Distressed

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Calming rock with flower

Why, if we distress our furniture to glamorize imperfections,
do we try to sculpt our bodies into perfection?

Why, if we distress photographs, mystifying the past–
do we resist getting older, avoiding future’s past?

Why do we distress paper crafts, emphasizing wrinkles,
but can’t do enough to smooth over our skin?

Why do we distress new jeans to look faded and worn,
then complain of fading hair color and aging skin?

But if a person is distressed, it’s not an outer appearance
that we can smooth over or sculpt or change,

It’s an unforeseen blemish, buried deep within,
yet it’s humanly possible to heal and resurface it.

For, unlike tangible objects, we choose what people see–
Let my inside be my outside, when others look at me.

My Story

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Pastoral setting in book

I’m standing in the middle of my story,
writer, actor, and director.

I choose the words carefully;
They are not scripted for me, but by me.

I choose how to play out the scenes,
Knowing I’m my own stuntman and could get hurt.

And I choose how to direct my energy,
How to live day by day, each day a gift I give myself.

The Lizard

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Lizard

He was small and dark,
not the stereotypical kind;
But he left a lasting impression
as he skittered and passed me by.

Now, I’m pretty easy going if
we remain in our separate homes;
But he broke the code established
when he entered my domain,

I know his cute tail wagging
was not a fond hello;
But like army infantry,
he was sliding toward a goal.

I was glad to give a hand
and carry him to the door;
But it’s imperative our socialities
are strictly held outdoors!

The Wisdom of Time

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Grandfather clock
The Grandfather clock
swayed through the era,

its pendulum
a perpetual motion,

its steady beat
an unconscious message
to those around it,
keeping them on track,

teaching them to
swing with the highs,
push through the lows,

and enjoy the balance found
within the rhythm;

Thus, like the hands
on the clock face,

they were able to make
every minute count.

Dancing to Different Beats

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We looked deeply into each other’s eyes,
Your head held high and proud,
Mine slightly lowered and held fast as we
Passed in the grass.

I spoke briefly, noticing how you had grown
Through the summer,
And thankfully you didn’t hiss a reply
But smoothly glided on,
The perfect glissade to my Texas two-step
In the opposite direction.

Upcycling

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For my birthday this year,
I would like an upcycle;

You know, like when old furniture
Gets a new coat of paint for
An updated look on the outside,

Or like a well-loved stuffed animal
That gets totally new insides,
And its outside is refreshed.

Or like the recently emptied fruit jar,
Cleansed both inside and out,
And filled with sparkly lights.

I would be better than before,
Ready for a few years more.

Crystal Day

I’m excited to be a speaker tonight at our local bookstore, Crystal Books and Gifts.  They feature local authors weekly throughout the summer for book signing and presentations.   I am speaking of Finding Peace Through Poetry and signing copies of my book, Power of a Raindrop.  Follow the blog for sample poems from the book.

Power of a Raindrop cover

available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from the publisher, http://shop.ravenbooks.net.

Morning’s Blush

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The sun blushed as it rose today,
Realizing it had not seen me this way before;
Risen yet half awake, in the throes of dressing,
I covered my naked face with makeup.

We are casual friends, sharing pieces of each day,
Yet today one of us crossed the line
And rose before our time. I doubt either of us
Will forget and I vow not to rise early again.

Mi Yarda es su Yarda

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As if in a boxing match,
a quick meeting in the middle
signaled the beginning.

We watched each other carefully,
uncertain if or who
should take the first step.

I slowly inched backward,
not daring to take my eyes off him
in fear of a deadly strike.

He eyed my action as one of concession
and declared himself the winner,

blades of grass swaying with his rhythm as he
slithered through the yard he now claims his own.

Paying for Freedom

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Coat hoods draping their heads,
the sleeves flow loosely behind
while arms swing freely beside
and feet ziggy zag them ahead.

Weaving to find every puddle,
stomping and splashing along;
tongues stuck out for raindrops as
they slosh and splatter toward home.

Sometimes I wish I were still young,
Carefree as children in rain;
Whatever changed my focus
as I grew into older skin?

Is it dictated, written in stone
that work replace childish play?
Or are we merely paying today
for the freedoms of yesterday?

Learning Compassion

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I thought I knew compassion,
but when I looked into his eyes,
I knew I’d never felt that way.

The tenderness he offered a lost dog,
the inner need he had to help,
to makes things better for her
brought warmth to my heart.

Then I watched his seven-year-old eyes swell with tears
as they walked the streets and found her owner.
The dog of his dreams was gone,
returned to her scared and punitive owner,
and his heart was breaking.

As I watched this young boy walk away,
head hanging, brown eyes saddened by the struggle,
I knew he was learning doing the right thing
can feel wrong sometimes,
but I could also see that he can’t help but be who he is,
and that he’d do it again.

Musical Van Delight

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Some vans play rock or rap,
others a country fiddle,
But the van that travels my street
meets halfway in the middle.

Its sound is like a harpsichord
broadcast for ALL to hear;
The now familiar melody
says ice cream is very near.

Nostalgic to us oldsters,
Now common to young alike;
We all clutch our dimes and quarters
in search of cool delights.

The Class Structure of Plants

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Bindweed blooming

If weeds were cultured,
would we believe them beautiful?
Would bindweed be trellised,
encouraged to grow?

Would Southern kudzu finally
find its place on the dinner table?
Could milkweed gain a purpose,
cure a catastrophic disease?

Would human intervention or
chemical alterations render weeds
susceptible to outside forces?
Could they continue to claim the
title, “Survival of the Fittest?”

Would changing these undesirable
buxomness of green to desirable members
of the biological plant chain
wreak havoc with scientific classifications
and create a social hierarchy among plants?

Lady in Waiting

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Lady in Waiting

 

The mail-order bride catalog
said my wait was nearly over;
my station in life could be found
just around the corner. Which,
of course, I took literally and believed.

I thought it meant I was
to wait for you by the train station,
the one near my house. But…..

I’ve stood, waiting endlessly, for you to come.
I won’t vacate my post; I don’t want to miss you.

I hold my head high, hat perched slightly askew, and
watch as my threads are scorched by the sun and
dehydration turns my bones inside out.
Should I give up on you?

Prideful, I know I can’t have been wrong;
You just took a wrong turn. You’ll be here soon.
With fortitude of steel, I straighten my back,
and wait some more.

*********

Lafayette, CO has impressive Cultural Arts and annually displays sculptures throughout town.  This particular one was begging for this poem!

Artist: Victoria Ross Patti
Arvada, CO
Location: 211 N. Public Road; Mojo Coffee
Materials: Steel
Price: $3,800

Displaced

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Seeking quiet space,
I found refuge in
corners all across town.

I sought shelter, as if
without a home;
Coffee shops, libraries,
stores and malls.

When badged officers
did a double take
as they walked by,
I’d look engrossed
in the library book.

However, their routinely presence
eventually brought discomfort;
I couldn’t stay there any longer;
where next could I go?

At the local mall,
I window shopped, yet
security officers
stared suspiciously
as if to say,
“It’s time you moved on.”

I left, but scorching heat
kept me moving
from one air-conditioned space
to another.

Constantly on the move,
often feeling unwanted,
I fled time and time again.

But I’m lucky.
I was merely displaced
by the two men
up on my roof.

From dawn to dusk,
their hammers commanded
I leave my nest, but
I have a home to return to.

Power of a Raindrop book

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Power of a Raindrop cover

I’m excited to share that I now have a book of poetry, Power of a Raindrop, published and available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through the publisher. If you order from the publisher, the first 10 to order will receive 15% off the retail price. http://shop.ravenbooks.net.

Ode to the Iris

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Purple iris

 

Oh, tall, stalked beauty of purple plush,

like a Mexican señorita swirling and
dancing at her quinceañera,
celebrating her maturity,

your blossom sways with the breeze,
a skirt of petals flowing with beauty beneath
a blouson bodice of scented frills.

Please, do tell…
Is this your quinceañera?

from Power of a Raindrop, now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from the publisher, http://shop.ravenbooks.net.

 

 

 

Aardvark

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You may think me a blended breed

of pig, kangaroo, and bear;

but I’m really quite unique,

the last of the species breed.

 

I’m not that small of stature,

but my strength is in my toes;

I’ll dig and burrow deep

in search of my favorite prey.

 

I knock their houses down

but unlike the famous wolf,

I don’t announce I’m coming

and I don’t huff and puff.

 

I don’t hunt for food in daytime,

the light hurts my tiny eyes;

besides, they’d see my coming

and scatter different ways

 

My palate is quite selective,

and presentation is key

I like my termites sub-style,

affixed to my foot-long tongue.

 

I’m not usually this social

nor verbose as I am tonight,

so I’ll quit ere I get tongue-tied,

for that would ruin my life!

 

4/1/15

 

I read a poetry challenge to write on a subject starting with letter ‘A’ and write in negation.   Being April Fool’s Day, I couldn’t resist having a little fun with it.

Found, Landscape Poetry Challenge

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park with bridge

Landscape Trends for 21st Century

Landscape design trends: developing, changing,
being improved, reconstituted, restructured;

Be it bigger parks in cities or
pocket parks in neighborhoods;

beautification within communities co-exist
with healthy exercising venues in golden ways.

Smaller garden designs minimize space, like
rooftop, container, and vertical gardening.

Even exclusive cycling routes circle cities–
no carbon dioxide or congestion here.

From functional to artistic,
solar panels to sculptures, it’s all available.

But older is sometimes better, like preserving
national parks and significant private estates.

These, and other sustainable goals–
dreams of 21st Century landscape architects.

2/25/15

Today’s poetry challenge was a found poem (using small bites of information from an article or perhaps many sources). The topic was landscapes using enumeratio (a sort of listing) as the poetic device. Credit for the topic goes to Landscape Architects Network and their article, “7 Top Landscape Architecture Trends of the 21st Century,” found on http://landarchs.com. I employed alliteration (repetition of the same sounds or the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words) to carry the point within stanzas.

Prose Poetry Challenge: Fingers

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fingers typing

When I let my fingers do the walking, the yellow pages are my street. When my fingers run, they ruffle through your hair, then slow to a crawl as they tenderly caress your face. But let my fingers do the typing, and the gate opens. Thoughts cross the threshold from my mind with prose flashing across the screen as fast as the fingers can go.

 

Today’s challenge asked for poetic style in prose format, fingers as the subject, with assonance (same vowel sounds within prose without being a rhyme).

Elegy on Fog Poetry Challenge

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Quick-thinking brain of my long lost youth
left me without a goodbye, how uncouth!

Jeopardy champions in our own way;
you had the answers while I had the say.

Shadows inhabit my brain now at times
shifting from fog to a cold, icy rime.

When it is clear, we are back, you and me;
winning the game for the whole world to see.

This challenge definitely had me lamenting my thinking cap of yesteryear! Trying to portray lament, praise, and solace in dactyl was a nice stretch of the brain.