Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Imperfect flower

Photo credit:   Mike Baum

A lilac petal missing 
stolen by wind-
gave you unsymmetrical face, 
imperfect bloom in garden- 

Still, you rise, pearled & regal 
Holding firmly your spine
under blue sky or whirling storm -
proud & blue blooded dame

Your crown, amber lit 
Your seeds, moon strung
i tell you 
you're more beautiful
than you ever looked-

and 55 Words for the G-Man

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This house

An Asheville, NC B&B
Photography by:  Margaret Bednar

the dust is ever-present

while the hours are fragile & wrinkled in jars

the roof is semi-ruined,

cardboard & ash contained

or maybe its just my eyes

crestfallen, turning steeply into themselves 

because you, my love

have hurled doubts


rumored & worn out, 


for another mouth to kiss -

Posted for:   Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Play It Again & Kenia's Word Challenge List
and Poets United  - Thanks for the visit ~

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Of knives

my chef son keeps his 
hidden deep in drawer
for its blade,  fine as lion's tooth
is long and silvery thin
making staccato sounds
on brown wooden frame
his face, zen calm 
an artist at work

mine is fat & short
on kitchen counter
a king sitting above spices
& bottles of sauces
its blade a bit dull but
still sharp 
to dice potatoes
to mince onions & celery
into a garden of green
into a bed of bite sized eats-

my hand tonight is fast
as I pare, cut & slice
the tender hearts of vegetables-
no thorns, no bones, just leaves & stalks -
I think about what I 
said earlier in anger,
words like daggers
spatted cold & terse, a butcher
out for blood, my tongue a gunfire-
the knife absorbs my energies
cloth & lattice
chalice & plate
a fusion of aroma
rises & setting aside my knife
I walk back to
repair what I just tore
making amends
my voice softens as I
call the family for

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Thanks for the visit ~
Picture credit:   here

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Of frail hearts

The doctors say they couldn't find the cause 
of flooding in your lungs.  With each inhalation,
a rippling pain crosses your gaunt face.

You ask for the priest to give you
Last Rites.   There is no rancor nor rage in
your words.   Your neck bows in graceful acceptance.  

Of storms.  Of changing winds.  
Your husband weeps, his own frail heart stitched
years earlier, a child now, drowning in fears -

I turn clock inside out
I am filling the empty spaces
I am rebuilding the walls & roof

I am hanging up family pictures
I am wearing the rings & brooch of grandma
I am telling the butterflies to wait, please wait-

But your face is serene on hospital bed  
ribs punctured with tubes, fingers needled with wires,
and from your tongue 
praises of His Words, His Exalted Name- 

Our hands touch, drawing strength from each other
River into sea, sea into river
Outside, tropical sun glints hard orange orb
This began with root of your frail heart
But now I learned that yours
is always steel, uncommon fire-

We exchanged gifts that day:

yours, art of breathing more gratitude-
mine, lesson in becoming less fearful 

of darkness -

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight - Thanks for the visit ~

This happened more than 2 years ago with my mom, but she survived and is doing well ~  The gift of life is a precious lesson for me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The house on the hill

After 46 years, fear return 
Memories came back, every single 
corner of house
an old fire station.

A work in progress:  trust
pour from 
the seams of her soul-
a hazard.
It's dangerous; its dark program

endlessly fascinating.
She will always return to house
and rebuild it

like a dream. 

Photography by Manuel Cosentino

Original article here: I've created a different story from erasing words in the same order, without adding any word.   In part:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—It’s 7 a.m. and Michaëlle Jean is bouncing — bright-eyed and bursting with 
enthusiasm — in the back of a United Nations truck to her first appointment of another packed day.
After four years of searching, she found her childhood home last week. The one she snuck out of 46 years ago, for 
fear the Tonton Macouteswould return again for her father and, this time, finish him off.
“We knocked, there was a woman there. I asked her if I can come in,” she recalls, as all around us the city groggily 
pulls itself from bed.

“I was like a kid, I was so excited. So many memories came back to me: every single corner of that house, the 
staircase, the rooms, the balcony … My mother used to rock me on her lap on the balcony.”
“There is an old tradition of plant doctors in Haiti, who grow special botanical products,” Jean says. “If 
production can be raised to a standard quality, Haiti could access a $67-billion market.”
A renovated fire station, the creation of a consortium of universities working in Haiti, the electrification of the 
Citadel, food canteens in poor neighbourhoods — it’s hard to keep track of Jean’s projects, she has so many in the 
works. They might seem disparate, she admits, but they all reinforce the government’s own “very focused” 
development plan.
“I see what they’ve delivered with the little leverage they’ve got. People say you have to earn trust, but how long 
does it take?” she says.
“It’s always going to be a work in progress. I think if people can trust Haiti more, trust the government of Haiti, 
trust the Haitian plan like they pretended they would, instead of taking the same old approach of ‘we’ll take care of it in our own way’ …”
As her car bounces through the city’s congested suburbs, frustration and enthusiasm pour from Jean. She races 
after her thoughts in English, then French, then English again. This, I think, is why she is still so treasured in 
Canada: she is surprisingly honest and disarmingly emotional. She bustles all the seams of her soul into her work.
When a group of little girls with hot pink bows bouncing in their hair flash through the windshield, she bursts: 
“We need to make sure these children are walking to institutions of quality … I was in Jalousie (shantytown). I 
couldn’t even imagine children studying in the school we saw. It is a hazard. It’s dangerous, it’s dark. Oh no, really, no….”
We are on our way to a school in Grand-Goâve, a small town near the epicentre of the 2010 earthquake. The 
teachers there are taking professional development courses taught by Quebec university professors. This 
program, she funds.
“This country is endlessly fascinating and occasionally frustrating,” she says. “I am always in 
that space of how much can be done and what this country has to offer.”
Her term ends this fall. She is considering her next move, perhaps to the Organisation 
International de la Francophonie.
But she will always return to Haiti, she says, just like she always returns to Canada. They are 
both her homes now. “If I could only buy that house and rebuild it,” she says. “I don’t have the money to do that. 
But it’s like a dream.

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - OpenLinkMonday - Thanks for the visit ~
and Out of the Standard - Erasure Poetry

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In gratitude

     Gratitude by Toril Fisher
Inspired by real-Life Farmers of Second Cloud on Left Farm

we buy this land for food & hearth
our calloused hands till the soil for
beets, beans, corn, tomatoes & peas-
our faces flecked with dirt & rain

we dig & stoop from our waist
this land provides for food & hearth:
summer squashes & cabbages,
all fresh & healthy as clear pond-

growing food, our cheeks turn pink
our skin browns with sunshine & air
this land gives more than food & hearth
connecting with nature, we are free

to grow wantonly as daisies
to sprout luxuriously as grass
with gratitude we praise & praise
for this land,  our food & hearth

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Artistic Interpretation by Margaret
& Sunday Challenge - Quatern poetry form (8 syllables per line) ~  Thanks for the visit ~

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The winter walk

Grace@ Everyday Amazing

is raw
& snapping cold -
my beige jacket becomes
an armor, keeping my hands
& body heat tight as all closed windows

Not a breeze stirs
Nor squirrels running up trees
Only silence trumpeting frost
& draping bare boughs
pristine as first breath of spring

still a long way from here -
i see the sun's golden stain
lifting the mist of night like a veil
my walk is steady beat on salted street-
one round

is all I can do
short but invigorating
like a 50 meter sprint -
my nostrils flaming smoke
before I circle back to house
eager for that warmth of chocolate cup-

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Sketchbook//in moment by Claudia -

Happy weekend ~

Where sunflowers are red

You walk along city's harbor nipping
of cool lake & sunset dipping faint yellow

But your eyes are loveless
& your hands are battered by yesterday's rain

The city grime drapes your robe grey
& thoughts dark dusty distraught

Even the garden of red sunflowers
are dry bulbs crusted in sawdust

Each petal a weeping eye
Each crown an empty castle

When did you forget that the world
is golden as sunflowers

When did you believe that soot &
cinders are your skin instead of wine & salt

When did you decide that you are
a shadow with parched roots, toothless mouth   

You are not made of wheels nor steel knives
Your hands are not made just to scrap & toil

Stand upright & shake out webs & dead twigs
Remove those eyelids of black misery

Wake up & accept sky's gift of light & darkness
Strike your breasts red, rage your words loud

You are blessed with golden sunflowers
inside, spiral patterns of velvet beauty & seeds

glorious as your flower soul

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Featuring Lisa Graham's Art - I am hosting this feature over the weekend ~
and Kerry's Find Your Own Creative Space

Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Marly's face

Looking through Circumstances

is a study of sorrow-
black sparrow eyes are somber lit

checks are red rouged to hide
skeletal shoulders slumping slowly

she hardly notices dappled morning light
nor flowers blooming fresh by her chair-

her eyebrows are stitched to worries
over the dollars she sends every 2 weeks-

her family leans on her-
husband, child, mother, siblings, nieces &

nephews, the list of needs is long
when all she wants to do is travel back home

& be a mom & wife & eldest daughter instead
of primary breadwinner

in a foreign country, working as lowly
paid migrant, where her alcoholic absentee father's eyes

are blurry, hers is firm in faith, unmeasurable
where her husband's chin is frail, hers is iron pointed -

every night, she prays that she stays healthy
enough to work & save, work & save - 

last time i saw her, I reminded her of the silly
things we did when she stayed with us briefly

& for a moment, she was young carefree
woman with flowers clipped on her hair-

if i had a paintbrush, i'd have framed this moment
to remind her

the sun is blushing yellow & vibrant
- & for me, an instruction that this is a gift -

Posted for OpenLinkNight of D'verse Poets Pub ~ Thanks for the visit ~
I will be featuring this artist this weekend at Real Toads ~  Watch out for it ~

Shared with WriteEditPublish- What's in a Face ~

Sunday, February 2, 2014

under February stars

the night is a silkworm
feasting on mulberry leaves
& starry constellations

the weaving is slow yet
deliberate, my hands are a 

i have no name yet
but i hear my blood
strongly stirring

my eyes are glass
reflecting the starlight
faint above snow wrapped city

soon, i will wear
gown of iridescent beauty: deep purple
threaded of courage & tenacity

the air sharpens as
a vision comes to me:
woman standing alone

her body leans to the sky 
serene as moon 
the galaxy awaits for her

& i will fulfill it like
prophecy of the one who
birthed me:   shaper of dreams

"I started my life with a single absolute:  that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle."
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- Anais Ain

Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Sunday's challenge theme - Individualism
and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~