The naked branches of the sycamore tree are your arms, stiff and brutal, swinging at me.
You never wrapped those limbs around me and pulled me to your trunk, simply holding me.
You stood alone and harsh on the landscape of my life, implacable and unable to shelter me.
In all the long winter of my youth you stood with your sticks, whipping me, claiming to love me.
You were my god, stately but diseased within. You blamed me, and your switch delivered me
From some mysterious sin. I endured my growing from your roots, until your death released me.
I conducted a difficult interview today. She's the local lady citizen of the year, heralded for her volunteerism and giving back to the community. Usually I warm them up with a few jokes and a quick photo or two and a laugh. I sat there for two hours and left there knowing no more about her than when I left. She wants to give kids a safe place to play while their parents work, but she wants to do it behind the scenes. I can say it in 23 words. How will I every stretch it out to 1,000? Ah, but that's what I do best: ferret out the others, the ones who will say nice things about her and maybe tell a tale of two.
Today's poem is the result of a lifetime in the clutches of someone who didn't have a heart for kids. I am what I am because of his training, and because of the training of a thousand other people who had a heart for a lonely kid. It is a triumphant poem because I did survive and he taught me on that harsh landscape that you make it or you break on your own power. I loved him mightily, and he once held me in his arms when a horse bucked me off. I will be forever grateful. You get back on that horse and you ride until he bucks you off no more. Cheers!
I'm a poet, gardener, and freelance writer who lives in California by the coast, in a small town surrounded by pastures, woods, and vineyards. Other things I am: recovering LA magazine editor and recovering alcoholic, wife of a tolerant man, mom to two beautiful daughters, mistress of beagles and cats, lover of mysteries and photography, a survivor of suicide, depression, addiction, and sundry minor ailments. I write for a living and write poetry for life.
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“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” (Art Linkletter)
We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. (John W. Gardner)
Survival Tip #19
My strength lies solely in my tenacity. (Louis Pasteur)
I'm a recovering Lutheran
"This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road." (Martin Luther)
A Philosophy of Life
“It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.” Samuel Johnson
Visitors are beautiful people.
My AA Recovery Story
I got sober in 1990 after a life of drug and alcohol addiction, and I had 15 wonderful years. Then I moved and left my homegroup behind. I didn't replace my sponsor, who had died. I didn't work with newcomers, and I went to only one meeting a week. Ultimately, I didn't stay sober. I experienced that strange mental twist, and I picked up. But I jumped back into the program, and my life has continually gotten better. I'm married to a man with 23 years of sobriety, and we work our program at home. AA is the hub the wheel of my life revolves around. I've been able to explore a creative side of my personality that once lived only under the influence of drugs. I have perfect moments during each of my precious days. We are none of us invulnerable to that strange mental twist that precedes the first drink, and all that stands between us and the drink is our constant thought of others. My prayer these days is: God, do your will in and through me today. If I can be an inspiration to others, then my life is rich. God bless you all.
Rosebud on Ice
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. (Anne Bradstreet)