Thursday, October 06, 2005

Wow, where did September go? I can say it was a very trying month for me. My daughter moved to Ireland to start working on her master's, but she only stayed there 9 days. She was overwhelmed and felt she could not possibly concentrate on her studies in the condition she was in, so I flew her home, and she will be starting all over again. From age 16 to now (24), she has not been without a car, job, school, or place to live. She has not been without a piano. Of course, she sold everything to move to Ireland. I know things will settle down when she returns from the west coast. I found it hard to separate myself from my child, so I have been struggling as well. I just feel it wasn't the right time for her to be there, or maybe it was the right time but the wrong place. Or, maybe it was the right place at the wrong time (I think I just said that! Geez!).

I have been trying to revise some old poems as I seem incapable of constructing any new ones. My mind is so filled with work and family and school and menopause and getting older that I just can't seem to muster the spirit to write. Or perhaps, it's just not the right time for me to be writing. Anyway, her are a few older ones that I have recently sent to Blueline for critique. I really like their heavy duty critique forum. I submit a poem and 4-5 readers receive it in their email without my name attached. I like the idea that they don't know who wrote the poem (though after reading a person's work for a very long time, they may begin to "think" they know who wrote it), but the critiques have been so thorough and helpful that I am feeling more inclined to continue to go through some things that I have considered submitting. So, here they are!


Retrospect

When I came the first time,
I had a hand in it--the only one.
The next time it happened, I bled
on great grandma's cherry hardwood, ashamed.
The revelation was strange. As foreign
as you. In me.

Something about early autumn's colors--
the red maple making love to a mandarin
sky, the chrysanthemums strewing their
ambers and violets across the lawns,
the wildness of flowering herbs, takes
me back to that floor and you.

I haven't bled in months. My body
aches for first times, for days when confusion
had an explanation.

On this night, cool and uneventful,
I crave to know your hands, to be torn
and confused anew. To be starting
the journey that is now nearing its end.
And all around me, the leaves fall too early
for comfort. To the ground, so soft and green.



Equations

This night is what many nights become:
quiet--less trafficked, many things
hushed and unhurried. I wonder who rides
in the cars that now trickle down
the asphalt not so far
from my burgundy front door.

I have not noticed in months the way
life continues its ebb and the inevitable
flow. Preoccupation becomes occupation:
"the f of x equals" becomes my mantra.
And I can't say I wish for a time when
my thoughts were not consumed
or filled to some capacity with trying
to comprehend life without some function
of x or otherwise.

When a leaf from a dying poinsettia
found its way into my cat's mouth,
a moment caught me unawares, and I lifted
her into the air and shook her with so
much passion that one would think
all of earth and sky had come to some
abrupt understanding. And only in that moment
when the remainders of a season emptied

themselves onto the hardwood did I grasp
something about functions, about how little
one knows even when a problem is solved.
nd I am left listening to the sounds
of the cars going by, singing their operettas,
as I find reverence in the small miracle of life
surrounding life that resides inside those brackets
of yet to be solved equations.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I wrote a little something in June. Needs work but I think it has potential. Not up to discussing much today. Daniel ( I mnetioned him yesterday) was only 20 and was found dead Sunday morning. Could be drug related--don't know yet. I've been walking at the cemetery lately and find the dead, the trees, and the stones to be good company. One of my walks inspired the piece below.

Variations on a Theme: My Walk With The Dead

Today I chose to walk my three miles
through a cemetery not far from home.
Like every dedicated walker, I seldom vary
routine, the non-stop one foot in front
of the other, the persistent staying on task.

But this day was different. It was the weekend
after Memorial Day. Graves that had not seen
flowers in some time were layered in gestures
of remembrance. Jeff's was one of them. I saw it
when I banked the curve to complete my first mile,
knew I'd stop despite my plans to be diligent. He died
at twenty-six, a wife and two children left behind.
Their pictures were placed at the front of his stone,
smiling faces framed forever in a happier time.

I tried to examine their faces closely, but the sweat
of my efforts poured into my eyes, and the early
morning sun instigated an involuntary blinking
I did not attempt to rectify.

My legs, straining to carry a body
much older than the one he occupied for his twenty-
six years pushed me to move on, to not linger long
in the tall shadows a headstone casts on the manicured
lawn. And, so, on I walked, talked aloud about
how it wasn't so bad to feel the ache of a bad
hip or the weight of my middle years. I climbed one
last hill before pointing my feet toward home,
my tongue revelling as it licked the salt from
a steadily loosening upper lip.

Monday, August 29, 2005

So out of it this morning. Again, this feeling of (not sure) despair? I realize that going through menopause is a difficult thing for most women. I am certainly no exception to that. I don't want to have any more children, but there is something so strange (for lack of a better word--word retrieval a major problem as I go through this thing) at the thought of never being able to conceive or carry a child again. For me, pregnancy and child birth were some of the happier days of my life. I never felt healthier than I did when I was pregnant or nursing a child. I just can't believe how quickly those days have come and gone. My oldest is 27 (a son), daughter is 24, and the youngest is 14. I started young, so I know many other mothers who are my age (46) who have much younger children than I do. One of my friends has a 10 year old and an 8 year old. Just received some bad news. My husband's first cousin's 20 year old son was found dead this morning. Time to make some phone calls.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Was listening to Buddy Holly on the way back to work. True Love Ways. Love the passion he sings with. Love the orchestral parts of that song. Makes me feel melancholy to hear it, and for some reason, it makes think of the beach, more specifically, of Virginia Beach, where I was born and lived for 13 years. I was very young when he died (if I remember correctly, it was 1959), so it's more a memory of hearing it time and again as a child that takes my mind back home to Virginia. Alas, no new poem to post here, but I am going to post some more old ones. Makes me sad to revisit these old poems and to think about how much has changed since I wrote them. Sadder still to think of what is still the same ( much of what is still the same today is something I wish had changed for the better).

Willowed Evening

In the indigo night,
I walk beneath the willow,
fumble my way through cast
off limbs and severed branches.

Dew settles, beds
the undergrowth, tempts my hot
feet to move on. Wet
and chilled, I slink in the shadows,
unknown in the darkest dark, recline
in the damp lust-cover of night.

Come. See the same
stippled light of stars my eyes
open and shut to, sleep
with me until tomorrow, forget
the way morning explodes
like a thousand different suns
in universes we may never know.

Guess that's all for today. Classes start next week and I'll have even less time to play around here on my blog. Just wish I didn't feel so bummed.
*sigh*

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hell, why not another poem! Very slow today at work (thank god!). It's been nuts in here for the last month or so. It would appear that I wrote the following poem in the winter, but I think it is a piece that speaks for every season.

Extremities

Beneath the ice, seeds sleep,
buds await--

Morning

finds me searching for warmth
and some semblance of spring. Flash-
lights line the bedside table,

replace moisturizer and books.
You lie next to me. Steady snores
comfort me as sleet meets pain.

Fear wants to make its claim
in these moments between bitter
cold and desired warmth.

I pull another afghan around my shoulders,
think of my grandmother's hands,
my grandfather's death, pray

in the quiet gathering of ice on limbs.
How frail the hours that support
the expected worry of one more season,
low-laden and fraught with winter's weight.
So far, I haven't mentioned this blog to anyone. I am not sure if I can make myself follow through with the time it takes to write here. I was once very active on the Melic Review-- an online poetry workshop. I also occasionally posted on The Writer's Block, but I started back to school to complete my bachelor's 2 years ago, and I just never seem to have the time or the energy to write poems anymore. Between a full-time job, part-time college, and a family (and lots and lots of other to-dos), I just am simply worn out. Not a day passes that I don't think poetry though, that I don't notice something and not want to write about it as I see it, that I don't have one line or five running through my head, but I just feel too damn tired most of the time to take the time to write. I am going to post an old poem of mine with the hope that I will resume writing, even if it's just to revisit and revise some old work.

The Walk We Never Took

I want to be as beautiful
as your mind allows,
soft as the morning
that awakens you after we love,
vast and open as sky.

I want you to remember
my kiss as the touch
you never felt, as the gentle
lapping of waves on the Ohio,
the silence of stars gracing
a darkness we failed to notice
in the light of new love.

I want to weave your fingers
through mine as subtly as autumn
weaves her dying colors,
the river her menagerie of debris.

Your dark eyes capture mine
in the marmalade evening,
as your hands fulfill this evening's
urgent promise.

I will come to you again.
I will come with you again to the river
we never walked, will trace the lines
that frame your years and rewrite
geography, transcend impossibility,
embrace the strange configurations
of two navigating forgiving currents.

Boy, does this need work. I kept the comments from the board on this one, and they were largely supportive of the piece with few suggestions for change, but man does this seem to be evasive and incomplete to me. I can see now why I rarely went back to a piece to revise. I would have chucked the whole thing!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Obviously I am not very dedicated to my blog! I had this idea that I would come here and vent or create or share or just jot down the thoughts swirling around in my head, but when I have the time to write, I don't much feeling like writing, and when I feel like writing, I am not near a computer or don't want to make the effort to log on, etc. I'm reading Douglas Adams' Salmon of Doubt. He mentioned that The Blind Watchmaker was one of the most influential books he had ever read. I have not read it, but I think I'll go in search of it and see what I think. Just finished reading The Joy Luck Club. It was ok. Finished Lolita last month and the new Harry Potter. I have my thoughts about Lolita but don't feel like getting into them this morning. It is the first day of school today. My youngest started his first year of high school. In 3 weeks, my daughter leaves for Ireland. She will be there for a year to complete her MA in Modern English Lit. I am excited, but I am also a bit sad. It is hard for me to think of her being so far away. Some days I feel like I am caught up in this tremendous whirlwind and things are spinning so fast, I can't possibly get my bearings and I can't make anything slow down. How is it that I can be 46? Enough for this day!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

So. I am now a blogger. Hmmmm. Just finished my 2 mile walk and thought I would write some things I thought about as I walked, but now it seems that I really don't care to do that any longer, so I think I'll go home and make some tacos and down a few margaritas and just let myself try to relax--something that I am definitely not good at doing!