Poem · Poetry

A Fine Coat

Grief is a tailor.

Each garment made to suit,

buttons attached each year,

hems altered,

seams made strong by

threads of time,

pockets lined with truth.

 

Grief takes threads of every color

in and out.

Rage-red borders blend

flecks of gold.

It makes a fine coat

so soft to the touch.

 

How surprising.

This linen is a close friend

worn to ragged shreds,

worn to the bone.

Death is a companion

with us since birth.

 

There is no void, only Death,

swaddling us, yet

taking us little by little.

For this we grieve.

One day a babe greeting us

from the womb with tears,

and later, sharing tears for our passing.

 

We are dressed in Grief,

tailored memories of

laughter and sorrow;

joy and despair;

guilt woven into forgiveness;

grief into love.

Why do we fear?

We are comforted by this lavish coat.

 

Grief is a tailor

hired at birth

to clothe our lives,

worn to tatters with threads

left to line our souls.

 

(This poem is a revision of Grief: A Weaver, which I published on WordPress in June 2017.)

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: Pixabay.com

Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry

The Visitant

spooky-2693315__340

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 · Poetry · Prose · Tai Chi

The Death of a Farm

I submitted this poem to the July 2019 Ekphrastic Challenge, but it wasn’t chosen. I don’t have permission to use the image here, but you can check out Ekphrastic Challenge on Rattle.com for the exact scene. For this post, I chose some free images on pixabay to illustrate the poem.

The image in the July 2019 Rattle challenge shows a small farm with a house and trailer on the right, positioned behind a pen. In the muddy field, there are two cows. In the background to the left, you see an old silo and in the center in the background, a barn. Above the silo is a jet making a descent. The image is named: Restricted/U.S. Air Force by B.A. Van Sise from the artist’s “Elsewhere” series.

For me, the image on Rattle elicited memories of my time on a farm in Missouri. Our large family rented an old farm house for a couple of years in the early 60s.

My impression was of the passing of an era for the house, the farm, me, and even the nation.

THE DEATH OF A FARM

The house was a woman of years

refusing to sell to developers.

She still had her wringer washer

and coal-burning stoves waiting to be fed.

How she quaked with the roar of the coal filling her bins.

She ate that coal like candy.

And the ubiquitous black dust fought me each winter

as I scrubbed and scrubbed the cracked vinyl flooring

and the sills and woodwork that trimmed her bodice.

Each summer, the dust blown in from the fields

would blanket the old woman.

Her ivory dress, tattered and stained,

spoke of bygone trials and triumphs on her American soil,

where she stood her ground.

I was her caretaker in our sojourn there

as she indulged this family of nine,

who needed a roof with substantial lodging.

She complied with the courtesy of a elderly southern belle

eager for companionship as she had been lonely too long.

Her barn became a nursery for newborn kittens

and a playground for boisterous boys.

They climbed the rickety ladders to view her farm

from the highest loft overlooking the pasture

and her crop of tobacco and such.

barn-101273__340

The crops were farmed by hired teens

who tried to scare this young girl

with gross beetle larvae from across the fence.

Wanna smoke?  They would ask me.

I was too young for them  – and busy.

I worked for the sake of the house.

I would wring out the sheets and hang them in the sun.

The laundry on the lines would whip in the wind

to the songs on American Bandstand and the current top ten.

When free from the chores,

I took to the pasture to sing and dance to my own tunes

in the fescue that nourished the livestock.

woman-792818__340

My heart wandered in the farmland hills and the trickling creek

as I imagined my possibilities.

But one autumn day, the pasture became my refuge of tears

when I heard that President Kennedy had been shot and killed.

I ran from the kitchen to the pasture and

slumped down. My cries resounded as a death toll

in the shadow of an abandoned silo.

 

My old friend stared with wide, hollow eyes,

As her light dimmed to still night.

The cows scattered to the sound of a jet

descending to torn earth.

 

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Images: Pixabay

 

 

 

Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

Sunset

Sunset

Sun slumbering into snow dogs,

Pin oaks guarding their leaves,

Fading attachments to their caregiver,

Eyes of moon,

Skin of ash,

Cramping fingers,

Clinging to comfort with

Their refuge in bitter wind.

Leaves take to faith

Though ripped from the branches

And swept away for flight

To earthen mulch.

And beds for worms.

©2018 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Images of Sun Dogs and Autumn Leaves: ©Dierik Leonhard

 

Healing · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

Sleep Chose Me

Sleep Chose Me

Sleep chose me

To take this walk on crisp leaves

Smothered by frost.

Colors, thread bare faces,

Glassy lattice in sun,

Forming halos for owls

As shade dissolves into moonlight,

Magical stasis.

Linger here in truth,

Alone with feathers of snow

Clinging briefly to crystal,

Blazing its fire,

Sizzling in waves of storm

Like smothered sand bits

On the wild shore

Holding my footing.

The colors dim into food for forest.

I trample the earth into new stone,

Bedrock for soul,

My blossom,

With the will to live

In granite.

©2018 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: “Building Blocks” digital art ©2018 Martha Harris See Martha’s Artistic Flarings @artisticflarings.blog

 

 

 

Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

By Your Power, Death

By Your Power, Death

 

I shall not ridicule you, Death.

A vulture on prey,

You have plucked the last stale leaf

From the tree of age ended.

The sun melts now

In your liquid waves of fire.

And your bleak mist on hazy hills

Smothers the bent birch,

From which you built your vessel of doom.

 

I see the gull:

His body, dismantled and gray;

His wings, unsoaring and broken.

My heart lies crushed in the sand,

Where I weep unnoticed,

For I am the last to feel your kiss,

The last to enter your gate of cold iron.

 

By your power, Death,

I dare not ridicule you.

 

Copyright ©2018/03/28 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

 

Image: “Death’s Power” Digital Art ©Martha Harris See Martha’s Artistic Flarings @artisticflarings.blog

Ekphrastic Poetry · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

The Willow Am I

The Willow Am I

 

Some people live in the night

While owls of the morning sleep,

And small raindrops creep in the dusk

Like birds of prey upon the dewy grass.

 

The Willow am I, punished by the hidden sun

That laughs on the edge of night

As I curse the screaming dawn

And burning dew of darkness

To find that subtle light

Embedded in my timeless searching.

 

How I panic at my failure

To touch its screen from within and without.

I will drown in its rain of sight renewed,

And my thirsty roots,

Blinded in the dark earth,

Shall drink of its golden liquid.

 

Copyright ©2018/03/23 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

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