Monday, February 26, 2007

Color Haiku

Stems bear evidence
Winter's red points direction
Serenity found

Murky color day
Showers drop brief impressions
Pebbles hide beneath

For more color visti others at One Deep Breath.

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Father’s morning ritual
Coffee, cigarettes, newspaper
Crossword puzzle, word scramble
Letters from a scrabble game
Arranged and re-arranged until
The scrambled word appears
Occasional phone call
Four states away
“What’s a five letter word for…?”
most of the time I had no answer
Whole mornings consumed
Puzzles solved

I was inspired by Regina's post about her mother and puzzles. Want more on puzzles? Click here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Body Knows

The body knows
Secrets of the night
Hears whispers, feels caresses
Syncopated breathing

Secrets of the night
Candlelight flickers, shadows dance
Syncopated breathing
Sleepy souls spoon

Candlelight flickers, shadows dance
Sounds linger, fade away
Sleepy souls spoon
As the tide is rising

Sounds linger, fade away
Draping arm pulls the body closer
As the tide is rising
Gibbous moon appears

Draping arm pulls the body closer
Hears whispers, feels caresses
Gibbous moon appears
The body knows

I discovered the poem form, the pantoum, as I was judging the poetry books for the CYBILS Award. The form has been percolating in me. For more poetry, click here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Rosemary Fibs and a Little Weather As Well

A favorite herb
Mediterranean Flavor

Pungent Herb
Lingers on my hands
Rosmarinus dew of the sea

It's Monday, 6 AM and the weather begs me to write just one more:

Trees swaying
Rain pelting the ground
Umbrellas flying from fingers

Create you own fib: There are only 2 rules. The first rule is the sequence of syllables which is 1/1/2/3/5/8. The second rule is that no one-syllable lines can contain an article (the, a, la, le, etc.)

For more fabulous fibs, click here.

Sunday Scribblings: Crush

Crush: “an intense and usually passing infatuation”

Paris, France, summer of ’69, it happened. Southern California girl, 17, meets east coast boarding school boy, four years my junior. “He’s your brother’s age”, a voice in my head repeated.
Sandy colored hair, freckles, and speaking flawless French, it was mutual attraction. A spark ignited at the first meeting. I had a boyfriend at home but here I was in France for six weeks. “He’s your brother’s age”, a voice in my head repeated.
Recent letters found confirm that within days of reaching Paris, I was already walking the streets with a boy. “He’s your brother’s age”, a voice in my head repeated.
We stole away to secret places at Lycee Michele, practicing French and smoking thin French cigarettes. At times, I melted and felt odd all at once. “He’s your brother’s age”, a voice in my head repeated.
The afternoon that he began talking to me about “speaking in tongues” was the afternoon that my crush began its fade. I was a Presbyterian girl. We did not speak in tongues (unless French kissing counted.) The whole idea of speaking gibberish, wailing and writhing seemed so foreign and weird. “He’s your brother’s age”, a voice in my head repeated.
I kept my distance as much as possible the remaining weeks. Staying in a group pack seemed the better option. Upon returning home, I received one letter from him, still wanting to keep in touch. An east coast boarding school scholar, the same age as my brother. I wonder what direction his life lead him.
Have you ever had a crush? Do you want to read more? Visit here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Prose Poetry

Well, first of all, let's sing a little "Happy Birthday" to Poetry Thursday. The are a year old today. What a challenge they put before all of us. (not nearly as bad as the mathematical proof)
Write a prose poem. I looked through my writing, thought of writing, and then decided to tried revising a poem I wrote over ten years ago. It was inspired by the vigil being held for Nicole Brown Simpson on the anniversary of her death.
Day Five

Oncoming traffic prevents her from turning left. She loses time. She loses place. She is the dutiful pupil remembering to look left, right, and then left again. Courthouse looms ahead but this is not her destination. She sees the temporary clothesline. More tee shirts line the stairs leading to the courtroom doors. She pulls over, stops the truck, jumps out. She needs a closer look, yet trembles as she walks toward the scene. Are you still hitting? After twenty years I am at peace I cannot take it anymore I live but my mommy does not
Tee-shirts flap as the wind whips them around. She loses time. She loses place. She weeps and flinches as the hand rests on her shoulder. “Would you like to make one?”
She takes a tee shirt and the pen:
When will it end? Her tee shirt flutters free. She wonders who felt violence during this brief, peaceful vigil.
As originally written:
Day Five
Oncoming traffic
she decides not to turn
left until 13th
at Franklin
She is the dutiful
school girl remembering to
look both directions
sees the
a clothesline of tee-shirts
lining the stairs
She stops the truck
jumps out
are you still hitting?
after twenty years, I am at peace
I can't take it anymore
I live but my mommy doesn't
unaware of the time
a hand rests
on her shoulder
would you like to make one?
She takes the tee shirt and the pen
when will it stop
two clothespins her tee shirt
flutters freely
who felt violence during this
peaceful vigil?
For more prose poetry, visit Poetry Thursday.

Fanconi Anemia, One of My Heroes, and Valentine's Day

A mother, three sons
Fanconi Anemia
Mother of two now

This is my friend and colleague, Peggy. Her eldest son, Jake, was away at college when he went to the doctor about a cold that he couldn't shake. Blood taken, tests run, and a life altering diagnosis given. Jake had Fanconi Amenia, a genetic disease of the blood. He would need a bone marrow transplant.

First stop, the sibling brothers. And an answer to prayers. Her youngest son, Spencer, was a perfect match. And then, the sky fell again. Further testing revealed that Spencer also had Fanconi Anemia. (Spencer is currently attends college and so far he is stabilized with the disease).

The months ahead were a roller coaster ride no family should have to take. A bone marrow donor was eventually found. Jake received the transplant but complications ensued. Jake passed from this world in November 2003.

Peggy is one of my heroes. Her dedication and commitment to finding a cure for FA is inspiring. The first spring without Jake, Peggy organized an benefit dinner and auction. It raised well over a hundred thousand dollars.

And then another idea came to her. Jake loved to run and why not create a running event in his memory. Thus the Valentine's Day 5K was born in 2005. It happens the Sunday before Valentine's Day. The run is growing up. This year, Peggy garnered major sponsors for the run. And this year the donations grew by a third from last year. Early totals show that over $31,000 was raised for research.

Valentine's Day was yesterday. Many of our staff wore the red shirts from this year's run in honor of Peggy and all her hard work.

For further information, here are some websites to check out:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day: Fifteen Years

Fifteen valentines
Anniversary today
Journey with best friend

The roses were waiting for me today(Tuesday) when I arrived home.
I do not know where time has fled. Our peaks, our valleys, and inbetweens, a wonderful journey.

I love these thoughts from Madeleine L'Engle"

“ …A love which depends solely on romance, on the combustion of two attracting chemistries, tends to fizzle out. The famous lovers usually end up dead. A long termed marriage has to move beyond chemistry to compatibility, to friendship, to companionship. It is certainly not that passion disappears, but that it is conjoined with other ways of love…

…Love of music, of sunsets and sea: a liking for the same kind of people; political opinions that are not radically divergent; a similar stance as we look at the star and think of the marvelous strangeness of this universe—these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted…

…But the wonderful thing, whether we are together or apart, is to know that he is in the world and that we belong together. And what I must learn is to love with all of me, giving all of me, and yet remain whole in myself. Any other kind of love is too demanding of the other; it takes, rather than gives. To love so completely that you lose yourself in another person is not good. You are giving a weight, not the sense of lightness and light that loving someone would give. To love wholly, generously, and yet retain the core that makes you you…

…Our love has been anything but perfect and anything but static.
Inevitably there have been times when one of us has outrun the other and has had to wait patiently for the other to catch up. There have been times when we misunderstood each other, been insensitive to the other’s needs. I do not believe there is any marriage where this does not happen. The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys. I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seemed to be over. Sometimes these desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing that it possibly could be without it.”

From Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle

Monday, February 12, 2007

Haiku: Shelter

Our prompt for this week:
A dwelling place, home or refuge... Or the view from such. What speaks to you of shelter?

Boxwood shrubbery
Spotted Towhee residence
Foraging for seeds

Doesn't he just look like he is sizing you up? For more, go to One Deep Breath.



I see yummy as a trip to Grand Central Bakery in Portland, Oregon. I walked to the one on Hawthorne regularly until I recently moved. My brother once told me, “It’s not right to live so close to a bakery like this.”

Walk in aroma
Cinnamon, coffee, spices
Delectable treats

Flour, yeast hand kneaded
Rustic loaves upon loaves baked
Daily crunch crust bread

Nourish your body
Organic ingredients
Feeding hungry soul
Are you hungry for more? Visit Sunday Scribblings.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Changes

Wrinkly, tiny feet
Universe bids you welcome
Kissable pink toes

Wobbly walking steps
Curiosity, your friend
Invites you to play

These are the changing feet of my granddaughter, born February 5, 2005. Her feet have seen a lot of changes in a year.
For mre changes, go to Poetry Thursday.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Twilight Time

Seaside, OR 2005

Sun sets west, wakes east

Waves sing rhythmic lullabies

Twilight dreams appear

Prompt: This week's focus is on the time of day when the sun is beginning to set and when much of the world begins to settle in for a rest. What a beautiful prompt. For more, visit One Deep Breath.

One of Those Weeks: Catching Up

Christmas 1998

I am having one of those weeks. I couldn't get a poem together for "Poetry Thursday" and especially about a mathematical proof. But I thought a lot about it and maybe one will surface one day.

Then it was time for Scribbling Sunday and the topic of "Good-bye". Been thinking about it for days now.

Friday marks the 9th anniversary of my mother's passing. I have been thinking about her and how I just do not talk much about my mother.

I remember that day so clearly. I decided to go home before my acupuncture appointment. And there was a message from my aunt to call her. I knew it my heart it was about Mom. Mom had passed. I left to make my acupuncture appointment. Tears streamed down my face the entire session.

She suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A surgery nurse who loved her cigarettes, cigars, and drinks.

The January previous, the hospice workers looked at me as if I was a crazy woman. I told them that her goal was to make it to November 1998, her 50th wedding anniversary. And she did. She made it through the holidays, too.

I remember her calling me and asking me to come as soon as winter break began. My father had sprained his ankle and couldn't get around very well. My brother and his family would be arriving. So I went and stayed until school started up in January.

She was tired. Most of the time her lips were blue. The whirring of the oxygen machine lulled me to sleep at night. Her bravery was fierce.

We talked weekly. Always telling me that she was doing better. My birthday came and went in late January. My aunt visited them.

I can't forget the final phone call. Mom, trying to put on the good game face but her voice betrayed her. Fatigued, the battle too difficult to fight. I said to her, "Mom, take the path of least resistance. I love you". "I love you, too, hon', "she replied.

And that was it. We hung up. She went to hospice on Sunday. Tuesday, the harp player's music escorted her to the light just as my dad arrived.

Speaks to me in dreams
Take path of least resistance
Lilting harp music

Other ways to say good-bye, here

Thursday, February 01, 2007

One Deep Breath: Roots/Connection

Dahlia whispers
Sun setting on horizon
Spirit centered here
What is your roots and connection to nature? For other haiku, visit here.