Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Who am I to Deny a Skeleton a Little Fun?


Who am I to Deny a Skeleton a Little Fun?

My closet successfully stays orderly
for weeks (sometimes months) on end, shoes neatly arranged,
sweaters seasonally separated from t-shirts -

enjoy running my hands over and through
carefully arranged pants, scarves, purses
until, inevitably, the restraints burst

and the skeleton in my closet breaks into his best Fred Astaire,
aping about to the tune of my Mother's "tales"
exposing my teenage vice; she a stay at home mom
fixated (or so I thought) on unimportant matters.

Came home from school one day,
backyard bonfire burning brightly -
Mother humming at kitchen sink.  Gasped
when an immaculate room greeted me.

As a mother now, I smile.  Imagine the glee
I'd feel doing the same, warn my teenage girls
of the possibility.  But then again, if I'm not careful,
they may one day return the favor

and then my skeleton
wouldn't have the fun of tap-dancing
every now and then.

A sign of a sick mind ;)  (My husband's side the closet)
You didn't think you'd get a look at my side, did you?

by Margaret Bednar, December 5, 2017

This bit of confession is linked with "The Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Camera Flash"  and to "The Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform".  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

"The Photograph"



The Photograph

November salutes from her western ridge,
caresses faces dear to me radiating faith
that tomorrow dreams will be fulfilled.

Eyes proof hope is something tangible,
patted and molded like Grandma's special cookie recipe,
dough carefully measured and palmed
into smooth balls, perfect bites of love, devoured.

This Thanksgiving they learned the secret ingredient,
listened carefully as she guided them,
apron strings wound 'round a younger generation,

and as I gaze upon these figures silhouetted
against November's sky, atop Grandfather Mountain,
I trace each outline with my finger
(and a boyfriend, added so comfortably),

once again say goodbye to my babies
as they depart from our holiday
leaving me with a heart replenished.

by Margaret Bednar, November 28, 2017


This is written for the prompt "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads, Kerry's Challenge - a Skyflower Friday: "Goodbye"

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration - all six kids home - what more could a mother want? and Grandparents - Grandmother shared her "secret" ingredient for her chocolate chip cookies finally - the kids all enjoyed that and the cookie tradition will continue for the next generation.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Lake Path

Art by Ann Byrd - her website HERE
The Lake Path

I adore Lake's morning coolness upon my cheeks,
sometimes accompanied with a tear or two -
hopefully mistaken as a Mountain's morning mist;
its freshness soothes, nourishes as I pray -
look skyward as clouds contort into shapes imagined.

If I walk this circular path at noon,
Sun often lulls me into laziness, rests upon my shoulders
urges me to settle and observe a pair of swans,
ducks, geese, and dragonflies darting water's edge
whose fragile wings lift upon the slightest breeze -

reminds me I'm not in control
no matter how well laid my plans.

In the evening, greens fade to grey,
songbirds nestle into silence, and I gather strength
as twilight ribbons its way about pines and oaks
and Moon begins bestowing blessings
with a wink to those who seek.

by Margaret Bednar, November 15, 2017


This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads -  Bits of Inspiration - Dragonfly"  Its been a couple of weeks since I've had a chance to take time to write a poem - to take much time for myself - realized I hadn't even been getting outside much - not exercising, not taking time for myself.  I truly think that isn't healthy - so I've simplified a few things and hope I've found a balance...


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rusty


Rusty

It was always a pleasure seeing the world
between his expressively curved ears
displaying a steadiness, an inquisitiveness,
a thankfulness for leaving the arena,
the endless circling around.

A curved path excited him,
the rustle of leaves, even the squirrels
seemed to delight.  He didn't mind
venturing out alone with me.  I'd sing,
he'd clip clop along non-judgmental.

He was half Arabian -
could go for hours without tiring.
I'd get lost daydreaming -
he'd take advantage; snag a leaf or two.

We'd often arrive home just before dark.
Bathed in barn light,
I'd scratch the whorl beneath his forelock,
lean into his neck as he tucked into his grain,
fresh straw fluffy beneath our feet.

by Margaret Bednar, October 26, 2017


This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations".   The moment I saw this painting it made me think of my horseback rides on my childhood horse, Rusty.  Even now I recall his eagerness and excitement to see what was around the bend - He was a good horse - He was never barn sour nor did he mind going out alone with no other horses; many horses are spooky and can't be trusted.   My favorite time to ride is in the fall when the forest starts to open up and rays of light hit the trails and one can see through the trees a bit - makes it less scary for a horse too.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Woodland Melody



My daughter & Oberon

Woodland Melody

Cardinal reds, rose, and wine -
apricot oranges, coral, and peach -
amber yellows, canary, and ash
freckle our mountainside
and frolic upon woodland's pond.

Summer has melted into fall,
squirrels sound like bears,
and leaves spiral down -
their swan song about our shoulders
and beneath our feet

all in rhythm, or so it seems,
to my pony's four beat gait.

by Margaret Bednar, October 22, 2017


My daughter and Oberon
The colors are starting to change but in these photos it still looks really green.  I'll have to drive around this week and capture the reds, yellows, and oranges - they really are changing fast and falling off the trees quickly as we've had some heavy rains.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge - Micro Poetry"  - I didn't see the final line beneath the image "binding with briars" was to be our frame of reference -from the final line of the poem, The Garden of Love, by William Blake... Sorry!  



My daughter and I currently drive an hour to the barn - that is a two hour round trip and we go out no less than three times a week - usually five.  A barn just 15 or so minutes away is now under new management and I am so excited as we checked it out and we will be moving there within a week.  We will have a fantastic indoor arena, a nice big outdoor, and mountain trails.  To be able to see Oberon every day will be wonderful!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Longing

Can be purchased on Etsy HERE
Longing

I envy you your tears,
your breaking heart
as he slips away

for it means you have loved
and been loved -

where I feel a bit lost
as what I've sought
will never be.

Wake up at night
knowing part of me
is broken.

Thank God it's small enough
to tuck away out of sight

most of the time.

by Margaret Bednar, October 12, 2017

linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's - Music with Marian".   The video is very sad - and this may not address it exactly but I think the sense of loneliness and heartbreak is true to the song...

I've been absent a few weeks - busy with being a mom and juggling kids - which is fantastic - not complaining there - but my Father has taken a turn for the worse - his stroke has affected more than just his speech - and it seems like time has run out for many things...   I'm not looking for sympathy - I've come to terms with feelings a long time ago - just sad as things could have been so much different.  Thank God my girls have a father that has helped form them into talented, confident, and kind young women.

In a quilting class today a woman shared her struggle as caretaker of her aging father - he's slipping and she fears he will die soon.  She was very tearful and I actually found myself a bit envious as I really don't have any tears - just a sense of loss of what could have been...

I seldom write poetry about this subject as I fear hurting my mother's feelings if she were to ever find her way here - which she won't - she doesn't log on to any computer ever (she's 90) - I feel guilty - like I'm betraying ... something.

Monday, September 25, 2017

"Preparations"



Preparations

Caramel drizzled apples, wood stacked.
Leaves spiral down, crimson tipped,
heralding "Soon, soon"...

I fickly proclaim Autumn "my favorite",
weary of heat-drenched days.

Beneath kitchen window
fawn's still speckled, buck's alters fuzzy.

Just a pane of glass divides
sweet green grass and pumpkin-spice pie.

by Margaret Bednar, revised September 25, 2017

This is for "dVerse Poets Pub - Quadrille #41" a poem in 44 words & this week use the word "spice". I revised an old poem, edited it and added the word spice.   I like it better this way.   The deer were under my kitchen window and I was making apple pie - but I have exercised artistic license :)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Haibun - Patchwork Poetry




Quilted reflections patch their way onto the page as if outlined with silken threads, scrolled - more often typed.  Sometimes the fabric is fragile, like a baby bird in my hand, fallen from its nest.  It doesn't survive other than in desperate words, hand-made paper splashed with tears.  Other-times harmoniously sewn thoughts nestle between the covers of my soft leather journal, pentameter becomes sashing for metaphors, photographs pattern pieces that inspire it all.

Quilts comfort
butterflies & lavender nourish
poetic germinations

by Margaret Bednar


This is for "dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - Why?"  It was a HARD challenge and I'm not sure I did it correctly - I tried.  We were to write the WHY of our style.

I think I approach my style as I do making my quilts (the quilts above are NOT mine) very visually - usually with photographs I take and then pair them with my memories (complimenting fabric :)...




“English-language haiku tend to be written in three lines, corresponding to the metrical division of Japanese haiku, but Japanese haiku are actually usually printed in a single vertical column. By way of analogy with this form, poets such as Matsuo Allard and Marlene Mountain began writing English haiku in a single horizontal line—and thanks to their efforts that form has become established in English as the major alternative to the typical three-liner”.
   
If you are interested and want to read more, click HERE.  I found the comments interesting - I like to stick as close to 17 syllables as possible but will go over or under... I like to HINT at a season but NEVER name it.  

Also... this "HERE" was a nice season words (kigo) list for Japanese poetry - from the 1997-78 Haiku Journal... my question if anyone knows - are words like germinate and any plant (like clover) kilo words as well?  

Monday, September 11, 2017

"State of Mind"



A State of Mind

I'm a midwestern girl 
raised on flat prairie land
of endless cornfields 
and deadly spring river-risings 

now call the Blue Ridge home 
whose size once rivaled the Alps.
Kick stones over the edge; 
watch them free-fall tumultuously

like the 9-11 victims "escaping" the flames...

by Margaret Bednar, September 11, 2017

Bizarre state of mind today - have watched a number of mind numbing and stomach turning videos of 9/11... can't stop thinking the 200 plus people who jumped to their deaths...  So many awful ways to die... and we've certainly been seeing many of them lately - earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes... all within a couple of weeks.   

The State Fair


The State Fair

I inhale the aroma
of deep fried pastries with powdered sugar
Brahman bulls, pigmy goats, horses,
occasional whiff of weed ...

Young son's initiation:  cotton candy,
dragon tattoo, first carnival ride - arms outstretched,
swinging precariously overhead, laughing ...

make our escape - stroll amongst quilts,
painted, and woven until his new-found addiction

finds us amongst noise and confusion once again,
I with sideways glances at pimple faced youth
awkwardly flirting, holding hands, giggling
(a faint memory tickles the back of my brain...)

and my young son wired on sugar and temptation:
over-sized stuffed toys and roller-coaster rides
which I forbid.  Point him towards the bumper cars

and carousel - perhaps this will be the last year
he allows me to publicly kiss his cheek
as he climbs upon the lion's back...

by Margaret Bednar, September 11, 2017



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Wooded Trail - Haibun



The farm pond is silent this morning; the boardwalk's draped with overhanging limb, overgrown bushes, and the vocal aspirations of many a songbird grace forest's edge.  I brush aside cobwebs, try not to imagine the spider's size that wove it, hope it's not crawling up my back.  It's cooler beneath the canopy although I've traded heat for bugs.

Everything's still green but the occasional leaf ferries its way downward, twirls slowly, grudgingly announces a new season's about to begin.  Two tree trunks angle across the path; both look quite old with deep ridges and dark gray bark - even riding my horse I couldn't pass as their needled branches make an effective barrier.

I turn back towards the pasture and ponies familiarizing themselves with each other.  Soon we will be exploring this new terrain of rolling hills together.  Supposedly there is no virgin land left in North Carolina; all timber having been clear cut two or three times.  I'm impressed with the size before me, yet how magnificent to have experienced the height and breadth of their ancestors.  I look forward to the high drama when skeletal limbs expose themselves and sunlight settles upon forest's floor.


the farm pond reflects a red leaf's vulnerability

by Margaret Bednar, September 5, 2017

The above video is a bit long - but I hope you enjoy it.  Our horse is Oberon, the buckskin Quarter Horse.   We are boarding at a new barn - Oberon is making new friends and enjoying the pasture - my daughter had a hard time bringing him in the other day.  The farm was left vacant for a year before the new owners purchased it - and a lot of work needs to be done - fences, arena, stalls, trails - but they have done tremendous work in just two weeks - can't wait until the trails are cut back and ready to be ridden!

This is linked with "dVerse Haibun Monday - Komorebi"

and "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Vintage

Pinterest HERE
Vintage

My Grandmother always wore sensible shoes.
Wide, low heels, usually black, neatly laced
and tied with an even bow.  Not rounded toes,
nor too pointed; she didn't like her feet
to be pinched.  She walked with a purposeful,
steady, no-nonsense stride.

In her attic I once found an old, worn pair
of slender, soft, rich grey, high-cut
side-buttoned "Parade" shoes
which the box advertised were for
the "Fashionable Young Lady",
sporting "stylish toes, high arches,
and emphasized "Louis" heels with "Spanish"
scrolled in fancy print just above.

Remember taking off my thick cotton socks,
as with them on, my feet were too wide.
Clunked around the wooden floor;
couldn't for the life of me begin to imagine
who these sexy shoes had once belonged.

by Margaret Bednar, August 30, 2017

This is linked with "dVerse Poetics - A Closet Full of Shoes"  Also linked with "The Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"


Monday, August 28, 2017

September's Overture


September's Overture

Late August finds me
reclining porch-side,
for there's no other way
to sit in an Adirondack chair -
savoring chardonnay,
appreciating a symphony
of crickets (bliss high -n- low)
and katydids (rather raspier)
frogs, the occasional dog
paying homage
to the renaissance around the corner.

by Margaret Bednar, August 28, 2017

linked with "dVerse Quadrille #39"  - 44 words and the use of the word "bliss"

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Beginning of Fear?

image found HERE
The Beginning of Fear?

I remember the feel of grass beneath my palm,
raised voices within Grandmother's house,
windows being shut, screen door banging against it's frame

and then a stillness, a dimming of the sky -
not so much dark as just off color
and my mother calling my name;

remember looking toward the small porch
framed with winding vines of red roses
and choosing to remain quiet.  I don't know why.

Vaguely remember a voice saying "I found her",
perhaps my older sister.   Look back and think,
perhaps this moment was the beginning of fear.

I don't remember descending the cellar
(that's what Grandmother called her basement)
do remember anxious voices, chilly dampness, the dark.

My whole life I've had this foreboding;
every watch, every warning transports me to that
uneasy disquiet as a toddler, looking skyward, transfixed.

by Margaret Bednar, August 26, 2017

I was not quite two years old when this happened, my mother told me (years later when I shared my memory with her) we had moved in with my Grandmother while our house was being built, our previous house having sold.  Where we lived in Northern Illinois tornadoes are rare - but this happened to be one that grounded fairly close - I didn't see it but I did feel the change in atmosphere - something I remember to this day.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Fashion Me Your Words to Stretch the Imagination - Natural Disaster"  We were also supposed to add what part (the) God(s) play(ed) in the natural disaster.  But since this is a real memory and I was so little, I couldn't make that work.   So, I twisted the rules a bit (again) I suppose.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Hope Always Rising"

This photo has nothing to do with the poem -
This is an image of the Blue Ridge Pkway at 96% solar eclipse
...and the bee buzzing about this wild grape vine.
Please do not read this poem without reading the inspirational (current event) true story which inspired it.  "Devota, Valentine: "Everyday, We Are Blessed To Be Alive" by Jon Katz

Hope Always Rising

As a child I read fairytales, believed enduring wrongs
and injustices would always be rewarded if patient,
if good.  I lived on hope; hoped I'd be pretty one day,
hoped I'd have a fine wardrobe, find a handsome husband,
hoped ... oh so many frivolous things.

I never imagined walking over two thousand miles
in a war ravaged country, fleeing genocide,
a baby upon my back.

Never imagined plunging into a year's long hardship,
avoiding, not always successfully,
rape, hunger, bone weary exhaustion.

Never imagined passing by children
abandoned upon forest floor, starving, some already dead
as there was no one to save them.

Never imagined dodging bullets, fearing countless soldiers
and farmers (as food was scavenged from their fields),
not always escaping injury.

Never imagined "walking on bones".

As a child, and shamefully even an adult, my hopes
and prayers sometimes seemed fickle -
as if incorrectly answered I might read a book
instead of recite a nightly devotional.

But Devota never abandoned her Valentine,
her prayers never ceased, happiness not expected,
nor survival - although hope for freedom,
hope in perseverance, hope of a friendly border
did cling stubbornly to her belief in salvation.

Twenty years a U.N. refugee, waiting in Africa
for America to finally extend her hand;
and we are all the richer for Devota
and her wise and solemn "Grimm" fairytale.

Happily ever after, to quote Emerson
"...is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it make a difference
that you have lived and lived well".

Immigrants and refugees remind us
what's really important, the giving of ourselves,
each to the other; remembering what compassion means.

by Margaret Bednar, August 22, 2017


An interesting link from the History Channel:  Rwanda-genocide

This is linked with "dVerse - Poetics: Border"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Beneath a Batik sky...




Beneath a batik sky, everything's whitewashed in translucent shades of aqua, turquoise, and teal; shapes being reduced to inky silhouettes.  Humidity cloaks me, but welcoming the island breeze I wear this frock with ease even as sweat trickles betwixt my shoulder blades.  My feet turn towards the harbor, gem colored kayaks beaconing.  Soon develop a steady rhythm, skirt Silver Lake's circumference, glide by weatherworn piers and pilings, pass muster with austere white crowned sentinels of broad wings and oversized bill; grateful for the privilege of safe passage.  Find myself refreshed and walking beside a border of cypress trees, whose contour of whorls and swirls seemingly place me inside a Van Gogh landscape although absent a sky of churning, patterned brushstrokes; instead it is scrimmed with gossamer clouds more reminiscent of Whistler.  Meet up with my man and little man admiring Pamlico Sound, find my heart bursting as brightly as the marigold star nestling in the sliver of tangerine sky as it winks once more and slips softly into the sea.

Turquoise and marigold accent my world
as ocean's breeze soothes a tempest

by Margaret Bednar, August 21, 2017

This is linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - What did you do?"  Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"

A Haibun is one of my favorite poetic styles - although I do struggle with the follow-up Haikus.  We just returned from a last summer "hurrah" - a week on our beloved Outerbanks - Ocracoke Island.  It is the beginning of hurricane season, and although there were a touch of storms, they came and went.  It made the waves a lot of fun - although we didn't venture very far out and my son wore a life jacket and a boogy board attached to his wrists.






Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Uncomplicated"





It may be island life; kayaks, bicycles, sun and surf that make life charmingly simple, blinds that never fully close allowing sunrise to pry open my eyes (something I never allow otherwise). Morning coffee slowly sipped, no need for two cups as afternoon naps are expected.  Mid-heat of day I venture out, straw-brimmed hat, flip flops, camera in hand, look for contrasts, intricate lead in lines, background.  See nothing I haven't already captured.  Pause by colorful kayaks, let my gaze follow sandy path and I'm smitten with sparse bitter-bloom, rose-pink sweetness amongst grasping roots of a gnarled, stunted tree.  Salty spray and wind perhaps their doom but for now, after morning's rain, they no longer thirst and turn themselves over, as I have, to the warm slant of the sun.  May be time for that nap.    Windswept bitter-bloom sunbathes amongst gnarled salt sprayed roots - a southerly tempest simmers 

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini-Challenge - Uncomplicated Things" Write a poem with no more than 10 lines.  I chose a haibun with 9 lines and printed the "haiku" in blue and made it fit for the 10 line challenge - and please forgive that my haiku is a bit non-conformist :)  

by Margaret Bednar, August 18, 2107

Friday, August 18, 2017

"The Tide"


The Tide

The first toe dip's a gentle ballet,
a fine pirouette followed with a splash
and a warm breeze's fine welcome.

Unreliable her moods 
for she's just as likely to rock and roll a tempest surge 
that heaves us toward shore, laughing, 
occasional saltwater snorted through our nose.

I don't dare belly dance - the bikini and public
display of my midriff a memory from the distant past - 
but do enjoy a bit of a (secret) salsa as I extend an arm
and gracefully leap, (leg beneath the water outstretched,
back bent) over incoming waves.

Can't decide if I prefer sunrise's gentle melody
as my feet waltz to surf's soft rhythm 
while shore birds enjoy tonga lines along low tide's foam

or sunset's encore of captured color or soothing gray,
demolished sandcastles, and disappearing footprints 
seemingly tap dancing their way out to sea.

by Margaret Bednar, August 18, 2017








Monday, August 14, 2017

"Teach's Hole"

Teach's Hole - from the vantage point of Springer's Point - Ocracoke Island, NC
Teach's Hole

Live oaks hunched and bent
for centuries have pointed the way,
loblolly, beach, and maple offer swaths of shade
as perspiration tickles paths down my spine
and the humid breeze lifts a curl,
for even straight hair bends in this tucked away place
where, if one believes or listens closely enough,
a pirate's wail or song may be heard
within the deep folds of a foggy morn.

Easily imagine a bottle of rum in hand;
initial heat searing a path from throat,
to chest, to stomach.  Close my eyes,
hear the digging and hiding of the treasure chest -
for we all know it's here, somewhere...

Find myself silhouetted beneath a stunted, stilted canopy, 
divest myself of its protection, enter realm of sea and sky,
sink my toes into shifting warm sand,
witness windswept trees, roots exposed,
lounging drunkenly upon dune grass and shore;
they obviously know where the kill-devil's hidden.
Wonder which are native to Teach's Hole
and which were cast ashore upon a hurricane's whim. 

Beach glass glints blue-green but I walk by
as I spy a hermit crab at ocean's edge,
play peekaboo for a while; a gambler's luck not mine
as he darts inside at each sneaky turn of my wrist.

Return him to salty spray and settle
beside beach grass and sea oats, wax myrtle and holly,
watch pelicans and seagulls swoop and glide
above (and below) ocean's rolling surface.

Marvel how little some things change; find comfort
knowing swarthy pirates, shipwrecked ponies,
and sundry floral & fauna have anchored themselves
upon this slip of shoreline with their own triumphs
and tragedies - some widely written of,
others left to the ghosts of imagination

and as the sun settles, awash with a glorious template
of which I'd accuse a painter of exaggerated artistic liberty,
I bend my ear, eavesdrop, and embrace evening's breath
as she whispers a few secrets and stories of her own.

by Margaret Bednar, August 14, 2017

* The chiefe fudling they make in the Island (i.e. Barbados) is Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill, and the is made of suggar can distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor. ("A briefe Description of the Island of Barbados" 1651)

Ocracoke Island HERE

This is linked (belatedly as I was on vacation on Ocracoke) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - writing unseen"

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

"Driftwood"





Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Heartwood"





Heartwood 

I often rummaged through Grandma's attic,
thin cedar planks betwixt neatly folded timeworn quilts, 
velvet hats with satin ribbons, bows, delicate silk embroidery, 
and impossibly dainty white gloves with buttons 
all carefully folded and preserved from almost another century.

Was fascinated with her small black and white photos
of Yellowstone, 1915, Marguerite side-saddle upon a donkey -
smooth face, plumpish body, dark hair mesmerizing me.  
Other photos of dashing young men, smartly dressed,
proper women with hour glass figures skirted and buttoned-up, 
images of grandma's arms tantalizingly outstretched 
holding treats for begging bears -

all proof she'd been young once.  I'd put everything away,
carefully descend narrow wooden stairs and look at her - 
try to find 1915 in her sweet dear face.  She'd smile, knowingly.

----------

The watercolor of an old red cedar graced the walls of first, 
Grandmother's house, then ours.  Great-Grandmother Nellie painted it, 
lived in the Red Brick house just a mile from my childhood home, 
died their 34 years of age - measles and pregnant with a fifth child.  
Other paintings of hers: little yellow chicks, farm scenes, florals. 
Imagine her walking past kitchen garden, beyond white picket fence,
setting up her paints, hair and face sheltered beneath wide brim hat,
brush in hand, humming between laundry and kitchen chores.  

----------

A red cedar graces my childhood home's lot line,
was there when our house was built.  Recently stood beneath her - 
old arthritic branches extending far above my head.  
Remember the dark purple-blue berries I'd pick
when I was young.  See a young soft sprout and marvel at this offshoot - 

proof of the nurturing force of nature, of an old matriarch's 
protective shade - thankful my father never chopped her down
for firewood.  

----------

I find a fabric that quilts together these memories
and as I search for complimentary pieces and ponder patterns,
I anticipate wrapping myself up in cedar and berries, 
love and family. 

by Margaret Bednar, August 3, 2017

Painting by my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta (Lyford) Hutchins
Red Cedar trees can live up to 900 years.  The fine-grained, soft brittle pinkish to brownish-red heartwood is fragrant, very light and very durable, even in contact with soil.  Because of its rot resistance, the woods used for fence posts.  The aromatic wood is avoided by moths, so it is in demand as lining for clothes chests and closets, often referred to as cedar closets and cedar chests.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Quilt Me a Poem"

The Eastern Red Cedar that was standing in my side yard when I was two years old and is
still there - a mile from where my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta lived - I like to think this
is an offshoot of the tree she painted above.  

Painting by my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta (Lyford) Hutchins

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Of Nymphs & Gods

I see elephants, giants, cougars... what do you see?

“Of Nymphs and Gods"  

Elephants effortlessly leap
as cougars crouch and giants sleep
and I upon Gaia’s ample breast
relinquish time to nymph’s mystique.

Now then in cool of morning rest
heat rays abide in sun’s digest
broad lays day as banana leaves
give succor thou wanton guest -

until westward wind sighs and heaves
Aura’s artistry aside and conceives
a cumulus sky of fearful might
'tis fair Iris's name to which I cleave.

Silhouettes court jasmine's white
orange hues bring lovers in sight
quiet passions to golden steep
guide the hush of twilight's flight.

by Margaret Bednar (1 & 3)  & Gillena Cox (2 & 4)


Notes:

- In Greek mythology there were nymphs (Nephelae) of clouds and rain

- Gaia - Greek god of Mother Earth 

- Aura - goddess of the breeze and the fresh air of early morning

- Iris - goddess of rainbows and a divine messenger of the gods.  A link between the gods and mankind -  traveled with the speed of wind

- One of the most nourishing fruits known to man, the banana has been a life giving food in the tropics since ancient times.  As a result, many different cultures have tales about its origins and uses.  According to the Burmese, when man was created, he looked and looked for good food for himself and his children.   He came upon am beautiful, tall green tree with many fruits, being busily devoured by birds.  Seeing the birds eating eating the fruits, he knew that they must not be poisonous, so he shooed the creatures away and took the bananas to feed his family.  Ever since, the Burmese have eaten the fruits of the banana, which they call paw, “the birds told”.

- The Hawaiians, also fans of the fruit, which they call mai’a, tell a story that the brother of the goddess Pele brought the banana in his canoe to Hawaii from Tahiti.  They also believe mai’a to be the body of Kanaloa, their god of healing.


This poem was also highlighted in Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Home

A view of the backyard of my childhood home
Home

Summers were humid and hot
and barring gentle afternoon showers
we'd dash in and out of the sprinkler,
the cool tickle of grass beneath our feet
with the sweet bliss of backyard's shade,
which started to arrive just past noon
and loomed large by four o'clock,
to protect us.

If we weren't braving the heat - riding our pony
and enjoying a forbidden dip in the river
(Mother feared the Rock's swift current)
we'd drag the wooden picnic table over
and play Crazy 8's, Go Fish, and War.
Sometimes Monopoly, but we often
ended that game in a fight
as it dragged on too long.

Brown - not reddish or beige -
just a dark stain applied every few years
graces my childhood fortress,
yet Mother's orange, violet, yellow,
and red flowers pop against it,
various greens spike and unfurl
agains the bricks that line the bottom half
so it never appears dull.

The gravel drive swoops around
as opposed to straight in from the road
giving it a bit of elegance -
the hayfield (or corn depending on the year)
sways with the wind,
the trees having matured, frame the yard;
walnut, oak, evergreen, red cedar -
all have become intimate guardians.

Not many my age can slip into their old room,
feel sixteen again, walk around and touch
places one's toddler feet tread,
recall names of neighbors that once occupied life,
step beneath the same shade mid July
fifty years later.

Margaret Bednar, July 18, 2017

My Mother's green thumb

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

I just returned from visiting my parents... not sure I walked into my room and felt 16 again (a little bit of creative license) - but it certainly brought me back a bit...


Friday, July 7, 2017

"Will It Be Enough?"



Will It Be Enough?

As the heat of day is flung
into evening's dusky sky,
I, beneath straw-brimmed hat
glance askance at you, reach for your hand,
point to soaring pelicans and sea birds
as they pass over palms, masts,
and the settling sun's eucharist-like offering -

sigh, turn into your shoulder with a slow smile
made of our joys, sorrows, sweat and tears,
our yesterdays, our bright tomorrows -
and know it will be enough
to sustain, nourish and replenish.

by Margaret Bednar, July 7, 2017

This is for "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Get Listed - Summer"  We were given 12 words and I used 8.

I just got back from a mini-get-away.  Can you tell?  :)




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Mountain Music"


Mountain Music

Snowballs sprinkle the valley,
soft breezes caress one's brow,
and to my eye, mountains with shoulders hunched
protect simple joys
that wind along the French Broad, gravel roads,
and the few true country stores yet to be found.

Weekend plans of leisurely hike pushed aside
as Jesus is coming this side of June -
Grandfather's meadows will overflow
as he hails evangelist, sermon, and song.

And I will linger upon my porch,
perhaps surrounded by an evening fog,
wrapped in solitude, homespun quilt, comfort & sounds
only a small mountain town can offer.

by Margaret Bednar, June 21, 2017

I haven't hiked Grandfather Mountain yet this year - was thinking of this weekend but it truly will be crowded there as Billy Graham's daughter will be the evangelist for this year's "Singing on the Mountain" event.  

"Settling"


Settling

Downy breasts and fledgling tails bosom
beneath barn's bare bulb and beams gilded gold

as mother settles nearby - swooping flight
and darting wing stilled for the night.

Horses stomp, nose their hay
as mountain air and far flung stars vie for center stage;

light switched off, feet shuffle as I walk well worn path
to nestle my own babes to bed.

by Margaret Bednar, June 21, 2017



Monday, June 19, 2017

"I'm Made Of ..."



I'm Made of ...

a bit of vice
(unfortunately not all that's nice)
and yes, the occasional dash of pettiness

childhood summers of red clover, horses,
hammocks and kittens

six sweet babes, some grown and flown,
a mother's earnest prayers

t-shirts and jeans, a few forgotten dreams,
a better understanding of sexiness

forgiveness and virtue, today's good intentions
rooted in yesteryears and wisdom gleaned

a smile, once shy,
painted frosted sugar plum.

Margaret Bednar, June 19, 2017

A fun prompt - one I'm afraid to dig into too much :)  "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - What I'm Made of ..."

These red clovers always remind me of childhood - they grew in our hayfield and we would pick them and pluck them - and they were edible - during the hot summer days when we weren't allowed in the house we sat in the shade beneath the trees or on the porch - boredom wasn't something my parent's cared about :)

my favorite lipstick is "sugar plum" and I've always been addicted to frosted lipgloss - I'm a product of the '80's ... but I don't sport great big hair anymore :)


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mid-July

Paulina Tarot Cards HERE
Mid-July

Sun frolics upon freckled shoulders,
hat forsaken, nose kissed,
sunblock so painstakingly applied in June,
tossed aside, tan lines a criss-crossed map
upon my back as I follow floral paths
of golden whorls and sprightly grass,
track mid-day sun with upturned face,
imitate songs and arcs of darting swallows,
arms outstretched, leap over split rail fence,
imagine flight as summer unspirals.

by Margaret Bednar, June 10, 2017

This is linked (LATE) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Words Count with Mama Zen"  Interpret a tarot card in 60 words or less.  I went over by one...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Ghost Walk"

Unitarian Church Graveyard, Charleston, SC


Ghost Tour

Misty moon, a theatrical guide -
an emotional retelling of Annabelle Lee

a translucent lady searching for love -
what Edgar, in vain, thirsted lifelong

clandestine ground where words surely wooed -
due a father's disdain, were doomed

Romeo to her Juliet; passion, tragedy, eternity -
fodder for which a poet's muse

could only bloom and grow.

by Margaret Bednar, June 6, 2017




I adore Ghost Tours, and this was one of the best I've experienced - largely due to the gentlemen who hosted us.  He was an actor, between jobs, and he knew how to tell a story, project so all could hear, and his ending recital of Edgar Allen Poe's  "Annabelle Lee" was mesmerizing.  The photo is NOT of her (six) grave(s), but another section in the graveyard.

As the story goes, Anna was rich and betrothed to another.  Her love was not her father's choice - the young man was just a private in the army - they met secretly in the graveyard.   Yet Edgar Perry (Allen Poe was his real name, but he lied about his name in order to be allowed to enlist) was transferred far away from Fort Moultrie.  Anna became sick and died - before Edgar could return.  Anna's father dug six graves - so Edgar would never know for sure where she lay in the place they once stole moments of love...

This is linked (late) to "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads Flash 55 Plus" (the bonus was Ghost Town - I tweaked it to Ghost Tour) and to "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform".

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Spin

Doe Ridge Pottery
My Spin

I've banned the talking heads
to a few minutes each morn-
raise an eyebrow as play by plays change daily;
a comedy farce at best if one is cynical.

My cat peers into the mountain fog
from her window seat; little paws
tucked carefully beneath as she considers
what isn't seen, but revealed soon enough.

Costa Rica percolates in the kitchen
and the dogs thump hopeful tails,
a daily walk and two meals their only concern.

Simplicity and patience; it's what the world needs.

The seasoned cast iron faithfully offers
perfectly cooked eggs spooned atop
dry rye and sliced avocado -
so pretty upon my Doe Ridge pottery plate.

Calendar open; try to squeeze in "me time".
Flip through apps, select "Audible"
as lives from the past seem far more interesting
than what's being offered up today.

by Margaret Bednar, May 23, 2017

This is linked to three Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Challenges: "The Weekend Challenge - News" and "Bits of Inspiration - Mixed Media Art" and the "Tuesday Platform".

Lately I have listened to the book "War of the Roosevelts" and a "controversial" book (as I am Catholic ;) "Pope Joan"   Both captivating books offered through "Audible".  Perfect while I quilt, knit, draw, or exercise.  And a refreshing breather from "the news".


Thursday, May 11, 2017

"All's Fair..."


"All's Fair..."

"Horseradish" Grandmother would mutter
beneath her breath and I knew she was ruffled.
"That's Queer", which embarrassed me no end,
was another expletive.

Vinegar reminds me of her.  One tablespoon,
milk became buttermilk, a dash more
cleaned the kettle, crystal, and oven.
Did wonders with laundry, mirrors, floors.
Come summer a preventive for swimmer's ear;
a hated the "tickle".

Slyly coaxing teaspoons of mineral oil
proved futile:  my stubbornness my savior.

* * *

Smile to myselfcarefully wasabi peas rinsed,
with vinegar no less, fiber and protein
a healthy "snack"; hide the Cheese Puff's
my kids (and their father) prefer.
Set a tall glass of water before them.

Complain I'm trying to kill them.

"Horseradish" I mutter beneath my breath.
Launch into a trip down memory lane:
plowing my way through drifts of snow
to catch the school bus (I did),
summer mornings spent weeding mother's
two acre vegetable garden (truth),
and the dreaded daily dose of mineral oil.

Swear I hear Grandmother say,
"That's Queer" ... allow the memory
of her raised eyebrow make me feel
a little guilty.

by Margaret Bednar, May 11, 2017


This was a hard challenge.  I was to combine an odd phrase "self care wasabi peas" with the photograph above.  I highlighted the words in the poem - you can see I took a bit of "artistic liberty" - it's the only way I could make this work...

This is linked with "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - Photo Finish"  These really are memories of my Grandmother.  I don't serve wasabi peas BUT I am joined to a CSA and the vegetables are often the bane of my families existence - and my joy!   I have found a number of ways to prepare the vegetables that they are willing to eat (and put those darn cheese puffs away).

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Being Puck"




Being Puck

Is there not a bit
of an imp in every boy,
a puck, a pixie, rascal or sprite

that beguiles more than pesters,
teases not torments -
molds a mother's heart

and when it reappears
upon becoming a man - does it not
bring back her youthful smile?

by Margaret Bednar, May 9, 2017

My son, William Bednar, will be performing (as Puck) with Barefoot Shakespeare Company productions of Macbeth and Midsummer Night's Dream - set in the summer of 1967.   It will be in rotating repertory, June 8-18 at Summit Rock in Central Park.  William appears in the video at .21

He was both Peter Pan & Robin Hood (both have elements of Puck) several times as a youth and adores Shakespeare - and will always be a bit of a Puck :)

and Barefoot Shakespeare Company's website:  HERE

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Mythical Prejudice"

A little about Puck HERE
and Peter Pan HERE

Peter - which is closely related to Puck
drawing by Chelsea Bednar

Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Flight of the Raven"



Flight of the Raven

I stood at the overlook absorbing the vast Blue Ridge,
enjoying my knew found word - cimmerian -
watched it cavort with a favorite word - luminous
across the mountain peaks...

and as always, I felt a longing, a searching
that always cloaks me at this elevation, sunrise or sunset;
ponder Time which cavorts ahead, enigmatically;
look back, see a mirage - for don't we all
like to rearrange the past into something pleasant?

---

I think it was his size that took my breath away,
not the shadow that winged over me, angel-like,
nor the romanesque profile silhouetted against mountain's vista -
although both were impressive;

felt forlorn as the messenger soared off, his secret intact
so taken with his arrival, I didn't listen.

I've learned it's a powerful privilege to cry with a Raven,
embrace rebirth, anticipate new perspectives
and I ponder what challenges await me,
what hides in the shadows, what is holding me back?

Thrilled my Scorpian's "fire" is compatible
with Raven's "playfulness"...

by Margaret Bednar, May 4, 2017



A really (seriously REALLY cool) neat Pinterest all about Crows and Ravens HERE

Ten neat facts about Ravens HERE

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Small Town Inspirations"