LIFE ON THE MESA/imaginary gardens with real toads

 

LIFE ON THE MESA

 

The city seems far away

Crowded

Busy

Bustling

Hurry, hurry

Noisy

 

Still the energy runs high

Ideas breed new ideas

Rest is not found for long

Slips into the gutter

Like rain water from the sidewalk

 

Still it is amazing

It all works as well as it does

Best to stay on your side of the street

Freeways congested

Each new day

The sun rises

And sets at the end of the day

Which seems to have only began

 

I keep my distance

In memory I drive the freeways

Spend the day in the studio

With sounds of trucks

Buses and trains

Filling every space

 

I do not long to return

I am happy here

The hermit that I am

On the mesa

The sun rises in silent morning

Traveling through the sky

And setting at the end of each well-worn day

 

July 3, 2018

 

 

 

 

JULY ONE/the sunday whirl wordle #358 –poets united poets pantry

JULY ONE

July one
More hot days expected
Birds in flight over the mesa
The cycle of days never ending

Even the gods are naked
Seek a shady place
Remember the spirit of winter
Take nothing for granted

Walk the spiral
Return to the heart
Remember home
And the lessons learned

Passions hot
Along with the hot days of summer
The humming birds are not here
There is no flitting in the garden
Will they ever return

The words come quietly
Perspiration trickles down your cheeks
The watermelon cools in tub of ice
It is the essence of summer

 

July 1, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMER/dVerse

SUMMER

 

Summer

We looked forward to it

Starting right after Christmas

Would the cold never end

What about the lazy days of summer

At the beach

Picnics

Games

And no school

 

Time passed

In those lazy days of summer

End of August

School began

We didn’t realize

We were growing

Growing all the time

We needed new shoes

New clothes

The old ones no longer fit

 

Everything was measured by school

First grade

And each grade there after

At last the doors opened

School was out

We tumbled into the yard

What next

More school

A job

The military

 

Summer would find a place of its own

The lazy days of summer

Would become weekends

 

June 29, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

THOUGHTS OF YOU IN DAYS OF FEAST AND FAMINE/dVerse

THOUGHTS OF YOU IN DAYS OF FEAST AND FAMINE

 

The table is laden

Yet I remain empty

A delight for the senses

Pale green vases

Overflow with fresh flowers

 

The plates placed on linen

The crystal sparkles

The silver polished

Napkins neatly folded

Music is heard in the background

 

There is an air of expectation

Will you come

Will there be laughter

Will we remember

 

When our cups runneth over

Bellies full

Those were the days

We were comfortable then

 

We gave little thought

To what was to come

The emptiness of days

The end of time

 

And now

The table is sparse

Laid bare

Like my soul

Yet I do not want

 

My days are full

My heart keeps time

With the beat of the clock

Thoughts of you fill my every hour

The hole you dug remains empty

 

June 28, 2018

 

Lillian is hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, asking folks to write a poem that somehow deals with opposites or uses the literary device of antithesis. One can include simple words in opposition happy/sad, inside/outside; or describe one event from two opposite viewpoints. The opposition can happen in one poem; different stanzas; or even two short poems.  Folks are free to be creative….as long as they deal with opposites! For a different take on the prompt, a satirical one, go to my second post, Mishmash Succotash. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time….come join us and write in opposites or just read along!

 

 

 

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PAINTER/poets united midweek motif “What do you think of yourself”

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PAINTER

Each morning the sun rises

Contradicting the idea of gravity

I enter the studio

Slip into my chair

Gather words

Organize random thoughts

 

I pick up yesterday’s thread and follow

As I take my place before the easel

Pathways open

Color takes on new meanings

At first, I am self-conscious

 

To paint a straight line impossible

Make corrections

Begin again

Slowly I pick up speed

Forget who is painting

Who is thinking

Who is seeing

 

I become everyone who has ever painted

Everyone who has ever struggled to express themselves

I create soul patterns with paint

Ideas come and go

Sometimes they are familiar

Like puzzle pieces that easily slip into place

The extra pieces I put into my pocket

 

June 27, 2018

POEM OF THE WEEK/poets united posted by sherry blue sky

Poem of the Week ~ Celebrating Taos with Annell Livingston

This morning, I have one very beautiful poem for you to enjoy, written by Annell Livingston who blogs at AnnellAnnell: Words of a Painter. Annell wrote so beautifully about the spectacular landscape she lives in in Taos, New Mexico, that I thought we might savor this poem, and Annell’s thoughts about it, all on its own. Annell is sharing some beautiful photos of the land outside her studio window as well. Let’s enjoy.

Taos Mountain

REMEMBER…REMEMBER…REMEMBER

“To remember is to go back to the heart, to make whole.”

–Anonymous Quote

Remember…

Adobe churches, houses, walls

Made from earth

Bricks of mud

Smoothed by hand

Remember…

An old windmill spins

Speaks a rhythmic “clatter”

In hot desert winds

Remember…

White clouds with underbellies of grey

Shaped like cotton candy at the fair

Stacked on horizon in cerulean blue sky

Similar to bundles of cotton bales at the gin

Clouds wait for Miss O’Keeffe

To return to her studio to paint them

Remember…

Ravens and crows, magpies and such

Birds of prey: eagles and hawks

Soar above like a kite

Eagle eye you can’t escape

Remember…

Lavender, pink, sage green, indigo, burnt sienna

Horizon, sand, earth, sage brush, mountains

Colors I call home

Remember…

Mountains, mesas, canyons,

The Rio Grand, “Leopard Hills”,

Volcanic rock, boulders

Remember…

Mesquite, pinion, tumble weed, cholla cactus, red willow, cotton woods

Fruit trees, apples, wild plums

Remember…

Velarda

Embudo

Taos

May 19, 2018

Sherry: This poem is glorious, my friend. The place names sing, these places of your heart. I can feel the heat, the sand, see the old adobe on the mesa. The colour of the light in your photos is spectacular! An artist’s delight!

How did this poem come to you, the words that so vividly describe the landscape that you love?

Annell: I drove to Santa Fe, on a Saturday, to pick up paintings from the gallery.  It was a quick trip, down and back.  I was listening to the radio, and there was a person talking who was from Jamaica; he said he was a Rastafarian, and he was explaining about that.  He began to talk about the word, “Remember,” and I was aware of its beauty of sound.  He said this quote, “To remember is to go back to the heart, to make whole.”  I have looked for that, but couldn’t find it, so I am calling it an anonymous quote.  The person speaking on the radio was anonymous, as is often the case, when listening to the radio, you don’t always get in on the beginning, and know who is talking, then you arrive at your destination, and you turn off the car. It is only later you begin to think about what you heard, and realize it was an anonymous conversation. But I thought that I would like to use what he said about, “remember.”

Later, on my way home, again, my mind was blank.  I had no ideas.  I think it was Kerry who told me she liked “list” poems.  So I thought I would make a list poem, something I have never done.

Alone in the car, I could say the words.  Listen, and then write about them.  New Mexico is known for its adobe churches, houses and walls, made from the earth, into bricks of mud, and in the older adobe it must be resurfaced each year, and this is done by hand.

I saw a windmill, spinning in the dusty dry desert wind, and I wanted to say how it sounds.  There is a certain rhythm and often a sound like a clatter, I thought about it being the language of the windmill.

It is a most beautiful drive coming up to Taos, from Santa Fe.  The sky a clear cerulean blue, the clouds were in rectangle shapes, and seemed to be stacked like bricks on the horizon. It reminded me of cotton bales stacked near the tracks or in the gin.  There were other clouds shaped like cotton candy with grey underbellies.  Then I thought of the painting Georgia painted of clouds…and I thought maybe they were waiting for her to return to the studio to paint them.

There were birds flying in the air, ravens, crows. (I did not see eagles that day, but have on other trips to Santa Fe.)  But a most beautiful hawk, which seemed to be floating like a kite.

Then I listed to myself the colors I saw.   Earth and sky near the horizon was pink.   So much of what is green is sage green in varying values and shades of sage green.   The mountains indigo.  Much of the earth and houses, sienna.

Much of what you see are: mountains, mesas, canyons, The Rio Grand, “Leopard Hills.”  (Leopard Hills are seen near Santa Fe.) Volcanic rock, and  boulders.

I continued with my list, and to say the words aloud, savoring each word.  Mesquite, pinion, tumble weed, cholla cactus, red willow, cotton woods, fruit trees, apples, wild plum.   (To tell the truth, I don’t even know if Mesquite grows in New Mexico, but it does in Texas, and I love that word.)  I hoped the reader of my poem would also like to savor each word.  Saying it out loud.  Allowing the sound to enter him.

Just outside Espanola, I saw a road sign which read Velarde, Embudo, Taos.  As I read the sign, and said the words out loud,  I loved each word, and added them to my list.

When I got home, I began to rearrange the words in my list, and decided it was a poem.  (Kinda like fishing, you never know if it is a fish or not, maybe just caught on a log.)

And that is the story of my poem.

Sherry: How I love the story. I, too, enjoyed savouring the words on my tongue. They are so beautiful, and convey the wonders of the desert to the reader.

 

Annell, I wonder, having lived on the ocean in your earlier years, how did coming to the desert feel to you when you arrived there? Over the years, how did it become home?

Annell: When my Husband drowned, it seemed necessary for me to seek a new life. My Husband loved to fish, and we had a house at the bay.  I wanted to leave the Gulf coast, so I came to the desert, in the shadow of the mountain.

Everything was different, and I needed what I saw to be different.  A new life; I wanted to leave sorrow behind in the rear view mirror.  It was hard for my friends to see me grieve. I needed somewhere to howl at the moon, and I found my place on the mesa.  No one knew me, no one cared, no one noticed that I howled at night.  So, I was at home on the mesa, under a star filled sky, and moon light night.  I no longer heard the waves lapping at my toes, nor the sea gulls diving and crying.  The desert is a quiet home, the coyotes walked through my yard as if it was theirs, and of course it was.

Because Taos is in the mountains, the weather was cool, and I found I could become a hermit and do my work without interruption.  I was constantly fed by what I saw, sunrises in the morning, and sunsets at night.

Sherry:  And what spectacular sunsets! Wow! Right out your back door! Thank you for sharing how you came to the desert, Annell. You were so brave, making such a change, but it was the right one for you.

Annell: Millions of years ago, this land was all underwater, and it is like that today. Unless the wind is blowing, it is as if life is trapped in resin.  Nothing moves, and all is quiet on the mesa.  For a long time, painting was all that I could do, and writing…now I am here, and it seems it is where I belong, like the sage brush that holds the sandy dirt to the earth. Without the sage brush, the dirt would all blow away.

You asked about the difference between the gulf and the desert.  Actually, looking out across the sage brush is very much like looking out across the waves.

I have tried to be as honest as I can. When I write, it is straight from the heart.

Sherry: And we receive what you have expressed with respect and appreciation, my friend. I have often heard there are similarities between ocean and desert. I can see there must be. In fact, I also see similarities between your desert and the Okanagan, where I grew up and raised my kids. Especially in the above photo.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, your very beautiful poem, and gorgeous photos with us today. What a feast of the senses it has been!

Sigh. Wasn’t this a lovely interlude, my friends? We do hope you enjoyed it. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!

Posted by Sherry Blue Sky at 12:30 PM

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THE SHELL FOUND ON THE DESERT FLOOR/the sunday whirl wordle #357/ poets united

THE SHELL FOUND ON THE DESERT FLOOR

Far from the surf – a lacy edge – pink within

 

The one that called this shell home

Is nowhere in sight

The shell has lain in limbo

For at least one thousand years

Waiting for the next wave

To come ashore

 

Images of great butts

Mountains and mesas

Homes carved into

Canyon walls

Pit-houses into hills

Provide a safe place to play

 

The sky an open space

Clear blue

Clouds form abstractions

Three hundred sixty degrees

Thunder rattles…

Death rattles…

 

The snake rattles

As she slithers under rocks

Safe from the sizzling sun

Fresh white sheets

Folded into neat piles

The edges as sharp as blades

The ring she wears

Sparkles in the setting sun

 

Hot winds blow

You gasp for breath

The wind chimes sound

Dust devils form

The desert can be a bitter pill

6/24/2018

 

TWO NUMBERS/verse escape 55

TWO NUMBERS

Two numbers the same

Five and five

I hold up my hand

Count five fingers

One points at you

 

Two numbers

Fifty five

Mid-life crisis

You are too old

 

Two numbers the same

Five plus five

Equals ten

Equals one

There is only one

 

Numbers indicate

What is despicable

Unworthy

Cowardly

Uses children

A terrorist

 

June 22, 2018

 

 

HOT WINDS BLOW/imaginary gardens with real toads

HOT WINDS BLOW

The morning cool

Temperature just right

As the day travels

The temperature rises

Hot winds blow

 

Within the dwelling

The sound of voices rise

Anger flies from the windows

The temperature rises

Hot winds blow

 

Your eyes aflame

Hot under the collar

Point your finger

Just for emphasis

The temperature rises

Hot winds blow

 

Remove your clothes

Nothing touches your skin

Sweat runs down your belly

The temperature rises

Hot winds blow

 

The sun sets

End of day

Twilight in the desert

The Temperature drops

Hot winds sleep

Cool winds take over

 

June 21, 2018

 

Note:  The prompt was “unhappy refrain.”