Inner Scribbles 2011

On 1/30/11 our group met to create the space and share the energy of writing. winter seems very long this year–is it me?–so it was refreshing to focus on our muse rather than the perpetual wintery mix that dominated January. We won’t be meeting until May because I will be doing a writing program with Teamwork Wins at Villanova University!

WIND CHIMES

 

1.  encased in ice

wind chimes await

the warm breath of spring

 

2. windchimes

tangled

rusted

still

 

3. we curl together

almost asleep

wind chime silent behind lace curtains

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inner Scribbles Christmas

Inner Scribbles met on 12/12/10. The writing prompts were an attempt to evoke holiday memories. The writing ranged from snow and grandma stories to stories of a Christmas marred by fire and Christmas in a shelter. For me just the act of removing the ornaments and snowmen carefully wrapped away last year is like a marker of change and transition. Christmas 2009 was tucked away by my mother while i watched -my fractured shoulder in a sling. Looking back on 2010 now, I would have never guessed the shifts that have taken place. It was bittersweet to unwrap everything this year and I laughed at a gooey mess of candy canes that did not survive the humid summer-and wondered just what was Mom thinking when she packed them away.

12/12/89

 

I write the date and remember. Again. It’s like finding a shard of glass in a long ago wound. A wound that should be healed, scarred, forgotten. Shouldn’t these memories have scattered like dust? How long has it been. Twenty years. No twenty one. My daughter turned one that year. The memories are misty now. Foggy. Hidden down a long corridor yet still able to toss a grey shroud of sadness over my core.

I see a Christmas tree. Crooked. Mismatched lights-some flashing. I am on the couch. It is lumpy, uncomfortable, scratchy but I cannot move. I hold my daughter close. Smell her hair. Baby Magic. My world has been shattered. Or has it been revealed?

My sons dance around Santa. They are two and eight. It is Christmas Eve. The night is frigid. Bitter wind howls. We are safe in this shelter for now. For now. My oldest son knows Santa is not real (right Mom?) yet he waits for the magic anyway–just in case. When did i stop believing?

We are at the “Everybody House” -at least that’s what my two year old calls it. Everyone is here. Color, race, class have no dividing line here. Our bond is domestic abuse. We are survivors. My fantasy world crumbled to pieces when i finally admitted we lived in violence. I never wanted to believe that. I always thought it would get better. Finally I fled. Diapers thrown haphazardly. As suitcase with a broken zipper. Sweat pants, toothbrushes,car keys, a favorite stuffed animal. I tucked my baby inside my coat. the boys shivered. Mismatched mittens.  Woolen hats useless against the bitter night. We knocked on the shelter door. Where else could we go?

The rooms were full, not unlike that first mythical Christmas, but they found space. We shared a room with Maria and her daughters. A corner to call our haven. A yellowed shade fluttered against a cracked window pane.

Well meaning people brought us gifts. Food leftover from Christmas parties. An unwanted Christmas tree that smelled like cat. I hated the look in their eyes. Pity. Don’t pity me. I finally see. I’m not that different from you. They usually scurried away as if afraid of contagion-afraid of being like me. Or where they afraid of seeing?

So here we sit with Santa. HO HO HO’s reverberate off walls not used to joy. Santa and his helpers hand out toys and clothes and treats. Chocolate Santas. Candy canes. Santa’s bag get smaller. Smaller. Soon it is evident there are no toys for my children. My oldest crosses his arms across his skinny chest, glad he did not fall for the magic. I sink deeper into the couch. My youngest son screams, “Santa you said you would bring me a race car!!! You promised!!!”

I try to reassure Santa with my eyes but I have nothing left to give. There is nothing left in me-not even tears. Santa’s elf chimes in with “that’s what happens when Santa drives his Toyota and not his sleigh-I’ll be right back!”

So on that Christmas Eve back in 1989. an elf ran back to a closed Kmart and found toys for my children–and a race car for my youngest son. New tears were there for me. Tears of hope and love and maybe even joy. My son doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, but I still do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candles

Candles

 

Shadows cast on lace curtains

crystal candelabra cups mismatched tapers

one white

one blue

I get too close to the flame

wax drips in solid pools

I touch the center

warm

oozing

fingertips encased in translucent nightcaps

wind howls

thunder claps

I shiver

candles flicker

I pull my sweater closer

and wait out the storm

rain slashes

 

 

Travels with Rosalina

To deal with anticipated holiday blahs, I bought a most whimsical pig–a lawn decoration–and named her Rosalina. For some reason that still eludes me, I started taking her places and taking her photo in various scenes. Some interesting pictures have been created but what i find oh so intriguing is the response of people around me. While taking pictures of Rosalina in a gift shop (she was dusting a display case with a huge pink feather duster) a little girl asked me why my pig was wearing a watch. Not why is your pig dusting or why is your pig on a ladder, but why is your pig wearing a watch. I told her it was from her Happy Meal. The little girl–about three years old–nodded. Then she asked me why my pig didn’t talk. I told her if she listened closely the pig might talk to her. She whispered in the pig’s ear, nodded her head, and proceeded to tell me that the pig liked the “princess dog” in the display case. I thanked her for letting me know. Another child stared at Rosalina while we were clustered together awaiting a shuttle bus. He too was about three or four. Rosalina was dressed for the farm show in a cow skin vest. He thought for a while–his forehead scrunched. He told his mom he knew the pig wasn’t real because she had clothes on. Adults love her too. She has more than 100 friends on facebook. While touring Philadelphia, people stopped us in the street to comment. They see her as bringing joy and whimsy. They laughed. They took her picture. The park ranger and Independence Hall assured me she was the first pig to visit. To most she is like a magnet. To some she is invisible. Some friends and I were in a restaurant in Cape May. A nice restaurant for an off season lunch. A group of red hat ladies surrounded our table and took pictures for their grandchildren. The table beside us totally ignored the fact that a glowing electric pig was sipping diet coke only a few feet away. At one stop a young woman cleaning a hotel asked about the pig.  I explained my mother had died in June and i dreaded the holidays, so I bought the pig to be silly. She proceeded to offer me love and reassurance that it was ok to grieve. She hugged me and took a picture of me with Rosalina. So it’s been interesting! It stretches my creativity to figure out what to do with her next. I’ll keep you posted!!!

The Adventures of Rosalina the Christmas Pig Begin!

Rosalina enjoys her first Happy Meal!!

Rosalina can't wait to go sledding with Mr. Snowman!

Meeting Rosalina for the first time. It was love at first sight!

Rosalina pauses for a moment of silence when she sees the bacon.

Rosalina loves pretending to be a nurse!

Holiday Madness

As fall entrenches herself with frosty mornings and swirling leaves, I hear winter whisper in the next room. Time folds upon herself becoming fluid-unreal. Somehow it is almost Thanksgiving. I find myself buying silly Christmas decor in an attempt to stave off the bittersweet quality of the upcoming season of “”HO HO HO!”

Poems for November

1. Heirloom tomato

salt sprinkled

Last taste of summer

 

2. I pick the last flowers of summer

Lavender

Roses

A stray dahlia.

The air hints of the frost that will come

Grey clouds cluster

I prick my finger on an unseen thorn

The scarlet bead that forms tastes of salt

iron

Wind swirls

Leaves scatter

November

 

3.  Screendoor slams

I thought i heard grief leaving

through the back

but she was returning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween!!!

Block Island was wonderful. Seeing my daughter was wonderful. The full moon inspired me. I seem to be back into the short poems again.

1.Moon lingers in the morning sky

patiently waiting for sun to

seize the day

 

2.Fingers of rosy dawn

pluck the moon

from the sky

 

3. Reluctant moon

fades into the golden

arms of morning

 

4. Radiant moonbeam woman

dance with the stars

open your arms to the night

embrace your magic

 

5. A shattered mirror

fragments of self

cast into the sea

 

6.Clouds part to make way for the moon

Brilliant

Glowing

Tangible

Night air stirs around me

tugs my shawl.

Branches rattle, echo of bone

Leaves dance across my path

Swirling

Cracking

I turn my face to the sky

Moonbeams kiss my cheek

Moon at dawn

Full moon from the porch

 

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