Friday, April 24, 2015

"U" is for Uptick . . .

What would spring be
without an uptick of tulips,
azaleas, clematis, and wisteria?
Those pale, green leaves that slowly
open on slender, spreading branches of willow trees,
all harbingers of warmer days?

A writer could wish for 
a sudden increase of words to spell
out the rest of her story,
a satisfactory resolution,
no pesky villains, 
unresolved threads,
with the heroine safely home,
perhaps where she wants to be?
Or is the muse waiting
for a downtick of seasons;
when we dread
our darkest dreams?

Today, such a debate doesn't matter,
for the words spilled out just fine,
the story structure shimmers,
and I can yet enjoy this
very sweet and cherished spring.

Wisteria at Longwood Gardens (Camp 2014)
Didn't think I could catch up today . . . but I'm happy to present this little poem for the letter "U" -- which means tomorrow will be "W" and I can have Sunday off, perhaps to recover from that all-day workshop on quilting I'll be taking. Enjoy!

Now hop over to that Blogging A-to-Z Challenge to see what everyone's UP to HERE.

"T" is for Tenacity . . .

To wake,
when others sleep.
To turn my face to the sun.
To persevere.
After all, 
even an old mermaid
has her dreams
of limitless sea
and rolling surf,
and diving deep
where heartsong thrums as simply
as breathing water
as once we all did
before that world we left behind,
as a child walks forward
into each day,
not looking back.

The merry month of April will soon end, as will the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge. Read HERE to find what others have written.

"Mermaid" by George (Flickr

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"S" is for Still . . .

Sometimes being still
means not listening.
Can I hear my heart beat?
A single breath and hold:
let go
of awareness, the yoga pose
yet that balance between
discipline (the doing),
being (the self), a part of
not-being (the not-self),
and becoming
A flash of wings,
my eyelids close,
and I remember the
song of sparrows.

"Sparrow" by Micola (Flickr)

Still a little tired from the drive up from Oregon home, still one day late on that Blogging A-to-Z Challenge. Maybe I will catch up on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"R" is for Roughing It

When the fur traders crossed the mountains,
they traveled light,
pemmican, guns, tin plate and tin cup. 
Their ponies belly-deep in snow,
they wore snowshoes when the horses gave out.
They ate their moccasins when the game hid,
made friends and found wives when they could,
traded twists of tobacco for furs, 
drank rotgut at isolated posts, 
sang ribald songs to forget the bone-cold
and the howls of wolves.

Sometimes I wonder what they thought about
as they scanned the skies for sudden storms
or the ground for tracks.
They must have missed those left behind. 
Did they marvel at sweeping vistas,
unending pine forests, or stare up at the stars?
They must have worried about the miles ahead,
signs of an early winter, an unhealed cut,
frozen fingers and toes.
They might have wintered over at a trading post,
hunkered by the fire, trading stories, gambling,
passing a bottle. But when the snow melted, 
they would lurch outside,
sniff the air in all directions,
eager to leave.

I still get the itch to hit the road in the summer, to throw the tent in the trunk and all that camping gear, to hike along a trail anywhere close to wilderness. 

Read what others have written for the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge HERE.

Mystery bird at Yellowstone (Camp)
click on photo to see in more detail 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Q" is for Quandry . . .

Half-asleep, I wrote yesterday's poem,
the lines lost as I recover
from all-day driving north and home,
one car in a line of trucks.

My quandry for a poem today 
could be fixed between quotations, 
as Natalie Goldberg says: 
"Write what disturbs you, 
what you fear, 
what you have not yet 
been willing to speak about." 

Or my uncertainty could be a form
of querulousness, 
tired feet, tired hands, tired
body and mind. I do not know
you, dear reader, well enough yet
to reveal what Goldberg demands.

What leads writers to flog the keyboard,
cajoling meaning
from this perfect day:
chokeberries flower in full, white bloom,
while sparrows build nests,
their incessant chirping a trill of sound
I hear and cannot decode,
all a backdrop to an unresolved quandry.  
Perhaps tomorrow?

Yes, I am tired tonight, but moving back on track after traveling all yesterday. Maybe tomorrow, the letter "R" will be more receptive. 

See what others have written for that Blogging A-to-Z Challenge HERE.

Meme from The Write Practice
"10 Essential Quotes on Becoming a Writer"
by Joe Bunting

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"P" is for Perhaps . . .

Perhaps this morning I'm standing
in someone else's garden,
where later under the just flowering apple tree,
humming birds will gather, and
a stone salamander sleeps,
absent of friends.
The roses are not yet blooming,
but yellow primroses brighten the corners,
as does a line of colored tiles
gathered one by one. A serape casually draped
on a garden swing in the far corner
near pale pink rhododendrons
invites reflection.
Here and there, stone owls
and a raven stand guard
as the sky softens from gray
to pink morning, 
that moment before the world begins.
Even rain does not diminish
the light of this garden
where now the golden-crowned sparrow
forages in the grass.

Friday, April 17, 2015

"O" is for Online . . .

Do they have wifi?
We're on the road,
a different place each night,
but still connected, I think,
and protected, that upward link
to those I love. 
So busy, inbox full,
all those projects half completed,
smart phones humming,
slide fingers to discover
new options. Wait! I have just
the right answer here
. . . at my fingertips.
Were you listening?

Actually, my phone is dumb
and dumber;
we're unplugged
except for once a day.
Maybe this poem
is all that keeps me

Short poem today for that Blogging A to Z Challenge HERE, as another hotel breakfast awaits, then a little packing and a drive south to Corvallis. If it's Friday, that means just one more day before Portland. And here are two wonderful photos found on Flickr by Wendell, the first taken near Corvallis, Oregon, and the second, also by Wendell, for a friend I'll see later today who loves birds.

"A Chance of Rain" by Wendell (Flickr)

"Make Room" by Wendell (Flickr)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Not Here . . .

Not here, but there,
where yesterday resides.
I am visiting this rainy country
for a few, very few days,
not enough time
for more than half-remembered,
years-old conversations to resonate
as we drive up and back
along the 99W corridor,
dipping into concentric circles
of friends known once quite well,
the sweep of the Willamette Valley
rising to coastal mountains in the west,
Marys Peak, a gray shadow,
and unexpected sunshine ahead.
By the weekend, we’ll turn north
and home, feeling stretched,
a little unravelled, well-travelled,
yet still here and there.

"On Marys Peak" by Chris Ten Eyck (Flickr)

I've hiked on Marys Peak near Corvallis, but not this time. We're on the road again and headed to Portland and Fort Vancouver for research on the Hudson's Bay Company for that third book, and, yes, visiting friends along the way. I'm trying to keep up with that poem a day for the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge. Visit HERE to see what others have written.