Keeper of the Fields

I will be attending the Austin International Poetry Festival later this week. In honor of that, I am posting the poems I plan to read at the festival.

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Like his father

and his father before him

This way of life

coursed through his veins

Up before the morning sun

reflected off silos in the fields

Out the door before the kettle

cooled on the wood-fired stove

Moving with purpose

he paused briefly to caress

sleepy-eyed barn cats

Meowing their morning greeting

Pitchfork in calloused hands

he swung open a heavy gate

and set to work, his well-worn boots

sinking into the fresh dirt he labored to uncover

Like his father

and his father before him

he worked the fields until the evening sun

lost its battle with the relentless moon

Under a blanket of starry skies

that bathed his land in a soft glow

He rested on his porch, barn cats at his feet

A smile on his lips and satisfaction in his heart

Reflecting with intent

he paused briefly to give thanks

to a lot in life

that filled him with purpose

Folding dirt-stained hands

that would never quite come clean

He rocked slowly on that creaky porch

surveying his part in the rebirth that is Spring

Like his father

and his father before him

and like his son, folding his own dirt-stained hands

as he rocked beside him





https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hammer/

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Full Circle

11703-a-heart-drawn-in-the-sand-pv

If you wait long enough

life comes full circle

Each second ticks by

meticulously measuring each step

creating order amidst chaos

With no regard for grand plans or purposeful intention

things fall into place of their own accord

while you ride rivers of white water

pausing here and there in tidal pools, tranquil and calm

that linger just before the highest waterfalls

Sometimes you must surrender

and take the plunge

Become one with the water

a little bumped and bruised

but exhilarated by the ride

And when you arrive at that place where the river meets the ocean

and the crashing waves mirror the sound of the ever present ticking clock

You tumble onto the shore, wet and weary

confident enough to make your mark

as you draw a closed circle in the sand





photo: http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/11703

Unwritten

dancing-6

Don’t ask about tomorrow

Come dance with me

This moment is all we need

 

Twirling round and round

we release pure energy

Rejoicing in the wonders of this day

 

Don’t ask me about tomorrow

or where we go from here

We’ll spin all our cares away

 

Let the music feed your soul

As those powerful beats

Keep time with the glory that is right now

 

Don’t ask me about tomorrow

That day is beyond our reach

Our song remains unwritten

 

Unwritten, unscripted

Until hearts forget

the tunes of yesterday

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/plead-the-fifth/

The Choice

Reblogging an old poem…fits today’s prompt nicely.

Steps Times Two

choices1

 

The Choice

 

It’s a choice

A conscious decision

To stand in judgement

Or open a heart

 

Within the iron walls of judgement

Cowardice fuels hatred

Fear consumes tolerance

Righteousness contradicts hope

 

Within the warm walls of a heart

Curiosity fuels understanding

Empathy consumes fear

Acceptance contradicts bigotry

 

Much easier to stand in judgement

Never inconvenienced

Never introspective

Never unguarded

 

Much harder to open a heart

Always challenged

Always vulnerable

Always exposed

 

Bring me the differences

I applaud them although

I may not agree

 

Show me the possibilities

I consider them although

I may choose a different path

 

Let me live within my heart

I welcome the journey although

I may stumble

 

Stretching, growing

Experiencing, learning

This is where I want to live

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After the Rain

standingtall

Gentle rain falls

washing away debris

Remnants from more turbulent times

sink into hardscrabble soil

Provide much needed nutrients

to transform depleted foundations

into renewed resources

Ready to host new life

 

Scarlet pink rays

nuzzle gray skies

Softening landscapes

in a loving embrace

Leaving the heavens

to weep with joy

As the tempest passes

and the world is refreshed

 

In a home

that had been shuttered

from storm clouds

Windows are thrown open

to invite fresh air in

as the occupants

dance beneath

a glorious rainbow

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/free-association/

Mirrored Lives

mirror-on-face

There’s a woman

I know

Who could be

the me

I was

so long ago

 

A young

single mother

navigating each day

Facing the struggle

of raising children

alone

 

Looking in

the mirror

from opposite sides

I see the past

while hoping

she sees the future

 

For now she’s too busy

traversing a minefield

of new experiences

without a map

to do much more than

quickly glance at her frazzled image

 

From my side

I hold that mirror

steady

waiting for her to notice

the map

in my hand

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/daily-prompt-5/

Silent Screams

SPEAKER-2

But sometimes

the sounds

– like the pain –

faded, and then

there was only

the haze*

 

And other times

those sounds

– like old fears-

exploded, and then

there was only

confusion

 

Auditory hallucinations

Persuasive reporters

from yesterday

Transport each listener

through the maze

of muddled memories

DAILY PROMPT   Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

*Misery by Stephen King

Words

Beautiful poem written by Saya

Poet's Corner

Submitted by Saya



If words could be roses..
and I had a garden full of them..
I swear you would sleep..
in a bed of petals everyday..
But more often than not..
my words take the form..
of thorns rather than petals..
and I know you are hurt by them..
and I know you love me
in spite of the thorns..

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Surrender

banksy3-1

When white-hot lightning

of the angry sky

defines its target

and strikes with absolute precision

 

When interlocking rings

of the snake’s tail

rattle and buzz

before the promised strike

 

When viscous strands

of the spider’s web

threatens to capture

and hold me hostage

 

When the raised fist

of my familiar enemy

looms just above

slicing the air as it meets its mark

 

When the crushing weight

of insurmountable burdens

torment my fractured reality

and suffocates unforgivingly

 

I surrender my weary load

and release positive intentions

Calling waves of healing power

to wash over me

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-7/

Divergent Path

ds

 

There is danger in

wanting nothing

There is risk in

giving up

There is uncertainty

in your path ahead

As you traverse the days ahead

I give you nothing

Nothing

No condemnation

as you choose your path

No judgement

if you sway from the one I had planned

No false promises

that the coming days will all be perfect

No conditions

Bribing you to yield to my ways

Wanting nothing in return

I hold you in my heart

Offering you my everything

Everything

Every belief in who you are

Sent to buoy your spirits

Every affirmation of who you are

Spoken in words of love

Every pledge of support

Given with absolute integrity

Every offer of aid sent forth

Entwined with respect and admiration

Wanting everything for you

I hold you in my heart

May nothing disparage the discovery of who you are

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/all-or-nothing/

Retrospective

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Take this journey with me

We’ll soar through the memories

Skin our knees on the jagged rocks of yesterday

Climb the highest peaks of endless tomorrows

Join me on this road named Retrospective

 

Come along for the ride

We’ll travel along old paths

Cut our teeth on experiences that were once new

Drink in the wine that is wisdom

Jump on this train destined for Retrospective

 

Let’s dance together

We’ll hum the soundtrack of days gone by

Laugh in the rain that once dampened our doorstep

Recreate the steps we once knew

In this city called Retrospective

 

Buckle in

Might be a bumpy ride

Rough and ragged

until we pass through Retrospective

and arrive safely in the land of Today

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/good-tidings/

I’m Still Here

 fieldofBluesFgmenots

As I awaken

to the early morning sun

I see you

 

Your smile

radiates such warmth

I think I know you

 

Happy memories of yesterdays

Crystal clear awareness of this day

I remember how you held my hand

 

Will you take my hand now?

I’ll hold yours in mine forever

Even if the clouds roll back in

tomorrow

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/return-address/

Alzheimer’s Association

More Than This

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRrT0Ak18Pc

“I found a book that my mama kept
Filled with secrets she hid
And in a dusty old attic, one mornin’ I read
About a woman I never met
Who had dreams just like mine
With every page that I turned, the words came alive”
(Written by Liz Hengber, Deanna Bryant)

 

My mother is not a writer, but she is a brilliant individual. She earned her PhD in mathematics when my sisters and I were young, somehow managing to balance her studies and her family. She went on to become a full time professor at a university and taught in the math and computer science department until her retirement, just a few years ago. While we think of her as “Mom” or “Grandma,” she is so much more. She is wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher,  friend, neighbor. She is a person with dreams and disappointments, successes and failures, happiness, and at times, sadness. We are all so much more than the associations that define us.

This idea is something I often consider. I have a habit of people-watching and  always wonder about the story that accompanies each individual. Do they live alone or have a family? Do they have a dog or a cat or do they not like pets? What type of music do they like? Are they happy? Stressed? Successful? What do they consider successful? What are they like when they are alone and no-one is watching? Who are they really? I am a constant and consistent questioner. I wonder about everything. I can drive people crazy, especially my husband. He tells me, “Everything is WHY to you.” In this situation, it is true. Why are people the way they are?

Human nature can, at times, make us very self-centered. This is not necessarily in a negative way, but rather in the way that it is sometimes hard to look beyond our own wants and needs. We interact with people all the time, but we pigeon-hole them into convenient places in our minds. That’s Sue from Accounting. Or That’s the guy from the grocery store. The truth is “Sue” is much more than an accountant. “The guy” might be someone who goes home every night to care for his sick child. They exist beyond the roles in which we place them.

The truth is, unless we have an intimate connection with a person, we have no idea who he really is. More importantly, we don’t often consider his humanity beyond how it can serve our needs. It is not my intention to condemn or accuse, because I do it as well. There isn’t enough time or space in our brains to take on each person’s story, but I wonder what it would be like to open up once and a while and invest in this.

Sometimes considering another’s story can help reveal necessary information. I heard a story about bullying yesterday, and it turned out two of the three bullies had personal stories of hardship that led them to a place where they sought control of someone they perceived as weak. That’s the classic story, isn’t it? But instead of investigating, we categorize them and move on.

Each person has dreams and hopes. Each one of us imagined what the future might bring. Whether we wrote it in a journal as a teenager or announced it to friends, or kept it to ourselves, we all designed a life. Sometimes things turned out well, and sometimes they did not. Each of us belong to a myriad of associations. All these nuances create the unique individuals that we are.

My mother is a beautiful woman. She enjoys cooking and knitting. Family is everything to her. She is more than my mother or my children’s grandmother. We define her by these roles, but in reality, they are accents to a well-rounded life.

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/opening-lines/

WordPress Meet and Greet #3 – All Bloggers Welcome

I love this idea!

HarsH ReaLiTy

Well this is the third post I have done like this so far and I have seen some great connections. I’ll keep doing these off and on and I think they provide a great way for “active bloggers” to network.

All bloggers are welcome to use this post as a “Self-Promotion” thread for their blog, projects, causes, writing, books, eBooks, food, fashion, or whatever you are into. You may post links, book covers, or whatever you like and feel free to revisit and leave a new comment as this thread will quickly fill up.

Hopefully some authors, photographers, painters, writers, and bloggers will take the opportunity to push their work. Please keep promotional comments on the posts dedicated for that purpose.

Feel free and re-blog or share this post. Thanks!

-OM

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