less_travelled

*no apologies to Mr. Frost, just an additional perspective.

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My Witness Tree

With credit to Bob Hicok, in whose poem, “What I Know for Sure” I first read the term

 

I only heard these words together
for the first time last week: witness trees.
So I looked them up
and found their stories, both romantic and tragic.

There are Cherokee arborglyphs,
where they carved a record of their trails.
You can drive your wagon through a sequoia named
‘Wawona’ if you’re traveling down the Yosemite Valley.

There’s the Buddha’s banyan,
where he sat sheltered for years
and was eventually enlightened.

Newton napped under an apple tree,
Washington chopped a cherry,
and Shakespeare planted a mulberry.

Andrew Jackson has a prayer oak,
Pickett a black walnut,
and marking the graves of Union prisoners
is the Andersonville Magnolia.

My father planted a sugar maple in our front yard
the year we moved into the house on Hartford Drive
and that summer, when it was late, but still really light,
we played Red Rover at the Frasers’ across the street.
It felt like every kid in the neighborhood
stood in one of those two lines,
and we whooped and hollered
until Mom turned the porch light on.

Of course, Neil’s team won,
because he was the biggest and
could lock arms really tight,
no matter who came over.
At least, this is how I remember it.
I don’t know what the tree remembers.

Today on my other blog, I wrote about Thich Nhat Hanh’s song/poem for Walking Meditation.  Snow Sticks

I have arrived; I am home.
In the here, in the now.
I am solid; I am free.
In the ultimate, I dwell.

January 2016 started with one of my poems chosen as a Goodreads poetry finalist  (five finalists).   It was such a lovely surprise!

I did not win, but placed right in the middle.  I will spout a familiar line, “I am honored just to be nominated.”  True.  The winner’s poem, Rose Mary Boehm’s  Absence deserved the win, and  I’m happy to be a hand-maiden.

Here is my finalist poem.

The Music Collection

I pulled out all of your records.
The soldier-straight rows collapsed and left
a half-life disintegrating heap of cardboard sleeves.

I stacked shiny slivers
silvered music re-mastered tinny girl songs
Joni Judy Carol Carly.

Her guitar strums and echoes
until echoes stripe the white hallway.
She would use the word wistful or wishful,
wouldn’t she?

Tremolo, tremolo
Doppling wide, wide, wide, wide.
How far does sound travel before it shifts to gone?

Late afternoon shadow
leans into tomorrow.
I miss
the scritch of the needle.

Yesterday in a meeting I observed that my anger has been “chocolate covered rage.” I think that’s a pretty common maladay.  That’s the root of the “obesity epidemic” people!  http://dayswithoutpirateattack.com/2015/08/11/pirate-emotions/

I’m not one to miss an opportunity to capitalize on a good turn of phrase, but I just can’t quite get it yet.

best I’ve got so far is a haiku:

Chocolate covered rage

coated smooth so dark and sweet

bite down what’s inside.

My New Year’s resolution this year was to send two postcards each week.  I have kept up with it.  Each Friday I send one to my friend, Janet, and one to someone else.  The someone else varies each week.  I’ve even sent them to random Waunakee addresses. nouvelle images tea

This week’s card is one of the beautiful postcard images from Nouvelles Images.

Each week I add a line from a poem or a quote that reflects the image.

This week I wrote a haiku:

A blue teapot still

warm from the stove and your hand

witness to our stories.

Time to go mail them.

Poised at that moment

when you have the cupcake

but haven’t taken a bite

leaned in for the kiss

but haven’t quite touched

don’t ridicule the junkie

forever chasing the high

you do it, too.

I’m typing a poem.  I write a line long-hand in the notebook I carry with me so I don’t forget it.

I just realized

I have loud hands.

They amplify my voice.

I came on to my blog site this morning and noticed a post on my feed.  You must read this!

1.

When I was a little girl, they held my hands down in tacky glue while I cried.

2.

I’m a lot bigger than them now. Walking down a hall to a meeting, my hand flies out to feel the texture on the wall as I pass by.

“Quiet hands,” I whisper.

My hand falls to my side.

3.

When I was six years old, people who were much bigger than me with loud echoing voices held my hands down in textures that hurt worse than my broken wrist while I cried and begged and pleaded and screamed.

4.

In a classroom of language-impaired kids, the most common phrase is a metaphor.

“Quiet hands!”

A student pushes at a piece of paper, flaps their hands, stacks their fingers against their palm, pokes at a pencil, rubs their palms through their hair. It’s silent, until:

“Quiet hands!”

Read the whole post here:  https://juststimming.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/quiet-hands/

It’s poetry.  It’s amazing.

Today I tripped across the Futility Closet created by Greg Ross, awesome editor and compendiator.  I worked with Greg years ago (Yikes!  15 years ago!!) at UNext.com (where we were a good decade ahead of the internet’s time).  It is so wonderful to see this blog and the books he’s published since then.

Just in time for April and Poetry Month, he has a podcast on a little-known poet’s skill.  Enjoy!

Podcast Episode 51: Poet Doppelgängers

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Goethe_1791.jpg
In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll look at the strange phenomenon of poet doppelgängers — at least five notable poets have been seen by witnesses when their physical bodies were elsewhere.

and you always know it when you see it.

Enjoy Connie Sun’s daily cartoon posts.  http://www.conniewonnie.com/