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

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The Bicycle

The Bicycle

A ride waited, pregnant
It would tell me when it was time
To labor
Pedal up and down
Run over a million sycamore balls
Like dollhouse sized
Speed bumps

The ride would woo me
Invite me, tell me when it was time
To roll through town
Just in time to see the children scream
In sheer delight

And we are one today
One age, one child
One girl, one woman
Metal melds the years between

I passed the lumpy dog, lazy hound
Looking like a lost coat piled up in the yard
I announced that I’d lost mine and they grinned
Everyone’s a child today
Or plum tuckered out
From play

The sky called for a break
The blues and grays
Announced
We had time
To run outside and play
The town seemed to have a fire-drill
Everyone spilled out at once
After the cold, the threat of rain

And I have my bicycle
On which I can forget that I am
Not the child
Who’ll be called for dinner in awhile
Tucked in post-prayers
And seven requests for water
After the bed-bugs and boogey men
Are scared away.
And I love’s you’s are said
And I love you to Jupiter and back

No I am woman
With handle bars in hand
And a seat at home
Warm still
From meeting with a friend
Who’s cancer is in her breast
And uncertainty is lodged in her chest
But hope clings, spills from her lips.

I can sit up on my seat

Closer to the heavens
And pray, intercede
With the whirl of wind in my ears
Making noises like the empty conch at the sea
Making tears as
The wind splashes on my ears and in my face

I hid the fact that I wanted to stay and play
My bicycle and I

We are all children
Sitting perched upon our bicycles
Pedaling as hard as we can
Just trying to

Make our way back home.

In time for meatloaf, again
And
To find our lost dog in the yard.

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Wink, Blink, Nod and Noticing

Today is Day 16

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Wink, Blink, Nod and Noticing

She noticed between blinks
And after she wiped the sleep
From her eyes, deposited in the dead of night
By the one who comes when she dreams
The same one who deposits poetry on her pillow
Or so it seems

She added a second to her gaze
Stared long enough to penetrate the foggy haze
Caught with her net the moments and minutes
The instants worth saving suddenly seem infinite.

She felt it in breathes,  found more in between beats of her heart
They slipped from the shadows, these new moments she now
Noticed, every
Wink, blink and stare
Time floats through the air
Sails with the greatest of ease
While we are sleeping and eating and saying our prayers.

She noticed that it was the smallest of things
That she held  both tight with all her might
And had carelessly missed, they slipped
Through  her fingers and into the cracks
This new realignment, adjusted her heart
To see all that was precious, tiny and small

The voice on the phone reminded her of this
And she, the detester of cliche and worn weary phrase
Adopted the words in heart  that day
Anyway
As she travelled half blind down the highway
Shrouded in worry, dwelling on things she had missed.

This is not a dress rehearsal
This is for real
Do-overs are rarely part of the plan
This is it, this is all, this is the real deal.
This side of heaven, it’s gift to hold loose in our hand

For all the grace and forgiveness
She soaks in like a dry rag
She’s comes to know
In the blink of an eye
And  a wink of her soul
As she nods her head at the truth
Of what she’d been told.

This is your life
Don’t blink
Act One
Act Two
And the final one too
What you are doing and saying
From New York, to Paris, to Kalamazoo
It is true

It is  now
This minute
Though paved with His goodness and  oodles of  grace

She was reminded
She is breathing and living
These days of her life
So she vows to renew
Her vows
To soak in and notice it all
Including not excluding the pain
And suffering
Disappointment and shame

And that makes the road
The one paved with grace
More important than ever
As
She recalls the valuable

Advise of a sage
Who told her repeatedly
This life, it  isn’t a race

We are winners
Sojourners, journeymen
Fellow travellers here

Noticing
Noticing
Noticing it all
From the moment the sun breaks
Until nightfall
And more important than anything else, the middle
The moments, the center, the time in between
These are the greatest, the smallest
The most important
Small things.
The repetitions of extraordinary
Ordinary
Daily routines.
The cream of an Oreo
The jelly in a jelly doughnut

Wink and its over
Blink and its gone
She’ll lay her head down
On soft goose down
And nod off tonight like she does every one
Knowing tomorrow she’ll vow yet again
To go forth from slumber
A new song she’ll sing
A song filled with promise and hope
Into the land that has a new name
Wink, Blink and Nod
And now
Noticing.
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Ready, Set, Go Notice

A Few Things I Learned In July

Now this is really fun to write. I do hope it is fun to read. You have been warned that extreme randomness fills the lines of this post. I do  love joining Emily P. Freeman over at Chatting At The Sky, her beautiful blog home. I especially enjoy the series “What I Learned…..”. You may want to visit the others who have linked up  at Emily’s with what they learned this month. Some things are serious and educational, others are humorous and reveal a little  of life’s craziness and/or the writer’s personal nuances. You may even learn something new about this writer.

I will say, I may take creative license and include some things I have learned NOT in July but in general and about which I  feel  utterly compelled to share. You can try to figure out which item falls into that category. You may want to get out now. You have been warned. 🙂

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1. I learned not to judge a writer by her writing. Well by that I mean this. I had a lovely meet up with two bloggers this week. Up until this point I only knew them by their blogs and social media. Amazingly they have two legs and two arms each and in this case they are both funny as all get out. I almost said something else but I didn’t. Self editing helps. I met Kendal Privette and Amy L. Sullivan for coffee at the quintessential coffee house, The Dripolator. These two women are the realest deal and both have hearts spun from pure gold. They drove out of their way to meet me. I am grateful. Thank you Kendal for the poetry book. I cherish it.

2. If you are leaving church,  pulling out into traffic from said church’s parking lot OR if you have a sign of the fish on your car, be nice. I am just saying. That may raise the bar on your driving etiquette but people, this is the time to raise the bar on yourself.  It is a good time to defer, slow down, pay it forward and just kill  ’em with kindness. There will be plenty of sweet tea at the after church buffet when you get there.

3. Editing is hard work. Well, proof-reading is hard work. My father and I are editing my mother’s book (twenty chapters long). Let’s just say it is not as easy as it looks. The next time you read a book and you find a typo, try not to be all, “Wow how did this book ever get printed and distributed, I mean with typos and stuff.”  We are proof-reading behind several people, at least one of which was paid to find the errors. To forgive is divine.  And I am convinced the eye reads what it thinks should be there,  we  often miss our own typos even after proof-reading five times or so. And thanks for grace here. I have had my few…..hundred myself.

4. One of the best places to dine out of doors is in my summertime back yard. Run don’t walk to The Grove Park Inn in Asheville. Well don’t run, just call and make  a reservation if you are anywhere near Western North Carolina. And don’t quote me. I just happen to have had a wonderful experience there. Who knows, maybe you will too. The sunset over the valley and the Asheville skyline are beautimous.

5. Walking through life with an aging  mother is filled with intrigue and wonder. I learned this in July and I am learning it in August and hopefully will continue to learn from it for the rest of my life. I will definately be writing more about that and Dementia here.

summer veggies

6. I am obsessed with Instagram and with taking pictures of food, seeing it increasingly as  art. Instagram is like an art gallery of the lives and art of folks I seem to be following– mostly family, friends, bloggers and magazines whose work I love. I am there at @graceappears on Instagram. It seems like a quiet place to be in  a very loud world. And yes, I realize that I contribute to the noise. Should I be following you.

7. Poets are some of the funniest people I know. At least the folks at Tweetspeak Poetry are. I recently participated in their “Take A Poet To Work Day.” Man that really caught on, like all around the globe. We started with flat puppets like flat Stanley. Whoever that is. And the rest is too hard to explain so I recommend you head over there and read the recap. It was a day of wit and whimsy and child’s play. Which takes me to my next point.

8. I am enjoying this summer almost more than I did when I was a child. And I am learning to play again. Though I am not quite there, I am making progress with becoming reacquainted with channeling the inner child. (see Instagram for examples of summer fun.)

summer picture JULY

9. When I make a salad, I am at my easel with paints and brushes and a blank canvas. One of my new favorite “paintings” is a peach salad. Here is the recipe. Fresh greens (I used red leaf which is not always a favorite but it was perfect here.) Fresh Peaches ( I like the peel on) sliced thinly and then cut bigger than bite size. I know I am weird that way. Blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbes. And candied walnut pieces.(I found them in the produce section. And then a vinegar and oil dressing. I added rotisserie chicken. Yummers. A meal.

10. I am thinking of and dreaming of two things. (Well more than that but…..you know what I mean.)  I am going to begin to look for a publisher for a poetry book and I am dreaming of collaborating with another writer or musician on some song lyrics. Let me know if you know anything about either of these so that I don’t spin around in circles endlessly dreaming and scheming. Who knows, maybe by August’s list of “A Few Things I Learned in August” I will be able to report what I now know about dreaming of writing and publishing a poetry book.
trio in nature

11. I am amazed at the quality of my camera phone. #oldschool not an #iphone.  And I am still using and totally  obsessed with Pikmoney. (pikmonkey dot com) I don’t always photo edit, but when I do it is with Pikmonkey. Instagram has it’s own fun filters. But you already knew that.

See you in August. Wait. No. I hope I will see you around here before then. Poetry is popping up all over and almost daily. Sort of like the mushrooms. It is like the summer of mushrooms with all the rain, they are taking over. I digress.