Poetry Month-April 5, 2024

Okay…It took all of my restraint not to write “I bailed” somewhere is this little ditty. Why did I keep this object on my altar, you may wonder? A reminder of things not to do. Every memory is important.

Warning: Sailor in Love

Way out there. Way way
Out there, he dreamed about her
He fixed in her gaze
Charted her
Set her course
Sent her distress signals
About storm warnings
About red skies
About ports of call
He penned her siren songs
About coves of paradise
Ahead
Always ahead
Coastlines she never reached.

Poetry Month-April 4, 2024

Today is the birthday of three extraordinary women I know and love. It is also the day Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. How strange these markers are. How can one day hold such a confluence of events? And yet the day we are born and the day we die hardly begin to determine the influence we have, whether it’s bringing soup to a neighbor or speaking on an international stage. These benign dates are simply nudges to remind us of how extraordinary it is to be alive. And yes, it’s also a fluke. A marvelous fluke of fate.

That’s what I’m thinking as I pull this strange booty from the altar box:

ISABELLA

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, someone
comes into your life and
Upends it
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, she’s
an irreverent catholic
who can see through the
holy mist and call it
A cosmic joke
(it was the eighties, we lobbed balls at the cosmos)
“It’s a stor-reeeee, Linds-seeeeee,” she’d say.
If you could write a story about the universe and
make everyone obey you,
wouldn’t you do it?
Who cares if sales & marketing
slap ‘Bible’ on the front cover?
‘Testaments, Prophecies & Gospels’
was only a working title.

Poetry Month-April 3, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the altar box today…

When my daughter was in preschool, she would bring home the artwork of all the other children in the class. I’d ask her where her artwork was and she’d say, I gave it to Hallie, Lila, Alma, Lara…It made me wonder about this thing we do–creating art–holding on to it, possessing it, making it precious. Why not share it? All over the place. All the time. For the surprise. For the interruption. For the love.

ACCOMPANIMENT

While his mother attended her appointment in one room,
His fingers, more cartilage than bone,
Twirled and
Rolled and
Pressed and
Cupped and
Shaped and
Dotted this blue suited fellow in the next room and
Left it behind
For the next waiting child

Poetry Month – April 2

Today, from the box, comes a prayer shawl. Actually, a grief shawl. My dear friend Anne told the women in her church that my mother had died and they created (Knit? Crocheted?) this shawl.

Prayer Shawl

The church ladies did not know
My mother loved pink
They knew she died
They knew I was a daughter without
They knew a shawl
Warmed lonely shoulders
Felt like arms wrapped around
Reminded me
I wasn’t alone
But they didn’t know
she loved pink.

Prayer Shawl

April 1, 2024-Poetry Month begins

Today marks the start of National Poetry Month and I’m going out on the bendy branches again. What are the bendy branches? They are where the juiciest and most sun-kissed fruit hang. They are where the dare-devil moves happen. They are where you find out who you are. Last year, I pulled prompts from my Dad’s riding bowler. This year, I will pull objects from a box in storage marked: Altar.

To begin the month, here is a poem called ALTAR which might shed a bit of light on this box, its contents and what is to come.

ALTAR

She called it a relic-quarium
An aquarium of memories.
I stood for hours floating in
her small sea of moments, grasping
each one: What’s this picture about?
Where did this rock come from?
Why is this sack of sand important?
I explored her treasures
thinking I had none. Until
they crowded a corner of my bureau. Until
I nailed three boards to a wall. Until
I filled them year by moment with my own strange booty. Until
they got so crowded, the small ceramic sun from Mexico fell off the edge.
Now the wall is newly painted.
The shelves are gone.
The treasures are in a box.
One by one, I take them out
travel to the exact x/y axis
when it happened.
Each one whispers:
I lived.
I lived
I lived.