Ah, memory is a fickle lover succumbing to the tide
grasping for the grains of sentiment sometimes left.
In cold or torrid waves, spent passions now abide
for you have left me, long ago, I'm now, alone bereft.
Grasping for the grains of sentiment sometimes left:
beside a roaring bonfire, where sparks on night winds glide;
for you have left me, long ago, I'm now alone, bereft.
I huddle in a dune's dark shade with nothing left inside.
Beside a roaring bonfire, where sparks on night winds glide,
we conceive a wayward child, a changeling child, a thief.
I huddle in a dune's dark shade with nothing left inside,
as the waves of age and ages, return only grief.
We conceive a wayward child, a changeling child, a thief.
In cold or torrid waves, spent passion now abides,
as the waves of age and ages, return only grief,
ah, memory is a fickle lover succumbing to the tide.
around the corner...just!
light brilliant...trees freshly brushed...
a breeze meandering through the grass...
a baby blue sky, an occasional cloud shaped and reshaped,
...a waterfall roars like a lion...its spray soft as a lamb.
around the corner...Just
a lovers breath against my neck...a lover's lies,
an ego lift...a seat on that pedestal men dream of...
a bold kiss...an us in a crowd...a lazy summer day
outdoor chairs...an overhead fan, an open door
around the corner...Just,
rollerblades...a mountain bike, a jaunt in the park,
a movie house...a why not...an invigorate,
a swim in a freezing cold lake...
a restaurant night...an evening walk, a club...
dancing...karaoke...being a little wild...
so many images paint my mind...
...my thoughts march one by one
to want something so bad
to fear it at the same time
Just around the corner
I get back my life,
Around the corner
the loss of a life,
just around the corner...
yes I need to do that now,
yes I can wait longer yet...
responsible for her...
consumes the life I knew
the actors, the stage, the lights, the set, the techs,
a play, my life flow...directing stage.
Just around the corner my life waits for me
Just...! Around that same corner, death waits for her
Be careful what you wish for...
Around the corner...just around the corner
two tears wait for me
one joyous...one mournful
Around the corner I want to be
Around the corner wait for me
not yet, caring for my mother...still she lives,
I can wait,
I can wait...
Sponsor: Francine Roberts
Contest Name: Around the Corner ...
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.
* Written for my daughter, who really does have a precious pair of Little Yellow Socks.
Little Yellow Socks
by Amy Swanson 12/5/2008
Little yellow socks
running down the hall
"Slow down with those socks on,"
I'd yell... too late, the fall!
Little yellow socks
padding softly late at night
climbing up into my lap
one more hug, out goes the light.
Little yellow socks
follow me with squeals of laughter;
Oh how she loves to run in them,
Begging me to come chase after!
Little yellow socks...
now not being worn a lot.
My little girl is growing up,
No longer just a tot.
Little yellow socks
will be cast aside someday
I must guard these precious moments;
in my heart, they'll safely stay.
I do not know?
While walking through a hospital one day, a veteran I did see
He was in a wheelchair with both legs missing, and he did it for you and me.
I turned around a corner and down another hall
Only for my eyes to behold a family who has lost it all
A five year old cried out,"Why did daddy have to die?"
The mother held her son closer while she greived and began to cry
The mother of that young Marine, who had fought over in Iraqu
Wandered why her son so brave, didn't survive the enemie's attack
The father of that soldier, hung his head to cry
He was a retired soldier himself, why couldn't he have been the one to die?
His heart broken sister, sits in shock and tries to deny
The death of her older brother, he was killed and don't know why
A few days later, a family, everybody all dressed in black
Went to the funeral of a twenty-five year old who too our bullet in Iraq
The Bible says "thou shalt not kill." and "Love your neighbor" too
Maybe our soldiers aren't doing what's right, but they still take your bullet for you
They sleep in foxholes, and eat in trenches, and do all that they know to do
They rest in the sand with no comforts of home and they take your bullet for you
The restless nights turn into days, you wouldn't believe all they go through
THe rest of us sit at home and gripe, and still they take your bullet for you
The next time you hear a 21 gun salute, don't condemn as others do
The next time the taps are being played, remember, they took that bullet for you.
Thanks, Veterans for your sacrifice.
My white-washed bars surrounded me -
they held me as I slept;
they soothed me when the days were long,
and mother’s blue-eyes wept.
A baby girl, six months or less,
awakened from my sleep -
stood up legs as sure as hope;
as strong as flat is steep.
My hands, my saviors, gripped the rail
so I could peek outside –
the bluest sky I’d ever seen,
As tall as it was wide;
came into view - between the blue,
an airplane gliding by,
its smoky streamer like a flag,
across my memory’s sky...
The memory is a simple one -
a window, sky, and plane -
but in my heart, it's heaven's door
and there it shall remain.
I’ve hung it on my memory’s wall
Between that life and this –
It covers every hole I’ve dug
In sorrow’s vast abyss.
This picture brings the special peace
I knew when I was small –
Where mother’s just beyond the door,
and waiting for my call…
*Inspired by Danielle's Earliest Memory contest. I have blocked out almost every memory
from my childhood, and only a very few gems remain - this is the first. and I will treasure it
I guess it’s time to stop asking questions,
and start answering them.
Wipe away long dead evaporations;
mined trails overgrown with new,
more current vines.
Time to remove the silver duct-tape
from the face of killed memory; (the girl
in the cavern who sits, wide eyed and bound
at her skeletal ankles and wrists at the top
of the wicked peak, looking for a way out –
her green eyes wild and rolling
like thunder and mustangs at the edge
of the drop ,
looking for a way out of this
and replace it with white words whispered
into my own children’s ears.
I cannot judge you.
Just as I cannot judge her.
We are all together in this moment.
And although I’d love to be
the high and mighty mother who says,
“OH! I would never do that to MY kids –
I won’t give him the pleasure.
The one who turned you to glass; beat you
until you were nothing but sunlight
in your own mother’s memory.
She loved me as I love mine (including
the young one who waits for her savior with
the shining scissors; coming through
the dark like rebirth and deliverance;
like a cool cloth on a charred brow).
So I will plant my Mother’s Day lilac tree
in her honor –
burying the questions,
honoring the love we shared
and still share.
We will leave our judgments at the door and sit
beneath its amethyst blooms
your given gift of insight)
exalting in the sacred heart of motherhood;
laughing until we cry;
feeding its deep roots
© Kristin Reynolds 5 9 09
*Dedicated to my Mother this Mother's Day (I hope you are listening...)
One evening, much like any other
striated feathers of pinks, and deepest primrose
colored the clouds with facets of light tapering inward
Traces of gold between each color
as deep and clear as the sages
A red sun overhead, grown weary with seasons,
did not seem to notice that we were mother and child
Whispering sounds of emerald breezes
did not label me wise, nor her naive'
We were two who walked equally side by side
She lifted her voice,
and spoke with an eloquence I had not heard before,
and it was just as the twilight calls to the stars....
so that they will know just what to do
Young spruces stood bolt upright,
every twig stiff with interest, and with deep respect
at her every word
as if they were watching transformation in tandem,
an exchange so delicately detectable
That in one clinging moment, to the other,
one of us was letting go of childhood,
and one was letting go of the child
Both of us looking to the sky for recognition
I watched the sycamore shed beneath the load of spent yellow and gold
Letting them softly go, without remorse
while I did the same
The 18th of December was her last day;
she neither knew the date nor cared to.
Gathered at the hospital, keeping vigil,
we couldn't overcome her fright, or ours.
The pain, too great to be driven away,
was only "managed" with IV drips,
needles stuck in bruised appendages --
bony things -- arms and legs, hands and feet.
Above the medicines and washes, we sniffed
her scent, which, more than her yet familiar
face, to us identified our mother --
a smell we never would mistake
for any other. It went quickly
as her body cooled. The rouged and pickled
carcass they displayed was more a statue
than a person. We planned to bury her
with homely tokens, like an ancient mummy:
a family photo, a brooch she liked,
a pink hairbrush, and the brass bell she rang
to call her keeper during her last years.
But, when the time came, I could not bear
to see her leave so finally;
I took the bell from her metal box.
And, now, I ring it -- not to bring a keeper,
but to recall my mother on her birthday,
and on many dark days when I need her.
UNGRATEFUL CHILDREN A parent's lament
Pounce on the fleetest of hearts
Hospital frights of prematurity
of EMS sirens
HIV trembling tests
Breathless Worry atop cloud kissed Trees
Sleepless Nights of bully battles
Struggles with Education’s foes
Mad Escapes from Fathers of Violence
The teary wave good bye for fledgling endeavors
Day night day night day night…unending
Slight Imperfections and Imagined Slights
Shortage of Cash
The days pass from tea cup to tea cup
in the peaceful silence of a solitary nest.
From gentle easy sunrise through sheer white
to the subtle fall of accordion night.
The echoes of childish laughter tremble
across the cracked surface of plaster walls.
Random squeaks in oaken floors return
the footfall of father, coming and going.
Long lost cat's paw prints impress carpet
dragons from Shanghai with ghostly ease,
and every loved and loving one returns
in peace, to rest beneath the tapping fingertips
upon a porcelain cup of tea from China.
I am too sensitive, to which I strive to change
I want the love of others, and I crave it in exchange.
Sometimes, I think I'm there, but much to my dismay.
There I go again wondering what they think and say.
Many hours I sit inside myself and over think.
There are things I need to do, and I can't afford to sink.
I try to word things right, but they seem to come out wrong.
This impoverished mind set has to end; it's been going on too long.
I'm digging deep inside myself to find out where this came.
I know the answer, but it's hard for me to place such blame.
I'm a product of abuse that stems from childhood, this is true.
Still I accept she didn't guide my hand to do the things I do.
God, I pray to you right now, to help me to forgive.
Please help my Mother realize there is a better way to live.
In the northern heavens her essence so vivid
My constant seraphic star
Basking within her gloriousness warming
Cleaves to me from distances far
Guiding my pathway on night lit Earth
Keeping my course right and true
Holding back storms until I reach my safe haven
To witness the next dawn rise anew
Those nights when cover clouds her features
Her radiance rushes in on the winds
Blessing my journey seeing me home safely
Forgiving my ways absolving my sins
Morning starts breaking and my cherub starts fading
Past the horizon waters falling so deep
Awaiting the rising of her mettle so tender
Of that maternal star light unique.
That was the day we played all day outside
And ride imaginary stick horses around
Shooting and shouting as if our lungs was rawhide
It was in imagination that the fun abound
That was the day the house seemed in disrepair
Furniture and boxes all out of place
Chaos reigned while mama cleaned everywhere
Leaving germ and dirt without a trace.
I thought of mama today as I watched you clean
Remembered how we would wipe our foot
On the little mat, but mostly could not dare go in
As if we were the grime or the cause of soot
Food would only come when mama took a break
But not before dark and howling belly turned
Play into night, and after the yard was swept and raked
Something about you in mama I'd discerned.
What was all that cleaning just to be clean, I ask
Or was it a search for something missing here
What deeper motive had the highly honored task
What coin, or sheep, or son hid behind the tear
What golden fleece or grail to you both have been lost
I know mama cleaning searched for meaning here
As if sin was something we could see like life's dross
As if to seek was the magic bullet for man's despair.
O something about you remind me of mama, my dear
And childhood comes rushing back in floods
Two sparse rooms and five pieces of furniture there
While we chased butterflies from dying buds
You are different though, for you have allowed us in
Watching our eyes to tell you of missing spots
But we just laugh and tell long tales while you clean
Life is too short to search or go connecting dots.
A gift like no other gift,
one that can't be bought
a precious human being,
deserving the right to live
to exist as we all do,
but sometimes it just doesn't
happen that way,
A baby of no harm,
a baby of no sins
a baby of pure love,
and only innocence
Sitting there all alone,
I was surrounded,
why it may be
that I am made to suffer,
Wanting nothing more,
but to die
inside and out,
Things happen for a reason,
so I was taught
I'll never know the reason,
but I'll always feel the loss
The loss of my child,
my baby was taken
away from me,
and there is no reason
I constantly ask myself,
why did this happen?
what did I do wrong?
I asked God to save my baby,
to protect us both
I remain here,
but my baby is gone
It seems as if, my whole world,
just fell apart
and all I could do,
was sit back and watch it happen
I found myself,
anyone to hold me
All I could do was cry,
I had to cry, for the sake of myself
for the sake of my baby,
for the sake of my heart
I had to weep
I cried and cried aloud,
hoping to be heard
I'll do whatever you want
you have my word,
just please save my baby
I bled so much,
had so much pain
denied to myself,
everything would be okay
Crying and pleading,
praying and weeping
became an everyday routine,
it was so hard to believe
this was happening to me,
It's not over yet,
it never will be
everyday and every night,
it's in my memory...
My sweet baby
you will always be with me...
The walk to the grave
Of my adopted mother
Took everything for me to be brave
Standing there and listening
To what the minsiters said
About the life she had been living
The deeds she had done while here
Meals she had prepared for many
How people thought her a dear
This walk is a walk to remember
Can I walk in the steps
The steps in life she rendered
kept the perch
we caught in a bucket.
And when we took them home
She would clean and place them
In our twenty gallon tank
Where they bobbed in stunned silence
Eyes watching for any white movement.
when they committed fishicide
on their domesticated tank-mates.
Even the little beta fish
Who had survived our six day pilgrimage from Florida, to find Mecca
was a cool whip container.
Whenever we had guests for dinner,
Mom swooned they
were the smartest fish she had ever seen.
She bestowed upon them names - Jed and Lucy
tapping at the glass
with one extended finger,
feeding them fish flakes,
like porpoises fed from the teeth of a trainer in Ocean World
“You can’t keep perch in a fish tank”
the guests would say,
they lived for two years
bobbing and staring
in the vacant tank space.
One crisp winter morning
Jed finished his breakfast of gold fish flakes, took one
last gulp of slimy tank
himself off of glass
over and over,
I almost thought
the glass would crack.
sat quietly and watched
She too died a few days later
like aged soulmates
who often cease
to be after their amor
When someone left the lid open,
her blue green skin shimmered
as she laid
making fish O’s in the dry air..
I often wonder
if the air that morning
like an ice floe
to a better place
somewhere Jed waited
with our beta and our angel fish
a place of worms, kelp
emptied the tank of the murky filtered water.
Rinsed the ultra neon yellow fish gravel,
and placed the fake plants on a sponge.
Separating air filter, from pump
from clear plastic tubing
and put to rest
in a brown cardboard box..
She did it without a word.
I I I
I Not Afraid
F At All
L Be Free
w m Curviest
i a Thing you’ve
l k Ever Seen
d e Self-Esteem
s Is higher than
E Love flows deeper
N Surges Greater
c Than any river
r Emotions as unchanging as the sea
a Modern Day
z Super Hero
y Working hard
I To defeat
L Sexual Inequalities
D Worthy of stealing
Any man’s fancy
[Dedicated to the Women, the strong, the brave, the merciful]
[The Mothers, the Daughters, the Wives]
[ the women who make up our lives]
A Mother’s Love…
How precious is the love
of a mother’s heart!
Even as a child… It’s there from the start.
A mother’s love knows
no boundary or limit.
It’s often shown by how
much the mother gives it!
Whether her children are
young or growing old…
And whatever circumstances
in life may unfold…
Her love is continually
a solid foundation…
That can’t be removed, torn or shaken.
Her love is what is
a “guiding force…”
Even if her children’s lives
stray “off course.”
I’m thankful for the love
my mother’s given…
It’s surely influenced
the way I’ve been livin’!
To all of our mothers across
our great nation…
May we show them our love
Their love has stood and
endured the test of time…
I’m so glad that one of them is MINE!
By Jim Pemberton
Once held with love, by hands so small-
You’d hardly know that they were mine;
Her hair, a matted yellow mess
That sticks strait up, from hands and time,
The dress, Aunt Rose knit with gnarled hands,
Still ties up proper in the back,
It hides her scars; so much undone
While keeping dignity in tact,
One of her fingers’ is too short
When I was small, I bit it off;
Her neck’s been stretched from need and love
Which now I hide with velvet cloth,
Her eyes, the same sky blue as hers-
A mother ripped from life and earth-
Who passed away, leaving her child
One blue-eyed doll and no self worth…
Many a year flew by in time-
An adult with kids of my own-
When our house burned, consuming all,
From photos to refuge of home,
There came from ashes, hope reborn-
A beauty with eyes of sky blue,
Covered in suet, fire-scarred but safe,
The only thing that made it through!
A miracle or mothers hand,
That saved her from the fire's embrace?
To place her safe with honor, down
Atop the snow to cool her face,
This doll may look a ragged mess
To those whose tears she hasn't dried,
But when I look in those blue eyes
I see a child’s love, survived…
My Thumbelina, dread locked doll
No other friend could e’er replace
Her love; I love her battle scars,
Where memory lives upon her face…
2nd place winner in Karen Neary's TRASH or TREASURE contest , 5/2008
Elegy to Child Lost
Passion's love oft tempts despair
Casts a prideful cosmic dare--
Like Prizing Joy's most intimate caress
Babe snug beneath a mother's breast
Senses at this time are keen
There's no secret kept between
Loving mother, wriggling babe--
Wanted , dreamed of, much delayed
But entwined twin was also loved--
Some say Nature's method proves
That one twin may give all to mate---
But this fatal sacrifice must decimate.
Only mother's eyes would feel babe's smiles--
or sense those legs that wandered miles
And daring feet that danced in tunes while
Arms swam in gentle Celtic croons.
When babe vanished--not a sound.
Mother 's grief was not allowed.
Tempted so to trail behind
Escaping shattered troubled mind.
Squelching sorrow's hungry arms
She Tried erase babe's fluttering charms
Never spoke of-- never mourned.
By her husband she was warned
Was best forget a child so early lost--
Funerals, gravestones--such a cost--
But the years have called babe near,
Mother's journal writ in tears:
'Please forgive my selfish heart.
Repressed from all --this tragic part
I felt your sacrificial act--
You left your cherished twin intact'.
There is no law of random acts
Doctors examine data facts
It may be --that in the womb
When both spring flowers cannot bloom
One bold twin refrains to eat
Compels the other to complete
Hardy growth that life requires---
Sparks survival's crucial hours.
Not an accident 'tis sure--
Boldest spirits blossom pure.
Victoria Anderson-Throop ©
God created hands for building things. Sometimes before you build something, you must first destroy something else.
Wildfires are never supposed to be put out. Their sole purpose is to burn the entire forest to the ground, transform living things to fertilizer, making room and preparing the soil for new growth.
It is almost paradoxical,
that there must be death before birth
My hands have stared the grim reaper’s reflection inside the pool of my best friends blood. An old student I used to tutor told me that I am the best brother she could have asked for
She said she will always love me
This was after I burned every bridge that traversed the gaps between us
Stared at her from across her desk
Told her that she will never be my sister. That our bloodlines will never match.
Our gene pools are just strangers that made the same wrong turn.
I spent so much time trying to find my way back that I never realized I was home in being lost I found something comfortable, without expectations. I only corrected myself after she spoke,
because I heard something familiar in her voice.
She sounded like family.
I have the scarred and wrinkled hands of a senior citizen
I’m only 22 years old
I once got my palm read
This gypsy woman told me that my lifeline should have been cut short when I hit 17.
That was a year ago.
What do gypsies know anyway
I have defied the odds my entire life.
Been broke down and built back up too many times to count
My fingernails chewed raw to the cuticle out of anxiety
I enjoy the taste of my own pain
Sometimes I use my own hands to destroy myself just to see who my real friends are who will build me back up when I can’t do it alone
My hands have a desire to learn how to cook, but I’m not that great.
So when I am alone,
I tend to be hungry, not just for food though.
I starve for someone to talk to
It never satiates, because it’s not you.
I know what it tastes like to completely give myself to someone.
My biggest fear is being abandoned.
When I look into your eyes, I am not afraid.
I need to cook you up a feast of myself, then feed it to you every day for the rest of our lives
Please tell me what I really taste like,
Years after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother moved into my aunt’s house.
Since I was 5, every time I speak to her she asks me:
“Spenser, did you thank God for waking you up today?”
I think to myself, I never did tell my eyes to open themselves. It just happened.
So I don’t know how to respond to her correctly.
I tell her that I love her, that I am writing a lot.
She tells me that she puts her hands together for me every night
Prays that I will get the job I want
I guess some prayers do get answered.
Sometimes two hands in the right position, matched with a conversation with God,
Can change things.
I even accidentally call that place home sometimes.
My dream is that my hands evolve into wolves, become part of a pack and work together with other hands to make a difference
Some days they will be the alpha male.
Full of confidence, at the head of the pack
Other days I need someone to show me the right way to go
Because if I’ve learned anything
It’s that I am not always right
I can not always be in control of everything
The only thing I have ever really wanted is to know
That my hands were truly
A part of something.
A Dirty Basement Room
In a dirty basement room a baby cries
Weakened mother was defiled
Forced my law to birth a child
Upon a dirty pillow she lies
In a dirty room the mother dies
Mother and son soon reconciled
Victims of government gone wild
A time to live a time to die
Angry rapist walks streets free
Will they listen to her plea?
In a dirty basement room a baby cries
Angry rapist runs streets free
In a dirty basement room mother dies
Will they listen to her plea?
Let the Deicide commence.
You're a voyeur at best!
Your vampiric heart is beating out of your chest!
And you have slayed the ones whom would love you for anything less
Ready to consume the final fragments of innocence,
And for you there is no forgiveness,
On your knees pleading, screaming to a tyrant in the skies;
The father of lies.
I will never be enslaved in your superiority
The people agree: jaded of your false dichotomies.
Know: I will be whomever nature intends to be
Apollo and I will share our dreams,
and you will be forced to see
I know who you are...
Readily the first to present your scars
Chained by some despot or mental czar
An emotional homunculus in your mind, behind bars
Reluctant to escape - even when proven fake
Your demented mind - depths no one will penetrate!
...And you see me suffering
Not caring of any casualties
Just as long you recieve your safeguard of sympathy
So very wary of the masses and their Anarchy; Liberious ways
Solipsist - Is there no one you can see?
Even if she was presented burning?
Solipsist - Is there no one you can believe?
Even if Sophia was screaming?
Solipsist - Know you have killed and abused me
Imprisoned in your own personal reality
Mixed with gas price inflation
Served the homeless in Manila
Then become a homeless college student
And mother in America
Racial discrimination justified
As manager proclaimed Black Girl
Gave Jesus his eviction note
While her abusive ex she couldn’t
Wait to promote
Self-employment had to end
As her car became uncooperative
Wrote poems and created soliloquies
Since the voice in her mind
Had to be freed
Degree hanging on the wall
While debt remained stacked 10 feet tall
Apathy knocked on the front door
While shame and disgust waxed the floor
Dreams of the American family
Burst into flames
Along with the hope of wisdom, wealth, and fame