I have taken the last few months off from the world for some internal reflection. The death of four people in my family in 12 months caused me to turn inward, to withdraw socially and surround myself with only my greatest loves: husband, family, books, poetry, home, open spaces, neighborhood walks, and yes, I will admit, binge watching High Fidelity and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Thank you Rob and Midge for making me laugh.
And now it is Spring and out my writing window I see yellow daffodils, orange pansies and purple hellebore. The 70 year-old camellia is laden in the softest of pink blooms and the neighbor’s cherry trees are ready to pop.
And for those of you who have followed my “car wash” photos, last week I took my car to get washed and began taking pictures for the 2020 series.
I submitted five new poems (the first submission in almost a year) and heard yesterday a journal in Galway, Ireland called Dodging the Rain will publish them in May and June.
By allowing myself permission to withdraw from the world for awhile, to grieve and acknowledge the losses, the color bursting before me is calling my name to rejoin the ranks.
Or it could have been the Prozac. Either way, I am doing just fine.
I am honored to have my poem “Postcard” included in Snapdragon – A Journal of Art and Healing. This is is a lovely online journal that publishes work quarterly with “the goal of providing a platform and build a community among established and emerging poets, writers and artists, who find art to be a catalyst for self-discovery.”
This poem began in Paris, took a jaunt to Ireland and Australia, and found its permanent home in America. How poems come about is as interesting to me as actually writing them, and so if you are a believer that art heals and would like to support their mission, please consider subscribing to this fine publication. My poem is in the Summer 2019 Issue – 5.2.
Here is a teaser though. The poem begins here, where I am standing.
I am honored to have my poem “Pub Tour in the Wicklow Mountains” published by Tales From The Forest. This poem found the perfect home back in Ireland where it all began.
May you all have adventures, may you find magic in the chance encounter, may you sit with strangers and know the words to songs they sing, may you have moments where the predictable gets tossed out the car window and you inhale the mystery of dark hills filled with secrets.
While sitting at a picnic table eating an apple and cheese I was staring North at the beauty of Mt. St. Helens in the Cascade Mountain Range. I felt grateful I had the good luck to be born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.
I was also marveling at my younger self who had climbed this very mountain 30 years earlier shortly after it had blown its top.
How had I done it? Now it seemed like an almost impossible task. And yet, I did it the same way I write a poem, word by word, line by line, stanza by stanza, step by step until you reach a destination and know you have finally arrived.
And then, like after writing a poem, you look around and see the world through new eyes.
Often a poem helps me remember what I don’t want to forget or to be grateful for the ordinary moments where connection is made or sometimes, to truly see something for the first time.
And so while looking at a beautiful mountain, thinking this is enough, I turn and see a halo around the sun. A sight I never remember having seen in my lifetime. And suddenly, there it is—all your longing hanging in the sky, waiting for you to feed its hunger.
The poet invites us to share in her pursuit of identity; to witness the dramatization of the daily events of his/her experience so closely resembling our own; to be haunted by the imagery of her dreams or the flowing stream of his consciousness; to eavesdrop on relationships with friends and lovers; to absorb the shock of her deep seated fears.
I am delighted to be sharing a reading venue with poets Meredith Clark and Lynne Ellis for this event. We will be reading on Saturday, April 6th from 5:00 – 5:45 PM, at Dick and Jane’s Spot in downtown Ellensburg, Washington.
If you are interested in hearing poems about the passage of time, impermanence and memory, come on down and say hi. I’d love to see you.
We all read together in January at Mother Foucault’s Bookshop where I had the opportunity to hear Melissa read from her new chapbook-RUPTURE, LIGHT.
RUPTURE, LIGHT is a book filled with poems that speak both to the personal and universal. The poems in this collection take us on a journey through the worlds of pregnancy, children, and marriage, and with this poet’s keen eye, helps us see both the transitory nature of the domestic scenes and their continued ability for rebirth: It turns out life is a will/an overfed bulb/that can be forced to bloom again/and again.
Hope is never forsaken in these poems, but as a keen observer the poet lets us know that all we love is leaving us: In the graveyard,/the snow softens the stones/while we walk, idle talk about how/we’ll be buried//You want to live forever/in the canyon we love,/your skin and bone/become sugar pine/and chaparral.
Reeser is a poet who tells us head on: there is one grief/inside of everything. And in the end, this ability to not shy away, is the very thing that allows the love of all she holds dear, to be gathered close with exquisite care, where there is nothing left to do but take it/tender in my hands,/try to soothe/its hunger.
I highly recommend you put RUPTURE, LIGHTon your poetry reading list and if you are in Portland catch Melissa reading at Cardinal Club on March 29th/5:30-6:30 PM.