Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the category “Poetry”

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.

Cheaper Gas and Greener Grass

Apparently smoke isn’t going to be the only issue in our trip down south. Now the fuel prices in the lower half of the province seem to be skyrocketing! Okay, time to do the research… now a site that reports the price of fuel at different gas stations in British Columbia has taken its place in the ‘Favourites’ folder along with ‘Drive BC’ (for road conditions), Environment Canada’s ‘7 day forecast’ (for weather), ‘Air Quality Advisories’ (how bad is the smoke?) and, of course, a listing of every sani-dump in the province.

I don’t remember doing this kind of cramming for a holiday before. Is it just me or has the world become a more complicated place to navigate? I remember previous trips to the coast being, basically, toss the suitcases in the truck, fill up the tank, buy some munchies and start driving. Yes, we encountered high prices that we didn’t expect and flag people with stop signs; we just didn’t know where they’d be ahead of time.

So is it a good thing to be this ‘prepared’ or does it just end up focusing your attention on all the things that could go wrong? The element of surprise is always waiting around the next bend in the road, so, in the end, is it worth it to do all this advance research? Do I run the risk of concentrating so hard on finding the lowest fuel price that, eyes on the webpage or the map, I miss the beauty along the way. Bill doesn’t have to worry about that, he’s driving so he’s aware of his surroundings at all times (at least I certainly hope he is!). But how easy it could be for the passenger to become an obsessive navigator.

I’m going to have to watch out for that.

IMG_3106.JPGAre we seriously considering moving south? Well, it’s September fourth and Bill just came in to tell me the frost f***ed our corn. You figure it out, sigh…
Greener Grass

They say the grass is always greener
On the other side of the fence
and I’ve agreed and thought the adage
made a lot of sense.

Until recently I realized,
much to my chagrin,
that I can’t see the colour of the grass
when the snow’s up to my chin.

 

 

Retrospect

Sometimes,
as the old name ghosts
through the new label.

Sometimes,
as I empty the folders,
shred the contents.

Sometimes,
as I delete them
from database and list.

Sometimes,
the mortality is deafening

Oh, To Be

2016-07-10_Oh To Be_Thomas_Corsan_Morton_-_The_gypsy_caravan

Oh, to be a nomad and walk away
without a backward glance
knowing home is not a place on a map
but a tent I pitch over my heart, wherever I roam.

Oh, to be a gypsy and ride away,
heart dancing ahead, beckoning me onward.
All that I need I carry with me,
it is a peace desire could never bring.

Oh, to be a traveller and drive away
with a soul big enough to encompass all.
Why scrabble for a scrap of soil freehold
when I can hold the world for free.

Oh, to be a wanderer and drift away,
footsteps light and eager on countless pathways.
To leave behind the heartache of change
and our inability to accept the pain of it.

Oh, to be
just to be.

 

(painting -Thomas Corsan Morton “The Gypsy Caravan”)

Ghosts

Does the scent of the rose garden, aflutter
with wayward petals,
waft  through your open door?
Does it bring back memories of wild roses in June?

You stand silent in the historical village,
a transplanted log cabin complete with furnishings,
a lonely anachronism waiting
for familiar footsteps at the back door.

Few tourists will climb your steep stairs.
Some whisper of a face they’ve seen,
peering from the second story window, curtains twitching.
Ghosts may linger in this house
but I feel only peace.
Peace with a touch of sadness.

I imagine seeing my life, my home,
through an outsider’s eyes as they shake
their heads at the wood cook stove,
the gas lanterns, and the crank telephone.
“ How did they live like this” they ask each other.

And I hear the ghosts cry back “Well.
We lived well.
By the strength of our own hands
we cleared the land, built our home, grew our food.
We worked, we sang, we danced.
We cried, we laughed, we loved.
All else is meaningless.”

And I smile and nod as the silence flows
back into the corners of the room.
Be content ghost.
I hear you.

My Mother’s Garden

Sometimes, in dreams, I wander
half remembered woods.
Sunlight casts flickering shadows of light
over the forest floor.

I am searching for the flowers;
the wild flowers and the tame flowers.
Flowers from every garden she ever grew,
blooming together in unlikely harmony.
I stoop, I pick, I fill my arms with the fat, fragrant blossoms.

Especially the blue ones.
She loved the blue ones.
I am picking this bouquet for her.
My life is a procession of flowers and memories.
A patchwork of the things she taught me
as we worked in her garden
Weeding, culling, training the vines
in the way they should go.
Training me
in the way I should go.

And I know she’s gone
but still I wander half forgotten woods,
content in the cognitive dissonance of dreams
that one day I’ll hand her that bouquet and
she’ll smile and say
“Well done.”

What Love Is

For the young man who says he loves my granddaughter…

T
rusting her implicitly
Respecting her mind and her body
Evolving as you both grow
Admiring her creativity
Supporting her to achieve her goals
Understanding that sometimes you won’t understand
Realizing that she is every bit as imperfect as you are
Enduring hardships together; as a team
Holding hands, even when you’re not young lovers anymore
Encouraging her to reach her potential
Rejoicing in her successes

…Welcome to the family

#235

 

Pockmarks and Shadows

As I make my morning mile
I ponder the pebbles
strewn across the dirt road, they stand
unusually tall in the early morning sunlight.
Long shadow fingers point across the road,
like the tails of active blood drops
indicating the direction of travel.
And the sun travels,
peering into pockmarks from pebbles
leaping from tire and sole and hoof.
And perhaps we are all just pebbles,
whether standing tall or running away,
our legacies as enduring as pockmarks
and shadows on the sand.

 

#234

 

Facebook Challenge Answered

(Rules: Day 1 – the book you are currently reading; Day 2 – a book you loved as a child; Day 3 – a book abandoned half-read; Day 4 – a book that made a great impression on you; Day 5 – The book you return to over and over again. Nominate 3 friends each day)

 

Caught in an online hybrid
of tag and chain letter
you want me to tell you about my reading habits, but
I warn you, I rarely follow rules unless
the reasoning is sound.

How can I dole out my bookish experiences
piecemeal when books are more like air
to me, an indivisible atmosphere
that I breathe in and out.
Some smell of lilacs and slip
into my psyche like melting chocolate
while others gag me
with the scent of rotting flesh and yet
I read on, knowing that the kernel of the story
will nourish some necessary hunger.

As I child I loved children’s books that hold
no real charm for me now because the lenses
of childhood do not fit anymore.
I do not mourn their passing, it is the
natural way of life to move along.

Of abandoned books I will not speak.
They are the choking breath that engenders
coughing fits; best forgotten.

Some volumes drowned me with new ideas,
gave me fresh eyes with which to view my life.
They filled my lungs with the purest air, unscented
yet smelling of the world and everything in it.
These I revisit; these and the ones whose
words roll around my mind in familiar patterns,
un-pinching, comfortable and safe.

I will not tell you the names of these books
lest you accidentally read them with false expectations.

I will not exhort triumvirates of friends to spill
their literary leanings – they must offer them to you
willingly – with no guilt laden nudges.

If you want my advice about books,
this I will give you…
Read.
Read it all and decide for yourself.
 

#233

Just One More Revolution

No life is wasted if it can move a heart.

No heart is hardened if it can touch a soul.

No soul is lost if it can still reach out,

grab hold, hang on to life,

and move a heart, and touch a soul

and roll around the circle

just one more revolution.

 

#232

 

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