Please welcome the stranger…

No image today. Imagine instead your own home. Your safe place. Now imagine that it is not so safe…

Home

by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back….

Read the rest here.

 

 

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Now that I have been opened…

cropped-by-the-river-in-winter.jpg

…Now that I have been opened
I can never be closed again.
The reflection of the sun on the waves
is a shining path to the horizon
a dazzling lucent shuttle
of unknowable complexity.
A cloud over the sun
momentary camera obscura.
And as I move towards resolution
the world abandons its detail
in a theatre at once dark & light
where life is a kind of joyous shade
a shadow over the sun
a dark radiance.

From A Radiant Inventory by Christopher Dewdney

 

It’s simple…

willow2

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness…

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.

 

Mary Oliver

Leaves are falling…

october-is-here

Autumn

Leaves are falling, falling as if from afar,
as if, far off in the heavens, gardens were wilting.
And as they fall, their gestures say “it’s over.”

In the night the heavy earth is falling
from out of all the stars into loneliness.

We are all falling. This hand here is falling.
Just look: it is in all of us.

Yet there is one who holds this falling
with infinite tenderness in her hands.

 Rainer Maria Rilke
from On Being

A life of their own…

pink-stripes-blurredlr

 

For years upon years upon years,

I dreamed the days away.

As I stared out the window of my speeding train,

the images of my life rushed by in a bright stream,

pulsing, flowing, exploding with colour and light

never stopping really,

ever.

 

There were always words there too, in my mind,

but they fluttered in and out,

trying so hard to make me believe them.

I couldn’t love them enough, though,

to give them a life of their own.

Until now.

How to eat a poem…

heirloom tomatoes

Don’t be polite.
Bite in.

 

Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that
may run down your chin.

 

It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.
You do not need a knife or fork or spoon or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

 

For there is no core

or stem

or rind

or pit

or seed

or skin

to throw away.

 

 

Eve Merriam

 

window sill lr

What I’m loving right now…

cantaloupe jam

I love that Labour Day weekend is here and I don’t have to go back to school. Not that I didn’t love school — I was a good student and I loved learning — but elementary and high school were way too regimented for my free spirit. CEGEP and university were where I really soared.

I love that I can continue learning and discovering and creating and practising skills so many years later, but now at my own pace and free of the pressure of judgement and comparison. This time is truly a gift.

Melon jam

Nothing pleases me as much as a new recipe to try…a new taste combination…something I have never thought of before. This week it was melon jam, inspired by a crop of cantaloupe that we couldn’t eat fast enough. The colour is sublime, but I wish I could give you all a taste too!

Rebecca Solnit On being a “bad Buddhist” … “Buddhism is your guiding star, not the planet you live on necessarily every day.”

Kim Manley Ort on Pivotal Photos I read this and immediately related to what Kim described as a “pivotal” photo. They’re “the ones that made me see my life, photography, and even myself differently. They’re not necessarily the best, but they sent me in a new direction.” If you want to understand more about your photography and yourself, go through your images … I think your “pivotal photos” will jump out at you. Some of my pivotal images

Thank you…

I want to sincerely thank all those who took time to comment on my recent attempts at poetry, with so much encouragement. A kind reader said she found my poem “thought-provoking and relatable” which made me very happy, although a bit surprised, since I was hoping it might be…

 

 

 

 

I listen between the words…

sept poem pic2

I listen between the words

you speak.
As you mouth the story,
a flutter of fear
a glimmer of gladness
a shiver of sorrow
all hover like hummingbirds in the air.
This is really the truth of your life right now, isn’t it?

Ever-changing, illusive, elusive.

Mine too.

 

I wrote this after thinking about how often we utter words to each other that have little to do with what we’re experiencing at a deeper level — in our guts, our hearts, our souls.

As Gibran observed: The reality of the other person lies not in what he reveals to you, but what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say. 

To do this, we have to slow right down, and become very curious about the quick small signals that flash on and off in conversation — signals we so easily miss when we are caught up with our own image and persona. Recognizing that our stories are just that — stories — can break down barriers and reveal what is common to us all.

Poetry is my language…

 

Water play 6

Poetry is my language.

I do not care for beginnings and endings —

it is the present of the present I cherish,

and your truth buried in a picture of the still moment

that makes me thrill as if on a ride

ever deeper into the fathomless.

I said I was taking a blogging break, and I am…But I did not expect that a poem would come to me in these last days of summer that captures how I feel about photography and poetry. So, in the spirit of spontaneity and inconsistency, I offer it to you…

Every gardener knows…

tomato

Heirloom tomatoes — Black Krim variety

…Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen: reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always, for every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting, after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.
Marge Piercy

 

I’m taking a bit of a blogging and social media break this August and enjoying the remaining summer and fruits of our labours. Thank you so much for dropping in to visit.