Poppy Road Review

https://poppyroadreview.blogspot.com

Thanks to Sandy Benitez for publishing my poem ‘March Madness” today.  Click on the link to take a look at this poetry journal, and if you have time, please leave a comment.IMG_6607.jpeg

And yes, I just took this photo yesterday.

Best, Elaine

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Posted in Poems | 1 Comment

Rio Caliente Noche’

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River Night                  

My daughter leaves us,

unhappy with older women 

skinny dipping, laughing

together at midnight.

We talk about Ireland and

share old stories of the troubles.

We float and gaze up at stars,

as steam rises into the night.

Swimming slowly now and then,

our bones soak in warmth.

Obsidian hills surround us here,

jacarandra tree heavy with purple bloom.

Still, we talk about crossing other borders,

how our lives have brought us here.

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Posted in poetry, Rio Caliente Mexico

Bosque La Primavera

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Primavera Forest / Bosque La Primavera

 

 

This forest holds my heart

Este bosque sostiene mi corazón

 

Rio Caliente shimmers below us

a waterfall tumble with clouds of heat

 

we climb  and scramble carefully

over rocks as we cross the heated mist

 

sharp scent of pine and mesquite crackle

under our feet as the sun warms the hillside

 

below us the convent is tucked into a curve

of river where women come to heal

 

they are washed by the river

it arrives in their innermost places as the nun

 

muy vieja brings vegetables herbs and prayer

The nun will look into your eyes to consider

 

your chances and her resources

Este bosque sostiene mi corazón

 

This river flows through my heart

 

                                     Muy Vieja -very old       Rio Caliente– Hot River

 

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Posted in Poems, Rio Caliente Mexico | Tagged

two good things today

First, A shout out to thank the Greenfield Recorder, who just featured a story about the writing group in our library that I facilitate I can’t promise that the link will work.

https://www.recorder.com/Valley-Verses-Writers-create-together-through-Warwick-workshop-23606690?utm_source=HeadlineAlerts&utm_medium=DailyNewsletter&utm_campaign=HeadlineAlerts

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Also more good news: I’m a finalist for a residency at the Hawaiian National Volcanic Park!  Cross your fingers for me!

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Posted in Poems | 4 Comments

Remembering Primavera Mexico

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The Primavera National Forest in Mexico isn’t far from Guadalajara.  It’s been a sacred place to the people who lived there long past, and they still honor their roots.  Thankfully, the area has been preserved as a National Forest. Rio Caliente wanders through, hot steam rising, and it’s wonderful to soak in her waters, once they are cool enough to enter. Black obsidian rock covers hills here and there.  like a coating of thick pudding that has hardened, with the ripples still evident.  When I’ve walked up the hillsides  I’ve picked up pieces that are just below a thin layer of dusty soil. It’s a place I stumbled into, guided by a small article in National Geographic magazine years ago, fortunately, as I’ve done some healing there, as have others. Next, to a bend in the river, there is a convent that many women traveled to as their last hope. Many had cancer, according to the Mother Superior, a tiny, fierce force of nature. She followed the church precepts she gathered herbs on the hillsides for healing and treated women with the herbs, vegetables they grew, and with the hot river water baths.  She also practiced iridology to decide how to treat her patients. I would have stayed with her to help, had I spoken Spanish well enough.  She asked mi hija, my daughter, to stay, and she helped to translate one afternoon. This poem is in memory of her and all the people of the convent. A portion of my heart remains there.   This poem is in memory of her and all the people of the convent.

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Convent in Primavera Mexico

She examines the eyes

to make her prognosis,

assesses the whole person

makes her pronouncement.

Todavia esta toxica—everything is toxic.

 She bundles three packages,

 labels written in her hand,

 herbs gathered on hillside and forest.

She knows I won’t stay here.

I know behind adobe doors there 

are women who have traveled far,

all of Mexico and the Southwest.

The convent fills with grace and prayer.

She nourishes from her garden, and

 prepares herbs gathered in the hill.

This wise old  abbess 

of fire, earth, air, and water 

the beginning and end for so many.

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Posted in nature, poetry, Rio Caliente Mexico

Yippee​ for what our Mail Woman brought

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I received this in the mail yesterday, and  I’m pretty happy about it!

Elaine

Posted in Poems | 4 Comments

If you expected a Valentine

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If You Were Expecting Valentines

If you were expecting Valentines,
it’s too late. I sent them flying out into the wind
last night.  Some  lay on the ground this morning

glistening. The roosters picked them up one

by one and gave them to their sweethearts, showing
they are indeed more than just a list of drumsticks,
with extra for the soup pot.  By the way, for Valentines Day
I’m making a big pot of chicken soup. It’s simmering on
the stove now. And snow begins to fall.

 

 

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cards made from two paintings by elaine reardon

 

Posted in Poems, poetry, valentines day | 2 Comments

Dear Winter

 

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Dear Winter

With anticipation, I imagine you are with

your usual entourage this week, at a

pre-party event featuring meteor showers.

 

Lace-winged snow clumps will spiral

downward, loosened from nimbus clouds, 

just as I open the curtains in the morning.

 

A night of cold complete with thin

ice sheets that crackle and explode

when we walk to collect the newspaper.

 

Delft jays will shout from bare branches

every stalk and bent seed head will sparkle

frost sequins under the moonlight.

 

Finally, a shooting star will blaze when

we bring in the cat, the last thing at midnight.

 

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Posted in Poems | 2 Comments

“Bless me Brigid, For I have ….”

 

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gravestone in the churchyard in Glencolumkille, Donegal

 

The prospect of fishbones stuck in my throat,
 robbing me of the ability to breathe,
 with the offending bone growing larger by the second.
 This vision sent me to church on St. Blaise’s’ Day with great urgency.  It sent me into the confession box 
so that I’d have communion as extra protection,
 along with Saint Blaise, to protect me from a death 
caused by fishbones stuck in my throat.

In early memories, dad carried me to church, 
and I was two or three years old. Dad had explained about Saint Blaise.  I remember the candles crossed at my timid neck as I knelt
 and breathed in a sigh of relief, sure to be safe for another year. 
I worried that my mother wasn’t with us, her not being Catholic, and hoped 
my fervent prayer would extend the blessing and protection to her as well.

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Now, the truth is, I sat down to write a piece about Brigit, both Goddess 
and Saint. Brigit has more fine stories and followers than you could shake a stick at 
and far more than St. Blaise, who turns out to be Armenian bishop who was martyred, and lived
 roughly a few hundred years before Saint Brigit was in Ireland as a saint. Personally, I find this 
interesting, as I’m half Irish and half Armenian, and here haven’t I split the celebrating and thanking between them, always. One bringing hope and protection, the other to guard my Irish throat against the many hidden fish bones lurking in our suppers. This is a link that will take you to information on St. Blaise:
https://aleteia.org/2016/02/03/the-real-story-behind-the-churchs-tradition-of-blessing-throats/

Now, in a happier tradition for myself, with Brigit, I enjoy having some seed packets ready for planting. I’ll say a prayer over them, and light candles.  I’ll give the wood stove a good cleaning, and set a fine fire. I’ll imagine the first stirring of life in the seeds, although it’s too early for planting here, aside from a few things begun indoors.  I sit comfort of the fire, feed it birch so it burns brightly, and make a bit of music to honor the woman who crossed over party lines to work both as Goddess and Saint so powerfully.     This is a link  to a bit more information:
http://www.angelfire.com/journal/ofapoet/brigid.html

Welcome to my home, hearth, and blog,
  Brigit. And give my best to St. Blaze as well.

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Elaine Reardon

Bless me Father,  for I  still have visions of fish bones.

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The spectacle of fishbones stuck in my throat,
 robbing me or my family of the ability to breathe,
 with the offending bone growing larger by the second.
 This vision sent me to church on St. Blaise’s’ Day with great urgency.  It urged me into the confession box 
so that I might also have communion as extra protection,
 along with Saint Blaise, to protect me from a death 
caused by fishbones in this instance, stuck in my throat.

In early memories, dad carried me to church, 
and I was two or three years old. Dad had explained about Saint Blaise.  I remember the candles crossed at my timid neck as I knelt
 and breathed in a sigh of relief, sure to be safe for another year. 
I worried that my mother wasn’t with us, her not being Catholic, and hoped…

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Posted in Poems | 1 Comment

Penny Novack, Guest Poet

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 Penny is a friend who is a poet, an activist, and a role model and inspiration to many.
When I read this poem I asked her if she’d like to share it. The first stanza grabbed me, and I thought you folks would appreciate her writing.
This from Penny:
I’m a few years still from 80 and have been writing poetry for most of those years.   This and one other came to me during the High Holy Days perhaps ten years ago.  It speaks to the humanness of those who dealt with the entirety — not just the camps — and of those who still grieve but live and remember.

Penny

Ordinary People

Ordinary people, such as yourself,

Such as myself,

Were taken from their homes, their workplace,

The streets

Ordinary children, such as your children,

Such as our grandchildren —

All the generations

Were taken

Or simply killed in their homes,

In their places of work,

In the streets.

In the camps, hidden in cellars,

Ordinary people gathered the corners of their lives

Together around them,

Became for a time the whole of all generations past

Some in despair

Some in anger

Some in hope

In the midst of the Holocaust was life

Each breath must do for all who had died.

In the midst of the Holocaust was a memory

Tied to ancestors back to Abraham,

Back to Moses

Back to David

Back to Babylon and Rome.

When you have been in exile you know

You are now the voice of those who have died.

You were brought out of Mitzraim.

You were returned to Jerusalem from Babylon.

You were scattered and scoured time and again.

As we live and have breath

We are the voices of the Holocaust.

Ordinary people such as yourself,

Such as myself,

Still teach our children and remember.

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Posted in Poems | Tagged