Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pantoum for spring

The tendrils unfurl,
reaching toward the sky.
Birds build their nests,
flitting through the forest.

Reach up
to touch the feather of a dream
as it flits through the forest,
enduring and silent as time.

To touch the feather of a dream
is to know the nearness of spring.
Enduring and silent as time:
the world's hope for new birth.

To know the nearness of spring
is a bird building its nest.
To hope for new birth
is the tendril unfurling.

{Photo is of some sort of pink, asparagus-looking plant that grew in little clumps in the Santa Fe National Forest. I wish I knew the name. We spotted them on a spring-time hike last year. They were very odd and wonderful.}

This poem is a bit of a cheating pantoum (reworking lines slightly here and there and everywhere according to my poetic puzzle-piecing). I love pantoums. I love form poetry. I think forms can provide great freedom within their parameters. I don't find them stifling though they often elude me. The poem above was a fun little exercise to get me thinking more deeply about spring.

There's so much talk of it these days. It seems to me that the arrival of spring is the greatest annual reminder of how totally committed we are to rhythm and pattern. We need, love, and enjoy the cyclical way of things. (At the end of each winter, we desperately desire the return of spring.) It is so refreshing to let that knowledge wash over me. The truth of it is very freeing: to understand oneself as a part of the whole rhythm of the world, participant and observer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A fairy tale and a haiku

We've been tiptoeing into the realm of fairy tales as Rowan grows and develops a love for story. This particular Hansel and Gretel (a reprinting of a 1916 edition by Margaret Evans Price) is less scary and more sweetly illustrated than most--it's written in verse to boot. Who doesn't love the idea of a gingerbread house, even if there is a witch inside? I have long loved fairy tales, but it's been a while since I've found myself wandering through them. Children are the perfect means to reacquaint us with the classics. Plus, entering into that eerie, beautiful world with them and their fresh, unhindered minds is an incredible experience. Wonderland indeed.

On a long and unrelated note, I've been thinking quite a bit about blogging lately. I've tried it before and found it tedious and, frankly, weird. Curiously informal while maintaining a blurry notion of audience. The desire to be read and the desire to remain anonymous. I think for me, this time, blogging becomes an exercise in confidence. Am I the writer that I've wanted to be? Am I willing to keep updating (keep writing) with regularity? Do I have something to share that is really worth sharing? Because of my renewed interest, I've been blog-surfing, and (eek!), there's a lot of stuff out in the world of blogs: bizarre, mundane, mocking, acidic, frivolous, extreme, blatant. I hope not to fall into any of those categories. (How very middle-school of me.) How, then, do I imagine this blog so as to make it into something worthy? Worthy to whom? Worthy of what? Is this a craft blog or a journal or a writing outlet? Are these questions even important?

I think so. I admit that I'm not writing only for myself. I would like to have an "audience"--community is more like it. I've visited a few blogs for a couple of years now, and I enjoy the sense of commonality via their writings, photos, links, etc. I'm not blogging out of loneliness or self-expression really though I do want to fine-tune my writing. And become more practiced. I would like to inspire and be inspired, to share in life with people as our big planet begins to feel like the small world it is. (I really have bumped into people I know from home while traveling on the other side of the planet. Lots of us have.) The online community is something I shirked for a long time, but lately I'm feeling more interested and willing. We'll just see how things turn out.

A little haiku to wrap things up.

Driftwood floats upon
the sea, bobbing with each wave.
The sun rises and sets.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


A picture I found from a ways back. Still makes me laugh. The girl smiles all the time but will not ever smile in front of the camera (unless she's been captured smiling unawares). So clowny, this ferocious little tiger-girl.

We are busy preparing some birthday gifts for wee friends. Perhaps I'll post them later this week. (And maybe I'll capture a smile of little Ro at her current ripe-old age. At the very least, a squinchy grin or scary tiger face.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Monks in the mushrooms

I found this photo on the back page of Edible Marin & Wine Country (Winter 2009, photo by Matthew Carden of 350degrees.org) and instantly fell into it. I can easily imagine myself traipsing through a mammoth mushroom land in the company of Franciscan monks. Sounds rather mystical and adventurous. 

Our move from Santa Fe to Petaluma is feeling this way, though I'm not a monk. I do sense that I'm wandering through a new land with surprises around each corner. Not a bad feeling, in fact it stirs the senses and opens the mind in a rather refreshing way. 

In our house lately, there have been many requests for treats. For the adults, the newness of our situation brings many treats, welcomed breaks in habits and pattern and the developments of new perspective. Really great stuff. For the youngest in the family, the best treats of late include hot chocolate, riding a kitty on the carousel, and going to gymnastics. We all love hiking through the ferns and trees of the coastal forest though we will not let go of our good memories of walks through the high desert forests of the Sangre de Cristos.

Off we go a-wandering.

(Oops. Having technical troubles with my links. Googling names will produce the desired effect, if you would like.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

bee & bramble

late spring comes, then summer.
the berry bramble hovers,
its bee cover buzzing.
heat and wings drown
the sound of buckets
bumping into legs
as we march across the field.

fingers stretch from the hand
that extends from the arm, 
drawing way way up 
from tip toes, 
teeth biting the lip, eyes 
squinting in the hot day shine,

to touch the black berry,
barely dangling heavily
from the vine, there 
behind the veil 
of buzz and thorn
just out of reach.
that big, plump, perfect one
plucked with great tenderness
and memory.

the first berry of the season,
warm and promising.
it's flower caressed by bees.
they traded need for need,
pollen and nectar 
for hive and honey. 
for berry, pollination: 
a business deal
the way nature saw fit
way back when
bees were just buzzing,
and berries just brambling.
back then.