Friday, October 29, 2004

Sun Catcher ...

A film of frost

gathered the gold
of morning sun
on the window,
poured it softly,
like warm milk,
into the kitchen
where Delia
stood working,
embracing her
with a radiance
like the words
of her prayer
being whispered
to the music
of preparations
for another day.

© 1998

(originally published in A New Song)

Delia was my grandmother. I can still see her in that cold kitchen, the old wood-burning stove starting to throw out some heat, the skillet in place, waiting for warmth, a dab of oleo, an egg.
The kitchen faced west, but there was a side window that caught a bit of the morning sun. That's where the "film of frost gathered the gold ... poured it softly, like warm milk ... "
Of course, our memories become polished with much handling ... they take on a sheen far beyond that of the original event, and that has happened with this mental picture I still carry with me.
Oh, how I treasure it.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Beach Music ...

Waves come tumbling

onto the docile shore,
flinging foamy fingers
across the ochre plane.
Teeming with bubbles,
they search and settle,
soothingly diminuendo,
on a healing chord.
Eliciting a sigh
from pliant, sandy keys,
the fingers slide off
into the lap of the sea,
where joyous whitecaps
merrily urge them,
jostle and encourage them
to play it all again.

© 1998

(originally published in Capper's)

When it all began ...
Ah, there's a thought. It all began, I suppose, with that first acceptance for publication. An alert editor at Capper's spotted eight lines lurking near the middle of a longer poem I had submitted. She suggested that we keep those eight lines and my title, and that became:
Chance of Rain
The rain comes
in great galloping gulps,
faster than the soil
can sop it up.
It drums on the roof,
dances in the yard,
all the way down the hill.
For sentimental reasons, this became the title poem ... nine years later ... in my first collection of poetry, Chance of Rain, published by Finishing Line Press.
Perhaps it began in mid-February, when it occurred to me that I could get some additional mileage out of my published poems by posting them online ... and sometimes explaining them ... along with samples of my paintings and photography. (Today's art is my watercolor entitled "Surf's Up").
That was the beginning of "Chosen Words," this online journal which has been blessed with more visitors than I ever dreamed would come its way. I especially appreciate all those electronic pats on the back which have made this a much easier trip than I thought it would be.
Perhaps it all began long, long ago, in Cobden, that small town in Southern Illinois where Miss Pearl, my eighth grade teacher, instilled a love of reading and struck the spark that would later become writing, real writing. It may have been with my grandmother, who first read to me.
It's hard to tell.
All of these things eventually led to "Chosen Words." And when this online journal, this new adventure, began in mid-February, I had no idea it would be one of those achieving featured status on AOL, as I understand it just has.
I am, of course, delighted.
Tonight the adventure continues with a book signing for Chance of Rain in Reader's Choice Bookstore, Centerville, Ohio.
And tomorrow? Tomorrow I resume dancing on the table.