Poem: The Story


Some smattering thoughts

Bits and pieces of words come

to complete the whole

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Poem: On Waking


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Pinned

a butterfly plucked

from flight by a

4-eyed entomologist

tacked and hung forever

frozen

Limbs

askew and filled with lead

pumped dry from

sleepless climbs through endless starts

with dry breath and thick lips

Eyes

swollen marbles unseeing

remembering lilting dreams

un-blinking

tears dried from cracked blinks

Deep

beneath fathoms of murky sea

bubbles squeezed nitrogen pop

as spiny creatures swim

too close

Heart

chipped down to pebbles

swallowed by a bird

it beating too fast

in her chest

Hammered

to the slab

by the nightly joy ride

that crashed upside down

leaving the driver

Pinned

with the seat belt

still on

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My Poetry


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I’d like to take this time to invite all my readers and followers to feel free to ask me questions or simply wonder about my poems. I’ve had some folks be confused about them or describe themselves as people who don’t generally understand poetry. I suppose I have trouble with most poetry myself.

As I’ve gotten more into writing it, I know it can be quite obscure to others and maybe only makes sense to the poet. But maybe that’s the point. That we all interpret it differently. I’ve decided that’s the beauty of poetry. It’s more like a painting than say an essay which may try to make a particular point more emphatically.

With my poetry, I may get a picture or idea in my head. And many times it may be something that only I may understand to be a truth. Still, the words may resonate because they may create a picture in one’s mind or instill a feeling anyway. This is why I would hope you all will comment anyway without fear that you aren’t ‘getting’ the (my) gist of the poem. It doesn’t matter.

I’m only a novice. It is the joy of the words and the feeling when they make their way into my head like visitor getting off the train at the right station. Sometimes they just keep riding that train and refuse to step on the platform. But on the days they are happy to jump down and into my waiting arms–these are the days I feel rich.

So, remember: don’t worry about asking me who this visitor may be and what they are saying. I understand it may be a language you don’t understand. I will do my best to explain if you want. Or you can tell me what you heard this stranger saying to you…

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Poem Art: Community


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Today has been a dreaming sort of day. One of those days where I have looked at the life I have wanted to live and wondered if it will ever be possible and if I will ever follow through–or if it will always just be a dream. It was a day filled with research and videos, thinking and feeling things in my heart–even conversations with friends.

How many of us just have these yearnings that niggle at us? It is easy to let life pull us in other directions and I admire folks who just do what they want. It’s not that they are better or I am worse at living life, it’s just different paths. And it’s not that I didn’t do what I wanted, because obviously I did.

But what about all those ‘big’ things that we think about when we were young? Where do those ideas go?

Funny, but my next poem art sort of reflected my thoughts today without my trying. But the words I came across just floated out…and spoke the things in my head.

What are your dreams?

Being Human


“Being Human is more important than being full in the know.” Pico Iyer

I heard this on a TED talk the other day and thought it very poignant. One can interpret it many different ways I suppose. This gentleman was talking about what we will never know…that the older we get, the less we know.

Most people feel that with age comes wisdom, but maybe Mr. Iyer is correct. Maybe, instead we learn that as humans we really know very little. That with all our technology, science, predictions and machines–there is so much about the world around us, important stuff, that we simply just will never understand.

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We might predict if someone has cardiac disease, but not the exact minute they might have a heart attack, or if they will at all. So in the end, even though I moved here to help my Mother, I was not with her the moment hers came, therefore the incident became bigger.

Humans have never been able to predict love: when love will strike, who will be blessed with its arrow or when it will be wrenched away. For the ages poets, writers, painters and almost all creative people have tackled love within their medium. But none can truly define it. It remains a sacred mystery, one that is cherished, sought after and defined abstractly depending who is creating the script. It just is and anyone who has felt it understands it. It’s part of being human. We ‘get’ it, but a Webster definition…? Good luck.

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Is ignorance bliss? Maybe in many cases this saying is yes. With the onslaught of the internet and the overabundance of information, being in the know can be a dangerous thing. We have stopped being simply human and relying on those skills we once did that provided us the ability to survive. Our ‘gut’ told us what and who was safe or which way to go; we could sense when our body needed something or when something wasn’t right. Those subtle signals that made the hair stand up, or when we just knew someone was nearby even though we couldn’t see them. Now we ignore signals either about these invisible others (or we are overly sensitive about people different from us) and we are completely out of touch with our own bodies.

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How do we begin to detach, then, our ever whirring minds, so filled with all the data, and get back to ‘just being human’? Can we relearn to trust our inner selves again to become at least partially instinctual in our decision-making? It would be hard for many who have become so co-dependent on digital information. They must be ‘in the know’ for everything. Trusting in themselves would be a hard thing. Especially the generation raised on computers–they have been breast-fed on them, so how do they know otherwise?

For me, tuning in more and more–over many years–to my inner voice, the nuances of my physical self and trying to quiet my chattering mind has been a challenge. But it has been one I take on gladly. Because I am human, this is the animal I was born to be, and getting back to the bare bones of this beast is where I belong.

When we truly quiet the mind, turn off the data stream and just be the beast, we become in tune with the Universe and all things sacred.

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Guilt and Freedom


As I grow older I realize my sense of guilt seems to be leaving me. Many of us may carry around this sense of guilt for a variety of reasons–maybe it was because of the way we raised, maybe it’s our inherit personality type to ‘do the right thing’–but whatever it may be, for me as a younger person–this lurking sense often seemed to be there around the corner.

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The dark window of guilt

For me it was usually intertwined with a sense of responsibility–toward a relationship of some sort, a job or maybe a project. If I had made a committment, then it couldn’t be broken, even if it was killing me in the meantime. So I would stay in a job I hated because I had bills to pay, kids to take care of–and yes, I even felt guilty because of the people there (some of whom I didn’t even like that much) would be put in a bad position if I left! It was nutty.

My stomach would grind, headaches would be daily occurences and life would just feel miserable. Maybe many of you understand how this goes? We just stay put within a marriage, partnership, friendship, career or whatever because this deep sense of guilt or whatever you want to call it–nags at us to do so.

When I would talk to my Mother, she would say: chase the guilt fairy away! Funny coming from a Jewish mother who is suppose to be constantly handing out the guilt. But she was usually reasonable and helpful. Nope, it was me, doing it to myself. Usually (not always mind you) we do these things to ourselves! Because if you think about it: is anyone really holding a gun to our heads making us stay? (Yes, sometimes in an abusive situation someone is–but that’s not what I’m taking about here).

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I’m not guilty at all!!

But there comes a time–at least for me–when it seems we realize: hey, wait a minute, I don’t have to feel bad about this stuff anymore! And just like that a deep sense of peace washes over you and ahead you see: freedom! When we let go of the guilt, there’s freedom of choice and decision making to do whatever we need or want to do with our own lives. Because ulimately, this is the only person we owe anything to: ourselves! I’m not suggesting we should forget all our responsibilites, but we can make decisions about doing what’s best for ourselves at the same time!

Today I heard a term: Radiant Sovereign Self, I believe Margaret Fuller coined it. It’s so lovely and what I want to be. One can’t be this carrying around the burden of guilt. Another beautiful gift I got today was to hear a poem by Mary Oliver.

To me it was about freedom. I share it with you all.

The Journey.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – – determined to save
the only life you could save.

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Poem: Learning To Live Again


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Maybe I will just quite my job

And go back to school

Become a student again

And walk snow-covered paths

Into busy brick buildings

Filled with kids just starting out

They will look at me like I’m some kind of nut

The gray-haired lady in English literature class

Because maybe I could really learn to write a poem

After taking “Poetry Workshop”

Or maybe I could take a class called “Writing In The World”

And get a job as a reporter for NPR

(But I would have to change my name because it’s too boring)

I’d walk from class to class

Take notes

My daughter in college would laugh at me

While helping me with my homework

Or tell me not to bother her

While she was doing hers

Either way it could be no worse

Than being at work

Where the laughter is not the same

But coming from some place outside

Where my walls must be built every day

Like a sandcastle built but washed away by the tide each moon

My comrades in class could joke

But In the end

As the semester drew on and

Midterms and finals and study groups were formed

There in the circle was the gray-haired lady

Very much like someone they know

Back taking that step forward

Learning to live again

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Poem: Pearls


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I am not a Poet like you

Making words leap from the page

Like a gazelle

To be caught

By my hungry and wishful hunter’s ear

And strung together

Pried from an oyster

Creating a gem

How do you find these words?

I learned them too

In schools and essays

Teachers tugging them from my weary brain

Black scribbles on white paper

Staring at me trying to make sense

But yours are different

They rearrange themselves

Like intricate ice patterns on glass

Beautiful, yet transparent

I am not a poet like you

Yet continuing to listen, love and learn

Some days just sitting spellbound

At the simplicity your poetry

Paints in my heart

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A Poem For Mother’s Day


I heard a poem read on the Writer’s Almanac yesterday and it seemed so poignant to my life. It’s funny how things seem to float into our lives just when we need them. Recently it feels as though I have been having difficult relationships with past and current family members of mine. The communication lines are breaking down and every attempted discussion seems to break down into some sort of argument. This is never what I intend and I am not usually doing the arguing. Mean words have been said to me as of late by more folks than I would like to mention. Some that should still be considered close and one that once was very near and dear. Another me might have taken all this to heart and become very depressed or self-blaming. And the fact that Mother’s Day is tomorrow, my sadness would have been huge. But this is a new me and I am handling it all with strength and wisdom. The poem I am going to share meant so much. It’s amazing to me how someone can  so perfectly express the things I am feeling in just a short piece, with simple words strung together! But then, that is the beauty of good writing. Happy Mother’s Day.

The Land of Beginning Again

by Louisa Fletcher

I wish that there were some wonderful place
In the Land of Beginning Again.
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
and never put on again.
I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be there at the gates
like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.
We would find all the things we intended to do
But forgot, and remembered too late,
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken,
And all the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The day for one less fortunate.
It wouldn’t be possible not to be kind
In the Land of Beginning Again,
And the ones we misjudged
and the ones whom we grudged
their moments of victory here,
Would find in the grasp of our loving hand-clasp
More than penitent lips could explain…
So I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.