Sunday, April 5, 2020

Apr5Poetry - Dancing Together




I'm trying something new, taking a risk this month - participating in
#VerseLove with Sarah Donovan,
hoping to write poetry every day this April.








Today's poetic challenge is to find something in music or lyrics, something that brings peace and healing - write a musical poem. I put on our 'anniversary' playlist, and put pen to paper.

Dancing Together

David sings his love song,
home is where I want to be,
Mavis belts out she'll take me there, and
Al begs, come and take me.
Here we are,
dancing together,
just the two of us.
you and I.

Its about rhythm, tempo, and beat,
no matter - rock, soul, jazz, or blues,
the way you swept me off my feet,
the way you do the things you do,
Here we are,
dancing together,
just the two of us.
you and I.

Diana hears a symphony,
Soulfully, Van croons about moondance,
Temptations aren't too proud to beg,
What's love got to do with it?, Tina demands.
Here we are,
dancing together,
just the two of us.
you and I.

We are together, laughing and swaying,
Up on our feet, making the moves,
Sugar pie, honey bunch, 
I want to spend some time with you,
Here we are,
dancing together,
just the two of us.
you and I.

Baby, I need your loving, 
let's dance to unwind and let go.
Bill would love this dancing sunshine,
I know, I know, I know, I know.
Here we are,
dancing together,
just the two of us.
you and I.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Apr4Poetry - Mother and Daughter




I'm trying something new, taking a risk this month - participating in
#VerseLove with Sarah Donovan,
hoping to write poetry every day this April.









Today's poem writing prompt is to focus on a physical trait in my family...


Mother and Daughter


Come to think of it,
hair was a thing between us,
keeping us together,
pushing us apart.
"Oh, look at you two,
mother and daughter,
such beautiful hair,
thick, black, and wavy."
I heard this over and over.
In those early years,
she'd preen and primp us both,
I'd cry and protest and wriggle away,
I never cared about my hair, and
her eyes said 'shame on you.'

"It needs to be combed,
it needs to be untangled,
you can't go out looking like that."
I wanted the choice of a simple buzz cut,
like my brothers,
just let me be -
free to climb, run and hide,
work up a sweat.
Exasperated, she styled mine a 'pixie,'
making it conform.
I resented being told to be pretty.
Her eyes said "you don't get a say."

When I look at the family photo,
me, with that soft, perfect curl
in the center of my forehead,
I only see the hour I sat still
beforehand
so that she could create it, and
I see
her manicured hair, and
her sophisticated smile,
projecting
we are a model family.
Her eyes are distant.

By the time I was in high school,
she stayed longer in her bed,
weighed down by mental illness, and
neither I nor my hair was
clipped,
boxed in,
confined.
Mom tried to tame both me and my hair,
and then gave up.
I missed having her wash my hair at the sink,
I missed her playing with my hair,
I missed her eyes noticing me.

So many, many years have gone by,
my hair is now gray,
though thick and playful.
It refuses to grow past my shoulders,
I guess stubborn like me.
Once it hits the nape of my neck,
it decides to be a bush, growing bolder, wide, and wild,
as if still yelling 'let me be!'.
It submits to workweeks with gels and a brush,
but weekends and pandemics
are another thing entirely.
Sometimes my hair covers my eyes.



Friday, April 3, 2020

Apr3Poetry - Favorite Things




I'm trying something new, taking a risk this month - participating in
#VerseLove with Sarah Donovan,
hoping to write poetry every day this April.







Today's challenge is to write an "Etheree," which is ten lines, each growing by one syllable in length, and the first line is only one syllable. Here goes!




Favorite Things

tea
brownies
homemade bread
daily writing
long walks to nowhere,
surrounded by nature
dancing in the living room
time alone, quiet, with my thoughts
snuggles and books with my granddaughter
these are a few of my favorite things







Thursday, April 2, 2020

Apr2Poetry - Judgment or Love




I'm trying something new, taking a risk this month - participating in
#VerseLove with Sarah Donovan,
hoping to write poetry every day this April.








Today's writing idea is to create a "Blitz poem," 50 lines long, short phrases, no punctuation, and precise repetition of certain words at certain times...I found this writing to be an invigorating mix of "planning" and "whimsy." Here's my poem:


Judgment or Love

Love one another
Love without judgment
Judgment is poison
Judgment is walls
Walls only stop
Walls do not grow
Grow kindness and hope
Grow seeds of caring
Caring soothes us
Caring connects people
People are all so different
People make mistakes
Mistakes are human
Mistakes are opportunities
Opportunities to learn
Opportunities to try again
Again means hope
Again means persistence
Persistence is learning
Persistence is essential
Essential to thinking
Essential to change
Change for the better
Change for the world
World that loves
World that includes
Includes the fringe
Includes the unseen
Unseen but hurting
Unseen needs voice
Voice that is heard
Voice that enlightens
Enlightens our minds
Enlightens our hearts
Hearts that grow more inclusive
Hearts that embrace the other
Other perspectives are needed
Other opinions count
Count on each other
Count on together
Together is complicated
Together is slow
Slow is meaningful
Slow is needed
Needed for hope
Needed for love
Love soothes all
Love each other
Other
All

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Apr1Poetry - compassion it.





I'm trying something new, taking a risk this month - participating in
#VerseLove with Sarah Donovan,
hoping to write poetry every day this April.














Before I wrote today's poem, I thought about all my heroes. Here are quotes that I carry with me, with great joy, every day:

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us." - Anne Lamott

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

"Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done." - Bryan Stevenson

"There are no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Theresa

"Every day, think as you wake up, I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it." - Dalai Lama




My poem follows -



compassion it.


My bumper sticker
implies and explains,
who I am,
what I try to do,
what I believe.
Each of us is hurting
in some way,
big or small.
Love deeply,
meet their eyes,
laugh together,
desire to love, and
to be loved.
Work hard,
with passion,
do justice,
seek to know,
be curious, and
wonder.
Travel widely,
and see,
how wrapped up in one another
we really are, and
really should be.
Take action,
even tiny steps,
fall on your face,
get up,
go again.
Give space,
reflect, and
write.
compassion it.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

SOL 20 Slice #31: The end?



I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2020.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!


It seems appropriate to end this Slice of Life Story Challenge of 2020 with a focus on my favorite book: Roget's International Thesaurus, Third Edition (1962). This was a gift from my father, when I went away to college - though, to clarify, is it called a gift when you have borrowed it for so long, that it just gets caught up in your belongings and no one is really the wiser? 

Dad showed me how the thesaurus worked when I was about ten years old...and perhaps that's why I fell in love with this book: it needed directions! You didn't just pick it up and start reading; no, you went right to the back, found the word you were thinking about, looked for its unique numeric code, and then flipped back to the front part of the book until you found that number in the sequence. Why would you do this? To find a whole other world of additional words that were similar in meaning...to find synonyms

It still strikes me as such a fanciful and whimsical idea for a book: think of a word, follow a trail to other words that are nearly the same, and get ready to go on numerous other tangents, along the way. 

I loved everything about this tome. As a young girl, my favorite feature was the fore edge [FYI - I just now looked up this term] of the pages...these had hollowed semicircle indentations, to make it easier to turn to the section you needed. I had never seen these on any other book. They seemed elegant, special, stylish, refined, sophisticated, ingenious - ah, you get the idea.
My writing nook, with Roget's.

I liked that Roget's had a special place on Dad's desk, right next to the dictionary. I like that he signed his name in the front of the book, in black marker. I like to think about my father writing, that he was fascinated enough about words that he bought himself a thesaurus. Wow. I have no memories of him writing for anything other than work (he was a naval officer), though, I remember he did enjoy writing letters to family. I liked that he had this book to expand his word choice; I thought that conveyed a certain respect for writing itself - to seek help and information, to make your writing better.

Even though I can look up synonyms on Google, I still enjoy looking them up in my Roget's. There is something very grounding about this.

There's something very grounding about this Slice of Life Challenge every March, and, particularly, this March, 2020. We have held each other up, we have shared our stories, and we have documented our personal history of this pandemic. I am so appreciative of this writing community, and I thought I'd let Roget's explain. The Slice of Life Story Challenge provided me with:

community
oasis
connection
friendship
circle
people
exchange
reflection
travel
escape
inspiration
conversation
dialogue
sharing
provocation
insight
wisdom
wit
solace
caring
compassion
humor
concern
comfort
treasure
a very special place

Thank you, one and all, for your writing and your comments. You have made me a better writer! I hope we meet up again on Tuesdays, for weekly slicing.




My favorite page from Eric Carle's "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly" Said the Sloth; clearly Mr. Carle had a thesaurus!








Monday, March 30, 2020

SOL20 Slice #30: Where is he now?



I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2020.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!



I woke this morning with a certain homeless young man on my mind, wondering how he is managing to survive this time of quarantine and isolation.




Where is he now?
Walking home from the metro,
past the stores,
he always finds me.
Just a dollar for some food,
Just a dollar,
that's all.
The sad glisten of his eyes and 
the nervous movements of his body,
tell me differently.

Walking home from the metro,
he moves into my path,
always reminding me,
seeming 'of me.'
I am pulled to engage, 
to not engage,
to know more,
to keep my distance,
to talk,
to be afraid, and
afraid is more powerful.

Walking home from the metro,
I wonder,
what if I had told him 
about the clinic, 
only one block away?
How we sat together in circle,
everyone shared their pain,
the ordeals,
the addictions,
the stories that gave me trembles,
and kept me praying?

Walking home from the metro,
he finds me, and I, him.
Is he sleeping on someone's couch?
Or on the streets?
Where is his family?
Where is he hunkered down?
Is his Mom somewhere, worried?
Is she worn out from the grief
of the journey?
Where is he now?