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Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Better than a glass of warm milk

I don’t know what the problem was the other night; too much ice cream, the overly dramatic book I was reading or maybe the Mercury Retrograde has seeped its way into my system. At any rate, sleep just would not pay me a visit. I lay in bed for what seemed like hours; tossing, turning, staring at the night sky through my skylight and counting the few stars I could see in the bright city sky. Nothing seemed to help, nothing relaxed me enough to drift off into my usual land of crazy dreams (I tend to have very vivid dreams that last all night long, like some kind of science fiction movie marathon). So I turned to the one thing that can relax me like nothing else – the sweet sound of music. I wanted something mellow of course; The White Stripes seemed like a poor choice in my efforts to turn off the monkey mind in my head. I found myself drawn to the one artist who can calm me like no one else – Elliott Smith.  His album New Moon was the perfect choice to me; full of his gentler acoustic songs, sung in the soft vocals that he is known for. And lo and behold, I must have drifted off like a baby listening to a lullaby. I woke up with my headphones on and the cd no longer playing. After that it was nighty night! I thought about how the music was like a lullaby, and how sweet it would be to have one lover singing the other to sleep in this way – so romantic! To fall asleep in this way would be pure bliss…

Lullaby

My heart is cradled in your music

Sweet high notes that gently rock me

To and fro on your rhythm of love

Tender melodies that caress me

Whispered words in a sea of calm

My soul slips into a dream

Of a love so gentle, so soothing

Lulling all my cares away

And my heartbeat sings a song to you

“I love you, oh so true”

A lullaby of love

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A morning walk

I try to get out and walk every day, which is usually sometime after lunch. In the mornings I have my routine of prayer and meditation, followed by coffee or tea while I journal or read something spiritually uplifting. This little routine I have can sometimes go on for three to four hours, so there goes the morning most days! But I do find it a lovely way to start my day. The other morning though, something in me whispered, “Let’s go for a walk, before the day becomes warm and full of people.” So at 7 a.m. (gasp!) I was up and out of bed, and headed up the steep climb to Washington Park, which is the home of the International Rose Test Garden here in Portland. What a wonderful treat it turned out to be, as I cleared the morning cobwebs from my head and took in the beauty of a place that is so deliciously close to my home, available to me at any time. And the writer in me found inspiration in a few words I journaled about my experience, how it just felt so good – and the words come out in a poem.

It Felt So Good

 

At the top of the hill I stopped

And looked out over the city draped in haze

Sitting on the soft green grass I rested

In a meditative pose

I opened to all the earth’s gentle energies

It felt so good!

Walking through the playground I stopped

To sit on the swing

Slowly moving, to and fro

I gathered my strength and flew above the earth

Gliding through the cool morning air

It felt so good!

Meandering onward I came to the singing fountain

I stopped to sit on the stony edge

And listen to the lovely melodies

Of the water chime as it played on metal

Tantalizing my sense of sound

It felt so good!

I walked along until I spied the splash of colors

Roses in full bloom, roses in the fullness of being

I noticed the brilliant shades and hues

I breathed in the familiar fragrance

I brushed the soft silk of a petal against my skin

It felt so good!

I turned to go home

Along the shaded dirt path

My body swinging with the rhythm of life

My heart open wide like the roses

My soul singing like the fountain

And it felt so good

Some call them pigeons, I call them doves

I feel a kinship with these birds, the ones so many proclaim as “dirty”, my avian friends that seem to love the city life as much as I do. Most people call them pigeons, but I prefer to call them by the more lovely nom de plume of doves. The word dove conjures up images of peace and serenity, and this is what they bring to me as I hear them cooing outside my window and up on the roof. They are much shyer than the crows, with their loud and raucous caws, bold enough to walk across my skylight and look in on me. The lovely doves are hesitant about presenting themselves; gingerly stepping onto the skylight almost as if it were a dare. In the early morning I hear them fly about with harried activity, as their wings whistle while they fly from building to building. Sometimes they land on my windowsill for a brief rest, but they are much too introverted to respond to my attempts at conversation. So I listen carefully to their silent message of peace, and rejoice every morning as I wake to their gentle songs.

Shadows of the doves

Their beating wings spreading peace

Cooing songs of love

The pull of the waves

Summer is here, and with it comes the talk of summer plans; vacations, adventures, travel to places near and far. My budget these days does not allow for a true vacation, only the trip back to Minnesota in September for my daughter’s wedding, which as lovely as that will be does not count as a vacation. So I have set my sights on a day trip to the Oregon coast. It will involve renting a car, since I sold my car seven months ago and have not been behind the wheel since then. But I’m willing to brave the roads and traffic to experience the ocean once more. Being only an hour and a half from the Pacific Ocean still takes my breath away. And the Oregon coast is full of massive waves and wind, with a rocky, seaweed cluttered shore that calls to my heart. I had a vision of my ocean before I even saw her, and wrote a poem about what I saw in my heart from miles away in Minnesota. And when I finally came to meet my ocean, she was even lovelier than I could imagine.

My Ocean

 

My ocean is not a beauty queen

With perfectly coiffed beaches of white sugar sand and a sparkling smile from the sun’s dazzling rays

 

My ocean is not a party girl

Inviting everyone to frolic in her waters and gyrate on her sand

 

My ocean is not a crowd pleaser

Offering up temperate waters to swim in and perfect waves to ride upon

 

 

My ocean dresses plainly

She wears weathered chunks of wood and slimy emerald green seaweed around her neck

Her shore is tangled wet tresses of gray and brown

 

My ocean seldom entertains guests

Her close companions are the rain, who touches her with drops of adoration

And the wind who dances with her in a passionate frenzy, spinning her into a whirling dervish

 

My ocean’s palette of colors is not bright and perky

Her color wheel contains the muted tones of the earth

Pallid shades of oyster gray, of muddy brown, of tarnished silver, of sun deprived green

 

My ocean is not the prettiest girl in the room

 

My ocean is not the most graceful dancer on the dance floor

 

My ocean is a natural beauty

A goddess unadorned

 

Her shores are cluttered with treasures from her toy chest

Her demeanor is solemn and stern

She languishes under a sky of heavy, sated clouds full of moisture

 

My feet sink into the putty of her sands

And I gaze out at her, captivated by the truthful declaration of her waves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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