New Years Eve, 2012

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I’m starting this year in a black dress and combat boots.

Gone are the wasted minutes of waiting,

replaying reflections to find reasons, seeking reassurance;

that’s all behind me, flattened by boot prints.

But look up, and you’ll still see the sweet I hold on to,

I cherish, like the quietest cloud at sunset,

or the taste of music, or the feel of blue.

I’m still here this year, with boots to carry me through.

 

Longing for Lost

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Among the bare trees and ridges
in the last days of the year, 
I tried to get lost. It was nearly dark, 
evening clouds covered the mountain, 
covered me, pulling deeper down 
past mossy fallen oaks and the stream 
that sang of never returning. 
I followed as each path faded, 
until there was none, and no me, 
just blueness and quiet, and I secretly 
hoped no voices would find me to call 
me back.  Late, in the dark and cold, 
there were voices that haunted me 
back, and I shuffled return steps 
with my head down, through the darkness. 
I still long for lost. 

Silent Christmas

In the dips of the Blue Ridge Mountains,

where the soft blue cast blends with mountain streams

and stone walls, I settle in to a sparse cabin

on the side of a hill.  It is Christmas Eve,

and I’ve made my journey, here,

away from what Christmas isn’t, to this

stillness that is coming home.  The cabin is bare,

and cold.  With twigs and logs left by another, I start

a fire, the fireplace making the cabin glow a gentle orange,

smell of wood smoke that makes me want to lie on

the worn blue couch and fall asleep to the crackling wood.

But it is Christmas eve, and I have no tree.  In my many

years, I have never spent one without a decorated tree.

It seems a tradition I cannot forego.  So, before I settle

by my fire with hot tea and dreams, I zip my coat and head

out into the blue twilight with the axe left by the door.

It doesn’t take long to find the perfect evergreen.

She calls to me, from the hill next to the cabin, and I go to her,

admiring her symmetry, the round of her back, her perfect point.

As the wind blows through her needles, she smiles at me,

and I know I shall never chop her down.  I drop my axe

and contemplate.  Surely she must be decorated for Christmas!

She shall look like a queen.  Scurrying around like a chipmunk

gathering nuts for the winter, I collect pinecones, and berries,

dried flowers, and even a bird’s nest.  Soon my splendid tree

is dressed for the holiday.  The sun has set, and the cabin calls.

I sleep by the earnest fire, awaiting a silent Christmas,

 and my Christmas tree dancing in her place in the hill.

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Frozen in the Moment

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I keep them frozen in the moment of joy,

soaring through southern summer heat

with squeals and laughter that only linger

in tender youth. Their toes point like dancers,

hands reach skyward – up, up, up –

it’s all out there for them to seize,

a sky of possibilities, where each will find

her own blue, create her clouds.

Time may move, but I keep them here, safe,

in this place, where their summer days at the lake

pass gently, with joy and promise. As long as I

hold them here, in a golden frame,

they shall never be swallowed up

by the dark, cold waters beneath them.

 

 

Juliette Wears a White Bow in her Hair

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Juliette wears a white bow in her hair.

Each morning, as the tent city awakens at daybreak, and the pangs

of relentless hunger return, she lifts her head from a pillow of rags to find

the white bow.  Her mother once tied it in her hair, before Port-au-Prince perished,

Mama was gone, and only hardship remained.  She crawls from the torn tent,

finds her sister, fixing the rocks that hold together their home.  Vacancy,

a void for what has been lost in her eight years.  Juliette studies her cracked feet,

hardened leather soles from years of walking with no shoes.  And the scabs

on her legs are shaped like flowers that don’t grow amid piles of trash and rubble

surrounding her.  Cholera called on their city, took so many, left Juliette uneasy,

a new vulnerability.  Nature is cruel and doesn’t care about her feelings, and Juliette

hates her back, with every cringe of her scant body.  She shudders.

Sister signals it is time to walk for water.  They must go early or they will have none.

Still in partial darkness, the sisters make their way uneasily through the weary paths

of the tent city.  Vulnerable and exposed, they move quickly in the muddy alleys.

The water walk they make daily is silent but has a song of scarcity and despair,

the sound of wind in a dried up riverbed. Juliette feels the song with each step.

They return, in the stifling Haiti sun, each with a bucket of water balanced on her head. 

Sometimes, in the heat, Juliette’s eyes start to swim and her head swirls, and her feet

feel as though they are sinking.  But she never forgets the sheer significance of water,

nor the burden she carries. One bucket of water will be saved for them, and one will buy

something to eat.  It is nearly all she thinks about:  food.  She is tired, depleted, and

leans back against a rock outside their torn tent, making a large circle in the dirt

with her fnger.  Smiling, she takes her dusty finger and makes her circle into a balloon.

Juliette wears a white bow in her hair.

 

 

(note: this photo is courtesy of Save the Children, Juliette is the child I sponsor in Haiti) 

What Remained

He blew through bitter and dark,

battering her shores with cruel winds

that dragged her in a frenzied, swirling dance.

His wrathful waves assaulted her shore,

her protection, as he slammed his rage

against her, under somber, swirling skies.

She pleaded, tried to reason with him,

even sang a song, of the love between sand and sea,

but his relentless rage continued,

for she had taken up with the sun,

and he could not bear to see her golden sands.

To save herself, she bowed her head,

put up a fence to fend him off,

but he struck it down, “Let your sun

shine on a broken fence.”

Then, depleted from his fury and the change of tides,

the sea retreated, dragging as many

pieces of her with him as he could.

The sun shone on what remained.

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Liebster Blog Award

http://beeseeker.wordpress.com and http://iggandfriends.wordpress.com/ have both nominate me for the Liebster Award.

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Thank you!  I am both humbled and appreciative.  This is just a small effort to share my poems and photography, in the hopes that someone can relate to them, and something like this makes me feel that, in some way, I am connecting with other people. Thank you!

The Rules:

1) Paste the award picture into your blog.

2) Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards your nominees.

3) When you receive the award, you must post 11 random facts about yourself.

4) Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and let them know.

So, here we go.  I am not so good at this, being an introvert, but I will try.  11 random facts about myself…let’s see….

1.  I have a passion for photography and usually always have a camera with me.

2.  I live near the ocean but would rather live in the mountains.

3.  I dream of traveling the world.

4.  I was a state champion horseback rider (jumping)

5.  I love (American) football

6.  My favorite color is blue.

7.  I love roller coasters and go on as many as possible.

8.  I can’t stand to be in large crowds

10. sunset is my favorite time of day

11. I talk to angels

 

Ok, next the questions I have to answer:

MY NEW QUESTIONS:

1.What keeps you awake at night?

I worry about things a lot – too much – usually things I have to control over.  I am working on this.

2. Recommend a ghost story, suitable for a winter evening.

It’s not really a ghost story, but read The Long Walk by Stephen King. I promise you it will haunt you.

3. What has been your favourite moment of 2012?

Hiking down into the Grand Canyon this summer

4. What is your favourite quote and why?

“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.” (C.S. Lewis)  I think this says it all in life.

5. What kind of doodler are you?

I doodle words.

6. Your favourite all-time comic character?

Woodstock (from Snoopy)

7. Something you wish you had learned earlier.

Things will happen in their own time, not when I want them to happen.

8. The question you always wanted to answer – but, dammit – nobody ever asked ?

I avoid answering questions, so I am happy when no one asks me anything!

9. What musical instrument ahve you tried to learn toplay (how successful have you been – so far)?

I used to play clarinet. I was not good at it. I always wished I could play the guitar.

10. At what time of day are you most active?

definitely night time….I wish I could stay up all night and sleep all day

11. Which two fictional characters would invite to dinner (where would you go?)

I would take Holden Caulfield and Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet).  We would just sit at Starbucks and talk.  I have questions I’d like to ask both of them!

 

Next, my new questions:

1.  If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

2.  What place do you find most captivating?

3.  What are your aspirations as a writer/photographer/artist/blogger?

4.  What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

5.  What is your biggest regret?

6.  What would do if you weren’t afraid?

7.  If you had to move to a country other than the one you are living in, which country would you choose?

8.  What is your all-time favorite book?

9.  What type of music do you prefer?

10. What blog post (by another) stays most vivid in your mind?

11.  What is your one most favorite word?

Next: nominees…this is hard because there are so many wonderful blogs, and also difficult, not knowing who has already been nominated for what and who does not “do” awards, but I am going to “wing” it and give a shout out to some very worthy blogs that I recommend:

http://moonstonemaiden.wordpress.com/

http://jdubqca.com/

http://berry556.wordpress.com/

http://benjaminprewitt.com/

http://retireediary.wordpress.com/

http://choosemyway.wordpress.com/

http://addgrainonearth.com/

http://sethsnap.com/

http://atelierc157.wordpress.com/

http://m5son.wordpress.com/

http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/

 

Words Run Through

Words are tiny foot soldiers sent out on missions.

They carry their letters and meanings with weighty might,

each a different hue, a different sound.  Some words scramble

and hurl themselves at their target, and some dance and sway,

so it seems they may never find their way.  Oh, but, when they do,

those words carry light and resonance and make faces glow. 

There are words that are hot, consumed with flames, dangerous

to touch, but still they land and sear, burn through, leave ashes

behind and smolder.  Words of longing carry shades of blue

and sound like a piano in an empty hall, echoing.  They drift

slowly through the air and settle like a whisper on a lonely cheek.

The words of kindness shine and pick up broken pieces, wrap

themselves around until no more pieces can fall.  Words

may have an edge to balance on, until they decide which way

to drop.  When they don’t seem to be enough, words call in more

tiny foot soldiers and weave themselves together in new ways,

creating, becoming something that never existed before,

becoming part of you.  Words have no beginning and no ending,

only places to stop along the way.

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Empty Shell

I found a perfect shell on the beach, all the edges

were smooth, the corners just right.  She was the palest

pink, like the sky before sun appears, and her

ridges were spaced just right, as if carved by a sculptor.

No sand clung to her, for she was too smooth to mar.

As I held her to my cheek, and she whispered,

“Empty inside.” Did she speak of herself?

Or me? I slipped her in my pocket,

as a way to hide.

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