Art, Marriage, Poetry, Uncategorized

THE FARM REPORT

He enters the kitchen,
his skin glistens and
the pungent smell of movement
pushed against the early morning greets me.

I am happy to see him.
He pulls me against his sweaty clothes,
so I fuss as he tightens his embrace –
a thoroughly pleasant ritual.

He gives me our subdivision’s farm report.
“I saw six Harvey* Juniors,
three squished toads
and one lizard entering our garage.”

I pat the stomach of my walking Buda
before he moves toward the shower.
Grand gestures inside a marriage are less
about flowers and candy than acknowledgement

as bare feet stand against worn walking shoes
on kitchen tile on an ordinary day.
Great men need not lead a charge or
command a Fortune Five-Hundred business.

Great men are aware,
count Harveys, toads and lizards,
embrace family,
recognize all joy is in the present.

*Harvey: the fictional rabbit friend of Jimmy Stewart in the movie Harvey.

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Art, Poetry, Uncategorized

KA DOORS

KA DOORS—Ann’s 2016 Christmas Poem
[Ka (pronounced kah) is a spiritual entity believed to live within the body during life and to survive it after death. The ka and ba were spiritual entities everyone possessed.]

Egyptian mythology knew ba and ka,
and so do we who mind-wander
beside carved doors touching memories
as real as hieroglyphs in tombs.

Ka doors were false, opening only to the gods.
Weak-kneed and grieving, you held me up by the ka door more than once.
I am grateful for those of you who stayed, some for a lifetime.
My leaded glass door is hinged; “Come on by, y’all.”

If it is true that ka can be passed with a hug,
the Southern life suits enthusiasts willing their life force
into family, friends and kindred spirits.
Personal space exists for the lonely.

My west, front door is blue—fen shui incorrect.
Like the Irish rebels who refused to paint their doors black,
I love opening my blue door to my ka-hugging friends
who sing, laugh, love children, and live passionately.

New friends, I only have one rule in my home—
display good will or leave; the greatest betrayal is to be unkind.
Expressive, barefoot, and existentially relevant memories thrive in my NOW.
I chisel one hieroglyph in my ka door—thanks.

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Aging, Personhood, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized

bylines ᾽round my eyes

who I am and all I’ve known,

engraved experience on a fleshy pallet,

those bylines ᾽round my eyes

 

Ownership of and living happily with our aging process is existential.  Either we have done our character homework over the years or we struggle to find joy and maintain relationships.

I have given this a great deal of thought with the political campaigns.  Hillary Clinton was born 10-26-47 and Donald Trump on 6-14-46.  They are not going to evolve into anything more than who they are.  Character set.  Game on.  The best they have to offer us are their flamboyant examples of what happens to people who choose certain paths early in life and become exactly what they wanted to be.  Goals accomplished.  In the petri dish of life, we are viewing specimens who prove how set character is by this age.

I worked for a gerontologist years ago.  He said the elderly are extremes—the happiest or saddest, angriest or kindest, most generous or stingiest, most judgmental or forgiving, absolutely honest or dishonest, loudest or softest, etc.  When our beauty fades, intellect dulls a little, and the power afforded us by work or community involvement is lessened, all that is left is our personhood—the real us.

I have worried since my 20’s about who I was going to be as a grown-up at age 75 or 80.  Some of my work has been successful and some of my character flaws were baked into my DNA.  I’ve arrived at this senior status with gray hair and extra pounds—far from the 20-something in a bikini and shag haircut.  I like this older me better.

My friends are present with wisdom, creativity and an interest in leaving the best world possible for the next generation.  They understand we have two responsibilities: mentoring and expression.

The past cannot be rewritten.  The future is short compared to where we were a couple decades ago.

Be joyful.  It is good for who you are becoming.

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Country, Peace, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized

FUGU

                    FUGU

Celebrate freedom of speech,

ideas spewed against the tide.

Frightening, strong, in defense of right,

or hateful and wrong—

schools of thought swimming

toward the light and

prejudices bottom-feeding

‘till persistence creates law.

If we follow a bully pufferfish,

democracy dies on poison spikes.

Feed the blue planet fugu—

love swallowed and hate discarded.

                  

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Poetry

Kansas Day

Grand, brown woman,
saltwater bathed,
tidal wave charged,
shell and creature
washed into her pores.
Prismed crystals
of the ice gods
fingered and forged
a sculpted matron—
scape touching sky.

Lady Kansas
smiled at the wind
and nurtured another
seedling—remedy
for bruises and scars.

Kansas bore the world
zealots and statesmen,
artists and dullards,
natives and explorers.
She mothered them all.

We from her belly
stood on her chest
admiring her wholeness.
With our hands on her heart,
she completed us.

And if we stood
long enough on
any rise, we could see
Kansas, the terra firma
of time, breathe.

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Poetry

If I Were To Write One Last Poem

My morbid thoughts as I face surgery next week.

           IF I WERE TO WRITE ONE LAST POEM

If I were to write one last poem before I die,
what theme would thread the needle’s eye?
Oh, that needle carved from bone, year by year—
the head bone that opened my mother’s womb,
the marrow muddied by deaths and heartbreak,
and the needle’s eye forged by purpose.

The bone—the strength of a needle—fabricated a life.
Look for the signature stitched on the hem of a full life!  Look closer!
How foolish to write a memoir; I know the plot twists.
Few would care about honey dripping down wallpaper long ago,
the first time I was caught in the Atlantic’s undertow,
horrid and heavenly marriages, my footsteps on other continents,
sailing ancient seas, caregiving, clubs, schools,
riding motorbikes, failed perfection at keyboards,
climbing the mulberry tree, my hammer marks on a DIY deck,
and feeding chipmunks by the lake.

Perhaps my story has been written in ink and paint.
Why stress over abuses still living in my nightmares?
Why boast of obscure achievements
(wins time has erased in other’s minds)?
What fun it would be to leave shocking secrets of lovers

never shared with the judgmental—such good stories!
I could pen letters to those I have loved all their lives;
my profound conclusion: the reward for loving the entitled
has never been predicated on reciprocation.  My joy.  Their loss.
To be honest, I do not care much about anyone’s opinion of me.
I have known great passion and lived with integrity.
My life.  My way.
My mistakes were not malicious, just lessons learned at great cost.
I am the freedom of flesh and the strength of bone.  I am the needle.
My ramblings settle on this theme for my poem—my life:
celebrate humanity (flesh) threaded through boney, messy wisdom.

When young, I believed wisdom was shiny like Olympic gold.
Wisdom rises from the muck calloused and dirty
like a warrior returning from the front lines—
bone stitching gratitude to memories of love, beauty and hope.
The reward of wisdom follows the sacrifice of innocence.  Always.
Embrace the needle.  Be creative.  Live without regret.

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