Poetry + Writing

He Shuts Her Out

He shuts her out.
Again and again.
For years on end.
Every time it’s harder.
Every time it’s hell.

He shuts her down.
Time after time.
She listens
but does not understand
the silence.

He shuts her door
and walks out cold.
He’s as mad as red,
but won’t admit
the honest cause.

He shuts her heart
and deems it untrue.
Her intentions are
misconstrued.
She wants nothing but him.

He shuts her mouth.
She can’t say a thing
that will make
him understand
his rejection’s blow.

Because his is always
more
larger
complicated
and unknown.

He shuts her out.
She can’t get in.
She sits alone
and wonders
if he will ever

Let her in.
To see a place
that has been
transformed
just for her.

He shuts her out.
She’ll never know.
He won’t clean house.
It scares him so
much more than she does.

Reverenced

Red hair, black shirt.
Sitting at a short table.
Food in front.
Ocean spray juice in a plastic bottle
with a blue lid.
I can smell the pasta
from my circular booth.
Marinara.
It shouts at my nostrils.
I’m cheap. I’m microwaved.
I’m in a flimsy black bowl.
It all sits still, untouched.
Laid out neatly
as if waiting for a queen.
Drink on left.
Pasta in the middle.
Napkin and plastic fork on the right.
Her head bows.
Reverencing her meal
in contrast to her hair.
Her bright pink hair.
It’s not red.
It’s pink.
Bright pink
like a darker-dyed flamingo.
And it fades and ombres into
Cindy Lauper.
All the way down her back.
She is bowing.
Bowing.
It’s been a minute.
At least a minute.
She is still.
She is grateful.
She is reverent.
She is praying.
With her pink hair.
Her flaming hair.
The hair that screams
rebel.
I’m a rebel.
I’m a rebel queen.
And I have a Father.
A Father God.
And she stands.
Her belly is bulging.
A princess is waiting.
Her hair may be pink.
Just like her mother.
Her rebel mother.
The Queen
with a Father.

A Poetess’ Hamartia

I’ve been studying Dorothy Wordsworth this morning. She is the sister of the British great, William Wordsworth. Both Wordsworths were close friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Come to find out, many of the journal entries of Dorothy are included in the works of William Wordsworth and Coleridge. They stole many of her observations! She had a very keen eye and a knack for object description. Although she was never published in her life, she has since been recognized for her role in literary history. She explained writing some of her poems because “I shall give William pleasure by it.”

While reading her journals I am thinking she was a predecesor to the great Annie Dillard. I like to think I share both of these women’s love for all things natural. I aim to have their abilities in describing the physical world. Someday.

Dorothy eventually ended up having a mental collapse in 1835; her brother, William, cared for her for 20 years until he died. She had suffered a severe personality alteration. Once viviacious and sweet, she became insufferable as an invalid and would act aggressively. My text blamed her mental breakdown on being overworked during her entire adult life, playing secretary to her brother and helper of his household. (Norton Anthology of English Lit. Vol. 2, p. 403) As a mother of five, being overworked is something I can identify with on a cellular level. I am so grateful I have modern medicine to assist with my own brain chemistry. So many great writers were shamefully stagnated by their lunacy.

dorothy

A Poetess’ Hamartia

My dearest dad I cannot go
unless I can see as now.
The hues of yellow as they infuse
upon the palish brough.

But child of mine, sharp poetess
impossible it ’tis for thee
a mortal mind is far too fragile
to perceive that kind of beauty.

I shall not go then, father fixed
I cannot bear the break
Seeing and hearing the pink petticoats
All lifelong without, I’d ache

Okay sweet one, but you must go
A concession I’ll make to you.
But there will be a price to pay
For omniscient skills so true

Oh thanks daddy, please do make it so
Thy sight is vital to my soul
Creation must not be concealed from me
I accept the price and toll.

All right my lovely keeper of British countryside
Thy eyes will stay immortal to see
but thy mortal mind won’t always understand
Sentinel keen, thou on earth will be.

I’ll be crazy. I’ll be haunted.
I will take the pain and mental stops
Confusion may come and invalid me
in my millions of diamond drops.

Each One of Us

He computes, analyzes.
So intelligent, but has no confidence.

She toils and serves.
So capable, but doesn’t believe she really makes any difference.

She is beautiful, talented.
So phenomenal, but doesn’t trust herself.

She is artistic, and a symphonic joy.
So welcoming, but she shuts the world out.

She is bold, and kind.
So forceful, but she loves everyone but herself.

They won’t find their part in the symphony
until they believe
each one of us
is glorious.

My universe

The_life_of_Sun-like_stars

Thank you Wikipedia for this striking image. Find it here.

In all the vasts of nothingness
she cannot perceive a thing
though she strains her eyes.

It seems dark is sovereignty.
Blackness rules mighty.

Positive she’s a lone piece of refuse
discarded among the night,
She strains for strength
unaware of adorations from afar.

A drop of water fosters.
A breeze bolsters.
Anamnesis drives her forward.
Toward north.

A glow appears
trailing behind
creating a well-lit footprint
as she crawls, then walks.

Another clasps her hand.
Instinctually binary,
they learn to run and dance.

The two will bond a galaxy
of their very own.

And they will be a sun.

They’ll send stars
into the night.

Forever
she’ll christen them with tears.
And he’ll whisper in the wind.

Nows

caroline, blog

Forever – is composed of Nows – (690)

BY EMILY DICKINSON

Forever  is composed of Nows
‘Tis not a different time
Except for Infiniteness
And Latitude of Home
From this experienced Here
Remove the Dates to These
Let Months dissolve in further Months
And Years exhale in Years
Without Debate
or Pause
Or Celebrated Days
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Dominies

https://plus.google.com/117573984887329908834/posts/62hyHvTunE5

Today’s message came from here.

A Writer’s World

I had to write an emergence myth for my Wilderness Writing class. I’ve struggled with it all semester. My professor is all about the process of writing, so he doesn’t just take our assignments, grade them, and hand them back. He gives feedback, workshops, and hopes for his students to grow and evolve. As a black/white enthusiast this has been beyond difficult for me. The class is finished in two weeks and I have not even a hint at my earned grade. I’ve had to work on multiple projects at once. I’ve hit a lot of walls. I’ve vacillated between utter despair and overpowering revelation. This was the perfect class to initiate me back to school. I’m glad I stuck with it.

Here is my Emergence Myth, A Writer’s World. This emerged after five weeks of inner turmoil. I’m proud of it. It is the most personally powerful piece I have ever written. I hope it will be followed by many more that are nothing like it.

Her name was Nobody. All she wanted was to be a Somebody. Somebodies were better. Somebodies were happier. Somebodies were successful. So, she signed up for Somebody school. She left her stifling dreary brown Nobody world without looking back and happily entered the newest Somebody classroom with glass walls. Holding a pen and paper in her hand, surrounded by Somebodies and other people learning to be Somebodies, she felt happier. She thought only of Somebody ways. She tried to learn their words. She studied their beliefs. She liked the Somebodies. And they liked her. But when she went to sleep at night staring at the books in her lap, she felt like she was living a lie. She didn’t know how to write Somebody stories, even though that is all she ever wanted to do. So she read all of the great Somebody myths. She pondered Somebody tradition and she tried harder to copy the Somebodies. But everything felt like it was wrong.

Nobody was persistent and brave. She would not give up without a fight. She stopped talking as much and started to listen. She found better tools and used them to build new ideas. After a lot of hard work she surprised herself when she started questioning the ways of Somebodies. She couldn’t believe that along the journey she was somehow convinced that Somebodies weren’t always right. What happened to that Nobody girl that worshipped all the Somebodies? She had changed her own mind. Somebodies didn’t do it. She did it. She realized that Nobodies could be good and happy and successful too. In fact, the only difference between Nobodies and Somebodies was their names. She didn’t need to be a Somebody any more. She could be a Nobody. That was perfectly acceptable. She felt liberated.

She started to think about going back to Nobody world until she had a rude awakening. The only reason she believed Nobodies were good now was because Somebodies had taught her so. Now what? She was still a Nobody, but was also a Somebody. Where would she fit in? The answer wasn’t with the Somebodies. Desperate, she allowed herself to look through the glass walls back out to Nobody world. Mountains had emerged. The skies were every color of the rainbow with clouds of all shapes and sizes. The vegetation was magnificently varied. The animals seemed to holler at her to tell their story. Nobodies never saw those things. She was no longer a Nobody.

She decide she had to stay at Somebody school, even if she didn’t want to give up her Nobody parts. She didn’t know what she would become. Maybe she should just be a writer? Maybe she could tell Somebody stories and Nobody stories? Maybe the best stories would be about Somebody and Nobody together? She looked at her paper, her new world was in it. It was totally blank, but she was not scared. She started to fill it, one letter at a time. She made Nobody words. She made Somebody sentences. She changed them all around and rearranged voraciously. Over and over and over again. She deleted some and added some others. The paper took the form of a glass building surrounded by a bounteous earth. Sometimes there was a Somebody inside, sometimes a Nobody outside, but neither would ever be confined again. Her new world was in the paper and it would be whatever she imagined.

The Input

inputAs you all know, I started back to college last month. It’s an exciting time for me personally because I am finally pursuing a life-long dream of becoming a better writer and a teacher.

Problematic to the ideal, however, is the fact that I am almost forty-two years old and smack-dab in the middle of my life as well as my motherhood. My life was already not for sissies before I started school. I have five kids and although I don’t have a “career”, my brain is already on the verge of explosion a good majority of the time.

“Mom, where is my bathing suit?”
“Mom, can I go to Wyoming with my boyfriend in July to pick up fireworks?”
“Mom, I need toilet paper.”
“Mom, stop lecturing me.”
“waaaa.”

That is what it sounds like around here at all times.

Then add in the hubby…well, we won’t even go there. On Tuesday, he came home with horrific tooth pain and was laying on the couch in extreme discomfort. I was the one to call the endodontist to insist that the man not wait another three days to be seen. It’s just what I do. Like LG’s paycheck, everyone expects what I get done around here.

Starting school was a really scary venture for me in my delicate psychiatric capacity. From the get-go I was having an extremely hard time processing all of the new information at school. Yes, I have a boatload going on at home, but the mom stuff is an old hat. The problem is the old hat doesn’t just jump down to make way for the new one. I feel like the Berenstein Bear in Old Hat, New Hat. I wanted to just run back home to my old comfortable hat and forget about the limitless possibilities they constantly explore at the university level. Lucky for me, if motherhood teaches anyone anything it is that YOU JUST CAN’T  QUIT.  So, I’ve stuck in there. I’m not a star pupil, but I’m a pupil.

My biggest problem with school is that it is making me feel like an awful writer. It has scared me so bad that I don’t even want to write anymore. It isn’t fun when it’s all just technicality-centered. My professor is a good guy and a really smart talented dude, but his emphasis is on work-shopping, which has just left me feeling like I can’t do anything right. Trust me when I say this, everything anyone writes can always be better. And everything of mine really seems to need to work. I know it does, that is why I wanted to go back to school, to learn, but still it is hard to keep trying when it feels like I’ll never be a “great”.

So, today, I come to the blog to vent…to get back to the place in writing that I love, baring my soul. Sometimes I just have to write without thinking about the noun to verb ratio and whether or not my syntax is going to be subjectively admired. Sometimes I just need to write…to write…and for no other reason than to organize my brain with way too much input. Honestly, I am trying really hard to believe my professor that all good writing is not random. I personally believe it is only defined as “good” by the readers and that one thing can be total crap to one person and the same thing can be a masterpiece to another.

I feel better already. This is why I love to write. It organizes the craziness in my mind. Constantly, I have too much going on in there, and if I can leave it on paper, I can move on…and only then.

Writing is my output. What is yours? Maybe I can convert…because this might not work out for me. Ha.

You are my High Uintah View

I finally got out on the backpacking adventure I’ve always wanted. No children were allowed. It was just me and a bunch of other writers out on a wilderness writing retreat. Heaven, right? It was pretty awesome. It was also very enlightening. I learned something I never thought I would. I wrote a poem about it. Enjoy.

lgag2
Quaking aspens, beaver damned streams, limitless ridges to crest.
I explore for miles striding toward emancipation.
Hiking boots and pack on my back
Far from there, I thought my treasured prize awaited
but I’m now without my heart to feel it.
I left you behind, beating alone at home.

Starting from the northern farms
we explored through lakes, slopes, goblins, dunes, and redrock
All in the furrows of our skin.
Toiling year after year,
we seldom traveled from home,
but we forged our wonders of the world:
a waterfall for brides, endless flats of salt, a delicate arch of fame, an overflowing natural spring, and Timpanogos strong.
It’s been our rightful pleasure.
All my best adventures have been with you.

The lamp illuminates my filthy fingers
As I cry over your absence, I ponder on yours clean.
I nestle into the polyester grey
With nowhere to rest my bending knee.
Your ribs must be lonely too.
I’m a nightly stampede away from our final departure
Scared and astounded
Freedom is not here like I thought it’d be
It’s in the safety of your arms

You are my high Uintah view, sailing of the salt sea, maiden pioneer trek, and every scenic slope.
Wild stallions, overflowing mountain falls, orchards aplenty, and ample trout
Are all hiding in the comfort of our bed.
You’re everything I need.
Before I laid here, thinking only of you,
Searching unsuccessfully for your smile,
She said I know what matters as we spoke around the fire.
I now know it is not here.
I cannot be free anywhere you’re not.

They gather

I went back to college. I can hardly believe it. I have been waiting for “my turn” for a very long time. I am so grateful for an insistent therapist and a supportive husband who are helping me overcome my fear of failure. For me, I believe attending college is vital to my writing success. I need to learn so many things and I will triumph because of the confidence I hope to gain.

My first class…wait for it….writing in the wilderness. I honestly can’t think of a better synthesis for me, unless of course we add in motherhood. I am IN LOVE with learning. I don’t know if I can even put my adoration and satisfaction into words. For two Friday nights in a row I have sat at the feet of a very capable, intellectual professor with my laptop. I’ve typed away frantically trying to document every morsel while ogling out the windows of our classroom framing both the majestic peaks of Mt.Timpanogos and Cascade. For three hours each week cloud-gazing has been my privilege and philosophy has been my affair. I try to contain my awe with it all. My whole life has been waiting for this climax, I have to refrain from shouting hallelujahs at all times. Living the dream is overwhelming to my emotions. I’m grateful to have waited for so long because in the waiting I have honed wisdom and gratitude.

God knows what He is doing with my life.

So, my professor, Scott Hatch, is a poet. I swear I wouldn’t be happier if he was Emily Dickinson or Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you think about it, I actually am sitting at their feet, too. He has a lot to teach me. One of his teaching techniques in beautiful language and master transcendentalism is to have his students craft a writer’s journal. Every day, we are to write one paragraph and then when we are all through with our initial writing we are to extrapolate our favorite phrases. He said this is the beginning of poetry.

{this is me screaming in delight} I cannot believe I GET to do this!!!

I thought I would share today’s. I know I’ve been neglecting the blog.

17 May 2015

They gather around the kitchen bar on this Sunday morning. It’s not especially early; we’ve never been good at mornings. I am in my house-dress nibbling on a cupcake left on the counter and they are all already in their Sunday best exposing my guilt in the family’s sluggish morning habits. My hair probably looks like the inside of an anthill, but it bothers nobody, including me. This place is home and approval abounds. I tell of my horrible sleep and start to describe a dream that exposes my stressful night. I had left my five-year-old at school without realizing I missed her school pickup. My fifteen-year-old daughter pours fry sauce generously over her reheated fried rice in a white ceramic bowl, she’s unconventional in her breakfast choices She relays her dream about kissing some boy other than her boyfriend revealing her inner ethos that wants to be loyal. The eleven-year-old gathers and speaks about her dream of finding toys on the side of the road for her baby brother Max, her oldest sister refused to let her take them, disclosing the playful family theory that she is the meanest in the family. Dream interpretation at its finest. Who needs Freud?

image

They gather
good at mornings
Sunday best
hair like an anthill – it bothers nobody
This place is home
approval abounds
I tell
She relays
speak about her dream
interpretation at its finest
who needs Freud