Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

The Infinite Now – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 31

The Infinite Now

Time

Stretches

This moment.

This single Now

Becomes infinite.

All possibilities

Exist first and only here.

There is no other time for me

No other instant I can act in –

This heartbeat, this breath, and only this one

Holds the magic of thought, impulse, movement.

Waiting as open as the vastness

Of the Grand Canyon in the star-

Pierced near utter dark, open.

Unseen unknown landscapes

Their power soul -sensed

Wide deep fierce true

Only bound by

What I

Choose.

Grand Canyon 1

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Two Lives, Two Rings – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 30

 

 

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Two Lives, Two Rings

 

 

I lost my ruby ring on my wedding day

 

For years, I wore it on chain

 

Where it rested just above my breasts

 

Warmed y my skin, and warming my soul.

 

 

*

 

 

It was my grandmother’s ring, a treasure

 

From the days before rubies were grown

 

The deep wine red with tones of pink

 

That I had worn on my small finger

 

When I was nine

 

And attended her funeral.

 

 

*

 

 

The day I was married, I wanted to

 

Wear a necklace that matched my dress

 

And so removed my grandma’s ring, and

 

I never saw it again.

*

 

 

The stone was set in a delicate filigree of gold,

 

A intriguing braiding of supple metal

 

That reminds me of the nurse

 

Who stood behind me as I cried on the bed

 

And whisperingly braided my hair

 

As I held my dying fiance in my arms.

 

 

*

 

 

I was twenty-five then, and the thought

 

Of my life without him was a jagged precipice

 

Like the fifth floor window I had so briefly

 

Considered trying to leap out of

 

Before the death-message doctor could stop me.

 

 

*

 

 

And then, when I ran out of things to say in

 

Tear drowned and crumbling words

 

And you simply relaxed soundlessly into

 

The undiscovered country where I

 

Could not follow you.

 

 

*

 

 

Because I had promised him that I would live

 

And accept love if it were offered freely

 

I went on and accepted the love of

 

A dear friend, and the gift of our

 

Children…

 

 

*

 

 

One little boy, and then a second-

 

Born not breathing, terror replacing joy

 

Twelve days of unreal, breathhold living

 

Traveling the long road to the hospital NICU

 

Each and every day –

 

Until he died.

 

 

*

 

 

A year later, less five days

 

Our daughter’s cries wrung out

 

My tears of relief and joy

 

Although I would not trust that

 

She was here to stay

 

Until after she turned one.

 

 

*

 

 

Another ring lost, some years back

 

A simple sterling claddagh

 

with a purple glass gem

 

Meant, perhaps to be amethyst.

 

It was bought for pocket cash

 

At a farmer’s market on

 

The Erie Canal, on a whim.

 

 

*

 

It slipped off my finger while

 

I was tending our home, and,

 

Although I looked and looked

 

everywhere I thought it might be

 

It was simply gone, and I

 

Eventually accepted the fact.

 

 

*

 

 

The, two weeks ago,

 

My daughter came to me

 

In her sparkling, laughing way.
“Guess which hand, Mommy?”

 

And she knew I would guess left

 

Because I always do.

 

 

*

 

 

There on her palm, as though conjured

 

Lay the simple claddagh ring

 

Symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship

 

A gift now from my daughter to me

 

Just as she is a gift given from sorrow.

 

 

*

 

 

The ring had fallen into a corner

 

Back in her closet, and lay

 

A hidden treasure, unnoticed

 

For the years until she chose

 

To make a sleeping nest in there.

*

 

Life is the story of loves and losses

 

Some enormous, some trivial

 

All bringing feelings and memory

 

Touchstones for our humanity.

 

 

*

 

 

Some loves are seemingly

 

Torn from our lives without reason

 

Or regard for our grief and the raggedly

 

Ripped wound left behind.

*

 

 

And sometimes, another life and love

 

Our another symbol to cherish and cleave to

 

Are given to us, if we will be open

 

And not insist on seeing only

 

What we think ought to be.

 

 

Claddagh ring
Claddagh ring (Photo credit: Eddo Kloosterman)

 

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Outside In; Inside Out – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 29, 2012

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Outside In; Inside Out

What do you see when you look at me?

Or is it presumptuous of me to think

That you notice me at all?

I am, after all, what might be called

Past My Prime”

If you are the type to judge others

On such a trivial matter as appearance.

My voluptuous youth has settled,

Fatigued from long years of fighting gravity

Gravity, eventually, will win.

I am becoming what is sometimes called

With polite dismissal,

Matronly.

You might notice that my untamed hair

Tousled and twisting into rampant curls

Is woven and shot through, now

With coarser silver, honestly earned.

I do not wear makeup

And so do nothing to disguise the

age spot lakes and deepening creeks

formed of laugh lines and crow’s feet

Changing the geography of my face

Making it perhaps more interesting

But no longer my culture’s

Perception of beauty.

Ahhh, but,

If you should follow the map of my face

Up to the twin geyser pools of my eyes

Sparkling with light, life and fire

You might get a peek into my soul

And who I am within, in my hidden depths.

Those lines and crow’s feet

Which do not know wrinkle cream

Are the outward sign of a life

Spent more in laughter than in scowls.

This wild hair is a perfect fit

For an untamed, unbound spirit

Symbiotically part of the golden fall grass

The thickening curves and settling plains

Echoing the shape of the rolling hills

I am a being more attached to nature

Than to the the city skyscape

More interested by far in the

depths and breadth of the inner life

Than in how others my see this outer shell

That conceals universes and subatomic

Particles of  my being.

Me, in the backyard on October 18, 2012. Photo by Annalise S. Burton.

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Beneath Visibility – OctPoWriMo, Oct.27, 2012

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Beneath Visibility

I

can see

And yet not

So much beneath

Within all I see

Upside-down images

Flipped by a trick of my mind

Just light bouncing off rods and cones

More physiology than vision

And so very much that remains unseen

But I aspire to a far truer sight

A sight not of lens and cornea

Nor the dilation of pupils

Sight born only of presence

Without assumption

To see what is

As it is

Not through

Me

Integrated photoreceptor cells

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

I Ask No Forgiveness – OctPo WriMo, Oct. 26

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I Ask No Forgiveness

I ask no forgiveness

For this slapdash poem.

You see, I was lost in another world

And forgot until now

That a poem was waiting within me

For its moment of birth.

And where is this other reality that held me?

This other world I lost myself in?

It is, too, my child, in a sense

Borne of me just as this poem.

It was, until yesterday, a world

I had lost.

And thought gone beyond retrieving

I gave thought to recreating,

And yet knew it could never

be the same as it had been

At conception, or at birth.

From the lost fog of a broken hard drive

Ministered by wise minds and gentle hands

My world has been reborn

Freed from its restricting

Plastic and electronic prison.

It breathes again, and fills my soul

With wild, elemental beauty

I must delve and soar there

I am captured

Captivated

Spellbound

And cannot return

Until I am released.

And so today I offer

This ragged feral scrap

Perhaps a pretender to poetry

And then I return to my

Prosey -world immersion.

And I ask no forgiveness

At all

For following the scent-trail

Of my own bliss.

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Claiming My Voice – OctPoWriMo, October 23, 2012

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Claiming My Voice

Now

I speak

Of my life

The truths I live

The past that shaped me

The lessons learned soul deep.

My blood breath life bone heart soul

Emotion beauty seen unseen

I claim my voice because it is mine.

No other can ever speak what is me

Each flitting thought every feeling flash

The deep maze passage mind twists and turns

The glittering vivid dream jewels

The passions that fire my blood.

The self that is my own.

Sorrow ecstasy

Becoming one

Revealing

Who I

Am.

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Posted in Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, My Poetry, OctPoWriMo Challenge

Random – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 22, 2012

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Random

I

exist.

I am not

Just what you see.

I go far within

Deep and wide, strong and true

Rich veins of my sacred truth

Hidden flows of pure emotion

Thoughts and experiences explored

Blood and breath the pulsing fuel for my life.

I am not simply the image you see

Or the assumptions you choose to make.

You see only a funhouse me

Clouded, distorted, unreal.

A flat and dull image

The surface of things

Me, seen through you

Not myself

My own.

Me.

Annalise reflects on her image as a British officer. Saratoga National Historical Park, July 4, 2010.

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