What you don’t know
Is that between the beats of silence-
I have embraced a universe of feelings,
Trying to find small enough words
To paint you the sky.
– Krina Ulmer
This is not the all of it.
There is a time coming,
When the pitter patter of feet retreat,
And you find yourself left
To sweep the dust alone.
Every neuron fires quick upon receipt of the first squeak,
But it is the scramble across my feet which alerts me
To the tiny creature you seek.
I screech and leap out of my seat as
The tiny creature flees from me, and squeezes
Between sheets and bleeds where your teeth
First embraced this sweet treat.
My heart skips a beat and we sneak a peek,
But you do not wish to repeat the same feat and retreat
Leaving it to me to sweep up your small feast. …Geesh.
I seem to be a glutton for personal punishment. I feel a little like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde …
There is the pep-talker, she sounds a little like this:
Come on, Krina, you can do this! You’ve got this in the bag – now get out there and keep your head in the game. GO TEAM!
(This voice last a short time – usually long enough to persuade me to share bad poetry. Which I immediately regret and wish to call back into my small bubble.)
Then there is the Heckler,
Yah – right. You can’t do this, you are years behind, and don’t get me started about talent – pah. Why do you think you have anything, anyone is ever going to want to hear? Seriously, start learning about data entry and get a real job. You over-the-hill hack …
(Yah, she’s not very nice – I kind of want to punch her too but for whatever reason her words echo about in my heart and tend to become louder and louder rather than the other way around.)
Despite this, I have continued to put my little attempts at poetry out into the world. Like little vulnerable glass jars – perfect for target practice. I ready myself for the shots, for the chips and broken fragments to fly.
But then … nothing actually happens. They just sit there collecting dust, a malignant growth of silence grows about my ears, and colours fade to a weathered grey.
This is worse than being shot to bits –this pallid nothingness sucks all inspiration out of the air, curdles passion, and creates the cavernous void in which the heckler’s voice resounds.
So – a person with grit would look further, try again, ask questions. Classes? Writer Workshops? Right?
Perhaps it is time to take my little jars to where they might make better fodder – despite the “no beginners shall enter here”* warnings, internals or otherwise. A little dusting perhaps is a good idea, a little elbow grease to bring out the gleam in the glass. Makes for a better target.
* I was looking into online poetry workshops – and a recommended board made it very clear that beginners should only enter if prepared to receive harsh critique. Sounds ….fun. (insert nauseous face here)
Hands together, cupped in close caress,
Dip down deep, a singular vessel
Plunging into cool, clear waters, searching
Under the surface, these hands deliquesce
Dissolve into a pink peach floating flux.
Submerged they scoop with care enough
To hold, to sate, to douse the inner need.
Drawn out, these hands, rematerialize
Solid and imperfect, leaking precious
Resources before reaching parched lips
What was left behind
Your green thumb could coax dead dry husks
To sprout from stale ground – verdant, alive
Our garden was layer upon layer all flowers, vegetables, and green
A passerby would hardly notice the herbs,
The tradeable kind, you dried in the microwave
Most impressive were the long leggy Cosmos and Phlox
Bright explosions – pink purple yellow orange fireworks
Across a backdrop of scarlet runners
Our private hideaway from the always peering
Eyes of neighbouring trailers.
We feasted on chard stalks, red purple and clean
Green bean strings, summer ripe tomato bites and
Baby white potatoes. We ate like kings, like queens
So full of these memories, I search for you
Amongst the stalls at the farmer’s market
Certain to see your face between the rows
Like you never left, were never gone.
But no – it is just my mind playing tricks –
Coaxing life from the dead dry remnants of a time
I was left with instead.
This week’s topic was “dead” – a hard word to face in light of the recent passing of someone who played an important role in my life. So much is dredged up by the word, so many meanings, so many interconnected thoughts. And although this poem does not relate to recent events, my heart and prayers do go out to those left behind.
Hopefully, the poem isn’t “dead in the water” 🙂 (I like to deflect with humour)
The fuchsia grows in its pot
A continuance of bloom.
Pale green pink baby buds
Butt up against pregnant pink ones
Preparing to blossom.
Tenderly unfolding flowers peek out
Between others – full and fragrant.
I pluck off the withered and wilted,
Dead heading the plant to encourage
New growth from amid the old.
As I was told to do once,
By a voice lost on the wind.
Ears too tired to press into the earth
Straining at the secrets of what.
Legs stomp the ground seeking
A reverberation, a reassurance
They still have the strength to stand.
I punch at the open sky
Grasping and scraping after
A whiff of fresh air.
Fallen in and all mired in the mud
I lay exhausted, all energy extinguished.
As a light breeze picks up
Blows about my ears,
Tickles the little hairs along my arms,
At the base of my neck,
Gently hums a soothing lullaby
Into ears too tired to ball themselves up tight.
Stop … listen
Would you, could you
Just for an instant
And stop stalling
I need a minute,
I need to breath,
I need to be still,
I need to stop
listening to my lies,
And to start
Choose three of more of these words:
premium, fertile, whirligig, translucence, astronomical, doublespeak,
The Way the Wind Blows…
Radio on, voices wander
In one ear and out the other.
The whirligig in the garden is
Caught up in a slip stream of air–
Shifts in its shoes,
Dances all this way and that.
Hard to follow the blurring blades –
Colours tumble into a singular translucence,
As words flit by, all light fluff,
Spun on doublespeak – flickering
Fertile fancies – turn on
A sad premium, ambiguous
The cost … possibly, astronomical
Still the world spins on
Watches the whirligig in the garden.
By Food Allergy Canada
Children's Author & Book Editor
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