane, so plain so simple
So austere, life was simpler then.
Life was spelled out so plainly on a page.
There was Dick and there was Jane and that
Is really about all there ever was in 1960
Something, the books of my youth.

But Pooh was front and center in the home
As if he were crowned king.
And were it not for him I may not understand
The deep depression of a soul like Eeyore who
Sees the world, glass half empty every time
Always, never full.
And sweet momma Kanga, her precious mother’s
Heart, so nurturing and loving, so gentle in her ways.
Lost in the woods with Owl and the rest
Learning of life through a boy and his toys.
Of people in a world to come.

Just give me all the children’s books,
And let me read in peace.
Aren’t we all God’s children, after all.
We long to run and play and dream of animals that talk.
And get lost in the woods.
To read of talking spiders whose best friend is a pig.
To bend down low like Alice and talk to cats and hatters.
Why would we ever want to grow old and boring
When bears and honey and owls and donkeys make such wonderful
Companions, for the child in us, the playmates of our youth.

Its cold outside and I am curled up
I feel your warm breath on my neck,
Your smiles, your cadence, reading Pooh aloud.
And of all the places he has been within your life,
Woven through your days
He’ll also earn a place in church one day, far away,
As we say words, holy.
A proper ending to this line that runs throughout your life.
We know you well, we’ll pick the parts of portly Pooh
To read amid the sacred.

And Pooh will live another generation
Along with all the rest.
The children’s books that you loved
Will be loved for days and days to come.
You planted deep a love for Pooh
We honor you with the words of Milne
Every time they are read.
How did he know the smallest things take up
So much room, inside a heart, open wide for love,
A love for bear and books and more
And dear Mother, for you too.

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your hear.

A.A. Milne