Monday, March 30, 2020

The Beckoning

123rf
A July moon softly glows through my window-screen, barricaded, unlike the night's breeze that cools my skin from the day's humidity and shapes the draperies into ghost-like apparitions.  Beyond the sill, Willow beckons me with her long, pliant branches and dangling, whispering leaves tinkling like gentle wind chimes.  I tiptoe down hallway, past my parent's room.   Find me beneath Milky Way, Dippers, and North Star, face upturned.  Feel a bit dizzy with the immensity of it all.  I run, steal myself beneath Willow's feathery strands, the tickling about my shoulders and neck a sensation comforting me as I listen to the cicadas and toads (both of which I am afraid) hopefully chirping far off in bush and field and not here beneath umbrella'd security.  Silhouetted, an owl hoots from my old tree fort, its large stout limb juts out into the field and I imagine the owl feels as adventurous as I do midday imagining I'm a cowboy or Indian; whichever takes my fancy.  I wonder, does the owl ever dream of being something other than he is?  I tiptoe towards split rail fence for a better view, climb up and lean over just as a flash of shadow and whir of wings sends my heart a-flutter; sends me scampering back inside.  Screen door slams, my backside hits pillow and mattress as Mother calls my name and Father gets out of bed as the July moon softly glows through my window-screen.

Moonlit shadows glide
Caution is thrown to the wind
Young rabbits tempt fate

by Margaret Bednar, March 30, 2020

This is linked with "dVerse Poets, Haibun Monday - Snapshots of our Lives"

Take an old autobiographical poem and rework it into a haibun.  HERE is the one I used.

The Dance


The Dance

Dusk is put to bed
with raven's wings soaring above,
pulling night's curtain
toward the northern star.

My Victoria roses
no longer hold court,
no songbirds serenade,

but I hear quiet yelp of fox
playing beneath vineyard and vine,
flashes of red, moonlit.

It's a beauty that rivals
the sunflowers and blue iris
sprinkled within field midday
when my breath will catch,

but now I'm caught up
in the wildness, 
heart fluttering, skipping,
wishing I could join the dance.

by Margaret Bednar, January 16, 2012

This is linked to "The Sunday Muse #90"

also linked with Poets and Storytellers United - Writers' Pantry #13

My 12 year old son wrote to this image as well:  HERE

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Pond


The Pond

Water violets and lotus bejewel the pond,
lily pads sprinkle the surface, little oasis's
reflecting the sun for painted turtles, dragonflies, and snails.

Silence is a bubble of air floating to its surface,
a butterfly winging its way, a tree limb's leaves
dabbling its reflection;

yet, what is it that lures and whispers "Peer closely",
my eyes squint, search for a crystalline scrim
beneath willow's shade as goosebumps caress my limbs?

Surely fairies who flutter in at dusk,
dance delicately from pad to pad,
feet leaving misty patterns come morn

as wings of gossamer silk
and skin luminous as the moon slip away,
envelope in mist and mystery

leaving me entranced, eagerly wishing
for a glimpse at water's edge.

by Margaret Bednar, March 16, 2020

This is linked with "Artistic Interpretations #2"  MY NEW CHALLENGE OPEN TO EVERYONE.  Please click over and consider playing along.  It is a bi-monthly challenge and stays open for two weeks.  It can also be accessed at the top left of my blog.

Also linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Writer's Pantry #11"

This poem has been updated (and I hope improved) by accepting the challenge at "Poets and Storytellers United #11- Hypophora and all that" where we ask a question and answer it. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Forbidden


Image used for "The Sunday Muse #99"
Forbidden

A smooth-talking serpent
tempted Eve;
Eve, Adam

and in an instant
Good and Evil danced,
not six feet apart, but close

like apples and sin
seafood markets and snakes,
toilet paper and sanitizer.

If only sin weren't so beautiful,
so tempting, if our hearts
didn't turn from red to black so fast.

by Margaret Bednar, March 15, 2020


My attempt to write to the image and current events in five minutes' time.   I'm not saying those who get this virus are sinful - it is our reaction to this whole pandemic I'm referring and it is a bit ironic that a snake may be the cause or the host...  Stay safe everyone. 

linked with "The Sunday Muse #99


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wonderment


Wonderment

Sunrise seemingly slept in this day
as remnants of moonlight remain
from wintersweet sky,
clouds seemingly hand-spun, perhaps felted.

Chaste mauves, mellow mangos, sedate grays
waterscape morning's horizon,
cocoon me between sand dunes
as if I'm a mermaid with sea-salted hair.

Battered coral and broken shells speckle and glint
beneath watchful eyes of seagulls pronouncing
"Day's begun!"; industrious scavengers
whose work has yet to be done,

begging, stealing.  And I indulge them,
content to offer my bagel and a prayer,
watch both soar over heads of a mother and child;
remember when I first showed my babes

their first glimpse of the sea.

by Margaret Bednar, March 11, 2020

This is linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #10 - Early Bird or Night Owl?"

I just got back from a relaxed stay in Florida's (the USA's) oldest city of St. Augustine and the beach.  Great food, great history, and glorious (gray) morning sunrises.  The sun, even hidden behind the clouds, is a wonder to me.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Chopin

Image used for "The Sunday Muse #97"
Chopin

Her right hand touches her neck,
left hand expertly plays the chords,
melody suspended for a moment,

but not memory of kisses
skimming, teeth nipping, thrilling, 
freely flowing over her body; 

hands over piano keys, notes repeated,
sometimes traditional, sometimes revolutionary,
waltzing heroic... like a good lover.

She often plays the night,
an escape, when structure unwinds
and romance tilts the room,

enshrines emotions as moon and stars outside
cast shadows upon the lake, twinkling,
willing him back safely into her arms.

Only then she'll allow clasp to be unfastened,
ring taken from delicate chain and placed upon her finger.
When his promised return will be answered with "Yes".

by Margaret Bednar, March 3, 2020

This is linked with "The Sunday Muse #97".

Also linked with Instagram: "A Skylover Wordlist".  I used enshrines (shrine), teeth, escape

I invite all of you to consider my new bi-monthly challenge "Artistic Interpretations".  All are welcome!  

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Coney Island

As of March 1, 2020 (NOW) I am hosting a NEW Bi-Monthly "Artistic Interpretations" at a new blog site set up for this new challenge.   All are welcome, poets, painters, etc.  Click on the link below and read the details.  I hope you can join the creativity.

Coney Island

Before the clamor and confusion of mid-day,
before shadows slant lean and low
and seagulls dive-bomb a littered beach,

I gaze down the grey-boarded walk
bejeweled with brightly colored umbrellas
and awnings hawking lobster rolls, soft serve, and beer.

It’s a calm before the storm, a respite;
ghostlike. As if I look hard enough,
I’ll transport back in time

when five cents gypsied one down the tracks
to a beachside breeze, promise of a Nathan’s frank,
and a Steeplechase thrill.

Electro Spin and Sea Side Swing seem overshadowed
by Wonder Wheel’s grace (that’s probably still the same)
and Classic Rock rolls its rhythm 

as Carousel and Thunderbolt act as grand sentinels
(that’s how I imagine it). I’m eventually drawn to the beach
dotted with small shaded oasis’s, crowded with coolers and chairs.

“Cold Corona’s, Cotton Candy!, Snow Cones”. 
“Get it!, Get it!” and I buy 2 umbrellas for $20,
my own refuge beneath a partially cloudy sky,

close my eyes as a life guard’s whistle blows,
children laugh, bicker, cry
and Latino hip hop filters from over my left shoulder. 

By Margaret Bednar, July 1, 2019







I invite you to listen to me read my poem:


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Temptation (another version)


by Margaret Bednar
Temptation 

My red-tipped tongue swipes sour-sweetness
from upper lip, hand-held fan hiding half my face,
an attempt to hide transgressions ...
for I can't restist temptation.

June's soft breeze and rapidly moving paper fan
imprinted with the Savior's face,
challenges mid-afternoon's heatwave
surely reminiscent of Hell.

Yet the perfumed shade evokes images of Eden,
tree limbs laden with plump, ripe sourness
as thumb and fingers grasp hold, gently pull,
pop another red explosion into puckered mouth.

I stop fanning, ask forgivenss,
for Mother has cautioned a belly-ache
and Grandmother desires the bounty
for cherry pies, cobbler, and jams

for which we will gather around the table,
give thanks.  And I promise (once again)
to fill the bucket, aware of the stickiness of the imperfect ones
upon the ground beside the fan.

Look into Jesus's gaze, hope He understands.

by Margaret Bednar, February 27, 2020.


This is linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #8 - Red Fruit Rendition".  I've totally re-written this poem - I've struggled over the years to get it just right.  I think I like this version the best.  Let me know what you think .  HERE is an older version if you are interested. 

HERE are some amazing cherry recipies.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Mama

Image by Omid Armin: Visual Verse, Vol 7, Ch 4  HERE
Mama
by Margaret Bednar

Mama gives the impression of self-confidence, head held high, eyes not so much friendly as acknowledging, head offering a slight nod to strangers and a hint of a smile to those she recognizes as daily commuters.  I know it's hard for her as she misses her home country, struggles with the language barrier, the customs.   I peddle beside her, backpack balanced upon rear bike rack, reciting answers to math facts and spelling words in which she quizzes me.  I long to make this short journey to St. Mary's School myself, maybe join friends before and after school for a bit of rascality.  Nothing harmful, mind you, just fun, for rarely do we have recess during the school day; that's for the little kids.

Middle school is a whole other ball game, at least according to Mama.  She pours over my textbooks each evening, reveling far more than I in history and science, brow furrowed as she pursues upcoming chapters in math and English.  Come morning, we are off early, slide into the pew minutes before Mass, dog-eared bible carefully removed from her bag, sometimes pinches me if I forget to genuflect or become side-tracked with people-watching.  Reminds me "Holy is often about not what we do but what we don't", softening her words with her hand smoothing my cheek.  I'm torn between being a bit embarrassed and wanting to snuggle into her side.

Rain or shine, the routine is the same.  I suppose it's comforting, her presence an anchor as she is all I have; Father having left before I was born.  I often wish she could wear beautiful clothes, look as nice as many of the ladies in church.  But she says she likes her sensible wool hooded jacket, "Clean lines and neat never go out of style."  In church I watch a pretty lady fidget with her broach, hair, twist her diamond ring back and forth; think it's a new way to pray the rosary.  Mama gently nudges me, tells me to kneel straight.  Notice Ms. Fancy Pants puts a dollar into the collection basket; Momma $20.  Whisper, "Not fair!"   Momma tells me "Worry about yourself!"

I think I'm beginning to understand "Holy".  So I'll keep quiet, ponder "They aren't as dark as the others" for that's what I overheard two women whisper behind their hands as Momma and I walked by.   But as I peddle home beside her, see her beautifully reflected against the bluest of skies, my heart sings as there is no one I'd rather be more like than my Momma.

This is submitted to:  Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words  Write to the image no less than 50 words, no more than 500.  I clock in at 427 words.  Writing time: one hour or less.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Rooster

I invite you to listen to me read my poem (below)  photo: 123rf
The Rooster

Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, and Leghorns
pecked, chirped, picked their way through Mother's compost pile,
a source of faint clucks of contentment
and a flourish or two as hens fought over a delicacy.

It was the rooster, red with inky black tail feathers,
chest foolishly thrust forward, strutted about with a chip on his shoulder,
bright red comb and wattles a warning of sorts,
that taunted and threatened my childhood existence.

I learned to scan the yard before opening screen door,
summer sunshine beckoning, tempting me to forgo due diligence.
Once is all it took, scaled pasture fence faster than a speeding bullet,
stranded forever and a day beneath scorching midday sun,
he marching below as if a member of the Queen's Guard,
all pomp and circumstance; temperament, however, unbecoming.

Oh, but it was a classic case of pride before the fall.

The day he chose to chase Mother
was the day he fell from grace, bought a pass to the Underworld.
His body seethed with righteous indignation as the long arm of the law
aligned his head upon crescent-shaped stump,
my heart faintly sympathetic as Father's ax dealt the fatal blow.

Hens can be broody sitting upon their nest,
flattened out upon the straw, clucking, almost purring,
pecking hands gathering eggs; a small price to pay
for carefree days, backyard claimed once again as my own.

by Margaret Bednar, February 10, 2020

The bane of my childhood existence and a response to A Skylover Wordlist.  (can be found on instagram).

I changed it up a bit (I believe for the better) with the addition of the following challenge:  This is linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #6: Turn Cliche into Poetry or Prose".  I used more than one:  faster than a speeding bullet, forever and a day, pride before the fall, fell from grace, long arm of the law, dealt the fatal blow.

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Longing


Longing

My rhododendron leaves curl in upon themselves,
frosted with light snow; count the days 'till beachside.
For now, the taste of Myrtle honey
flavors my tongue; thank the industrious bees
that gather nectar from salt marsh shrubs -
horizontal thickets joined by Holly, Bayberry and Elder.
They lean and give to ocean winds, salty spray, and burning sun;

a harsh existence I won't acknowledge until summer.
I will also miss spring blooms beneath the Oak, Sweet Gum,
and Sassafras; witness not white innocence, lavender toadflax,
violet bull thistle, and green life everlasting.

Instead, I will ponder coast’s blue, shimmering surface come June,
above soda straw worms, knobbed whelks, moon snails,
and lettered olives.  A few will be tossed with the tide
upon the sand, collected along with angle wings, heart cockles,
small colored clams, and the rare chipped sand dollar
and sea star.

But for now, I wrap my sweater snuggly about my shoulders
and sigh, honeyed myrtle warming my tongue.

by Margaret Bednar, January 22, 2020

This is linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #3 - Salt-water poems"

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Superstition

My Art Blog is linked on my side bar
Superstition

Three crosses dominate the pasture hilltop high above winding gravel road, Appalachian mountains a backdrop to these Christian sentinels.  Or superstition as some folks insist.  Wonder and well-being flood my soul but to each his own.

Here in the South, there's plenty of legend and lore, such as deep porches with ceilings of haint blue, traps between realms of the living and dead, tricking turbulent spirits as water they cannot cross.  I've seen cobalt blue dangling from crape myrtle trees, bottles that seize minions set on maiming souls, evil scorched come morning sun.  Bottle trees reside as folk art outside upscale shops; like Ouija boards in toy isles - yet one tempts me, the other terrifies.  They say the Devil's beguiled by his own handsome face, mirrors hang upon southern porches, distract him until the swell of morning sun, wherein he turns tail for hell, house-invasion thwarted.  And of course, Bloody Mary chanted 13 times, hand mirror held aloft, flight of stairs ascended backwards, room darkened, candles lit... beware, benign or wicked she may be.

Hold your breath, count graves
School bus stops at traffic light
Blue faces, wide eyes

By Margaret Bednar, January 18, 2020

Linked with "The Sunday Muse #91" and with "Poets & Storytellers United - Writers' Pantry #3"

This is a Haibun - the ending Haiku doesn't really qualify as it doesn't hint at a season, but it IS an American 5-7-5 syllable count... I had fun writing it though.   We ALL did this as kids, right?  Even us Northern ones.  (Holding breath as one passes a cemetery so the dead spirits don’t enter our bodies)


Haint Blue ceilinged porches - I love them.

and the photo from The Sunday Muse that inspired it all:


Friday, January 17, 2020

Hold Tight

A sketch I did just the other day from a photograph taken 8 or so years ago
... seems like yesterday.
Hold Tight

There is something so endearing
about my little boy's silhouette,
delicate neck above narrow shoulders
and waist dwarfed by shorts
that flood past knees
and shade bare, dirt-dusted feet.

Last vestigates of pudginess
cling to lengthening limbs,
which increasingly take him far
from my protective reach.

The lake is deep, tree roots
snake in and out along the steep bank.
I warn him to watch his step,
"I will, Mom"; try not to hover
yet it's second nature.  Sees me coming,
he runs, I shout, he laughs.

The darkness of the water scares me,
of course, he's oblivious,
fascinated as he is looking for turtles,
fish, dragonflies, and such.

Notice Mother Duck's having trouble
keeping her own swiftly growing chicks inline;
my mind scampers to my other five
(check text messages, see if they need me)
call my youngest to me, spread out blanket,
hold tight to this moment, this little boy.

by Margaret Bednar, January 7, 2020

This is posted with "dVerse Poets Pub - Meeting the Bar - Critique & Craft - Soliloquy"

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Two Orishas

Chelsea's body painting depicting the African Mythological Goddess, Yemaya and Oshun,
(some sites say they are one, others sisters)
Two Orishas

Of rivers and streams
and salt licked waves,
a venus in yellow-gold silk,
of peacock feathers, of cinnamon,
and seaside cowrie shells.

Of lakes and seas
and moonlit crescent nights,
an ocean mother of peaceful blues 'n whites,
of butterfly wings, loves and dreams,
and sprinkled pumpkin seeds.

Voices chant on sand and rocky shore,
passionately persuade, fiercely protect,
of incense and perfume,
Oshun & Yemaya; Goddesses
stirring Africa's life-giving waters.

by Margaret Bednar, January 15, 2020 (revised "Two Voices" March 8, 2013)

My interpretation of Oshun and Yemaya is both are Orishas (Gods of Santeria of which there are many - Yemaya being the older sister of Oshun.  Many sites, many different versions.  The above poem is a reworking of a poem I wrote in 2013.  HERE is a site that explains a bit about them.

This is linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #2: Myth-placed"

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Caregiver


The Caregiver

The frozen gravel enchants me in a way the summer road never does, scampering barefoot, pads of my feet tougher in June than these thin-soled winter boots now crunching raised rocks, slipping now and again; rhythm and cadence hypnotic, somewhat musical.  Really it's more of a lane, tire tracks casting two deep ruts with no shoulder past the three widow's houses just outside of town.  I'm heading back, having sat bedside with Martha, scones and tea barely touched, yet her eyes sparkled, lips curved, as I read Little Women.  We were halfway through the book; could see the cast of characters dance in her mind for a good hour before she fell asleep, whereas I moved the blood-red Amaryllis from her windowsill, closed checkered curtains, turned on the Tiffany nightlight, and touched her dear, sweet cheeks with my lips before slipping out the front door, warmth of my wool cape about my shoulders, warding off twilight's chill fast approaching.  The icy-blue fervour of sky before me, promising darkness and a wintry mix of sleet and snow, is a harbinger I welcome, actually admire as the moon glows softly; looking like a fuzzy grapefruit resting upon the horizon.  The percussion of wind whispering against bare branches and ticking tall frozen grasses joins my rock crunching melody, and I look forward to the warm glow of a fireplace, a book, and the tucked-in feeling of a January snowfall.

by Margaret Bednar, January 10, 2020

Linked with "Poets and Storytellers United - Weekly Scribblings #1"  - We were to use at least three words - I used all but one word... cogitation.  Just couldn't make it work.  But I used the other 19.  Write 369 words or fewer.  For this prose piece, I used 235 words.  Well, I see this challenge has an expiration time - and I missed it.  But it was still a good exercise and I will enjoy reading the other poets and writers.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

From a Victorian Inn

From a Victorian Inn

Moonless it may be, but this midnight hour from my Victorian window shimmers and shines with the vibrance of an apparition as Christmas still sways from porch and pine. Paislied curtain pulled aside, I see pomp & circumstance have been stripped from hydrangeas, find I’m charmed by their skeletal remains bobbing and dancing upon January’s brisk breeze.  They will bloom again, as will I, glorious spring will surge through roots and veins with the circle of life, yet this moment solitude is the canary released from its cage, wraps me with wonder as I stand alone, tenderly tuck last year away and turn towards the new.

My hands plant the seeds
that darkness will envelope
but never contain.

By Margaret Bednar, January 7, 2020

This is linked with “Poets and Storytellers United - Pantry #1”

dVerse Haibun Monday”- ponder new beginnings, and “Skylover Word List” - I used 7 of 10 words listed