Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the category “Writings”

Once Upon a Password

Once upon a password
I used to recollect
the obscure encryption
I invented to protect

my email from those hackers
so they wouldn’t see
my personal correspondence
or steal my ID.

But now it’s getting harder
to invent those ciphers
that defend my info
and permeate my life.

Upper case and numbers,
symbols interspersing,
make it look like comic book
characters are cursing.

And by the time I’ve memorize
the password I’ve arranged,
a faceless message tells me that
it’s time the password changed.

And now I must start over…
seriously? really?
I wonder how you spell
‘password’ in Swahili?

New Year – New Challenge

LindaIt’s been a few years since I did the ‘poem a day for a year’ challenge and I’ve been thinking about picking up the glove and seeing if I can do it again.  It’s quite shameful how I’ve neglected my writing blog, and I apologise to anyone who came looking for new poems and had to go away empty handed.

Here’s to a year full of creativity.

Happy New Year.

Linda

One

I live in a bubble, life
playing out around me in comforting
rhythms, familiar if not predictable.
Passive spectator except on those
rare occasions when the bubble pops
and the world stands forth, stark and clean.

Colours sing that three dimensions,
five senses,
one lifetime,
are not enough
to experience a world so real
and I know that if I could just stay
outside the bubble I could hold time
in the palm of my hand, vanquish
the dragons of pain, fear, and longing, see
inside hearts, and speak without words.

Then a random, mundane thought intrudes
and the bubble sneaks up around me again, clouds
the freshness, lulls my senses.
But just before the bubble closes I wonder
‘is this what becoming one with the universe means?
Was I there and I blew it again?
Will I ever find my way back?’.

I feel in my bones this world
I’ve glimpsed is a stepping stone
to eternity and if I could just stay
long enough to find my way
I would sprout new senses, fly
into a new dimension, the next lifetime.
The dragons growl.
The bubble closes.

The Long, White Struggle

It’s a long, slow slog;
this stuttering transition
from winter to spring

with hopes of greenery
thawed and frozen all along
the dirty, white way

until you cave in,
like a collapsing igloo,
and believe the ice

age has come for you;
encased you eternally,
one hand on the box

labelled ‘Spring Clothing”
the other on your down filled coat,
desperate with hope

even through nightmares
of hard, white piles crushing
your warm breath to mist.

“It’s supposed to get up to plus eleven by next Friday” he says.
I’ll believe it when I see it

Summer of the Horse – a review

 

I used to be a voracious reader; often having two or even three books ‘on the go’ at any given time. Every night I’d read myself to sleep. I’d read for ten minutes while the cookies baked; packed a book in the vehicle to pass the time if I had to wait longer than two minutes for anything. Books were something into which I immersed myself, a respite from reality, a foray into the unknown. But lately my eyesight has not been cooperative of these forays. After half an hour the print blurs and I find myself straining to at least reach a ‘good place’ to stop until my eyes will focus again. Frustrated, I explored the world of e-books. At least I could increase the font size on the screen. Unfortunately, the screen is too small and reading a book when the lines are 4 words long with only 4 or 5 lines visible is ultimately unsatisfying. The e-reader is hard to hold too. Thin and sleek may look nice and fit into your purse, but it’s not comfortable to hold for any length of time.

So, slowly, my reading has dropped off. When something doesn’t satisfy anymore one tends to drift away from it. But this morning I read for an hour and a half. My eyes straining to get through each ensuing sentence, I couldn’t put the book down until finally I just couldn’t see the words anymore. Now here I am writing about the experience (with a large monitor jacked up to 200% zoom I might add) waiting for my eyes to adjust so I can go back and read some summer of the horse imagemore.

What is the object of this obsession you might ask? It’s my newly acquired copy of Donna Kane’s book “Summer of the Horse”. I was privileged to be present at her book launch last evening and, enthralled by her reading of two excerpts from the book, I purchased a copy, eager to dive into a book where the words did not just convey information; they sparkled with all the potential of the English language to be beautiful, evocative, and engaging.

I was not disappointed. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the “Summer of the Horse” but I’m thoroughly hooked and enchanted. Writing poetry has become an essential extension of my life, and my mantra has always been “Be brave, be honest”. Donna has always done that in her poetry, and now she is doing it in her creative non-fiction.

Run, do not walk, to the Dawson Creek Art Gallery and purchase a copy of “Summer of the Horse”. I haven’t even finished it yet and I know you will love it.

Like a Bird

Your heart, like a bird
fluttering, testing the winds2018-04-03-Like a Bird
of change in your soul

before taking flight.
Breath-taking fibrillation
shocks us to the now

where a breathe can hang
like mist in the frozen air
then crash to the ground,

tiny icicles
shatter, chime through the silence
“it’s time to go home”

 

Aubade to Spring

A nervous twitch of heavy curtains,
a wary peering into first light.
What song will I sing? A trill
of joy thrilling at a pool of sunlight
warming my bare
feet or a dirge for dreams
of spring, battered
by northeast winds and smothered
in yet more snow.
Is it all bad?
No, today the sun shines and, at least
for a while, it is ‘aubade’.

The Potential of Motionless Hands

Dry brushes,
silent strings,
still pens.

Canvas awaits,
air hangs empty,
book is closed.

Heart descries a dream,
soul craves a song,
mind requires illumination.

Potential
blooms, rings, transports
each thought into being
human.

Frozen Pride

There’s a northern sense of pride
in battling winter and surviving
minus forty, minus fifty,
icy fog and snowy drifts. We
soldier on in our uniforms;
long underwear to keep us warm,
and scoff at tender souls who live
in milder climes and shake and shiver
at minus five and have to close
the city down for an inch of snow.

We post the current temperature;
a brag of what we can endure;
a challenge to post a lower number,
to northern soldiers in other bunkers.

Year after year we earn our stripes
through furnace fails and frozen pipes,
when trucks die and the power goes out
you discover what cold is all about.
We’ve fed the woodstove through the night
and melted snow by candlelight.

We’ve earned our medals in the ice and cold
but the years roll on and we’re getting old
and we’ve paid our dues and we’ve fought our fight
and we just want a little bit more sunlight.
It’s not retreating, just retiring
to a place where the temperature is higher.
I leave the struggle to the young
who have the strength to carry on.

Old soldiers who’ve battled winter and won,
Deserve their moments in the sun.

 

Ashes

I forgot to post this poem – it was written on the 6th as we were travelling through the Cariboo. The haze made the background seem two dimensional.

 

ashes-smallTreed mountains, layered in smoke,
recede into the haze; cut-out silhouettes; mere jagged,
misty dreams of the real terrain beneath.
And in the foreground emerge the trees, clearer now,
more defined, more detail in their sweeping boughs and
pendant moss; skeletons of their ancestors propped up
in their arms, standing witness.
There is a sense of waiting in the air
and a taste of ashes on the tongue.

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