Black: A Poem About Hiding

It’s National poetry month, and I’ve resisted posting any of my poetry mostly because I’m don’t consider myself a poet. But as I reread this poem, it opened my eyes to a path I was tempted to walk again…this week. Even as I head into surgery in a few days.

Some explanation is in order, but I’ll be brief. This poem is a part a series based in colors. I pushed off saved the colors black & white until I’d done a host of others. Knowing myself, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, when the two starkest colors produced dark poems (Seriously. Who writes a dark poem about the color white?!). But I am surprised at how easily I fall into the habit illustrated here:

Black: A Poem about Hiding

Warm. Safe. Contained.
.      In the dark corner
.             I can’t see them,
.                   hear them,
.                          think about them,
.                               or deal, cope, hope.
.                                    I am mine
.                                                               Alone.
.                                    Narrow band of light
.                               from them
.                          peaks through,
.                    reaching.
.              Golden in promise,
.        deadly in delivery.

But I’m hidden
behind folds and corners.
Breathing darkness
the warmth of my own breath.
Hidden
Alone.

 

This poem’s sentiment is something I adopted as a kid and fight against as an adult—hiding from people. But I’m beginning to learn:

People aren’t always safe, but I miss something when I hide my true self. Tweet This

As I’m headed into surgery later this week, the desire to go into hiding is strong. I want to pretend it’s all okay, that I’ve got it all together. I’ve even cracked jokes and then went home and cried.

I promised myself I would be honest here. So I’ll say that putting myself out there has  been a successful experiment in some regards. The light from the other room fulfilling its golden promise. I found folks stepping up to help that I did not expect.

But boy, did it ever confirm what I’ve suspected in other places. And it hurts…and makes me want to find the nearest closet.

Here’s the thing I’m learning. Folks don’t know what they don’t know. We’re all hanging around in life—heads down; doing what we need to do. Those folks I expected to be there, they’ve got stuff. Just like I’ve got stuff. And you’ve got stuff.

And sometimes the stuff just gets all up in the way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty (if not more so) than anyone else. I’m truly not blaming them.

But it’s still there:

The desire to hide is all mixed up in hurt and hope.

So what’s a girl to do?

At the moment, my stuff (surgery prep and eventually post-surgery pain meds) prevents me from driving; lifting more than 10 pound; and doing, writing, or saying anything coherent. But part of coming out of the darkness is opening the door to the light of another’s presence.

So here’s my door open wide. Hoping the light will move from me to you. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

Waves of Light

Pink waves roll over the dark sky,
Building, crashing into brilliant light—
Smashing into the night sky,
Shattering the darkness.

Some days I welcome the coming of morning. It’s a fresh new day ready for good things. But other days—perhaps when I’ve been in the darkness, the depths of hurt or confusion just a moment too long—the light blinds and hurts. Continue reading “Waves of Light”

A Few Weeks ‘Til Christmas—A Gift for the Weary

Weary‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas. Not a creature was stirring, except for the mother. There were clothes to be folded, parties to plan, stores to be shopped for 52 people, plus the school bus driver and kind widow next door.

Though the world was all nestled knee-deep in the snow, nightmarish to-do lists danced ’round in my head.

My pillow, cold and lonely, was waiting for my long winter’s nap, but there was, quite simply, no rest to be found.

Deprived of sleep, my brain went all wonky, my temper was shrinking, while my waistline expanded, and I’m dead certain it was torture.

Cookies to bake, but my brain’s on log sawing. Was that one cup or two? One and a half will do.

I’m waiting for St. Nick to pop from the chimney all jolly and droll. But I’m afraid he’s not coming and I’m all on my own.

I may have to rethink the ban on his shelf elf’s patrol…if only it means he’ll help fill the stockings.

I can’t keep my eyes open.

My head falls to the counter with a jerk. And I turn with a lurch, while laying fingers aside my noggin, I fall into my bed, eyes closed in an instant.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.

May you find a smidgen of peace…
and perhaps a nice nap.

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When You’re Standing at a Crossroad

crossroadI’m standing at a crossroad. A place where I’m trying to make choices. Responsible choices. I’ve too much going on and I want to simplify. But then I’m confronted with brokenness, and I ache to help—to do something tangible. Sound familiar?

I suspect some of you are with me in the struggle. Often I find that I only see one step ahead, but strangely others can see more clearly than I. Perhaps, just maybe, together we can work out the next step.

As I struggle through decisions—what’s best as a mom, a writer, a wife. I’m called to be purposeful; to demand a higher level for myself; to be a clarion call of beauty, goodness, and truth—I started processing through the written word. I am, after all, a writer! What came out was the poem below.

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe*

Continue reading “When You’re Standing at a Crossroad”

Smooth as Buttercream

There’s Something About Texture

Texture

My boy’s tiny fingers twisted
Through silky dark threads
Knotted, bumpy woven into
Comforting texture.

Enormous flower heads
Delicate as Queen Anne’s lace,
Bobbing approval above narrow cattails
Or dancing radiant under evergreen boughs.

Round, smooth-as-silk berries
Coated intense red,
Tucked safe into thousands of tiny leaves,
And stretched over the rippling water.

Paint trailing under a brush
Light space and dark, starts and stops,
Hiccupping thick layers to mimic reality,

Leaves breathing like velvety buttercream atop
The cricket chirp lays down the ratcheting, rhythm
And a bird’s sharp call jive
Cutting through it all.

Summer Blue–A Poem

Summer Blue

Summer break is still new enough that we haven’t done too much complaining of boredom . . . yet. It’s open and we can sleep in and just breathe for a second. Paint, throw water balloons, read, . . . and go to the beach. Can’t forget the beach, where the sky breathes into the water, which slides into sand.

This unique place is one of our favorite destinations. If you’ve never made it to our neck of the woods, we have, arguably the best beaches in the world. Seriously Western Michigan’s white sandy, fresh water “ocean” coastline has often found it’s way into top mentions right alongside Hawaii, Florida, and the rest. So in honor of Lake Michigan, I give you:

Summer Blue

Continue reading “Summer Blue–A Poem”

Ode to Coffee

coffee
I lift my green mug high and salute all the parents armed against their brood with coffee, the secret weapon of our tribe. May your day be blessed…

Dearest Coffee you have such a lovely effect
When I once was falling asleep,
Your luscious caffeine wakes me up,
Or it may be the many trips to the bathroom you cause me to make.
But it doesn’t matter.
I am awake.

Your lovely smell entices me.
How is it that you do not taste
anything like you smell?
The acidic brew eats at my stomach.
But it doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Ode to Coffee”

There’s Something About Thursday: Ode to Snowmageddon

SnowmageddonBecause there’s just something about snow…

In honor of the snowmageddon* that has descended upon Michigan and graced us with a much-needed snow day, I give you:

The Snowman**

Rigid arms and legs
Six-sided spokes on a delicate wheel
Turning, twisting, charging to the ground
Embracing the waiting sisters
White and smooth in anticipation of being
Collected, rolled, and piled
Sculpted circles stacked
Decorated with stones, carrots, sticks and topped
With a lopsided hat***

*This is what we call 10 inches or more of snow received in 2 days time . . . particularly when it is wedged between balmy 50 degree days.
Please note: If you live in a warm climate, please refrain from commenting so here. We know you enjoy your warmth. We don’t need to be reminded that we are slightly crazy. And because we are slightly unhinged by the wild swing in weather, we might just contract an alligator to attack your front door (if you don’t recognize the reference, please check your Facebook memes. It is, apparently why we live in a place where the air makes our faces hurt.)
**If we’re honest, this is what we all hope our children will be building during their snow day so as not to be attempting to kill one another . . . or the dog, he’s just an innocent bystander. I will, in all honesty, be out building said snowman with them. Because I’m crazy like that. But only I can call myself crazy. I do have that alligator on speed dial. See above if you are confused.
***This most likely belongs to one of the neighbor kids, but I found it in the garage three weeks ago. Since my kids have left theirs somewhere (only the good Lord knows where), it will have to do. Hopefully it isn’t full of critters now making their home in my kids’ hair.

On Real Beauty

IMG_3377

 

The light bends golden across the horizon.
Yellow leaves twisting golden in the breeze.
Distant sounds of laughter call me out

To join the dance

The celebration
Of coming winter
Of summer’s dying

A remembrance
Of predictable pattern
Of persistent change

In the beautiful death of one thing
Comes the shimmering new life of another.

 

headshot 1 fixedWhen I realized that the late afternoon light was the perfect golden tone for pictures, I grabbed my camera for a selfie. It didn’t even occur to me to not fix my makeup.
Continue reading “On Real Beauty”

Flames

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

Blue at it’s source
Climbing the black stem
Consuming it
Curving, reaching
Bursting away,
Yellow pulsing
Tapered
Invisible heat

Escapes