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.

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©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 · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Writing

The Sound of Silence

Listening for silence

Is like living with tinnitus.

The ears ringing resounding notes.

Chicks chirping for food.

Roosters crowing their warnings.

The chorus of frogs mating.

Cicadas rejoicing

In their summer release

From years of birthing

In their earth womb.

Released, they scream their tunes

Playing their tymbals for mates. 

The sound of silence.

It is the eternal now of song. 

It is creation.

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©Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Featured Digital Image: © “Silence” Martha Harris

Martha’s other image here is “I’m Listening”.

See Martha’s Artistic Flarings@artisticflarings.blog

 

Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Writing

Caught in the Headlights

 

As each day begins, nothing is given.

The calendar states,

No guarantees.

But that’s in the fine print

Obscured by our desires

Or our tight hold on our destinies.

We know what we are doing.

The event planned is cancelled

Due to bad weather.

But we go anyway,

Driving all night, 

Taking our chances 

In the raging tornado.

It’s worth the 50 cents to the first kid

Who can spot the funnel.

Do not enter when flooded.

No problem. It’s not too high

Until it is. 

We have four-wheel drive.

We take charge of time

With to-do lists, but

We could be side swiped

By a driver blinded 

By the rising sun on 5th and Elm.

We can’t be late again.

An outdoor wedding 

Is such a risk.

What were we thinking

In the deluge of lightning

And hail?

Dates are set in stone.

We dare nature with each hike

On the mountain’s precarious trails,

And we know the sails

May break in the storm.

It won’t happen to me.

Still, defying fate is such a high.

We are super heroes,

Indestructible, valiant youth, 

Until we aren’t.

We map out our days

Oblivious to the wolf

On the hunt for a meal.

Or for the cat waiting for the 

Enfeebled fledgling

To fall from the nest.

Bad things don’t happen to good people.

We are like deer 

Caught in the headlights 

Of our delusions. 

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Original Digital Art, “Caught in the Headlights” ©Martha Harris   See Martha’s Artistic Flarings @artisticflarings.blog

Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Writing

My Eyes Bleed

My eyes bleed

To the raw horror

Of children cut down while fleeing

The coward’s aim.

When the one who would be

His brother

Lies dying,

When the warm-hearted gather

In trust and prayer,

Defenseless to the monster, 

Who will be a victor only

In his own Hell,

For he knows not the truth

Of love incarnate,

Of love of us all connected

As one soul, one body.

His blind will, his dark, cold prison.

His heart, a thing of drought. 

Their pain, the searing fire,

The betrayed gazes of death.

Will he come to know that pain?

Will he come to feel that pain?

Will he come to see that pain

As his own?

©Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Original Digital Art, “Heaven’s Gate” ©Martha Harris   See Martha’s Artistic Flarings @artisticflarings.blogt

Poem · Poetry · Writing

Rain Falls Steady

Rain falls steady

As I serve the seeds

For birds and squirrels.

The grand Ash seems to lean

Into my gaze.

Her huge trunk and branches

Betray her age.

A cardinal cocks its head

As a squirrel scurries to the bowl

For the prize.

And the wind chimes sound as

The Tabby waits for the chase

On slick stone.

 

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©Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Images: pixabay.com