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Archive for May, 2012

Back in the saddle

After stepping back from prompt writing for a time, I decided to give it a go again, writing from this week’s prompt on the 100 Word Challenge from the wonderful blog, Julia’s Place. The prompt this time was “the flame flickered before” and here is my offering….

A love song

     I knew of him, I dreamt of him; the flame flickered before I ever heard his name or saw his face. In my dreams he would sing to me, my troubadour of love. For what seemed like an eternity he was just a fairy tale; my prince who would come to rescue his princess from a life of imprisonment, lonely like Rapunzel in the tower. Then one day I heard him sing, the dream came true. It was my love, singing to me – and my heart heard him – the flame of eternal love now burns bright.

A Hallmark moment in the coffeehouse

There are certain places that inspire me more than others; the local coffeehouse around the corner, the park so close to my home with the massive trees dotted throughout, and a teahouse that is like hanging out in a friend’s house, sitting on well worn sofas and chairs. My muse loves these places and pops in for a visit as I visit these favorite places in my lovely Portland. It happened again as I stared across busy Burnside Street from the coffeehouse window, spying greeting cards in the window of the dollar store. This is how it happens at times, so simple, a gentle nudge – and the words build around one small thought.

Greeting Card to a Writer

          (on the cover)

Don’t despair…

Hang in there!

(inside)

Even though the well is dry

The rain shower of words will fall

Soaking the parched paper

Ink flowing once more

The desert of writer’s block

Transformed into literary lushness


Emotional energies

I’ve been reading a wonderful book by Melody Beattie entitled Finding Your Way Home. This morning I read a chapter about emotions and dealing with them in a soulful way. And there was an exercise that consisted of picking out an emotional trigger from a very long list and journaling about it. The one that spoke to me was grief, but instead of journaling about it I found a poem coming through instead. As I see it, grief is a never ending journey; one with many twists and turns, shifting and changing as we deal with the often painful certainty of death in our lives here on earth.

An Arrangement

Grief and I

Have an arrangement now

I allow it to visit

But not so often anymore

And visitation time

Is much shorter than before

So we shake hands

And both agree

To this new arrangement

A Mother’s Day poem

My grown up and out of the nest children were the inspiration for this poem; one of the first poems I wrote when I started writing in earnest, when the words started coming out. Letting go of our dear ones is sometimes the hardest thing a mother has to do, but it is what we are working towards during all those years we raise them – and we hope they are able to fly without falling.

A Mother’s Love

A mother’s love

Is a special kind of love

It is unconditional

You never have to think about it

It just is

And that love allows you

To let go of them

When they are ready

To watch them fly

Of their own accord

But always standing in the wings

If they need a loving reminder

Of how strong they are

 All on their own

 

Not as in shape as I thought I was

Shortly after I moved to Portland I realized I really didn’t need a car here, and so off it went, back to Minnesota; the daughter of a friend of mine desperately needed a car at the time, and she was more than happy to buy my very reliable Honda Civic. That left me using public transportation, which is abundant here, or else walking my way around town. After a few months of walking so much, I noticed my clothes fitting a little better (not so snug), and I could walk the four flights up to my apartment without feeling as if I needed oxygen. So when the new meet-up group I found recently posted an evening walk in my neighborhood, I signed up, even though the distance was listed as six miles. Piece of cake I thought – I walk that and more on a day of exploring or running errands or sometimes both. What I didn’t take into account was the uphill direction we would be going on our route, exploring Washington Park and the very hilly Southwest area of Portland. How bad could it be? Pretty bad, as I soon found that my leg muscles were really as weak as noodles. But then I had a second wind – yes, I thought, I just had to get into my stride and I’ll be just fine as we said goodbye to two members who (very wisely and I should have joined them) decided to stop halfway and take the train back to our starting point. Not me though, no I was going to finish this walk if it killed me. And as we started to climb and climb our way through Washington Park, I thought at one point that I could very well die this way – a heart attack would have been a sweet release at that point as my poor heart and lungs worked overtime to keep me going. I started lagging far behind the others, but a very nice and concerned couple took me under their wing, walking a bit slower so they could keep an eye on me. My thoughts of a pleasant and scenic evening walk were shattered with every step I took now; my mantra becoming “one more step” instead of enjoying the beauty of the park. But finally, just when I felt like I could lay down and die, we reached the summit of Council Crest. And I have to say, the pain was worth the gain – we were treated to a spectacular view of the city lights from what felt like a heavenly vantage point – my ears actually started to pop on the walk down. As we began the big sigh of relief walk downhill, I found myself muttering, “Are we there yet?” like an impatient child. All I wanted to do was get home and stop walking! And I finally made it home, where I shoved aside my obsessive neatness tendencies and threw my clothes on the floor, appreciating the comfort of my bed like never before.

My poem came true

As I lay in bed, gazing up at yet another cloudy day through my skylight, a poem came to me. It was a gift, lifting my spirits, the words coming to me again after what seemed to be such a long absence. And as the day started to wake up, the clouds melted away like cotton candy, and I was blessed with the sunny day I wrote of at the end of my poem.

Sky

 

For days on end

I see a blanket sky

A white shroud above me

Draped over the blue

And the sun hides under the covers

Sometimes the moon peeks out at night

But then it quickly hides again

Along with all the stars

They play hide and seek with me

I hear them giggle like little children

 

Maybe the sky is more like a blank canvas

All raw and white

Ready for the artist to begin

Alright, I will paint the sky purple

Like my purple robe that lays at the end of my bed

No, I’ve decided on blue, the usual color of the sky

Like my blue yoga mat that sits in the corner

But that’s much too predictable and safe

Now the sky becomes bright green

Like the green rain jacket I wear

When the sky sheds its tears

And it cries here quite often

I try not to cry along with it

As I wait for the sky to fold up its blanket

And dazzle me with the true blue brilliance

Of sunny days

 

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