writing

I want my writing to feel like the ocean

a place where people want to go

for soothing sounds and a sense of

familiarity, a shared experience

yet surprising and unpredictable

I want my writing to feel like the wind,

gusts of ideas, meditative lulls

where readers feel warmed and enveloped,

the air knows what they’re thinking

and will carry their voices everywhere

I want my writing to be like the city

engaging, inspiring, with dark alleys

and bright lights, unexpected sights

and noise – layers of difference

and pockets of known quantities

I want my writing to be a witness

to the healing of nature

to shine a beam into

the dark corners of life’s caves,

illuminate surfaces, investigate shadows

I want my writing to be a balm to broken souls

and a celebration of survival

lemon blur

I watch you dart past,
a lemon blur,
your swimsuit two crisp lines on your small frame,
delight, swaddled in laughter,
ricochets off each pine tree,
hangs in the air

I caught sight of the memory,
a lemon blur,
pulled it down from the sky
with my butterfly net,
swaddled it into
the small of my heart

here I am

here I am, a body of memories:

the feet of a walker, coarse and flattened,

thousands of miles have I roamed.

feet that carried the weight of fluctuations

between body love and body shame.

ankles that were cursedly passed on

thick and boney, yet never failing.

calves that connect to the worst joint of

this body of memories: the knees,

the targets of frustrated students.

too many kicks, too many times,

knees that cannot ever decide

whether or not to give out on the stairs.

here I am, a body of memories,

a painful sciatic nerve sending sharp

reminders to move. no, lie still.

belly of Buddha, plump and rolling,

memories of salty and savoury.

here I am, a body of memories

a heart full of love for decades old babies

who nestled all snug in my womb and

now live contently in the small of my heart.

the neck that says oh, what a wonderful

life you have lived full of sunshine unfettered.

here I am, a body of memories,

a face with stories of laughter and

sunburns and a tree in the woods.

eyes of a father, mom’s cute button nose,

a head of hair that wavers between

mousey and the shining grey of later life.

here I am, a body of memories,

a woman of a certain age.

possibilities

something from the summer I want to remember would be

the mornings at the cottage, each one filled with anticipation,

a sense of possibility, those butterflies I have missed in this

‘unprecedented time’

possibility, anticipatory joy

those beautiful feelings have left the dance floor

they no longer tango through my mind, or

swing by to take me by the hand and spin me

into the future

but on the dock, as I looked up and down the river

I felt hopeful, anxious – the good kind – the kind that

makes small children inhale their food so they can

‘get life going already!’

not me.

I took my bowl of oatmeal, resplendent with

summer berries and sat in the sunshine,

and I inhaled

the possibilities of the day

I KEEP IT BECAUSE

there’s an eagle and a tree
on a card
on my desk
I keep it because
the eagle is strength
free
to say those words out loud
I keep it because
the tree is nature
with deep roots that
ground me
in those moments
I want to escape
from the candor
on the page
I keep it because
it came from a place
of embodied creativity
I want to capture the artist’s
dedication to her craft
bottle it and take a sip
each morning when I sit to write
or during the dark night
when the questions surface
why make the effort?
who hears the whispers in the wind?
I keep it because
it speaks to the loneliness
of putting words into
the hollow

thank you to Firefly Creative Writing for the prompt and Alana Hansen for the beautiful work of art adorning my desk