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Letter Box -- Newsletter #30

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Carmel, CA

LEGACY

You sitting there
------------------with your cat Sylvester,

listening to Schubert in the pre-dawn blue-grey,
waiting for someone to share with you
your pain and the extraordinary quality of light.
For you see this light only as a-loneness,
------and it reflects to you the purity of your non-being.

You got up early as a child, too,
------and kept to yourself.
Your carefree bohemian mother saw an apple-cheeked tow-headed boy
------with a stubborn gaze and an awkward tongue.
How could she know her careless abandonment would
------teach you to hurt yourself and others blindly
------------and so masterfully?
I saw the unremitting need in your icy, veiled eyes
------and feel their weight upon me still.

My early years were leaden, too, but in a different way:
slums, endless dull lessons, church, cheap clothes, dreary friends,
------relieved by technicolor dreams, movies and museums,
------fashion magazines & frequent boisterous, Slavic feasts.
Hungry for the life of the spirit & mind,
I grew haphazardly, an unwatered weed in a city dump,
------relying on the vagaries of fickle weather.

I came to you desperately, too young, too soon,
------fleeing boredom, casually offering my life & heart,
------little knowing their price.
So preoccupied with your own pain,
How could you have noticed mine?
And then there were the mysteries of creation--
Art--now that was important!!!
And the usual urban distractions that keep us from our natures.

For me, a peasant girl raised in city squalor
there was so much art and romance, too, in
your New England mythos: the farmhouse in Vermont,
the red & gold autumn, the warmth of animals,
the historical reminders of colonial remnants,
the very sound of the Whitney as your middle name:
"You'd think he was an English lord."
I think of you there secluded, immersed,
so disconsolate with your engines idling,
dreaming of wild flight,
And even if I wanted to--
How could I amputate the stubborn part of me that broods?
You, spirit of negation, demon of doom,
Standing alone in the dying fire of New England autumn
Cursing the gods that tainted your genius
------and dealt you a bitter fate.

Once a young Ariadne with the magic string of love to lead you
------out of the inevitable labyrinth,
Now I think of you but rarely.
Now I know you denied my energies and gifts
------as all men, who learned to hate their mothers in this doomed age, must.

When will I be able to forgive you,
------and be free to reveal to you who I really am?

Anya Kucharev


Carmel, CA

UNTITLED

What is there about you
That lights a flame in me,
cools me down in leaf-falling flight
and breaks me into beams of light
and song of sprouting bloom?

What is there about
my ship of fools that drowns
us both in wetness
and opens you
to freedom and fear?

This opening for you
is no lily
or Venus fly trap
or Treasure Island's chest.

It is my cosmic soup-bowl and
chamber of horrors,
a vessel for the hopeful,
a pot for new planting.

Gary Ibsen

Pilot Hill, CA

Thanks for being a bright light for me. My mental, emothional, physical and spiritual health is greatly improved. I feel like I've been down under and now I am back.

Thanks for the wonderful work you do and welcoming all who want the Creative Edge by The Way of The Arts.

Arlene Soto

Carmel Valley, CA

MID STREAM

Emptiness
has set me in motion
again,
startled me roused the shadow that seeks
a way out.

Despair
has stirred the marrow.
In mid-stream
I count on
the irresistible sunrise
for promises.

Dawn offers
her tinted light wings
spreading
across the early sky.

I take counsel
from the venerable oak,
wise women,
lunar dreams.

Unsettled, I ride
a primordial current,
distrustful of destiny,
compelled
to drift
within midnight
passageways.

CONGENITAL DEFECT

At the bottom of my heart
is... a hole,
about one half inch across,
ragged at the edges
where sorrow leaks out
and mingles with
my bones.

I have tried to find ways
to heal it,
to sew a patch over it
or plug it with a gob
of happiness
but that never works.

It's part of me
and I would have to get
a whole new heart
to have one without a hole.

I think I was born
with the gap
so I would always understand
what it means
to lose something
you love.

OLD BATTLES

Quarrels
sharp-edged arrows
speed toward
the target,
winged wooden words
split the heart,
embed themselves,
soak up blood
and stiffen into scars.

I pluck you
from the wounds,
break your shafts,
bury your stone tips
in a mountain of love,
burn your splintered
timber in the fire
of my forgiveness.

Laura Bayless

Reseda, CA

SOCIAL PAIN

social pain
erupting
through young bodies

stirred
in a system
fraught with
hollow promise, and
staffed by those
whose hidden wounds
bleed into
each needless move

meanwhile
the children
surviving
the unintended wrath
of each intervention
play quietly
in the side yard

NATURAL PARENT VISITS

Taking notes
In a room
Bereft
Of style or warmth
Alone, watching
Present, yet apart
From an intimate play
Painted with intense hues
Whose colors are often
Shaped
By life's endless circles
Meanwhile
Each of the players
May dimly see
The symphony
Resonating
Just beyond the senses

VANITY

Face Scarred
In patches of redness
Replacing
Scaly cancerous residue

Turns the vision
Slowly and painfully
From constant focus
On pale or tanned perfection

To the chest
Where
A small candle
Begins to light the way

VANITY II

Pervasive thoughts
And persistent urgings
From the surface of the pool

Keep life's focus
On tight bellies
And sculptured faces

Each hour spent
In the aerobic temple
Which quietly demands
Adequate sacrifice

Feeds the notion
That sufficient muscle tone
Will stay the need
The permanent shadow has
To walk in the light

NOW

All the wisdom
And everything learned
Over years of effort
Evaporates
As each new second
Becomes a part
Of indra's net

Larry M. Sheldon

Colorado Springs, CO

I received you last newsletter and appreciated reading all the varied approaches to life. One poem in particular spoke to me, ARE YOU HUNGRY by Julie Houy. I send to you my poem, NEW HORIZONS. It is in my book titled, Songs of Silence. I just know the book (available from the author) is my dream and I need to work on getting my dream out there.

NEW HORIZONS

I am Hungry --

Hungry for lilacs
and an early spring,

Hungry for rain
to fall on dried earth,

Hungry -- for people
to fill the landscape
that my mind has created,

Join with them --
bathe in the vermilion
oranges of purple sunsets.

Search,
for the tree
that bears forbidden fruit.

Bite into the apple!
Taste the Pomegranate!

I am tired
of being safe.

So great --
is my hunger,
that I want to
devour myself,

And create a new me.

Patricia Ann Doneson
6227 Twin Oaks Drive, Apt. 2305
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Portsmouth, NH

JANUARY 1, 1998
(From Her Blue Body)

The old demons
had returned
before the holidays,
swarming over her,
igniting
grass fires of anxiety,

but on that
first glacial morning
of the New Year,
she woke up
and it was
unthinkable
not to obey
the ancient heliotropic urge
to turn her face
to the light,

to lie still,
to observe

the crystal flowers
that bloomed
in glittering fields
on her window pane,

the gleaming double edge
of terror
and hope
that cut deep within.

Anne Dewees

Monterey, CA

LOVE

For six long months
My soul was yours
Each day it waited
For your glance
Which did not come
Then sadly
It returned to me
Still trembling
From the aftershock
Of its awakening!

MY GREATEST WISH

My greatest wish in life is change
Some folks might find this awfully strange.
Perception can be friend or foe
The choice is mine to sleep or grow.

It's comforting to stay the same
To not allow one's inner flame
To lead one to uncertain ground
Where one cannot feel safe and sound.

Each day I pray that I will see
The self I am more honestly
To know that in the past my fears
Have led to hurt and painful tears.

My growth is slow but right on course
It isn't something I can force
I let life lead me where it will
Its mystery is for me the thrill.

A mystery that in time unfolds
And blesses me with all it holds
I'm grateful to be on this Earth
And thank my mother for my birth.

LET ME LOVE YOU

Let me love you
from a place of safety
A place that gives you room
to breathe
to love me back.

Let me love you
from a place of trust
A place that lets you
live your life
without fear of losing me.

Let me love you
from a place of honesty
that we may travel
inside and out

together.

Duffie Bart

Soquel, CA

THREE BOYS IN THE RAIN

Purposeful in comic solemnity,
walking in a row with a magic word;
tossing it over a shoulder, teasing it,
spitting it in wads of laughter,
kicking it rainward
with irresponsible toes and heels,
shouting it in Ping-Pong volleys.

They come to a hup-two halt,
regard the swelling river,
the silent conveyor-belt river,
in mock fisherman humor.
Even their matted hair is grinning,
their denims darkened
wet to the knees
in a soaked smirk.

Their magic word whips
restless in their fishing rods,
tickles wriggling in their torsos,
dances in soggy Addidas,
cracks hoarse in greenstick throats.
The day, the rain, the river,
the word, is theirs.

The next time they meet
the magic word
will have grown old,
used, taste of some time ago;
will have been hand-formed
into but another memory
of the time they marched
single file
on angelfood grass
in the rain.

Donald Marsh

DOC, Tennessee Colony, TX

This one isn't going to dwell on the bad. Hell, I am fortunate to be alive and learning!

IT DAWNED UPON ME

It dawned upon me ...
the world doesn't exist for me,
the wave comes and goes...
the ocean isn't worried about it,
I am just a wave
thus, the reality is ...
I am not that important
except when Ego tells me otherwise.

It dawned upon me ...
how blind have I been?
how have I avoided the Truth?
how have I lived in this glass house of Ego?
no one can exist alone,
we exist in the cosmic whole
as a wave,
no one is an island--isolated--alone.

It dawned upon me ...
the Ego is falso--the greatest falsity,
it is impossible,
Reality isn't that shocking...
every breath bridges you with the cosmos,
in deep sleep the Ego, your name,
your numbers are no more,
that is the Reality.

Chester HASS III DOC#327322 BC-1B-08
Coffield Unit Rt. 1, Box 150
Tennessee Colony, TX 75884

Thank you for your creative offerings!

I invite readers to share their own creative works with a few words about the context of their work for either the new Letter Box On-line or regular hard copy version. I look for work and comments I feel support understanding and encouragement of the creative process, and hence, the process of life.

Submit your name, city and state with your works to Donald@creative-edge.org for publication. I also encourage you to approve adding your E-mail address. Submit images in 72dpi GIF or TIFF format.

The Editor

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