Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Beneath the Laughing Gulls"

My daughter & a flock of Laughing Gulls
Beneath the Laughing Gulls

"The important thing in life is to let the years carry us along." Federico Garcia Lorca, Yerma"

This evening I press my ear to your chest,
hear the ocean's waves and laughing gulls
that reside inside, distant laughter of children
you've made fast friends, your voice
calling "Mother, come look!"

Close my eyes, see you walk a mermaid's path,
white frothy sea foam and iridescent bubbles
slowly fade and pop as morning's surf recedes,
tears glistening as you mourn their death.

Wrap myself around you, whelk like,
my shell far too fragile for true protection.
Realize tears are as important as laughter
yet my heart bangs along the shore,
chipped and worn, fighting for a journey
resembling my dreams perhaps more than yours.

And there's the fissure as you turn
and take the covers with you surely as decisively
as the tide reclaims what is hers.  Always.

So, I settle upon the porch, chastised a bit,
yet revel in the sounds I've heard,
know you are alive and growing,
tumbling along life's shoreline
beneath the laughing gulls.

by Margaret Bednar, March 29, 2018

Walking the Mermaid Path - When Mermaids die,
legend has it they turn to sea foam
This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Fireblossom Friday- Poetic Imagery".  What fine examples were given for this prompt and I know I have a long way to go - it is truly something I always strive for but my imagination has a long way to go to truly achieve this art form.  Perhaps my third stanza succeeds a little bit.

This poem uses an example of one child, but truly this poem embraces both my 10 year old son and 23 year old daughter - we just got back from Isle of Palms, SC (a hop skip and jump from historic Charleston).

My poem has nothing to do with the play "Yerma" which is a "tragic poem" telling the story of a childless woman living in rural Spain.  Her desperate desire for motherhood becomes an obsession.  This is all in Spanish (which I don't speak) but I posted it here as I am going to watch it this weekend.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"You & Me"

You & Me

Every Saturday afternoon
my childish heart
believed in happy endings,
trusted John Wayne, Gregory Peck,
even that rake Gable
as he always came 'round in the end.

Remember the morning
I woke beside you,
marveled how you embodied them all,
and since I couldn't afford cable
my eyes feasted upon you.

Still do.
Your dark hair has silvered,
and you snore now, well,
you "puff" little breaths,
but I can overlook that.

We can afford cable these days
yet still I pause,
allow my gaze to linger
as Saturday morning's light
rests upon my leading man.

by Margaret Bednar, March 21, 2018

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marian - You & Me"

I grew up and went to school in the 1970's and 80's.  I remember a time when we only had three TV channels and everything we saw was in black and white.  It wasn't until I was in high school that my parents had my Uncles TV shipped to us upon his death - it was a bulky color TV.  A big deal!  We had three channels for the longest time (cable couldn't make it to where we lived back then) and I remember the addition of a fourth channel which played "oldies" and reruns - and on the weekends played the old movies with old movie stars in the afternoons.  I was in heaven!  

Monday, March 19, 2018

"Reflection "A Haibun with a title :)

Another "how" I write poetry is from my photographic
images - this one is a blended image of idyllic days
on Ocracoke Island - and will hopefully be a
poem in a few days.

Reflection (a Haibun with a title :)

When I was a child, I loved a willow tree.  She embraced me with cascading, filtered-green light, offered me a haven where butterflies were fairies and sprites.  I peeked out into the world and retreated safely within her golden embrace when the season turned.  I think poetry starts here, although I wouldn't write a word or fashion a rhyme for nearly forty years.

Perhaps verse took root when I lost myself in Garland's voice; me a young girl believing beyond the rainbow was possible; eyes closed, hammock rocking gently, cat curled into my side, singing along prayerfully, quietly, low notes almost a vibrato.

Maybe poesy blossomed one summer's day when I walked our lot line to the river the Suak and Fox called the Sinnissippe, where I dipped my toes in the slow moving waters, closed my eyes feeling history clear through my fingertips.  Touched my hands to the old oaks, wondering if Black Hawk ever leaned against these very trees that dip and sway beside river's edge.

Or possibly it was a humid day beneath Grandmother's cherry tree, the perfumed shade and  stickiness of the sinfully sour temptations I popped into my mouth - likening it to transgressions, forgiveness.  My first metaphor?

For me, poetry is rarely a bursting desire or a secret unearthed, more often a pausing, a quietude that invites reflection.  Occasionally it replicates labor pains so intense I swear it's the last one, but after a few days my eye sees an image my heart wants to hold or relive, and well, I've rarely been recognized for my discipline and restraint.

Fairy tales and mortality etched on parchment and stone; seasons change.

by Margaret Bednar

linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - Who? What? Why?"  What, Who fashioned us to be a poet - Why?  I've extracted from a few old poems I've written over the years as, after a few attempts, I realized I've already expressed myself to the best of my ability in answer to this question. So a bit of a refashioned poem from several of my earlier writes.

I've been writing since 2010 - My son probably inspired me to finally gather the courage to write - I think an artist is often a bit shy at first to "put it out there".   One of my very first poems was an acrostic poem written November 10, 2010:

Mother's Pearls Remembered 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"If Ever Ye Catch a Leprechaun"

If Ever Ye Catch a Leprechaun"

Of kind and honest heart I hope ye be
as greed and foolishness they hate to see.

Solitary tinkers, mischievous smiles,
these fairy folk spy man's plight,
persuade unwary toward wishes unwise.

If ever ye catch a Leprechaun,
beware of little men clad in coats of green
who feed upon selfishness and pride.

and yet, be ye of pure and noble vein,
a reward, indeed!

for these sprite's bestow three-fold
life's real prizes of Faith, Hope, and Love.

by Margaret Bednar, March 16, 2016 (reworked March 17, 2018)

Happy St. Patrick's Day ... and I share with you my oldest son singing (seven (?) years ago - he was in high school) an Irish-American Celtic punk song "Laura" by Flogging Molly and a short poem.   The lyrics to the song are below my poem.

Linked with  "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Challenge - Blarney Me"


Feel the words from my lips
To your harsh finger tips
Then you know where I come from
Cause I know, yes I know
Cause I lost everything I had
See, I could have danced on the sun
But my world came undone


There's no need for tears
Cause there's no need to cry
The love that you leave
Will never be denied
This pain in my head escaped from my heart
No woman alive can touch who you were
So bye bye, Laura
Cause no one could take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade
The seed that you've sewn
Will reach for the sky
This love that you leave
Will never be denied
And after this song, her spirit lives on
Though you're not around you'll never be gone

So bye bye Laura
Cause no one can take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade
Well I... I could have danced on the sun
But the world came undone
Yeah I... I could have danced on the sun
But my world came undone
So Bye Bye Laura
Bye Bye Laura

So bye bye, Laura
Bye bye Laura
This pain in my head escaped from my heart
No woman alive could touch who you were
So bye bye Laura
Cause no one could take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade
So bye bye Laura
Cause no one can take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade

Thursday, March 15, 2018


My youngest child, and forever my "baby" even at 10
and probably for his whole life :)
are like mountain tops -
of one's heart,
finger-tipping heaven's hem,
cradling the sacred.

by Margaret Bednar, March 15, 2018

This is for "dVerse Meeting the Bar - Phantom Form - Shadorma"  It is a syllabic form consisting of six-line stanzas with a 3-5-3-3-7-5 pattern.  We could explore the fog, paranormal, unexplained phenomena of life and death.

My mind went to what we are truly made of - in the end it isn't the physical as it is what is inside - and being a mother that for me is my children, my family, the love I have for them.  I am easily brought to tears remembering the past, watching them grow, seeing them smile and enjoy being together in the present... their laughter, tears, etc.   I think these feelings are what I will BE when I pass from this life to the next...

In the photo above my youngest child (6th of 6 and the 2nd son) is resting upon a boulder on top of Grandfather Mountain in NC.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

"A Winter's Recipe" - take 2

A Winter's Recipe

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

If flame smolders to embers,
isn't a slow burn preferable
to frenzied heat for roasting chestnuts
and other such... amusements?

by Margaret Bednar, March 12, 2018 (a reworked poem from 2013)

This is for "dVerse Poets Pub - Quadrille #52 - Let's Fire it Up"  I was thinking "Monday Haibun" and wrote an original poem below borrowing a bit from a poem I wrote in 2013.   I realize now it is Quadrille Monday and have reworked the poem above into 44 words - shortening the original.  I have also include the poem below as that is what I spent my creative time on today.

Historic Biltmore Village, North Carolina

Here is the Haibun I accidentally wrote" and I'll also link with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

Snow sprinkled sidewalks muffle our steps as we hold hands; something we should do more often.  The quaint village has charmed us as if young lovers; something we should embrace more often.  Up ahead a warm glow frolics against old brick buildings, beckoning and beguiling us forward.  We extend our hands toward the smoldering fire, his two devilish dimples teasing me as I accept three lavish splashes of hot buttered rum, my insides now as warm as my hands while his lips whisper four (or more?) feathered trails alongside my neck.  My head leans on his shoulder as we wait for chestnuts to roast, a delicacy we've never tried.  I'm hypnotized by embers, oranges and reds, and soft popping nosies indicating roasting is complete... and a splash of butter and cinnamon for extra flavor.

Two devilish dimples and hot buttered rum chases away twilight's chill.

by Margaret Bednar, March 12, 2018

Tanaga poem

Northwinds nip the mountain side
shrouding pines as if a bride,
silent and seemingly shy
this virgin veil, glorified.

by Margaret Bednar, March 12, 2018

We live in the North Carolina mountains (along the Blue Ridge Parkway) and see very little snow.  If it snows, it's usually less than 3 inches and lasts for only a few days.  It's always fresh and beautiful.  We don't get the "dirty" lingering snow of the northern states.  I hope this is the last week of snow fall as the bushes and trees are starting to bud.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Fussy Little Forms - Tanaga".  It is close to a haiku and tanka.  It has a rhyme scheme.  The key to the tanaga is it is a witty poem, emotionally charged heavy on metaphor, sometimes begging a question that demands an answer.

I tried for metaphor as it's hard enough for me to rhyme.  "Begging a question" was beyond me. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

"The Performer'

The Performer

Many an actor stands spellbound
gazing silently into balconies imagined full
as ghosts touch their shoulders
and evening's performance is re-rehearsed
for the thousandth time in a young poet's mind,
hope-filled and hungry, as if behind a scrim,


and with fingertips, hesitantly touches
the grand drape which soon will seductively rise,
deep burgundy teasing, slowly revealing ankles, legs, thighs, 
baring all behind proscenium's arch -

tonight's tragedy elegantly framed,
an audience transfixed
before painted scenes and a play writes scripted lines
brought to life by one who


by Margaret Bednar, March 9, 2018

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sanaa's Challenge - Curtain Falls".  These two videos are of two of my daughters - the top one is of my daughter who is now in college (this is her senior year's performance as Millie in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and the bottom video my daughter who is now a freshman in high school is performing a song for her 8th grade graduation.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

"Threads of Feeling"

Fabric swatch, token, an identifying "record"
of a mother & baby
Threads of Feeling - The Foundling Museum

Threads of Feeling

I wish I'd a gossamer braid, 
sheer and silky,

yet all I have 
is a faded floral cotton square

that joins a red striped camblet 
(snippet of a mother's gown?),

and colorful ribbons trussed together, 
scarlet flowered chintz,

woolen heart, and threadbare sleeve 
of berries red and white.

Witness a calico bird pinned 
to newborn's chest

beneath a mother's tears 
and fears he'll be laid to rest

before she can return, 
if she can return.

Godspeed, little one, 
with this swatch do remember me,

this snippet still warm from my skin
I place upon yours, 

so dear to me...
so lost to me.

by Margaret Bednar, March 8, 2018

This is linked to "dVerse Poets Pub - Poetics - Threads of Feeling"  London's Foundling Hospital opened in 1739.   Mothers brought their babies there due to poverty and other reasons (some hoped to return to reclaim them but most never were able to and some babies died)  Mothers left a token, as proof of identity in case they did manage to return.  If you click on the "Threads of Feeling" link below you will see a few fabrics left behind (display in an exhibit in 2010/11).

Threads of Feeling
The Foundling Museum

Monday, March 5, 2018

"May" a Haibun

Flowering Cherry Tree in Brooklyn's Botanic Garden
I LOVE the Japanese Hill & Pond & Cherry Walk

You hold my hand as we amble beneath fleeting, fragile petals of double blossoming florets flirting and flushing as April's lavender and lace gives way to May.  Lose count of gnarled cherry branches sprouting eager blooms, of welcoming songbirds' chorus, of bees lending their buzz to this season's ensemble.  Admire blood-red buds whose heavy bells will soon turn insistent faces toward the sun, drinking in sea colored skies.  Delight as tulip, forsythia and South African bulbs teasingly tickle soil's surface along meandering path, ready to burst forth and bedazzle.  Try kicking pebbles from our sandals as grass tickles our toes.  Close our eyes, lakeside, hear the ducks splash, find myself humming as we walk within a Monet masterpiece. Stop to embrace the aroma which is like a kiss.  Find it's easy to fall in love beneath crowns of glorious pink.

Fragile first blooms flush beneath sea colored-skies as the drake seeks a mate

by Margaret Bednar, March 5, 2018

This is for "dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - No Ke Me (Tree Buds)"  I wrote a poem more about "first blossoms"... and then as usual went back to read directions and realize "tree buds" was the theme.  Hopefully this is acceptable.  I took the liberty of reliving walking in the beautiful gardens of Prospect Park in Brooklyn during early spring.  I will soon be traveling to South Carolina and their buds and blooms arrive much earlier than in NYC.   A few of these lines are snagged from multiple poems I've written over the years and I added new ones as well ... So it is a re-worked, refreshed poem, the style of course is Haibun which lends it a whole new feel I think.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

"The Special Place"

Crepuscule - Heinrich Kuhn (1897)
The "Special" Place

"You can't get away from yourself 
by moving from one place to another" - Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

It's before twilight, before the twinkling sky absorbs
the silhouettes of the heron as he flies by
and the deer as they break away from woodland's swarthy shadows
to nibble leafy greenbrier, maples, and shrubs.

I've settled myself this past afternoon brooding beside the brook,
leaned forward hoping water's reflection favored a foretelling
of what's to come, but clairvoyance is elusive
and I'm left pondering perplexities, twirling Queen Anne's Lace

as clouds turn a soft pink upon horizon's edge,
prompting me to stretch and amble towards home.
Grateful tails greet me, noses thrust into my hand
and I smile, as being welcomed in such a way

is a balm for which my heart is thankful.

by Margaret Bednar, March 3, 2018

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - Camera Flash".  Write a poem to the above photograph by "Crepuscule, Heinrich Kuhn 1897.  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"Dear Father"

Dear Father,

I can't help but wonder of your thoughts
since you've journeyed so far.
Has it changed you; are you slow to anger,
slow to find fault?  Judge with a softer heart?

I'm curious the things you've learned,
assume you're finally willing to listen,
not caught up in rules you can't explain.

I'm truly joyous, imagining you embracing
such elation, blue eyes clear of disappointment,
perhaps seeing me for the first time.

I sound as if I'm criticizing,
but it's more a pleading, a youthful desire
still nestled deeply to be free of insecurities.

Perhaps it's not too late.
Until I too close my eyes for the last time,
know that you are now in my prayers.

It's a good place for us to start.

Your daughter,

Margaret Bednar, March 1, 2018

Linked up with "dVerse Poets Pub - Meeting the Bar - with a letter"

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - "Dear" Poems"


Seemingly holding up the horizon line :)


As a toddler she was persistent,
trailed behind her siblings, determined.
Knew when to acquiesce
although stubborn resolve simmered within dark eyes.

Middle child, quick to laugh,
quick to defend.  A dark horse of sorts,
content in the background for so long,
only to surge ahead, steadfastly making a difference,

always challenging others to join the race,
not to compete, but to be part of the relay:
to engage, convince, prevail.

Received a phone call yesterday,
Stoneman Douglas massacre on her mind.
Asked why I hadn't called my senator,
state rep.?  Forwarded me their numbers

made me a part of the youthful movement
adamantly marching for their lives.
Let's do more than hope this time,
allow them to become the leaders we've raised them to be;

follow the courage in their untainted hearts.

by Margaret Bednar, March 1, 2018

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman - Being the Change"

Waffled between courage and wisdom in that last line.  I might change it back to wisdom, but for some reason I like courage.