Oaks


Today’s prompt is to title the poem the name of a plant, and then to write the poem.

Oaks
(for the people who sit in their trees to stop the pipeline)

The women themselves are oaks
in this ocean of oak,
in these groves of trees–
Sycamore, Poplar, Pine–
riding their boats,
tiny houses high in the boughs of the oak trees.

Riding the waves of storm,
surfing the wind high up in the branches,
they have no safe port, no harbor,
no safe place to re-supply.
Below them, the sharks circle,
waiting for the first sign of weakness.
But their friends, too, have made a circle,
a web to hold the women who sit in the oaks.

The women are watching and waiting.

They are protectors.
They are the guardians.
They are trees and the mothers of trees.
They know the secrets of the acorn.
They know how long it takes an oak to grow.
They have the patience of mountains.


Gratitude List:
1. Warm spring weather
2. Spring breeze
3. Reading books together
4. The defenders of the earth
5. Magic

May we walk in Beauty!


A few weeks ago, I had a Facebook conversation with several friends about the books we loved as children because someone we loved read them to us. The conversation was brought on by a post by the author Kate DiCamillo, who wrote about her elementary school teacher reading her The Island of the Blue Dolphins. Kate DiCamillo is herself the author of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. On Friday, at the Kreutz Creek library book sale, I bought a copy of Edward Tulane. When Joss saw it, he said his Library teacher had read it to his class, and that it was one of his favorite books, and he said we were going to take a break in our reading of Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising in order to read it. We just finished reading it now, on the porch, and even though I knew what was going to happen, even though my heart had been broken and mended with Edward’s half a dozen times already, when the absolute perfect ending happened, I went to pieces and sobbed. Oh. It is exquisite. It is now one of my favorite books, too.

Protectors

creative-writing

Do you feel it? How this growing resistance is drawing energy from a heart-source as it gains momentum? Oh, the anger and the rage are there, the ranting and the complaining (and I don’t deny my own participate in that), but there’s also the call to love and prayer. People are following the call of our recent First Lady to go high when they go low.

The doors of this movement were opened by the Standing Rock Water Protectors, who stood their ground with prayerfulness and love–who still hold that space today despite continued brutality. As we move into these next weeks and months, with the constant news of some new slap in the face of justice and equality for all people, perhaps we, too, can take the name Protectors. Perhaps the protest of the day is Protection.

With the Standing Rock folks, we protect the waters, protect the earth. We protect the vulnerable displace people who are seeking asylum and new life here. We protect our neighbors of all races when they feel threatened. We protect our Muslim neighbors, our Jewish neighbors, our atheist neighbors, no matter their stance on religion. We protect our LGBTQI neighbors. We protect the children and their hope for education.

I keep getting mired in this not-knowingness–not knowing how to respond, how to protest, how to stand in the gap. Still, it helps to choose a name, an identity for the journey: Protector. Protection will not always mean quiet waiting. Sometimes it will require active resistance. Other times, it will require deep inner work to hold the safe spaces. May we be Protectors.

Gratitude List:
1. Protectors
2. Advocates
3. Contemplatives
4. Activists
5. Artists and Poets and Dreamers

May we walk in Beauty!

Water is Life

mni-wiconi1

Today’s poetry prompt is to write a “When ________” poem.

When You Sit Down
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

When you sit down to your grateful table
to celebrate the comfortable tale
of kindness and cooperation
between indigenous Americans
and the frozen, starving refugees
who sought new life in this land,

give a thought for those who stand
today upon a bridge, in frigid weather,
blasted by the water cannon,
harried by grenades and dogs,
who would preserve this land that they belong to,
who seek to protect her waters.

Remember how the now enfolds the past,
how it is wrapped within the future,
how the stories and the legends
build themselves upon each other,
how mists obscure the truth of time
as water droplets freeze on the Dakota plain.

On the Eve of this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for:
1. Organ Donors, especially the one who gave the gift of life to my friend Kyla. May her Donor’s family experience some comfort in knowing that the good strong heart of their loved one has given new life to another who is loved by oh-so-many.
2. The Water Protectors. All of them around the world, but in particular the Indigenous people of the United States who are standing for their rights and for the rights of the Earth in North Dakota, despite the constant and growing human rights violations of the forces arrayed against them. May they prevail.
3. The way new doors open in the blind places. This one may be a tight fit, but there are a thousand shades of blue over there on the other side.
4. This process: Daydream, envision, create.
5. Sweet potato quesadillas. With sour cream and super spicy tomatillo salsa.

May we walk in Beauty!