Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Railroad Growlin' " song written and performed by my son, William Bednar

My Friday Flash 55 is at the bottom of this post

Song written and performed by my son, William Bednar, with introductory drum roll by my youngest son - guess what he received for Christmas?

I am linking this to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday.   My son is working on a song comprised of my poem "vanGogh Moon".  I really can't wait to share that here soon!

Lyrics to Railroad Growlin':
by William Bednar

I don't play the ukulele
But it's not hard to pretend
I bet you see right through me
And all my little white lies
I'm still waitin' for that train to come
I think I hear it just around the bend
Oh won't you stay for half an hour
Wait with me beneath the tracks
I'll teach yah chords that I learned to shape
by myself when I was cold
I'll walk you back beneath the stars
I coulda kissed yah but I missed it
I'm still thinkin' 'bout the railroad growlin'
My hearts howlin'
Every now and then
I get a lucky hand
So I'll see yah on a Wednesday
That day it couldn't come to soon
That other guy is nice
But I would tame the sky for you
Do you remember the railroad growlin'?
My heart howlin'
Every now and then
A little win will show its head
So I'll see yah on a Wednesday
I'm gonna make some time for you
I'll walk you back beneath the stars
I shoulda kissed yah, Now I miss yah
I'm still thinkin' 'bout the railroad
Thinkin' 'bout the railroad
I'd tame the sky for you
I'm still waiting for that train to come
At least I'm going to pretend
It's comin' 'round the bend.

The Songwriter
by Margaret Bednar

He's never without his little black book -
jotting down words, phrases.
Hums a tune as he walks,

shares with me
favorite lines of beloved old poets,
breaks them down so I can understand.

His energy is what amazes me -
like his hair, bounces, sways, flips
grasps life, careens forward -

melody, harmony, poetic passion,
eternally entwined.

This will be linked with Friday Flash 55 on Thursday after 8pm!

"Christmas Cookies"

Christmas memories
measured, baked, frosted
arranged, admired, praised… devoured!

Margaret Bednar, December 28, 2013

A little late, but this is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Words Count with Mama Zen" Ho-ho hoku 5-7-5 is the syllable count for today.  My oldest daughter started last year what I hope is a tradition - baking gourmet cookies for two days straight.

…and confession time:

The cookies do have jam and oatmeal ingredients… ?

"Turkey Pot Pie"

Turkey Pot Pie

Memories are sometimes
like holiday leftovers.

We pick them apart,
discard hurtful words,
sour looks, rolling eyeballs -

add a dash
of favorite vegetables, a few spices.

Create something that reminds us
of the laughter, welcoming tears
and warm hugs upon arrival -

even consider not brushing teeth
just so the flavor will linger
a little longer.

by Margaret Bednar, December 28, 2013

This is for Friday Flash 55 - a bit past the stroke of midnight - but we just got done playing a highly competitive game of chinese checkers.  It's been a wonderful Christmas break, but I'm glad to be back challenging myself with poetry.

We all know, family and friends are the best part of holidays - but everyone together can be a bit challenging as well!  May our memories shine bright :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The Ice Cutters, 1911 Natalia Goncharova

When your name
trembles upon my lips -
spikes a fever within,

I treat it with Hennessy -
an elixir that burns,

numbs my heart frigid
for a night.

Perhaps a second dose
as you rarely stay 'till morn.

An iced heart feels no pain.

Heat and ice -
neither a fine bedfellow make

…yet I'm totally addicted.

by Margaret Bednar, December 19, 2013

This is for "The Mag #198" - a selected weekly featured image to inspire poetry or short prose.  I started out writing something totally different - I think the only word I saved from that first attempt is frigid.  I think we have to say my poem is loosely based on the above image :)

Also linked with "Friday Flash 55"- a story (or poem) in exactly 55 words.

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Twenty-seven Years"

Twenty-seven Years

My heart's a dry dessert
yearning for summer rain,
dreams forever
castles in the sky.

My song of Hallelujah
suppressed behind a mask,
emotions spill forth,
ink stained, smuggled out.

My nose touches yours,
photograph dusted,
youth, life, sacrificed,
my image myth-like -

but I'm just a man.

by Margaret Bednar, December 16, 2013

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's - Nelson Rolihlala Mandela - In Memoriaam" I in no way want to misinterpret his life's message or the meaning of this man's life.  I tried to focus on a very human part we can all understand - being separated from family.  The above poem is my humble attempt of capturing a slice of this man's life while in prison - compiled from letters he wrote to his wife, Winnie - HERE.  I also snagged the two ending lines from his statement he delivered on April 13, 2992 HERE when he announced he and Comrade Nomzamo Winnie Mandela were divorcing.

Nelson Mandela was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes - one letter written, one received every six months.  He was a prisoner for 27 years!

His autobiography is "Long Walk to Freedom" which I plan on purchasing soon.

Here is an amazing link I am still reading and wading through about this man I really know little about.

A review by Roger Ebert of "Winnie Mandela".  I hesitate to watch it as I often dislike what Hollywood does with real-life stories.    There is also a movie based on his autobiography "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) and it got a 72% liking from "Rotten Tomatoes".  Has anyone seen these movies?  Are they worthy of seeing - do they do the two justice?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Winter Solstice"

Winter Solstice

Bud and blossoms
long since bowed low,
stripped, and stilled -
nakedly sway
as Capricorn's frigid breath
snuffs day's light early upon its quick.

While Orion's Belt sparkles
like a diamond broach
pinned to velvet nights,
we gather close beside the fire,
ponder infinity, celebrate faith -
pursue renewal.

by Margaret Bednar, December 14, 2013

This is for "dVerse Poetics - Candles & Lights".  I will be back later tonight to read the many excellent responses to this challenge.  Please click on over and see the many amazing responses of talented poets!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"A Winter's Recipe"

A Winter's Recipe

A soothing open fire, two devilish dimples,
three lavish splashes of hot buttered rum,
and lips to whisper four (or more) feathered trails
along one's neck…

If the flame smolders to embers, well
what lady doesn't prefer a long, slow burn
to a frenzied heat for roasting chestnuts
and other such … amusements?

by Margaret Bednar, December 11, 2013

This bit of seasonal fun (and advice) can be attributed to Fireblossom's challenge for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's Get Listed".  She is stepping in for Mama Zen this month hence no word limit but she did issue a decree:  NO haiku.

My husband and I tasted warm, roasted chestnuts for the first time this past weekend… As he loves sitting 'round an outdoor fire, NOW I know what I will be getting him for Christmas - a chestnut roaster.  HERE is how it is done.

note:  For the record,  I do NOT require dimples (my husband has none  :)

This will also be linked with "Friday Flash 55".

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"The Entanglement"

The Entanglement

Rubies, pearls,
onyx, and jade
gifts from a lover -
eagerly worn.

In the dark of night,
tangled, entwined
faithfulness shines
from moonstone eyes,

briefly brands "forever"
with ivory touch,
hints of a diamond
winks - is gone,

as smoke from his pipe
surrounds and clings.
In this soft dawn light,
shivering and cold

rubies, pearls,
onyx, and jade
gifts from a lover -
slowly I adorn.

Margaret Bednar, December 9, 2013

This is so very late and I hosted this challenge - "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Through the lens of Jennifer MacNeill"  She graciously allowed us to use her "The Collector" images for our poetry challenge.  Click on the link for further details.

Jennifer MacNeill is a fabulously talented photographer.  Her flickr sight can be found HERE, and her website HERE.

Please excuse me for hosting and then getting back with everyone so late - I was away for the weekend celebrating my husband's 50th birthday (and it was a lot of fun).  I will visit everyone's responses to this challenge tomorrow morning!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013



Daily I resist the constant need
to press into your cream puff cheeks,
nose breathing in your still sweet morning breath;

resist the need to smooth your Dennis-the-Menace cowlick
as you wait for the school bus;

or trace a finger along your sweetly exposed neck
in the library while you read "Dick and Jane".

I know this urge dissipates well before middle school
(I say this as my fifth grader gives me the raised
"Don't even try it!" eyebrow).

My heart soared yesterday as entering the classroom,
you yelled "Mommy!", wrapped me with a huge hug.

Six is still so dear, yet I know the day
will soon come upon finishing "Runaway Bunny"
you won't need Joey Kangaroo under the covers with you,
won't ask for an "Eskimo kiss".

I've been through this five times before.
It never gets any easier.

by Margaret Bednar, December 5, 2013

The video below of the little boy's voice and the mother's commentary cracked me up.  I have read this very same book to all six of my children…

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - Eskimo" - our marching directions? To use the word Eskimo without mentioning snow or any adjective thereof.

I may change "Eskimo kiss" to "butterfly kisses" at a later date as that is what we do, but for now, I claim "artistic license".

Oh, and don't think I don't kiss and squeeze my youngest as often as I can get away with (I just try to do it a bit more at home than at school or in public - although, he doesn't complain about it … yet).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"My Angel"

Image used for Magpie Tales #

My Angel

As a child
I quietly observed
"Do as I say, not as I do" -

made the mistake
of pointing it out
only once.

At twelve, realized angels
live among us, though mom
called her "a disgrace".

My angel taught me
to dream, helped
build my wings.

Leaving her behind
is the only thing
I regret.

by Margaret Bednar, December 3, 2013

This is not an autobiography - it is reminiscent of a friend I once knew who grew up in a family situation far removed from mine.  My friend's sister never "escaped" but truly was a guardian angel.

This is linked with "The Mag #196".  Tess provides the image, we provide the poetry.

This will also linked with "Friday Flash 55".

I'm also linking this with "dVerse - Form for All".

"Prince of Darkness"

Prince of Darkness

December's night breeze
rustles the leaves, rumples
forest's underbelly

betraying sanctuary's silence.

A haloed bronze statue
shines upon bared branches,
hears the pious prayers

of deliverance;

with angelic wings swoops down,
unearths the devout. Yet even
the Prince of Darkness gives thanks

before devouring his evening meal.

by Margaret Bednar, December 3, 2013

This is linked with Poet's United "Verse First - The Owl".  

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Skipping Stones"

Skipping Stones

I remember
fishing beneath the dam,
bass, catfish, pike? …
(they're all the same to me)
practically hurled themselves
onto our hooks.

Perhaps it was
the full moon's magic, perhaps
it was your presence beside me,
hand upon my back - either way,
I never thought fishing
would be so exciting.

I remember
sneaking sideways glances
as you showed me how
to skip rocks, a technique
you hadn't perfected.
We laughed, kept trying.

We never got around
to fishing again, never
stood shoreside beneath moon's
magic glow, touching -
but the easiness, the rightness
of it still lingers…

For over the years
love's the stone that triple skips,
glides, settles softly
beneath our ribs, other times
it plunks, plunges heavily,
leaves a splash upon our cheeks.

We still stand together
upon that bank
almost a quarter century
later "skipping stones"
hopefully continuing to laugh
and sneaking sideways glances.

by Margaret Bednar, December 2, 2013

My dear husband of almost 24 years will be 50 years old this upcoming weekend.  This poem is for him.

I hope all my American blogging friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I was unable to even touch my computer, but am back on "regular" schedule now and am linking up with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Open Link Monday".

I will also be linking up with dVerse - Open Link Night #125 - starting Tuesday afternoon.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Today we embrace
Happiness, sadness, look yesterday in the eye
And forgive ourselves, others,
Not taking for granted the gifts before us.
Knit everything together,
Shaping a quilt of
I promise to
View this day as an
Initial step to celebrating the ordinary,
Not fixated on more.  Appreciating less -
Gratified with what I have.

by Margaret Bednar, November 27, 2013

This is another acrostic poem.  I will be back after Thanksgiving.  In the mean time, I wish everyone in the U.S. a Happy Thanksgiving day and Peace to those who live elsewhere.

My post below is my contribution to the 5th Annual Gratitude Quilt compiled by Laura of "Shine the Divine".   The above is a condensed version.

Also will be linked with Friday Flash 55 - Thursday at 8pm.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Gratitude and Thankfulness"

My niece's artwork
Gratitude and Thankfulness

Gnarled fingers accept each season,
Reach toward the sky
Asking no more
Than to be.
I have always admired
The strength of trees, their
Undisputed ability to bend, sway,
Displaying a wisdom we humans should
Embrace, not clearcut -

A spirit thats
Nectar is mother earth.
Do we ever

Think to pause from our rat race,
Hesitate for a moment
And give thanks for the day?
Not likely; prayers are often saved for Sundays, holidays,
Knowing flowery words will impress
Friends, family.  Peace, though, starts with
Us being thankful for what we have,
Leaving desires, wants - to rest.  Focusing on what we
Need.  It starts now.  Not tomorrow.  If
Everyone were like a tree, we would
Simply be silent.  Learn to listen.
Simply embrace the light.  Be satisfied.

by Margaret Bednar, November 25, 2013

This is for Laura's "Gratitude Quilt", asking us to write - unedited and letting the words flow - what we are grateful for in this moment?  The above acrostic poem is my response.  I am trying to learn to be thankful for NOW.  Today.  Trying to have an inner joy at all times.  To be satisfied with what I have, not desiring more, more, more.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans - and wishing everyone else peace and joy for today.

I am also linking this with "I Heart Macro - Week 28" and "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday".

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Princess Dreams"

Princess Dreams

Behind lace curtains
do you still dream
of white picket fences -
of prince charming?

Do blue eyes shimmer
'cause dreams came true?

Behind lace curtains
is perfection showcased
by white picket fences -
"haves" vs. "have nots"?

Do blue eyes shimmer
'cause you'd settle for "less"?

by Margaret Bednar, November 24, 2013

This is for "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Challenge" - Woody Guthrie wrote what he saw, felt, and knew.  He was often the voice for those who didn't have one.  The challenge was to write our own protest or rant piece.

I took this photo today - was quite charmed by the white picket fence - so "American Dream".   It got me to thinking how little girls are often raised so differently - how often girls are groomed to desire many pretty things, to find a rich husband  - NOT to rely on their brains and talents.  I've known a few women who got "what they wished for" and behind their fabulous "white picket fences" their wish has grown sour.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

"A New Eden"

Panjin, China - Red Beach 

A New Eden

Beneath sky blue,
I blend maroon, burgundy,
crimson, scarlet
into one glorious red -
dip my brush, generously

slash over intolerance,
greed, revenge -

refresh white wings
of Apollo's cranes
as they herald in
one thousand years
of heavenly love,
soar with joy, light, and grace;

consciously omit
all of mankind -

leave the rest up to God.

by Margaret Bednar, November 22, 2013

This is for "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Transforming Friday with Nature's Wonders" - Red Beach of Panjin, China.

This is also for Friday Flash 55.

The crane is a highly symbolic bird HERE .  As beautiful a place as this is, I found it a very difficult poem to create.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"The Stage"

LOVE Ellen!  She interviewed the band that created "What Does the Fox Say".

This is not a fox - but the "Maned Wolf" from South America

"The Stage"

Crows circle and caw
as Cooper hawk approaches,
silent wings beating;

forest erupts, becomes
an open Greek theatre.

On warm, fallen leaves
fox raises his head,
sniffs, curious if a comedy
or tragedy's at hand;

slinks off.  Will return
after the kill.

by Margaret Bednar, November 20, 2013

Over at the "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Words Count with Mama Zen" we are to interpret "What does  the Fox Say" in 43 words or less. … I've heard that song one too many times (my six year old knows it by heart.)  I think he must just crave a NAP after all the commotion…

Here are fantastic photos of a male fox HERE taken by photographer Ann Brokelman - she lives in Toronto.

My image above is of a gorgeous creature of South America - seems like a cross between a wolf and a fox, but is its own species, I believe.  We have two at our local zoo - Maned Wolf HERE.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013



You lumber gracefully
on toes prehistoric

inquisitive nose upturned,
eyes inches from mine -

don't look at me,
look into me -

and I nearly drown
in two ebony pools -

time suspended.

by Margaret Bednar, November 19, 2013

The past few days we have been entertaining and visiting with the Grandparents.  Monday we visited the Science Center and I had no idea this wonderful aquarium/small zoo was ten minutes from my home!  I always go to the larger zoo 45 minutes away.

This Aldabra (giant tortoise) was very active and swung his great head my way and walked and climbed up the log with his front legs and peered into my eyes -  his nose almost touched my iPhone.  I bent down and looked right into his beautiful eyes… what a "jolt" of sensation!

Linked with "dVerse Open Link Night #123"

Friday, November 15, 2013

"I See Her"

I See Her

I'm one among many,
middle school auditorium
squeezed in tightly
with anticipation
lights dim, room hushes

voices ring out
try to harmonize center-stage -
the loudest note, off key
as young warblers part
for my daughter's solo.

The crowd fades as I
sit transfixed
as the soft light

her angled cheeks, full lips -
dances down her lithe form
fingertip to toe, arabesque -
silhouetting her figure,
more hour-glass than boxy

as she sings, soprano
of love flirtatious
exuding confidence

and then
she blends back in
harmonizing with the other children

and I see her as if for the first time
still beaming, but now
with a tear in my eye.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, January 29, 2012

and yet, a part of me will always see her like this:

we were asked to find a favorite poem.  I love writing historical pieces, and perhaps one of those is my best, and lately I really enjoy writing about nature and the seasons, about horses… but, my mother's heart wins out when I have to pick a personal favorite and that is what "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Fireblossom Friday" is all about today.  

I selected the above poem partly on the fact I adore poems about a sliver of a moment, a sudden emotion.  

She asked for ONE.   But, I must submit at least one per child which was very hard for me to do.  So, if anyone is interested, below are a few other poems which cover most of my children.


The Sentinel  (a personal favorite of mine as well)

Thursday, November 14, 2013



Lemon-yellow, crisp orange,
cranberry and sugar snap green,
sparkle beneath a deluge of dappled light
poured forth from sky's blue pitcher.

I wade in this autumn sea,
backstroke through memories
of mountains raked, bodies flopping,
burrowing, giggling - barking, digging,
rescuing; of maple helicopter races; 
a pony's fuzzy warm muzzle.

Wonder at today's silence, its stillness.

by Margaret Bednar, November 24, 2013

This is for Friday Flash 55.  Langsyne is a Scottish word (I think) and it means times long past, especially those fondly remembered.

Where are the children?  We would play outside all day on a crisp fall day.  Ride horses, build forts, rake leaves.  Growing up I had a dog, Sugar, who loved to play hide and seek.  My best hiding spot was in a pile of leaves.  She finally found me because I was giggling.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Mike Worrall,  Artist 

From flamed maple and spruce
a tenor's voice vibrates
a song my fingers create

'til madness recedes,
mindlessly spins, loses itself
in a labyrinth of sensation.

How long repressed
is anyone's guess -
how long till the Minotaur

devours me whole?

by Margaret Bednar, November 11, 2013

The above painting is entitled "Poet's Corner".  Couldn't help but reflect on how many artists are on the verge of madness - and often are overtaken by it.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Challenge - artwork of Mike Worrall".   Also linked with Open Link Monday.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Margaret -ism"

Margaret "ism"

Margaret is woken by rain,
is a rare breed who believes in truth
over all other considerations,

is a rare thing among saints, is clear
in her aims, is a woman on the right -
is no stranger to empowering the future.

is a dedicated mother to her children,
in addition, is a wonderful mother
to her two cats.

Margaret is skilled at getting her voice
across to a wide audience,

is presented with a bouquet of
"is wonderful".   Is alive, is happy
to belong.

Margaret is in the room.

Margaret Bednar, November 8, 2013

This is my second Margaret poem, this time using "Googlism"  I had not understood the difference between this and "Google" when I did my first Margaret (post below.

HERE is the Googlism page for Margaret (if you are interested)  Disclaimer:  I refused to type in "Margaret is fat"  :)

This is for dVerse where the exercise is to "Google" a topic and create a "list poem" of information.  I googled my name.  I hope this is what Samuel Peralta had in mind.  Check out the challenge "dVerse Form for All - List Poems and the poetic Heart of Google".

Thursday, November 7, 2013



I'm really quite a simple girl,
rarely indulge illusions of grandeur,

yet there are moments
I ponder myself a queen, a princess,
or a resident at 10 Downing Street -

imagine escaping a dragon,
being martyred at Antioch -

was disappointed "Margaret"
rated only three stars -

remember as a teenager
wishing my last name was "Mitchell".

by Margaret Bednar, November 7, 2013

"Margaret" is a movie that actually, under "Rotten Tomatoes" garnered a 3.5.  :)

I googled my name and this is what I got… you should try it.

This is for Friday Flash 55 - a story (or in my case, poem) in 55 words.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"I Listened"

I Listened

I cannot tell you what tomorrow holds
nor what yesterday means just yet,
but I know last evening I listened

as summer's last songbird splashed
its lyrics against a tangerine sky, 
its sentinel voice bowing
to river's restless murmurings
of numbered sun-drenched days.

I smiled as stubborn oak, fully ablaze,
stood defiant, prepared to hang on 'till spring
despite wind's gorging appetite

while more prudent creatures scampered
and burrowed beneath falling, spiraling
canopy, snuggling spring's promise

and I adjusted my jacket, pulled out 
my mittens, and saw my breath 
beneath beaver moon's filtered light.

Margaret Bednar, November 6, 2013

I believe this year's "beaver moon" will happen around November 15th - but it worked for the poem, so go with it :)

Photography is courtesy of my friend "J.B."  (thank you!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

"In Pursuit of Peace"

In Pursuit of Peace

Serenity is upon the water,
swirling, floating.
It is in trees, posturing
amongst leaves, content,
teasingly before me.

I breath deeply, thinking
I can capture such bliss,
but it eludes me.

So I lower my camera,
still myself.  Observe cardinals
flitting about, cocking heads,
seeds cracking between beaks,
finches chasing food scattered
upon forest floor.  Notice
one shy fellow perched
in branches, high.  Witness
a dance as they swoop
and with perky feet, balance
along feeder's rim, pirouette
upon dainty toes before gliding
to lofty shrub all in a rhythmic
harmony I faintlly hear.

Laughter and talk break my trance,
human feet tread my way
and I'm surprised to find,
that for a few moments
peace had been mine.

by Margaret Bednar,  updated  November 4, 2013 - originally written February 6, 2012

This poem is dedicated to the subject of PEACE.  Of finding peace.

I have linked this poem with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Open Link Monday - "Dona Nobis Pacem" (Grant us Peace).  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another "Pigeon Pie"

Another "Pigeon Pie"

I lift my arms,
tilt my chin skyward,

as if to drape these fields
of blue afternoon shadows
about my shoulders -

open my palms,
fingertips outstretched

toward the kaleidoscope of trees
bursting with migration's song -
try to absorb their pulse.

Not to hoard,
but teach others

of nature's indispensability
"for the heart that gives,
gathers" -

but I fear
this slice of fulfillment

may soon become another pigeon pie
devoured by bulldozers, served up as the
"American Dream".  White picket fence, optional.

by Margaret Bednar, November 3, 2013  

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - A Birthday in November - Marianne Moore"  She believed meter, or anything else that claims the exclusive title "poetry" is not as important as delight in language and precise, heartfelt expression in any form.  She believed it a poets artistic right to also tackle the sometimes ugly, uncomfortable or harsh realities of the human condition.  To read more about her, follow the above link.

I was unable to meet (nor did I really understand) the "line syllables" aspect of Ms. Moore's writing - I  read a number of her poems and couldn't see a pattern of such - but what do I know.

Our challenge was to find an idyllic setting that would become the backdrop for our "imaginary garden"  and produce a "real toad" into the piece.   It should raise a very realistic social issue.

I must tell you, I really struggled with this challenge.  Thanks, Kerry, for making me step out of my comfort zone as I don't usually write from this viewpoint.

The quote in my above poem "for the heart that gives, gathers" is from Marianne Moore.

NOTE:  The Passenger Pigeon once filled the skies, houses replaced habitats, and people killed the birds en masse, baked them in pigeon pies - and finally these birds became extinct.  

The last passenger pigeon, Martha, is mounted and preserved at the Smithsonian.  HERE is a link that will tell you a little about her story.

I stand guilty, as we moved our family to a rural development complete with tennis courts, clubhouse and pool.  Head one way, we are "in town", the other, we are driving winding roads amongst fields, horses, cows, hills.    New communities are starting up in these very areas we adore and we don't like it one bit…

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Winter Sunflower"

Winter Sunflower 

Goldfinches have long since picked you dry,
flittered away after the crucifixion.

A crown once awash with light
now rests upon drooping neck,

tarnished not with pity,
but sacrifice.

Your face hints of sun-drenched days,
yet the tappity splat of thawing, frosted air

is the beginning of springs's marching band
and your resurrection.

by Margaret Bednar, November 1, 2013

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - with Maria Wulf".  Maria is a fiber artist and blogs at "Full Moon Fiber Art" and lives on "Bedlam Farm" with her husband, author John Katz.


Photo by Margaret Bednar


A fever oscillates across my skin
swigs stamina and strength from my bones,
yet offers no toast to acknowledge my hospitality.

I'm just "southern" enough to graciously welcome
unwanted guests, find beauty in wilting leaves bowing temporarily
to a stronger force; enjoy the ballet of grandmother's quilt
as it lifts a corner, flutters gracefully as the fever exhales;

imagine I'm a bartender serving shots during happy hour,
carefully pour each living thing a drink - temperance observed;
join the hens in a silent brooding, thankful the border collie
rallies strength to scan for the devil;

look forward to the lick of night when the visitor rests,
yellow haze behind my eyelids finally fades to black.

by Margaret Bednar, November 1, 2013

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - with Maria Wulf".  Maria is a fiber artist and blogs at "Full Moon Fiber Art" and lives on "Bedlam Farm" with her husband, author John Katz.

Thursday, October 31, 2013



I'm not naturally an early riser -
greet each day like a broody hen,

sip my coffee - almost begrudge
twittering, darting sparrows
their industriousness.

Leisurely contemplate the light
as it hesitantly scans my yard -

finally acknowledge
impatient whines, thumping tails
imploring me to step out -

greet the day,
fresh air fills my lungs,
finally wake.

by Margaret Bednar, October 31, 2013

This is for my own challenge at the "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Maria Wulf's Visual Poems" which will be posted Friday morning at midnight (central daylight time).  Maria Wulf is a fiber artist, "Full Moon Fiber Art" and has a link to her "My Visual Poems" on her blog header.  I find them to be mini journeys (sometimes a bit surreal), snippets of images and sounds linked together offering impressions - all inspire and celebrate Maria's artistic view of the world - whether it is creating from found objects or just enjoying the land, the seasons.

The challenge is to watch and listen to the sounds of what you don't see, live in the moment, feel the emotions (or memories) they conjure and write about it in any poetic form you choose.

Come join me over at "The Garden".

I have also linked this poem with Friday Flash 55 - a story (or in my case, usually a poem) in 55 words.   I invite you to come join the fun over there as well.    Happy Halloween!

Here is a photo of me tonight ... I do not see what my family found so funny - for I AM a princess...

My youngest two really had fun.  I really liked my daughter's "homemade" outfit - I thought she was a broken doll, she said she was a child serial killer ...  Oh...  Well, glad we had Captain America nearby then...

and we always carve pumpkins - my second oldest daughter (Headless Horseman) and husband (Dracula) had quite the competition going on this year... and neither one used a stencil!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall (a poem by my 5 year old son)


Floating colors,
Falling acorns,
crunch, crunch, crunch!

Whistle, jump,
winter's coming...


by my son, 5 years old

I tried to get him to change the ending, but he just laughs.  So be it.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

"The Fishing Fleet'

The Fishing Fleet of 1620

Beside gray and choppy shore of the river, James,
preening men strutted before the "Fishing Fleet" -
seventy women strong, "old maids", widows,
handful of virgins,

from England they'd sailed, supplied with new petticoat,
gloves, rug, and sheet.  Domesticity's price? "One hundredth
and fifie pounds of the best leafe Tobacco".

Preacher warned, "one man at a time!", judge declared,
"Consummate or set her free!", indentured servants they were not,
but plucky women who gambled, tried to beat the odds -
did for two years

until Opechancanough spared no "man woman or childe",
proceeded to "deface, drag, and mangle the dead into many pieces -

Triumphant for a time,
as the hand of "revenge" is never-ending.

by Margaret Bednar, October 28, 2013

A replica of the first Protestant church in America located inside the Jamestown Fort -
I assume the "Fishing Fleet" couples were married here.

HERE is Bob Deans the author of the book I am currently reading, "The River Where America Began".  He is a gifted speaker and this is a C-Span Video Library link.  It is thoroughly educational and enjoyable.

The Fishing Fleet was a true group of women (age 15-24) who came over to find husbands within the  Jamestown colony.  Most of these women were killed two years later in the "Great Indian Massacre".   Opechancanough was Powhatan's powerful brother who took control after the great chief died.  I find it a fascinating topic and Mr. Deans states briefly that their stories are fascinating (which leads me to believe there are journals and/or documents about them).  I wish there were books or a documentary about them, but I can find nothing.

Below is a photo of my youngest son standing very near the location where the Jamestown people were massacred (the people inside the fort were warned in advance and did not suffer devastating losses).  So much history, so much violence along the James River.  This is linked with "I Heart Macro Week 24".

I signed up to view National Geographic - HERE is a great article on Jamestown, but it will ask you to sign up as a member (which is really easy).

I am linking this with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Open Link Monday" and will link with "dVerse - Open Link Night #120" on Tuesday.

Finally found an image painted by Sidney King "Arrival of the Maids".  The website is HERE

Sidney King "Arrival of the Maids" (to Jamestown Colony 1620)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"The Masquerade"

Marilyn Monroe - Google Images
The Masquerade

Loveless red kisses
thrown to adoring crowds
drunk with adoration
for an image invented

before a cold piece of glass;
a friend who never lied
as she stood, eyes naked,
vulnerability exposed.

Yet Fame insisted all debts be paid -

so with lips painted red,
flaxen hair; coiffed,
eyes; cat-lined,
she embraced make-believe

waved, smiled
delighted fans
and hid behind the world's
most recognizable laugh.

by Margaret Bednar, October 27, 2013

I originally wrote two versions of this on December 27 & 30th, 2011.  I've tweaked it once more, and am happier with this version.  I am linking this with "Imaginary Garden with Real  Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge: Masks".

I took a road trip this weekend- had originally planned on the mountains, but changed my mind and visited historic Jamestown in Virginia.  I hope to squeeze out a poem about America's "first river" soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day-tripping, 1979

Not an image of Horicon Marsh, but taken in North Carolina

Day-tripping, 1979

Blanketed, bored
we slumped in the backseat,
day-tripping.  No rock-n-roll,
dog panting between us,

no longer little kids
excited about adventure,
but teenagers too cool
to be seen with "The P's".

Promises of fresh air,
wetlands, wildlife
met with a roll
of the eyeballs,

until we arrived,
forgot protocol,
finally smiled -
became human again.

by Margaret Bednar, October 24, 2013

Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area, Wisconsin "HERE".  I remember the first time I saw Horicon Marsh as a child - it was vast with endless sky and the almost deafening sound of the geese overwhelmed me.   Year round other birds call it home as well, and I would certainly make a few trips yearly if I lived nearby.

I am planning a day trip to Blowing Rock or Boone, NC, this weekend.  Not all can make it, not because they selected chores, but due to homework (or so they have convinced me).  I have one child that doesn't like to travel in general but is eager for a trip to the mountains.

This is for "Mr. Knowitall's - Friday Flash 55", which I will link up tonight after 8pm.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Take Note"

Take Note

I grace your bed,
an ornamental
all rosettes, ruffles
and lavender.

Its true,
some find me bitter -

I say taste and see
and offer a tip:
it's all in the way
I'm handled.

by Margaret Bednar, October 23, 2013

This is linked with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Wednesday Challenge - The Language of Flowers - "turn to flowers for inspiration, not simply as beautiful objects, but as symbols of deeper emotions and human qualities, or as magical ingredients".

I was intrigued recently to find the hardworking Kale sold next to fancy roses and other such flowers.   I did plant this in my garden along the border a few years back  - as I thought them beautiful, but found them bitter to eat.  Since then, I have learned how to cook with it.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Outside my Window" & "Wild Geese Take Flight"

The Nursing Home

Outside my window
leaves become sainted with gold
a life's span revered.
       Eyes hopeful I watch the door,
       wrinkled hand smooths silvered hair.

by Margaret Bednar, October 21, 2013

(wish I were a Maple tree.)  - my original ending. 

A Mother's Inevitability

Wild geese take flight
upon exuberant wing,
restless spirits freed -
       yet I remain rooted,
       childish laughter growing dim.

by Margaret Bednar, October 21, 2013

Over at the Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Format Challenge, Kerry has a fantastic series with Dr. Hisashi Nakamura on the poetry form Tanka. The transcript of his lecture "Japanese Women in Tanka Poetry: From the 4th to the 13th Century" can be found HERE.

Traditional Tanka, as far as I can see, has no "title" but I decided to add one to direct the way I want the reader to view these... I didn't put a title at first, and it was interesting to see where people went with them... and perhaps I should have let that be...

I see I did NOT strictly follow the 5-7-5-7-7 rule in the second Tanka, and will leave it as it is for now.  It is still 31 syllables. This form is MUCH harder than it looks!

If you want more info on Tanka, I found "The Seed of the Human Heart: Writing Tanka" quite interesting as well.

Also Submitted to "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Open Link Monday" as I am a bit late getting this "Sunday Challenge" submitted - I had a very busy weekend and yet, was unable to enjoy being OUTSIDE in this glorious fall weather!