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stepping out of the way.

the snow came back, I felt it melt down my cold cheek.

It shivered my bones and in a n instant I was reminded of the cold days,

with the short hack job haircut, a tiny frame, lying in a fetal pose under piles of quilts.

Blue hands, I never want to see those blue hands.

so I must use these hands now, strong and able, to pull me out of the way

I clasp my hands in a shameful prayer, I know what he’ll tell me,

He’s been whispering it my ear all week.

He’ll tell me to step out of the way, to follow his stride

and he’ll sweep me off my feet and into a waltz step

I just have to make the first move.

So I pick up my lazy legs

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

stand close, I’m afraid of falling

These Trees

Even the trees here whisper,

they point their twig like fingers at the people below and cackle in the wind.

They reach out their crooked branches,

we grab on to this extended gesture.

but branches break and we come crashing down

hitting backs hard on the ground.

I would like to rest in a hammock, hang it from a tree in the yard but the branches shake and I shy away.

We would like to put up a swing for sister,

the trees know

they scratch the windows in the dark night and listen in to our private chatter

They grow up the walls of our house and spread our words to fellow flora

I sit sipping coffee and watch the trees toss gossip in the wind

I watch trees knock down a stranger because they do not fit the town’s mold

We run about under these trees

and try to find shelter where we can just be

but they take our words

and we become silent in our motion

hush and chatter

branches twigs and limbs in the wind

pray for the leaves to come,

fresh and green,

muffling  the ears of These Trees

painting flowers when the ground is still bare

I can not write and all I paint is flowers,

I sketch sofas and paint flowers.

this is weak and weary

this new town is beautiful but all the music has been turned down.

It is hard to dance without a beat

so

I vacuum my bed and eat soggy rice and lentils.

I try to write beauty, to spill poetry on paper

but this is all I can force out.

just a drip from the teapot, a small stain on paper.

strum my guitar and go to bed.

salty blue mess

I got a job offer and I cried.

I tore it apart

and chewed on it all day

I spit it out

organized the soggy pieces into a pros and cons list

and dripped tears on the paper

ink ran until it swirled in a murky puddle on the floor

I looked into the puddle hoping for an answer

nothing…

salty blue mess…

So, I wiped it up

and made my decision.

 


the book part 2

Writing is important.

It draws people in

Demands their full attention

Spoken words can be powerful, but they ring out in vibration and eventually become lost in the roar of highway cars and the click of tiny keypads.

Written words are permanent, they can never be fully erased.

Even when thrown in the flame, they become dust and mingle around our being, then in stillness settle at our feet

—————————————————————————————-

PART 2 the HOLE

We lived in a green siding house on the corner,

It was a rental, and on late evenings Mum cried and Dad would shout about being in the hole.

I was puzzled.

Holes were dark and scary, our little place was a bright green with a cement block out front.

That block was our stage.

Dad brought us home new dress up clothes and we put on a show.

There was a garden in the back, down a grassy slope.

The perefect sized tobogganing slope for toddlers in the winter.

The garden was small and thriving. It grew carrots, legumes, rhubarb and tomatoes. On hot summer’s days Mum and I would eat the fresh peas right off the vine.  Dad made pickles from cucumbers and I marveled at how the flavour went from soft and plain, to a nose scrunching bite.

We were schooled in that home, and we slipped out at break to eat Popsicles in the sun.

This place was not a hole.

This was the place where a prayer was changed and then a prayer was answered.

We sat on the bottom step, of the staircase in our home. Mum and I, and I told her…

I could not ask for a baby girl,

so I changed my prayer

and in a months time, Mum and Dad called us together at the dining room table.

J squirmed and N looked bored, I tried not to sit on my knees in those blue chairs we owned.

The ones from an old restaurant, will the vinyl puffy seats. They had nails that stuck out below the vinyl. They were sharp on your knees.

Parents spoke, words came together in sentences, and my tiny eyes lifted, the boys hooted and hollered.

A baby boy, a brother. We were having a baby.

Remember when you sang to me

They forgot to invite her to the support group.

It must have hurt, pierced flesh deep,

She waved it off,

Like she waves off the pain in her knees

Like she waves off the bruises on her heart, from each time a rebellious teenager took a bat to it.

She needs support most right now and they forgot to invite her.

So mummy let your tears fall down

Each one precious and valid.

God collects them in his cup

Remember when you sang to me about the overflowing cup?

Well he has turn your tears into love

and it overflowing all over you.

the book, the start

I like to run by the lake,

It puts me in my place

reminds me how small I am

the lake, stretching beyond what I can see, it is just a tiny tear drop in the palm of my maker

If the lake is a tear drop…

we must all be specks of glitter, I decide

like ones we use to craft valentine’s on our dining room table

we shine and shimmer off eachother

all different shapes, sizes and colours

The lake makes me want to write

to start my book

because it is not for the little glitter people that float

about beside me, but for him and him only

so here I begin.

——————————————————————————————–

let me start before her start,

back to the days of pink bedrooms, and white framed toddler beds

a wallpaper border of puppies and kitties

two rough and tough big brothers

who pull my hair and laugh at my pretend games

The huggable J who always finds trouble

and a tattle tale N, the eldest and wisest

back to the days of Daddy sandwiching us three together and dropping us off in our beds,

We take the boys upstairs first, and kiss each one good night

then I am last

back down the stairs and to the room at the end of the hall

he plops me into my blankets and he and mum shower me in goodnight kisses and hugs.

when the lights are out and I hear their quiet chatter in the family room,

I slip out of my bed and get on both knees.

Chubby child hands clasped tight, and a head of messy hair, bows

I asked a little prayer

to the BIG man up in the sky

he never answers

but it is always the same prayer,

night after night

dolls and stuffed toys lay with me under covers

and my hushed words echo through the dark of the night.