Friday, July 25, 2014

It rains and I turn to poetry again...

This was written for our sudden cold stormy snap in July. I keep saying to myself, “It is still summer, I know it!” 7/25/2014

Febuly
Dropping twenty degrees
Puts me on my knees
The summer wind, cool as the cucumbers
Growing in the garden now slumber
Leaves falling in July
Filling the sky
With dust of another time
Feeling I have to climb
Up and out
I want to shout
It should be warm
On the horizon a storm
Blows in mush
A winter-like hush

Surrounding us

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Lifecycle of a Boy

It seems like it takes forever for spring to get here, but when it does the wonders never cease. I feel the same way about our little boy. He was a baby a long time and then in an instant it was gone. In many ways I long for that time again, but I remember it as turbulent as pleasant. Spring can be like that.

Today I was often reminded that even though our guy is approaching his last year in single digit numbers in age, I will look back on this too wistfully at some point wanting that season to last longer. Instead, he is fascinated by the reproduction cycle at the moment: humans, birds, bugs, and plants. It reminds me that those fascinations will pull on him at some point drawing him into a whole new budding world.

Last night in the pool’s locker room my husband heard him lecture on the human life cycle how we all begin as an egg meets sperm deal. He asks such startling questions like, “Mama, why did you want your egg fertilized by Papa in 2004?” I have become accustomed to most of these questions asked in a nonchalant manner, but it does startle strangers to hear our conversations out in public. His voice is very loud and carries far---I am used to it, but others turn in mild curiosity at the boy with the loud questions about the human life cycle specifically his birth cycle. Last night my husband came out of the locker room laughing as he said our boy went all the way in his description of the life cycle as to include being dead, buried, and turning into fertilizer for the plants. I'm sure the men in the locker room were thinking what kind of kid is this?

This fascination has happened every spring with him for a couple of years. It begins with the butterflies arriving in his classroom and the cycle of the butterfly. Then he gets out his ladybug book to check on that life cycle too comparing the similarities. Then the loud spring birds remind him, along with Easter, about eggs. This brings us to eggs outside the body, his favorite to track are chicken eggs. Coming back to those inside the body that come out---bugs. And then babies, usually beginning with pigs and sheep or kittens, which eventually ends with comparing them to humans.

This year instead of rushing through all of those things a week at a time, they are all mentioned at some point throughout any given day. The main lecture on humans and then picking one side focus. This week since the butterflies in his classroom have hatched, it is all about the butterflies and ladybugs. Today, he had a day off from school, so I picked up some ladybugs with him at the garden store to be released at sunset to our garden. I took pictures as he pontificated on the life cycle of the lady bug.

“Mama there are 1500 lady bugs in that bag there. You water the plant with aphids so they have a drink of water after they are released.”

Here hold this while I cut the bag,” I say to him. He grins and holds it making his excited groaning noises. I take the bag from him and cut carefully as the little buggers are just waking from their slumber. We took them out of the refrigerator a few minutes earlier and they are sluggish still. I release the bugs. They are so beautiful as they struggle out of their sterile white mesh home and into the world. I decide to grab my camera from the house to take pictures.

“That is a good idea Mama, to take pictures of the ladybug release!” He jumps around some more and follows me into the house for a moment.

“Mama, do you think any of them will be on top of one another mating?” this thought sends him into running excited circles.

“Well, I don’t know. I would think they might be hungry just after waking up, but you never know.” We head back out to the waiting bag.

“Mama, look…l….l…look at all the ladybugs. They will eat the aphids on your roses and get fat. They will get on top of each other and then about a week later they will find a leaf and deposit eggs. Then those eggs will hatch and we will have thousands of ladybugs in our yard. Do you see any of them mating?”

I look carefully through the lens contemplating this question seriously. “Oh, look those two aren’t just crawling through the group. They have crawled off and yep, seem to be on top of one another.”

His eyes are shining now, “There will be baby ladybugs soon!”

“Maybe,” I say while I keep snapping pictures.

We watch for a while and he launches in from ladybugs to his own birth asking particulars. The light is fading quickly. I tell him we’d better depart while we can still see to step over the pile of bugs and not squish any. That thought horrifies him, but I reassure him that I promise not to harm any ladybugs in the making of these pictures.


We spent the rest of the evening picking out our favorites of the pictures (posted here). Surmising what we might find in the morning----if indeed the bag would be empty. And how many babies there might be.

He reminded me that they could fly away. "They have wings Mama, and might fly away after the aphids are gone or it gets too cold." I felt sad thinking about if our little garden couldn't provide enough for these tiny travelers. I felt sad thinking about my little guy and if he'd fly away some day or not---where would those wings take him? Just to the fence and back or beyond? Would what we have keep him content or would the call of spring make him take wing to another adventure? 

Ladybird, ladybird,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire,
And your children all gone;
All except one
And that’s little Ann,
And she has crept under
The warming pan.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The last one for NaPoWriMo 2014!

Clearance Rack
My box of flowers is planted in the sun
I like the ones best that I rescue
The clearance rack a six pack for $.75
It makes me feel like I’ve won
I plant quite a mixture
This year I’ve separated out one
Amongst the throng to be the odd one out
I spy that dramatic purple pansy
Sitting there amongst the small forest of fuchsias
Or the one deep wine geranium
That sits as the parent presiding
Over all the tiny violas yellow, blue, and orange
I think, "why am I singling out this one?"
Because I feel I have become singular
Or my circumstances or my child’s
That I can no longer stand with the group
I am a flower, but such a different hue
My son is too
And that is the glue
That binds our hearts
As we grow
Planted to stand out
Even though the others are glorious too
We are not like them
We are not like each other
But we are all complimentary together
Making the whole garden
More unique and even more beautiful


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Tiny Twofer Tonight....

Walks like a Duck
Little costumed duck
Speak to me
You look like a super hero
The “Green Lantern” of ducks
There you sit
Reminiscent of floating in a sea of innocence
You are wearing a mask
Black pinprick eyes
Fixed on nothing and no where
You don’t look like you could rescue anyone
Rescue me please?
From talking to myself in the midnight hour
About a boy that used to read to me

Admired and a Maze-D
Judgments are part of us
A daily part of our lives
No one knowing the fuss and muss
That has crawled inside and died
We hide it all
Not knowing who to call
Who to present
The root of it
Began as a seed
A clamorous need
You say there are walls
Keeping others out

I construct mazes to keep it all in

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's late tonight....

I had a really awesome beginning of a poem about dandelions in my head as I was gardening this afternoon. I hope that comes back to me, but for now....

Hearing the Call
Even in the silence
Of late night sitting
Before bed, but after
The hubbub of life
Filters to the bottom
Nothing switched on
But my thoughts
My space heater empty hisses
The faint ringing in my ears
Of nothing, but that high pitch
That I have to concentrate to notice
The soft clack of the computer keys
As I type to take away the aloneness
The not so distant busy main road
With police sirens or a fire truck
The consistent thrum of motors
An ambulance racing to the hospital down a few blocks
A wrong number ringing of the telephone
That shatters this solitude
Every few months
In this I hear you
You sit lit up in my mind
My heart a constant throb
Rising to the top
I am buzzing
Working the sweet memories
Vowing to call
Not now it is so late,
But when first light comes
And the world stretches
I hope the noise
Doesn’t drown out

My desire to hear you too

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Image again....

Some nights it is just whatever I’ve heard roaming in my mind in the ten minutes I get to sit and write a poem. I heard an old interview with Daniel Radcliff about how last Halloween he roamed around New York with an Elvis mask on and how wonderful that was for him to do that. There is a Harry Potter mask hanging up on the wall of my office that I love---it is from Italy. It is the only non-carnival-like mask that is on my wall and it got me to thinking.

If Elvis Could Have Taken a Walk
I am drawn to masks
I’ve heard that they are a bad thing
To hide behind something you are not
What if the mask is more comfortable than being unmasked?
What if it is you, the protection you seek
Or the anonymity that isn’t yours because
Everyone seems to know your business even before you do?
To walk around with something beautiful you construct
That distracts from what is raw and healing
Blemishes ripped away by your own hands
And to cover, you pick up your mask
As to not frighten those you meet
Especially people you’ve just now met
And want to get to know better
You can walk around with your mask on
Being who you want to be
Or a character you have always admired
A mask so adorned with jewels and pearlesque paint
Feathers floating around eyes that do not lie
Eyes that see out and no one breaks in
Except to guess what is behind
Those interactive, enticing eyes
When you arrive back at solitude
The mask comes off and is hung
On the wall for you to study
Each line, jewel, and fantastic feather
How to match what is underneath
With this beautiful portrait
That gives you total freedom

To truly be who you are

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sharp moment....

I wrote this just after midnight last night. I was about to sign off for the night and I decided to check on someone on Facebook. My feed came up right away as it always does and a status update of someone that posts all the time was first in line. He is an actual real-time friend and I wanted to see what was up. What he wrote was mixed in that it was a hard memory mixed with reason to praise that wasn't were he was a year ago now. I had heard a bit of the story before, but this time it was the whole thing. It struck me hard in the space I was all day back in my own thoughts about past events. I was happy for him, but sad for me and wrote this poem trying to convey how I felt. Many hours have gone by since I wrote this and I'm feeling much better now, but here is the poem.
Footpath
Standing on the edge
My toes hanging off
I look down, further than I’ve ever been
I cough and nearly topple into the cavern
Smooth straight down
No secret holding up these walls
It is written on my face
In my eyes
On my breath
I remember each step that brought me here
To ride that slide to the edge of the envelope
I pushed and punched my way through
Stopping before the fall
Just short of breaking all
I take a deep breath in and wiggle those toes
Those hang so far into nothingness
No foothold
No branch to catch on the way down
Just straight to the bottom, Baby,
I’m still here looking before I leap
Looking for the way out
It is uphill going back
And empty going forward
I know I cannot fly
I cannot get over this chasm
I wait, looking at my feet
They are gripped to the sandy soil
So small and claw-like
Curved and clutching
I must wiggle those toes some more
To feel the blood pump
Up to my heart
Up to my brain
To find a way out
I see it now
A narrow path
To my right
I cannot see around the corner
But I will go
Wiggle once more
Say goodbye to the abyss

And find out what lies ahead