Poem · Poetry · Tai Chi · Writing

The Art of Warfare

He sees me at a distance

from the Salvation Army.

The soft glow of my white hair,

My short stature & square hips.

A slight limp, my stride is slow.

I am an easy mark to a

desperate bully.

 

Mam! Mam!

Come here!

Come here!

It’s like he’s found his prize.

 

He doesn’t see these deep lines

tracing the fingerprints of my soul

on my small face. Each mark, a scar,

a battle won. I am no kitten!

 

Come HERE! He commands.

I hear shouts of dominance,

impatience, & irritation.

Does he think I’ll cross to HIS side!?

I veer into the parking lot of a bank.

It’s CLOSED!

 

Mam!  He is crossing the

street in pursuit of me.

Come HERE! He demands.

 

I take to the ATM area to get to

Broadway. He’s advancing!

Leave me alone! I yell.

Go AWAY!

 

He’s on my back.

MAM! MAM!

Give me MONEY!

 

Leave me alone!

Go AWAY NOW!

I do not cower to extortion.

My duty is to self!

 

Give me MONEY! MONEY!

He flashes the cigarette butt

burning into his fingers.

He shows his teeth,

planted cock-eyed behind

tense lips.

 

I show him my eyes. The flames,

my light, my shield, my sword.

I am no stranger to bullies.

NO MONEY!

GO AWAY!

 

I advance to his face.

My scars deepen as I scowl.

My spirit finds its gateway.

My light is charged.

 

He persists, speaking loudly in

Another language, but not imploring.

He isn’t my tribe. He doesn’t know

the rules here.

 

I’ve read the Art of War.

“Do not press a desperate

soul too hard,” says Sun Tzu.

 

But I assess the enemy’s slight build.

If he touches me,

I’ll advance & strike him

under the jaw with the root of

my palm & throw him into the

ATM.  His cries will be filmed.

 

MONEY! NOW!

He practically hits me with his

near-empty bottle of Dr. Pepper.

I see no tears or cries

for pity. Only dominance

over an old lady.

 

“Show your banners &

beat your drums,” says Sun.

 

I glare at the offender,

Don’t let my shape deceive you,

I am a round stone

gaining momentum down a steep slope.

I will sweep you away

into a chasm.

 

Still he demands money. His tone,

You, Woman, give me money!

 

NO! I yell.

Leave me ALONE!

Go AWAY!

 

Sun Tzu says, “On contentious ground,

attack not. Lure the enemy by

pretending to flee.”

 

I open my purse & the perpetrator doesn’t

grab it. He thinks I’m getting money, but

I take out the phone.

Police! I’m calling the POLICE!

911!  POLICE!

 

I gather myself, my troops, & my honor.

I withdraw slowly onto Broadway,

my eyes always on my foe.

I wave my phone as

a new saber.

 

The baying jackal curses me &

retreats into the shadows.

 

Battle bleeds another scar.

Victory, purifying fire.

Harmony, restored.

 

“Such is the art of warfare,”

says the smiling Sage.

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Google search, Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Digital Art · Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry · Writing

An Imperfect Bride

Let’s go! It’s time!

Now!?

I’m still in my floral blue knit night

gown, plum-colored sweatshirt, &

baby doll slippers from Walmart!

No one will see you or care.

Not important.

An uncharged phone?

A half-packed purse?

Uncompleted morning duties?

I gather myself,

an imperfect bride,

for the trip.

I view trees in autumn attire ablaze

against a sky the color of my blue on white china

left unwashed in the sink.

The creeks & river have risen again,

meeting us along the road.

Muddy currents obscure clarity.

Mesmerized by the mystery, I arrive at the bank

with dry lips the color of pallor.

In the stillness,

an ancient sycamore disrobes.

AutumnGoddesswallpaper (1)

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Pixabay.com and free wallpaper image on Google

Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry · Writing

Kama

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Royal honey is the blood of my womb,

lush creation, even messy havoc,

hungry for birth.

I am Kama.

My desire burns as the sun;

I breathe floral light,

savor the dusty bloom of your earth &

devour your elixir.

I enchant you with my dance & song:

          See me.

                 See me.

                       My heart is a comb

                             of many rooms

                                      gushing golden treasures.

          Dare to venture

                 into my mystery.

                       See me.

                               See me.

                                      I will gather you into me &

                                              transport you.

             I am Kama.

                     See me &

                            I will make you a God.

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Images: Pixabay

 

     

Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry

The Visitant

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A house

that grows taller

may collapse

or be reborn,

 its brick spine

realigned,

& new colors

applied to the relic.

This house

stands rigid

in gauzy light,

an old man

using breeze

as an inhaler.

The front steps creak

under the Visitant,

bearing cerements.

The porch, a broken hip

holding up thin walls of bone,

 struggles with the sacred load.

The Visitant enters, offering vespers

 in sepulchral whispers to the reluctant

host, shrouded in brown.

Thin hallways carry away the

clutter of memories from

a heart beating slowly.

The weary drummer

laments on a forsaken

rug stained with years.

An old clock

resounds with birdsong,

announcing the hour of requiem.

Drapes close the eyes at last for

a holy sleep of languor in

the arms of the

Visitant.

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Pixabay.com

Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry

Summer’s End

From seedlings in spring to tall grasses in summer sun, we stand, scanning the lapping currents from our spot.

Clinging to trees, cicadas call out an endless shrill.

Water bugs mate and die while widow skimmers dance on the waves in bright light.

A turtle basks on a dead limb that’s caught in a root wad along the bank.

Your kayak floats downstream in our shadows.

As an eagle keeps watch from a lofty sycamore perch, a warm gust lifts and sways us on the shore, and we seem to wave as you pass by.

Your evening ride succumbs to rain.

The wind stirs up wakes for you to command as an Asian carp pounds into your boat.

The beaver makes it to shore before you in the storm.

The river bank is summer’s bed of sand, where you seek refuge.

In the bluster, we bear our seeds at water’s edge. They scatter like tiny, startled bees.

Our ravaged arms reach for the falling light at dusk.

The glassy river reflects our age as our colors fade.

Our stems bend as though thirsty for noon.

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image “Sunset on the Missouri River” ©Dierik Leonhard

 

 

 

Ekphrastic Poetry · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

Woman

Woman, how you portray
your complex essence and ambiguity.

You are a study of light
cast on the walls of your Self.

Shadows border your brilliance.

Your portrait is askew with flavors
that you offer to guests
enamored by your mystery
as you gaze into obscurity.

**Won third place in a local writing competition for this poem. My sister made a special image for it for this post.**

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: “The Charmer” digital art © Martha Harris. See Martha’s Artistic Flarings @artisticflarings.blog

Ekphrastic Poetry · Healing · Poem · Poetry

Searching

I am crying for the Amazon because the loss of animal life and the trees is devastating. This poem honors our forests, the arms of the Goddess, still reaching out to us though we forget who she is, our dear Mother Earth.

The way goes deep

into these dark woods.

Your Mag-lit blinks

as shadows splice the light.

You hold your world

bound tight on your back

with ropes strung as questions.

The burden pulls down your smile.

You are not alone.

My trunk is your spine.

My roots reach out with food

and a protected path.

My limbs will hold you

and shield you.

I am the forest;

each sapling is nourished

by my grace.

I shelter and feed travelers

who rest in the moss at my feet.

I bring rain and make you a garden.

Lay down your burdens;

give to me all that you cannot carry.

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Pixabay