18 September 2014

To Travel Well

If you want to travel well
you must be prepared to lose things
to lose the certitude of best ways to do things
or right ways or that anyone can know such treachery

to lose the sense of one place as the center 
holding answers for all the world
or that one language can best capture thought
so all others should wrap their tongues around right words

to lose the belief that one religion outranks others
that other beliefs are strange, misguided, unenlightened
or that one culture reigns supreme, the final answer
with keys to unlock all mysteries

if you want to travel well 
you must be prepared to gain things
to gain certitude of best as cumulative
that right energy can be forged collaboratively

to gain ardor that our world is vast and central
and needs protection so answers can be discovered in alliance
that each language builds in a unique world view
not to be neglected even if we choose a common language

to gain the belief that religion's role is to point toward the holy
and that we're all holy within a holy world superceding dogma
that each culture takes its place in the scheme of things as one piece
of the whole which together can shed light on all mysteries

to travel well one must be prepared to be ambushed
by the beauty that awaits day after day
to grow tender toward the children of each place
as they play and meet strangers and live in sometimes unimaginable 

circumstances and call it home yet stay open to travelers
ready to lose separateness and gain oneness and be our teachers in this 
it takes a fearlessness, this traveling, an open heartedness
that stands ready to call sister, to call brother, to say yes.

In response to Poetics: Travel Poetry prompt by Gabriella at dVerse Poets Pub although I missed the deadline and for Grapeling's Get Listed- September with words from "The Art of War" over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. I used capture, neglected, ardor, energy, alliance, treachery and scheme.

16 September 2014

Light from Darkness

I thought of something funny today and went to call you.
Since you're so newly gone, abruptly gone, I forgot
for one gift of a minute, the way I can't in night's long hours.
It's new to me since you're the first of us to go. Dad, at 98, says 

you learn to handle it after more and more deaths of loved ones, but 
I haven't mastered that detachment that doesn't succumb to
grief, doesn't get squeezed with grief's tight band,
doesn't wish for one more chance to say what I worry 

you didn't know: that I love you and miss you. Just that. Instead, 
I must trust you have peace, that you've gone from the formless dark
of death to the light described by poets and saints.

For Open Link Monday at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.

20 August 2014

Fare Thee Well Love

 My brother's remains were laid to rest on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at a beach on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The beach was a lovely, secluded spot near where our mother was born. She often talked of their family farm that ran from the mountains to the sea and this beautiful beach fit that description perfectly. When I saw it and remembered Don's desire to visit Mom's birth place, I knew it was the best place to release his ashes. As my Honey, our daughter and two grandchildren drove to the beach we were listening to a new CD, These Are The Moments by the Rankin Family, and the song below started to play as we crested the hill: "Fare Thee Well Love". It made me cry. It was written by Jimmy Rankin from nearby Mabou, Cape Breton and expressed my feelings well. 
 This trip started out to be a retracing of my roots with John, Kelly and the kids in Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island and Boston. Having Don's remains added a dimension to the agenda in an unexpected but meaningful way. It was like having him with me to find his final resting place. We found a good one. Nearby was a cemetery filled with familiar Scottish names of our childhood, including many graves with our mother's maiden name, in this the place where my mother, grandfather and his father were born. So Don is back where his namesake, our greatgrandfather, is buried. 
 The day was cloudy in that almost raining kind of way and the sea had small but strong waves to receive and scatter the urn. I like that the urn had footprints on it, the footprints we leave behind as markers of our presence, and was built to dissolve in the arms of the sea. The Atlantic recieved his ashes and blended them with the elements of all other life in this ancient place from which we came. He's home. May he rest in peace. 
Fare thee well love by Jimmy Rankin is on this video on YouTube:
I feel honored to have had this task.

23 July 2014

On the Road Again...

I'm heading to the US for vacation time with family and friends. I'll have five weeks with my daughter and the grands and take time in Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on a maternal heritage tour. It will be quite a journey and I'm excited. I'll check in as able.

May the rest of your summer be filled with fun activities.

19 July 2014

My Other Self- A Video from Rugged Grace

Fireblossom's Friday challenge at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads to write to my other self got me thinking; who would I be in an alternate world? It's been hard to put in words but when I saw this video from Rugged Grace I got excited. My other self is an athlete with a strong, athletic body that I love and find beautiful. So this is a visual poem from tumblr on the members of the Harvard Women's Rugby team who wrote on each other's bodies what they appreciated about their teammates. The video connects to further photos and the article in the Harvard Political Review that inspired it: 'An Exercise in Body Image'. It's a beautiful 5 minutes.
I think I'll take this ultimate self-affirming political step with her- make our bodies strong and love them as they are.

Video: http://ruggedgrace.tumblr.com/post/89333559900

16 July 2014

A Long Road

The road is long,
and not the way
we planned. Is it wrong
to want? We played

the ones who trust,
in what, or who,
the world, the busts
of saints? What's true

my love? Predict.
You know of roads,
of faith, of strict
response that holds

a hope aloft
when up is how
the road and croft
seems bent. We bow,

exist to serve,
belong with traits
of skill and verve,
but still, we wait.

For Susie's Bits of Inspiration- The Yellow Brick Road over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.
I took the photo in Trinidad.

14 July 2014

Awaiting Return

Swallows swoop the sky at sunset,
ride currents on curved wings, slice the firmament.
Do they await return, like me, or, because of my amazement,

write sky script meassages with hidden meanings,
that mark how far apart we are? Me, an earth-bound being unable to fly 
or follow instincts toward home, they who own the sky.

My wait has been long.

Written for Grace's prompt yesterday which introduced the poetry of Claribel Alegria to the Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. One of Grace's suggestions was to take a line of her poetry and use it in our own poem. I took two lines: "because of my amazement" from her poem Rain and "My wait has been long." from Sorrow (after reading Kerry's comment). I'm a little slower so I post it today for open link Monday on their third anniversary. 
I took the photo in a garden in Ireland.

09 July 2014

Though I am Old With Wandering...

I've traveled in my life,
found fresh vistas for hungry eyes,
moved forward toward the novel and
exchanged the customary close to my heart
to defy convention and shake loose moorings
that constrain even while they comfort. 

Something entirely new can then burst forth,
a friendship forged across boundaries of age and culture.
This place of connection against all odds
is the magic I've found and the highest degree of accuracy. 
We are one, this bench mark mapped,
the landmark of depth, formlines of home
set in our true coordinates.

This is written in response to two prompts at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads: the first from Helen to write of the travels in our life and the magic of what we've found and use map terms (used- degree of accuracy, bench mark, depth, landmark, coordinates, formlines) and the second prompt from Grapeling to use words from the July word list (used- fresh, burst, defy, forward, customary). Mario, in the photo with me, is 84 and from Montalcino, Italy.