Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
A few months ago a writing friend suggested a contest being offered by the Handy Uncapped Pen. I hadn’t submitted my work for a while and hoped this would help get me back into the submission state-of-mind again. It did help. I won second place for my poem, “Tide”.
The last Monday of May commemorates Memorial Day, the time to gather ourselves and remember the sacrifices made by our Nation’s soldiers who died protecting our country. It has always been a reflective and poignant holiday for me; my father served in Korea, my uncles and cousins in World War II, Vietnam, and my husband in the assorted international conflicts in the Middle East during the 1980s and1990s. During my time as a trauma therapist working with veterans, I heard the firsthand accounts of the demands and sacrifices our men and women in the armed forces made and continue to make for us each and every day.
Originally called Decoration Day, the actual day set aside to fly flags at half-mast, participate in parades, and enjoy the launch of the summer season was May 30th.
It was referred to as Decoration Day because it was chosen as the best time by many families to brush off the ides of winter and decorate the soldiers’ graves. Memorial Day was officially declared a National Holiday by President Lynden Johnson on May 1966 at Arlington National Cemetery.
A memorial written by Civil War-era orator, Robert Green Ingersoll, eloquently captures the significance of Memorial Day for all generations of our Fallen:
“They died for liberty—they died for us. They are at rest.
They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless … Earth may run red with other wars, but they are at peace.
In the midst of battles, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death.”
To download all or any of my titles. If you want to read poetry, fiction and nonfiction, I’ve got a title for you. Poems in Upwelling, heartfelt journeys with my guide dog in the memoir, Follow Your Dog a Story of Love and Trust, essays and poems written for nature lovers in Words of Life: Poems and Essays and a short story collection certain to send your imagination soaring in A String of Stories From the Heart to the Future.
I hope you come along for the word journey with me and share this link, it’s only free from March 7 until March 13, 2021.
Thanks to fellow editor and writer, Ernest Dempsey, I am sharing my first book review. I am so excited to be one of the many talented writers who benefits from and contributes to the Recovering the Self blog and content. Check it out: https://www.bookcorner.us/more-than-a-memory-reflections-of-viet-nam/.
Like so many others, I’ve struggled with my personal feelings and political alignments during the most recent presidency. Rather than say anything I would later regret, I am going to quote someone else’s words. Here it goes:
“High though his titles, proud his name, / Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; / Despite those titles, power, and pelf, / The wretch, concentred all in self, / Living, shall forfeit fair renown, / And, doubly dying, shall go down / To the vile dust from whence he sprung, / Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.” -Walter Scott, novelist and poet (15 Aug 1771-1832)
Horizontal Travel nestled in breaths
Deep and restorative. A place of relaxation, attracts
Energy, the curtain billows, the visitor
Inserts herself, uses the most familiar place, the bathroom – why
are most of these encounters located in the dream bathroom? By now I know there is a message born from the veil, the thinness beyond
Air, beyond anything we know here in our soft beds of reality.
She shows me a hand with a ring, conveys it is significant, her face seems to say, it will soon be yours. Then she is gone. I awaken.
Today, before the horizontal travel I write with the ring upon my hand. She spoiled the surprise.