a warm and welcome place to share words and thoughts

Posts tagged ‘poetry’

Bye bye coffee, Hello tea!

The city I live in, Portland, Oregon, is most definitely a coffee city. There is a Starbucks on every corner(maybe a bit of an exaggeration), but coffeehouses abound, with so many varieties of coffee to be drank. So one might find it a bit odd that after living here for a couple of months, I found myself giving up my morning routine of half a pot of coffee to start the day, when I had the coffee world at my disposal. But it all came to a head one day in Trader Joe’s. I was out of coffee and had to purchase some for the next morning’s pot – I had never gone without! But I slowly became frustrated as I searched for ground coffee, not whole bean, which seemed to be all they had to offer. I finally found a meager offering of overpriced ground coffee. And as I stood there, overwhelmed at the price, I felt like an addict spending my last few dollars on a fix – enough! I was ready to break out of my coffee prison. So the next morning I fixed myself a cup of tea, my new morning friend. There should be enough caffeine in tea to keep my body happy I thought. I was so wrong! Caffeine withdrawal was not pretty – but I made it through a week of headaches, constant naps to stave off the tiredness and voila! I woke one morning and felt alive and refreshed as I sipped my tea – no longer a coffee addict! Why not drink decaf, you ask? Because I have yet to find decaffeinated coffee that tastes right. And entering the world of tea has opened me up to the heavenly tastes of loose leaf tea, at the tea shop in my neighborhood that has both magical tasting teas and an ambiance that feels like my own cozy home.  One day though, I found myself craving a cup of coffee, and missing the atmosphere of my nearby coffeehouse. One cup can’t hurt, can it? So off I went, books in hand to read as I dipped my toes in the waters of coffee again, and I allowed myself the treat of a shot of caramel in my coffee – a reward for having given it up in the first place. Oh my! My taste buds danced with the remembrance of coffee, but my body reacted with a shaky, jittery feeling as the caffeine flooded the places it used to reside in. Coffee is like someone who is trying way to hard to be your friend, when all I really want is the quiet gentleness of tea. Soft, soothing tea – everything about it is so smooth and easy, not loud and boisterous. But despite the tender seduction of tea, every now and then, I journey to the coffeehouse for a cup of house coffee with a shot of caramel – and just wait for that caffeine buzz.

A Morning Melody

 

I waken so slowly

To this new day

Lying still as a church

When it starts to pray

 

Light tiptoes in

Trying not to disturb

Birds also awaken

Their song to be heard

 

Unwrapping myself

From soft, cotton sheets

Ambling to the stovetop

The teapot and I greet

 

I pour water in

And turn on the flame

Then wait for the moment

When it sings out my name

 

I hear a soft hiss

Then the whistle sets in

A song so familiar

Let this new day begin

 

 

 

Sharing the words

I’ve gone to other blogger’s sites, and found some amazing works in the written form, in artwork, in photographs. And in reading the profiles of these creative souls, I find a common thread in the joy of sharing with others. It is creativity spilling out, the inherent nature to express ourselves in some way. When I first starting writing, after many years of focusing on work and family, I thought that I could just keep it to myself. I loved writing for the expression of my thoughts and visions. But then I attended my first writing workshop, and the facilitator there gently told me that I would eventually want to share my work – and she was right. I found a wonderful quote from Julia Cameron, who has written many marvelous books about the craft of writing; she states, “a piece of art needs a recipient.” Very wise words indeed. And now as I enter the world of the “blogosphere”, it is like a chain reaction as bloggers read each others’ works and comment on them. It is inspiring, and once more I find the words coming out to play….

The Days

The grey days are here

The tea and coffee days are here

The good book friends have come

Pen and paper dance together

Light filters in

Through cotton soaked clouds

Rain jumps on the skylight

Then slides down like a child

Homes become cozy shelters

The inside days are here

 

 

 

 

Settling in, and inspiration pays a visit

I moved to Portland on Memorial Day weekend, and the summer was perfection! No appearance was made of the rain that everyone so kindly warned me about – “it rains there all the time you know” is the comment I heard from well meaning friends and family. But for the summer months, I was able to scoff at their claims, and offer them condolences as they suffered through a Minnesota summer of heat, humidity and yes, lots of rain. But alas, their words ring true now in the winter months, and I listen to the continuous sound of rain on my skylight. Good thing I have lots to read, and the coffeehouse is right around the corner. So I settle into my home, in the city I have come to love so dearly. And between the words I find from others on their blogs to the fact that I am hunkered down in my home, trying to stay warm and dry, I found the words to a poem coming back to me. I haven’t really written anything for a couple months, but I just sat back and waited for the muse to come – and it has. So here is the poem I found inside of me yesterday, and another one I had written previously about my lovely Rose City of Portland –

Hibernation

 

Winter comes

And we hibernate

In our people way

Like the animals do

The temperature drops

The rain falls

The snow drifts down

We wrap up in blankets

Hands wrapped around a coffee cup

Reading our way through a pile of books

Listening in silence

To the rhythmic sound

Of knitting needles

Clacking together

Streets are empty

We are huddled together

In our people dens

Hibernating

Rose City Love

This city and I are like lovers

Affections can shift

From the deepest passion

To feigned indifference

From a shared knowing of each other’s needs

To a monotony of sameness

But then oh, a new secret discovered

Endearment strikes the heart

The rose of true love blooms once more

Words of adoration gush out

A torrent of rushing affections

Like the river she holds close to her bosom

A rainy day can signal disappointment

Yet she still woos me

With places that sparkle

Along her many city streets

No matter what the weather

We continue the love affair

And I learn to savor her many moods

Music, sweet music

Although writing is near and dear to my heart, music is a huge part of who I am. So huge that I no longer have a television, and listen to music for entertainment rather than turning to visual media. Oh, I still watch a DVD now and then on my computer – lately I have been enthralled by Globe Trekker videos, dreaming of places I would love to travel to. But music is the medium that speaks to my soul, that can pull me in and cause me to dance or laugh or even cry at times. I even entertained the thought of changing professions at a time in my life, wanting to hang up my lab coat and find a place behind the mixing board in a recording studio, to go back to school to become a recording engineer. But I lacked the courage to make the big leap. And even though I am unafraid to live my dreams now, I really feel like entering into the music industry would have best been suited to me in my younger years – maybe next time around on this earth, perhaps? So I listen to my ever growing collection of music, which in these days of the Internet also includes Pandora and i-Tunes. My favorite shopping experience is buying new music, and not in a chain store but the local record stores in my city. And of course music has drifted into my writing, with poems and short stories written with a music theme. As I mentioned in a previous post, my favorite artist by far is Elliott Smith. His music touches me in a way that no other artist does, so much that I wrote a poem about his songwriting process, and another about his acclaimed shows, where he could mesmerize the audience with his lovely songs. So I share those here, and maybe it is a good time to listen to Either/Or, or maybe From a Basement on the Hill, or maybe Figure 8 – just some of the luscious melodies of Elliott Smith…

The Songwriter

 

He sits at a table

In the crowded bar

Away from all the people

Their voices a faded sound

He listens in his head

Sees the pictures in his mind

Like a dream come to life

He is Ferdinand the bull

Sitting under his cork tree

Taking it all in

But not in it at all

Thoughts play a movie

He writes the script

Scratching it out on a cocktail napkin

He slowly sips his drink

The crowd thins

The glass is empty

Words are stuffed into pockets

The songwriter moves on

At home he melds music

With the words

The process is complete

Picking up his guitar

He plays

Breathing life into the song

Their Friend

 

Every venue he plays

Becomes an intimate setting

As if he sits

With the audience

In their living room

He greets them with a shy “hello”

Then sits in the chair

The small man and his guitar

Swallowed up by the stage

He nervously picks at the guitar

And a song starts to emerge

The crowd cheers

Then a hush ensues

He holds them in the rapture of melody

The song ends

They cheer once more

A quickly spoken “thanks”

Is shared with his followers

They talk to him

Asking him questions

He politely answers

Someone shouts “I love you!”

“I love you too” he replies

And this exchange of love

Is what endears him to them

To every face in the crowd he is

Their friend who sings

My creative nature

We all have creativity in us, expressed in so many different ways, too numerous to list here. My creative nature is best expressed in the written word, but I dared to venture into the land of visual art yesterday. I had found a workshop on encaustic art, which in short is painting with wax. It produces beautiful and unique works, and there is an encaustic artist nearby who opens her studio and offers all day workshops for all who want to learn this way of artistic expression, which has been around since the days of ancient Egypt. And who doesn’t love playing with wax? I remember as a child playing with candle wax as it dripped off the Christmas candles. So I opened up the right side of my brain and let what pictures I saw in my mind play out on four small works of encaustic art that I created – what fun! I look at my creations hanging on my wall, next to works from “real” artists, and admire what I was able to create (with much help and patience I might add, on the part of the woman who ran the workshop). So I offer pictures of my pictures, and also a poem that was inspired by a favorite breakfast food. So, what is it that you create? And maybe, just for fun, jump off into something you think you could never do – and you just might find that you can do it-

 

Art During Breakfast

 

The canvas drops

Into the warming chamber

Heated to perfection

It pops back up

I open the jar

That contains the paint

Thick, smooth and brown

I dip my brush into the jar

And spread the luscious paint

Onto the canvas

The surface coarse and warm

Paint begins to melt

Soaking sponge-like into the canvas

A second layer is applied

I swirl wavy patterns with my brush

I sit at the table

And admire my work of art

Now displayed

On the plate of china

I smell the paint

My stomach growls

I take a bite of my masterpiece

And soon

The picture is no more

some poems

So now that I have this format of blogging to share and put things out there, here are a couple of poems of mine – enjoy!

Eras

Today I am a wave

Undulating in a belly dance

Sensual, swaying

Trancelike, chanting song of life that moves me in its mystical spell

To and fro

Back and forth

Ebb and flow

Yesterday I was a tree

Planted firmly in the ground

Roots grasping so tight to the firm earth of sameness

Consistent, persistent

Unquestioning

A cycle of predictability

Rooted in sensibility

No surprises

Tomorrow I will be a butterfly

Bursting out with freshly birthed wings

I’m free, I’m free, I’m free!

My seemingly paper thin soul holds strong against any winds that blow

Unafraid

I venture out from beneath the mummifying cocoon of physicality

And glide smooth as a ribbon on the silken tresses of change

Stepping Out

 

Strolling down the concrete promenade

The chalk white sidewalks now shadow painted

I scour the city sky of charcoal black

Searching for the moon

Hoping to find it

So that I may invite it to follow me

 

The light of the full moon

Illumines the darkness

It glows like a quiet candle in the sky

Not shouting in its radiance

Not boastful and arrogant like the sun

I approach the cityscape

Buildings of brick and stone

Contain offerings of pleasure to the masses

Food, drink, music, dance

Aromas swirl and mix with each other

Sounds filter to the street as doors are opened and closed

Pounding beats reach out and pulsate

Life dances!

You can hide in the folds of nighttime’s cloak

Huddled and safe in your bed

Or dress in garish clothes and celebrate at her party

Stepping out with others who dare to embrace the absence of sunlight

Staying at the fete until moonlight whispers away

And daylight resumes its conversation with the crowds of busy people

Tag Cloud