Monday, November 28, 2016

Haibun - Indian Summer

Carol Law Conklin - "Adirondack Autumn Sunset"

Wispy-white mare's tails swish sky's blue this noon as heated fingers reach through poplar stripped branches and tickle arms and legs, bare.  It's days like today, after a frost or two, that pony and I would become sure-footed mustang and Indian, riding bareback through stubbled cornfield and quarry, descending into time, scouting for arrowheads.  It's days like today that cradle me, morning mist no longer blankets uplifted crowns of gold but hovers over the expanse of denuded fields where I imagine tepees once stood and Cherokee raced dug-out canoes along the French Broad and Swannanoa.  It's days like today, as goldfinches pick sunflowers dry, sunlit logs buoy river otters and turtles, and evening's pink veil deepens to purples and reds that I reminisce and as swiftly as the seasons change, anticipate renewal.

A hard frost descends
welcomes hazy days, clear nights
and peace-filled slumber

by Margaret Bednar, November 28, 2016

You are invited to listen to me read my poem:

Pony & I became sure-footed mustang and Indian...

This challenge is linked (late) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Carol Law Conklin Batik Artist."  Carol Law Conklin is a Batik Artist with a wide variety of creations she highlights and sells on her Website, Amity Farm Batik, and Etsy Store.  She has a Facebook page and I also enjoyed watching her video batik "how to" tutorials.

Not supposed to name a Haibun, but I think of this one as "Indian Summer"   This is also linked with "dVerse Poets Pub: Haibun Monday - Free for All"

and... "Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's - The Tuesday Platform".

Note:  mares tails:  Cirrus uncinus is a type of cloud derived from Latin meaning "curly hooks". Also known as mares' tails, these clouds are generally sparse in the sky and very thin.

An interesting Article about the rivers and creeks that wind their way through Asheville, NC:

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Chelsea Susan Bednar - Scenic Designer - "Side Show" UNCSA
after the show - stage lightly back lit - costumes were colorful,
the whole performance was splendid.  What a team effort! 

I see her, crayon in hand,
turning carefully so to keep tip sharp.
Creampuff cheek, tiny tot hands,
shading, creating worlds as I read story or verse;

pause to admire
what out of thin air she wrestles to paper:
scenes, delicately displayed, vibrantly rendered.

Admire strength and tenderness
in her youthful artist's mark.
Revel in the joy her little face sheds
as proudly presented to me they are.


Seventeen years later, overwhelmed;
theatre's threshold I stand, 
see another vision come to life -

a world shaped and shadowed;
unbridled reverie birthed through fingertips held dear.

watch her descend stage steps in dress of red, 
cheeks still youthful, but womanly,
fingers, strong and elegant as she waves,
high heels click upon planked stage...

her pageantry only beginning; college cocoon
soon left behind.  My blossoming butterfly will soar.
And her crayons will be carefully tended.

by Margaret Bednar, November 20, 2016

A bit sappy, but that's how I feel right now.  Chelsea is a senior at UNC School of the Arts and she was Scenic Designer for the school musical "Side Show".  Here is a link to the UNC School of the Arts article:  "Musical about conjoined twins poses challenges for student designers"

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - Micro Poetry - The Cross-roads"  and the poetry of Kwei Brew "The Mesh"  Loosely played with the them crossroads - (childhood into adult) and I FORGOT to make it only ten lines.... sorry, Kerry - chalk it up to a mother's getting carried away with memories:)

Scenic rendering for "Side Show" by Chelsea Susan Bednar
Model box for "Side Show" by Chelsea Susan Bednar
The Program for "Side Show" - Scenic Design: Chelsea Susan Bednar

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll

Prospect Heights Brooklyn - Cataldo's is behind the van

Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll

It's a world I've little experience,
Vito's and Salvatore's old world Sicily
of simmering sauces, brick oven pizzas -
where classic marinara and meatballs
compete for attention beside Penne Alla Vodka
and stuffed artichokes.

My mother was a traditional American cook:
roast beef, casseroles, Friday night TV dinners,
the dreaded stuffed green & red peppers.
We sisters quarreled over clothes,
but seldom swore, never hit.
Males were few; no brothers.  Cats, dogs,
goats, horses, chickens - mostly female -
alone strutted the noisy, opinionated rooster.

Sitting within Cataldo's warm, red bricked,
closely seated interior, I watch the lunch crowd
amble in:  blue collar men - construction, security guards,
road assistance - is my guess and I'm reminded
of the farmyard cock of my youth.

Chests don't puff and wings don't flap,
but arms and hands do half their talking.
Boisterously joust, punch or slap a back,
compare prowess on video games,
spout political views - Trump's their man...
and I'm taken aback.  The primaries have just begun
and Donald's ...

I look closer.  Calloused hands. Sincere hearts
(I can tell these men are Mama's boys)
and a bravery that underlies words.
I may be projecting stereotypical ideals,
but dedication and honor from men such as these
are often first to march off to protect hearth & home.

As a salty Margarita tingles my tongue,
I smile as the waitress sassily reprimands the crowd
(who apologize swiftly),  and absorb this nostalgic
Italian diner, (feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland)
and ponder if I've glimpsed the future.

by Margaret Bednar, November 17, 2016

linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Open Link Night #184"

I keep harking back to this memory ...  I adore NYC - the diversity of people and languages, the mix of white and blue collar, the food (the FOOD!) the parks built by Frederick Law Olmsted...  I love visiting.  But the first time I visited two years ago... it was a bit of a culture shock - not in a negative way but just a LOT to take in.  Even now, I am happy to stay a week or two and return home to my mountains.  But I'm always soon longing to go back to visit my son and the big city.

The lunch at the Italian restaurant has been ingrained in my mind.  I realize most of these men most likely did not go to college, are hard working men - I overheard some were working two and three jobs - they supported people in need - I heard them talking about a fund raiser for a buddy who had hit hard times...  compassionate, boisterous, loud - and men who love to laugh and swear.  I couldn't help but adore them - and they were voting Trump.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On the Eve of November 14th

Supermoon photo credit: Tim McCord HERE

On the Eve of November 14th

They say it's an occasion for natural disaster;
and I've proof:

my blood pressure's started to rise,
my chin's (or should I say chins?) not as defined,
and morning's mirror isn't so kind.

No "evidence of causation", they say
but certainly "clear coincidence"
if 50's pivotal, then 51's
the beginning of a tsunami.

Is it coincidence tonight's supermoon is bold?
Asserts itself through naked branches,
stirring emotions...

Coincidence this past year
I've seen more Dr's than the past 10?

Tonight this illuminated token
will sink into the morn of my birth;

perhaps I'll treat its deposit as rejuvenation for mind, body and spirit?

by Margaret Bednar, November 14, 2016

Trying to play with the idea that the supermoon and my 51st birthday have something to do with one another...  Science has tried to prove that the supermoon is the cause of a number of the world's natural disasters...

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Realt Toads - Tuesday Platform"

Saturday, November 12, 2016


One of my favorite version's of "Hallelujah" (other than his own of course) RIP, Leonard Cohen


Your arms, strong,
fingers surprisingly elegant,
nails neatly trimmed.

Manly gentleness,
my Hallelujah, my strength,
holds me sleepily,
a little too warmly, but refuge
overrides menopause.

I'm old enough to know sadness,
even happiness, has peaks and valleys;
yet somehow I need this touch,
this settling of feeling

for me to whisper prayers
to a God sometimes ignored,
until becalmed I fall asleep,
stilled into a cocooned slumber
of hushed benediction.

by Margaret Bednar, November 12, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Sunday Mini-Challenge - Still Points"

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Companions

"When I am near the end of a book,
I have to sleep in the same room with it."  - Joan Didion

My Companions

Quilt-wrapped silence, soft, over-the-shoulder light,
breached only by a crisp cadence of slowly turned pages,
purring feline, or perhaps a winter's fire banked in the grate.

It's hard to let go of loved ones, held tenderly,
pages never creased; occasionally sprawled upon my chest,
eyes having surrendered to their dancing drops of black ink.

I've tried libraries, often drag reluctant feet upon return,
slyly pay a "lost" fee; become a "guardian" -
add to bedside's ever growing, slowly leaning, Tower of Pisa.

Books deeply double stacked await for favor, for obsession
as my finger slides across spines trying to decide
who will share my bed, my mind into the wee hours of the night.

by Margaret Bednar, November 6, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Play it Again, Toads!"  I chose "The Poetry in a Quote" prompt hosted by Susie Clevenger back in April 2015.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

On the Eve of an Election

"Lincoln - The Biography of a Nation" Fred Kaplan
On the Eve of an Election

It's quite a novelty to absorb a biography
graced with Lincoln's genius of persuasion,

admire a politician;

revel in integrity of a cause contentious -
know healing was hard won,

in some corners, still sought.

* * * *

As a nation, too often partisan becomes policy,
civility's tossed aside, and the adversary we court,

if we pause to notice, often resembles us.

by Margaret Bednar, November 3, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed "What Fresh Hell is This".   We were to ponder this upcoming USA Presidential election with the style of Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde in mind (doubt I accomplished that task)   We were also given a word list and asked to use at least 3.  I used 5 (or versions of ): novel, toss, look (notice), enemy (adversary), and cause.