Friday, December 23, 2011

December has been a blur...

For all of you who honor me by stopping in for a read now and then, thank you. I am always humbled by your support and kindnesses. As I have been away from this blog for what seems like an eternity, I can only wish I would choose to reciprocate more often and not be such a slave to time. As I look ahead to 2012, I hold hope that life in my little microcosm (as well as in the greater macrocosm of all that is) will be a little quieter, a little slower, a little kinder, a little lovelier. Whatever your belief (religious or otherwise), whatever your preferences politically, sexually, culturally… I pray we may all find the commonality of life and love to be enough to care enough to be nice to one another regardless if we agree or disagree.


May this season of giving be a bright one. I wish you all the joy your heart can handle.


I've made a tradition of writing a poem for Christmas each year and, when my mother asked if I was writing one this year (among all that we've had going on) I wasn't about to disappoint her. 

About this year’s poem: When I was young, I asked where frost and snow came from. My brother offered a scientific explanation but my father offered something magical that has remained with me all my life. Dad told me a story of a faerie named Jack who used a beautiful brush to paint the world in shimmering pearls and diamonds... This poem is for you Daddy. Thank you for the magic and maybe Jack will lend you his paintbrush for a while.

Once Upon a Winter Wind

A blanket fell from a quiet night sky as the December cold came in a rush.
No one in the city saw as old Jack Frost picked up his brush.
He’d blown in with a winter wind and strolled into a neighborhood
curious to see what he would find – a place of suffering or a world of good.

He first looked into a Christmas window full of color, warmth and light
and with quick strokes from soft bristles, he framed the glass in crystal white.
Happily hopping from fir to pine, he weighed their pretty boughs with snow.
He’d traveled quite a distance when his instincts warned that he should slow.

Aware of shadows beneath the bridge, he turned and trudged through overgrown grass
past empty vials and old newspapers – past arguments and broken glass.
Clearly Jack saw the evidence of stark hunger, pain and sorrow
and painting it all in an azure blue, he prayed for a better tomorrow.

Sitting atop an ancient oak, he toyed with a leaf as he gazed below.
He thought how strange the humans were who move so fast but learn so slow.
He hoped that by some miracle his icy art might stop the spin –
that peace and love might win the day if all of everyone were snowed in.

And as he mused, he watched a child pull a wagon loaded down
with bags and boxes full of food as she headed into town.
He followed as she made her way through his cold without a care
and climbed the stair and rang the bell and handed out her wares.

Jack could see she didn’t linger at any particular door
and overheard her say at one that she wished she could give more.
He stayed beside the little girl, blushing her cheeks with a chilly kiss
and knew that after he moved on she’d be the one he’d miss.

She’d be the symbol of his hope as he traveled through the night –
that given time and a bout of patience, the humans could get it right.
When morning woke with a splash of color, the light sparkled off the snow
and with the last stroke of his brush, Jack knew it was time to go.

Throughout that winter he’d return to walk with the little girl,
intending to cleanse with ice and snow all the worries of the world.


~ Letitia E. Minnick, Christmas 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Tired

The call came in last Sunday morning.
I heard only snips of sentences
as my world began to list sharply starboard…
Your uncle has fallen…
taking him to the ER…
you need to come now to secure the house and dog…
A voice somewhere distant
but within me
assured them I would be there as soon as I could.
And taking on a rush of dark water,
I forced myself to breathe one last breath of clear air
and dove in.
Six days at sea
with brine in my eyes
and limbs aching from swimming
through work,
tending to animals,
visiting,
reassuring,
and fighting with sharks snapping fear at a frightened man
as a means to take away his confidence
and independence
simply because he has guaranteed insurance to pay them.
And now, on the seventh day, I can see shore.
He is coming home and I will be there
with wet eyes and a weary smile
and my feet again planted firmly in the sand.

So my Friday turned into Saturday… it’s okay. I struggle to take care of all I care for and still have managed to write this week for myself. I had to smile when I saw this week’s prompt – there are no coincidences. :) Love to all… Happy December.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

Stuck Black Friday on Route 22.
Just getting across town to ambush
an unsuspecting uncle with a shoo-fly pie
and healthy helping of post-Thanksgiving love,
I couldn’t help but notice the turkey buzzard
flying overhead as shoppers honked and cursed
and jostled for the next slot to the mall parking lot—
rampant consumerism pushing past Thanksgiving
and squeezing the life out of Christmas…
We shake our heads at impatience as we listen
to Jethro Tull’s “Jack Frost And The Hooded Crow”
and finally break free of traffic to travel
long back roads past fallow fields and old red barns
to sit at the table talking of old times,
grateful to extend Thanksgiving another day.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Morning

Awake early with stiffness,
having been made a contortionist
by a small dog taking up half my side of the bed,
I find opportunity.
He sleeps
and I am free from feeling the need to be near him –
to comfort,
to care for,
to be present
as I am gone for so much of the time
for work and other obligations.
I wash dishes and feed the little bed-stealing dog
who will soon lie on the landing back in dreamland.
I see the teetering stack of mail that needs sorting
and the cobweb in the windowsill
but it is the dust dancing in a shaft of sunlight
that stops the endless list of things to do from binding tightly around my brain.
I check on my mate – still sleeping peacefully
then make the choice to sit,
to catch up with kindred spirits
unknown
but connected magically through caring and computers.
I choose to read,
to write,
to listen to the promise of a quiet Sunday morning.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Grow

At seventeen,
I thought I had things pretty much together.
At twenty-six,
I’d felt I’d reached a point of maturity
bigger than my skin.
At thirty,
I celebrated physically reaching my mental age.
Now,
battered and blessed at forty-two,
I feel another growth spurt coming on…
Tentative, I peek out from the comforter
to face new possibilities.
Putting my feet to a familiar
but unfamiliar floor, I breathe
and stand—
waiting to see
if it is just another fantasy
or finally time to let the hem out.

For those who were wondering... while the poems are always written in five minutes (or actually under five mostimes), I admit to formatting line breaks after. Thanks again to Lisa-Jo for her writing prompt and for introducing me to community of beautiful people. She has helped me to keep writing (if only briefly) at least once a week and I am truly grateful.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Unexpected

Milo wouldn’t let me sleep for a 9 minute snooze.
He just wasn’t having it this morning –
wanting breakfast,
wanting out,
wanting someone to chase him around the couch
in his circle-game of dog-is-so-much-faster-than-human.
Standing in the back yard
with his leash looped around a single finger,
wondering how I teleported here from the warm sheets,
I caught the moon
hanging in a neighbor’s tree –
a lone light, bright and full and smiling softly.
Milo looked up at me and wagged,
somehow having known
I needed this peace
more than sleep.

He is such a good little Zen dog… :)


Please, Join in...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Remember

A swirl of cigar smoke
steadily brushed to my face and beyond
by brine-filled breezes and spray
from the water ever-crashing at our feet,
the moon sliding behind
dark cotton-candy clouds
then peeking out again to see if we were still watching…
Alone
and not alone
on that prohibited night beach,
surrounded by shadows of unknown ancestors
and wrapped in the fullness of being together
quiet
in the cacophony of wind and waves
etching our revered moment into memory.



Please visit The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday... and a wealth of inspiration and smiles.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Relevant

Chasing after the demands
desires
dreams of others
having that sense of responsibility
duty
obligation to please
I see myself with each moment growing more pale
more transparent
more invisible
and in the dark if I allow
the silence to quiet my thoughts
I can feel an arm around me
permitting me to feel
the fatigue
the pain
the loss of myself
and with the night’s tears dried
I sit typing before this mirror for my mind
to find myself solid again
my desires
my dreams again relevant.


Thanks again to The Gypsy Mama and all the others who join in the Five Minute Friday for your inspiration.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

My love has struggled to see
beyond the cataract of his right eye,
beyond the hemorrhaging of his left,
beyond the general condition
of his being,
his control
and my ability to fix it.
I waited for him
to finally stand at the edge of acceptance
so we could jump
together blind
beyond the known
and fully embrace the free-fall of hope.

I love you Greg. Thank you for trusting me… I promise I will never let go.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Catch

Here I sit –
again up extra early to pay bills before work
to cram as much as possible
into an hour and a half before
I cram as much as is demanded in eight.
Numbers added,
subtracted,
and triple-checked,
I close the planner and
grab the mouse to shut down
and catch myself.
It’s Friday
and I made a promise
to me…


Thanks Gypsy Mama for helping me to keep that promise...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

Having fastened off for a new color,
I turn the last row of single-crochet and look
across the room at the man sleeping on the couch
with his hand draped over the dog
sleeping on the floor.
The sound of gentle snoring,
more from the dog than from the man, mingles
with the drone of engines and talking heads on the television
as cars chase each other in an endless oval of left-turns.
An uneventful afternoon fills my soul
with a snapshot of heaven.

Thanks again to The Gypsy Mama for her inspiration...




A Cook’s Tour

I rise before the sun,
washing, dressing,
preparing for another day
of pushing paper and dodging drama.
With back and joints screaming to return to bed,
I plop myself instead
into the old thrift store orange vinyl chair
ready for inspiration.
Nothing.
No external prompt to prod my muse.
Sitting shocked,
unintentionally holding my breath,
I stretch my fingers for the keys
and start to drive without direction
or destination.
Disappointment takes a soft left
as words skip onto the electronic page.
I smile in spite of myself
feeling like I’ve just found an empty field
full of fireflies.

I’m noticing a lot of road and driving metaphor in my work lately. Perhaps my subconscious is going somewhere… or demanding that I do. ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On the Great Road Trip of Life

I've added two pages in an attempt to round out the blog. One is the history and acknowledgment page "What brought me to this and people who matter..." and the other is "Work in Print" which lists my published portfolio. The tabs are at the top of the page if you are interested in knowing some of where I come from as a writer.

Please let me say that although I believe past accomplishments are important, I don't think it's wise to "lean" on them. I don't want to miss the life before me by looking too much in my rear-view mirror. I've included these pages to honor and bless where I've been and now look forward to the road ahead.

Just so you know, I have plenty of room left in this land yacht of life experience so feel free to hitch a ride for a while... everyone's welcome and I ALWAYS have something to talk about. ;)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Friends...

Close to the heart yet miles away
some known for years
etched into memory with a soft-bristled brush of many colors
others virtually unknown
yet inspiring
all encouraging me to reclaim
my work
my vision
myself

Points of light in life’s night sky
shining my way home


With much gratitude to The Gypsy Mama for her weekly opportunity to stretch…



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brushing off some dust…

Going back through old journals can be enlightening… especially when I find poems I don’t remember writing. The following is one such poem followed by one I chose to write in response to express how (over time) things have changed. 

Where I was…

August 24, 2009

Somehow, someway,
I need to find the ability to adapt
in my own home
to a woman who – by delusion or deceit –
will not respect me
or the simplest requests I would make of her.

My home has become a darker place
laden with anxiety
full of negativity
where I have no privacy from the prying eyes
of a pitiful woman
who chooses to leach life
over living a life of her own.
            God, grant me grace…

…and now two years later.

On Her Eightieth

Sitting quietly with a small smile
happy for new sneakers
and a movie magazine,
she listens as her loving son regales her of recent events.

The color’s returned to her cheeks
and she’s gained a few much-needed pounds.
She’s softer,
rounder,
more engaged
with light in her eyes and shine to her silver hair.

She caught me
wistfully watching her
as her son continued his conversation
and slowly broadened her smile
to a lovely grin.

A tender moment of unspoken understanding
came
and passed between us
until she again refocused her full attention
to her son.

A scene
impossible
not six months ago
played out with simple ease,
love, compassion and the realization
that time
and distance
can heal some wounds.

Happy Buckshot

Moving like a mouse
who’s eaten to the bottom of a once-full coffee jar,
ideas increase in intensity,
lighting new ways to more exciting possibilities –
each more palatable than the last.
With focus only sustained in panoramic plains on telephoto test-shots,
my creative cup runs over
to fill yet another project basket
and tumble to a haphazard heap at the base
of a twisted cerebral staircase.

Skidding

The days have become brighter –
calmer.
The tilt-a-whirl has slowed down and
I almost feel like it is safe to jump off.

Almost.

Then I wake with a foreboding –
something I’ve forgotten or
seem to have forgotten.
And in the shower
scrubbing myself clean,
I am suddenly aware of the vertigo –
standing somewhere just off center
reaching out
for what can only be found within.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Re-connection


A span of time
shattered
by a single phone call.
Years thought gone
blink into the present
never having been lost
but simply unspoken.

Within moments memories glow –
burning off the dust of silence
as the warmth of remembered light
begins to hum again.

                                          ~ For D.




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Colorful Caller

Brightly lit with morning sun,
a cluster of tiny purple flowers
sways in gentle rhythm
with the breeze only
to be bent
ever-so-slightly
by a black and iridescent blue swallowtail.
 
Rice paper wings flutter
and the visitor is gone --
a fleeting moment etched into life’s eternal memory.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just Musing…

I’ve decided to post some of my older poetry… the stuff that never saw the light of day (Incident at the White Dove Laundromat was written sometime last year). As I come across my little thoughts stuffed in drawers and "lost" in mounds of office clutter, I’ll share the ones I feel are worthy. However, rest assured that this blog is about staying inspired and creative and not about reliving what was. I’ve been published repeatedly in college literary mags but that was years ago. I guess now it’s more about the poetry and less about being recognized as a poet. Goodness… I guess I am getting old. ;)

Incident at the White Dove Laundromat


Three weeks of laundry
unceremoniously stuffed into six machines
cramming every crevice of a dollar-fifty wash.
Ignoring the accusing stares of my fellow patrons,
I plummet into a pre-molded plastic chair
to watch the waves of fabric
churn clockwise
then counter-clockwise
then spin
in a tornado of clean clothing.
The heavy-duty industrial washer sounds off
like a jet on a runway—
shaking like a rage-filled beast
ready to explode.
Bleary-eyed, I sit
directly across from the spectacle
wondering what will kill me—
the impact of a self-destructing spin cycle
or the realization of having to fold
three weeks of laundry.

Monday, August 8, 2011

2:30 Cubicle Crawl


A digital clock does not “tick-tock”
and the absence of sound disturbs me.
In the system’s vacuum of atomic time
the mind-numbing monotony of pushing paper has reached
its pinnacle
and I sense the fugue descending –
silent and insidious.
Rubbing arms for warmth and failing
an attempt to re-focus,
I fight
the bubbling resentment of a basket full of bills
and losing lottery tickets –
without which I wouldn’t be here.
A digital clock does not “tick-tock”
and without sound
there is no illusion of progress.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Appetizer


Hiding behind a bitmap mask,
I place the plate on the public platform
and watch
for signs of interest.

Fearing finicky palates that would find my fare
too sweet,
too salty,
too bitter,
too bland,
I cross my arms and lean 
against a nonexistent support
and wait.

And Here I Am... Again.

It seems I run in circles... chasing my tail in an effort to come back to who I am. I guess I am not so different from a lot of people - especially as I face my 42nd birthday. Middle-age. What does that mean exactly?
I have been struggling to "get back to my poetry" to "find time" to "come back to center." Trying... and therein lies the problem: trying and not doing. Very recently I have searched for a writing community for inspiration and camaraderie and I've come away dissatisfied and restless. I do not fault the online and local communities. It's definitely me not them. So... here I am again looking at the computer screen and realizing the gift I was given so many years ago. The Nun never goes away. She just sits, contemplates, and waits for me to come home.