Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Minesweeping


Picking through now: my
god I was running so fast then, leaving behind time bombs and land mines as I fled
to make sure I would never look back or slow down or god forbid turn around and try to walk sanely again through this madwoman's minefield, now grown over with goldenrod and meadowsweet. 

I ran a slick path toward other choices, to hide in the city, to pretend among fumes and pavements that I was fresh and ready, that there was nothing behind me but the wide ocean... 
That there was no home waiting... 

Within a day I missed soft green under foot and soft eyes of family, so I soon returned to them,
but stayed apart from this field, walked only the perimeter, monitoring, until I trusted my eyes and my footing. 

Picking through now: in my treacherous meadow of old mines,
I am stepping, guessing, testing disturbed spots one by one. 
Slow work, careful work, through thick sedge that shadows and tangles my feet, that hides the triggers and trip lines. 
I am fearless, though, and slow.
As I find each snare I choose my fate, knowing that blowing everything open is the only way to be whole. 

© Laura Seale, 2014

Click link below to watch brief video of land mine explosion:

Land mine from World War II
from Wikimedia Commons




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simile and Metaphor


On the dance floor,
holding you at arm’s length,
Simile, with one finger,
will twirl you like the last leaf
spinning in Autumn wind.
When the song ends,
he is content with a quick hug, 
a tiny peck on the cheek.

Metaphor, on the other hand,
holds you tightly enough
to take your breath,
gives you the deepest French kiss.
It all happens so fast
that before you can say “stop!”
you find yourself in an unfamiliar bed,
pregnant with images
ready to be born.

© Jean Sampson, 2014

A couple dancing tango
Photo by Jorge Lascar
from Wikimedia commons

Monday, July 7, 2014

First Breath


At the Bang
there is breath
a singular point
God willed into being
inhales into consciousness
cosmic vibrations now manifest
nature's cycles unfold

At the moment of creation
the universe awakens
darkness recedes
across space and time
evolutionary forces unleashed
life exhales deeply
and exits silence's fertile door

© Bill Vollrath, 2014

The Phillip Medhurst Picture Torah 3. Creation. Genesis cap 1 v 10
from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 30, 2014

Martha and Mary


Martha in the kitchen...
The practical one.
Mary more the maid of thought,
The contemplative,
Maybe the lazier of the two.
But nevertheless,
Her mind was on matters
Other than pots and pans,
Food and drink,
The necessary things of life.

It would be nice to be Mary,
Seated on the cool floor,
Away from the kitchen's heat,
The bubbling pots,
Listening to the teacher,
Who had come to visit,
That once in a lifetime chance
To hear and sense
The mystery of the rabbi
Claiming to have come from God.

© Peggy Latham, 2014

Johannes Vermeer's "Christ in the House of Martha and Mary"
at the Scottish National Gallery
from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Death and Poetry


for Penny Holt

1

I think dying is a lot like writing poetry.
There is some fear when you approach each,
but you don’t let that stop you.
You notice how death and poetry
only deal with what is essential,
the essence of yourself, your spirit.
You see your flesh as a thin membrane,
separating you from that ladder of light
you must climb
to weave words together 
or to die.

I expect there will be kind angels
to help you climb, and others
who will wrestle hard with you until dawn
so you will become strong enough
to bear blessings
that flow from their hands.

2

I know that when you write
it is a sort of death,
a birth into a new world
you have been creating
since the day you were born.
It is probably the same
when you die.
You will bring your own 
loves, fears, dreams
with you, creating your own Heaven,
bearing it like the shell
a sea creature forms
from ordinary bits of life.

Then, there is light.
Both dying and poetry
are all about light,
how it leads you through shadows
you think you might drown in,
how it is the thread
that ties together
your past, present, and future selves
so you can write or die
with your whole self,
a plant with buds, flowers,
and seed pods bursting.

3

To write poems, you must trust
the path to appear before you,
but only as you plant your feet.
Dying, I think, is much the same,
an act of faith,
or maybe a wild leap
into invisible arms,
that like the earth,
have always held you up.

© Jean Sampson, 2014

Hearts-a-bursting
Photo by Tony Russell

Monday, June 16, 2014

There's some sort of anthropomorphism in there...       upon his diagnosis


There were sunflowers in my mailbox
after work today, and no don't go there.
There is no lover with gumption enough. 

Rather, they were packed in a cardboard
box and shipped the breadth of a country
which is 15,840,000 times laid cut to bloom. 

You aren't supposed to send flowers
until the loved one is gone, and I 
wonder if she knows something I don't

but I free them anyway. Yellow-
tipped and new and never for scent
but for a straight back and bold smile.

So there they sit in 7 o'clock light
with cut cords, better for both our breathing.
I set them in water and wait and

watch (want) for them to stretch
their limbs a little because nothing with so
much life in it should be put in a wooden box

so soon. 

© Sarah Fletcher, 2014

Three Sunflowers in the field
Photo by 3268zauber
from Wikimedia Commons





Monday, June 9, 2014

Tulip


The baby’s name was there,
Right on the tips of their tongues,
Tantalizingly ready to spray into the open air,
And then it was gone,
Not to be revealed, at least not that day.
So we continue to call her Tulip,
And I imagine her face,
Her impossibly tiny hands,
Her outrageously demanding cry,
The wiggly warmth of her newborn body.
For this, and for her name, I will wait.

© Carolyn Brumbaugh

Newborn infant in Nepal
Photo by Krish Dulal
from Wikimedia Commons