Before February gets by us, I want to share this poem about a moment in time filled with an enduring memory. As the snows falls and the wind blusters by, a woman with her warm comforts of tea and a charming music box from Germany fills her afternoon…Each February I remember the fragile note, kept safe in the music box imported from Germany. Unfolding the faded and creased parchment, I read his words in soft murmurs while waiting for the old teapot to whistle. My aging hands are cold and less nimble; but my mind fights the weathering years. Scrawled in pale blue ink, he wrote: “My dearest valentine I beg you, live well and laugh often. Bouquets fade and dry, Godivas digest, ahh…but love…love… think of me and smile.” I gently refold each crease and put away the only thing he left me. Still, I ask myself each year since his passing, were they written out of guilt or obligation? Sipping Earl Grey tea on this bittersweet afternoon, it was easier to believe in love. What is a wintry day in February like for you? Can you identify with the woman in this verse? Your thoughts and comments are most welcome! Thank you for reading this posting of I Stop the Questioning.
Late Afternoon in Early Winter
The wood stove fire burns slowly,
warmth seeps into ridges of a red fleece blanket
that adorns my shivering shoulders.
Outside the snow softly falls,
swirls of silver and white cover
autumn into bare branched silence.
North winds howl,
white tailed deer scrape snow on their tongues
on a late afternoon in early winter.
Caught in high country silence,
I sit and wonder, will we ever dance together again,
one more time embrace
the soft rustlings of our mountain love.
The late afternoon begins to dim;
Night fall trails and gives way to the gray violet of snowy dusk.
I listen for your voice to echo down the high country ridge;
a gesture of your long awaited return home.
Outside the mountain settles into an early winter,
the deer and I wait for December snows to end,
and the passes to clear,
and embrace the pale glimmer of morning.
Fooling with words,
I seek out a dream- how to make a life as a poet.
Hot coffee, and cold truth,
a woman’s notebook
encounters the writing circle,
on a Thursday in autumn at the bookstore.
Autumn sunshine dapples the floorboards
of an old clapboard home once filled with family.
Heaped in a darkened corner, discarded
and tattered with age, my grandmother’s
quilt awaits a second beginning.
Made of her life and love,
softened from generations of use,
the faded, weathered fabric
holds memories inside the seams.
Strong, stoic stitches from her hand
now pull apart, fragile from passing time.
Ready to lend warmth, the quilt
surrounded my father, her firstborn,
gave comfort to other children
absorbed their innocent tears provided lullabies and loving wisdom never disappointed, never let down,
always faithful, forever near.
In the shadows of a golden afternoon,
while I drink tea precisely at three,
colored leaves fall from the oak tree outside,
while a whispering wind weaves the story
of simpler times and quieter days
like quilting stitches within the branches.
Walking under the magical light of a lavender dusk;
the crushed shell road crunches under my weary feet.
I am alone, with thoughts that blow and swirl around
to the incessant voice of high tide,
as if placing one step ahead of the other
gives the trusted answer.
Scoured by raw salty winds, aged by the sharp sun,
a splintered fence appears and meanders
among tall clumps of beach grass and crowded sea roses.
I take in the sky’s lantern watching
one sanctuary dissolve into another
Retreating into the shouldering dunes undisturbed;
I allow the quiet of stopped wind breathe into my veins
as sloping sand spills down
settling around my footsteps.
A warm morning on the beach;
the sunrise bellows tangerine and lavender
where sea and sky become one.
I walk in sand-silenced footsteps
along the shoreline with a gathering bucket in hand,
listening to breakers crash and the cry of gulls.
Above pelicans swoop and soar above the salt spray,
waves uncover a beach harvest
tumbling over and over in the bubbly foam.
I retrieve sparkles of sea glass and shell
battered against a piece of gray, gnarled driftwood.
Crumbled sand dollars mingle
with yellow cockles and pearl oysters
swept in from the overnight tides.
I bend to scrutinize as if I were the looking glass
picking up what rolled in as I slept.
I arise to search the face of a fisherman
out early casting his line into the surf
needing a fortune for another day.
He says, “I need a fortune for another day;
the sea is my livelihood.”
I say, “For me, she is a long lost friend
to whom I return.”
Please click on the link below to read a feature about my poetry and writing life as a poet. My heartfelt thanks to fellow Women Writing the West member Meg Mims for her wonderful article on her SunSpot blog!
Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day-no matter where you are or what you are doing, scribble down a few poetic lines of yours or a poem you love or even memorized-fold it up and put it in your pocket. Read it to others, read it in a quiet moment, savor your words and just tuck your poetic voice close to your heart. You will love it…and for a moment…just “catch the wind”. It is so needed. In my pocket lies a very unedited version of a poem I wrote so long ago titled “Catch the Winds”. Maybe I will included it in the second volume of Journey On:Life in Small Pieces. Yes! That’s the new title!
Clouds hover above the misty sandstone bluff;
the late April drizzle shivers
cold lonesome rain outside my paned window.
I curl my arms around me holding the warm inside
as foggy mists encase our weathered beaten red barn.
Remnants of winter patched in springtime mud,
slowly vanish under a shuddering and pushing wind.
A rancher’s horses neigh their wild cry
to the rhythms of a wildflower wind.
Wandering by curled barbed wire, confined under wide open skies,
their carefree spirit blends with mine, setting no path, no direction.
I listen with careful abandon to my long lost heart;
a scattering of indifference I no longer wonder about.
Your cowboy heart, weathered and restless
as the saddle that carries you through pinion and silver sage
to the mountains where solitude cries its own anguish.
Mine, stoic like silver green sagebrush,
has become wiser, lovelier,
as life pulls me back and I take a deep breath.
A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
A land of ineptitude.
"Rising from the ashes, a beginning of the new change"
An Ember for Thought
by Lize Bard
Official Blog of the English Tea Store
Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.