11 May 2014

Spring Update

Spring came late this year to my little corner of the world but seems finally here. It tiptoed in and then retreated driven away by cold and rain. Cooler temps lingered although some warm, sunny days had slipped through as teasers. I further qualify cold as temps in the 50's and 60's. Unseasonable for here but not too bad. The geraniums on my balcony thrive as does the parsley, mint, chives, lavender and rosemary. Only the basil held out for warmer temps by refusing to grow. I empathized with it. I was ready to break out, head for the beach and take nice long run/walks. Instead, I looked out my windows  at gray clouds, misty rain and a brisk breezes until this last week. So I hunkered down frequently to read and to write. Also not a bad thing. But this last week, I luxuriated as the sun stayed all day and warmed temps to the lovely 70's. Today I went for a long run by the sea, cared for the plants on my balcony, went out for a mid-day meal with friends and finished my book- anything to spend time outside. The mountains and the sea have been clear and the sky that spring bonnet blue with only wisps of clouds. So welcomed.

As for the sale of our apartment so that we can move back to the states after five years in Italy, nothing yet. The economy is difficult and called "the crisis" in the news here. Real estate is especially hard hit. We had our first house showing after lowering the price so we hope for the best. There's no time pressure other than the decision is made and I'm eager for the next step in the journey. My Honey is ready to cut back on his work a bit more and take his retirement age (plus) seriously. That and the desire to be closer to family draws us back to the states. The interim has been a time for reflecting- what I'd like to do and how I'd like to live and lots of talking with John about my answers and his. Good talks. They bring clarity.

Spring break brought many international friends to our small town for short visits and quick catch ups with folks from Sweden, England and the states. I also took a trip to Sweden with my Honey and, besides sightseeing, visited with two couples we first met here in our small town far from tourist areas of Italy. The remarkable hall above in Stockholm is where the Nobel Laureates stage their celebratory ball after the awards ceremony. This coming week I will visit another family in Manchester, England that I met here and then on to visit family in Ireland. Ireland with its familiarity of people, culture and history and the open-hearted welcome of family has become a favorite place to visit. Life in Europe is full and rich.

Meanwhile, I continue to run three times a week, read, write, visit with friends, Skype my family, work on a family ancestry project, play Words with Friends and DragonVale on my iPad (notice my new favorite iPad Mini with the Logitech keyboard) and learn all I can about poetry as well as what other elders are doing to be of service. More about that later because I'd love to have a conversation on this topic. I love my life. Seems counter-intuitive to also want to change it but there you have it.

On this day set aside to honor mothers, Happy Mother's Day. We all owe our lives to a mother's  courage to bear us. In my ancestry project I've been conscious of the long line of women leading through me and my daughter to my grands. I'm proud to be part of these women. Strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!

07 May 2014

This I Know

I watch you walk the forest path,
two-leggeds, moveable beings,
part of cosmic fertility, content
for now among us tall ones.

Is your life like mine, simple
and clear in its purpose?
Here is what I know, that's
shared in our council:

That sky remains ready
to receive dark and light.
That forest sits silent
awaiting sound.

That sun feeds bright
and heat to all.
That wind strokes my arms
to play the song of my life.

That birds alight on my branches,
find shelter and, in turn,
scatter my seeds far from me.
That this right action you call wisdom.

That forest deaths create humus
to urge new life in its crucible.
That when I turn toward
what I love, it saves me.

Do you yet know that being
and appreciating is enough?

Abhra, at dVerse Poets Pub, has us writing Tree Poetry, to actually write as the tree. Check it out, there's some good poetry going on over there… The photo is of an Imortelle Tree taken on my latest trip to Trinidad. It flowers around Christmas and is just beautiful.
Two quotes are paraphrased here: 
"Wisdom and right action are the same thing." Marcus Aurelius
"This turning toward what you deeply love saves you." Rumi

04 May 2014

The Color of Fire

                me red
              like flame
        but tempered over
        time as  flame  can
        be tapered, or does
        it spark  and  sizzle
        fanned by winds  n'
        fuel  we  know  not,
        an inside glow  that
        lights, dims by need
        of  dawn, dusk  and
        dark  night?   Ignite
        red flames  n' shine,
        shed   bright   light,
        illuminate the night

Fireblossom, at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, is hosting the now monthly Flash Fiction 55. My hair used to be red (up to my 60's) so here's my 55 as a shape poem. I was called red as a child and hated it but I've decided to embrace it here.

03 May 2014

A Secret Place

If I owned three volcanoes and a flower
I too might escape with a flock of wild birds,
or else, so afraid of eruptions, I'd cower
under the cover of my baobab, say words
to ward off death and draw a friend to share
my lonely life of care and wasting time on herds

of new sprouts. Until one rose appears, spares
my life without beauty by her perfect self. Sweet
at last staves off catastrophe, at once pares
life to essence, time wasted makes it full, replete,
a change in vista complete, what's unseen deletes fear
and allows the eye to see the real not effete,

so death becomes gears stopped, shell dropped, stars near.
"It's such a secret place, the land of tears."*

* The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
In response to Tony Maude's excellent article on Rhyme and Sonnets and his encouragement yesterday to write a sonnet at dVerse Poets Pub. The rhythm is off but it's my attempt at a terza rhyme sonnet. It combines with the prompt by Grapeling at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads the other day accompanied by another excellent article and a word list from a favorite and wise book, The Little Prince. I took the photo in a garden in Paris.