Friday, December 20, 2019

Kindred Spirit

William Bednar-Carter (Cedric and both James Potters)
Harry Potter & the Cursed Child - Curran Theatre, San Francisco CA

Kindred Spirit

I remember a sad, young boy leaving all he loved behind, face pressed against the window, rearview

mirror framing his last glimpse of home.  My words of comfort and reassurance weren't enough for
a heart breaking, no matter my painting it an adventure.  The dog licked his nose, but it was the books
given him that absorbed him, welcomed him into another world where he could forget himself and
identify with another boy dealing with life's unexpected twists, turns, upsets, and triumphs.  I
never dreamed (fast forward 20 years) he'd be on stage living these characters, wand raised, 
empowering another generation of eager hearts and minds with the gift of imagination.  

by Margaret Bednar, December 20, 2019


A long-winded, rambling "poem" - more prose than poetry... but I'm calling it "Acrostic" and using artistic license and linking up with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Just One (Last) Word: Imagine"

With his blond hair dyed brown and a wand in his hand, my son is bringing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to the West Coast - San Francisco's Curran Theatre.  Official Grand Opening was December 1, 2019.   HERE  William plays Cedric and both James Potters.


I remember he read the first three Harry Potter books within a week, sitting on our backyard hill with a view of Lake Michigan.  Petoskey became a dear home in our hearts, a move we never regretted and one where my kids made everlasting friends.  But that first week was hard, and Harry Potter and the gang became kindred spirits...

Monday, December 16, 2019

Persuasion

123rf
Persuasion

I'm listening to the Boss sing Western Stars,
find I like this older version better than the youth.

Pour myself a whisky, kick off my stilettos
(Kahlua and slippers, who am I kidding, but it sounds sexier this way)

his raspy voice more weathered, more mellow,
carries experience if not wisdom.

Raise my glass, give thanks to John Wayne and the like,
when a man's man was acceptable, (probably not hip to admit)

close my eyes, feel myself believing
western stars might shine brighter;

trace my fingers along a map, tempted to replace slippers
with traveling boots, let myself drift a bit on the open road,

66 to San Francisco, swing 'round through Yellowstone.
Don't need the lonely, biker bars, roadside motel (not my style)

but old towns, roads less traveled, sundowns in places remote?
Finish off my "whiskey", lean back against the pillows

find myself humming his tune.

by Margaret Bednar, December 16, 2019

HERE is a video and Bruce Springsteen's song "Western Stars"  I enjoyed this interview a lot.  And I really am contemplating such a trip this summer.


This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marian - Western Stars"

Sunday, December 15, 2019

"Grandma"




Reposting this poem I wrote a few years back.  It is a fictional poem, one I wrote after driving through Tennessee in December - this homestead "spoke" to me.

Grandma

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  -Maya Angelou

Like grandma’s shawl, the old, worn farmhouse 
tucked into Appalachia's hills always gave me comfort, 
even when spring rains flooded the stream bed, 
more than once licked it’s wet, swollen tongue along the rear porch. 

Black snakes and such slithered from beneath 
seeking higher ground; even the goats and mules
grazed their way up pasture hills.  Frightened me near to death

but Grandma always said, “Have faith” and I swear
if the waters didn’t recede.  Secretly I likened her to Moses,
as at her word, miracles seemed to happen. 

The one Christmas I stayed with Grandma, 
she collected pine boughs, wove them together, 
draped long looping swags across the warped wooden house,
hummed a mix of hymns as she lit single candles 
in each window.  

Beneath thousands of twinkling stars, 
we stood on the winding, dirt road that ribboned past her farmstead
and admired the holiest of nights, Grandma’s threadbare shawl 
securely wrapped about us both.

by Margaret Bednar, December 28



This is written for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Play it Again".  I selected "A Gift of Wisdom from Maya Angelou"   

Also linked with "Poets United - Pantry of Poetry and Prose #8" on December 15, 2019

Oh, Sister


Oh, Sister

She prays the glow from a devotion,
turns hope to penance, twists virtue into vice,
her crucifix the reason for her stoop,

rumored it delivers a memorable wallop
across one's backside.

It's hard to say how her angel-face became frozen,
how her eyes closed in prayer and lips silently moving
look like a sweet Raphael,

but I'm witness this masterpiece needs restoration;
that this seed fell amongst thorns,

grew green and lush before choked by greed,
jealousy, by power's unclean?  I don't know;
just pray for intercession, a miracle

to cure unfruitfulness; return me
to a healthy fear of the Lord.

by Margaret Bednar, December 15, 2019

I am so sorry, Sister Margaret Claire.  I may burn in Hell for this one.  I have NO idea where it came from - I only knew kind nuns.

This is for the poetic challenge over at "The Sunday Muse #86"

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Illumination


Illumination

Dusk and early twilight are magical,
nights not dark enough to do anything but soothe;
it's the hush before the witching hours,
a time (this Catholic girl) is certain to be tucked inside
beneath quilt and comforter as fixed prayer is silent in the dead of night.

I'm a country girl at heart, love to walk my dogs
in this early blue-black, tonight's steps dampened by mist rolling in;
other times echo off mountains that frame the moon.
My road meanders along open pastures and sections claustrophobic;
behind rhododendrons and pine fox dart and deer stare, still as statues.

We walk by the farm with red barn swing, three goats
and gray retired horse.  The floodlight reminds me of Bethlehem's Star,
a beacon of golden light, spilling forth warmth, wonder, love. 
Tonight clouds obscure the sky, no twinkling lights as we trek homeward,
but I'm illuminated, December's glory internalized.

by Margaret Bednar, December 14, 2019

In the Western Christian tradition, the hour between 3 and 4 a.m. was considered a period of peak supernatural activity due to the absence of prayers (fixed prayer) in the canonical hours during this period.  

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini-Challenge - 13 Poetic Bits of Kerry

I used #7 The nights are not dark enough - an excerpt from the amazing poet, Kerry O'Connor, from her poem:  "Self Portrait in Night"

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Transfixed


Transfixed

From my porch, I witness lambent moon
raised as an offering above mountain's western edge,
a beacon of radiance, a whisper of prayer.

Turn, simultaneously see crowning sun
spill hues over mountain's eastern edge,
promising a day glorious, fulfilled.

Can't help but think "Alpha and Omega...",
of a time when "night will be no more,
nor will they need light from lamp or sun..."

Wonder at the meaning of eternity, truth,
redemption, restoration.  Of Creation, Revelation.
A new day, an end to another with me in the middle;

a moment, transfixed.

by Margaret Bednar, December 12, 2019


This is linked with the challenge from "Poets United - Midweek Motif - A/The Moment"

We moved into our home this past March... and I've never witnessed the simultaneous setting of the moon and rising of the sun until this morning.  Snapped the photo just about 7:00 am and KNEW what I was writing about today.  Seriously lucky enough to see the one from my back deck, the other from my front porch... OR if I stand in the middle of my living room as we have huge windows facing both directions.  It truly is like a cathedral - it's what sold me on this house.  In the poem I take creative license and shorten it to the porch.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Arroyo, TX

An arroyo - near the town of Arroyo, TX
(small steep-sided gulch with a flat floor usually dry except after heavy rains)
(my Flash Fiction Prosery is at the bottom - I originally forgot about the fiction and the limit of 144 words)... sigh.  Well this first is the backdrop.)

Arroyo, TX

Before Farm and Market Streets
dotted a small, vanishing town,
Mexican shepherds picked their way
along the red creek bed
meandering its way toward Mother Lagoon,
around yuca, prickly pear
and a few stunted oak trees, twisted.

Horses, thin but tough, kept their distance,
as did whitetail deer and bobcats.
Heat of day survived with wide-brim hat,
long sleeves, and a faithful mongrel of a dog
helping gather sheep, goat, and a cow.

Is screaming across the arroyo still heard,
still done to try and escape poverty
or launch one's dreams across a dry gully,
(or forceful torrent when tropical storms descend)?

Do dreams catch a ride astride wings
of the peregrine falcon, pelican, and crane?
Soar for a bit, cooled and encouraged
as they hover above Saltillo Flats?

Do they reunite with Karankawa and Coahuiltecan,
hopes turned toward ocean's horizon,
share in the mystery of a land that challenges,
strengthens, or destroys?

by Margaret Bednar, December 10, 2019

This is linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Prosery #7: Jim Harrison" (must use the line "A cow is screaming across the arroyo."  Flash Fiction - 144 words or less)

AHHH  I see the above is not Flash Fiction - so I will attempt below to write a scene or character within this setting -  I NEED TO LEARN to carefully read directions.  

My exactly 144 words (excluding the title):

A Mother's Heart (El corazon de una madre)

Miguel had a lot to live up to, for his name meant "Who is like God" a fact his mother never let him forget, her high hopes for him evident in her eyes, her smile.

Miguel patted his dog's head, dust swirling about them as they skirted the yuca, prickly pear, and a few twisted oak trees.  The arroyo was barren today, like most days.  No torrent responding to seasonal tropical storms; the violence always excited him, as he stood safely back with his herd of sheep, goat, and a cow.

"Is screaming across the arroyo O.K.?" he once asked his Mother.  She paused, and in her soft voice that was like a caress across his cheek said, "As long as it launches dreams, lets them ride astride the Peregrine, refreshed and encouraged as they hover above the Saltillo Flats, reunited with spirits of the Karankawa and Coahuiltecan, sharing in the mystery of this land that challenges and strengthens."









Sunday, December 8, 2019

Mary

Kerry O'Connor Instagram: skyloverpoetry
Mary

Morning Star, shine upon my soul,
illuminate He who makes me whole.

Mystical Rose, infuse with beauty
so I may fulfill life's duty,

Tower of Ivory, may I receive His word,
His light, and faith undeterred.

Mirror of Justice, reflect love of our Lord,
an image I'll forever walk toward.

House of Gold, Star of the Sea, Gate of Heaven
you fulfilled his promise: life and resurrection

of which I wish to share one day
by way of witness, work and prayer.

Tree of Life, from Anne did bloom,
bore Tree of the Cross, Fruit of thy womb,

our Lamb of God; your heart of sorrows, of love;
may my eyes forever rest on you, Lady of the Dove.



This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Art Flash/55 in December"

A quick write - I feel it needs a lot of work - have had a busy week with recitals and performances - the Nutcracker and singing with the Youth Choir and lighting (and watching the children sing) the local downtown Christmas tree... two more performances ahead, but Monday looks like a day of rest.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Harmony


Mountain (sunrise) horizon view from my front porch  My back deck
has another mountain view. 
 Harmony

Hold doubt close, bearhug it to your chest,
not a love fest but an intervention;
back it against a wall, unchained.
Let doubt squirm, needle it with questions,
don't settle for illusions.  Demand proof.

Curiosity's often followed with indecision;
embrace it, strip it of control;
allow it a voice, yet hear it with a lambent ear.

The horizon holds divergent clouds;
be not afraid of that which furrows brows
or trembles hands.  Tears followed with a smile
is a rainbow, a promise that false starts
and difficulties survive thunderheads -

that trust and doubt can hold hands.

by Margaret Bednar, December 3, 2019

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Rommy's Challenge - Words to Live By".   Also a word list from Skylover poetry on Instagram's #skyloverwordlist.   https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/skyloverwordlist/

This poem is inspired by the words of Rilke ... "What should I say about your tendency to doubt your struggle or to harmonize your inner and outer life? My wish is ever strong that you find enough patience within you and enough simplicity to have faith. May you gain more and more trust in what is challenging, and confidence in the solitude you bear. Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right in any case." (Rainer Maria Rilke) Furnborg, Jonsered, Sweden, November 4, 1904 Letters to a Young Poet

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Scripted

"My Story" by Karina Llergo (used w/ permission)
Scripted

Life is looped and slanted, scripted some say,
within God's eye long before we are born.

If so, He loves a mystery or at least witnessing my journey
of stutters and stops, chapters replayed,

reread, so to speak, longing for wisdom
from heartbreak, cliffhangers, melodrama,

in search of a place for my soul to take root,
drink life fully, unafraid of close inspection.

For isn't that what we do upon finishing our last line?
Decipher whether or not we fulfilled our purpose,

content with our story?

by Margaret Bednar, November 27, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Bits of Inspiration, My Story" and
"Poets United - Midweek Motif - Longing".

A quick interpretation of the image above and the word "longing".  Two prompts in one, about ten minutes of writing.  (Most likely this poem will be reworked a bit)

Thanksgiving is here as the family comes together today and we have the whole weekend to celebrate and miss those who couldn't make it home.

I wish you all who celebrate Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday and those who don't, I wish the same!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Where Heaven Meets Earth

"After the Rain" by Cyril Rolando 
Where Heaven Meets Earth

Mountains have welcomed a rainbow's promise,
burned with fire from Heaven,
been engraved with commandments.

Worn with time, they've kept secrets,
exposed a few; some of awe-inspiring wonder,
places to gather hope.

At the foot of one Jesus prayed,
at the top of one, He died.

On my little mountain, from the front porch,
I watch the sky flush awake,
from the back deck, wink goodnight;

my prayers tucked between evergreens,
hidden deer paths, and shape-shifting angel clouds.

by Margaret Bednar, November 24, 2019

This is linked with "The Sunday Muse #83

Contentment


Contentment

Lemons float like little half-moons
amongst onyx tea leaves, cinnamon sticks,
and honey; the scent of earth.

Divine is what comes to mind as I inhale,
bring my lips to cup’s rim.  Sigh.

November's wind whistles outside,
first snowflakes fall.  Cats curled fireside,
puppies pillowed, a book, a quilt,
hot tea.  A whole teapot full.

by Margaret Bednar, November 24, 2019

my book is "Hedingham Harvest - Victorian Family Life in Rural England" by Geoffrey Robinson and I'm loving it.  Fire is at my feet (as is my cat) and the puppies are curled up on their new dog beds.  This tea is served from the Frankoma teapot my Mother-in-law gave me and I used my china coffee cup as it is bigger than my teacup.  I went online and purchased three Frankoma (1980's I think is when it was made) pottery mugs and saucers as I think it's so pretty - it's fun to match a bit.

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed - Mystery Guest"

Saturday, November 16, 2019

On a "Snow Break" and my son's poem: My Nerd



I may be taking a week's break from blogging... visiting my Mother-in-Law up North where it will be windy and snowy by Lake Michigan.   It will be fun - I have a lot of walks planned along the Lake and such and I'm bringing my knitting and a few projects. (and both puppies - they are 11 months old now)  If I can, I will submit a poem by iPhone... I hate to miss prompts.  But I might be having too much fun ;)

My son wrote a poem for me on my birthday (54!!)...  I love his sixth-grade boy's perspective...  (His blog is:  https://wranglingwithwords.blogspot.com/)

My Nerd
by Spencer Bednar

A pocket-sized dragon sits on my finger,
lime green eyes blink, her nose flares electric blue,
and I rub her forehead; tame the untamed.

She purrs and toots (who knew girls farted!),
cries out with a sound reminiscent
of a whale's song.  It touches my heart.

I'm smitten.  I wear t-shirts to school
with dinosaurs, dragons, and mythical creatures;
ignore the chuckles of "popular" girls.

Am guilty of drawing said creatures
during class; look out the window, imagine wonders,
envision creatures yet to be discovered.

I might be laughable to those girls,
but Sparky, whom I've smuggled to class,
makes me happy.

So, I embrace my nerd, for that's my cool.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Preparations


Preparations

A few weeks ago deer gathered beneath the apple trees, meadowland and mountains a security of sorts, although coyote (and ever rumored mountain lion) must have been aware of their presence.  Early one morning a late birthed fawn darted about, no adult in sight.  I slowed the car, pondered what to do; startled it more, and my heart grieved.  Sweetness lured them, juicy ripe, bordered on rotten; can't imagine amount of sugar consumed.

The wild orchard is vacant now, temptation played its part, trees less weighted, resplendent for a stint in temporary burnished glory.  Now that's gone too; first frost has lashed her icy tongue and deer slip out of woodland earlier; perhaps for breeding, but consuming as much green as possible.  I wrap my shawl closer, walk the dogs, their awareness of danger or hardship almost non-existent; wolf-like instincts dormant as they beg the cats to befriend them.  Fireside has yet to be shared.

A fine line exists between wild and domestic.  How long would it take for survival and instinct to kick in, or would my puppies be like the fawn, startled out of safety, nature taking its course?  How would I fare if grocery store vanished, if I had to can apples and store food for winter?

Apples over-ripe
a last desperate banquet
before winter's fast.

by Margaret Bednar, November 9, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Just One Word - Burnished"





Sunday, November 3, 2019

Autumn Breath

"Autumn Breath" by Jason Limberg
Instagram jasonlimberg
Autumn Breath

Autumn breath is forgiving,
doesn't force one to pick and choose
like summer heat or winter freeze
but lets one embellish
with silk or knitted scarf,
wrap up in woolen shawl
or don t-shirt with shorts or jeans.

Whispers tenderly, not quite lover,
perhaps more confidante;
listens as I divulge aspirations,
start thinking of a new year,
new beginnings.

A bit like the beavers 
who have fashioned snug shelters,
secured fortifying food,
pelts winter-ready.

A bit like Hunter's Moon
sliding into Full Frost,
soon to become Cold Moon
arcing high across the sky;
change and yet, familiar.

Like caribou who shed 
seasoned antlers
patiently awaiting new velvet,
I too anticipate a crowning;
not one seen, but one inspiring
gifting me with grace, with confidence,
in order to triumph and thrive.

All this in an Autumn Breath.

by Margaret Bednar, November 3, 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Chapel

123rf

The Chapel

"Do you know what the earth meditates upon in Autumn?"  Pablo Neruda

Autumn's mid-afternoon sun
slants just so, backyard a chapel,
St. Francis almost drowning in gold and scarlet,
no need for fancy vestments
as Fall's bounty provides the finery.

With arms raised, the congregation
of maple and oak offer adoration, swaying,
genuflecting, perhaps remembering
summer's sumptuous behavior,
pleading forgiveness as October's eve,
with cool eye, seemingly judges.

A squirrel scampers along a branch,
acorn, not eucharist, upon his tongue,
although upon reflection,
from mighty Oak it came,
offering sustenance, offering life...

and so I join this thanksgiving,
submit to the Su(o)ns warmth
and Autumn's gracious sanctuary,
strip myself of worries and wants,
lean against Maple, pray
for God's love to strengthen me.

by Margaret Bednar, October 23, 2019

This is linked with "dVerse - Tuesday Poetics - The Question as Poetry" and "Poets United - Midweek Motif - Forgiveness"

pondering on the ending... for God's love to enlighten me.  to fortify me.  to grow within me.  to renew me.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Last Stand


Last Stand

Tremulous stalks sway
where once crickets fiddled their way,
nightly concerts played

now silenced as frosty nights
lick quivering petals,

tickle mountainsides bursting aflame;
defiant southern rebels
dressed not in gray

but majestic golds, purples, and reds,
arms raised toward the sun
in surrender.

by Margaret Bednar, October 22, 2019

This is linked with "dVerse - Quadrille #90 - quiver"  44 words

October's Glory

by O. Bentor, Jones House Art Exhibit, Boone, NC
October's Glory

Katydids and crickets fiddle no more,
curtain having closed to boisterous concerts
and lively evening encores; deep silence
awaits frosty nights and quiet days
of soft sunlit meadows and mountains

languish as faded goldenrod
and blazing stewartia nestle
beside devil's walking stick,
spiny stems having nectared butterflies,
its fruit songbirds, foxes, and coons.

Astors flaunt lavender blooms,
grace woodland's edge, bowing low
beneath wind and rain, dignified and humble,
as yellow-tassled witch hazel, defiant
late-blossoming teenagers, gather for flight.

I love the names turtlehead, ironweed,
and poke, jewelweed a favorite, thicketed,
protected orange cornucopia heads
dangling, bursting with seed, favorited
by ruby-throated hummingbirds.

October's glory center-stage,
curtains drawn back, presenting a muffled hush,
not subdued; perhaps tongue-tied,
quieting down, a settling into reverence;
a time to reflect and learn.

by Margaret Bednar, October 22, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretions - Alcohol Inks Part II"  

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Fire in the Sky


Fire in the Sky

As a toddler, I'd stand transfixed as mother
crumpled up newspaper, layered kindling,
added a log or two, fanned embers
until they roared to life within the hearth,
screen carefully placed for protection,
rocked asleep to spits and sizzles.

This evening's sky reminded me
of many youthful evenings spent fireside,
popcorn dancing in cast iron skillet,
cat's paws kneading, rearranging afghan upon my lap,
dogs desperately begging for buttery kernels.
flickering light upon book's page.

With awe I gaze at distant horizon
skylit with flames, wonder at those cozy nights
of childhood, feel blessed.  Yet shiver,
no heat upon my cheeks as frost lurks around the corner.

Walk inside; sit at my desk like I did as a teenager,
(journal filled with scrawl, pages within losing the war
as crumpled ones gained momentum at my feet).
Tonight I'm typing, floor and rug neatly displayed
as words are deleted upon the screen, memories relived,
the wonder of being rocked, of rocking my own little ones...

flip a switch, fire comes "alive"... isn't the same,
although cats seem content and dogs cast pleading eyes
toward popcorn bowl. Call my youngest son's name,
settle in, snuggle before artificial logs, open a book,
read aloud as horizon winks, blinks and nods.

by Margaret Bednar, October 19, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini-Challenge - On Wonder" and "The Sunday Muse #78".  

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Soaring


Soaring

It's the breeze brushing my cheeks
that carries the silken milkweed,
pods finally bursting,

escaping

above wind-tickled grasses
and cattails welcoming us
along pond's edge

trusting

my black stockinged buckskin
will join the spirit of the moment,
tail and mane flowing,

searching

galloping beneath me: my wings,
releasing me for a moment;
a ribbon unwound,

fluttering

absorbing autumn's tranquility,
understanding the stubborn oaks
who refuse to release their colors

celebrating

another season; holding fast
to the lightness I felt as a child
upon my soaring Pegasus.

by Margaret Bednar, October 16, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marian - Prairie in the Sky". 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Finding Fortitude


Finding Fortitude

I was never his princess,
just a girl who seemingly
couldn't do anything right,
nor behave properly in church.

His frown seemed constant,
his smile and laughter
lasted as long as it took
for the front door to close.

His father was supposedly the same,
often tried imagining him as a boy,
alone, tears in his eyes,
telling himself he didn't care.

I almost surrendered, gave in
to negativity inside and out,
yet chose to fight; perhaps it was
the rebel '70's that saved me,

the beauty of voices raised
and youthful opinions taking on authority.
When he died, I wasn't bitter.  Just sad.
I was never a beautiful princess,

but I did find my crown.

by Margaret Bednar, October 13, 2019

crown, fire... struggling with that last word.  Originally had "voice" but I used it in the fifth stanza and I don't like to repeat words (unless it works well for the poem - here I don't think it does.)  So I'm contemplating the ending still...

This is a reaction to a line in the poetry book "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur.  This is her first poetry book and if you follow the link to Poets United, HERE, you can read a few poems from her collection.  I know I will be ordering her book.   The lines I chose to reflect upon are the first two of the following poem:

(i)

You tell me to quiet down
cause my opinions make me less beautiful
but I was not made with a fire in my belly
so I could be put out
I was not made with a lightness on my tongue
so I could be easy to swallow
I was made heavy
half blade and half silk
difficult to forget
and not easy for the mind to follow.

(by poet Rupi Kaur)

linked with "Poets United - Wild Fridays"

The Monarch


The Monarch

Molten gold, mango, and amber dance, dip, and catch filtered light of afternoon's departing storm.  A miniature Van Gogh outlined with black ink splashes grey sky like Vincent's irises saturate the dirt.  The hawk first stole my breath, soared low, shadowed amongst evergreens, snatched something from a branch and hurtled swiftly downward to consume its prey.  I'm startled, torn between majesty of the previous moment and violence of the next.  And now, seconds later its as if I'm being presented with a peace offering; watch as Monarch dissolves into a dot, continuing its journey along Mountain's rim.

stormy skies belie
the promise of a fresh breeze
and sun's swift return.

by Margaret Bednar, October 2, 2019

This is linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday: Insect"

and "Poets United - Poets Pantry#496"

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Portrait


The Portrait

He strolls the shoreline,
pants rolled above ankles
as waves crash, seemingly cling,
momentarily comb October's beach smooth
before rapidly receding, repeating ,

footprints lasting as long
as the chords he strums.

Silhouetted against the sinking sun,
he's mysterious, a balladeer, a poet,
a young man beginning a journey -
seeking, offering his voice
as a gift to the sky

which is swooped, caught, and carried
to the clouds upon seagulls' wings.

I imagine him in New York's subway,
no blue, no fresh breeze,
playing these tunes, lyrics birthed -
hair escaping over furrowed brow,
leaning back, slouching, James Dean style,

offering a glimpse of a smirk, almost
allowing us in on his secrets.

Imagine him gazing at the moon
from small apartment window,
fighting sleep, dreaming of a lover's kiss,
wishing upon a star (straight on 'til morning),
penning his soul,

a moment leatherbound,
etched into forever.

Dreams fill him daily, I envy him that;
ponder when I misplaced my daring,
my castles in the air.  When did I forget
imagination isn't delusion?  His chin
tilts upward, his heart in his fingers

as they strum the chords.  I kick off my shoes,
roll up my pants, test the sand with my toe.

by Margaret Bednar, October 9, 2019

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:

This is linked with "Poets United - Midweek Motif - Everyday Living" and "dVerse Poets Pub - Poetics - Profiles and Portraits" and "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads -  Sanaa's Challenge - October - When Poets Dream, Lament, and Sing" - the song I chose to listen to and reflect upon was: Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Meeting Place


The Meeting Place

Yes, on little cat feet the fog rolled in,
but hasn’t tiptoed on; instead has settled
for a long catnap.  Whiskery branches
tickle my shoulders and back
along narrow woodland trail,
puppies' barking muffled;
hope they aren’t as far off as they sound.

It’s damp and I wrap my shawl about me
as early mornings have become chilly,
my footing slips a bit as the leaves are damp,
the crunch and playfulness of yesterday’s hike
replaced with tedious wariness.

An owl's hooting is what set them off,
the cloistered atmosphere perhaps
giving them confidence; it troubles me
as I can barely see my hand before my face,
yet the rolling terrain of the mountain
offers a respite of sorts when I reach
the hilltop, fog yawns a bit, offers me
a brief glimpse of the family cemetery.

Golden marigolds encircle numerous sugar skulls
placed beneath an altar of pumpkins, gourds,
and a bottle of whiskey; a favorite indulgence
of a few buried beneath this hallowed ground.
I’ve always enjoyed it here,
especially during the Day of the Dead,
when we celebrate our loved ones’
spiritual journey and remember and tell stories
of our ancestors.

We aren’t Mexican, but we’ve fashioned
a celebration of our own;
the smell of tamales in the kitchen,
sugared sweet rolls pulled from the oven,
and the hibiscus tea with its ruby red color
make me want to hurry back without the puppies
and finish up the leftovers.

Mother fashioned me a Halloween costume;
a La Catrina skeleton, mask a bit scary,
but the dress is emerald and chartreuse
with matching hat; the ensemble’s  flourishes
and ornamentals are so beautiful
I plan on leaving it on display all year;
(and partly because the mannequin
scares my little brother!)

The puppies burst through my thoughts,
tongues lolling sideways, all wet,
look like furry crazed skeletons;
whites of their eyes flashing about
proving they are very much alive.

And that’s fitting, in this place
where I imagine our spirits meet the other side
for a brief moment.  I fondle my puppies ears,
say a quick prayer, before taking off after them
as they run toward the house;
hopefully not tempted with another adventure.

By Margaret Bednar, October 7, 2019

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:


This is linked with "Poets United - Pantry of Poetry and Prose - October is Here"  Maximum of 369 words.  I am three under with 367.  Of course, "little cat feet" is a nod to Carl Sandburg.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Lessons Learned


Lessons Learned

I've been reflective lately,
find myself passing many a southern garden
sprouting bright green shoots; am thrilled to see
gorgeous red peonies in mine.

But when yesterday lives, I find myself
a long way gone, landscape and memory merge;
a trail through leaves or the sway of southern wildflowers
evoke my youth, my roots -

As a child I'd watch Mother
weed her vegetable garden, plant flowers,
feed the chickens, relax with a book
on a hot afternoon; her liberation
from household routine, I suppose.

I'm like her in that way,
like to fall under garden spells,
ponder the secret language of birds
or lives of the trees, read poems
that make grown women cry.

Since the creation of Eve,
the spell of the sensuous has teetered
between good and evil, but like I said,
I watched my Mother,

learned how to choose wisely,
many a stormy weather side-stepped
by embracing a blessing of toads
(their spring chorus mountain's pride);

my temptress the small wonder
of a dirt path beneath my feet,
wind in my hair, and the song of colors
east of the sun come morning.

Yes, I've been reflective lately;
nothing daunted my Mother, so it seemed.
But as a grown woman, I know that's not true,
behind the scenes she was frustrated,
grieved, rebelled in her way.

Now the drum of war (what I call
getting older) isn't so loud, so persistent.
There's reason for hope, as I've learned
this past mountain year to embrace change,
love more fiercely, live life to the fullest;

to the extent that maybe,
they'll have to bury me standing!

by Margaret Bednar, April 14, 2019

written for the challenge at "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - 1 Poem, 3 titles" BUT I used 25 (not 3) book titles!  From my persoanl library:

Now the Drum of War - by Robert Roper (about Walt Whitman...)
Bury Me Standing - by Isabel Fonseca (the gypsies & their journey)
Mountain Year - by Barbara G. Hallowell - essays about flora and fauna of S. Appalachia
Reason for Hope - by Jane Goodall
Behind the Scenes - by Elizabeth Keckley (part slave narrative, part memoir)
Nothing Daunted - by Dorothy Wickenen - 2 society girls' eduation out west 1916
Small Wonder - by Barbara Kingsolver - essays on our living planet and people
East of the Sun - by Julia Gregson - 1920's - 3 Englishwomen & a troubled boy (India)
A Blessing of Toads - by Sharon Lovejoy - essays & illustrations from "Heart's Ease" column
Stormy Weather - by Paulette Jiles - a novel - hardship, sacrifice, strength and a dream...
Good and Evil - by Anthony Mercatante - myth and legend
The Creation of Eve - by Lynn Cullen - a novel
The Spell of the Sensuous - by David Abram - Perception & language
Lives of the Trees - by Diana Wells - an uncommon history
Poems that Make Grown Women Cry - by Anthony Holden
The Secret Language of Birds - by Adele Nozedar
Garden Spells - by Sarah Addison Allen
A Southern Garden - by Elizabeth Lawrence
(*) When Yesterday Lives - by Karen Kingsbury - a novel
A Long Way Gone - by Ishmael Beah - memoirs of a boy soldier
Landscape and Memory - by Simon Schama - continents & centuries - psychic claims/nature
A Trail Through Leaves - by Hannah Hinchman - journal as a path to place
Roots - by Alex Haley - A novel
Southern Wildflowers - by Laura C. Martin
Liberation - by Joanna Scott - novel

(*) I made one error - "Where (not When) Yesterday Lives" but I had already written the poem so...

Also linked with "Poets United Poets Pantry #495"

Also linked with "NaPoWriMo" - National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry which takes place each April, was introduced in 1996 and is organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Maladroit

123rf
Maladroit

Can you imagine Sunday dinner
at Grandmother's table
talking on the landline,

and yet today
we've apparently forgotten
how to set a formal table,

dinner fork replaced by the cell.

by Margaret Bednar, September 28, 2019

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge: Maladroit"

maladroit:  unskillful, awkward, bungling, tactless

Thursday, September 26, 2019

White Rock Depot

https://hiveminer.com/Tags/surreal%2Ctraintracks
White Rock Depot

Evening train no longer whistles,
commuters no longer wait
for last connection home.

Hovering gulls no longer swoop
for a young man's crumbs,
melodies but a memory

upon Semiahmoo Bay,
breeze unhindered as it blows past
seaside tracks, past museum

past theatre where Lowrey needs tuning
and Sunday evenings settle silently,
platform and pier silhouetted,

weathered, as an old man's ashes
join the herrings soaring, his dreams, his destiny
joining surf and sky.

by Margaret Bednar, September 26, 2019

Lowrey Organ HERE

This station/depot still exists today as a museum.  HERE  White Rock, BC is 35 minutes north of New Westminster where the (above) challenge photograph was taken.

White Rock, BC depot @1912
This is linked with "The Sunday Muse #74"

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Honeycombed


Honeycombed

His voice, like honey
and me the bee drawn to spring nectar,
summer sunflowers, garden yarrow, goldenrod,

and hazy afternoons
when sunlight gleams as refined amber,
dips, seemingly swoons at his voice as I do.

Honeycomb myself, wait; watch a blue iris sky
slide into candied lavender, caress saffron sunset
as it blinks and nods into fine faded blue linen,

long horizon all the while cradling anticipation
as droning suspends, faithful worker bee heads home,
wooing his Queen with hints of honey.

Coming home.  I smile, tie yellow ribbon 'round my dress,
wait for his greeting; his harvest a tint of sweetness
upon my lips.

by Margaret Bednar, September 25, 2019

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Bits of Inspiration - The Colors in a Song" and "Poets United - Midweek Motif - Honey/Bee"

The colors the song below evokes in me are golds/yellows and a touch of blue.  Comforting colors, loving colors (for me).

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Nostalgia


Nostalgia

Whisked until light,
eggs threatened bowl's rim
yet Grandma was in control,
poured mixture into buttered pan, flame low,
skillet held above heat ...
Said they'd finish cooking
on the plate as she jellied my toast,
smothered from edge to edge
with grape jam, compliments
from vines just outside kitchen door.
Her cherry jam had chunks,
of which I'd yet to appreciate.

Aproned, she'd fill a small glass
with apple juice, go about chores,
shoes tapping wooden steps
descending to the cellar
where clothes were soaking
in rinse tub, waiting to be squeezed
through old ringer washer, 
basketed and hauled outside 
to air dry on clothes line.

Occasionally I'd hurry and eat
in order to join the fun.

Other times she'd make the beds,
ironed sheets hand-smoothed, corners tucked,
blanket folded just so in order to
be pulled up under one's chin 
if needed in the night.

Sometimes she'd sweep her carless garage,
vacuum braided area rug
where I'd play with blocks, puzzles,
read for hours, screened, pull-down door
veiling us from pesky flies.
Before noon we'd escape inside 
where lined curtains had been closed
upon sunrise, crisp morning air captured
(at least until mid-day).

Upon reflection, I don't remember 
her being much of a cook,
don't remember pancakes, french toast,
omelets for breakfast.
Evenings we ate T.V. dinners,
watched Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights;
don't recall Grandma making many deserts
or a family dinner.

I've tried to recreate her eggs;
always fail.  I can hear her instructing me
as I stood by her elbow and watched.
Have bought different pans, vintage and new,
trying to recreate the magic;
I've come close, but I guess

some things are meant for nostalgia,
remembered with love. 

by Margaret Bednar, September 23, 2019




Thursday, September 19, 2019

I'd Like to Thank...

123rf
I'd Like to Thank...

I waited for about thirty minutes.  Annoyed.
Had things to do,  This routine,
this inconvenience, tiresome.

"Please, follow me"
took me by surprise.
thought, "This is it.  My turn."
Remember thinking
"one foot in front of the other."

The hallway stretched through eternity,
(fifteen seconds transformed!)
imagined a red carpet, suspenseful music,
imagined film crackling
as it wound around the reel,
wondered about next scene,
would I know my line?

What kind of actress should I be?  Tragic?
Dramatic? Composed?

"Everything looks the same.  No change"
the nurse said.  "Reschedule for six months."

The lump I'd suddenly scripted; deleted.
No Academy Award, no nomination...

but I'd still like to thank my lucky stars,
God, and the harvest moon ...

gold plated bronze and crusader's sword
gladly traded for this light
which shines upon my upturned face
and bare breasts this night.

by Margaret Bednar, September 13, 2019

This is linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Waiting for a Poem"   This happened just recently - I have, a "something" that my mammogram showed as something to watch.   2nd check and all is fine.  But honestly, those few seconds down the hallway I HONESTLY thought "This is it..."

Awe - I just missed the deadline for this prompt but ... do yourself a favor and click and enjoy the other poets' take on this challenge.

Since I missed the above, I am linking this to "dVerse Open Link Night".

Also linked with "The Sunday Muse - Wednesday Muse - Harvest Moon".

I have a hot tub on our back deck - backyard the Blue Ridge Parkway.  No neighbors can see in and my daughter asked me why I always wear a bathing suit.  So, I let the moon shine upon me, in thanksgiving, in wonder, in celebration.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Alone

123rf
Alone

Archeology resurrected our past:
pottery, tiles, occasional broach,
and bone.

Afraid we will be hard-pressed
for artifacts; if there is a we.
Didn't know silence had a ringing sound,
low and monotonous.

It isn't light, isn't dark; a filtered grey,
perhaps.  White dishes faintly glow
against colorless room; blue skies,
red wine, bird song surely existed

as did leisurely horseback rides
upon mountain ridge,
zinnias plucked from garden beds,
puppy fur against my face.

How I long to play tea with my girls,
mold clay with my son, listen to my oldest
recite poetry.  Feel my husband's hand
in mine.

This fallout shelter was designed for safety.
For us.  Shelved are a few adventure books,
mystery, one romance.  A "complete" Shakespeare.
No Bible as we'd read it cover to cover;
last chapter our least favorite...

Stored food, comforting quilts folded,
supplies stacked for six months; longer now
as I'm the only one.  But not for long.

Whisper "The grace of the Lord Jesus
be with all.  Amen." as I unlock the deadbolt.
Step out.  Embrace Revelation.

by Margaret Bednar, September 17, 2019

This Apocalyptic poem is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - Gimme (Fallout) Shelter"

*  The last line of the last book of the Bible is the one quoted above.