Visit

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I will dress carefully for our visit with you. Powder blue dress with the lace in strips down the front,  string-thin spaghetti straps slung over each shoulder Hair heavy, red with the scent of lavender, lemon grass, orange blossom bright and curly; a mane you’d call it if you were playing mother and I daughter. I will wear my mustard yellow suede pumps, the gold bracelet that you gave me (the sharp cut shell Grandma put on as an afterthought catching the light as it dangles from my right wrist).

I will dress my son in a new turquoise and white plaid button-up shirt and brown shorts, comb his too-long blond hair (I never comb his hair)and wish that I had been able to get it cut.

My daughter’s hair (going gold in the sun) I will leave wild like mine , curling as she grows. Don’t brush it, I keep telling her, the thick locks arranging themselves in waves around her still-round face that looks so much like my own. She will wear a dark blue dress with white embroidery on the chest and a brown braided belt. I will wish she had matching sandals, but the pale gray sports sandals will have to do.

And I know that when we arrive at your house you will be immaculately dressed and your house put together like a house out of a magazine, and you will offer me a wide smile and a hug and we will treat each other like strangers or rivals. We will be incredibly polite but there will be no warmth in it.

 

 

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I find you

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I was watching TV when the phrase, “I find you” caught my ear, because it can be taken two ways. I loved the idea of playing with the two different ways it is used both in the sense of physically finding something and in the kind of old fashioned expression that implies one’s impression of a thing or person. This has only been edited lightly once so it is still rough. I find (there we go again) that when a poem is fresh it’s harder for me to give up the cliches and abstracts, but a certain portion of them will be dropped when I go over it again, I’m sure. The first verse is all abstract, does it work? Feel free to give this or any of the stuff on here a critique. I welcome your opinion, the more brutal the better.:D

According to Wikipedia:

  • Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of every clause. It comes from the Greek phrase, “Carrying up or Back”.[4]

Here is an example from one of my favorite poets of anaphora:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174740

Maybe it was my religious upbringing or my love for Shakespearean English, but I love using anaphora. If used correctly it can really build intensity in a poem and creates a lovely rhythm as well…..

 

 

I Find You

I find you angry

I find you bitter

I find you cold

I find you distant

 

I find you at the end of myself

I find you when I am not looking for you

when I am hiding

 

I find you sad

I find you sorry

I find you but you don’t find me

I find you silent

a black and white film playing out the story of a woman who has lost

everything

 

I find you old

I find you strong

I find you full of fear

that we will break you as everyone else you’ve ever loved has broken you

 

I find you when you are not looking

I find you hiding

 

I find you full of grief

too proud to put your head on my shoulder and weep

 

I find you forgetful

telling yourself stories about who you are as if a story could change you or us

 

I find you, Mom,

with your hands up

to ward off your children or to reach for the god you think will wipe it all away

the black mountain of your life

 

I find you willing the world to thin

to be reduced to the blink of an eye

life like the powdered wings of moths that crumble at a touch

 

I find you less and less

a ghost that is moving on

like in all those movies about the afterlife and unfinished business

 

I find you because I need you

I find you unexpectedly like a scent

that transports you instantaneously to that day

suffused with light

unencumbered joy

and a part of me knows that I am not remembering it correctly

that we were often unhappy

afraid

but I don’t care

not one god-damned bit

and I find you

in the impulse to remember things as better than they were

I find you there too, Mom.

Unfinished thoughts…

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A pair of birds are courting in a small tree in the backyard.

Green is coming through in such a pale shade that it only registers as green when you take in the  entire tree, the long row of trees that lines Wells Gray Avenue. The rain is so fine that it gusts like petals, blowing out, a skirt of moisture wrapped around the waist of the hill outside the sliding glass door. Serene, as my stormy son sleeps and my daughter attends school.

 

I want to write but to write–really write–means to draw blood, to tear open this sense of peace and find the turmoil beneath. Look at the ugliness inside me, the sense of failure and defeat. And it isn’t even the pain of my childhood that I shy away from, what hurts the most is the sense of uselessness of our lives, the cowards that we all have become.

 

As I get to know people it is always disappointing to see that they don’t seem to know what they are doing in love any more so than I do.

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What I know

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I know

travel

how to sit still for hours in a van with ten other people

let my thoughts trail behind me like the gray, white-lined road

dreaming of destination after destination

like stones across a stream where your bare foot finds the cold only momentarily

but the far shore is only a larger stone on which you step till you reach the next river

 

I know leaving

how not to lose your balance

or to live without it

letting the heart lag like the roar of a jet as it scratches white across the sky too fast

for the scream

 

I know God

I know the trick for talking to him as though he is there

turning the echo of your thoughts into divinity

suspending disbelief across a life time

tucking the question under your tongue where they dissolve and settle in the bones of your thoughts

create growing pains

 

I know

loss

backs turned

the weight of big mistakes

family falling apart like a coat

washed too many times

the white thread shredding at the stitch

having outlived its purpose

 

I know

myself

marooned in ignorance

writing furious nonsense that is painful to read

that it kept me alive

was the womb in which I gestated for 21 years or more

beyond my self making room for questions none-the-less

 

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Stephen Page has a book review published on Gently Read Literature

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This review of Adrienne Rich’s poetry makes me ache to read more of it.

 

Stephen Page has a book review published on Gently Read Literature.

via Stephen Page has a book review published on Gently Read Literature.

on Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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It’s the kind of novel that you don’t rush through, there is such a languidness to it. There is no way to walk quickly through the tall grasses along the shores of the lakes or through the repulsive, colourless landscape of the coal mining town that Lawrence describes. You cannot rush the interactions of the characters who must have their long silences where they wait unblinking for understanding to come, for a connection to be made. There is no turning away from the raw anguish that consumes Ursula or the iridescent love that passes like fire between Birkin and Gerald. The questions are asked slowly and carefully because they are big questions.

 How I abhor small talk, the meaningless little words, the surface chatter that is as dry and lifeless as dust. How one must steel oneself to exchange pleasantries, to smile impersonally as though the seething, dark, blood-red emotions beneath the surface did not exist. Sometimes it seems that such a long stretch of time passes between meaningful conversations that I hardly know how to have them anymore and I find myself shaking like an old woman with the barely contained emotions. And I am ashamed of myself for the strength of my opinions, for not being able to keep my cool. What incredible pleasure to simply be yourself, to feel without masking or attempting to alter how you feel in order to be more socially acceptable. What a sense of release one would feel to be unashamed and naked to speak only when there is something meaningful to say.

Found Poems

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I made these for a postcard exchange….it’s interesting how differently I approach words when cutting them out of a magazine or newspaper….

What’s really interesting about doing poetry like this is way that you make meaning based on the size of the words/whether they are in caps or not etc. How much do these things matter? As I was transcribing the poems I wondered if I should keep the line breaks, caps and size of the words as they are on the cards….also, how much do the images contribute to the meaning or richness of the poems? Not that I am saying these are masterpieces or even terribly meaningful but it certainly sparks the imagination, no?

Contact doesn’t
make
these dark times. We are finding ourselves
a little bit of us
hungry
for those running.

 

Free! When they flew they always kept within a few feet
walking inside the story
lost breaking blood
the stars shimmer

Low-lifes
light up
dark. Honoured
war
move.
( I especially had a lot of fun with this one, not sure why..is there an “s” at the end of “move”? Perhaps…)

 

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