I watched the news on tv tonight, which I haven’t done in a while, and every time I watch or read the news, it reminds me why I don’t watch or read the news. (And that it’s getting harder to get up off the floor from the fetal position…)
And as much as the internet frustrates me at times, I would like to thank it for this friendly reminder today. And being the responsible citizen I am, I thought I’d remind you too. I’m kind of hoping this is the solution we keep overlooking.
There’s a door down there I keep circling. A closet door in the deepest floor, and these stairs like optical illusions. Or as my mother liked to say, optical collusions.
These stairs of chalk.
She was driving to this song. Her CD player was broken, and kept playing it over. Or maybe she was just controlling that with her mind. Who knew? She didn’t care. She had spent the morning reading and listening and watching and drinking and barely eating, she realised for a moment. She pulled over to get a healthy sandwich or salad, it didn’t matter really because she was only tasting the words of her day, which were stretchy like bland. So the chocolate muffin was perfect.
She laughed to herself when she saw the naked, silhouetted tree. Fact is stranger than fiction, after all.
Her head was full of clever people’s recycled words. And she, silent more often than not, confused the clever people. Why did this tree have no leaves?
Full of memories of echoing words, in canyons, on lonely family holidays, she got back into the car. On one of those trips, she had stopped yelling into the canyon, and had started throwing leaves instead. It was autumn, the tree was beautiful like everything you never had, and well, she wasn’t sure why. Or, she just couldn’t remember.
Tears were falling now, as the harvest moon was rising in front of her. She started driving faster, because darn it, she was going to drive through it this time.
I see you looking at me, wondering what I will do with
getting back to the start of see
and the art that shrunk inside of we
the dancing child on a whirl of glee
escaping truths that stifled three
layers of self, intrinsically
defensive, now the wired psyche
ever so peacefully
He studied her blanks, his heart a magnifying glass as he carefully copied out each jot that filled the lens. He often sat back, in surprise and wonder, sometimes awe, sometimes astonishment. Sometimes, sadness, that could not be expressed in any current language, he mourned.
He didn’t have enough colours. But the poetry, brought him to his knees.
When my husband and I married all those years ago, cough…my mind wasn’t prepared for how well acquainted we would become with death, he especially. So much church and ministry life happens quietly, behind the scenes, as it should, and there are these extraordinary, jewelled moments, of being with people before, and as they die. These privileged moments of intimacy, I would not normally have had, and for the most part, I am very grateful for them.
One of my most precious life experiences was to type up the memoirs of one of our dear elderly church members, for his family. He dictated to me his life story. It is one of the most profoundly moving experiences I have ever had. His humility often moved me to tears. And on one particular day, it struck me just what an intimate experience it was, being privy to things no one else in his family knew about. But he died before we were finished, which devastated me.
It has been a few years now, since he passed away, and I still miss him immensely. His wife was, and still is, one of the organists for one of our churches. After his death, she still insisted on playing, even though her intense grief affected it. I remember one Sunday when she simply stumbled to a complete stop during the liturgy. The congregation kept singing, even louder than normal for her sake, and it was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt moments I have ever been a part of. It also made me think we should sing unaccompanied a lot more often! It was divine.
We are currently in a time of death – deaths always come in, at least, threes. And I have posted about this before, (my third post I think it was!) with this monumental clip, which I wanted to post again. So that it is in my face for a while.
And I hope you will enjoy it, too, even just for its gorgeous artistry.
He wanted to insert the right words, but they were deftly eluding him, and he was weary of the chase. So he started tracing the outline of the knots of his depletion. They were particularly prominent this time.
He knew he was full of them and it would take time and effort to untie them, or rather, to hydrate them again to loosening. He wondered long and hard about it, as he tried instead, to un-knot your words.
I mean, the ones in your silence.
So Nigel, has done a lovely thing of reading a few poems, including a couple of mine, to honour the contribution to the poetry world by women poets. I love how he does his readings, and feel moved to be a part of this beautiful post (with a dignified giggle at the end 🙂 )
My dear friends, I have today for your delectation something rather special. It struck me how many wonderful, famous and celebrated poets are women compared to say artists in the world of painting.
This is something I’ve also noticed within our own circle, and so I feel both honoured & privileged to have been given permission by the following poets to recite their work. Below is just a small sample of the amazing art to be found and enjoyed.
If you’ve a favourite piece you’d like read I’m always looking to expand my ‘Alchemists of word’ section. Don’t be shy or humble for I’m not a critic or academic, just someone who loves the written word.
VIKTORIA AT MY BLEEDING WORDS
Ashes Ashes – by Viktoria
The dimming cinders of my spirit
Lay glowing feebly in the night
The smoke escaped my every merit
The arsonist: life’s pain and…
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Rain, rain, come and stay.
My heart’s membranes need your weight,
life’s numb perforate.
I fell into what I thought was one of my clichéd dreams, filled with doors.
But there was a door that stood out. It stood out because it was familiar.
Still on its hinges despite the relentless wind coming through, I tried to close it.
My neck ached, being in the same position every mourning.
Eons before/maybe last week, I had opened it because I had seen your music through the window of it – blushing colours and adverbs on a stave of missing meaning.
But that was then.
Now it was time to change my glasses. They were tinted, it turned out.
And the door closed.
harps in the desert.
She bled the ache
for unplayed notes
on the horizon.
She tremored between here and there,
filled with a terrible,
that she was learning to play.
(Revisited with audio of my reading)
"Can we just lie here for a moment? She knows what to do and it's so much easier to make out the words if you press your ear against the stone." He hated this place. But she promised it would be the last time. And it had started to snow. It would hopefully slow the others down. They needed to leave. He was too scared to look at his watch and now he was struck by how beautiful she looked in this light. That pink light, reflecting from the tears frozen on her face. He pulled her gently up from her mother's grave.
Lyrics: mother they are coming again they come to shoot what we already lost mother they are coming again our silver covered by their rust father they are coming again they come to jail the things that i have seen father they are coming again burning minds to keep the ruin clean no one is around „little girl there’s safer ground follow the sea and you will find that place little girl there’s safer ground come take your years and put them in their hands“
I’m sorry, I can’t read
your long soliloquy
And I know this wants to rhyme
But it shouldn’t.
Because now my mind is
going through the racks
of the vintage store I loved, years ago.
Sparkly and kitsch
eclipsed by the pitch
black of memories in coat pockets
and the spark in eye sockets
as they held my joyous orbs
(It took time and care
to find the gems there.)
There are many ‘clever’ souls
refining our fright,
our ear muffs on tight
as we step back in night
with our swords drawn.
But in this tiny blog space
there can be only one
tribe, that is.
If any at all.
And in case you were wondering,
it’s the human one.
I wish Tootsies still existed.
The craftsmanship was something to behold, and enjoy, and get lost in
(of varied conversations, I mean.
The clothes were rather beautiful, too).
(Revisited with audio of my reading)
She didn't say anything. Why wasn't she saying anything? But she had. She just couldn't hear her. She had always heard her through her heart, and now it was frozen to her cheeks. He lifted her up as her chest was caving in. He sang instead. The words she had taught him when they met, years before. The ones she had heard from her mother's friend. Before they never saw him again. "Little girl, there's safer ground..." That ground. Rising up out of the sea of him.
Rushing to the coat check, she was trying hard not to obsess over him not believing something she had said in the car. He had said it was absurd.
It was making the skin on her arm itch.
Irony did that. Well, in particular contexts. She wasn’t sure what this was.
She had felt so warm while they were driving and had wondered if she were overdressed. But then, he was the one who was filling the car with decorated axioms, making sure to remind her how insightful he was. She had cringed wearily, then chuckled at the awful jokes forming in her mind – she started thinking she didn’t need her wisdom teeth when she digested his words, only her incisors. She could try to be environmentally friendly, she supposed, and recycle all of this packaging, but it wasn’t even pretty.
And now he appeared with two effervescent glasses, as her arm started to bleed.
She was allergic to champagne, she had told him in the car
Her breath pliable, she crouched down in that corner, the one that didn’t fit like a glove.
Her movements were whispers, soft and borrowed from someone she couldn’t remember, but they had told her to use them in times such as these. The movements abandoned her though, as she started crying the music her mother used to sing to her.
A friend sent this article to me this morning:
(Edit, the video on there has since been removed).
Very interesting to say the least. I think it is a bit of a must read/watch. Also because ignorant me would love the input of anyone who knows a lot more about this than I do. On the video: “facebook recently shut down chat bots after they started speaking their own language”. What does that even mean?
And no, I don’t plan on getting a self driving car any time soon. I just bought a second hand car that’s manual for crying out loud. It’s been a long time, and gosh darn it if I don’t love the heck out of it. Manual cars are super fun. And as my elderly friend in Colorado has always said, “I like to drive my cars, not have them drive me”. If she only knew where that was really heading…
I typed my thought in
to the search bar of my mind
and lo! it timed out!
My brother and I were discussing the Beatles, and I reminded him that in an interview, Paul McCartney was asked what it was like to be the best song writer in the world. He said something like, “I don’t know, ask Neil Finn!” Thus began another CH listening spree.
This song was, firstly, a Split Enz song, (1984) appropriately recorded at the end of their life as a band. Then CH re recorded it at the beginning of its life. It was a big deal (the dissolving of Split Enz) for Australia and New Zealand.
This Easter has been a time of new beginnings for my brother and me. Can you hear me smiling? And, as much as many talk about walking away from toxic relationships, or people we just don’t like, or maybe, we are just spoilt and things aren’t going the way we think they should, for me, this is about walking away from the terrible thought patterns I had developed over the years. I honestly can’t think of anyone I want to walk away from. I would much rather walk away from the bad way I have handled some things.
Here’s to new beginnings. And to wiser loving. Of others, and myself.
Steve truly makes me laugh, and cry, and come to the edge of many things. Or something. I’m not sure. But it’s amazing.
Microscopic particles of time
rain upon our lives.
Paper promises grow brittle,
mapped forgiveness folds, unfolds,
frays and tears along the creases.
Our memories refract through prisms
until the brightest day is lost
in anesthetic runes.
I heard a motor revving in the carport,
and from my gate,
I watched my Kia Starfish drive away,
with the spindly legged carport
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