Tag Archives: Poetry

Beating the Vacation Hangover

I’m suffering from a bit of a vacation hangover. Pictures freeze time when I cannot. Fortunately, there is still the anticipation of all that is left to come, and it is a lot.

Life

What is life?

Sisters bouncing in the waves,

Rituals untouched by age,

Mosquito-ridden hikes through streams,

To waterfalls guarded beneath a canopy of trees,

Jasmine pearl ice tea,

Sunscreen layered thick,

Tiki Mai Tais hidden in a maze of stalls,

Millions of stars in the night sky,

Sprinklers then laughter,

A ghostly figure in the dark,

Manta ray arms stretched wider than my own,

Two turtles and a friendly fish,

A Buddhist temple with a bell so large,

You are promised happiness and peace.

A catamaran skips across the water,

Edging closer to the unknown,

A fish caught and punched to death in the head,

Blood diluted by the sea,

Tears of brevity,

Life impossible to hold,

As sisters howl and scream beyond the break.

Sisters

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Twenty Words: Life.

Life.

Life is a tenuous set of strings,

With scissors lurking.

The questions is–

Will you tie them back together?

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For All the Lives We Almost Lived…

“I am grateful for this life! And yet I miss the alternatives. All sketches wish to be real… We do not actually know it, but we sense it: our life has a sister vessel which plies an entirely different route.” -Tomas Tranströmer, The Blue House

Although I do not regret the life I choose in the least, I like this idea, that our destiny is not fated, that there are many lives we could live, that our choices steer our course… Now, if only there was time to explore all these lives we dream of, instead of having to pick just one… Maybe that is what writing is to me.

Be warned, only click the link below if you’re in a mood for a little melodrama:

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Farewell Beach: Yoga, Night Walk & Poetry

Today, the last day of my summer travel, I enjoyed two of my favorite beach activities.  I awakened to yoga on the sand and ended the evening with a night walk under the stars.  The perfect farewell.

I know I’ve shared before, but if you practice yoga, I highly recommend purchasing a travel mat– they’re slimmer and easy to pack.  This morning I took my mat out to the beach after my run.  I’ve always preferred taking classes to practicing on my own, but on vacation I make an exception that is well worth it.  Not even a class can beat the feeling of practicing on the beach, staring out at the ocean.  Of course, it works best on unpopulated beaches, like those in Oregon.  Admittedly, I refuse to take out my mat anywhere with an audience.

Post-yoga with my fabulous travel mat.

Always time for one more pose off the beach… I’m telling you, beach yoga rocks, (although I can hear my instructor’s voice telling me I need to kick through this pose before I begin to lean forward… yeah, yeah, I’m working on it!).

Essential beach farewell activity number two was tonight’s walk along the shore under the stars.  Night on the beach is my favorite time, the moonlight bouncing off the sand, creating enough light to see without a flashlight.  Most of all, I enjoy staring off into the waves or up at the stars, I can never pick.  If you visit the beach before I return, do some yoga and walk under the stars for me.

Goodbye Yachats

Goodbye sun.

Farewell Beach

The tide pulls me closer,

The waves and moon magnetic to my soul.

Come closer, still

The ocean calls

One step more,

Just your toes,

Another step–

Come dance with me in the waves,

I’ll keep you safe.

Right, I think.

You’ll just drown me with your violent touch,

Instead I come to say farewell.

But you could stay,

It says.

Give me first your toes,

And then your ankles,

Come closer and we’ll become one with the stars.

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Sweet, Bluegrass

My mom cooks,

My stepdad gardens,

Bluegrass plays for the plants,

For a friend they lost today,

A song of death.

The lone whistle of a rumbling train,

Howling, Moaning, Calling–

Ophelia in her eternal pond,

Me, with bare feet upon the earth,

Small wildflowers,

Tickle my toes,

I drink the fleeting song

Of man and earth,

I am alive.

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Through 16-year-old Eyes

Sixteen was magic, that first year where everything started to come together.  Tastes of freedom, independence.  A momentary eternity, I once wrote.

My little sister is now there, or almost.  Only a couple weeks to go.  Thirteen years apart, the gap between us is slowly closing.  She was the baby, the reason I could not watch R-rated movies.  Now, she is a source of depth, wisdom, and laughter.  Although, I guess she was always a source of laughter, possessing humor beyond her years.  My little sister is the glue that bound us all together.  She makes us one gloriously happy, rambunctious family.

The other night I caught a glimpse into her soul, listening to her recite poetry.  She is an artist, not only with words, but with pastels, watercolors, you name it.

I picked this one to share because it reminds me of me, thirteen years ago.  Life at sixteen is full of angst and wonder.

These are her words, not mine:

We used to dance through the field like feral butterflies.
Our wings grew and our cat feet lifted off the grass,
wind blew us side to side and kissed our bare cheeks.
Our mouths opened wide and we could see everything
as we let our laughter fill the dry air, making music with the birds.
The sky tasted strong and sweet,
like being held in Grandma Jo’s soft arms and under her warm gaze
in the frigid air conditioning of our Mckinney house.
You and I strutted through those halls,
because we were the coolest people we knew.
But we weren’t really cool at all.
But, still, we grew up
to do a new kind of dance
in the poorly lit, poorly ventilated hall
full of unknowns and familiars
all pulsing and numbing to the elegant drops of Dubstep.
Because they were lost, they knew exactly what to do.
Because they were blind, now they could see
the red hot sweat of rage and passion
filling their lungs and coating their eardrums.
We were the abstract hand prints painted on young, wet skin,
lit up only when the lights went out.
And with daylight we walk, undead,
with crusty eyes through walls and over buildings
and drown in coffee just to get by.

Kat knew, she had seen it all
and what she hadn’t seen would soon be her reality.
She was led down paths and to her fate
on candy leashes and with designer treats.
She had to lose herself to know who she never was.
Todo va a estar bien.
Porque eventually the skies would go back to business as usual
and the sun would lean down and brush tears from her eyes.
And lay us both back down in the neon grasses
in a bed of feral butterflies.

Looking at the world through her eyes…

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Poetic Obsession

I’m taking a journey through other people’s lives.  Through the stories of authors published, through their insecurities and perseverance.  More often than not, I hear myself in their stories.  Neurotic obsessions with the written word.  Undying insistence that they deserve to be published.

Maybe I do not deserve it yet, I often think.  But, I will.  I will write and write again until it works.  Until it clicks and all makes sense and someone will want to pay to read it, even if really, I only write it for myself.  Writing for myself does not pay the bills.

Each day I add agents to the growing list, I read stories.  Story after story of not giving up.  Author blogs.  Each day a different theme, a different message, still somehow threaded together, connected between entries, shouting truths at me.

Today, poetry.

First, it was Janet Fitch’s advice to read poetry to learn how to write.

Then, it was a young agent, stumbled across after chasing down Barbara Kingsolver, who when googled, I discovered was the poet of delightful oddities.

So, poetry it is.

My late grandmother was a poet.  Ever since I was a child, I’ve carried around this book from house to house that belonged to her.  It is filled with poems, pencil marked with her favorites, an extra, my favorite of her favorites, glued to the inside of the back cover.  Somehow, one book of poems, created an imaginary bridge between the living and the dead, a relationship between us over shared words.

Just reading poetry helps my words flow.  Poetry, poetry, poetry.  Such a simple, often overlooked piece of the writing world, yet home to so many wonderful secrets.  I never thought I liked poetry until just now.  Turns out I’ve liked it all along.

Any poets out there?  Any poems to share?  I can feel a new obsession brewing.  A goal, perhaps, of one poem read each night.  New inspiration.

On the inside front cover, the name Frank Schmold is written in cursive, a mysterious figure in my imagination.
One of my grandmother’s favorites I read aloud over and over as a melancholy teenager.
Rose petals from those melancholy teenaged years, pressed for posterity.
Last, but not least, the poem my grandmother glued to the inside back cover.  I’ve always wondered who or what it made her think of…
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