Looking Woven

Finding A Voice

There is quiet but not silence
Follow the rhythm of breathing
Blink with rustling of eyelashes
Hear the humming of hearts beating

Creaking joints as positions shift
There is quiet but not silence
A small murmur of discomfort
Introspection on world violence

Look inward at private struggles
Lips move as prayers remain wordless
There is quiet but not silence
Kindness surrounds with forgiveness

Still our tongues to hear the message
Put aside human defiance
Listen to Love softly whisper
There is quiet but not silence

This is a French form, a Quatern, having 16 lines written in 4 quatrains with 8 syllables per line. The first line of the 1st quatrain becomes the second line of the 2nd quatrain, the third line of the 3rd quatrain, and finally the last line of the 4th quatrain. To satisfy the requirements of Wea’ve Written Weekly (W3) as Kerfe’s directions specify a poem of 16 lines or less with the first line and the last line are identical.

Looking for Calm

There is a tendency to dwell in the eye of the storm. I seek that oasis while chaos swirls. I’m not alone in that desire to escape. Right now I feel that life is tilting and sliding me away from comfort. The way I deal with upheaval must reveal some sort character strength or flaw that will bring down judgement on my head. Being mindful of the consequences of my actions, I have evaluated my response to unpleasantness.

1. I have an overly developed flight response. I prefer to avoid confrontation if at all possible.
2. I try to use my words. I believe in détente and compromise to avoid conflict.
3. Physical confrontation is not in my repertoire. I outgrew that by the time I reached middle school. That said I will defend myself. And I will fight “dirty”.
4. My belief in the goodness of mankind is not often shaken in my day to day interactions. That said, I cringe and my soul writhes when I view the turmoil in this world.

Thus I am conflicted. I don’t like seeing the hurt or knowing the details of the torment but I am compelled by conscience to be informed. My instinct is to turn away. A little Tanka to close out this post:

I question my God
When justice isn’t enough
For the scarred and scared
Will the wounded ever heal
Can love mend the divided

Looking at Longing

With sun in my eyes
Evade my gaze, look away
Away from what is or was
Wake me
Always from dreams
I attempt still weary
To find a searching heart
Longing for a golden ring
One special companion
Venture into a future
Even as the past follows

A little acrostic for your reading pleasure. How is it that humans are never satisfied? We find the smallest thing and are intent on possessing it. We pin our whole happiness on that one thing. For some it is a car and others a wedding ring. Some desire wealth, fame, education, praise, those intangible things while others want a motorcycle, a computer, the latest iPhone, that one pair of tennis shoes. And when they get what they wanted find it isn’t enough. I have found that true happiness is a sense of gratitude and satisfaction wrapped in connections with others.

Looking Sexy

I played with the form known as the Jue Ju or Jueju (depending on the poetry site you use). This form is from the Chinese which they consider a “modern” type since it isn’t as old as the oldest Chinese forms. But I digress. The Jueju is a 4 line poem that consists of 5 or 7 word signs that when converted to English can either mean 5 or 7 words per lines OR 5 or 7 syllables per line. The poem uses compact language to maximize meaning. This form is often erotic. So for your enjoyment – a sexy Jueju!

His clothes slowly, carelessly dropped
She watched breathless, blushing, bedside
Her eyes cast downward paused
He gathered clothes for laundry

Now before you are too disappointed in this teaser. I just want all the guys to know that there is absolutely nothing sexier to a woman than a man who can decrease her work load. If a guy can find the laundry basket with his dirty clothes, help wash the dishes, give the kids a bath… that man has engaged in the most wonderful foreplay known to woman!

As an aside, I’m going to be traveling for the next 10 days. I’m geocaching with Sparky across Utah hitting 5 National Parks in 8 days. It has been my experience that cell reception and internet connections are spotty at best and completely unreliable as the norm. If I’m absent from your sites and there are no comments from me do not despair. I will attempt to drop in as I can on the road and I’ll try my best to catch up once I return! See you all on the 25th!

Looking at the Great Escape

I’m stepping out of darkness
The workers cheer and encourage my escape
Take a chance and shed the stress
Turn in my key, life reshape
See hope rising over a brighter landscape

This poem is for David ben Alexander’s W3 collaboration. The prompt this week is to write a poem that includes some form of the word ‘hope’. I chose to write a Lira which is a poem of 5 lines with a syllable count of 7/11/7/7/11 with a rhyme scheme of a/b/a/b/b.

I am coming up to the 3 year anniversary of my retirement from full time employment. I was at that job for 28 years, 26 of them working for a woman who made Voldemort look like a saint! There were some pretty dark times. There were points when I wanted to quit but I stuck it out for the sake of my children. That is, for the educational benefit where the university would pay half of what tuition cost to attend there, toward the tuition at any other 4 year college/university. In effect my sons attended for 8 semesters (and a couple of summer sessions) for free. They are the only ones in their friend circles who are free of educational debt. As soon as that benefit was used up, I started looking for a way out. I was stymied and sabotaged several times by the big boss. I outlasted SWMNBN (She Who Must Not Be Named) and finally was given an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Although I’m still working there, it is on my terms and at my convenience. And besides I just got a 14% pay raise without even asking!

Looking Artsy

Back at the end of February, which seems a lifetime ago. a friend from my Xanga days mentioned on FB that she had put together an art book and wanted some volunteers to add their art on the pages. I jumped up and down waving my arm in the air shouting “Pick me! Pick me!” And she did. Sandra aka Harpo’s Mark, bound the little book and decorated the cover with a collage. As you can see the cover is beautiful.

She also did the first page with amazing prints and even a poem! Which I realized would be hard to follow.

Thankfully I was not the next to get the book. That honor went to another ex-Xangan, Beth aka Seedsower. She does doodle art that is outstanding! I have a cross she did and have it framed in my guest room. She put together a Valentine themed page (since she had it in February).

I had been thinking about the page for several weeks and had tried to come up with a theme to no avail. When it arrived in the mail I knew there was a time crunch. With the pressure on I was still unable to find something to get excited about. Then I had a dream. I dreamt about mermaids. Perhaps it was watching the movie “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. Maybe it was from the anticipation of my trip to Florida. Either way I just knew I wanted to do a mermaid.
This is what it looked like before I glued down all the kelp or fixed the mermaid to the background. This next photo shows some of the details I added – fish and other sea creatures.
This last one shows the addition of the octopus and the senyru poem. I apologize for the horrible photography. Taking photos is not a skill I have developed…

The poem reads:
Tentacles tickle
Melusine mirth-bubbles rise
Waking dreams of depths
As soon as the glue dried (under a ton of dictionaries) I was able to add it to the blank page and send it on to the next artist!

Looking Blind

Here it comes – the last entry for the NPM Flex Scavenger Hunt using prompt #13 – Write a Rant Prose poem or write about blindness. I haven’t ranted in quite awhile so I might be a little rusty…

Blind ambition
Blind love, blind justice
Blind rage and blind fury
The whole of the human race just stumbling around
I’m there too groping my way through life
A cave spider following a silken thread
Is it my thread or someone else’s?
I want to believe I’m in charge but I can’t see
The future, the past, and the present is
A jumble of sounds, smells, vibrations in the air
Bombs exploding, the smell of death approaching
I delude myself by saying I can see
And I do see – dust and dirty dishes, clock hands
Tasks and chores and age stalking me
Then I realize I’ve kept my spirit eyes closed tight
Because I don’t want to see the hungry and homeless
The poor, the traumatized, those fleeing war,
The marginalized and the corpses left to rot in the street
I am afraid to look because I just might see me

I can’t think of anything quite as terrifying as blindness. The possibility looms. All kinds of things can cause loss of sight. Some avoidable and many accidental and capricious in who will be affected. As afraid of physical blindness I confess to be, there is another blindness that is worse. When we lose sight in our “spirit eyes”. That is when we cannot see the goodness in the world. When we become blind to the divine spark in others. This kind of vision is being eradicated in this world. And it scares the bejeezus out of me. Even when physically blind, the soul can see the glory of creation. When I consider what heaven must be, I think that it is where love, hope, kindness, compassion, sympathy, praise, and thanksgiving and gratitude are made visible. Not to be seen with the eyes but with the heart and soul. My hope is that the eyes of the soul never lose the ability to see clearly…

Looking for Healing

This is my entry for the NPM Flex Scavenger Hunt using the 12th prompt – Write a Waltmarie poem or write about healing. The Waltmarie is a 10 line poem where the even numbered lines are 2 syllables
and the odd numbered lines have no restriction on syllables. There is no requirement for rhyme but the even numbered lines when read sequentially form their own mini-poem.

In medicine disease is a condition
True health
Is conferred by power of salvation
Of self
Blocking havoc and disorder
Through sleep
Illness traps grace at the dream border
My wealth
The gift of honest confession
I keep

Well, this month has been a very busy one what with NPM (writing all this poetry) and Easter and all that entails. I have been zealously guarding my sleep time. When I don’t get my rest I feel out of sorts all day. Although I fall asleep easily, lately I’ve been waking up often. My Fitbit confirms that my sleep quality has been suffering. I think I’ve figured out the issue, I’ve been worrying about things that I have no control over. This worry has now been shrugged off and placed at God’s feet. Relieved of this burden, my slumber has improved in quality and I feel renewed and refreshed. And so it goes – I forget that my physical health is intimately tied to my spiritual health. Once that is restored, the headaches, tension, and uneasiness evaporate.

I also had the opportunity to try out a new recipe for Beer Roasted Chicken. We had this lone can of beer in the fridge since Super Bowl Sunday. Since I’m not a beer drinker and Sparky prefers other brands, I decided to make use of it. The recipe is thus:
1 whole chicken
1 can beer
salt and pepper

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Rub skin with salt and pepper. Open can of beer and place chicken over the can being sure to insert it into the body cavity far enough to stabilize the chicken. Place chicken in baking dish with high sides to stabilize the bird. Cover with foil. Bake at 350F for 3 – 3.5 hours. Remove foil and brown for another 10 minutes.
The only tricky part was getting the beer can out. Luckily that wasn’t too difficult with 3 people helping (granted one was taking the photos for me). The meat was tender and moist and the best part was that it didn’t taste like beer!

Looking But Not Understanding

This is my 11th NPM 22 Flex Scavenger Hunt prompt – Write an Ottava Rima or write on the theme of vision. The Ottava Rima is an Italian form with an 8 line stanza having 11 syllables per line and a rhyme scheme of: abababcc.

All men look to the sky when they cannot sleep
Search the stars and void of space for answers there
Attempt to unravel mysteries so deep
With clear vision reveal God to others, share
In the morning bleary eyes saw angels weep
Hallucinations, demons the crowds declare
In their disbelief they run from what was seen
Calling what the visionaries saw obscene

We are a cynical and skeptical race. We require proof positive and concrete evidence. This permeates all aspects of life from our courts of law to our science labs and even in our relationships with others. And yet we pick and choose what we will believe proclaiming that our version is truth and all other versions are lies. Often our belief is based on word of mouth that would not pass muster in a courtroom. This faith comes and goes, it waxes and wanes. Would we believe based on another’s testimony or do we need to see and hear and feel for ourselves? And even then, having a first hand experience, would we understand what we saw?

I am not having an existential crisis. I am however wondering how I perceive the truth and evaluating how I process information. Is it a shift in my perceptions? I don’t think so but it is a fair bit of navel gazing. Which far too many people forego. I think we need to do a little introspection from time to time and be open to seeing a different point of view.

Looking Wooden

Angry joints held stiff at right angles
Physical attitude tells all
Mother holds the wooden spoon
She’s poised to mete out blows
Compassion stops her
Arms akimbo
Discontent
Elbows
Bent

This is my latest for the NPM 22 Flex Scavenger Hunt for prompt #10 – Write a Nonet poem or write a poem using the words “joint” and “bent”. The nonet is a count down poem that starts with a line of 9 syllables and each following line is reduced by one syllable. There are no requirements for rhyme or meter.

And now the rest of the story: Sparky has a t-shirt that he found at Goodwill that all of his siblings covet. It has a drawing of a wooden spoon with the words “Wooden Spoon Survivor” emblazoned across the front.

Sparky is one of 6 kids and his mother had her hands full with 4 children in 3 years! To maintain order she was liberal in her use of the wooden spoon. Her reasoning at the time was if one was in trouble it was a sure bet that the others were in on it or were at fault for not trying to stop the activity. The sound of the utensil drawer in the kitchen being jerked open sent terror through the hearts of Sparky and his siblings. Even today the ka-chunk-ka of that drawer results in a sharp intake of breath. The kids would have to line up and put their hands on the kitchen table edge and several swift swats with the spoon would be applied to their backsides. They eventually aged out of that punishment and have straightened up and flown right ever since. This group punishment did accomplish one thing. They all became their brother’s keepers. They were quick to divert inappropriate behavior among younger siblings (mostly for self preservation), were always watching out for each other, and it also gave them a one for all and all for one mindset.