Wednesday, January 22, 2020



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


My Art Blog is linked on my side bar

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