The 70273 Project

with a side of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

Tag: poem (page 1 of 2)

real

If It Is Not Too Dark

Iool4 27

Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.

Iool4 28

Always exercise your heart’s knowing.
You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:

Iool4 29

Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.

Iool4 30

Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants –
Why not let them get drunk and wild!

Iool4 31

Let’s toast
Every rung we’ve climbed on Evolution’s ladder.
Whisper, “I love you! I love you!”
To the whole mad world.

Iool4 32

Let’s stop reading about God –
We will never understand Him.

Iool4 33

Jump to your feet, wave your fists,
Threaten and warn the whole Universe
That your heart can no longer live
Without real love!

~Hafiz

~~~~~~~

In Our Own Language 4:27-33

Nancy, my developmentally disabled sister-in-law draws.
I, the woman who flat-out loves her, stitch her drawings.

The Old and The New, a Visual Poem

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014.

DublinTheOldandTheNew

DublinTheOldandtheNew2

DublinModernArtMuseumDrinkCartWithBroom

DublinModernArtMuseumViewFromTheWindow1

DublinModernArtMuseumGardensNewBuildingsWithFlowerPot

DublinModernArtMuseumGardens11

DublinModernArtMuseumGardensNewBuildings1

DublinModernArtMuseumGardens1

DublinModernArtMuseumGardens4

DublinModernArtMuseumGardens3

DublinModernArtMuseumFlowersWithMermaid

DublinModernArtMuseumFlowersInWindowsill3

~~~~~~~

To read from takeoff, go here

and to go forward, go here.

breadcrumbs

Evidence01feb14i

meet Evidence, the hymn of cloth that documents this year of my life – the year dedicated to building a body that works and a body of work – beginning on 11/15/13. (because every day is new year’s day, right?) it’s color coded by what elements constitute, for me, a day well spent:

red = moving (as in walking, yoga, etc.)
orange = making (stitching, mostly, but also collages and photographs)
aqua = marking (writing, as in journals and books and blog posts)
purple = laughing (as in the surprises and wonders of the day that don’t go unnoticed)

Evidence01feb14m

i was filled with excited anticipation when i started work on Evidence back in november, and decided to use my sewing machine (a christmas gift from my husband 40 years ago, bought and paid for with winnings from a radio show contest) instead of stitching it all by hand as is my standard, my preference, my love. it quickly turned unfun, though, on account of the bulk. and if all goes according to plan, the bulk will become greater and greater.

Evidence01feb14d

today i pushed up my sleeves and set about getting caught up. with the walking foot on the machine, i put an audio book on and started, telling myself that i would not abandon this project and i would make this enjoyable and worthwhile. period.

as i sewed, i noticed that i had a tendency to push and pull the fabric in an effort to speed things up. sewing was much easier and more enjoyable when i relaxed and worked with the machine instead of against it. ditto when i quit disregarding and underestimating the flexibility and forgiving nature of fabric – when i let it be what it is instead of trying to make it something else, like a glass or an egg. this may be a transferable epiphany.

///

later, along comes this David Walcott poem titled Love After Love sent by my friend tom:

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

which is what often happens when you capture and preserve your life stories . . .

a doorway

Iris2

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
Zora Neale Hurston

At long last, I’m reconciling with prayer. For so long, I’ve avoided thinking about it altogether, avoiding it like the plague, actually. Probably has something to do with the missionary telling the young teenage me about the man who came into her storefront church and how when she called on him to lead the prayer, he stood up and with his eyes kept open, spread his arms wide and said something like “Hey God, it’s me, James” then just started having a conversation. Having grown up in the world of men (and only select, special men, mind you) leading us in prayer “with every head bowed and every eye closed,” this story was a breath of fresh air. The missionary, however, was absolutely appalled and said she cut him off mid-prayer and asked him to leave. Banished.

Now, Sugar, you need to know that I love being a Southerner, but as a woman living in the proverbial Bible Belt, it’s dangerous to use words like “prayer” lest they confirm the stereotype (that in my case, is not true) and get the dreaded label attached to your forehead. It’s something that’s hard to wash off.

So yes, prayer and I became estranged a long, long time ago. But then one day recently, I sent a letter to prayer by way of my journal and asked Couldn’t walking be a prayer? Yes, came the answer. And Do we have to call on men to lead us in prayer? First there was a chuckle, then a sigh, and finally a No, absolutely not. Anybody can pray, anybody at all.

After a while, my intense dislike of prayer began to wane, and I came to decide that among other things, prayer is a way to give the brain a vacation . . . or at least a day off. Seems to me that prayer is paying such close attention to Small Things that you can’t help but feel Something Big.

We’re not completely There yet, prayer and I, but we’re working on it.


PRAYER IN MY BOOT

For the wind no one expected

For the boy who does not know the answer

For the graceful handle I found in a field
attached to nothing
pray it is universally applicable

For our tracks which disappear
the moment we leave them

For the face peering through the cafe window
as we sip our soup

For cheerful American classrooms sparkling
with crisp colored alphabets
happy cat posters
the cage of the guinea pig
the dog with division flying out of his tail
and the classrooms of our cousins
on the other side of the earth
how solemn they are
how gray or green or plain
how there is nothing dangling
nothing striped or polka-dotted or cheery
no self-portraits or visions of cupids
and in these rooms the students raise their hands
and learn the stories of the world

For library books in alphabetical order
and family businesses that failed
and the house with the boarded windows
and the gap in the middle of a sentence
and the envelope we keep mailing ourselves

For every hopeful morning given and given
and every future rough edge
and every afternoon
turning over in its sleep

says Naomi Shihab Nye

Amen
says me.

133

We work hand-in-hand. Nancy draws:

5 133 1 erased

Then I stitch:

133

When You Come to Love
by Ann Fisher-Wirth

When you come to love,
bring all you have.

Bring the milk in the jug,
the checked cloth on the table—
the conch that sang the sea
when you were small,
and your moonstone rings,
your dream of wolves,
your woven bracelets.

For the key to love is in the fire’s nest,
and the riddle of love is the hawk’s dropped feather.

Bring every bowl and ewer,
every cup and chalice, jar,
for love will fill them all-

And, dazzled with the day,
fold the sunlight in your sheets,
fold the smell of salt and leaves,
of summer, sweat, and roses,
to shake them out when you need them most,

For love is strong as death.

Tickled to be here today. Thank you, Ashley.

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

Blue Morning Glory

Bluewave4

Voracious, yes. But when you see it,
shy blue flowers blaring like trumpets in spite of themselves,
center star shaped and yellow; when it startles you,
early in the morning, all over a white picket fence, say,
in Massachusetts, you might think “triumphal,” “prodigal,”
“awake.”

Of course you don’t want it in your rose garden
among all the pruned, the decorous bushes. You don’t want it
in the vegetables, for it will romp through the tomatoes,
beans and peas, will leave no room on the ground, or even
in the air, for the leafy lettuces and cabbages soberly
queueing up in their furrows. It will hog all the sky it can get
knowing as it does what enormous thirst is satisfied by blue.

Father Michael says Follow the God of abundance
Says we hurry from the moment’s wealth
for fear it will be taken. Think of this:

the morning glory has been blossoming for so long
without permission that in some gardens it is no longer censored.
What does that tell you? See how it opens its tender throats
to a world that can sting it, how, without apology for its excess,
it blooms and blooms, though even yet
it seems surprised.

Anne Pitkin

(I want to be a Blue Morning Glory. Just so you know.)

((The photo is actually a Blue Wave Petunia, but you get the idea.))

sticky note sunday

Crumbs.jpeg

disgraceful

disgraceful.jpeg

via marjory and julie daley

i hereby vow that god will not escape me ever again.

not a chance.

today’s aspiration

 

morningglory.jpg

 

when i grow into full bloom, it will be as a blue morning glory.

most definitely.

 

Blue Morning Glory

 

Voracious, yes. But when you see it,

shy blue flowers blaring like trumpets in spite of themselves,

center star shaped and yellow; when it startles you,

early in the morning, all over a white picket fence, say,

in Massachusetts, you might think “triumphal,” “prodigal,” “awake.”

 

Of course you don’t want it in your rose garden

among all the pruned, the decorous bushes. You don’t want it

in the vegetables, for it will romp through the tomatoes,

beans and peas, will leave no room on the ground, or even

in the air, for the leafy lettuces and cabbages soberly

queueing up in their furrows. It will hog all the sky it can get

knowing as it does what enormous thirst is satisfied by blue.

 

Father Michael says Follow the God of abundance

Says we hurry from the moment’s wealth

for fear it will be taken. Think of this:

 

the morning glory has been blossoming for so long

without permission that in some gardens it is no longer censored.

What does that tell you? See how it opens its tender throats

to a world that can sting it, how, without apology for its excess,

it blooms and blooms, though even yet

it seems surprised.

 

Anne Pitkin

 

a checklist to close out the day

sunset.JPG

Questions Before Dark

Day ends, and before sleep

when the sky dies down, consider

your altered state: has this day

changed you? Are the corners

sharper or rounded off? Did you

live with death? make decisions

that quieted? Find one clear word

that fit? At the sun’s midpoint

did you notice a pitch of absence,

bewilderment that invites

the possible? What did you learn

from things you dropped and picked up

and dropped again? Did you set a straw

parallel to the river, let the flow

carry you downstream?

 

~ Jeanne Lohmann

 

 

(can we pretend that her last name is pronounced “hewell-chambers”, just for tonight?)

 

 

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