Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sketching November ... For Poetry Thursday

Maples in November

Gray days in November bring about feelings of melancholy for me. The bright colors of spring, summer and fall are hidden, waiting for the planet's tilt to bring the sun once more over the northern hemisphere, when the explosion of color will begin again, taking us into the warmer seasons.

Sketching November

Eyes trace limbs
Across a somber sky

I draw lines staining
An emptiness no hand can fill

It's not the trees I desire
Only the murmur of leaves


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Mother's legacy ... for one deep breath

Mom before her diagnosis playing "choo choo" with great grandson Noah

The prompt on One Deep Breath this week is "legacy." Here is haibun about my favorite teacher, my mom.

At 83, she has lung cancer, emphysema and a host of other small dilemmas grinding away at her her body. The cancer has been treated with chemo. It’s dimished but not gone ... still hanging in there in one small spot.

tangled in her breathing tube
she says *#@+
then giggles

shrugs and smiles
confesses a great life
laughs at the smallest provocation

“Chemo brain fog,” renders her confused and shaky. It may get better with time, but probably not ... especially if she decides to do more chemo. She’s taking a break now. Will reconsider in three months after the next scan.

losing names dates
forgetting fouls the road
confusing conversation

I ask her to give me her keyes. Anger at first, then peace, as if she’s relieved. Now she says it’s the best thing she has done for herself ... is celebratory.

her spirit shines
through clouded days
she is my mother

teaching her children
hope eternal love


Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks

We return thanks to our mother, the Earth
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
which has looked upon the Earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Chicken Soup ... for One Deep Breath

river in autumn

The brothers arrive today from New England for Thanksgiving. last week I cooked up a pot of chicken soup for anyone who shows signs of cold or flu while they're here .... my grandmother's recipe .... so delicious and warming. It's filled with carrots, onions, parsnips, brown rice and tender chicken. We'll have it for dinner tonight with crunchy sour dough and a big tossed salad. Perfect for a chilly autumn evening!!

smell of chicken soup
warming on the stove
grandma’s penicillin
for soothing scratchy throats

Look for more haiku here describing sensory pleasures!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fall Meadow

Most of the leaves are gone from the trees now ... the meadow fades to gold, bronze, brown, shades of beige ... colors of the season 'til warm sun and spring rain bring the grasses alive and the world turns green once again. The wood across the river displays lines of trunks and branches. Mounds of mountain laurel remain green through the cold and at night a few lights from several houses across the water whisper that others live here too.

I've called friend Phil and he'll come with his tractor sometime in the next weeks to mow the meadow down. I have this done every fall to keep the blackberries, honeysuckle, kudzu and oriental bittersweet at bay. I may have it cut again in the spring after the first flush of growth and I determine that these highly invasive species are getting out of "control." I hate doing it but I want to keep some space open for native grasses and wild flowers that would be gone if I let the others take over.

When we first moved here almost 6 years ago, the meadow was a "lawn" of weeds, cut weekly. We have let it grow except for the paths and the annual cutting. The varieties of wild flowers has increased and so have the blackberries which attract a multitude of birds and small mammals to feast throughout the summer.

I try to keep the meadow looking tidy and to provide some habitat for the local population of wild creatures. The growth also keeps silt from running off into the river from this piece of land. But I also fool myself ... I can't, don't control much here. The bittersweet I spotted growing down on the river bank wasn't there last year ... this is the first I've seen of it in that location and it was most likely carried there by a gentle song bird ... perhaps a cardinal or the mockingbird that lives in the cedar tree down by my mother's door. The river continues to silt in and change from day to day ... the birds come and go with the seasons.

faded goldenrod

For now I enjoy the fading meadow, notice the bent grasses where the deer sleep at night and look forward to the first snow fall that will render what I see out my window an entirely different landscape.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sunset On The River

sunset on the river

Sunsets are extremely beautiful here on the Rivanna during October and early November. As the sun lowers behind us in the west, the trees on the the east bank flare up like a massive bonfire ... the slow moving river catches every glint and flicker as the day comes to an end. We sit and watch, saluting each spark with a sip of wine and gratitude for our special place in this world.

Tonight we will also raise a glass to the changes that are about to begin taking place in our country. Yesterday's elections were a call to change the way we conduct ourselves in this world. I pray that those who have been elected will be able to bring peace and hope to our entire global community.

There was one major dissapointment. The marriage ammendment defining a marriage as a union between a man and a woman, will be attached to our state constitution. There will be no allowance for men or women of the same sex, living together, to enjoy the conveniences of living a loving life together ... whether they are sexually active together or not. This ammendment will effect everyone. Unmarried sisters, for instance, living together will no longer be able to will their belongings to each other, make medical decisions for each other and so on. Hopefully, this is not the end of the story.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween Haibun ... for One Deep Breath

This week's prompt for One Deep Breath is to write Haibun ... a combination of prose and haiku. Here is my contribution along with photos of the pumpkin carving my grandkids did while visiting us on the Outer Banks just before Halloween. Find more examples of haibun here.


Blue Sky ... mild ocean breezes. Deena makes the first cut. Aha, a lid!! Zoe and Noah scoop stringy innards, draw faces with magic markers on bumpy skin. Deena wields her knife once more, cuts eyes, a nose, a mouth with missing teeth. Sun fills the empty shell!!

orange orb
filled with slimy seeds
a glowing jack-o-lantern

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Photography Exhibition ... for Poetry Thursday

Yes, I'm back and I will post some photos from my vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina sometime in the next couple of days. It was a wonderfully relaxing time but I'm glad to be home.

This week's prompt for Poetry Thursday is to reflect on a favorite line of poetry or quote. I wrote this poem a number of years ago when I was deeply involved in exhibiting my photos. The above image is the invitation to my last exhibition in 1998.

Photography Exhibition

How can I say things that are pictures?
Tony Morrison

Split second

Flooded with light


Portraits of myself
Behind the lens


Hung like clothes
In the sun
To dry