Hosted by Kathabela Wilson
we learn to set our stones
right into the river
where life tumbles them
to an inner fire
Ο Ο Ο
If your life is growing wild
like the lilac bush outside your office window
tries to eat your house alive
take a cross-cut saw to it.
Trim it here and there.
Saw off the small nuisances
that eat up your time and energy.
Then drag them out to the curb and forget them.
You will feel lighter then.
The sun will warm your office window.
Ο Ο Ο
clear night sky
gazing at stars
such a small speck
My heart rate slows
as I light the fire.
A spark makes its way
from the stars
to deep within my core,
where it ignites my calm.
The tinder bundle
bursts into flames.
I feed this new star
fuel I ripped
from the earth’s heart,
in my gratitude,
knowing how fated it is
to burn the world
so my heart can rest
in the light of peace.
Reinventing Ourselves: Notes and Credits
Martha Deed lives on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY where her views of the canal through the woods, the birds, the deer and the fox enliven her writing. Inside the house are the papers, 150 year-old handbuilt furniture by her great grandfather, the lustre cream pitchers collected by her mother and mother-in-law. She has no descendants to pass these treasures on to, and so she documents, and donates and writes poetry and stories about them. Her poetry collections include The Kingston Mystery (mixed media, 2021), Under the Rock (FootHills, 2019), Climate Change (2014), The Last Collaboration (mixed media, Furtherfield and Friends of Spork, 2012) and many chapbooks and poems in anthologies and print and online journals. She grew up on the Hudson River in Nyack, NY, with a B.A. from the New School for Social Research in New York City and a PhD in Psychology and Pastoral Counseling from Boston University. When she wasn’t writing, she was a practicing Psychologist with particular interests in cultural aspects of personality, social justice and patient safety.
Michael Czarnecki: Sometimes I think that the most important thing we do in our lives is to create – whether poems, stories, artwork, music, children or love. 54 years ago, Mr. Kerr, my junior year high school English teacher, encouraged me to write my first poem. I haven’t stopped since. In 1985 I gave my first public reading of a poem I had written. Since then I’ve given hundreds of readings throughout the United States. I started working in schools as a poet-in-residence in 1990 and have since worked in scores of schools in numerous states around the country. Yet, that work was always something I did “on the side” after the making-a-living work, selling wine for a local winery, was done for the day. In 1995 I decided I couldn’t do that other work anymore. The work drained me, emotionally, physically, spiritually. I knew what I wanted to do – be a poet, a creative person with words. So, I quit the winery and since that time I have made a living being a poet, publisher, oral memoirist and encourager.
Now my work is my life – there is never a moment when I wish I was doing something else. I’m healthier and happier. Maybe not richer in money, but there are other types of wealth not measurable in dollars and cents.
From home on Wheeler Hill I go out into the “dust of the world,” as the old Chinese poets would say, doing the work of a poet and oral memoirist. I travel down the road and then return to settle back in on quiet, peaceful Wheeler Hill amongst my old-order Amish neighbors. The best of two worlds.
Thom Hawkins: Winter reminds us that fire is the reason we stayed on the ground after our hominid ancestors descended from the trees. How do we make peace with the cruel irony that the very thing that makes us human is destroying our habitat and that of most species on earth? The heat that comforts us in the winters has become an existential threat in the summers. This is where we find ourselves, in a mold cast long before we had anything to say about it. The way of the cosmos is a meandering path between destruction and creation. It has become impossible to ignore either, calling our hearts to courage.
I live in Glendale, but I spend every Sunday morning in Pasadena tending the Drought Vegetable Garden that I created four years ago at Throop UU Church. I moved to Glendale from Berkeley ten years ago in order to watch my two grandsons grow up. My son, their father, teaches music production online for Boston’s Berklee School of Music.
Memory Lane > You will love to visit, with M. Kei, Pauli Dutton, Reka Nyitrai, Pat Geyer, Tzetzka Ilieva and Jean Sudbury, the beauty of our related salon in 2019, "Magic Garden."
Suggest your own theme. or write Kathabela for a theme suggestion. We publish every two weeks. Send short poems, free verse, haiku, senryu, tanka, cherita, haibun, tanka prose, short prose poems, etc., or your own unique approach, to Kathabela by text message or (click here to email her directly). We can feature your work again after five months. Multiple Submissions can be saved to appear later:
- Send a short bio, with comments on your theme.
- Send photos or artwork by you, or friends.
- Put your poems directly in the email.
- No attachments except photos.
End of article
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