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The Tapestry

25 Jan

I mentioned in a post before, that I wrote a poem to my grandfather when I was in jr. high.  Several people asked then to read it, but I had to find it first.  And then I had to find the courage to post it. I’ve been thinking about him a lot this past week, but hadn’t put together why until today when my cousin posted on Facebook that today is the 5 year anniversary of his passing.  So it seems fitting to post this now.

Image

The Tapestry

Come and sit, the old man said,

And listen to my story.

I’ll weave you a tale of life and death,

A tale of strife and glory.

So she came to hear his yarn,

Leaned against his knee.

He wove the colors of words so well,

They sang in harmony.

Then he spoke and the tale began

The fire crackled and burned.

While Grandpa imparted his wisdom,

Speaking of lessons well-learned.

From many lands the characters came,

Dancing before her view.

Actors they were, on the stage of life

Appearing at Grandpa’s cue.

One and all, they sang to her

The hues of their voices blending

Of laughter and sorrow, they sang to her,

Weaving the tapestry unending.

Dear Abuelito, tell your stories

I’ll lean upon your knee.

The colors you weave are everything.

Unfold your tapestry.

(for my grandfather, and all grandfathers who love to tell stories)

Morning Chores

2 Jun


I left the window open yesterday
the day was so warm, and
flies invaded.
I heard them buzzing this morning.

So I stood in the doorwayofmyroom
swatting them.
I am
the cyclops
(not blind but
cl
um
sy)

They were having a CIRCUS
with acrobats
and Ferris wheels

When I was finished
I swept their bodies off my rug.

**************************************

p.s. Don’t miss my giveaway

Poetry

25 Apr

You could say I was raised on poetry. My Dad read poetry to my sisters and I instead of bedtime stories.
The Highway Man, The Pirate Don Dirk of Dowdee, Dilliki Dolliki Dinah, and Annabel Lee were my favorites. He memorized many poems and would recite them to us as we weeded the garden or on long car trips. He would sort of just burst into poetry like a musical. (He often burst into song too…) One night, he and I were driving home from Springfield, MO and he recited poetry for the entire hour and a half without ever repeating a poem or pausing to think of a new one. They just came rolling out of him. So I grew up loving poetry.

When I was in 6th grade, the local jr. college held a writing contest. Winners would be published in their magazine and poetry was one of the categories.

You must understand, I had never studied poetry in school –writing or reading. I was so excited to write my first poem. I was sure I would win and be published! The theme was “Enchantment” so I wrote a poem describing an enchanted lake in the middle of a forrest. I even used my parent’s typewriter to type up my poem. I turned it in to my reading teacher and waited with breathless anticipation for her response.

The next day, she placed my paper on my desk and walked away without a word. At the top was written,

“Punctuate this.”

I was crushed. I knew she hated it. I hadn’t even known that poetry needed punctuation. I knew it should rhyme and that the lines needed to have a rhythm that matched. I randomly added commas and periods and resubmitted my poem. She never said anything about it. I did not win the poetry anything. (Though my best friend won and was published.)

This experience effectively murdered my confidence with poetry. I continued to write poetry, but rarely showed it to anyone.

When I was 14 or so, I wrote a poem for my grandfather. He was undergoing bypass surgery for his heart. Seven- Bypass- Surgery. He had been writing family history stories and some creative fiction and trying to get published, but no one was interested. Except his grandkids, who loved to sit around him and listen. He was a magical storyteller. I wanted so much to tell Grandpa how much I loved him and that I liked his stories. So I wrote him this poem and snuck it on the table at his house–that was almost more than my courage could muster. I was pretty sure that it was overly sentimental and no good, and yet it was me and it was what I wanted to tell him. Grandpa loved my poem. He loved it so much, that he kept showing it to people, which embarrassed me deeply. I was certain that Grandpa only loved it because he loved me and everyone else who read it would see exactly how amateur-ish and unoriginal it was. I was almost rude to my Uncle Joe, who tried to talk to me about it. I was so afraid he was going to criticize my poetry that I ran away. Now with 20 years perspective I think he was just trying to encourage me.

I still have no confidence regarding my poetry and yet I can’t help writing it every now and then.

Funny the impact a teacher can have just by saying nothing. It is a lesson I try to remember with my piano students and my own children.

Incidentally, my DH wooed me with poetry. His love of great poetry, the poetry he wrote, and especially the poems he wrote about me stole my heart away. I had always dreamed of being one of those ladies who walk in beauty

And now I was.

I reminded him of that recently and wondered aloud if he might ever write me love poems again. I guess inspiration hasn’t struck recently… 😛