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Leave your words on the doorstep.
It’s time to come in and listen
Without movement.
Allow yourself to love
Without judgement.
Allow yourself to partake
Of whatever your Host will offer.
Enjoy, digest,
And rest.
When connection has been made,
And the light of your heart rekindled,
Your Beloved will open the door,
And you will put on your words
To step out into the world.

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Coming Back

It’s been almost two months since I’ve added to my blog/website. The last time I sat down to write in my studio, I struggled to stay awake, and making myself focus on putting words on a page was actually psychically painful.

But being away from writing, from what I know I love despite having trouble connecting with it, must be temporary – I can’t let it get stuck in my mind as “the way I am now”.

After I get physically sick, I love the feeling of getting better, even more than just feeling good in the first place. The contrast between nonfunctional misery with slow-moving contentment is so delicious.

With migraines, I’ve been lying in my bed, crying from head/body pain, nauseous and miserable. When I’m finally able to walk without feeling like I might faint or throw up, I feel so elated and free. At first I only take a couple of steps before I have to stop and catch my breath, but compared to the state of incapacity I had been in, those two steps feel like flying.

But when I go through a period of not writing, instead of feeling good about starting to move again, I spend a lot of time kicking myself for being down in the first place, for not moving with vigor and strength.

Why can’t I give myself grace to ease back into writing the same way I recover from an illness? Instead of feeling joy at tiny signs of recovering, my inner critic says mean things to me, like, “What’s the point?” “You call this writing?” Instead of looking at just enjoying the sweet existence of words, just being with them, even if I’m not crafting them into clever and inciteful poems and stories, I am writing.

It’s time to quit telling myself that whatever sickness or glitch I experienced is the “new normal” and that efforts to write well are in vain.

The rain has stopped. Clouds are parting. Words are settling themselves down into sentences, at my request.

And I am easing into writing again.

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Shaping a Poem

I wrote a poem this morning, and after a few iterations, I formed it into a shape. That would classify it as “shape poetry”, “concrete poetry”, or a “calligram”.

The inspiration was the used state of my coffee cup, which had six horizontal ring lines in it. After I’d written several drafts, I realized that the poem could have six lines, too. And several drafts later, the shape of a coffee cup emerged.

The name of the poem is Stratigraphy. I didn’t know how to get the formatting to work in Word Press, so I ended up posting a picture of it as seen on my computer screen.

Please find Stratigraphy under Poems.

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Jonah, First Person Present

I have my marching orders.
My path is firmly set.
But the fear of risk and harm,
Fill me with regret.

Haven’t I worked long and hard?
This is the final straw.
Escaping threat of land life,
I sail into the maw
Of the ocean’s mammoth native,
Who, upon me, snaps his jaw.

Whale, big and hollow,
Like I am, only huge,
No rescuer can follow
Lest be swallowed by deluge.

I’m alone within the vasty deep,
Leviathan’s domain,
Moving far away from
Once comfortable terrain,
Alone and clothed in shadow,
But protected all the same.

The darkness isn’t friendly,
But it doesn’t pose a threat.
No stomach acid here,
I’m just dripping water-wet.

Neither warm nor chilly,
I sit in smallish cave,
In the deepest depths of time out,
Which could chasten or deprave,
Reminding of the way
A human mammal should behave.

I can’t sit still for too long,
And I don’t set well as food.
I’m not a tasty morsel,
And I wreck the large beast’s mood.

Soon the muscle tremors
Undulate and squeeze,
My visit nearly over,
I feel a final heave:
The monster vomits violently,
Forcing me to leave.

I toss and twirl in agony,
Confusion and dismay,
Not knowing which is up or down,
Or if it’s night or day.

Finally the swirling
Of the water’s feral flops
Push me toward the shoreline
As a sand and gravel mop,
Onto waiting dry land
Where my body rolls and stops.

Lesson learned? Be happy
With lung-friendly habitats.
Escaping from my duties
Won’t show where peace is at.

To leave is fine, but short-term,
A thoughtful getaway,
Not meant as a new life goal
Or a lasting place to stay,
But a pause to get me focused,

Then send me on my way.

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Garden Bed

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours putting together a 4′ x 4′ cedar garden bed. I sanded and sealed each of the cedar boards I would need from the kit, and while those were drying, I levelled out the trenches that the bed walls would sit in. After that, assembly went very quickly, sliding boards into corner post notches. The result is a 17″ tall soon-to-be borscht garden, with beets, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, dill, and carrots – and maybe more. I’m so happy to get one bed made, and I hope to get at least 2 more up by the end of April.

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Getting started

Front Yard 3/18/22 – Spray painting a trial vision
Front Yard 3/18/22 – Bed beginnings

I spray-painted potential bed borders onto my front lawn about a week ago. Since I don’t have
the guidance of a landscaping professional, as I’d hoped, I’m just jumping in with what I have for
ideas so far. My 4’x4′ cedar garden beds are waiting in the garage. I plan on going to home depot
for sand, to help me level the beds, and maybe some heavy-duty paper to set into the bed trenches,
and maybe some landscape fabric garden staples. I thought I had some staples, but I can’t find

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Cool Pillow, Warm Bed

I stayed up too late watching TV.
My husband went to bed hours ago.
I brush my teeth, use the toilet, wash my face,
Then shuffle through dark in slow motion,
Sock feet sliding on wood floor.
I lift the blanket and melt into
An toasty bed oven.
The pillow is cool, the way I like it,
And under the covers is warm.

Hubby’s throat is a vocal rainstick,
Then glottals trade places with sighs
And blown-out puffs of air.
I start to feel throbs of a headache
That haunts me sometimes lying down.
But the pillow is cool, the way I like it,
And under the covers is warm.

Soon high temps tingle my toes.
I engage in my nightly routine:
Each foot uncovers its sibling
Then both kick footwear to the floor,
Shoving socks out between sheet layers.
My pillow is cool, the way I like it,
And under the covers is warm.

A poem of gratitude comes to my mind.
I build it in dark and silence,
First for myself, but then,
Obligated to write it down,
I set my clock lamp to low brightness –
Enough to see journal page penlines,
Not enough to see what I’m writing.

After I turn off the lightsource,
I slowly sink into a sleeping.
Outside the rain softly patters.
Beside me, my man Velcro snores.
My mouth guard squeezes my top teeth.
My pillow is cool, the way I like it.
And under the covers is warm.

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Waiting for Dry Days

Last week, before the arrival of an “atmospheric river”, a few hours of sunshine allowed me to spray paint my lawn.

I used pink paint to outline the boundaries between border plantings and lawn and potential locations for raised beds. When the pink ran out, I used blue spray paint to outline a path and to speculate where to put a small greenhouse and a compost bin. I used black spray paint to mark spots where bushes, trees, and rocks could be placed.

Originally, I had asked a landscaping company (essentially a one-man show) for some design ideas. After the initial meeting (the free consultation), he said he would get back to me in a week. One month later, when he returned my follow-up message from the week before, he apologized and said the office had been short-staffed. “We will get you a proposal for the design early next week,” he said in an e-mail to me dated February 25. It is now March 15.

I don’t really know how to proceed here. I was looking forward to his design. Since he spent over an hour walking around the yard and chatting with me about some of my sketched-out ideas, I felt somewhat obligated to work with him to pay him for that time. When he said he would get back to me, I took him at his word. It took some effort on my part to ask a professional for help in the first place. I don’t feel comfortable having to remind him about assurances he gave me of his own accord.

So, I’ve purchased a wooden-handled grass edger and a trench-digger (essentially a narrow shovel), and I’ve ordered some cheap but easy-to-assemble cedar raised beds on Amazon. As soon as the rain takes a break, maybe in about a week (according to I might just start doing some yard designing on my own. I have many questions and doubts about my specific ideas. But I also have Google and YouTube videos. So I’ll do what I can and see what happens.

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Garden Potential

My front and back yards are full of garden potential. Right now they consist mostly of lumpy expanses of grass. But in my mind (and on graph paper) are forming raised garden beds, a firepit, a labyrinth, and much more. Now I am waiting for warmer, less rainy weather before I fully dive into making the physical changes.