I water wilting plants, consider how the seasons tilt in this new age we’ve made, unroll the hose, watch insects rushing to wet pools. I consider my back fence, the possums, squirrels, and feral cats, the raucous crows who use it, running through dense maple leaves. I consider thirst and buy a water fount to give them sips. It’s said in 30 years there will be food and water riots. My hands are scented with the urgent hopes of new-planted herbs.
Profound thanks—my poem, “My Life as a Damascene Sword,” has received honorable mention in Passager’s 2019 Poetry Contest. It will appear in Passager’s contest issue, due out in September. It begins— “Heated. Beaten. I flowed like water, rushed toward flames.”
Thinking of my father today, I wrote this memory-poem.
Reading the news this morning, I was stuck by how all the words and phrases, taken randomly and out of context, still tell a story of what’s happening in the world, though in a less linear and predicable way.
The days aren’t discarded or collected, they are beesthat burned with sweetness or maddenedthe sting: the struggle continues,the journeys go and come between honey and pain.No, the net of years doesn’t unweave: there is no net.They don’t fall drop by drop from a river: there is no river.Sleep doesn’t divide life into halves,or action, or silence, or honor;life is like a stone, a single motion,a lonesome bonfire reflected on the leaves,an arrow, only one, slow or swift, a metalthat climbs or descends burning in your bones.
HOW TO BE A POET // Wendell Berry Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill — more of each than you have — inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity. Any readers who like your poems, doubt their judgment. Breathe with unconditional breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in. There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it.…
Out of the blue, I got an email from Jane, saying that a mutual musician friend of ours (the magical Patrice Haan) had recommended me as a website designer. And since I love working with creative clients, I dove right into making something fresh and modern for her. Jane’s roots are in her father’s favorites—Louis Jordan, Sarah Vaughan, and Gene Krupa. Her music has evolved through the decades to form her personal blend, so from one song to the next, Jane’s music moves from light jazz to heavy blues and her lyrics range from playful to the deeply spiritual. You can see why I had fun! www.JaneDeCuir.com
As Sewing is to Torn – Adrienne Asher We mend the world, our every choice a stitch in the rough bark of life. Our hopes embroider our beginnings, and look—our hands are opening into birds within some lyric tree of sound. This is all meant for worship—our beating hearts and shouted silences leaf out into a forest filled with restoration for us all. Photo: Hannah Streefkerk’s installation at Land Art Biënnale 2010 – Valkenswaard, Netherlands