Monday, June 24, 2013

Berry Therapy

Mud splatters. 
Tears run. 
Houses wreck. 
Men rape.

Soldiers pillage. 
Girls rip. 
Water rises. 
Drought ruins. 

Crops fail. 
Floods roil. 
Wind whirls. 
Sun bakes. 

Icebergs melt. 
Lakes disappear. 
Holes open. 
Babies die. 

Love ends. 
Preachers abuse. 
Saints quit. 
Farmers cry. 

Workers won't. 
Honeybees die.
Soil withers. 
Guns kill. 

Boys steal. 
Siblings fight. 
Children starve. 
Horses founder. 

Whales beach. 
Factories pollute. 
Trash grows.
Oil spills. 

Banks fail. 
Schools unravel.
Stocks plummet.
Books languish.

Pesticides persist. 
Seeds mutate.
Technology advances.
News distorts. 

My heart quakes
with helpless futility -
So I pick berries for 
hope and sanity. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013


You hold sweet 
water to my lips. 

I see myself mirrored -
the one you adore

in the bulging tension
quivering in ecstasy. 

The surface skin 
wants broken to 

release life giving 
goodness to me.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Glenworkshop East 2013

I threw up on the plane in a 
little blue bag I borrowed from 
my neighbor, who I woke from 
sleep to save my honor and the 
necks and laps and seats 
in my vicinity. 

Brandy's smile greeted each 
and every one of us on the 
stone steps of North Rocky.
This smile greased the hinges 
on the door into the unknown. 

Inside, Tyler, Nicole, and Anna Joy
pointed me to a room where I slept 
until keys and cards and rooms were 
assigned. I left drool on the
blue couch where the light comes 
in the tall paned windows. 

My bas bleu bohémien 
teacher gave Montaigne 
much attention, leaving us
wanting more on every score.
She gave books out like prophetic
prescriptions, saying, "Do you know....?"
or, "You must read....." 
I don't know who midwifed and booked
our hungry hearts and minds better, 
Warren or Patricia. 

I left kisses on the lips of 
the bereft, cranky, recently 
widowed one, and 
the lesbian who came out of a 
long relationship straight. 
I wanted to leave hugs and kisses for 
the other single girls to unpack 
when they too opened their doors 
to an empty house. 

I saw a green shoot growing between 
stones, an impossible, inhospitable place
lacking soil. 

I saw kaleidoscope cracks in the 
sun roof over the library.

My thoughts twirled as I pondered 
them in the quiet octagon room 
set with round windows.  

I saw empty pews in the chapel and 
empty card catalogues in the library. 

I saw myself through the camera 
lens of a pair of loving eyes. 

I heard poetry, learned new words, 
heard words of life, wiped tears, 
and sang with friends old and new. 

I heard broken apologies and saw grace

We celebrated new work being published. 

We hovered over silent auction offerings. 

We broke bread together. 

We raised our glasses. 

Tin whistle tunes haunted the halls. 

Songs and plays were pieced together 
like Sedrick's quilts.

Self portraits stared out at the crowd 
well pleased with themselves. 

I learned that I may write bad poetry and
immature essays, take amateur photos,
and piece a beginner's quilt as a starting
place, knowing that I will grow from 
here because I'm willing to be 
easy being imperfect. It's OK 
to try something hard, new, 
and keep on trying to master
 the mess anyways. 

We left with this one last imperative 
wedged inside a song -  
"Leave the edges wild."  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Framed Raw

Carol is in the Glenworkshop East Photography class with Michael Wilson. One of their assignments was to ask a stranger to sit for pictures. My reaction was to say no. But I had promised myself to say yes to opportunities this week - even uncomfortable, scary, disturbing ones.

I am always on the other end of the camera, an amateur who is learning to see. I fall in love with what I frame through the lens's eye. Being on the other end where a strange eye can examine me is uncomfortable. I wasn't sure she would love what she saw.

She didn't spring on me and start snapping. We conversed and learned a little about each other. I started trusting her when she led me to Mt. Holyoke's magestic library. She correctly intuited that it would be a comfortable place to start. The atmosphere soothed and relaxed me.

I wanted to put myself in her hands and let her capture the me that is, not the me that should be. For one shot on the window seat, Carol asked me why I wanted to clasp the pillow to my stomach. Wasn't it obvious that I should try to hide and cover my obesity?  She saw the natural light pouring through the glass roof onto my head.

When the shutter clicked I imagined God's eye winking at me, his beloved, just as I am.

Curtesy Carol Sybenga

Saturday, June 8, 2013

European Starling

I saw a picture of a Europeon Starling on Maureen's Facebook feed. The bird wasn't black, disappointing, or disappointed with it's lot in life as one of the worst nuisances of the world. Every tip of every feather has luminescent tips of green, purple, aqua, pink, and blue. Peacock colors made it look photoshopped. Maybe our starlings have jeweled feathers too, but we don't have eyes to see?

You have luminous feathers too. I see them.