Burn

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DSC_0005Okanagan Mountain Firestorm, 2003

 

When grief sweeps deep into gullies,
once green meadows melt, Ponderosa
sticks, flame sharpened, poke the sky;
I flee to the watery horizon,
throat full of words I will not purge,
eyelids on fire with memories.

When white-tails race down Wild
Horse, fast heat and smoke snuffs nests
of mole, cottontail dreams, skinks
falter, fade; I shake my fist
while Firestorm forces molten crowns
on every virgin head.

When they come heavy with human
power, sweat and fear and balls,
they build a line, attack despair; no sleep
until we lay in smoldering highlands,
balm and gentleness for our wounds,
dreams of snow for our dark nakedness.

When forgiveness, fireweed pink,
impossible, blooms in April soil, I sink
to my knees, call Lynx, Black Bear,
and Coyote, home. I raise my hands
for Western Grebe, and Spotted Bat,
whisper songs of chartreuse moss
to the face of every ashen stone, and promise;

always, everywhere, we will begin again.

 

 

LAE 2003

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Be brave

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Inside, your voice speaks: You know you can do it. You know you have something to say. You’ve dedicated years of time, talent, and treasure to this, and seen the ripple effects as others receive the gifts. Yes, there is that fine line that you walk between true humility and feeling…joyful and proud to share your poetry…that it is even yours to give. You know the excitement you feel when you get out there, that freaky, wonderful, guerrilla prickling under your skin feeling as you imagine someone finding something you left behind. You know it’s a good thing.  Be brave. 

So I do it. I am brave. I install my “Pop-up” poems in a lavish sprinkling all over the woods. I watch from a distance. I wonder is it good enough, will it touch someone, will someone find it and like it, will someone say something, or will it all remain a mystery to me of what happens next?

Last day at the retreat, one of my new circle of creative sisters says to the gathered group: “so what I want to remember most of all is this…how magical it felt to find this little poem bit in the woods, and so I’m writing it here on my expressive art piece, so I never forget that feeling, and my prayer captured in those beautiful words.”

“Fill me with God scent, Spirit favour, something good.”

Yes, God, yes, yes.

Be of good courage. Be brave.

LAE

My love language is bread and butter…

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This letter is meant as a reminder, first to me, then to anyone like me, who questions the validity and impact of their life purpose. Choosing the poets way is not often in the spotlight, but rather in half light and shadow. Yet it brings me alive, somehow I know I’m about what I should be about, and God is gracious enough to offer me bread crumbs along the way that affirm my heading. Not everyday, but often, and just when I’m wondering why I’m bothering, someone shows up, says something, confirms the way for me.

Here’s a note for those other days;

Dear Lesley-Anne, dear one,

So don’t be discouraged. You may not be the up front mass appeal type. Don’t feel insignificant. Every thing you do, counts. You have to press in to what you know, do what you have been given to do, with passion, just do it. While you waste time and look at others and tally how many they have impacted, instead just say, good for them. And continue to do what you know YOU are to DO. Walk the dog. Send the email. Say hello. Say thank you. Bake the cookies. Help the helpless. Smile. Hug. Listen. Speak. Take a photo. Paint something. Write something. Post something. Sew something. Ask God to increase your opportunity, your creativity, your energy, your love. Nothing, no NOTHING is wasted.

Live like you believe what you have to do counts. Because it does. Nobody else is going to convince you of this. You have to tell yourself. There may be affirmations from time to time, there may be verses in the Good Book that buoy your spirits and set you going, but for the most part, you have to get going.

Sometimes, when you feel what you are doing counts for nothing (no matter how hard you try to not feel this way), you will be given a gift of knowing it does matter, to someone. Someone will tell you so. Be grateful, be oh so grateful to hear. Tuck these words away for the days you aren’t certain. Because the days will come.

Believe anyway. Every life you touch matters.

SDG

p.s. Yesterday I received a loaf of bread. A lovely homemade, salt topped rye dropped off at my door by a neighbour in thanks for my neighbourhood illumination installation ~ and the poem that touched her heart. Unexpected joy, my love language happens to be bread. How did she know this, I wonder? So I slice off a big chunk, butter it, taste the joy of the moment, the love.

And in the end, love is all that matters,

Lesley-Anne

Black Friday? I don’t think so.

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As I drive about town in the day, I scope out places to light up at night. It’s not easy to find spots where lots of people are outside evenings of our cold Canadian November, but I found potential at Kelowna’s Adventure Fitness Centre H2O. There, people come and go to the pool and gym for several hours each day after dark.

So yesterday I headed to the H2O and found a little tree just outside the glow of streetlights and ambient light from windows, and there I hung some paper luminaires. I also placed a sign to help folk make sense of the spontaneously lit tree. In a basket beneath the tree were poems and tea lights for people to take home. I left everything there for a couple of hours. It’s hard to say what the impact was… part of the mystery, I guess. But I did see a mom with kids stop at the tree, read the sign, walk on.

Tonight I’ll install light at another location. Maybe outside a Mall, if I don’t get security after me!!!

Black Friday… I think not! (this is Canada, right?) Bringing light,

Lesley-Anne, SDG

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poem 2

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Gutter weed

Gutter weed (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Tomorrow morning

I will rise before the dog,
dig in the yard, celebrate
what is now and earthy.
I will plate the colour green in increments,
lemon lime, the shock of chartreuse, enough
to turn blood grass green with envy.
I will consider weeds, their uninvited flourish
without my tending, while
the hybrids, the proven winners,
need their hands held. Seems the weeds
are often stronger. Their tap roots deep
and thick, harder to dislodge. They find water
in drought, soil in cracked concrete.
You must admit
each dandelion gone to seed is lovely,
fertile head veiled and translucent,
entrusting all scattering
to an insistent breeze.

Lesley-Anne Evans, SDG 2013