Here I am.
Studded with candied bits,
Heavy with rum and honey,
Fragrant and rich.
Made for you.
Your stickiness disgusts me.
Too sweet, too moist,
Clinging to my teeth.
You make me shudder.
Here I am.
I’ll win you over yet.
Just a bite;
Come to the party;
You’ll find a lover there.
I’ll watch, savoring a snickerdoodle.
I was made for you.
If you will not have me,
Leave me for the jays.
Were you my anchor,
Or were you the ship?
Discernment is needed
For this farewell.
Our home was the harbor,
And you the graceful ship,
Sails straining with the wind.
Take up the anchor of our love,
Carry it with you to new adventures.
And back, someday, to me.
It turned out to be a meditation, not a story.
What right have we to love
While weddings turn to funerals?
What right have we to live
While babies drown at sea?
What right have we to eat
While others starve in darkness?
What right have we to peace
While millions flee from war?
What right have we to live
If not to help our neighbors?
Sing it. Say it. Do it.
Today's prompt was to embed a hidden message in a story or poem. I took the easy way out, so you should have no trouble finding it!
The secret of my success
Maybe you need a break;
Also, a cup of tea.
Keep this sage advice,
Easy as can be.
When you push too hard,
Or strive to be a star,
Remember that “all play”
Kept Jack from going far.
Pause every twenty minutes,
Laugh, or dance, or sing.
A little levity in work
You need to give it ZING!
Packing list for the coming year
For the journey ahead
I will need supplies.
clean dry socks to prevent blisters
a cozy hat to keep my head warm
layers for cold days and hot.
A good supply of trail mix
some crunchy, salty bits
soothing coconut flakes.
And of course, some company
chatty and quiet
urgent and calm.
A marching song
One step and then another.
Hoping for fresh water every few miles.
It was laundry day today. I originally planned to got to the movies and see Dr. Strange (in 3-D!) but the weather was just too fine, so I headed to the river instead.
Later, I headed to one of the two places in town (so far) that carries microbrews and had dinner. A woman who had been at my talk stopped by and we had a nice chat about being liberal in North Platte. Much to digest. Here is that poem, in case you'd prefer to read it than listen to my cold-ravaged voice.
How far has the river of time carried me?
How do I map the distance, the depth, the eddies of life?
Here I am, an old woman (or nearly old)
standing on the bank of the same river I knew as a child.
As if I never left.
Yet nothing is the same.
This water, 60 years ago, was in a cloud, or a jelly glass, or an antelope’s eye.
The swings in the park behind me are new. Safer, and smaller.Or maybe I am just bigger.
I’ve met a few old friends and driven by many more, in the graveyard.
What hasn’t changed? The sky. The smell of the river bank. The reddish brown squirrels.The yellow autumn.
The flow of the river, always south and east.
And somehow, in ways I cannot see or say, but only feel — me.
The drive from Denver was beautiful. I know that people who live elsewhere think of this part of the country as flat, empty, and boring. But here's what I thought:
I moseyed along my way, stopping to visit the church in Brush, Colorado, where my grandfather served as pastor eighty or so years ago. The current pastor and church secretary were warm and welcoming, and shared some of the parish's history with me.
Finally, I made it to North Platte. The road into town was unrecognizable; lots of chain restaurants, a WalMart, a shopping mall. But soon I was driving through the old part of town, and over the viaduct that carries the Main Street across the railroad tracks. Within minutes, I was driving into Cody Park, past the swimming pool and the kiddie rides (closed for the season) and reaching the banks of the North Platte River. The familiar sights and smells, the grasshoppers leaping away from my footsteps, all brought tears to my eyes. A fellow about my age stopped to talk -- the first of many conversations I have had in my few hours here. And therein hangs a tale.
I think of myself as an introvert, someone who is usually reluctant to chat with strangers. But the genial neighborliness I have encountered here has triggered a memory of learning to look away from strangers instead of smiling at them, to nod instead of saying hi. I remember walking down the street in Westwood, New Jersey shortly after we moved there, and saying hello to a woman only to have her look at me with a startled expresssion that clicked quickly to annoyance and then to a mask, averted away from me.
So far today, I have had short conversations with:
I used to joke that I wrote a poem a decade. That should make them easy to remember, right? So it was a bit unsettling to find this poem tucked in an old notebook, dated July 2007. I have no recollection of writing it, and no idea what was on my mind at the time. Apparently I penned it after walking the then-new labyrinth at the University of Maryland.
My Gender Mystique blog focuses on my work on clothing, sex, and gender. That's not all I do, so this blog is about everything else.