Money Calls

So it seems I must be derelict

in my self-styled duties

to follow the seduction

of money.  It is this daily

practice that forces me

out of the uniform

I don for society —

no, not these yoga pants.

I strip and strut

naked, hoping to fascinate

with my faults.

Everywhere I look, the signs

say poets must bare

precisely what they’ve never before

shown to the world.

And so my dilemma,

halt my morning peep

show to ferry secret missives,

hat in hand

because the larder is empty,

my fasts are long in the tooth,

and how I hanker

for a pretty dress and

a ticket to the symphony!

Poetry doesn’t pay

those luxuries, at least

not today, so I’ll continue

this love letter off the record.

 

Inspired by: Uniform, Fascinate, Fault, Derelict, and being torn between a contest entry that insists on poems that have never been published and the delight I experience every morning when I hit that pink “publish” button.

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Top of the Morning

— with thanks to Eva

I set an intention each morning
as I end my time of
sitting in sanctuary.
I ask for a revelation,
an awakening, and then
as I manufacture the goods
of the day, fabricating
smiles and hammering out
compromises on the factory
floor of my life, I watch
from the window at the very
top.  Insights like wordplay,
I pick up each peace
equivoke my vocation.
Today I construct right
resonance, grounded and reaching
into the divine connection.
And I open my eyes to
this ancient tulip
tree spreading toward the house
of my consciousness, first glance
and second sight.  This lucky view.
The sacred convergence of my soul
tribe finally summoned
– if you’re reading this, I’ve tucked
my love between the lines —
by a whisper across the planet
vibrating my spine,
home at last
in this finely tuned instrument.

Inspired by:  Revelation, Construct, Manufacture and Equivoke.

Love Affair

I close my drapes against inky

skies although sometimes I’ll peep

on clear nights to see which stars

have come to linger

between her branches.

Predawn, her massive dark trunk

rises from the fog

that clever whitewash obscuring

whatever toxic

humans have carved

in the landscape.  I am in love

with her lines, the grace

of her seasons, the 200-year-old

carriage, mettlesome dance past

meddlesome people who devastated

the wild places of her ancestors.

Sometimes I sit by her roots

and lean against her bark, or circle

around with my grandson, in genuine

puzzlement with each disappearance.

She delights in concealing him,

subtle guidance to pause just here,

now change direction, his giggles

ricocheting love vibrations

to the very top.  Just now

every branch is a complex poem

praising the lightening sky,

our interwoven connection,

every hidden root

pulsing deep in our

celebration of being.

 

Inspired by:  Puzzlement at Mettlesome Spirits thriving despite Toxic Whitewash.

Marie’s True-Dream-Power

Philosophers are people who know less and less about more and more, until they know nothing about everything.  Scientists are people who know more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing. ~ Konrad Lorenz

Because if there’s something I know

nothing about, it’s

everything

and the way words

erase experience 

like the First Nations languages

brutally ripped

from throats.

We are caged so precisely

that when Marie dreams 

her long-dead dad is laughing,

patting her burgeoning belly,

ah, how he’s longed for this 

grandchild,

she wakes confused —

so vivid,

but it can’t be real,

right, because he’s dead,

right, and she must be crazy

even though her hidden lineage

pulses with altered-states-words

for alternate realities which exist

alongside this waking 

we insist

is the one and only 

narrative for our lives.  

Turning away from the powerful

appetite for messages from our dead

because it can’t be real —

it’s not allowed to be real —

caught in the web of deceit

of the waking dream

that closes our options

like firmly locked gates

and boarded-up portals.

Today in the clarity of my wild

ambition, I create new

lovelight emanating from

me clearing

what I’ve held for the planet.

Relaxing fully.

The ebullient-belly rising

in the liminal spaces

where patriarchal-chasms open

the uttering-uterus-undulating

child-inside the intuitions

men dismiss.

Standing on the dream-threshold

with messages from a long-

dead father and which is the

real-state, our child-murmuring

in the pool of ancestral-fluid

that carries us

deep in our center, where

dreams are surely closer

to the sacred spaces,

more tangible

than this table or the curtains

fluttering in our attentive breeze

until they are not.

Because what is reality

but a shaky-card-house

resting on allowed perceptions

doled out by people

intent on control?

Dealing the narrative-cards,

keep the king, jettison the joker,

no value in pure fantasy.

Still, my ancestors send me living 

messages; I burp four times

as I write this line. 

Inspired by: Clarity, Ambition, Ebullient, and Appetite.

Hey Riddle, Riddle

“Do you have to use so many cuss words?” — The Stranger.  “What the fuck are you talking about?” — The Dude in The Big Lebowski

My son plays an underdog

in a podcast about riddles.

While fans at home shout, exasperated,

the obvious solution, he and his

improv partners throw out wild

guesses, progressively

sillier until one of them prompts,

I’d like to see a scene.

They instantly assume assigned

characters — Kevins and Susies

exploring a wacky

premise to its ridiculous 

conclusion, and listening,

we jape at our own unexamined

beliefs.  I’ve done that.

I never miss a show,

although there are too many

f-bombs for my brothers,

and my parents would be shocked.

(My father who can tell a joke

demeaning women or any

ethnic group at all, really, would

be fiercely pissed at the digs

at his staunch beliefs.)

The poet and the comic,

two generations exploring our deepest

pains and anguish, although

he’s much more clever,

poking fun until people cry

in helpless laughter, while

my poems elicit tears

of rage or sadness.  I’ve tried

to write comedy, alas,

I’ve always been the straight

woman, from the time I filmed

my children dressed in outlandish

outfits, singing and posturing.

I’d maintain my composure,

silently giggling later.  Turns out,

this is how you raise

an improv comedian.

When my chuckles burst out, finally,

he rushed to his brothers

to claim his prize; they’d all been

trying for years to break

that calm demeanor.

He doesn’t read my poetry;

he was present for the pain

that led me through so many

mistakes.  The marvel is that

he can go on stage knowing

people screw up, and finding

the fun in that, forgiving 

his mother who sits alone

forging sword-poems, stabbing 

old scars.  My readers wince, while

he’s feinting and dancing,

headphoned-millenials on the train

snickering even as they examine

their wounds, wiping the dripping 

blood like tears,

grinning as they see

what they’ve been carrying

is universal.  We’re all 

damaged

goods

seeking

clemency in poetry

and podcasts, 

laughter and tears.

Inspired by the podcast Hey Riddle, Riddle, and Clemency, Underdog, Partner and Riddle.

#AmWriting

From nothing, everything happens

all the time. Every morning

I rise from a dream

to write a poem

furiously

free to expose

my so-called

obstacles to open air.

The spiral path of healing

leads me deep into my earliest

wounds.  As I share them,

they become my new

way emerging.

Inspired by:  Dream, Free