Friday, August 16, 2019

Criticism

One of my first paintings.  No need to critique.  I realize I was (am) overly ambitious.



A few years ago, I decided I would self-publish a little "adult" children's book and illustrate it myself.  It was quite an ego trip, since I only knew how to draw stick figures and knew nothing about self-publishing. But, I decided to learn a little about illustrating and after some struggles I did publish the book.  I was happy to complete a personal challenge.  

As a reward from the gods of creativity, this small accomplishment led me to appreciate drawing and painting. I took up the hobby without grandiose aspirations, but rather as a way to keep me engaged in the present moment while learning/doing something that makes me happy. All of my family and most of my friends support me in my playful endeavor as well as in my more serious long lived interest in writing poetry.

However, a sweet, lovable and loving couple whom I respect have been less than enthusiastic.  They have lived a story book romance which has enthralled me.  I once wrote a poem to honor them and the quirks of fate that brought them together.  Their reaction to the poem was lukewarm. Clearly, it displeased them.  They also didn't like a painting I had on the wall. Admittedly, it was no masterpiece (just something I copied from Pinterest), but it was one of my first attempts. My confidence plummeted as they made jokes and laughed about it.

It makes me realize that not all negative criticism is expressed verbally or even intentionally but it can certainly be thoughtless and destructive.  My friends are lovely people who would never hurt me.  Yet, had my sensitivity been more fragile, I may have eliminated some activities from my life that are a huge part of my joy. Their reactions did not nourish or improve my work in any way.  

The lesson for me, of course, is the value of lifting someone up, rather than bringing them down.  Criticism can be honest while honesty can be kind.



(Magaly at Poets United prompts us to write an essay about criticism.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019



TV NEWS


Sugar
Flavor of all addictions
Slides like thick molasses
Coating our senses
Non-lasting pleasure
Even masochistic pain
Perhaps any habit can become destructive
Mine?
There are several
I'm human
But only guilty of acceptable obsessions
Like watching the ugly, disastrous happenings
Affecting us all
I know better 
Not true that no news is good news
Ignorance is not bliss
I am responsible for the energy I emit 
Thus, I must ingest healthy, happy nourishment
Instead I watch
As my spirit deflates
I watch
As my balance tilts
I watch again
Knowing the harm
Of consuming too much sugar





 (For Poets United.)
  

Sunday, August 11, 2019







THE BIG HUG

I squeezed her 
Knowing 
Words were useless
Against life's unfair wallop

I can't strike back
No matter my tantrum
Like a toddler's rage
At a parent's tough, wise discipline

Life - the best teacher/parent
Allows the agony
Of experiential learning
With each small or huge detachment

I've lived so many lessons
Yet I cling to what I want
My hug was tight and long
She left



*


My only child and I are extremely close.  Last year she survived a life threatening condition which  left her with some disabilities.  Her husband has been asking for a compassionate transfer from his work because he has family in Florida who could help care for my daughter and be present within minutes in case of an emergency.  Though I have attempted to move closer to them, it's never been possible. I've been 6 hours away from their  home in Arizona and have traveled as quickly as possible whenever I've been needed. But, it does take time to get there. 

Recently, my son-in-law's transfer was approved.  They moved.  Because I'm more sensitive and sentimental than most, I've been heart broken.  Rationally, I accept the benefit of  them having family around that can assist immediately if needed.  Yet, emotionally it's hard to accept that my daughter is now so far away.  My visits will be less frequent, more expensive.  I miss her terribly and I need I mention how I miss my grandchildren.

I am able to speak and even see her on the phone.  I am so grateful. Yet, the awareness of the actual distance between us makes me so sad.  



For Poets United.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

HAUNTING THOUGHTS WHILE WALKING TOWARDS MY MOUNTAINS





I like walking 
with no one but my dog
who smells scents of prehistoric ghosts
swirling around, tired of the view,
hoping to jump on a star
in order to haunt some other dimension.

These ghosts fly in my head
transmitting ancient codes
my little brain cannot decipher.
Their messages, like tiny bubbles
burst, creating little pops that disturb
whatever's going on there.

Transformers they are
natural shape-shifters playing
with my fears,
launching monstrous thoughts in my mind
like tempestuous wind swooshing upward,
announcing galactic catastrophe
approaching very soon.
Its devastation already visible.

Suddenly,  my dog barks at air, 
startling me to see 
beautiful mountains still
here, afraid of nothing.
Briskly, we walk towards them.


*



An old poem newly edited for Poets United.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

INHALING







I go outside each morning
As if plunging into the ocean's cold
I shock my senses with nature
So familiar, yet surprisingly forgotten
The same, yet different
One day to next
I see, I hear, am touched anew
Roses, rabbits, bugs, birds, 
Clouds rearranging sky's design
Trees swaying, cacti standing still as sleep

I sit to soak in this scene
Involuntarily I close my eyes
Inhaling deeply, I fill my cells
To meld with my surroundings
I smell the scent of tranquility's perfume
Hoping to exude its fragrance
Wherever life will find me


(For Poets United.)


Sunday, July 14, 2019

In May my husband and I took a cruise vacation.  The ship stopped in Havana, Cuba for two days. The people were wonderful, welcoming, friendly.  They are hard-working and industrious but very poor. The music, which blared from all restaurants and bars, was amazing, the food, delicious.  We had a magnificent time.  

A few days after returning home, the U.S. reimposed restrictions on American travel to Cuba.  The politics are contrived. Unfortunately, it is the people who pay the consequences of policies that may not even have the desired effect.




***





I never really saw women dressed in traditional garb.  But I envision these women selling flowers, taking pictures with tourists, working hard to contribute to the family income.




THREE CUBAN LADIES 


Their hips - rhythmic drumbeats
Clothes - color blasts
Skin - dark coffee
Chatter - clash of waves
Shock - no American tourists
Hope - cigar smoke
Reality - fewer tips
Reality - embargo
Reality - deeper poverty
Reality - Why?
Reality - Reality

(For Poets United.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

THE STORM


Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere in a region and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variations, whereas climate is defined as statistical weather information that describes the variation of weather at a given place for a specified interval. They are both used interchangeably sometimes but differ in terms of the length of time they measure and what trends affect them.
source





               THE STORM

Last night from my window I watched
Rocks of rain pelted my house
Wind blew an empty bucket
Way into the desert
The sky was electrocuted
Creating a fiery boisterous darkness
No doubt climate is changing
As this strange weather 
Repeats repeats repeats
Like my thoughts 
Passing through again again again
Creating pathways of habits
That enslave me

From my inner window I watch
Knowing that change is inevitable
Knowing climate is affected by human choices
Knowing that I can change
Knowing that the climate and I 
Don't have much time left
To weather storms



  

(For Poets United.)