Sunday is Sliding

 Another Sunday is sliding into its ending. It will become an event, a moment, in past tense in just a few short hours.

Hopefully, we have spent the time well – making our music with whatever unique, creative gift we possess. Writing poetry, speaking encouraging words to loved ones, knitting a scarf, painting a picture, writing a letter or journal entry, or playing a flute.

I am still a product of the time in which I was raised – Sunday remains a Holy day to me whether I attend church that week or not. It’s a time for quiet, introspection, reflection, and artistic musings. I love the deep vibration the day holds within itself.

There is a certain sadness as I watch the clock hands move and the minutes tick by… as if I am saying goodbye to a lover I completely adore. And, like the essence of that lover, I hold Sunday in my deepest self as I get ready to meet Monday in the week ahead.

Blessings,

~Marissa

 

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Destiny in the Parking Lot

A young girl watches you
get out of the car at Wal-Mart
and thinks – one day
I want to be like that! The pretty car,
the nice clothes, expensive purse,
the perfect hair.

You are the vision
she holds onto, cherishes
in her broken-ness.

She will strive
to become . . . You.

You are her symbol-metaphor
for success – a chance sighting,
a living image of what it means
to have made it. . .

Out of the fear of less,
out of the poverty of nothing,
away from the cold truth of being
inconsequential.

Photo courtesy of Bigfoto.com

Hate Math I

hate math. It has no
sing-song deliberation,
no melodic double entendre,
no aim at speaking
soft or hard wisdom.
There is only truth factual,
a hard steel glinting of
the one true thing represented.
It comes in quick, cold
bursts of delineated vision.
This war has been going
on forever between the
two sides: words v/s
numbers.

December 24, 2000

These desolate days
of wasted space when
time becomes
the movement of water —

droplets raining
from unfrozen snow
lounging on the roof.

Tree branches leap
from frigid cover —
undulating from confines
to seek the sharp winter

sun. Beacon of time
that shines crystal clear
on this day as meaningless
as the thousand days before.


Originally appeared in CCEQ, Winter 2001 issue.

A Few Favorite Poetry Quotes

Drawing of American poet Emily Dickinson (10 D...

Image via Wikipedia

For today’s Post-a-Day2011 entry…a few favorite quotes about poetry:

 “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
 Aristotle
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen
 Leonardo da Vinci

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these
 Emily Dickinson

Alabaster Altar

I cried hot deep
bitter tears – a sacrifice
upon your alter,
ravaged broken body,
cold marble against
warm skin – as I lay
weeping.

Degradation and
humiliation built
these walls
that hold me, but
I remember the
story of the Phoenix
and suddenly find
myself turned to ash.

Doves lift in flight
from silver tree limbs
where gods and demons
frolic, awaiting the
trial in court, where
an alabaster altar
still gleams – ready
for the next sacrifice
of bloody atonement.

If I Cried Out

Melancholy, by Natalia Tejera

“If I cried out, who
in the hierarchies of angels
would hear me?”

~ R. Rilke, If I Cried Out, from the First Duino Elegy.
I’m trying to keep up with my Post-a-Day 2011 committment, but am also tired and a bit melancholy today. So, here are a few random thoughts and observations —

Granddaughters

My youngest granddaughter, Haley, spent last night and most of today with me. She turns 3-years-old in February and is a tiny, blonde burst of constant energy. I adore this child deeply! And so much enjoy my Am-Ma time (she can’t quite get her G’s out yet, so I am Am-ma until her language skills grow a little more!).

I’ve been able to spend more time with Haley during her young years than I was with Lauren, her older sister, when she was little. I lived in Myrtle Beach during  Lauren’s first five years (she’s almost 7 now) and only saw her a few times a year. This time with Haley and Lauren as they both learn and grow is a wonderful gift to me. They bring tremendous bliss to my soul.

I’m a young grandmother, at 43, and I’m pleased about that. It’s good to know that all my impatience as a younger person – married and having my own children before I was a true adult – turned out so well. I enjoy acting like a child with the babies, crawling around on the floor, playing and active in ways I couldn’t be if I were older. It’s just too cool!!!

Management

I told our new finance manager last week that he had to “grow-up and set a good example” because he’s a Manager now. It’s true, but it’s also true that management usually isn’t all the goodness and glamour you expect it to be.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Mother and Manager both start with an M! My salespeople are more like children than professionals most of the time, and I swear I catch myself having the same conversations with them that I did with my children during their teenage years. I spend a lot of time training and fixing things…welcome to management 101!

I’ve been in a management position for years now, so the real work of the job is not a surprise most days. Last week was one of those tough weeks filled with constant personnel issues and necessary disciplinary actions. That takes its toll and makes for a long, exhausting week.

I’m due a week’s vacation time and would dearly love to take a 7-day break from my job! However, I had the MRI of my lower back done this week and return to my doctor next week to see if I’m facing surgery or not. I suppose it’s best to save the vacation time in case I need it for that…BUT, a few days-in-a-row off work would be heavenly!

I’m trying not to stress over the health issues, but am probably stressing more than I’ll openly admit. My answer to that has been to work harder and take on more tasks and projects than usual – a tendency that is wholly me. I guess it makes me feel as if I’m at least accomplishing something with all that nervous energy and stress!

Writing

I’ve been making good progress in my writing. This is partly due to a renewed emotional committment on my part to be honest in my art (wherever that takes me and regardless of the fears which haunt me in that truth), and partly due to the unbridled stress noted above. This combination of factors means I’m writing more often and more deeply than I have in years.

Poetry has been the most fitting form for my creativity lately, though I do have several essays and a few fiction pieces started. My schedule (usually a minimum 75-hour work week) allows me to write poetry easier than the other genres.

Several of the poems I’ve posted on Open Salon have been selected as Poetry Picks of the Week, and I appreciate that as a very nice complement.  I’ve also started participating in Poetry Circle: Contemporary Poetry Forum and was pleased to have the poem At Dusk May 18, 2010 selected as an Editor’s Pick. (The original version of At Dusk on this blog is here.)

Publishing online in this way is a very new experience to me. I spent 13 years as a freelance writer, publishing in traditional formats. There is still a difference to me between the writing in literary/Mainstream publications and writing on blogs on the web. I’m sure I’ll revisit traditional formats when I have more time for submitting. For now, I’m enjoying the online forums and having fun exploring all the options available for writers in this arena.

Whippoorwill, the new online literary journal I’m editing ( to go fully live in February) is another project and another exploration of this new online media for me. I’ll serve as managing editor for Whippoorwill. This will be my third stint as an editor for a small press, and I hope the “third times the charm” brings success and joy to this venture.

I was the publisher and editor for IF Magazine – a social justice, shake the world up publication – from 1993 until 1995. And then, served as editor for CCEQ (Carolina Christian Education Quarterly) from 1999-2001. Both magazines taught me a great deal about writing, editing, marketing and publishing.

I’m still one of those people who prefers small-media to mass-media due to the wider range of content and truth, and I believe our Freedom of Speech rights to be one of the most valuable elements of a democratic America. However, as a general rule, I stay out of major political discussions. Historical study teaches us everything we could wish to know about governments and politics. I usually don’t feel the need to add my opinions to the mix. I still believe deeply in the need for social change, but seldom write of that anymore either.

My current work, in whatever form, tends to focus much more on the personal and spiritual. I believe anyone can become anything, change any habit, meet any goal, or reach any dream. My work seeks to explore that internal process, as well as the process of living and being in our world and what that means to us. I believe true change is internal and individual, so that’s become the natural focus of my work. In the end, all we truly have is us and our experiences and beliefs – and that is what creates ripples across the larger pond.

Art Prints

Blue-Eyed Mystery

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”  ~Albert Einstein

 

I love the mysterious aspects of life and am a believer in signs, portents, omens, and the like. I’m sure this tendency comes partly from the artistic side of my nature and partly because the grandfather that raised me was part Native American. I lived with my grandparents from the time I was 3 until I was 11. During those years I learned a lot of uncommon things – I could trap and skin rabbits, I could shoot a shotgun at a very young age, I knew the names of plants and trees, understood the difference between poisonous berries and those safe to eat, and learned to make sassafras tea from sassafras roots dug in of the woods.

Those years were an uncommon and delightful period in my life. A bright time that would preface the much darker years that followed.  That time period also created a certain view of my place in and interaction with the world around me. I came to believe that God and nature speak to us in many ways – through signs, intuition, omens, and various levels of unconscious perception. This “sense” of belief in other (in all its various forms) remains with me today.

As a young child I was told stories of animal spirits or animal guides and was certain (due to my fondness for them) that my animal guide was a wolf. I appreciated the uniqueness of wolves, their sad mournful cries, the abject loyalty, and the fact that they mated for life. An interesting, lovely animal across the board. However, as certain as I was of their guidance as a child, and as much as I liked them, something started changing as I reached adolescence. I started dreaming about a white tiger with blue eyes.

My dreams about the tiger were so unusual and vivid that they initially caused a simultaneous happiness and panic.

 The tiger was always with me, but doing nothing in particular – just present in a reassuring way. I would wake with the dream so fresh and real in my mind – the tiger stretched out and me curled up against him. There was a sense of strength and wildness about the creature. Still, I always felt that I was safe with him. In fact, I have never felt safer and more protected in my life than in those dreams sleeping beside my blue-eyed tiger.

 The tiger dreams were a normal part of my life for 21 years. I puzzled over them a great deal during that time. I read numerous dream interpretation books and many psychology books and dream-cognizant behavior theories. None of these offered a satisfactory logical explanation, nor did they describe any particular form of insanity in which this dream was a prevalent symptom (because, yes, I was starting to wonder about sanity!). There were no answers readily available  – just the breathing animal beside me in my dreams, warm and silent.

Now, allow me to clarify for all the psych majors out there – I never dated anyone with blue eyes during those years. Didn’t have an unfulfilled crush on a blue-eyed guy, or any of those normal dream-prompting scenarios. In fact, the tiger presence in my dreams had a wholly different essence than anyone I’d ever met. Unique and complicated in its energy, but soothing in a way totally alien to me.

And then, the dreams stopped during a very difficult time in my life. It struck me as really unusual at the time, because normally the presence was more dominant during times of hardship. The last time I dreamed of my tiger was almost three years ago – the day before I got on a plane and flew to Dallas to start work with a sales group. What hadn’t made sense for 21 years was perfectly clear a mere 24 hours later.

My tiger was a premonition of change: a time to come, a place I would find, and a person I would meet. I would know the eyes and the presence immediately. The mystery of what that means in my life remains a mystery still. I believe the world and God speak to us in so many subtle and shocking ways – beneath the obvious is a deep, flowing current of mystery that moves with us and carries us. Sometimes, the answer is just another question.

Why was I shown something for so many years that was so far away? I believe it was so I could recognize and understand when it arrived without fear and misconception. It was a pivot-point in my life and the deeper parts of self. I have changed drastically in many ways since then. I have a deeper understanding of the danger and the beauty that co-exists in our world and in our deepest selves. I understand that some emotions defy explanation and logic, and yet have a greater meaning in the larger fabric of life – the smallest moments shared can enrich us and change us in profound ways.

The tiger of my youth doesn’t visit my dreams anymore, but his voice still speaks in my heart. He remains a great and wonderful mystery in my life.

Rapture Me

Your voice purrs intimately,
soft rasp in my ear. Vibration
slides inside my heart, moves
my soul to weeping, strokes my
body to deeper craving. Awakens
my desire to feel
soft skin over hard muscles.

You remind me of the big cats.
A tiger I’ve wanted to touch
since youth — never fearing
the shimmering-bright cat
sky-bright blue eyes
soft-subtle purring
turning to devouring
without warning because
wild lives within
deep masculine brilliance.

I wonder why dangerous
exotic beasts rapture me —
(and I reach out my hand).

Your voice purrs intimately
in my ear as my body melts
into the sound of you
talking about nothing
as your words enter me.

Pretty Painted Machine

Perfect new paint shines —
covers your body like silk
sheets pulled perfectly tight
across a lovely queen bed.

The scent of new glistens
where leather skin stretches
taught across seat backs
and arms. You could be held
by a graying lover or a fresh-
faced man-child out for
a first fast ride. You

like the cool room
of glass windows, waxed tile;
equally like the heat
of street and pavement waiting
outside for your display. You

acquiesce easily, push a button,
turn a key, roll forward.
Never complaining about
what you didn’t become,
unaware of what you are…
pretty painted machine without
sentience.

September 2010