Letter Box — Newsletter #35
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Thoughts on Creativity #35 |
all through the nights the cat
tromps around on the roof most
especially in the mornings about
the same time as the tiny birds
wake up and well before the larger
birds and crows who sleep
latest I think
this morning the cat
there are actually two cats
and this morning one is outside
when the cat inside
signals by audibly illicit
sofa scratches a desire to
be removed so I arise from
my deep dream of peace
and release him
and to check the time which
the tiny birds speak to ambiguously
I flip on the kitchen switch
like one nanosecond and my neural
eyes are emblazoned and
engraved with a vivid flash
and wandering hesitantly back
to bed with this hit that splash
of counter edge clock and
microwave could be inter-edited
in any given dream sequence
could be a waking day frame
could be written into a screenplay
interphrased could be filmed
in fact easily interphased
so what would be best
as a framing of place
which should I choose
life is suddenly
filled with assorted cats
which is not to mention
yet ghost cats
WHICH WAY DOTH THE CAT
WHICH WAY DOTH THE CAT
which side is this in
which side is out
which is most alive most
valuable or interesting
to pursue perhaps
a cat scan would do
the cat that is both
of them seem to float
somewhat freely through
my holding here
Journal entries for and about my son, age 2.
This was a truly hectic day... A special part of the day though, came at the end when I was putting you to sleep.
Forgive my indulging in a cute story about you but at bed time you didn't want to settle down. So, while I rocked you, you decided to try and distract me by saying 'night night' to the chair, the bed, the lobster and crab we saw today, and anything else you could think of. The last two really made me melt though—you said night night to the Christmas tree and to Santa Claus, then promptly nodded off. It was the perfect closure for Christmas, a child bidding goodnight to lights and magic.
I wish I could capture your innocence, put it in a sealed bottle and cradle it with stars. Then one day when I became old and gray and the irony and cynicism of aging began to get to me, I could open the starry bottle and experience again the elusive essence of all that makes our species truly unique. This reminder of our capacity for wonder is a gift to caretakers of the youngest among us, a priceless treasure that disappears like quicksilver into the folds of time. What wouldn't any of us give to feel the world that way again?
Sometimes upheaval is necessary, it is part of life. But humans grow and adjust and do what our species does best, adapt to the surrounding circumstances. We have done that with your arrival in our lives. My life, on the eve of my 40th birthday, is definitely different than at any other time. You have altered me to the core, there is nothing else like being a mother. I am not the same person I was just two years ago. I have learned more than I thought was possible about patience, curiosity, fun and love and I think I am definitely better for it. I had never, before you, examined us as a species because there is little to nothing that a non-parent can know about how a human creates itself out of a few molecules of DNA and goes on to have a personality, an independent will, a mind capable of orchestrating the miracles of language, movement, self-awareness.
I don't think scientists and sociologists have a real grasp on it either—there is nothing that can replace daily contact with a being in its natural environment, whether that is a middle class home or a hut in the desert. This is why I pay attention, why I am an observer as well as a participant, because I know that this opportunity for growth and knowledge is irreplaceable. I am so glad you are in my life—I hope I don't forget to tell you that as often as you need to hear it. Fascinating, intricate dance. I am having the time of my life.
Big Sur, CA
THE NAKED DEATH
This fleeting life.
This transient, ever-changing world.
Time and no time, again, look
what falls from my shoulders,
my hands cannot grasp understanding.
When fear comes again to me,
come to me, my king of silence,
my lord of the moon.
Pierce my shut heart where
every dark root grows.
There beside the bitter boulders
of my being release me from
this prison. Plant instead
a few seeds of mercy, and move
the stones of solitude
that bruise me so deceptively.
Why should I shudder for you?
Dear is the spring twilight.
Dear the fragrance of my tears.
I who would linger forever
now linger on.
Show me, my prince of spring,
what it is like when the white
morning opens and rises
from your breath.
Never leave me.
Show me what every April
promises and every august fulfills.
Laugh at me, naked in your garden.
Sustain me, bright one, or else lose
your way with me, lead me
to my destination.
Let every leaf fall and the naked
death of a lover still proclaim you.
A FAR AWAY CANYON
The mountains held no memories. The mountains stood beneath
the storm oblivious to time, oblivious to sentiment, apart from
the thoughts held in the minds of those who slept in a little
house at their base. The mountains stood beneath the hidden
full moon of January accepting with massive inhuman strength,
the storm on their shoulders.
I stood a long time at the window watching the gray, hourless
peaks, trying to mimic their indifference. But the wind, fierce
as jealousy or green envy blew from the west, the rain
I thought of a far away canyon where we had walked only a few
days before. (Do you think it will rain soon, the trembling
trees seemed to be asking. We had no idea.)
I remembered the fragrance of shade in that forest glen.
I dreamt of redwoods whispering in the mountain quietness.
I imagined an animal walking on the same trail we had walked,
droplets of moisture on his hungry muzzle and his fur, damp
and smooth with the fecund smell of a wet, saturated beast.
And then for a moment, 'trapped' as we were, by a storm in that
little house I wished with a pang of longing that I were some-
where else. I drew back the curtain just noticing again those
timeless gray peaks staring down and wondered: where, where...
David Wayne Dunn
A PROMISE TO MYSELF
Two words I roll around my tongue
To taste the flavors of their meaning
Two words which hold entire worlds
Waiting to be found
Not hidden as I fear.
The ticket in
Exacts a price
That few will pay
But I am here
To turn my pockets inside out
And gaze at what they hold
And wonder at the meaning
Of every scrap of gold.
Being looked at, heard, and seen
Getting close, is what I mean
To myself and to another
Closer than the average lover.
Sharing pain that's often hard
Pain that keeps us on our guard
Strangers to ourselves as well
Hiding all there is to tell.
Hiding all there is to feel
Like nervous gerbils on a wheel
Round and round we race all day
Determined not to face the way
God made us in His image, yet
We turn our backs and never let
Our true selves shine, our true selves thrive
We walk through life but half alive.
I know it's not too late for me
To face myself courageously!
THE CASABLANCA LILY
Ah, the fragrant white lily
with the orange stamen
and luxurious scent
How bravely you face
the ripening of summer,
the fade of petal,
mouth of the fly
The earth revolves;
what can you say or do,
subject to whatever
seasons pulse you
You stand elegant now
for this moment
without a choice
but to bloom until the end
of your next beginning
Enshrouded in the bible black night,
the unknown inhales me
into its darkest womb
There, we are one pulse again
The extraneous is put to rest
in the ancient caves of origin
Swimming in a silvery pond of moon beams,
my song re-chords integration
Darkness develops the day's film
I am developed and digested,
dissolving and re-forming
In the ebb and flow of tidal rhythm,
in resoundance with the seas below
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld
Colorado Springs, CO
The search is endless,
The cup never full,
Thirst never quenched,
Love never found,
Are these the questions?
are they the answers.
THE BEGINNING—OF WISDOM
I want to know what makes the moon
What candle does she carry in her fullness
that—even the brightest star fails in
comparison to her glory.
What secret did she find in her waning?
I want to know what makes a single
bird reach out with its song an hour
I want to know why the top branch of a
tree never bends,
Nor—does it move,
When birds gather in silent attention,
waiting—with anticipation, for the first
rays of the sun.
What are they thinking?
How long has this ritual been enacted, how
did I miss seeing the worship they carry,
How long have I been asleep?
Today, I surrender the search for the
meaning of life, and take up the dance
To learn—the secrets of nature.
THE HEART'S REPLY
Poetry is prayer manifested.
It is—the asking,
How then, do we critique a prayer.
I am filled with awe and appreciation for all of you. Not just the writer's who contribute to The Creative Edge, but all the silent reader's of this incredible newsletter. Poetry and story telling require an audience to truly fulfill its destiny. Thank you, silent readers.
Through the A'musings, and through the poetry I witness my own great desire to know my spiritual soul. Thank you all for weaving your own golden thread into the tapestry of life. And especially thank you for daring to be different. For in our differences—we are alike.
A personal note to, Doree Bart. Thank you, dear friend, for loving the printed page as much as I do. It makes me feel less like a dinosaur.
Patricia Ann Doneson
Carmel Valley, CA
RAPT AND BLISSFUL SEEING
Early morning now,
a crescent moon lingers,
a white torch in an ashen dawn.
I listen to the overture,
birdsong whistling from the hillside thickets,
the fooffall of the gray fox
half-remembered from night's passage,
discover a consolation
with which to begin one more day.
At the raw edge of the hillside,
where wind scours
flakes of shale to whiteness,
Onto the slope
below the bare rim,
each remnant of foliage,
bud and leaf, seed
when they fade.
From this compost
what has perished
NOW AND THEN
"At birth you were handed a ticket... beneath every journey
the ticket to this journey in one direction."
Frank Bidart—Little Fugue
All Sunday afternoon the sea rolls ashore. I weigh the
ultimate shortness of life, the journey in one direction, this
human anthology of organic matter, lasting anywhere from
shortly after conception to more than century...
Sirens interrupt my meditations, a different drama playing
out in the cove. Two small boats circle. Rescue vehicles with
flashing lights stand in wait on Scenic Drive. The Met Life
blimp hovers in the sky over the celebrity golf tournament.
One boat speeds off, perhaps having saved a careless rock
climber or weary scuba diver, perhaps not. The surf is
Heedless of tragedy lurking in ocean's mesmerizing swells,
small children wade into foaming breakers. No one thinks it
will happen to them. I am all too aware
veteran of loss after loss, the last one as recent as Friday, a
primitive cluster of multiplying cells. So little to grieve over,
so inconsequential each of us.
What about all that life between now and then, then
"Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them"
Swirling mosaics of foam cast
white spray over a rugged arm of shoreline,
cascade between wet stone fingers.
From a hilltop bench
I stroke the blue cloth canopy overhead.
A pool of sunlight shimmers
beyond twin peaks to the south.
All along the trail pastel
ambivalence of early wildflower petals
emerges from bare sticks
of dormant brush.
Even as the last ivory tufts
of spent blossoms drift
in the wind, new buds open.
Nature has no problem,
co-exists in two seasons.
I live somewhere in between,
read a dialect of transition in landscapes,
more complicated than fallow and prolific,
mimic the seacoast in December.
Winter roses fade
Leaving lingering scents.
Once proud perfection
Reduced to essence,
Destined to return to earth
Vibrant new roses.
WHO AM ?
Who am today?
Tried and true
Or towering courage?
Somewhere in between,
On a great
Steps of joy
Steps of boldness
Over water bridges wide.
Who am I today?
Only I can now decide.
Rancho Santa Fe, CA
I so love receiving your newsletter!
Carmel Valley, CA
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE PAST
Overlooking New York City
sways with visual movement.
Night refuses to sleep.
My sister and I sort out
More than nine years
separate us, yet closeness reigns.
We sit at the walnut dining table,
piled high with photograph albums.
We make stacks for ourselves,
our absent middle sister, and
cousins. We divide our past,
poignant glimpses back.
Each photo carefully weighed,
asked which place it wants to travel next.
Our hands blacken with residue
from dark pages that crumble, tear, or
even resist our deliberate touch.
My first wedding day shows no clue
to future sharp tear of divorce.
Further on, our boy and our girl
tumble for a playful decade
between heavy embossed covers.
This slice of love no longer here,
surprisingly still cuts deep into my flesh
fresh burning under silken scar thought
forever healed with another marriage
and sheer gladness of living.
Later this clear night,
in slumber's hold
I return to betrayal's place
live again abandonment,
become acquainted with that
woman within, almost half my age
and ache for her, remember her well.
In morning light, the view serene.
A tender covering of clean snow
gently cradles the entire city.
Photos torn out of my past, disposed.
The negatives still present.
David, dark-eyed, black haired, porcelain skin,
blushed by nature's frequent kiss.
He played in garden soil, tasted fresh harvest,
and drank milk warm from udder's hold.
As seasons turned, he gently grew, sat tall by
father's side and steered heavy tractors.
One day, he fell twice his height and the doctor
placed a metal plate inside his head.
Childhood gone with surgeon's care and
inserted intruder pressed against his brain.
Sweetness left this country soul and shadows
walked both day and night beside this boy.
He wrote in black ink of the world's need to
prove that he should live, demanded sign.
On his eighteenth birthday, he called his
mother not to enter the family house alone.
He took the cold gun, deliberately placed it
against his weary head, and shot himself.
No portrait I know of this first born son, who,
that day, tore a hole in the pastoral setting.
Our grandfather, David, took sulfuric acid
when he found the world could not hold him.
I always loved the lyrical sound of David, but
chose not to call either son by that name.
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, JPEG or TIFF format.
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