Monthly Archives: November 2014

Humming Bird: For Everywoman

Humming bird says no words
She just whirrs around the world
But have you ever stopped and heard
Her song for very long?
With a flutter you can soar
Beyond the things you’re looking for
So hover close once more before she’s gone.

What kind of flower do you dip your hours into?
Do you, too, long for a lean-to you can lean your burdens on?
Are we just the creatures that grace your sky with music,
Or do you cherish all the seeds we’ve sewn?
Do you cherish all the seeds we’ve sewn?

Be seen, don’t be heard.
It’s a child’s rhyme she’s memorized
But have you ever listened to the voice she could not share?
And now she sits at the table
Holding hands with men around a circle.
No longer spins their clothes in circles,
Wash clean like a prayer.

What kind of flower do you dip your hours into?
Do you, too, long for a lean-to you can lean your burdens on?
Are we just the creatures who grace your sky with music,
Or do you cherish all the seeds we’ve sewn?
Do you cherish all the seeds we’ve sewn?

She’s a creator, a conceiver,
She’s a mother,
A believer in what’s right and wrong,
A woman who’s seen strength take on her name.

She was a humming bird,
She sang, and once her voice was heard,
Well there were always those
To second guess the way she sees her world.

She’s not the same as you,
There’s something different.
She can’t build the world like you,
There is something different.
She’s got a different point of view,
She’s got cycles you don’t share
And it’s not nearly the same, the same at all.

So humming bird, says no words
She just whirrs around the world
Oh have you ever stopped and heard
Her song for very long?
With a flutter you can soar
Beyond the things you’re looking for:
How will you know the thing you’re looking for when you never could be sure?

What kind of flower do you dip your hours into?
Do you, too, long for a lean-to you can lay your burdens down?
And are we still the creatures who grace your sky with music,
Or have you noticed all the seeds we’ve sewn
Have you noticed all the seeds we’ve sewn?

Where were you today when she
Whirred her children gone, when she
Took back all of the colors of her own?
You were out discovering that
You, too are a hummingbird
And just as fragile, small, and hard to see as her.

You picked a flower to dip your hours into,
To make sense of the burdens buried in your down.
You wished, just for this once, that you could bear her children,
That there were just some things you could leave out.
But, there are just some things you can’t leave out.

So humming bird say no words,
You’re just a wing-span from our world
And have you ever stopped and heard
How strong we sing our song?

We are the same as you
There’s nothing different.
We both have to gather food,
There is nothing different.
Watch the fledglings fly away
Of both our colors they are made,
And the nests are strained with change today.
We’ll be the same after all.

So humming bird says no words
Oh humming bird says no words
Humming bird, she whirrs and whirrs
Oh she’ll be heard.
Have you ever stopped and heard
How strong she sings her song?

Strong we are and strong we whirr,
How strong we sing our song.
Strong we are, and strong we were,
How strong we sing our song.

***
You can listen to a recording of this song on my blog’s soundtrack page. Enjoy!

Dialogue of the Birthday Blues

What’s the matter, you ask, and why
With so much to love, do you want to cry?
As you’re still young with time to dream,
Life gives more to you than you need.

***

I will tell you what, I say,
Thirty-two’s two days away.
Two years more than three times ten,
Yikes, I’m older once again!

I worry yet that naught I’ve grown:
I have no family of my own,
I’m breaking every social rule,
And darn it all, I’m still in school!

So here I sit, bemoan my fate,
So many milestones, come too late
I should have been done years ago,
Instead I’m lost and rather slow.

I don’t know what I want to do
Once formal learning’s finally through,
Uncertainty cuts like a knife,
I’m not sure what to make of life.

***

Oh no, you say, and have no fear,
You needn’t agree with all you hear,
False expectations of a crowd
Who compare and judge … and talk too loud.

Why believe the things they say?
There’s nothing wrong with you, anyway.
Why hurry to fulfill a role
That’s not imprinted on your soul?

***

To heed such wise advice, I should,
If only I could claim some good.
Has come from all those years unfurled,
But I’ve changed nothing in this world.

Try to understand my gloom.
I rarely venture from my room,
And when I do, it’s such a mess,
A misadventure full of stress.

The trouble still remains for me,
That I take too long since I can’t see.
I’ve no accomplishment at which to point
My life appears so out of joint.

Or so say my friends who can’t disguise,
The fear in pity in their eyes.
How did I go oh so astray,
How could I have turned out this way?

They remind me I’m a Stanford grad,
And should not have it half this bad.
“Where’s the house, the job, the date?”
Protest my friends? “You’ll be too late!”

***

I’d question friendship of that kind,
I’d tell them so if I’d half the mind
But they’re not the ones who trouble me:
I care too much for you, you see?

Why listen to such knotted lies
They’ll seal your place with gilded ties
Just leave those should haves on the shelf
You are the author of yourself.

Too many values and ways to be,
Don’t foster authenticity.
So many making this mistake,
Turn from the chance to live awake.

Good enough, it can’t be bought,
Or given out as you’ve been taught.
Living well takes skill and art,
It’s not in tick marks on a chart.

Your worth is with you when you’re born,
So there is nothing here to mourn.
You are always where you need to be,
And share your light so brilliantly.

Spilling Over

She eats cereals like there is no tomorrow,
My Grandmother, depressions
Dripping like droplets of milk down her mouth,
Mouthing “more,” when she is not speaking,

Because she never got enough
When still a child, spilled by the fountain of youth onto the sprawling clay,
Needy and not kneaded at the bottom of the Bread Basket,
During the Depression.

She married my grandfather, tall, dark, and disciplined by Want,
Who used his knock-kneed frame as a jungle gym
Especially when the children ran rampant with hunger,
Crying shyly as they were tagged “it.”

My mother warns me to respect grandpa’s habits,
As if God herself deemed his behavior redeemable,
In a last attempt to tempt him with wanting grace.

“Eat your cereal, young lady,” grandma chides. My eyes
Bulge, suspecting yesterday’s meal of frosted minny-wheats
Will be mysteriously displaced into my metal spoon,
Milk draining off the cupped bowl of a concave collection of grain.

The children were always hungry, always crying.
My mother watches me fiercely with a hesitant sympathy plaguing
The whites of her corneas.
I see it sift through her eye like sand and flinch,

She, my mother, the survivor, silently
Witnessing the way I will pay
Tribute to my ancestors.

Quickly, I qualify my breakfast, a hurried gulp
Of saturated solution and swallow,
Exhaling elatedly after the enormous effort.

Two years ago, Grandfather wouldn’t insist on such a crude
Relapse into recalling such remembrances of long-ago,
But senescence seems to detain his decency behind bars,
And as the meal ends with many brothey bowls untouched,

He lifts them up sacredly from his table and gently pours
The contents of each eager-lipped, glossy dish
Into a fountain overflowing, that drips back into the carton of milk;
The same ritual he performed yesterday.

Tomorrow, I’ll leave the furrowed house
Where the roof thatches sink concavely toward the floor,
Where water, after accumulating in the troughs made
By the derivative of the roof’s normal triangular shape,
Eventually cascades into a freak rainstorm off the eves.

In the evening, brother and sister would play in puddles;
You could see the whites of their eyes reflect off the water
As they buried cold toes in dusty sand.

And if you were filled with the sustenance of sparse fortune,
You might offer them milk, and watch their mouths gape open
Like dry caves, accepting the first spray of waterfall.
Then they would save some for the family jar
To relive that white dream whenever they needed.

It was raining when the younger finally slipped out of sight,
Over him mounded grains of earth, and the grey-sky tears falling.
And at dawn, mother crept their barefoot, hardly believing,
There, dew dripped in silence, and there was one who longed no more.

*This poem is based on a story told to me by a family friend.

I See You _ A Tribute to Every Person Who Is Not Recognized For Who They Are

I see you,
Children no longer here,
Your faces in my dreams
Chiseled on the landscape of my soul.

Last night, I listened to you tell your story,
With a voice that in life you could not share.
You spoke of many wonders, despite your pain,
Most never noticed you were there.

I see you
Young women now and years ago,
Hands reached to steal you from yourself,
Attempt to turn you into stone.

They tried to make you, objects kept in secret towers.
Your fearful eyes haunt my waking hours.
How many still live with scars?
How many died to protect what is ours?

I see you,
As if I were there,
Each moment, a person I’ve never met,
I will keep your memory near.

How could anyone try snuffing out a sacred star?
How could anyone destroy such beauty until it’s gone?
How could anyone fail to see the brilliant light
Within each of us alike, though different for each one?

How can we stare and judge and yet not see
We’re holding up a mirror?
I live the truth it shatters me,
Stark and raw and clear.

My tears they fiercely stand behind my eyes,
So determined not to fall.
If I put words to your thousand nameless cries,
Could it do any good at all?

Living In The Light

The fire in my bones
Sings without words
Lights each of my steps
Inside out, from beyond the stars

Shatters the darkness
Joy calls me home
In this turning world
I sing of a timeless space

Beyond all names
From which I’ve come
I’ve settled in
I live there now

How can I speak this powerful love
Humming to itself throughout all things
Calling, calling me on
I am leaping within the cords of life

I am seeing the unfolding of the skies
And the dreams taking shape before my eyes
I am weaving myself into life
I return to my address of nowhere

I have touched the boundless center of being
Seed sparks flung out from the core alight with wonder
breathlessly I live the awesome beauty
Now and now, the quiet acceptance taking place within me

I have new eyes, glinting, for I surrender
To the sea of uncertainty, having nothing to fear
Here I am, moved, excited to be moving
Through every day and night, take flight once more

Beyond all wrong and right
Beyond the need for doors
Burning through the rays of the divine
I burst into this moment, free and soaring

Every inch of me gleaming with an indescribable feeling
Such expansive belonging, an endless tide
Open and still, around me silence is glowing
And at peace with unknowing, here I reside

Break open and unfold

The seed sewn at the center
Waits to grow
Is always yours to hold.

As if dissolved in a cocoon,
I prepare to emerge changed
Into what I have always been.

My mind doesn’t know it yet,
And yet, I dream
Of unchecked skies and new found wings, I dream.

The metal box overflowing with my fears
Is too heavy to keep
Carrying on this journey,

So I’ll leave it on the bottom shelf
Behind the self help
Books promising “a better you.”

I am enough,
I scream at their winking gold titles.
Because even though I am

Cracked and chipped and damaged,
Dropped by accident too many times,
In turmoil with the mending of old wounds,

Still I take off again into the blue,
No longer meant to hide, or forced to crawl.
I tell the one who fights transforming at all:

Wordless love waits for whomever can
Commend themselves into the hands
Large enough to contain each

Of our sharp and jagged pieces.
Still enough,
To hold each imperfect moment, without comment.

None will hand me back such trying
Marked up red for correcting
Along with, “it would be better had you been done differently.”

So tomorrow, letting go, I’ll break down
The sealed doors to secret rooms
Behind which occupants bide their time, unwelcome.

Even if, to evict them I dissolve shaking
Into a dark shelter beyond
Which nothing is certain.

Hidden there are the keys for the freedom
To reign in my own home,
A butterfly monarch sustained by wildflowers.

Hidden there, myself unchanged.
And because there is nothing to do or be differently,
I’ll be wholly different from before.

I’ll remember what wings are, never forgetting who carries me,
The wind across this expansive, unsung sky,
And above the clouds, I’ll soar.

Allegro’s Version of “My Favorite Things”

Allegro, Violet, and me

So, I discovered that after being sick all week I tend to get creative in a weird way. How is this possible, you might ask, aren’t I creatively weird already? No comment on that. But the following occurred yesterday after starting to feel better, and I thank for her posts on her dog Ani for the inspiration.

Allegro’s version of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music

Chasing my tail, skidding after my hedgehog,
Eating my kibble and going on long walks,
Getting fuzzed up and then tugging on rings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Running from mom when she’s trying to catch me,
Time on the couch every time that she lets me
Splashing in water and biting my leash,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Playing at keep away and watching mom find me,
Gnawing on bones to show off to her family,
Winning the island game, to race off with glee
These are a few of my favorite things.

Nibbling the grass that grows by the back gate,
Shredding old tissues while the humans are out late,
Running faster than mom, oh the joy that it brings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When I’m left alone, and no one’s home,
When I can’t play ’cause mom’s feeling bad,
I sigh and I dream of my favorite things,
And then I fall asleep on my fuzzy mat.

Descriptions (from Allegro’s point of view):
Fuzzed up: Being rubbed, scratched, and pet all over to the song, “fuzz fuzz fuzz, fuzzing him up.” I go wild and crazy with joy and spin in circles and grunt. It’s great!

Running from mom: I don’t think this is the usual human/dog pass time.
She insists on chasing me. Loves it. Makes loud noises that are weirder
than the ones I make. But I love the game and I’ll run at her just to
get her to start a chase. She says it’s not a fair chase because there are too many blocks of concrete to smash into. Well you just don’t run at those! I always win. Yeah!

Ring: That cool round rubbery thing to tug on. It’s great fun, but could the humans stop trying to balance it on my nose? It’s called dignity, people!

Keep away: Making sure my toy is just out of reach so mom can’t throw it without dashing in circles and trying to intercept me. She looks so silly doing this. Actually she looks a bit like I do…haha!

Mom having to find me: What can I say, I know she’s blind. That’s why I’m here, right? So shhhh don’t tell Guide Dogs: sometimes I run across the courtyard and then stand perfectly still so mom doesn’t know where I am. It’s a great trick, except I can’t understand why she inevitably says “I see you!” and runs right at me. It’s like she can see anyway. Was that in the job discription?

Island game: a totally rigged game in which I run eagerly behind the island counter in the kitchen carrying a toy and mom runs from one side of the counter to the other in order to block me from leaving the kitchen. I try to escape but there aren’t any concrete planters in the apartment so mom is too fast! It’s hard to win and when her spirit friend played with her I was stuck in the kitchen for over five minutes. I started to freak out and they let me win that one I suspect. But sometimes I’ll win fair and square, usually by distracting mom or running through her legs. Okay, okay I admit to going in there on purpose just to start the game. I love it!

Running faster than mom: She can’t really run. She also loves it when I chase her. So I do. Something about equality when it comes to chasing and getting chased. Whatever. It’s not much of a contest but I humor her. She has a great time, so I do, too.

***

Now this is when I make a plea as a person who can’t see attempting to post a picture of my lovely labradorable to forgive me if “disaster” does not actually even begin to cover the description of the damage. Thanks!

To The One Who Listens, Spring 2008

I want to be found. I will sing the song of remembering and walk into the patches of light that mark my way, searching for solace and finding kinship once again with my own soul. Just as I learned to experience again in this world, without my sight, so I will patiently relearn to see with inner sight and wind my way back to the origin of my belonging. I will reconstruct the bare bones of my living out loud. From there I will venture on, beyond all I have known, beyond the thoughts and feelings of other people, and past the fields that stretch beyond that, with their tall grasses, where lost ones are no longer empty, where there is no scarcity of freedom, where I am once again mine.

I want to be found. For I hunt like the wolf and gather like the squirrel. I am the core of the apple, the heartwood of the oak, and the acorns squirrels gather. I am the running and the taking, I am the giving and receiving. I am the end of hunger. I am my own pathfinder.

I want to be found. So it is that I live and die and am reborn, to race the wind, dance with the passions of the flames, whose truth falls like ash upon the earth. From whose spark of truth I rise, I will rise, I will send my cries across the waves, singing out clear the voices of the many colors, the song light weaves throughout the world which mends, and heals the brokenness until I remember I have always been whole.