Dreams

 

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This is another poem that was first published in the sleep health journal published at Sleepy Head Journal https://sleepyheadcentral.com. 

 

 

Dreams                                      1

In my sleep

I grab soft 

handfuls of wool 

thick with lanolin 

red clover and lavender

mingled in

I dream that I turn to you 

in a scratchy field of grass 

when shaky legged lambs 

bend over us

obscuring the sun

Like small cumulus clouds 

with floppy ears

the lambs dip their heads to eat 

dandelions and heartsease

chew bouquets of herby goodness

and eye us                    still in bed

still dreaming them.

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Do you keep a dream journal, or notice any patterns to your dreams? Have you tried to change your sleep pattern? If so, what’s helped you?  Do you have certain things you do before bed that help you to sleep well?  Please share in the comments section. Wishing you good sleep.

 

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Warwick Winter Writing Wednesdays: January 30-February 27

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Winter’s Guardian

I hope some of you that live close by can make this! It’ll be fun, creative, and low key.
We’ll sip tea and share the evening. I’ll open the library and put on the teapot at 6:15.
Welcome!
The Warwick Free Public Library is pleased to announce Warwick Winter Writing Wednesdays, a series to be held from January 30-February 27 on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8 pm at the Warwick Library, located at 4 Hotel Road in the center of town.
This program is free for anyone: for those new to writing, or folks that have been writing for a while and just want to come and try something different. Fun but focused, the core of this course will be weekly writing exercises and a longer piece of writing. These writings may grow into finished poetry, memoir, or flash. The focus is poetry, but if you’d prefer writing prose narrative, you’re also welcome. We’ll work from initial impulse to final edits.
To register call the Warwick Library at 978-544-7866 (Mon 10-4, Tues 1-8), Thurs 5-8, Sat 10-12:30) or email warwick@cwmars.org or elainereardonpoetry@gmail.com
Elaine is a poet, herbalist, educator, and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, won first honors from Flutter Press. In 2018 Elaine won the Beal Poetry Prize, 3rd place, (11/18), was a Writers Digest finalist, and was shortlisted at the Hammond House Poetry contest. Most recently Elaine’s poetry and essays have been published by Crossways Journal, UCLA Journal, Automatic Pilot, Sleep-ZZZ Journal, and several anthologies in Europe. View her website at elainereardon.wordpress.com.
Posted in Poems | 4 Comments

Go To Sleep, Now

 

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My favorite Angel Protector on O’Connell Street, Dub.

 

This is a poem I wrote a while ago, tongue in cheek, for the Sleepy Head Journal https://sleepyheadcentral.com. It was published there last winter. In the United States good sleep has become an important issue for many people, and it can be a bit like hunting unicorns. If you are one of the many folks dealing with broken sleep patterns you may find something you’ve tried in this list. If not, you may find some musical or herbal inspiration. Recently I learned that when we are in the deepest levels of sleep our brains go through a kind of ‘self-cleaning’ cycle. During the middle of the night, our liver works as well, according to Chinese medicine. So it’s important to sleep, and find some deep level uninterrupted sleep. The website above has a lot of helpful information.

Do you have a something you do that helps you to sleep on those nights you find it doesn’t come easy?  Please share under the comments at the end of the blog.

 

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Our Lady of Fatima, from Davey’s church in Dublin, (maybe St. Martin’s)

 

 

Go To Sleep

Warm milk, chamomile tea in the Peter Rabbit mug. 

Then alprozolam, clonazepam, temazepam, Mozart

Chopin, Bach, onto          chanting and breath yoga

Next, counting backward and breathing slow

On to walking—but not too fast,

yoga, qi gong, and mediation’s touch.

Then kava, and chamomile, liver support,

hawthorn, l-theanine, GABA, 5htp,

 passionflower, adrenal support for anxiety. 

Memory foam mattress on the bed

soft warm blankets tucked just right, 

contoured pillow under my head.

Thick curtains close out moonlight.

Come to bed

sleep.

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Posted in Poems, sleep health

Cold Starlit Nights

 

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Getting used to something

I’ve gotten used to the sounds
deep in a winter night,
the loud crack of ice from the brook,
a sharp ping of the wood stove
reaching some new temperature,
muffled tumbles of a smoldering log,
the creak of floorboards
as if someone walked quietly.

Downstairs the refrigerator motor hums,
the water heater readjusts.
What is shifting inside this house with me,
I wonder, content, then roll back to sleep.
The snow loosens its grip on the roof
slides with a grand whoosh,
louder than any wild animal outside.

 

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Happy New Year

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Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

It’s New Year’s Eve afternoon and I sit here at my kitchen table while the woodstove warms  I I think back on 2018, and all of the people I have met from the places I visited like Ireland,  and New Mexico, and how very much I appreciate those times spent with the folks I met. Of course, there are close friends that live close by, in this forest community, where so many of us will gather tonight and tomorrow, under sleet, snow, and rain.
Whether we’ve been friends for a short or a long time I wish you a healthy New Year filled with abundance.
May 2019 be a year filled with blessings for you and your loved ones.
elaine
Posted in Poems | 2 Comments

TIME

Readers Respond/ Precious

 This post is from Heloisa Prieto, from Brazil.

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Luiz Felippe Prieto, my father, had two nicknames along his life: “Jim from the Jungle”, from the old 60´s TV show, which was later replaced by “Indiana Jones”. A champion swimmer, he spent his childhood playing around in a Guarani community near the beach of Santos and, as an adult, he became an activist for indigenous land and culture preservation. He loved forests and always complained about having to live in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest capital. He loved driving fast on highways, reading two or three books before bedtime, constantly having lots of friends over the house, reading two newspapers and the Bible early in the morning, spending hours speaking on the cell, writing in social media, listening to music and playing with his grandchildren in the swimming pool. His idea of retirement would exhaust anyone around. There was no such a concept as hyperactivity. My mother called him a “force of nature” and she loved his open, adventurous ways.

Yet, my father kept a large collection of broken alarm clocks. He looked after them carefully, without ever having them fixed. My grandmother warned him against bad luck: “broken clocks can make your life go backward”, she said. My mother disagreed: “time must have a stop”, she stated, with her wise, charming voice. 

I have kept his clocks and love to have them around when I write, meditate, or just sit and gaze out of the window, as my own, secret contemplation practice, trying to jump out of time, into eternal memories to feed my soul. After all, storytelling is my way of life and “once upon a time” a password to a magical land of broken clocks and wholesome dreams

You can visit Heloisa at https://www.facebook.com/HeloisaPrieto

 

Posted in Poems

Take Joy

 

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from the Vatican

 

 

We dwell each day in darkness longer than light. Soon, little by little, the light returns. The sun doesn’t clear the tall hemlocks until 9:15 am. It’s below the trees by one pm, so the shadows begin to grow early in the afternoon. This time of year I’m reminded of a Hanukkah many years ago, when my friend  Bruce visited and realized it was the first night of Hanukkah. He dug out a very large carrot, sculpted holes with a potato peeler, and we had our Menorah. It remains, many years later, one of the sweetest rituals of this time of year for me.

This prayer is also another ritual. My daughter Jenny & I would read Tasha Tudor’s Christmas Book, and we’d be sure to read this aloud and think upon it and reflect.  I’d like to share this prayer with you, from that book. May you have Joy.  May you have Peace. May you be warm and safe.

Take Joy

I salute you! There is nothing
I can give you which you have not;
but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts
find rest in it today.
Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden
in this present instant.
Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow;
behind it yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take Joy.

And so…I greet you with the prayer that for you,
now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Written in a letter to a friend by Fra Giovanni.
Christmas Eve 1513 A.

 

 

 

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A small abandoned town, in Tuscany, Italy.

 

 

 

 

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view from the small hilltop town in Tuscany

 

Posted in Poems | 1 Comment

Readers Response– What is Precious

This response is from Sharon Harmon, of Royalston MA. Thank you, Sharon.

                                                      LITTLE GIRLS DRESSES

Years ago, when my cousin Joanne was stationed with her husband and son in

Germany, she sent a darling little green “Heidi” style dress and pinafore to her niece

Tracey. Never having a daughter of her own she liked having a little girl to spoil. Little

did she know of all the joy it would bring to so many little girls. When Tracey outgrew

it, it was given to cousin Roseanne. From Roseanne, it went to her cousin Brandy.

Brandy passed it on to her cousin Shonna, then Shonna’s sister Tessa, from there it

went to their cousin Shannon. Twenty-three years after Tracy got it, it was given to

baby cousin Molly who wore it a few years later. They all wore it in holiday pictures.

\Seven little girls got a chance to enjoy that darling little dress. 

Posted in Poems | 3 Comments

Readers Respond– What is Precious

I’ve asked readers to respond to my What is Precious posting.  This is the first response. I look forward to sharing more stories from all of you from all parts of the world.  This response comes from Dorothy, in Western MA, US.

One piece of furniture I treasured that I carted around for many moves from 1974-2011 was an old kitchen hoosier cabinet with cupboards and rolltop cover pulled down in front of jars of flour. It had an enamel counter area for rolling pie crusts and assembling ingredients for baking. It resided in the kitchens of my winter rentals and was stored in my parent’s basement in the summers. Then it was in the kitchen of a commune in Maine that I was involved with for a year and a half while we ran a natural foods restaurant. After the restaurant closed and the commune split up it was stored on the porch of my next house with all kinds of odds and ends and tools stashed in it.  Next, it was in my bedroom filled with books and office stuff.  My relationship ended, my dad died, and I decided to do some traveling and stored it again during the four years I traveled and lived in OR, WA, CA,, and AZ. I reclaimed it when I returned to MA in 1985.  Its last home for 18 years was in my kitchen on Conway St. in Greenfield where I stored flour in the old flour jars from the ’20s and where I rolled pie crusts out on the counter and used it for food storage, the same  as when I was a little girl and it was in the kitchen of my childhood home. My mom had it for at least 20 years before I was born. When we had a fire at the house on Conway St. the cabinet survived but it needed some restoration work.  A neighbor bought it and I like to think it got fixed up and is still in someone’s kitchen holding jars of flour beans and rice and that someone is still rolling out piecrusts on the counter.–   Dorothy McIver

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what becomes precious

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One artifact that I brought out of childhood into my current age is a maple three drawer bureau. My parents took me to the furniture store, our first shopping expedition together. When they chose this bureau I was disappointed, but they bought it anyway. It reminded me of our well-worn maple kitchen table & chairs. In writing this, I realize it was only the second piece of furniture they bought together after they got bedroom furniture.  We were an immigrant family and lived in an extended household, so there was no ‘new flat’ to set up.

The bureau stayed with me for most of my life despite several attempts to offload it. It came back!  Underwear and pajamas in the top drawer, shirts, and pants in the second, and best clothes for special times in the bottom drawer. I’d hide poems I wrote from my mom under the paper lining in the drawers, and when she cleaned ( she must have been some cleaner) she’d find them, no matter which drawer they were hidden in.  

I got married when I was twenty-one years old and happily left this bureau behind.I was finally done with the purchase I had never wanted. Six years later I was pregnant and began to gather baby furniture. Aunt Delores gave me her no longer needed crib and an old carriage. I found a changing table someplace, and finally, I retrieved the old maple dresser, grudgingly. It was kind of a campy furniture piece by now, old-fashioned. But it was solid maple, and I found nothing that was constructed as well. I stocked baby clothes & diapers in it, put a small lamp & music box on the top. The baby, Jenny, learned how to crawl out of the crib onto the top of the bureau when she was two. She didn’t go far. Jenny just sat there waiting to be lifted off,  and I moved the bureau across the room.

A couple of years later my husband & I separated. When I ‘floated’ for some months looking for a place to live the bureau returned to its house of origin to be stored, right back to the same unused sun porch I used to sleep in. It remained there during the summer as I worked at several conference centers, and sought permanent work and housing. Finally, I found a regular job and a new home. We picked up the maple bureau and other furniture.  It became my daughter’s bureau then until she went away to college. It came back into my use then.

Now I admire how its made—solid wooden draws dovetailed together. It no longer holds clothes. Rather, it holds other necessary things. The top drawer holds checkbooks, extra pens, an extension cord, and office supplies. The second draw holds frankincense, myrrh, dragon’s blood, and similar chunks of incense, along with charcoal and a variety of candles. There’s also some organic tobacco and other items that might be handy for making ones own incense blend for some unusual reason,  pearls to be ground up, cornsilk, and such. There are quartz pebbles I’ve saved to make a set of rune stones. The last draw seems to be leftovers. Things that don’t fit into other categories, but are important enough to save even if I don’t remember what they are. This bureau lasted longer than anyone else I’ve lived with, has outlasted both my parents and has always accepted anything I’ve handed her without a comment.She now holds far more memories than all the clothes that were ever folded into the drawers.

This bureau stayed with me to childhood, adult life that included becoming homeless, divorced, moving to a different area, bringing up a child to adulthood. Until I wrote this piece, I hadn’t appreciated the constant presence it had in my life. Even when I had lost many belongings, this bureau kept returning.  I’d love to hear from folks that have had ‘accidental companions’ like this, some artifact that has stayed with you, and perhaps a paragraph about it.  For example,  when Dana was born, I gave him a snowman stuffed animal. When I spoke to Dana just before he went off to college this fall, I qas quite surprised to hear how precious that snowman was to him, and it still remains in his closet.  He shared that it’s one of his most precious things from childhood, and shared a story about it. I’d love to hear your stories, from all over the world.

 

 

 

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