Thursday, February 27, 2020

Temptation (another version)

by Margaret Bednar

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


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