Spiritual Memoir – June 9

What is written on my inner walls?

Arabic writing, its beauty indecipherable
so I call to a Guide who knows how to read it.
After a time, the letters become tongues of fire.

I tell the Guide what I see
and she tells me to look again –
On the wall, a portal now, opening onto a great sea
stormy, with crashing waves.
I taste salt that drenches face and hands.

Now words of water
form and pool on the walls. I begin
to understand even less,
but there is still the cool prickling of the water
on my skin.

I tell the Guide what I see and she laughs
and hands me a towel.
As I dry off, I see the walls are transparent now
and the whole World is laid out
a shimmering net of pearls at my feet.

Welcome Home
appears on the walls.



**NOTE: The featured image of a conservatory/pergola/gazebo copyright is unknown. Please contact me if you are the creator, I would love to give you credit and see more of your beautiful photography!

Healing Circles for Writing

The latest from the class I’m taking with Wendy Brown-Baez.

Where does serenity come from?
The still center not one single breath away from
where your knees are bent
along the edge of the chair.

Where does serenity come from?
Sinking into the sound of the June-soft air
as it brings the soft hand of car tires
on the cooling pavement.

Where does serenity come from?
Showing up in the middle of the storm
where clarity moves as
remembering to stay firm,
mindful of where the floor reaches up
to bear the weight of your feet.

Where does serenity come from?
Turning the corner
in a long, long, long struggle to stay with your purpose
no matter what.

Where does serenity come from?
A gritty, laughing dance
knowing this muddy radish you just ate
has given you the wisdom
of just precisely how to be thorough
in harvesting the garden.

WLYA – 11 for 11!

Feelin’ all sassy and limber today, a good bit of work done. It’s been a busy week or so, and I’m really pleased with how well the Write Like You’re Alive 31/31 creativity challenge is going. Today, I finished up editing some draft pieces from last week, finalized three pieces from this week, and I’m completely up to date with the sprint.

Also, taking risks and being more vulnerable in my work – one aubade I feel comfortable showing, and several edgy, funny ones too, if I do say so myself.

Can’t share any here yet, but I’ll probably find time to do something more substantive and stand-alone, to post here on my blog. This writing stuff is addictive!

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Repost – Poetry Lab #1 — CALIATH

FIRST, A QUEST. The image above, if carefully examined, displays three differently animated levels distinguishable by their relation to velocity and, by consequence, Time. This animation device has been used to display certain feelings in a much clearer way: her face is animated carefully and slowly, every frame is fluid, to inspire serenity and […]

via Poetry Lab #1 — CALIATH

Beauty – Iteration 18

First beauty – architectural blueprint for Prince’s Paisley Park complex.

Second beauty – Annie Lennox on the radio, singing “Would I Lie to You?”

Third beauty – blessed coolness: overcast, breeze, birdsong like crazy.

Next beauty – two well-dressed women; dark eyes, mouths speaking sweetness. A wonderful perfume.

Next beauty – my mood, buoyant, peaceful. The body at ease.

Penultimate beauty – I will not give up, no matter what the cost,

 

 

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Mimosa – Cover Image by David Bradford Kane, Self image by Michele Montserrat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federico Garciá Lorca

“…never let me lose what I have gained,
and adorn the branches of your river
with leaves of my estranged Autumn.”

Today is the birthdate of playwright and poet Federico Garciá Lorca, born in1898 in Fuente Vaqueros, near Granada in Spain. Check out the link below to read more about him on Poets dot Org.

There’s also a relatively new translation of Lorca’s work – Poet in Spain – that was published last fall by Knopf.”

“Riveting . . . Lorca’s poems from Spain are a poetry of dreams and journeys and glimpses from balconies, of sunbaked meadows and realms of erotic yearning . . . Arvio is a supple translator, and she has delivered a personal book . . . [Her] rich and gripping retranslation of ‘Blood Wedding’ [is] of a piece with Lorca’s blood-warm verse.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Federico on Poets.org

In 1936, García Lorca was staying at Callejones de García, his country home, at the outbreak of the Civil War. He was arrested by Franquist soldiers, and on August 19, after a few days in jail, soldiers took García Lorca to “visit” his brother-in-law, Manuel Fernandez Montesinos, the Socialist ex-mayor of Granada whom the soldiers had murdered and dragged through the streets. When they arrived at the cemetery, the soldiers forced García Lorca from the car. They struck him with the butts of their rifles and riddled his body with bullets. His books were burned in Granada’s Plaza del Carmen and were soon banned from Franco’s Spain.

“Verde que te quiero verde”

Featured image illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Thinkstock, Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images.

 

 

 

 

Spring Rain

Right before the rain, the cat came, slinky soft,

curving around the corner of the house, arching a greeting to my ankles.

The clouds waltzed and tangoed across the horizon to the arms of the sun –

they danced and this is how it started.

 

The maples decided to give it a whirl,

little by little the lilacs and currents joined, ducking and bending each branch and leaf.

Winging away were a robin, a sparrow,

a goose or two, and a cardinal.

 

Rich! what-cheer, cheer, cheer! purty-purty-purty-purty

After the rain – plum blossom – sweet and heavy on the breeze

and I could swear I heard the earthworms, glistening through the grass roots.

Lilac gratitude goes to Simon from the Lawless Poetry group on Facebook.

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To the Community of Poets

“For every atom belonging to me as good
belongs to you…”

The Barbaric Yawp Open Mic Reading Series is a monthly event, curated and hosted by Christopher Title, and held in St. Paul, the twin sister of Minneapolis.

Tonight was the 10th Anniversary of the series, and I gotta say – we all did it up right tonight. What a blast! Energy levels were high, the poetry and stories were fresh and edgy and fun. We had a *great time.

All the performers read their own work, and then each took one of the stanzas of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”

“I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips
and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and
plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart…”

I took my place at the mic tonight, and I had verse 19 from Whitman’s “Song.”

19
This is the meal equally set, this the meat for natural hunger,
It is for the wicked just the same as the righteous, I make appointments with all,
I will not have a single person slighted or left away,
The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited,
The heavy-lipp’d slave is invited, the venerealee is invited;

There shall be no difference between them and the rest.

This is the press of a bashful hand, this the float and odor of hair,

This the touch of my lips to yours, this the murmur of yearning,
This the far-off depth and height reflecting my own face,

This the thoughtful merge of myself, and the outlet again.

Do you guess I have some intricate purpose?

Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has.

Do you take it I would astonish?

Does the daylight astonish? does the early redstart twittering through the woods?

Do I astonish more than they?

This hour I tell things in confidence,

I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.

But first I read a piece that I wrote in Wendy Brown-Baez’s most recent poetry workshop. Wendy’s a really good teacher – I’ve learned so much from her. So, I’ll share here the unexpurgated version of the poem I read tonight at the celebration.

To the Community of Poets

Praise to the community of poets!
The writers, toiling away,
creating pictures in words,
crafted from the weavings and leavings of the Muse.
They are like lyrical ants,
antennae pressing into each letter,
every word a grain of wheat
gathered and arranged
and offered up.
Plopping ladles of alphabet soup into each bowl,
the reader tastes,
and like unfolding clouds of incense,
wonder rises like steam from the plate.

Praise to the community of poets!

On social media, in meeting rooms –
a gathering storm of wordsmiths
sits around restaurant tables,
sprawls on couches and pillows and chairs,
writing and laughter rising and falling,
and tears in turn.

Praise to the community of poets!
Praise to them
and these hearths of faces and keyboards too,
crackling with villanelles,
and sonnets rising up like charmed snakes from the midst of them.
Shoulder to shoulder they seek for the perfect word
to hymn of love gained and lost,
of new cars skimming along streets,
of rusty cars left behind,
of weevils teeming in bags of spilled grain
of mountains thundering with trees,
of children birthed, grown and gone.

Praise to the community of poets!
Praise to the giddy company of poets
Who learnt the trick of breaking into the places where fire is stored.
Like wild monks, they guzzle the wine there,
and then bring some back to spike the punch
with words that slip through the barricades
around the souls of the sleepers,
bringing hearts to heal
and beat and throb with the perfection of the world
as it is –
only better.

Sing Along With Dada

Sing Along with Dada
by Michele Montserrat

 

As dear Tzara said,
“…if we reveal the crime, it’s to please you, dear audience.”

AND! dear Tzara didn’t say,
but I believe he would have, if dear Tzara were alive –
“Lick here,
you might be one of the lucky 25.”

Dada is
world soul without end,
and Dada is
revolution without a pawnshop,
and Dada is
a learned denunciator
currently working the sign without a net.

h’um dear dada,
h’um dear dada!

Dada can be found
whistling at your friends,
and Dada is
yelling at Fellini,
and Dada can be found
feeling up the surrealists.

dada m’dada,
dada m’DAda!
dada m’dada
bordello m’DAda!

Dada is
teatime for burglars,
and Dada is
a scandal to the ants,
and Dada finds a happy ending
in tank traps especially.

h’um dear dada,
h’um dear dada!

Dada is
firing your neurons,
and Dada is the one
who said goodbye,
and Dada can be found
pulling the strings,
and Dada is the one
who stole your paint-by-number picture
and put it in the Louvre.

dada m’dada, dada m’DAda!
dada m’dada bordello m’DAda!

Dada is
kissing the wind,
and Dada can be found
with a gleam in its eye,
and Dada is
drinking the milk
of manufacturers
and evangelists.

dada m’dada, dada m’DAda!
dada m’dada, bordello m’DAda!
hu’um dear dada,
umhum dear dada,
in bordello Jesus!