Sparked by Words

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Down the Stairs

 

“Yes, I pushed him down the stairs

But he’s the one who fell.”

Not a valid defense for violence.

Doesn’t turn a terrorist into a freedom fighter.

Won’t create justice for the wrongfully accused.

Can’t replace lies with an ethical mission.

Won’t douse fire once ignited

Or salvage what’s been destroyed.

Not a reason to hold hostage the innocent.

Does not showcase nefarious behavior as decency.

Won’t grant a medal for heroism

Or a trophy for humanitarianism.

Unconvincing as policy for disguising acts

Of bigotry, racism, misogyny, deceit, or hatred.

Address God in any and every language,

It doesn’t make an evil deed holy.

And it sure as hell isn’t a mandate for peace.

Only cowards push and blame.

 

 

Just a Thought 73

 

Painting Steps in Algiers by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

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Struggles on the Ground

No matter the struggles on the ground

The fire or earthquake or flood or revolution

You still awake to the baby’s cries and rush

To quiet her, diaper her, lift her to your breast

 

Rain descends, rivers run to oceans, wind rises

Dust settles on the white linens, grit mars the table

Boys and girls beg for a story and pencils

Babies turn in the womb, mouths reach for a kiss

 

No matter how weary your back bent to task

Your spirit slashed by fever, worry, conflict

The electric bill must be paid, bread bought

The children need breakfast before school

 

Surgeons raise their knives over ill flesh and cut

Farmers plough fields and force seeds into earth

Fishermen drop nets so deep in the sea they vanish

Some get well, some harvest, some eat, some drown

 

No matter the guns in the street, rockets overhead

The body bows to its insistent daily needs

Before you stand, work, march, weep, shout, fall

You must park outhouses along the battlefield

 

An old woman reads documents and diaries

An old man sorts certificates and photographs

They write their letters to their grandchildren

Wishing them fewer struggles on the ground

 

Just a thought 71

 

Homeward, painted 1881, Georges Inness, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

Tiara

I recall my cape of hip-length tresses

Wavy locks swirling to guitar and drum

Brazen curls snaking around my jaw

Skirting across a lawn of auburn leaves

Igniting the tinder of other girls’ envy

Catching the sideways desire of boys

 

Bound with braids of stolen daisies

Wriggling out of tortoise shell clips

Thick locks fatiguing rubber bands

Youthful rebellion straddling my head

Besting the nascent rioter of my heart

Too young for grown up restrictions

 

I dream the tiara of teardrop pearls

Illumined by a pose of silver arabesques

Clutching jasmine white ballerina tulle

Cloud-like on my pate, glancing shoulders

Secreting vows we’d already pledged

As I waltz the aisle to my betrothed

 

I did not wear that jeweled tiara

But a twist of roses and baby’s breath

Garlanding my hair like whispered vows

Cascade of satin ribbons sighing after me

Nor on a glade of strewn petals and vines

But over a trampled path to my beloved

 

I remember the bent clasp of mindless jobs

Friday coins dropped in my blistered palm

Hungry for more than burned rice and coffee

Fighting for time to study, for rights of others

Struggling to hone my wits, find a moral core

Years of adulthood forced upon my head

 

Brutal decades of wifedom and motherhood

Of employee and citizen, friend and neighbor

Learning to share with ill and hungry strangers

The ones who plead for virtue within me

Begging my twin gifts of sorrow and charity

Now I seek only the crown of a good name

 

 

Just a thought 70

 

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

 

A Gesture of Butterflies

They’ve invaded – the butterflies

Drunk on thistles, the bounty of rain

Small as half a broken egg shell

The ordained compass of Painted Ladies

Flitting o’er fields, creeks, chaparral

Darting along air flight highways,

From the Mexico-California border

Migrating to the Pacific Northwest

Be still, they approach in silence

Their mission to journey north

For the sake of their future tribe

Flounced wings, orange and charcoal

Black-eyed scales of outside pennants

Guarding the route of tiny gypsies

If only they could guard those below

The ones on knee, in chants, in prayer

What crusted his heart with toxic hate

Who gave him the bullets and the gun

How turn holy words to curse and lie,

Why assault the gates of church, temple,

Synagogue, mosque, sacred ground

The fluttering echo of God on Earth

Ravaged by a beast who never paused

To see the holy gesture of butterflies

My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who were murdered in Christchurch, New Zealand; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and the many places of worship where innocent people have been attacked by terrorists who will not recognize the spark of God within all human life.

In honor of the innocents who were killed, I will not remember the names of the terrorists nor their hateful twist of words.

 

Just a thought 69

 

Painted Lady butterfly photos courtesy of Pixabay and Wikipedia

 

 

This is Where You’ll Find Me

I am not silent though you will not hear my words

My actions are as mundane as peeking through blinds

It is well into morning before I step out of the shower

But I was late to sleep last night and then could not rest

I lay down, my breath not deep enough for comfort

I paced again, exhausted but engorged with thoughts

 

My hours of darkness swaddled me as the sun lifted

Dirty plates pile on the countertop, waiting for soap

I should exercise but I eat, I should eat but I worry

The pages lie empty but the story beckons for attention

Its words thrum in my heart, hammering for speech

If I didn’t live in my books, I wouldn’t be breathing at all

 

Just a thought 68

 

 

Image of Eros sleeping, courtesy Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

Silver Orbs

Tiptoeing between raindrops

Blessing every one of their

Silvery little orbs

Waiting for rain to pause

To rove among the wildflowers

Gathered on the hills in California

Golden, lavender, crimson buds

I will kneel before not to pick

But to embrace their lucence

Cradle the bowl of their petals

Manna between my palms

 

Capture now with camera lens

Tomorrow sketch in watercolors

Hoping that next winter

There will be raindrops to spare

Then dancing blossom heads

Of honey, plum, and scarlet hue

Roaming wild hills next spring

To stroll about their garden

We are all wanderers

Seeking earth, sun, clemency

The rain, the flowers, and I

 

Just a thought 67

 

Raindrop image courtesy Pixabay

California wildflower image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Day is Done

Day is done, the weary trope

lingers yet the bawdy sun

o’er sea, o’er realm

may all love survive

may all peace abide

may all night be still

in prayer till dark

is lit once more by morn

the sun awake with fire

and all woes on wind

are borne across worn skies

seeking the light of day

 

Night is nigh, the common sleep

‘neath stars in woolen sky

cosmos reels beyond human sight

here we blindly look up

my hand reaching yours

your shadow touching mine

our blood jumping gates

our skin tingling hymns

our throats clutching sighs

hearts grasping for arrows

backs bent like willow bows

yearning for dark to fall anew

 

And now again, day is done

 

 

Just a thought 66

 

Sunrise image courtesy Pixabay