Just a quick reminder that the poetry anthology is accepting submissions until September of 2021. I’m already receiving some truly amazing work. In the next few months I will be featuring and promoting the poets who have submitted their work. I encourage you to support their work and check out their other writing endeavors. If you have something to contribute to the “Wilderness of Soul” please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, I’m offering up a couple of poems in semi-celebration of this strange month of ‘love’. Enjoy the broad spectrum of heart.
Growing a scar is hard.
The wound never stops throbbing
It’s enough to keep you awake at night
And irritated during the day.
The thrashed skin, angry and red,
Prying open at the slightest provocation
So you wrap the bandage
Good and tight,
Until the rest of the limb
Distal to the wound
Throbs with its chokehold,
Gasping for blood.
But no pain either
And no dead skin,
Hanging to catch on your clothes.
At every minute
Bump against door,
Or paper turn
We were girls in tall grass
Running with scraped knees
And dry throats.
Disappearing into the past
When things were simple
When life was sunshine
And big-dipper gazing
We were the past
I can’t quite recall anymore
But the whisper of memory I hold on to
Like the edge of a cliff
What if I forget?
Will we both stop existing?
Will we snuff out
Without the constant loop playing
Over and over in my memory?
Do I keep you alive?
Or does your memory keep me?
Your bike gears were gritty with sand
and the vinyl on your seat was cracked
so you never sat.
You were never still.
You were perpetual motion
And magic kept you aloft.
How still and fallen you lay now.
The earth is tender and cruel
Around bones that once
Commanded the rotation of the skies.
Before I wow you with my versatile verses here are a couple of quick announcements:
Send me your poetry for consideration in the The Beautiful Stuff 2019 Poetry Anthology. If you don’t write poetry, but know someone who does, encourage them. Contributors will get two free copies of the anthology and bragging rights. And we all know bragging rights are way better than a cash payout…um…ahem…(*nervous throat clearing).
You can send entries via the contact page on this website or simply by emailing it to me at email@example.com with “2019 Beautiful Stuff Poetry Submission” as the subject line.
Also, The Beautiful Stuff’s weekly blog post will now be moved to Tuesdays of every week, as I want to spread out all the thought. I will be looking for guest bloggers at the beginning of April so keep your eyes open for that announcement.
And now…a little scuttle into Sarah’s latent memories.
Remember days, sunlit and spread
Tentacles of diving suns and
Russian thistles, green teeth bared,
Before winter tumbled them dry.
The sand blasted faces, relentless wind,
Grit swallowed with water from the hose.
Remember the stolen boards,
The battle of nail and hammer; an engineering feat.
The tree house mansion at the end of the road
That dropped my brother from leafy heights
And gave him the best scar of the summer.
Remember the joyful toil
Sticky hands and brown feet
Mosquito bites torn into angry holes,
Captured horny toads, succumbing to belly rubs
Such degradation of the regal king of sagebrush.
Awe filled fascination, as blood fired from their eyes
A defense of true dragonry.
Remember settling into M*A*S*H with dad,
Never noticing the sting of war around the click of Klinger’s heels.
Or the soft, seeking peace of Radar’s eyes.
The MacNeil Newshour always put me to sleep on the floor.
A sleep that never paused for the bustle of adult worry, or nuclear meltdowns.
Remember toe-headed boys and dirty-dishwater blondes,
Running naked round houses on dares,
Unfathomable speed of youthful freedom
Still not faster than motherly wrath.
When laughter tickled like a persistent cough
And sadness reserved itself for opened knees and epic bike wrecks.
Wounds that healed far faster than the heart.
And left scars you bragged about, not buried.
When life was immortal and endless,
Possibilities not yet limited by the bottleneck of time.
Must have been all that divine-smack talk from last week.
We’ve been set upon by a viral invasion from the petri dish that is the pubic education system. I’ve been fighting it off with sheer force of will, exclaiming to the ear-less, microscopic, entities that I’m simply too busy for their nonsense and to go pedal their crazy someplace else.
In the meantime, I’m emptying out the trash cans every two hours and trying to explain the gentle art of using more than a nostril width of space for each tissue. (Yes, they are ‘disposable’, but that doesn’t mean we need to dab and toss as though we were participants in some game-show challenge. Unacceptable tissue usage
For god sakes, even the lady at Costco is giving me the eye for how often I’ve been stocking up…
This blog is sometimes about life and sometimes about writing, and today I was inspired by the less-than-beautiful aspects of life.
Take my dogs…please.
Anyone with lovable, furry companions knows, they’re a plethora of bodily fluids. And, as with any creature in later years, these leakages seem to come more frequently. My bassets are mass oil producers; through their skin, through clogged pores, through bursting, bleeding cysts…gulp back that bile taste in the back of your throat…it’s actually quite fascinating.
What’s the point of this? Well…the giant mess that is life I guess.
I remember when the idea of a child’s slobbery hand touching my skin would make me want to bathe in hand sanitizer and invest in a personal HazMat shower.
Now…oh now… can I tell you gentle readers how I sometimes use the puddle from a melted ice cube my child has left on the kitchen floor to wet my sock before mopping up some random bloody streak from my dog’s tail sore? Disgusting you say? I say…efficient.
Can I tell you how I can pluck a booger from my child’s nose with illusionist prowness (move over Criss Angel). How I can be sneezed on, coughed on, pooped on, peed on, vomited on, and still somehow maintain a soft focus on the words. “Its ok. No worries, baby”. How I now can look past the moist factories of human and canine function and see a moment in time. A very fleeting moment.
When I am needed.
That sounds narcissistic and I suppose it is. I know that a stable, self-sufficient woman doesn’t need to be needed. But I also know that a deep part of fulfillment for me (lets bound into the hippy side of things and say it’s the Earth/Nurturing Energy I’m predisposed to) is in being able to provide for others. To help them, to comfort them, to clean up after them and whatever that trail they’re leaving behind them is made up of.
Someday those trails will be gone. The house will be spotless, and puddle-less, hairless, and smell-less. And what an awful thought that is.
Someday, I am going to miss the loud and crazy sneeze fest. The croaky little throats asking for juice. The whining howl of a dog in the midst of a squirrel induced nightmare that causes wet flatulence.
Love life for the mess, not in spite of it.
The mess is where the magic is. The imperfect and chaotic is also the joy. Because it pulls us out of auto pilot and makes us pay attention…Because it tests what we are made of, what we can handle, and how we handle it. Because it makes memories and memories are how we count time, relate to others, and look back on a life well, if mucousily, lived.
I could live a beautiful, picture perfect life. With clean floors, and quiet halls, and never have to ask “What did I just step in?” or “Is that poop or chocolate?”. But god, what a horrible life that would be. Give me the mess. Give me your booger. Give me the bleeding, oily cysts. Give me the tiny arms and fevered foreheads pressed close in times of need, and the saggy brown eyes of an uncompromisingly loyal companion.
Give me all of these things, and I will not cringe. I will embrace. Because mucous makes memories.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…I feel a sneeze coming on…are we out of tissues?