Burn

Standard

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

Advertisements

Be brave

Standard

IMG_2097

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

Mod Pop

Standard

 

Modernism Week in Palm Springs, and I just had to indulge in a little poetry pop-up poolside before we headed home to snow, not spring, and not palm trees. The poems, freed from the confines of my carry on bag, fluttered in the warm desert breeze. I wonder who will find them this time? Maybe the hip chick from LA, one door down. Maybe the guy in the fedora and big sunglasses? Maybe Kathy or Gary as they move seamlessly around their generously restored Mid Century gem making their guests feel at home.

The Monkey Tree Hotel really is the perfect place for a little splash of poetry.

And a chilled beverage by the pool. Martini anyone?

dsc_0396

Don’t fence me in

Standard

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We knew it was coming, first the move out, then the move on, then the moving in of the hazmat team, proceeded by fences and followed by bulldozers. We knew it. We prepared. We celebrated. We left our mark on the building face like it has made a mark in our hearts.

So, today wasn’t a surprise, but still it felt surprising to see the doorway fenced off, the new art and words from a distance, and my heart feeling a little heave-ho because this was it. We have not gone anywhere, and we are determined to stay close and hold out hope to the homeless and vulnerable and disenfranchised for as long as it takes. Still, this was our home of several years. This is where people dropped in and stayed and sat around a little table and wrote poems and then shared them. This is where first words were uttered, where he finally spoke to me, where she smiled and invited me into a conversation.

All I can do today is continue to remember, take a few more pictures, and then, because they were already waiting in the back of my truck and because I was recently told to “do what I can” and I brought what I had…a pop-up happened. A few of my poems hanging like little prayer flags on the moduloc fence, waving goodbye.

Believing in what is to come…what can never be fenced in,

Lesley-Anne

p.s. and just so I have to chuckle rather than cry, I notice in one of the pictures a typo on a poem…and recognize even in a simple little installation there is room to be imperfect and humbled.

p.p.s. soon we will be launching our Metro HOLDINGOUTHOPE campaign. And the stories, oh the stories…

 

Poems, like prayer flags

Standard

This week I was reminded that not all is good, and not all is good for me. I want to un-see what I saw, erase forever the images that popped up on my computer screen immediately after an opera video I was watching on Youtube. No warning, and there it was, cruel, shocking, and cutting through my soul like a knife. I didn’t know what to do. I gasped. I turned it off. But my mind played the images over and over again. I was hooked into darkness for a time.

And then, serendipitously and providentially, I was invited into a soul healing activity that is beginning to help me forget what I saw, not that I saw it, but take the edge of pain of it away.

A friend invited me to join a social media love challenge, posting only good messages. I’ve always tried to be that kind of person, but this week I’m being more intentional.

And then yesterday, as I sat alone on my porch on Canada Day and began to feel a little sad about that, I read this,

…become more conscious of the ways everyday acts and objects are inherently sacred when performed and regarded with intention. When we focus on whatever we are doing, we discover that God is in the midst of our work.

The Artist’s Rule, by Christine Valters Paintner

And then, maybe because of my soul pain and somewhat forced solitude, my heart turned to the thought of hanging up some poems, like little flags, like little prayers, and joining others in their space of being, for a time. Silently walking in their midst and offering my small blessings to them all. So I went, and I pinned PUP around the busy and quiet spaces, and I felt new life welling up in me. I didn’t feel so alone. I didn’t feel so dark and cut off. I performed a sacred act, just as the person who finds a poem will perform the sacred act of reading.

And I thank you God for showing me another way of you in the midst, of everything.

Rotary Centre, Kelowna

Rotary Centre, Kelowna

How the poems felt about it…

Standard

It was a blue bird day, and the poems were alert in their lively cling to the wire, their flutter of twos and threes. The wind cleared their heads of winter, and they soon realized the grape vines clinging beside them were similarly inspired, weathered arms held up to the sun, green ideas budding out in the warmth and light. And then the moment came when a woman reached out and touched one of the poems. How it felt to be chosen and held like that, the woman’s eyes intent on each lettered scar, the nakedness of lines. How the women read, gently, to last letter of last word. DSC_0040 DSC_0041 DSC_0039 DSC_0037 DSC_0036 DSC_0035