Good morning, all. Today’s beautiful contribution comes to us from a tremendously talented, kind-hearted, and all-around stellar human being. I’ve known Lauren for over five years now and every single time I get to talk with her, she just makes me feel like the world is a better place to be in.
The poem below, as well as two other, equally moving pieces, will be featured in “Wilderness of Soul” later this year!
Here’s a little about her:
Lauren Newman Lipp is a typical millennial that loves Harry Potter, early 2000’s emo music, and writing passionate pieces that reflect everyday life and struggles. She’s been expressing herself through the written word since her favorite teacher, Ms. Cowdry, taught her how to write in Kindergarten. Since then, she’s explored many forms of writing and loves the mighty power a pen can hold (although she sometimes ditches the pen for a keyboard). She earned a Bachelor’s degree from CSU Fort Collins in English, and her claim to fame is writing an A paper only hours before it was due in class. She has read “Othello” more times than she can count and loves to discuss the many complexities of Iago’s character. She spent some time teaching Language Arts and trying to pass along her love for reading and writing to 6th graders. These days, Lauren spends her time trying to make her husband laugh, playing with and chasing her toddler, and working on a novel about werewolves.
And now, Ladies and Gents; the incomparable Ms. Lauren:
Staring into my pre-portioned glass of red wine,
5 ounces exactly,
I beg for a revelation to fall over top of me.
To crumble over my shoulders and open my eyes wider.
Today is my mom, (Christine Wickstrom’s) birthday, so before I get all poetic on your asses, let us take a moment:
Here’s to another trip around the sun with the woman who loved, fed, raised, and let me survive my teenage-hood. You’re a spiritual whirlwind, a passionate crusader, the raucous laughter I hear in my own voice, and the sturdy rock on which I was built. Also, sorry for using the word ‘asses’ up there…and again just now. Have a lovely day, take naps, eat good food, enjoy the sunshine and the new dawn of spring. I love you to the moon and back again.
And now, this:
They used to say,
over coffee cups
behind her turned back
that she was an old soul
Even at six
when she struggled to sit pious
in pews too hard for anything
Or dreamed beside lazy rivers
in tall, cool grass
feet barefoot and setting roots
in worship of the bigger gods
An old soul, she thought, was
used, misused, tarnished
worn thin like soles
on the bottom of shoes
She thought her soul
looked like beaten leather
and scarred with use
Everyone else got a new one
right out of the box
the day they were born
the 'new soul' smell still clinging
smooth, shiny, glowing
with kinetic possibility
But what choice did she have?
Old was far better than none.
Six turned to sixteen
and all the years blended
in hues of decisions
and roads taken
the ones where she felt,
memories walked beside her
and footsteps recalled
and every where felt like home
in far off rooms of her old soul.
Sixteen to thirty
and on to forty
and on, and on
and her dented soul carried
tears and laughter
just as well as any other
Because new souls, she learned,
were breakable and brittle
they faltered in storms and
dented at the slightest strike
In the same span of years
the glittering glow of the new
was thin like a grocery store bag,
plastic urban jellyfish, aimless
and at the whim of every breeze that blew
But old souls
are stalwart souls
They grounded roots
feet in dirt and
sturdy branches rising.
Fingers tasting every flavor of life
without being swayed to break.
Old souls have lived it all before
and are wise to the ways
of errant breezes and
the fickle affections of years.
Old souls, she learned, came back
loved and experienced once more,
into only those vessels
strong enough to carry them.
I’m so pleased and excited to feature this stunning contribution by Jennifer Carr for your weekly dose of poetry.
Jennifer Carr lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her partner and two children. She is an EMT, Firefighter and Poet. When she is not working at the local hospital or firehouse, she spends way too much time (is there every enough time?) reading and writing poetry.
Her poetry has been published in print by Triumph House Poetry With a Purpose and in many anthologies. Her poetry has been published on-line most recently in the Organic Journal ‘Under the Basho’ in the Modern Haiku section.
Jennifer loves flying by her own wings and looks for any opportunity to soar to new heights. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter @PoetryHaiku13 (https://twitter.com/Poetryhaiku13).
Jennifer can be found on Facebook as Jennifer Carr Munoz or on Instagram.
The Map to Motherhood
Traveling on a good solid trail until a bump in the way
led me to a dangerous detour of winding twists and turns.
The route becoming more rocky – I never saw the speed limit sign
warning me to slow down so I continued speeding ahead
never realizing I was lost and alone even though I was about to crash.
Even when I came to the crossroads I still disappeared
into the shadows where thunderstorms washed away
any chance of me finding my way back home.
I stopped looking over my shoulder
as my dreams disappeared into grey skies
along with the the compass and my sense of direction
all hope seemed lost until one day a miracle happened.
There was a ray of hope, a small ray of sunlight
beamed onto my path – I felt it and I followed it.
A heartbeat that was felt long before
his heart began to beat. He brought me somewhere
out of nowhere breaking into old lost forgotten dreams.
In a universal moment I was dancing in a different direction
towards tomorrow’s bright promise the compass that carved a new path
he was the map that led me to motherhood.
The son I would come to know as my “Milagro.”
Hello Poetry lovers…or maybe you’re just poetry dabblers. Whatever the case, and your current thoughts on the boiled-down marvel of words, here’s today’s poem. Share it, comment on it, like it or don’t.
Again, still open for submissions. I’m super excited to be featuring a beautiful poem next week from Jennifer Munoz, so stay tuned for that!
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?