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.



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