I have a special story I wish to share
About a seamstress beautiful and fair
She would fade away turning into smoke
Of her amazing beauty, no man would joke
The spiraling smoke would then re-form
I know only an angels face could be so warm
Before her a beautiful quilt was spread
Upon it the story of my life was said
As she once again started to dissipate
She said, “Mike this quilt records your fate”
As the smoke traveled over to a new place
And then formed together creating her face
Looking over her shoulder back at me
She said, “This area will hold what has yet to be”
Most of the quilt looked like twisted evil tattoo
Simply because, my life’s quilt was quilted true
I looked the quilt over and then met her gaze
She was so beautiful in so many different ways
The last part of the quilt way over to the right
Showed the beauty of someone changing their plight
Upon her beautiful hand, which seemed so nimble
I noticed she was wearing my grandmother’s thimble
From a young maiden so beautiful to see
My grandmother appeared right in front of me
I guess up in heaven we return to our youth
My grandmother was beautiful; such is the truth
I thought of the price grandma was asked to pay
The shame of knowing I had turned out that way
I thought of her sitting there stitching my shame
My grandmother didn’t deserve an eternity of pain
She said, “Michael be still with the pain in your heart,
Your story encourages others to make a new start.”
“The deeper the wrong the stronger the right
I always knew my boy would take up the fight”
With a smile much brighter than an ice covered sea
She said, “I love the man my boy has grown up to be”
As she turned to the quilt and started to sew
She said, “Michael, its now time for you to go.”
“Believe in your story believe in your truth
For Salvation is the true fountain of youth”
One night in a dream, which I’ll hold forever divine
I learned; my Grandmother is now,” The Seamstress of Time”
When I was a boy I would help my Grandmother roll
her quilt, find her glasses, as well as, her thimble. I
never thought about how amazing her art truly was.
From a pile of rags she would make the most beautiful
quilt's. I sleep under one of her quilts to this very day.
In churned up soil the poppy rose
On top of death, still steadily grows
And in our minds we see the crosses
That lie in rows and count our losses
Blood that drips from tiniest bloom
Beloved children, lost from the womb
Their essence blown upon the earth
For infinity, will show their worth
And so they marched by decree
A war they fought, so we could be free
The poppy, how we remember them now
So in silence we do reverently bow
One single day, just once every year
To remember all the horror and fear
To give thanks and praise, to those in need
Who saved us through unselfish deed
For so young when they said goodbye
With no idea that so many would die
In Flanders Fields where poppies grow
Innocence, now lays buried in each row
For those that did return safely home
Their spirit lost and so had flown
To fly away among the peaceful skies
With friends and larks with carefree eyes
In the thunder hear the roar of guns
Calling to all our native sons
Arise, arise, from sleep once more
For once again, there will be war
In Flanders Fields, the poppies grow
They cover our loved ones, buried below
Like a blanket, they protect all within
From a world that is ravished by sin
More souls will join them as the years go by
More wars will be fought, as the lark does cry
More fields will be filled, with our dead
And poppies will mark their graves in red
"Lest we forget and more shall die"
"In Flanders Fields our loved ones lie"
Many times the ocean
has saved Nippon, pearl of the sea,
an oceanic symbiosis a speck in a fecund see.
The dikes of man such miniscule plans to hold back the tide.
The throngs, each and all crawl across the thin skin of volcanic soil
or rise with in the hump-backed alps of remnant cones.
Yet, the sea rises to reclaim its own
scour the pallet of man, refine, burnish melt, reform.
With pen and sword kanji drawn, samurai born
with knife and bone entrails torn, honor tested
tested by the hand of He,
tested and found worthy.
The children of the Divine Wind
rise above the tsunami, as one, unbowed.
This disconnected intellect of society in retrospect
Is nothing but a retro spectrum of colors.
Gold chains and disco lights,
Black, white, and grey faces, red Adidas stripes with no laces
Cardboard boxes unfolded on concrete streets
Where the founding fathers of modern culture would meet
And write our Constitution by moving their feet.
With a spectacular repertoire of flashy moves
And a deep reservoir of verbs that mingled with words in the mind’s river
That flowed from the banks of lips as the first freestyle
When style was really free.
Not compromised, chopped up, glamorized, marketed, processed, pasteurized
and then subliminally delivered as a shrink-wrapped, shiny medium of bad ideas.
Back when people actually had ideas,
Not just the regurgitation of pre-chewed vomit music.
The DJs cooked up beats in their basements
Just crack for the bass-heads
Denied treble ‘cause trouble was all they were faced with.
There was music laced with dope, and dope was good.
Darwinism of hip-hop.
You know what I mean?
Of course not ‘cause these young bucks would rather spend fifteen dollars on 50
Then spend fifty cents on a education.
Flagrant, our testimonial to a religion that’s pagan
We pray to money, pray to greed, pray to fame, pray to succeed
And denounce life when we pray that our bullet hits its target.
The Boogie Oogie became the Boogaloo
And the Electric Slide met the electric chair.
Time is money.
Money is life.
Life is a game.
I invest Monopoly money in the New World Clock Exchange
To collect interest in fate and become disinterested in buying my life back.
My soul is currency, currently spent on reverting from the current state.
Back to when sex was more taboo than a smile
Back to when freedom didn’t equal censorship
Back to when love for family didn’t negate the fact that times change.
Back to when the Big Hand spun backwards two seconds too late.
And minutes were miniscule and minute, hip-hop was rediculed
Not because it was demeaning, but because it represented Revolution.
An occurrence that has come and gone with the wind.
My name is Hip-Hop O’Hara and I am in love with Civility Wilkes.
Reverend Run preached gospel, now he rolls in his grave
If musical revelation is impossible, than who will be saved?
The essence in lyrics is kept underground in a cage.
Struggling to survive like illiterate slaves.
Reaching for freedom, which lies on the next page.
Free the music.
I do not know?
There you go again doing things that you are not suppose to be in and then you look at
me like oh i'm so sweet if you only knew I can be a freak without showing it. Here they
go listening to the rumors but i'm your friend so in the end I know that they are true.
How could you do that with him and her and they were on the ground you were pretending to
pick up gum? You need to be safe, making out with strangers girl I aint no saint but god
what are you doing? I don't want to see you years from now telling me you got aids, I
worry about you and I feel like your special so I even wrote about you come on look how
much you mean to me. You like him I get it but how many other guys have you liked in the
past. He's your only, he's a phony make sure he's not just in it for the prize because
girl you never know some guys are. It's the truth and you need to listen, I don't mean to
sound bossy but soon enough your name is going to be posted on all the bathrooms walls.
Telling things that you haven't even done yet. But you will front about it, Lie again.
Telling everyone it's happened how do we know what's real or fake. I love your
personality I wish I could steal it, Your loud, and flirty, daring and smart girl you got
too much heart to be showing it to everyone who wants a sip. this is for all the nasty
girls out there who think I don't know what i'm saying just ask anyone of them who are
dead now or are on the streets prostitiuting. Don't be afraid to be a freak it's healthy
but sometimes it's better when it's secret closet freaks have more fun.
Here further down the hillside slope
Down close to the creek with hope
My husband bought a house, land
Fenced in and made many plans
Subdued the land to cow pasture
And planted a garden, fruit trees sure
Fathered another child to call him sir
The creek seemed to like the stir
Enjoyed the children for a little while___
Loved them so that it made her smile
Today she loves grandchildren the same
No girls there are in frills ___tame
The creek keeps on flowing to the sea
The land is mostly stripped of trees
(This is my adaptation of Robert Frost's poem "The Birthplace". I hope that it does not insult
Orphaned footsteps round the old place.
Pitch black soil, packed deep with bartered
coin and Indian heads – wood and otherwise,
coat her worn leather shoes, Hutterite chic.
The long land screams within its own silence.
Prairie sage burns somewhere, a ghostly smudge
for the undulating grass and, those it serves.
Its alive scent makes the dead turn towards
its head - and the barely living turn to listen.
The impossibly endless horizon holds its bright
blue at bay, begging acknowledgement for
its self-professed being and looming enormity.
She looks at the broken window glass and
through the tattered, delicate gray lace. “Those
were hers.” She whispers to the one who listens.
This great-great-granddaughter sees the curtains
as they once were – wistful in the hot Manitoba
wind; fresh and lowing with the honest elemental
scent of aspens, hope and bare-knuckle wash boards;
always fresh; shifting in the cry for solace in summer
shadows – never as still as this moments endlessness.
Blowing through the deep brown of splintered pine
front doors; cracking the announcement of cast iron,
rot and burnt wood comes the simple statement of –
I lived. This mother of five young does not cry,
just yearns to walk in the old ones footsteps;
to know them loved; hear the birdsong through
unbroken bedroom windows for a 5am waking;
feel the resistance of dough on fingers that beg
to be broken, and kiss the twisting undead, living.
The burning of the noonday sun taps her whole,
marking; branding her pale Swedish skin its own.
The red sting of burnt breaks her inward silence,
welcoming her familiar face home.
© Kristin Reynolds 3 29 2009
*Reposted for John's Summer Celebration Contest. This is a personal celebration;
celebrating and honoring my great grandparents who settled in Manitoba after leaving
Sweden and Denmark. This celebrates the summer of family, at least for me. We went there
every summer until it was gone...
I am like
embraced by serpents many
always trying something new
and dramatic with my
I am like
growing up with a painful family
getting lost in movies
thinking of my own
hypnotizing when I speak
First lady of Argentina
meeting you, after death
would be a treat
a nervous habit, of nibbling
on my jewelry
the similarities, between us
gave me a sense of foolery
I am like
Chief of the Cherokee Tribe
for ten years
fighting against Native stereotypes
despite such distress
enemies did stress
promoting to ‘be of good mind’
you were a leader, of your time
an advocator for women
that they may grow up
and become chief
as a child, you wondered
the forests, like me
not the streets
I am like
Aung San Suu Kyi
wearing three types of
flowers in your hair
feeling at times like a
‘splinter of glass, sharp, glinting
power to defend itself against hands
that try to crush’
winner of a Nobel Peace Prize,
for courage, was
I am like
Catherine The Great
a love to laugh,
coffee, and feeling compelled
to always fill abandoned blank
sheets of paper
you were a Royal Russian Empress,with
not one red drop of Russian blood
and her people, were blessed
to have her
I am like
the Queen of England
longest royal lifetime in history
strong built, from a miserable childhood
this is no mystery
preferring candle light
handwriting over typewriter
I am like
dreaming to live as she did
riding elephants and having
tiger cubs as companions
your own Sikh security
killed you, the story
a sad one
secret dreams of being a writer
angered, by the imbalance of
between men and women
listening to beat poets
as a great Prime Minister of India
you were heard
I am like
drew the worlds attention to
native Indians rights,
because of you
your goal, to be
a drop of water on a rock
dripping in the same spot,
eventually in the world, you
may leave a mark
wearing many colors
‘because it gives you life’
insisting men and women be equals
you fought this fight
to relax, as I do
writing poetry into
I am like
Joan of Arc
French Military Heroine
burned at the stake at just
known for keeping your cool
even on the battlefield
being a courageous and inspirational
Legendary Lady Leaders
I salute you
High on the Normandy cliffs
Looking out over Pointe du Hoc
As cold Atlantic winds whisper out
The names of the brothers I left behind
Now only fine marble monument shadows
Dot the trenches and empty emplacements
As the final testimony of the fallen
Still ringing frightened with those desperate voices
Proclaiming both their lives and death
That they were ever here…
In the emerald hills of Collville Sur Mur
I can still hear the phantom naval shells screaming
Underneath the crying of men
Pulverized and dying in their comrades arms
All for the belief of the land from which they hail
While the roaring waves wash the still bloody sands
In and endless and rending cycle
That silent cacophony of brother and foe
Call out to me still for comfort and aid
Asking only to be remembered…
In this centrifuge of sanctimony
Where I sip the atrophied air of my ancestors
The shipwrecked tide of my unborn children
Angels dangle from a precipice of silence
Strained by strings of a theoretical God
Sung by eyes of defiance
Which navigate the jagged epitaphs below
For that one sediment of salvation
That one moment of submission
Hoping he will see
His wonders, atrocities, his indifference
To cast a shadow of conviction
Over shivering light
Across the inlet where ivory columns crumbled
And modernity now deftly mumbles
Its fleets of fortune baptized
Nigh the bronze dust of golden millennia
Where history lies with its victims
A fugue of fossilized souls
A silent prayer remains