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

Poem · Poetry

Status: Unfriended

We took for granted those easy days,

believing in bonds, implicit contracts,

soul groups, & kinships. Hugs were warm

& kisses real. We could smell the hot coffee

brewing for the brunches.

 

Life…the miles…

left us in the wilderness

without food or drink or matches,

only emojis, tags, and Messenger.

 

We foraged & survived.

We still upheld each in

sickness & in health

with laughter, long chats,

likes, dislikes, loves, hearts,

birthday greetings & get-well wishes.

 

Then into the cloud, you suddenly leave,

a departure unannounced…unexpected.

An enigma now separates us

without the tough talk

that can actually heal us –

Why?

 

A quick impulse?

A quandary of loyalties?

A careless regard for our Light?

A boundary?

Jealousy?

Revenge?

Fear?

 

The vase that held our flower has smashed.

Can gold ever realign the deep rifts in this vessel?

Who will mop up the mess that is us?

 

Our paths split on the labyrinth –

Will this winding course ever lead us to

rediscovery and reclamation –

or to isolation?

 

We slip away from memories

as though Death claims us.

Shock & grief swell though

there is no memorial,

no grave to tend to.

 

All that is not aligned falls away.

Was this connection illusory?

Status: Unfriended. Heart Broken

 

©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

 

 

 

Audio · Healing · Poem · Poetry

Gaia

We are holding in the cries of fear,

Refusing to surrender to truth.

What can come of filling the streams

Of Gaia’s veins with our tears but a flood of pain?

Can the rifts in her ancient skin be healed?

Can canyon walls ever merge into a New Earth

Free of grief and loss?

 

The fingers of the Sun can only reach so far

Into the depths for galactic truth.

Has God succumbed to the Fire?

It cannot be so.

Though dense on the edges of Holy Planes,

Light is there.

Light and Shadow share one spectrum,

Always in battle for healing,

Finding the perfect balance.

 

Where Earth is upheaved grows new bounty.

The pain of ripping soil births potential,

Shimmering translucent as

Tiny perfect fingers rooting in Time,

Swaddled in constellations

Webbing Then and Now.

Time is connected on all planes.

Today’s prayers heal the past

As it has never ended.

All grief is omnipresent and infinite

If we remain in slumber.

 

Hope is wholeness.

The future is “I AM”.

Tears heal tears in the fabric of Time,

Filling in the rifts and canyons of geologic upheaval

With Love transmuted into cosmic truth.

We are One.

Our tears are Gaia’s rain.

The clogged well of each heart

Is her burden to bear.

Our actions become her prayers or her curses.

She cries in fire, wind and geologic torment when

We fail to love her power,

Which supports us in the lattice of her cosmic apron

To which we cling as babes born innocent

And slow to awaken to her grief,

Which is ours to bear.

 

Copyright© 2017/12/10 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

Image: Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Art · My Mother · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

This, a River

This, a River

This, a river,

I am not lines but curves

Winding around sand bars

Creating islands 

Revealed in low tide

My current pulses life

Tadpoles, carp, algae

I smile in light

Shimmering reflections

I draw in birds to feed

I am poetry for travelers 

On barges

I hold kayaks as toys

To capture in my eddies

This, a river,

My legs flutter waves

Swimming to create

This flow

My arms formed from rivulets

Guiding this charge of current 

Gravity’s way

My power carving out

My face

I shape Mother

As she wishes 

I clean up her storms 

The overwhelming swells

Of branches and trash

Dissolve into me and my banks

I do her work

Feeding her life 

Dispersing its bones and teeth

For children to seek as treasure

This, a river,

Can hold you

Transport you

Can gather you into me

Into my dark

My hungry fury

Beneath my churning 

My currents are scars

That run as bottomless incisions

Into crust

My age is Earth

Study me

Learn me

My mystery is beauty

My myth is enigma

My abyss is danger

This, a river,

What made me

Our Mother 

Her tears washing away our history

Revealing our present

She is in the sun 

Warming our life span

Reflected into my ocean

My soul of 

Beds and banks

Flora and fauna

My aura is your atmosphere

My depths are your cosmos

Mother’s grief can nourish or drown, but

This, a river, 

Cannot cry.

©Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.com

Image “This, a River” digital art ©Martha Harris See Martha’s Artistic Flarings @artisticflarings.blog

Audio · Healing · Poem · Poetry

Gaia

Gaia

We are holding in the cries of fear,

Refusing to surrender to truth.

What can come of filling the streams

Of Gaia’s veins with our tears but a flood of pain?

Can the rifts in her ancient skin be healed?

Can canyon walls ever merge into a New Earth

Free of grief and loss?

 

The fingers of the Sun can only reach so far

Into the depths for galactic truth.

Has God succumbed to the Fire?

It cannot be so.

Though dense on the edges of Holy Planes,

Light is there.

Light and Shadow share one spectrum,

Always in battle for healing,

Finding the perfect balance.

 

Where Earth is upheaved grows new bounty.

The pain of ripping soil births potential,

Shimmering translucent as

Tiny perfect fingers rooting in Time,

Swaddled in constellations

Webbing Then and Now.

Time is connected on all planes.

Today’s prayers heal the past

As it has never ended.

All grief is omnipresent and infinite

If we remain in slumber.

 

Hope is wholeness.

The future is “I AM”.

Tears heal tears in the fabric of Time,

Filling in the rifts and canyons of geologic upheaval

With Love transmuted into cosmic truth.

We are One.

Our tears are Gaia’s rain.

The clogged well of each heart

Is her burden to bear.

Our actions become her prayers or her curses.

She cries in fire, wind and geologic torment when

We fail to love her power,

Which supports us in the lattice of her cosmic apron

To which we cling as babes born innocent

And slow to awaken to her grief,

Which is ours to bear.

 

Copyright© 2017/12/10 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

Image: Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

Audio · Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry

What Do You Do?

What Do You Do?

What do you do

For a homeless soul,

Flailing in the dissipating self,

Swallowing night air,

Gasping for breath as though

Seized by swarms as they

Emerge in their flight

To cloud-capped ridges

Of thunder slapping

The weary heart

Locked in despair?

The Eye sees;

The One knows.

 

Copyright© 2017/12/04 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: pixabay.com