Friday, February 19, 2016

A plea

A graveled path smothering
the weeds with measured stones.
Measured stones, each shape,
granule, thrown for me to go.
Go, upon the graveled path,
open your eyes to see majesty,
squalid scenes, drab mundanity.

I go upon the graveled path
upon the enumerated stone
where hairs are counted, lilies
clothed, and heads are bound
to roll. I hear voices moan in
the bordering weeds, moaning plight,
sight, moaning helplessly.

Oh, Stone-Layer, please wind
your path around. Wind around some
wrists. Wind to help them out.

Wind, wind, until you flow like wind
to rustle out those pained
and in the bushes hid.

I go upon the graveled path where
you've placed me to be.
But, Father, Stone-Provider,
pave some paths, I plead.

TWW 7/15

Notes:  This is not a perfect poem; some of the rhythm is off. But, I wrote it when I was wanting God to do more to alleviate suffering. It's kind of a "Where are you? Show thyself, more, please" poem.  A little bit demanding underneath, but it's okay to be this way. There is a lot of suffering, groaning, and it gets tiring; you feel helpless; you call out for God to do something. But, does he? I guess he provides a path, but a paved path could be the not-promise. Yet, still, I would love to perceive more presence at times, but this could be my own blindness, distracted by much.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Play in Peace

I have an aunt hot in pursuit
of my DARdom.

I have a cousin who fluffs up
her hair for pictures while
you look flat and brunette
to the side.

I have a sister with whom
nothing's wrong except
a wedge a lake depth long.

My mother is good, and she
would frown to see the word
"ass" written down.

And then there's my gentle
brother who drove our dead
man to town.

Which leaves my father.
Who got whom?
I hope you and the final buck
have your word and, like in a
Disney film, take turns
poking and laughing and tumbling
in the grass, sister, brother, mother,
savior, lion, lamb, blood, water,
silhouetting as a marker:
enemies may become best friends
if one ushers & follows.


Writer's notes:  I know this is a strange poem, but I'm not to a point where I can write a more conventional one about the passing of my father. So, I write this darkly humorous one, but also one that has sadness and hope. The sadness is that my loved family member is gone; the hope is that Dad is happy-full in heaven. Dad would like this kind of humor, especially about my mother, and the fact that he and a buck could be eternally entwined. I can see his dimples and eye-glinting now to pick up on this strand of strange humor joy. Thanks, Dad, for getting it, and I hope you and your new friend are enjoying your time together with Jesus. :)
** DAR -- Daughters of the American Revolution

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Flat&Scruggs: A PocketPorchFest

In today's i-world, I have a

banjo in my housecoat pocket, along

with a willing flat picker,

responding with a boogie-woogie.

Then the mandolin like a

youth left behind brothers

makes a show, screamin',

hollerin', tremblin' up a

storm until Momma comes

bowin', the fiddle sweepin'

up nonsense as Dad

appears on the porch; he's

pickin', he's grinnin', and

all the neighbors of Foggy

Mountain come runnin'

to hear the night's Special.

TWW 2/14/16

the two souls declare a road trip and flicker to life

However, each route ended in a cul-de-sac,

Or a dead-end down a long, perilous dirt road.

And, the souls, once again, fell to the tricks of earth

Which promises heaven but leaves an empty space.

Although the sound of the crickets, the smell of the river,

The tune of some old Ernest Tubbs track, train-trapsing from

The transistor about love almost, almost snagged them

Into an endless longing for paradise before they turned

Around to encounter what remained for them to fully find

Outside and upside the dusty and tried and disloyal roads of life.

TW 7/21/13

Writer's note: This is in response to a prompt from a writer's group with former students. We wanted to play with words and our prompts came from our creative talks. Although I was their teacher, I was so grateful for their dutiful desire to stay by my side for a couple of years after our school writing group where we tossed words up to blow where they would; we laughed; and we also wrote songs and sang them and ate my homemade ice cream which I didn't make for hardly anyone else. Most of them have gone on to college, but I am happy knowing that they are making furrows in fields and planting creative words and thoughts. I am happy for my time in their lives and theirs in mine. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Still Life '77

A regular morning here
But there cows heaved,
bacon sizzled.

A Zane Gray western splayed the floor.
The Today Show thump-tinkled the air.
The backdoor slammed; the barnboots thumped.
Heavy steps circled the skillet -- time to get up.
Small woman, big man, uncertain girls and boy
Rounding the silent table, nameless shames, sounds.

We grabbed homework, trumpet cases, track shoes,
Jumped off the porch, intercepted Bus number 3
Horse-stumbling-hard up the blacktop hill.
A driver, silent farm kids, bus-pus smells.
We were driven off to dump in town,
struggle with science, be tormented
By loves, learn how differently others live,
Expand our views, or contract the flu.

Behind we left the small woman, big man,
Lots of dogs, bones in the yard, cow moos, house
creaking, bacon sizzling, sounds of shoes 
leaving and still-living 1977.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Church Women of the Clefs

I made the effort to know & be known.

But, you Women of the Clefs,

Looked down, fastidious

And righteous in Codas.

I pulled out my little folk

Instrument, hesitant, glad

For my high school band

And madrigal experience

And I looked down too

And read and hoped the

Flats would translate

Into my finger tips.

You all had inside

Musical jokes which

Caused some look-ups.

I smiled gripping my

Little folk instrument.

Maybe one day I can

Become a Woman of

The Clefs too unless I

Go home all lonely

And sob into my

Sound hole and

Pluck an Em and

Decide to quit.



Writer's note:  I tagged this as humor, although, true! I struggle with fitting into established groups. And, these women really do take their music seriously, very task focused; it's not a relational time. There are expectations and hopes though that I always carry in and then the situation is not matched. To me, it becomes funny as I cope with my relational loneliness which we all have, I suppose.  I really liked writing "little folk instrument" a couple of times because there I find true intimacy. :) The Em is the universal plaintive sound that me and my high school girl writer musicians group acknowledged. There are some inside jokes here which make me laugh. And, the "Women of the Clefs" will just be how I see this tribe. Maybe one day, I can be on the inside. But, then, maybe one day, probably, I'll still be someone who shows up periodically. To be on the inside, I would need to commit time to be in the choral groups on Sunday mornings, and I can't do that due to bluegrass. Ah, it's the little folk instrument's fault after all. Em!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

~~~  Flight School ~~~~

Even now, as I look at my past earnest notes, my
Head swirls. Math. Science. History. Find Scott
Joplin resources. Something about President Cleveland
Not being able to read his inauguration paper.

You had a piano teacher named Ms. Shaw. I taught
You guitar and Constitution at Lamppost Co-op.
On Tuesday, you were supposed to watch a
Star Trek show before Taekwondo and then,

Suddenly, all my plans end, and there’s blank
Page after blank page. During this phase of
homeschooling, we must have been
jumping, jumping, jumping. ADHD trampoline

homeschool. Do you remember Whoever got
Pokemon toys Chicorita&Poliwhirl off from a hard
bounce -- also Pooh and a big marble or two –
Would win? Over and over they sailed up

Newton's-law-lesson to thump down on the ground.
I’d have a book nearby and we’d read history
Told in stories and lie there looking up at
The clouds floating by, moving, not required

To be static, meandering, sliding, untied
To the earth or chair. I learned to do
A side aerial flip with you my little boy
wisp as we flung ourselves up unwired.

copyright TWW