Remembrance

Diana Instant Square image by author

Nostalgia is a warm soft bed
downy, drowsy, a burrow
well insulated by last year’s leaf-fall
the earth turned and fragrant
welcoming a snug hollow
where memory can dwell

what slept all year awakens now
brought forth by the changing light,
the yawning season stretches and emerges
bedhead crazy wild with
prolonged hibernation,
stuck with twigs and leaves like an old nest

the kitchen fills with smiling anecdotes
taken down carefully
one by one from their storage places
at the back of high cabinets

the table is laid,
the feast waits for preparation

a gathering is called
and so the flock assembles
drawn by a scent of recollection
drifting with woodsmoke
through the air, descending
with its own soft reassurance

window light beacons
reminders reach out from the
padded soil, stone markers
etched with names and house numbers
map out the path
for each synapse to follow

each passing moment carries
the breath of belonging
long forgotten
but transported forward
and held dear again
for a time
for the present’s gift


All this week I have been sharing this poem in pieces on my Instagram, along with instant photographs made on one lovely November afternoon when I let myself have a day of rest and creativity. Thank you for reading!

Cyanotypes & The Graves of Poets

Mega thumbs up for this post!!

John Wreford Photographer

Standing in the cold lifeless air of Westminster Abbey, surrounded by marble morbidity, the good and great and privileged interred at every turn, monarchs at the head of the table and poets consigned to a dim corner, and there, amid the flag stones of the nave lie the mortal remains of Charles Darwin, a three lined epitaph for the founder of the theory of modern evolution, we need little explanation of who he is or what he contributed, your attention soon wanders, you glance at the neighbouring grave, so close they could be related, the Latin inscription reveals little and you could be forgiven for wandering off in search of dead poets and princesses.

The obscure tomb suspiciously close to that of Darwin’s is that of Sir John Herschel, astronomer, biologist, chemist, and mathematician. He was a mentor and source of inspiration for Darwin. Herschel came from good stock, his…

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October

Polaroid duochrome double exposure by author

seeds within the orange month of sweetness:
the cauldron full of candy
spooks that knock for treats
playing tricks on the memory

time folds, past meets present
like a ghost in the machine
suddenly showing its face

night gathers, softens
the faithful beat a path through the cornfield
amazement-bound for
the labyrinth of childhood
that never really ends


Fall has always been my favorite season! Thanks for reading

Cafe Tanka

iPhone photo by author

breaking the silence
brooding over the laptops:
a loud group of friends
socializing is daring
participating in life


When I was young I remember coffee shops / coffee houses as lively places I would frequent to hear live music and hang out with my friends. We would talk and laugh, people watch and play games. Nowadays it seems like they are remote offices and study halls for everyone with a laptop, so it pleases me when I see a group of people daring to enjoy themselves instead of just staring at a screen. What can I say, I was born in the 70s. . . . . Thanks for reading!

My Environment

Diana camera double exposure | Medium format film | photo by author

Lacking gills, I am of the air
Lacking wings, I do my breathing
with my feet on solid ground

I breathe easier when I am carrying less weight;
the extra weight I shift to the airy ether
of the Everlasting Arms,
when I can

Always I live in an embrace
sometimes it is four walls
concrete and exhaust
visited by bursts of wings and water,
where I pretend but am not much
braver than the sandpipers
dashing quickly away
from the danger of the rising tide

Sometimes I shift to leaves and bark
stone and earth
high as those with wings
or low as the murk where gills first formed

but always I am not alone
the hug is part of me
as integral as the air in my lungs
as inseparable as my winged soul
from the myriad walls of my body,
for now


Today is National Poetry Day in the UK, and while I no longer live in that place, I left part of my heart there, plus I also really enjoy being part of The Poetry Society. The theme for today is “the environment” but of course I took that in my own direction, writing what arrived in my head this morning. Thank you for reading!

Poemtober

sceenshot from Inktober’s website

For the past few years, I’ve written poems for the Inktober prompts, because I can’t resist a ready-made list and I love the randomness of it, plus the challenge! I have completed all 31 a couple of times, but last year I pooped out partway through. My dream is to find an artist to partner with, since I am not one for drawing (not successfully, anyway), but I have yet to really try and make that happen. I like the idea of a little zine that incorporates the art and words.

I’ve attempted to rope my artist daughter into partnering with me, but teenagers have an awful lot to do with school alone. Also I’m pretty sure it would need to be 100% her idea for it to actually happen.

With everything else I have on my plate at the moment, I had decided to forgo this annual tradition. . . . . until last night, when I started thinking about it, looked at the official list, and ended up cranking out haikus for the first 11. Haikus are short, and therefore less of a burden on my brain, and I guess the moon and stars were aligned just right plus the wind was blowing in the correct direction and my guardian angel was in just the right mood.

So, I am sharing these on my instagram! I’ve tried unsuccessfully for a while now this morning I get the posts to show up on my blog; I’m throwing in the towel. Here’s the link:

https://www.instagram.com/the_poetry_patio/

If you feel inclined to join me in this challenge, I would love it! Tag me, email me, or just do it and have a good time! If you add ink drawings to your poems, so much the better!!

Equinox

Harvest moon rising | polaroid lab printed photo by author

Autumn began and
I sat and listened to the
cars rushing somewhere
along some busy road
beyond the fences and yards
of the neighborhood
and to the birds
peeping intermittently
checking in on one another
like like bellhops at the
tree motel

There were sirens, also,
and there was some hammering

Autumn began and
I sat and watched while
the sky faded and the light
drained away like bath water
a whispering shush
of the hint of a cool breeze
breathing off the sprinkled lawn
I watched purple become
grey-blue then grey
then something darker
the color of soot
and everything green
followed suit
until the solar sensor
caught up and the patio
bulbs clicked on with a flicker
so a warm yellow glow
wrapped around me and
punctuated the shadows

Autumn began and
I pretended that the traffic
noise was a river in such
a hurry that it had smoothed out
all rocky and vegetable
obstacles, so it could flow
speedily and unobstructed with
one swift continuous sound
all babbling drawn tightly
to a hush
I made believe that the land
that I claim is mine
stretched beyond the wooden
fence encompassing lakes
and mountains hidden from view

Autumn began and
I fooled myself
for a pleasant little while
that the tick of minutes from
8:02 to 8:03 marked a sudden
change, and that it hasn’t
been creeping on with a knowing
smile for weeks,
all year,
just waiting in the background
as it always does
for its slow
implacable
turn


Thank you, readers!

Sistine

Sistine Chapel Exhibit, Austin | 35mm film photo by author

The Pope to the Sculptor, “Paint!”
Michelangelo, “No thanks.”
Replied the Pope, “That wasn’t a request.
Now I trust you to do your very best.”

Back and forth
and round and round
until the ceiling was completed.

Reluctant artist
made a work
that can never be repeated.


This poem was inspired by a recent outing to see the Sistine Chapel exhibit in Austin. Nothing beats the real thing, but everything about the experience was fun and interesting! Thanks for reading!