Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Chapel


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



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


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


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


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


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


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:


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.