Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gwenerrella's First Poem

Gwenerrella’s First Poem

I have a chocolate Penguin,
I got it from my Sis,
She gave it to me for

I love my chocolate Penguin,
In its shiny paper tree,
It says his name is

I wanta keep my chocolate penguin,
He sits on top some books,
In spite of peoples hungry
Eating Looks.

I’ve kept my chocolate penguin,
It’s almost Easter-time.
And now the Pee-Wee penguin,
Calls alla time.

But now my chocolate penguin,
Has drawn an icky bug,
Tine for the ants to
Wake up.

So I ate his face off.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Song of Brothers Raven and Crow

Before The People
First Man
Walked upon
Mother Earth.
Great Spirit
Bade them love
Earth Mother.
Treat Her with
And respect
At all times
In all ways.

First Man was
He refused
To do what
Great Spirit
Asked of them.
He dug metals
From the flesh
Of Earth Mother.
She cried out to
Great Spirit
‘Stop this hurt!’

Great Spirit
Looked down to
Earth Mother.
He saw the scars
In her flesh.
He smelled
Filth in the
Sweet air.
He saw the
Good water
Too despoiled
For any to drink.

He called to’
Rainbow Raven
And his cousin
Many Coloured Crow.
Help me undo
The hurt done to
Earth Mother.
Purify Her
And begin life
Over again.
Raven and Crow
Honour Great Spirit.

They carried fire
Over the world
Diving to start
Cleansing flames.
Over and over
They swooped
Low to ground.
Touch the
Brand to grass,
Light the trees.
Burned away
All First Men.

Raven and Crow
Returned to
Great Spirit
In Star Lodge.
When he saw
Their feathers,
He wept for
Lost beauty.
No longer did
They shine all
Colours under
The warm Sun.

Now they were
Shining Black.
They sacrificed
Their beauty to
Obey Great Spirit.
They tried to
Wash the smoke
And ash from
Their feathers.
Still they were
Shining Black
As storm clouds.

Great Spirit
Bade them stay
Become His
Raven and Crow
Were honoured.
They remained
Awaiting His call.
Great Spirit
Looked down
And saw lonely
Mother Earth.

Star Woman
Came at His call.
Together they made
The world anew,
All of the things
In the Seas,
Every growing
Tree and flower.
The Animals
Great and small.
And Second Man
Came to be also.

The People
Looked at their
World and they
Knew wonder
And gratitude
To Great Spirit.
“We thank you.”
Tell us, please
How to serve
You, Star Woman
And Mother Earth
The best we can.”

Great Spirit,
Star Woman and
Mother Earth
Knew great joy.
“Know us as
Mother and
Father to you,
Obey our wishes
Love and respect
Mother Earth.
Obey My Laws
Follow Star Woman.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Do you remember me?
Or have you forgotten me
as you sit in the sun
while time
trickles through that
corner of your garden,
where dappled shade, and water,
and evening sunlight,
erase all memories

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

In response, Sage -- sort of


I was but a small lad, in size and experience true. But I remember the words. The figures moved with the flickering sunlight that filtered from the trees. A shadow there -- no an arm. A fluttering bird -- no a laughing smile. Perhaps there were no words -- only a random drifting of sounds from amidst the leaves. "When tears are seeds on the lowland meadow, we will sure come again."
I have thought long on the gifts they have, both real and imagined. The forest skills to track a deer or hide from marauding bear. How to drop a bird in flight and not loose the arrow point. How to prepare for a storm long before the clouds have formed in the western sky. But other gifts too, perhaps. How to steal a wayward child in the night. How to attract a careless boy to deep waters. How to make barren a faithless wife. Gifts? Magick? Tales of gossiping crones?
These things called gifts, are sometimes blessing, sometimes curse. Are they born or learned? My father can find water with a twig but stumbles over the smallest stone. My brother cannot sing a note but can catch fish in his tiny hands. My sister is plain of face but has suitors all down the lane. And I -- I have none of these gifts, nothing for prayerful thanks. No skill at arms or story told. Flowers die at my feet and the squirrels chatter incessantly when I pass. I am passably fair at everything, and I get by. But surely there must be a gift for me -- something that sets me apart.

When they came there was no warning, these soldiers from the south. They did not seek land or wealth, but only pleasure in blood and lust and ale. If there was a leader he be not in control, though perhaps that was their way. Oxen lay half-eaten in the fields and grain rotted in broken barrels. Waste, waste everywhere. No help -- no hope -- our knights were serving in another land. Our simple gifted life would vanish here in mud and mire and sharpened despair.
Then it happened! I walked alone into the square and stood on the piled stones. I reached out wide my arms with fingers in dance. Our love of the earth, this land, swept up though my loins and into my heart. A flash of invisible light burst from my eyes and I was knocked to the ground. A primordial sound alone crashed through the glades and canyons. Its silent might crushed pottery and churned the placid stream into boiling rage. No one understood what had passed. But we all knew!

They came. The arrows rained down on the drunken brawl like hail on a summer morn. Though they ran and hid, each was found to die in agony. We of the land stood very still. Though the blood gathered in pools at our feet, none was ours -- none would feed the land save those who would defile it. Silence -- only silence. The shadows twisted into human form -- hunters, gamesmen, outlaws -- the simple of the forest. Then gone!

I will never have a gift, they say, for heaven's touch does not extend beyond God's simple harmony of man and earth and faith. They call me "The Given." "The Given", just that. Not in honor or awe or respect or fear. Just fact. The memories are mine.

So are the tear

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Freebase Dawn

4:30 AM

Come then the morning …
for I have dreamed too long –
ingly of soft shadow –
ed memories of hope –

Come then the morning for –
tune of faint melody too far –
gone beyond thought –
ful acts of kind –

Oh, to sleep again –
st ill heavy with pass –
ions of fine tom –
arrows seeking heart –
beat your drum.

Still my fevered mind –
ful awake –
ening line by space –
cadet refin –
ance –
were …

Wind hides
and seeks out every hollow
counts crevices
tormenting through cracks

Wind whirls
the white and bitter winter
into October

hot wind of summer picks up
the field driving black
dust across the house yard
into the kitchen
into the mind

Into the mind wind
off days and nights
Land burned
and scarred an angry
lonely wind
drives a continent
to the distant sea

Lady Luna

Sweet Lady,
O wise Lady.
Come you down,
Come you
Down to me.
Call him to me
The one who
Forever holds my
Battered heart.

Yea though his
Armour has seen rust,
And time has
Silvered his hair.
Yet still a hero,
In both heart
And fearless deed.
The gentile parfait knight.
He who sees
With tender heart.
And never judges,
But always accepts.

May I know him?
Will he want me?
More questions
Without answers.
Learning to mind not.
Celebrate the love
Regret not what
Cannot be.
Simply love him
And be glad.

My Twin Soul

My Twin Soul

Sister, Sister tell me please,

Whence thy tears and heavy sighs?

What locks you away in mourning?

You know the one who loves you true.

His heart aches so for want of you.

I have known the unquiet ache within.

Waiting so long, until at last alone,

Then the tears scald down your cheeks.

I know the choking tightness of throat,

Born of holding words of love unsaid

While they beg and cry for their release.

Sister, Sister tell me please

Of the joy found in his loving caress.

Know you peace and wholeness now?

With a Dear Soulmate at thy side.

No longer are both torn in twain,

You celebrate the union with him.

Wear thy smile fearlessly, and oft,

Now you’ve much to bring happiness.

You, who is his one true love,

He who holds thy heart in tender hand

At thy side, and in thy life now.

Sister, Sister, tell me please,

Of the love that cannot be gainsaid.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

something old, something new

(with a slight modification from the original)
A Walking Meditation

a story for every door
journeyed through
slammed in my face
choice, chance, challenge, change
courage, fear, and confusion
Childhood Bedroom
"I'll be good."
Principal's Office
"you're not trying hard enough!"
First Apartment
"why did you let him in?"
Doctor's Office
"there's no cure."
Funeral Director's Office
"your mother's ashes."
Emergency Room
"she's not breathing."
"I trust you."
"I hear you."
I remember every door
and I weep
and I wish
I could go through every door once more
with my eyes open.

An Agoraphobic's Ill-considered Initiation

To me, trees huddle together
obscuring sunlight, providing cover
for carnivores as they sneak up on you.
Forests suck up sounds of warning,
Unwelcome words like "Wolverine!" and "Run!"
I was convinced the conifers were conspiring
to look as much alike as possible
to obliviate my sense of direction
to cause me to wander aimlessly
to die of exposure and starvation under some conspiratorial cedar.

Day one: I can do this.
Triumphantly, I set up the tent.
Patiently, he told me to take it down.
Explaining, he pointed upward
to a heavy, jagged limb
dangling, dead, ready for a strong wind
to send it crashing down,
skewering us in our defenseless slumber.
Pitching the nylon coffin in a new location,
filling me in on the otehr fifteen ways
for trees to finish me, I wept.

Day two: heading for home,
half way back to sanity, the sky blackened.
Rocking and rolling, the lake looked scared,
searching itself for a place to hide.
In horror, I pointed to the nearest shore.
To my greater horror, he replied, "Not enough trees!"
Instead, he chose a small island salvation
comprised entirely of giant, serene cedars.
Gentle dips and slopes covered so thickly with needles
they swallowed whole the wail of the wind,
softening even the sounds of my considerable panic.

Listening to less number two in Trees,
we settled our tiny tent against the side of a steep slope
where my new enemies stood branch to branch,
weaving a roof above the abode we tied to five trunks.
Standing so close, like a family enmeshed,
shutting out sunlight and warmth
in favour of secrecy and silence,
their fibers spiraled together, their roots intertwined
tightly interlocking the systems o its own family of trees,
strong enough to survive abandonment and betrayal,
poverty, death, and the illness of a beloved child.

For two stormy days we lay in the arms of our saviours.
When all was calm, when it was time to leave,
we parted ways with reticence and relief.
Every shoreline but ours was strewn with debris.

Stephanie K. Hansen 2006

No poet I am, but still, I have words to spend. You know.

Damn near fainted when the spotlight hit me. The audience was absolutely gracious. Many people came to me later, poets as well, and complimented my word-after-word play. I was asked to return next week. One man alone, an acquaintance, said, "You have a soft voice and it was slightly difficult to hear you in the back of the room." I said, "Yes, but it was a bloody incredible performance for a woman who couldn't breathe!" *laughing*

You might see me around the Poetry Blog for a bit, Fran, if I decide to stretch my word wits for next week's poetry night.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Geraniums should grow in windows

Geraniums should grow in windows

I did not know you then
sitting at the far end of the table
the light too bright against my eyes

You must have been the listener for you
are he who listens:
listens to the long drone of trucks
to crunch of gears

Listening much later in another month
after winter chill
or summer rain
I do not know cannot recall
the moment or the sound of your voice
only the chink of glass
your tidy toe seeking
my polished brogues
I think that day the old plane tree shimmered
against whispered air
Were the mulberries falling?

Were the mulberries falling?
Seasons confuse me here
but this is your native land
you have fixed dates:
September first is spring
you tell me—
but I am thinking April — I think you touched me
held my arm as I tried
to clamber over a rusty fence
I know we walked along the sea— you said the shore
was a better place
That puzzled me
That puzzled me for I am still confused by time
by a hot northern sun
by a profusion of house plants growing
as wild things

Geraniums should grow in windows

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Autumn Scatters

Time for scattering, soon,
with Autumn only days away.
Things scatter in life, memories, thoughts,
seeds, and leaves.
On the other side of the earth,
blooms will be bursting,
part of the balance of things.
The order of seeming disorder,
is magnificent,
in everything.
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine Fitz

Found Again

I walk the hush of empty rooms,
and touch the walls of lonely,
feeling there the whisper of a song --
now gone except in fancy.

You cannot ken where I will be,
not leave a conscious kiss;
but your wings will ever flutter
and caress life's emptiness --

my knowing heart
finding you again
since yesterday.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Seed? Valentine? Muse? Creative Impotence

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The Mystery of Goya's Saturn

The painting known as 'Saturn Devouring One of His Sons', by Francisco Goya, presents us with a terrifying cannibal god, Kronos, whom he depicts as a wild, revolting figure, consuming his offspring. The ancient deity looks crazed, his eyes are atrocious and the painting is one of those which imprints itself on the psyche of those who examine it closely.

'Saturn Devouring One of His Sons' springing from the Kronos myth, was a part of Goya's 'Black Painting' series when Goya 'carved his fates and inscribed his nighmares directly onto plaster.'

The earliest version of the Kronos myth--Saturn is the later Roman name--was written down by Hesiod in his Theogony, around the eighth century, B.C.E.

First comes Chaos; then Earth/Gaia; Tartarus in the bowels of Earth; and finally Eros. Earth gives birth to Heaven, also known as Ouranos, and then bears twelve of his children, the last, "most terrible of sons/The crooked-scheming Kronos." Earth and Ouranos have three more sons, so fearsome and mighty that Ouranos forces them back inside their mother, burying them alive. She forms a sickle, and asks her other sons to use it against their father, "For it was he/Who first began devising shameful acts." All are afraid, except Kronos. She gives him the sickle, hides him in her, and he castrates his father, preventing him from having more children, then assumes power among the Titans. But fear lives in his heart; a usurper himself, he learns that one of his own children will usurp him, and he devours them at birth:

As each child issued from the holy womb
And lay upon its mother's knees, each one
Was seized by mighty Kronos, and gulped down.

Through a ruse by his mother, the last born, Zeus, survives, leads a war against Kronos, and casts him down to Tartarus. Even gods cannot overcome Fate.

Reviewers have asked what it was that Goya recognized in himself that charged the work with such raw, wounding power? Jason Scott Morgan, for example, alludes to the traditional father and son narrative which has been presented in, amongst other documents, the Bible.

Maybe Goya was painting this narrative but I suspect not. Before he began the Black Paintings, Goya survived a near fatal illness, documented in his Self-portrait with Dr. Arrieta. Goya depicts himself as a "pained and weary artist, surrounded by dark, phantasmal faces." It is plausible that Saturn was painted as a way to express the lonely terror of mortality. Since my husband's body has been ravaged by a third round of bowel cancer, and we have faced the lonely terror of mortality, I have every reason to think that this is likely. If I could paint I would paint Atrophe, towering like a giant, scissors in hand, tormenting us with the reality that she has the power to cut the thread at any moment. Goya's Saturn touches me deeply because it expresses shared pain and his Atropos paints the dark dreams that haunt me.

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So what charged Goya's painting of Saturn? As his health declined, as he stared creative impotence in the eyes - Saturn's eyes, Atrophos's scissors his work gathered momentum and a dark force. It doesn't really matter if Goya threw away his pastels and used someone like Saturn as a metaphor to represent the terror of creative impotence. Who cares if Goya used Saturn as a metaphor to depict the 'black dog' that consumes artists offspring -- that hungrily devours work deemed, for whatever reason, not to be of any merit, not to fit the stereotypical mould. The main thing is that Goya went right outside the square and painted with force that speaks with passion today.

I imagine Goya must have smiled wryly when he realised that he had captured the demonic figure who had lived with him all his life. But most of all I am grateful that he has so powerfully captured the demon who lurks in my nightmares, for I know now that I am not alone.

Bored and Adrift

This guy has been adrift, and quite bored --
waiting for a posting of words to be played with ..
seeds of inspiration

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Post-it for the Devil

You're a virus, dormant and waiting
Attacking at the weakest point

Dweller on the threshold
Black orb circling and darting
You torment me
Eroding my defenses
Distorting my smile

I'm mystified
Impressed by your cunning ways.

I beg you-Retreat now to your hiding place
Return when I've gained strength enough
To conduct a more worthy fight