Sequoia

Image result for sequoia

I dreamed of shadows and sheltered things

beneath the tree with golden leaves.

Today the mighty trunk sliced bare as bone,

the rings rough and splintered,

you take my hand as we count the lives together.

A thousand deaths, a thousand loves,

a thousand circles bound us with frayed fibers,

spinning its thread, the splinters cut deep.

Now and then at the wound’s core,

the sapling sprouts from a single seed,

always yearning and always bending toward love’s light,

free of pain again,

under the sequoia tree.

 

 

 

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When I lie down to die
I hope you make a feathered nest
of downy white flicked with silvery gold,
and its velvet strands will be enough
to cradle my fading heart.

When I lie down to die
and the last tear slips across my cheek,
I hope the doves will gather to coo
a melody strung with faded memories
into my soundless ears.

Then I will know the path out of the woods
is to follow the pulse carried aloft on the wind
as it dances and twirls beyond the moon.

And I will smile as the dove’s wings open
for the song humming among the stars
has echoed in my soul for centuries.

And I pray you will hear this too,
when I lie down to die.

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This poem is dedicated to my father on the anniversary of his death.

 

Let Me Tell You a Story…

I’ve been blogging for a long time. Feels like an eternity.
As we all know 3. 5 years = 3,500 in bloggy years.

Hopefully by now you’ve noticed I like to write. I love words. Back in high school I used to look them up in my old dog-eared dictionary for fun on a Saturday night. (I still do, don’t judge) I enjoy the thrill of stringing them together in perfect order then going back to erase, erase, erase because I will never get it just right. Good times.

My love for writing goes way back to my early childhood when I tried to impress my kindergarten teacher with my dazzling wit.

The Maineiac, circa 1975
The Maineiac, age 5

Here’s my very first piece published in the prestigious Morse Elementary School Newsletter, right below a recipe for brownies and above the poem “My Dog Likes to Eat Poop” by Brian, age 6.

I AM THE SUN

by Darla, age 5

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Did you get chills? Yeah, good stuff.

I mention eating breakfast a lot. I’m thinking my brothers stole my strawberry flavored Pop-Tart again that morning.

Also, I think you’d have to agree I was a crafty storyteller in 1976.  Notice how I lull the reader into a false sense of security until the very last sentence when Bam! I punch them straight in the gut. “If I didn’t shine people could use flashlights”? Why would the sun not shine? Was this a foreshadowing? A child’s bleak vision of an apocalyptic future looming on the horizon? (If this Ice Age we’re currently suffering through is any indication, I think I was spot on.)

But like any good writer, I left the reader with a final message of hope. A sliver of light in the darkness. If I didn’t shine people could use flashlights. Maybe my stories weren’t riveting but at least they were practical.

I also wrote lots of poetry as a kid and into my college years. And as we all know the mark of a good poet is the ability to rhyme.

Check out this nugget I wrote when I was about 8 years old.

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A couple things I’d like to point out. First, the drawing — where in the hell are my hands? Or my feet? Is this why I’m so fixated on my nose?

I think we should all just take a moment to realize never before has a poem titled “Smelling” had the ability to move a reader to tears. “It never, ever gets in the way.” So true! The insight I had as a child is astounding. Even the way I spelled “bouquet” was inspiring. Who needs that jerky silent T anyway?

Finally, I’ll leave you with a cartoon panel, my earliest attempt at (intentionally) writing humor. I have no clue how old I was when I drew it but I’m guessing it wasn’t when I was attending college (although, it might be, as I liked to smoke the ganja)

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“You got celery in my peanut butter.”
“Well, you got peanut butter in my celery.”
“Well, let’s try it!”
“OK”
“Yuck! Awful!”
“You better not say that again about trying it!”

*****

oh!!! Bwah ha ha haaa!!! I kill me! [wiping away tears]

So? You think it’s good? Brilliant? Perhaps you’d even consider it….Super? Celery and peanut butter? I mean, C’MON! Comedy gold.

And you’re right. My writing hasn’t changed much since then.  Sigh.

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Bloggers/writers: How long have you been writing? Do you have any childhood poems or stories you’d like to send me so I can get a good laugh at your expense? Or old screenplays I can pass off as my own?

I Wish I Was in Tijuana, Eating Barbequed Iguana in the Sauna

Hey, kids! It’s National Poetry Month!

Wait — don’t go, come back! Poetry is cool!  I swear this will be fun! And mostly painless!

Mostly.

Here’s a short collection of some of my best poetry fails. See, I made sure this was short. So you can enjoy them. Or not. My guess is you won’t unless you’re drunk.

Do Iguanas Smoke Marijuana in the Sauna?

Dude....I am like....sooooo baked right now.
Dude….I am like….sooooo baked right now.

There once was a girl from Maine
Who’s musical taste was urbane.

She jammed to Nirvana
On the streets of Botswana

Hold up — that makes no sense…
but what else rhymes with Nirvana?

OK, sure sauna…maybe iguana…

But I’m not entirely convinced
I can make a connection there.

And urbane doesn’t describe Nirvana,
hmm…maybe I should look up
the definition again
just to be sure…

Annnnd now my rhythm is off,
Dammit!

(Writing poetry is like, super-duper hard.)
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Highway to Hell

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one everyone else did,
And now I’m stuck in traffic behind an 18 Wheeler
filled with three farms worth of cow manure,
diesel seeping into my pulmonary veins,
my bladder bursting with jumbo-sized Mocha Lattes,
while my kids play “Stinky Feet” and “Who Can Fart the Loudest?”
and the deejay announces they’re kicking off a three hour block
of  Justin Bieber.

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Please, Be It Far From Me to Tell You How to Sleep. Or Die.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
God forbid that were to ever happen,
because then I’d get some f***ing rest.
So please! By all means, rage, rage against the dying of the TV’s light!

and blissfully snore like a wild boar that’s being slowly castrated while trapped inside a cavernous abyss of hell where every snort vibrates with the power of a million jackhammers and I think the wall is going to cave in and crush us both to death, I pray.

Rage, rage….that’s it. That’s all I got. Just rage.

C'mon....a little wider....just a little wider...and I can cram my pillow in there...
C’mon….a little wider….just a little wider…and I can cram my pillow in there, you air-sucking bastard.

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Happy Poetry Month!

Feel free to leave a good poetry fail in your comments.

Like this? Want more? click on these gems:

Ode to My Old Man

She’s a Maineiac Greeting Cards

Quick, what rhymes with Franco?

The following vlog was inspired by James Franco’s poetry reading he recently did for Obama’s inauguration. (Franco was very good in Freaks and Geeks, love him.)

It’s a poem about being a mom.

A mom desperate to get through yet another hectic morning without having a nervous breakdown.

Watch my video to see if I can make it through another day.

Mourning My Morning

In the earliest unborn hours of the morning, my heart beats, frantic with a
rushing of blood, pounding incessantly…

Rush…rush….rush…

Overshadowed only by the digusting guttural groans emanating
from my husband’s gaping maw
as he snores and slumbers beside me…

I want to reach out, slam his windpipe with my pillow–
–but I resist–
always resisting….

resist

Morning breaks, my mind cracks like an egg
dripping over the edge of a moldy crust,
undercooked and runny

Needs more salt.

But sandwiches are to be peanut buttered!
juice boxes to be tossed around!
hair  to be untangled!

Untangle the mess….

a frantic dance of

rush…rush…rush….

Have you seen my socks?

Where are the keys?

Will you help me construct a diorama of a rainforest using only toothpicks and glitter?
….Mrs. Hardison says it’s due today

Rush…rush…rush…..

Disaster strikes.

“Someone spilled my Cheerios!” I cry.
“Look! All over the floor!”

“Did you spill them?” I ask my son.

His attention elsewhere…always elsewhere….

“Someone spilled my CHEERIOS!”
I wail, my plantive cry falling on deaf tween ears, ears that only respond to digital beeps.

My son–hazel eyes forever glued to the tiny magic box, glowing ghastly white.

“Someone spilled my cheerios….”…I sputter to no one, hopeless,
the taste of sweet oats and honey forever lost to my lips.

He finally turns his head, raises his brow,

and the insidious words roll off his tongue
like water off a paritally submerged iPhone in a dirty toilet:

“Whatevs, Mom” he says.

“Whatevs.”

Whatevs.

Indeed.

Beautiful Child

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Gasping your first breath on a cold fall day,
your hazel eyes greeted my blue.
A strand of my hair locked tight in your grasp,
I let my heart bleed into yours.

We ran together through the scarlet leaves,
our dance tinged with memories of gold.

You showed me the starry night,
the seashell warmed by the sun,
the bumpy edge of a lizard’s back.

I showed you the edge of time.

Still we giggled and breathed in the wide open sky,
as it dripped into our lungs
we drowned,
wrapped in sparkling silver threads,
laden with love’s pure promise.

I dream to be rescued
but only as a brown speck
floating in the soft moss-green of your eyes,
so I may see what I’ve always known to be,
I am you and you are me.

A beautiful child.

Life is Better with a Pint of Vermont’s Finest

You came to me much like a dream,
bold yet sweet, you reigned supreme.

One tiny taste and I was sunk,
this crazy lust, I willingly drunk.

With promises of sugar and spice,
I gobbled you up, my wicked vice.

Thoughts of you would enter my day,
I had to be with you, there was no other way.

My lips–they’d tremble, my heart would swoon,
Quick! Off to the kitchen to grab a spoon!

I’d rip you open and plunge so deep,
your velvet cream, it made me weep.

Guilt be damned! Your love was mine!
We melted together–it was divine.

My life was over; this burden I’d carry
for I was in love with Ben and Jerry.

Oh, how I love a man wearing glasses. And holding a triple-scoop cone. You guys rock my world.

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About 14 years ago, before we were married and had kids, my husband and I traveled as much as possible. Did we go see the Grand Canyon? Mount Rushmore? Niagara Falls? The World’s Largest Ball of Twine?

Please! Why bother with those tired old tourist traps when you can visit the
Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont?

We took the factory tour and I think I might have asked the question, “Soooo annnyway… do we get free samples or what?” about a thousand times. Maybe I managed to tick off the tour guide a little. Especially when I kept interrupting her, insisting she interview me on the spot for the full time Taste Tester position. And asking if the salary was paid in giant vats of Chubby Hubby. Or if the employee gym featured showers that spouted nothing but caramel and chocolate syrup.

We did get our free samples at the end–after she escorted me outside–and we had a chance to taste a brand new flavor they were in the process of developing back in 1998:

Peanut Butter and Jelly!

And it was disgusting.

Sorry, but major flavor fail on your part, Ben and Jerry. (I forgive you.) Certain combinations probably should never be mixed with ice cream. Say, cottage cheese and pimentos. Or asparagus and Tabasco sauce. I would have rather tested those flavors. Wisely, the good people at Ben and Jerry’s retired the PB&J flavor after limited release and buried it where it belonged, six feet under in their ‘Where Bad Flavors Go to Die’ cemetery.

Here I am, desperately trying to resurrect the flavor “Nighty-Night”– vanilla ice cream with swirls of strawberry-flavored Benadryl and chunks of tangy Nyquil nuggets. (I may or may not be discreetly dumping my tiny sample cup of PB&J behind the tombstone…)
Ah, memories! The day we toured the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont was the single best day of my life. Well…right behind the birth of my kids. And my wedding day…I guess….but really, who can compete with FREE SAMPLES!!

So tell me…what flavors would you crawl over hot coals for?

Mine are Phish Food and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. I think I ate an entire pint of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch every single day back in college. (…and they say the ‘Freshman 15’ is a myth.)

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Drooling over this post? Feel free to visit the following bloggers today for more calorie-free sweetness as we celebrate all things ice cream.

Oma and his Blurt Blog
Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly
Georgette Sullins’s Blog
Pegoleg and her Ramblings
Blogdramedy
Katy over at k8edid
Jacquelin Cangro’s blog
Lisa from publikworks
Kim of The G is Silent
Julie True Kingsley’s Blog

Ode to an Odor

I thought mine eyes would never see
a stench so rank it appeared to me

like a green haze, thick as pea soup,
it choked my lungs, this foul goop.

Whence it came, I could not tell,
but it singed my cilia–
What IS this smell?!

A farmer’s field drenched in manure?
A tire factory set ablaze?

Did someone take a bath in vats of vinegar?
Or shower with eau de skunk spray?

Was it sweat, was it poop?
A combination of the two?

I had to find The Thing that reeked–
–what else was I to do?

So as my nose sniffed out the culprit
and through the house I went,

the funk was growing stronger now,
an ungodly B.O. scent.

Soon I reached my son’s room,
now gagging and gasping for air,

and found him sprawled upon his bed,
his feet exposed and bare.

That was when I suddenly knew
and realized with stark despair,

he’d simply taken off his sneaks–

–an odor beyond compare.

Happy 10th birthday, Baby Boo! I love you! (Even with your stinky feet.) 

My son at the age of three, during his pre-swamp feet days…

Stuck

Stuck

It all happened so fast
I was too careless,
my heart full of glee
blindly rushing forward,
now I’m in too deep.

Struggling against its grip
I succumb to its judgement
and await my demise.

 Suffocation threatens
my last gasp

I push

I pull

I fight

It only strengthens the vice!
Panic leaks into my soul
Will I ever be free?

Wait–could it be?
a slight give?
a sweet release?
Could my soul bear to witness
a dream such as this?

It loosens
O joy! O happiness!
busting wide open like a wave on the sea!

One!

Final!

Tug!

–my jacket zipper breaks free!

I’m Gonna Party Like It’s One Shy of 100

Go on! Fly away, little blog posts! I'll miss you all!

Today is a monumental day for me.

This is my 99th post.

I have been blogging almost 2 years. So I’ve achieved this milestone with the same speed as molasses running uphill in the dead of winter (or as myself running uphill in the dead of winter).  I guess I should try writing more? Or running? Eh.

Why am I celebrating 99? Why the hell not?  It’s a great number, has a solid history of being cool. Like:

The song from that freaky early 80s German band, 99 Luft Balloons
The song from that freaky little purple-clad dude, (can’t remember his name), 1999
The song 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
Agent 99 on Get Smart

Ok, that’s all I’ve got.

This Big 99th Blog Post celebration was the icing on the cake of my very exciting weekend.

Saturday was my luckiest day. I woke up and was in disbelief that I did not win the mega-huge-gigantic jackpot of 500 million bucks.  If no one else won it either, I plan on actually buying a ticket next week.

But all was not lost, we took the kids bowling. I got three strikes.  Granted, the bumpers were up. And I used both of my hands to bowl. And I put the ball on the floor first, then rolled it. Then I stepped over the line and the freaky imaginary sensor thingy was activated and the buzzer went off so my points were worthless. But I  pushed that ball with every ounce of strength I could muster and knocked all the pins down after it slowly zigzagged from side to side and narrowly missed going into the gutter. It was my finest hour. There was lots of cheering (only from me) air high fives (only I participated) and at one point, I even moonwalked across three lanes in my clown-sized bowling shoes.

After riding that high all morning (all by myself–my kids and husband weren’t that impressed), I returned home after lunch and discovered I had won Peg-o-leg’s The Jacket writing contest. I was about as shocked as when the guy at the bowling alley walked over and told me to “please stop moonwalking, people are trying to bowl and there are young children present.” (My own son had filed the complaint with management.)

Thank you, readers, for any vote(s) you threw my way. Last I knew I was in third place in a very tight race, so I’m thinking Angie somehow figured out how to vote 50 times in one hour.  In honor of winning the prized green plaid jacket, I will videotape myself in it twirling a baton because I am just stupid enough or just don’t give a crap what anyone thinks of me anymore to do it.

Which reminds me. I am quitting blogging. Yeah, that’s right. It’s over. I am done. Finito. No more posts from this chick. I can’t keep up with all this writing and reading and then with all the constant commenting and the replying and replying to replies, blah blah blah, it just never ends. I am going to start doing wild-n-crazy things like being with my family. Talking to other people. Going outside. Letting the thoughts in my head stay in my head. Wish me luck.

So I want to thank you all, loyal readers and commenters and people who ‘liked’ my posts here and there. It’s been a great ride while it lasted.

I’ll leave you with a very short-n-sweet poem (inspired by k8edid, the Queen of Poetry, who is infinitely better at this than I am. Well, better at writing good poems, not better at writing bad poems…)

A Very Bad Poem in 99 Words

Waiting for the answer

Will it be golden perfection?

Or scorched to black?

A wasted form of what could have been?

Waiting for an answer–

It pops up!

Silencing the beating of my heart.

Heaven is within reach!

Pulsing-hot, scorching metal against skin,

Be Careful! I might get burned!

Maybe use a knife, some tongs?

Electric shock is no concern for me,

Craving to taste the divine

Pools of butter spilling

Into rivers of sweet honey,

I sink my teeth

Into the warm and crunchy,

Lick my lips and sigh,

I can make some damn fine toast.

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(oh, and Happy April Fools’ Day, if you thought I was being serious about quitting, damn, you are so gullible! If you knew I was just kidding from the get-go, then sheesh, you see right through me)
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image: deviantARTS