Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Hope Always Rising"

This photo has nothing to do with the poem -
This is an image of the Blue Ridge Pkway at 96% solar eclipse
...and the bee buzzing about this wild grape vine.
Please do not read this poem without reading the inspirational (current event) true story which inspired it.  "Devota, Valentine: "Everyday, We Are Blessed To Be Alive" by Jon Katz

Hope Always Rising

As a child I read fairytales, believed enduring wrongs
and injustices would always be rewarded if patient,
if good.  I lived on hope; hoped I'd be pretty one day,
hoped I'd have a fine wardrobe, find a handsome husband,
hoped ... oh so many frivolous things.

I never imagined walking over two thousand miles
in a war ravaged country, fleeing genocide,
a baby upon my back.

Never imagined plunging into a year's long hardship,
avoiding, not always successfully,
rape, hunger, bone weary exhaustion.

Never imagined passing by children
abandoned upon forest floor, starving, some already dead
as there was no one to save them.

Never imagined dodging bullets, fearing countless soldiers
and farmers (as food was scavenged from their fields),
not always escaping injury.

Never imagined "walking on bones".

As a child, and shamefully even an adult, my hopes
and prayers sometimes seemed fickle -
as if incorrectly answered I might read a book
instead of recite a nightly devotional.

But Devota never abandoned her Valentine,
her prayers never ceased, happiness not expected,
nor survival - although hope for freedom,
hope in perseverance, hope of a friendly border
did cling stubbornly to her belief in salvation.

Twenty years a U.N. refugee, waiting in Africa
for America to finally extend her hand;
and we are all the richer for Devota
and her wise and solemn "Grimm" fairytale.

Happily ever after, to quote Emerson
"...is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it make a difference
that you have lived and lived well".

Immigrants and refugees remind us
what's really important, the giving of ourselves,
each to the other; remembering what compassion means.

by Margaret Bednar, August 22, 2017


An interesting link from the History Channel:  Rwanda-genocide

This is linked with "dVerse - Poetics: Border"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Beneath a Batik sky...




Beneath a batik sky, everything's whitewashed in translucent shades of aqua, turquoise, and teal; shapes being reduced to inky silhouettes.  Humidity cloaks me, but welcoming the island breeze I wear this frock with ease even as sweat trickles betwixt my shoulder blades.  My feet turn towards the harbor, gem colored kayaks beaconing.  Soon develop a steady rhythm, skirt Silver Lake's circumference, glide by weatherworn piers and pilings, pass muster with austere white crowned sentinels of broad wings and oversized bill; grateful for the privilege of safe passage.  Find myself refreshed and walking beside a border of cypress trees, whose contour of whorls and swirls seemingly place me inside a Van Gogh landscape although absent a sky of churning, patterned brushstrokes; instead it is scrimmed with gossamer clouds more reminiscent of Whistler.  Meet up with my man and little man admiring Pamlico Sound, find my heart bursting as brightly as the marigold star nestling in the sliver of tangerine sky as it winks once more and slips softly into the sea.

Turquoise and marigold accent my world
as ocean's breeze soothes a tempest

by Margaret Bednar, August 21, 2017

This is linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - What did you do?"

A Haibun is one of my favorite poetic styles - although I do struggle with the follow-up Haikus.  We just returned from a last summer "hurrah" - a week on our beloved Outerbanks - Ocracoke Island.  It is the beginning of hurricane season, and although there were a touch of storms, they came and went.  It made the waves a lot of fun - although we didn't venture very far out and my son wore a life jacket and a boogy board attached to his wrists.






Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Uncomplicated"





It may be island life; kayaks, bicycles, sun and surf that make life charmingly simple, blinds that never fully close allowing sunrise to pry open my eyes (something I never allow otherwise). Morning coffee slowly sipped, no need for two cups as afternoon naps are expected.  Mid-heat of day I venture out, straw-brimmed hat, flip flops, camera in hand, look for contrasts, intricate lead in lines, background.  See nothing I haven't already captured.  Pause by colorful kayaks, let my gaze follow sandy path and I'm smitten with sparse bitter-bloom, rose-pink sweetness amongst grasping roots of a gnarled, stunted tree.  Salty spray and wind perhaps their doom but for now, after morning's rain, they no longer thirst and turn themselves over, as I have, to the warm slant of the sun.  May be time for that nap.    Windswept bitter-bloom sunbathes amongst gnarled salt sprayed roots - a southerly tempest simmers 

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini-Challenge - Uncomplicated Things" Write a poem with no more than 10 lines.  I chose a haibun with 9 lines and printed the "haiku" in blue and made it fit for the 10 line challenge - and please forgive that my haiku is a bit non-conformist :)  

by Margaret Bednar, August 18, 2107

Friday, August 18, 2017

"The Tide"


The Tide

The first toe dip's a gentle ballet,
a fine pirouette followed with a splash
and a warm breeze's fine welcome.

Unreliable her moods 
for she's just as likely to rock and roll a tempest surge 
that heaves us toward shore, laughing, 
occasional saltwater snorted through our nose.

I don't dare belly dance - the bikini and public
display of my midriff a memory from the distant past - 
but do enjoy a bit of a (secret) salsa as I extend an arm
and gracefully leap, (leg beneath the water outstretched,
back bent) over incoming waves.

Can't decide if I prefer sunrise's gentle melody
as my feet waltz to surf's soft rhythm 
while shore birds enjoy tonga lines along low tide's foam

or sunset's encore of captured color or soothing gray,
demolished sandcastles, and disappearing footprints 
seemingly tap dancing their way out to sea.

by Margaret Bednar, August 18, 2017








Monday, August 14, 2017

"Teach's Hole"

Teach's Hole - from the vantage point of Springer's Point - Ocracoke Island, NC
Teach's Hole

Live oaks hunched and bent
for centuries have pointed the way,
loblolly, beach, and maple offer swaths of shade
as perspiration tickles paths down my spine
and the humid breeze lifts a curl,
for even straight hair bends in this tucked away place
where, if one believes or listens closely enough,
a pirate's wail or song may be heard
within the deep folds of a foggy morn.

Easily imagine a bottle of rum in hand;
initial heat searing a path from throat,
to chest, to stomach.  Close my eyes,
hear the digging and hiding of the treasure chest -
for we all know it's here, somewhere...

Find myself silhouetted beneath a stunted, stilted canopy, 
divest myself of its protection, enter realm of sea and sky,
sink my toes into shifting warm sand,
witness windswept trees, roots exposed,
lounging drunkenly upon dune grass and shore;
they obviously know where the kill-devil's hidden.
Wonder which are native to Teach's Hole
and which were cast ashore upon a hurricane's whim. 

Beach glass glints blue-green but I walk by
as I spy a hermit crab at ocean's edge,
play peekaboo for a while; a gambler's luck not mine
as he darts inside at each sneaky turn of my wrist.

Return him to salty spray and settle
beside beach grass and sea oats, wax myrtle and holly,
watch pelicans and seagulls swoop and glide
above (and below) ocean's rolling surface.

Marvel how little some things change; find comfort
knowing swarthy pirates, shipwrecked ponies,
and sundry floral & fauna have anchored themselves
upon this slip of shoreline with their own triumphs
and tragedies - some widely written of,
others left to the ghosts of imagination

and as the sun settles, awash with a glorious template
of which I'd accuse a painter of exaggerated artistic liberty,
I bend my ear, eavesdrop, and embrace evening's breath
as she whispers a few secrets and stories of her own.

by Margaret Bednar, August 14, 2017

* The chiefe fudling they make in the Island (i.e. Barbados) is Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill, and the is made of suggar can distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor. ("A briefe Description of the Island of Barbados" 1651)

Ocracoke Island HERE

This is linked (belatedly as I was on vacation on Ocracoke) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - writing unseen"

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

"Driftwood"





Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Heartwood"





Heartwood 

I often rummaged through Grandma's attic,
thin cedar planks betwixt neatly folded timeworn quilts, 
velvet hats with satin ribbons, bows, delicate silk embroidery, 
and impossibly dainty white gloves with buttons 
all carefully folded and preserved from almost another century.

Was fascinated with her small black and white photos
of Yellowstone, 1915, Marguerite side-saddle upon a donkey -
smooth face, plumpish body, dark hair mesmerizing me.  
Other photos of dashing young men, smartly dressed,
proper women with hour glass figures skirted and buttoned-up, 
images of grandma's arms tantalizingly outstretched 
holding treats for begging bears -

all proof she'd been young once.  I'd put everything away,
carefully descend narrow wooden stairs and look at her - 
try to find 1915 in her sweet dear face.  She'd smile, knowingly.

----------

The watercolor of an old red cedar graced the walls of first, 
Grandmother's house, then ours.  Great-Grandmother Nellie painted it, 
lived in the Red Brick house just a mile from my childhood home, 
died their 34 years of age - measles and pregnant with a fifth child.  
Other paintings of hers: little yellow chicks, farm scenes, florals. 
Imagine her walking past kitchen garden, beyond white picket fence,
setting up her paints, hair and face sheltered beneath wide brim hat,
brush in hand, humming between laundry and kitchen chores.  

----------

A red cedar graces my childhood home's lot line,
was there when our house was built.  Recently stood beneath her - 
old arthritic branches extending far above my head.  
Remember the dark purple-blue berries I'd pick
when I was young.  See a young soft sprout and marvel at this offshoot - 

proof of the nurturing force of nature, of an old matriarch's 
protective shade - thankful my father never chopped her down
for firewood.  

----------

I find a fabric that quilts together these memories
and as I search for complimentary pieces and ponder patterns,
I anticipate wrapping myself up in cedar and berries, 
love and family. 

by Margaret Bednar, August 3, 2017

Painting by my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta (Lyford) Hutchins
Red Cedar trees can live up to 900 years.  The fine-grained, soft brittle pinkish to brownish-red heartwood is fragrant, very light and very durable, even in contact with soil.  Because of its rot resistance, the woods used for fence posts.  The aromatic wood is avoided by moths, so it is in demand as lining for clothes chests and closets, often referred to as cedar closets and cedar chests.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Quilt Me a Poem"

The Eastern Red Cedar that was standing in my side yard when I was two years old and is
still there - a mile from where my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta lived - I like to think this
is an offshoot of the tree she painted above.  

Painting by my Great Grandmother Helen Augusta (Lyford) Hutchins

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Of Nymphs & Gods

I see elephants, giants, cougars... what do you see?

“Of Nymphs and Gods"  

Elephants effortlessly leap
as cougars crouch and giants sleep
and I upon Gaia’s ample breast
relinquish time to nymph’s mystique.

Now then in cool of morning rest
heat rays abide in sun’s digest
broad lays day as banana leaves
give succor thou wanton guest -

until westward wind sighs and heaves
Aura’s artistry aside and conceives
a cumulus sky of fearful might
'tis fair Iris's name to which I cleave.

Silhouettes court jasmine's white
orange hues bring lovers in sight
quiet passions to golden steep
guide the hush of twilight's flight.

by Margaret Bednar (1 & 3)  & Gillena Cox (2 & 4)


Notes:

- In Greek mythology there were nymphs (Nephelae) of clouds and rain

- Gaia - Greek god of Mother Earth 

- Aura - goddess of the breeze and the fresh air of early morning

- Iris - goddess of rainbows and a divine messenger of the gods.  A link between the gods and mankind -  traveled with the speed of wind

- One of the most nourishing fruits known to man, the banana has been a life giving food in the tropics since ancient times.  As a result, many different cultures have tales about its origins and uses.  According to the Burmese, when man was created, he looked and looked for good food for himself and his children.   He came upon am beautiful, tall green tree with many fruits, being busily devoured by birds.  Seeing the birds eating eating the fruits, he knew that they must not be poisonous, so he shooed the creatures away and took the bananas to feed his family.  Ever since, the Burmese have eaten the fruits of the banana, which they call paw, “the birds told”.

- The Hawaiians, also fans of the fruit, which they call mai’a, tell a story that the brother of the goddess Pele brought the banana in his canoe to Hawaii from Tahiti.  They also believe mai’a to be the body of Kanaloa, their god of healing.


This poem was also highlighted in Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Home

A view of the backyard of my childhood home
Home

Summers were humid and hot
and barring gentle afternoon showers
we'd dash in and out of the sprinkler,
the cool tickle of grass beneath our feet
with the sweet bliss of backyard's shade,
which started to arrive just past noon
and loomed large by four o'clock,
to protect us.

If we weren't braving the heat - riding our pony
and enjoying a forbidden dip in the river
(Mother feared the Rock's swift current)
we'd drag the wooden picnic table over
and play Crazy 8's, Go Fish, and War.
Sometimes Monopoly, but we often
ended that game in a fight
as it dragged on too long.

Brown - not reddish or beige -
just a dark stain applied every few years
graces my childhood fortress,
yet Mother's orange, violet, yellow,
and red flowers pop against it,
various greens spike and unfurl
agains the bricks that line the bottom half
so it never appears dull.

The gravel drive swoops around
as opposed to straight in from the road
giving it a bit of elegance -
the hayfield (or corn depending on the year)
sways with the wind,
the trees having matured, frame the yard;
walnut, oak, evergreen, red cedar -
all have become intimate guardians.

Not many my age can slip into their old room,
feel sixteen again, walk around and touch
places one's toddler feet tread,
recall names of neighbors that once occupied life,
step beneath the same shade mid July
fifty years later.

Margaret Bednar, July 18, 2017

My Mother's green thumb

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

I just returned from visiting my parents... not sure I walked into my room and felt 16 again (a little bit of creative license) - but it certainly brought me back a bit...


Friday, July 7, 2017

"Will It Be Enough?"



Will It Be Enough?

As the heat of day is flung
into evening's dusky sky,
I, beneath straw-brimmed hat
glance askance at you, reach for your hand,
point to soaring pelicans and sea birds
as they pass over palms, masts,
and the settling sun's eucharist-like offering -

sigh, turn into your shoulder with a slow smile
made of our joys, sorrows, sweat and tears,
our yesterdays, our bright tomorrows -
and know it will be enough
to sustain, nourish and replenish.

by Margaret Bednar, July 7, 2017

This is for "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Get Listed - Summer"  We were given 12 words and I used 8.

I just got back from a mini-get-away.  Can you tell?  :)




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Mountain Music"


Mountain Music

Snowballs sprinkle the valley,
soft breezes caress one's brow,
and to my eye, mountains with shoulders hunched
protect simple joys
that wind along the French Broad, gravel roads,
and the few true country stores yet to be found.

Weekend plans of leisurely hike pushed aside
as Jesus is coming this side of June -
Grandfather's meadows will overflow
as he hails evangelist, sermon, and song.

And I will linger upon my porch,
perhaps surrounded by an evening fog,
wrapped in solitude, homespun quilt, comfort & sounds
only a small mountain town can offer.

by Margaret Bednar, June 21, 2017

I haven't hiked Grandfather Mountain yet this year - was thinking of this weekend but it truly will be crowded there as Billy Graham's daughter will be the evangelist for this year's "Singing on the Mountain" event.  

"Settling"


Settling

Downy breasts and fledgling tails bosom
beneath barn's bare bulb and beams gilded gold

as mother settles nearby - swooping flight
and darting wing stilled for the night.

Horses stomp, nose their hay
as mountain air and far flung stars vie for center stage;

light switched off, feet shuffle as I walk well worn path
to nestle my own babes to bed.

by Margaret Bednar, June 21, 2017



Monday, June 19, 2017

"I'm Made Of ..."



I'm Made of ...

a bit of vice
(unfortunately not all that's nice)
and yes, the occasional dash of pettiness

childhood summers of red clover, horses,
hammocks and kittens

six sweet babes, some grown and flown,
a mother's earnest prayers

t-shirts and jeans, a few forgotten dreams,
a better understanding of sexiness

forgiveness and virtue, today's good intentions
rooted in yesteryears and wisdom gleaned

a smile, once shy,
painted frosted sugar plum.

Margaret Bednar, June 19, 2017

A fun prompt - one I'm afraid to dig into too much :)  "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge - What I'm Made of ..."

These red clovers always remind me of childhood - they grew in our hayfield and we would pick them and pluck them - and they were edible - during the hot summer days when we weren't allowed in the house we sat in the shade beneath the trees or on the porch - boredom wasn't something my parent's cared about :)

my favorite lipstick is "sugar plum" and I've always been addicted to frosted lipgloss - I'm a product of the '80's ... but I don't sport great big hair anymore :)


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mid-July

Paulina Tarot Cards HERE
Mid-July

Sun frolics upon freckled shoulders,
hat forsaken, nose kissed,
sunblock so painstakingly applied in June,
tossed aside, tan lines a criss-crossed map
upon my back as I follow floral paths
of golden whorls and sprightly grass,
track mid-day sun with upturned face,
imitate songs and arcs of darting swallows,
arms outstretched, leap over split rail fence,
imagine flight as summer unspirals.

by Margaret Bednar, June 10, 2017

This is linked (LATE) with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Words Count with Mama Zen"  Interpret a tarot card in 60 words or less.  I went over by one...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Ghost Walk"

Unitarian Church Graveyard, Charleston, SC


Ghost Tour

Misty moon, a theatrical guide -
an emotional retelling of Annabelle Lee

a translucent lady searching for love -
what Edgar, in vain, thirsted lifelong

clandestine ground where words surely wooed -
due a father's disdain, were doomed

Romeo to her Juliet; passion, tragedy, eternity -
fodder for which a poet's muse

could only bloom and grow.

by Margaret Bednar, June 6, 2017




I adore Ghost Tours, and this was one of the best I've experienced - largely due to the gentlemen who hosted us.  He was an actor, between jobs, and he knew how to tell a story, project so all could hear, and his ending recital of Edgar Allen Poe's  "Annabelle Lee" was mesmerizing.  The photo is NOT of her (six) grave(s), but another section in the graveyard.

As the story goes, Anna was rich and betrothed to another.  Her love was not her father's choice - the young man was just a private in the army - they met secretly in the graveyard.   Yet Edgar Perry (Allen Poe was his real name, but he lied about his name in order to be allowed to enlist) was transferred far away from Fort Moultrie.  Anna became sick and died - before Edgar could return.  Anna's father dug six graves - so Edgar would never know for sure where she lay in the place they once stole moments of love...

This is linked (late) to "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads Flash 55 Plus" (the bonus was Ghost Town - I tweaked it to Ghost Tour) and to "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform".

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Spin

Doe Ridge Pottery
My Spin

I've banned the talking heads
to a few minutes each morn-
raise an eyebrow as play by plays change daily;
a comedy farce at best if one is cynical.

My cat peers into the mountain fog
from her window seat; little paws
tucked carefully beneath as she considers
what isn't seen, but revealed soon enough.

Costa Rica percolates in the kitchen
and the dogs thump hopeful tails,
a daily walk and two meals their only concern.

Simplicity and patience; it's what the world needs.

The seasoned cast iron faithfully offers
perfectly cooked eggs spooned atop
dry rye and sliced avocado -
so pretty upon my Doe Ridge pottery plate.

Calendar open; try to squeeze in "me time".
Flip through apps, select "Audible"
as lives from the past seem far more interesting
than what's being offered up today.

by Margaret Bednar, May 23, 2017

This is linked to three Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Challenges: "The Weekend Challenge - News" and "Bits of Inspiration - Mixed Media Art" and the "Tuesday Platform".

Lately I have listened to the book "War of the Roosevelts" and a "controversial" book (as I am Catholic ;) "Pope Joan"   Both captivating books offered through "Audible".  Perfect while I quilt, knit, draw, or exercise.  And a refreshing breather from "the news".


Thursday, May 11, 2017

"All's Fair..."


"All's Fair..."

"Horseradish" Grandmother would mutter
beneath her breath and I knew she was ruffled.
"That's Queer", which embarrassed me no end,
was another expletive.

Vinegar reminds me of her.  One tablespoon,
milk became buttermilk, a dash more
cleaned the kettle, crystal, and oven.
Did wonders with laundry, mirrors, floors.
Come summer a preventive for swimmer's ear;
a hated the "tickle".

Slyly coaxing teaspoons of mineral oil
proved futile:  my stubbornness my savior.

* * *

Smile to myselfcarefully wasabi peas rinsed,
with vinegar no less, fiber and protein
a healthy "snack"; hide the Cheese Puff's
my kids (and their father) prefer.
Set a tall glass of water before them.

Complain I'm trying to kill them.

"Horseradish" I mutter beneath my breath.
Launch into a trip down memory lane:
plowing my way through drifts of snow
to catch the school bus (I did),
summer mornings spent weeding mother's
two acre vegetable garden (truth),
and the dreaded daily dose of mineral oil.

Swear I hear Grandmother say,
"That's Queer" ... allow the memory
of her raised eyebrow make me feel
a little guilty.

by Margaret Bednar, May 11, 2017


This was a hard challenge.  I was to combine an odd phrase "self care wasabi peas" with the photograph above.  I highlighted the words in the poem - you can see I took a bit of "artistic liberty" - it's the only way I could make this work...

This is linked with "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Out of Standard - Photo Finish"  These really are memories of my Grandmother.  I don't serve wasabi peas BUT I am joined to a CSA and the vegetables are often the bane of my families existence - and my joy!   I have found a number of ways to prepare the vegetables that they are willing to eat (and put those darn cheese puffs away).

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Being Puck"




Being Puck

Is there not a bit
of an imp in every boy,
a puck, a pixie, rascal or sprite

that beguiles more than pesters,
teases not torments -
molds a mother's heart

and when it reappears
upon becoming a man - does it not
bring back her youthful smile?

by Margaret Bednar, May 9, 2017

My son, William Bednar, will be performing (as Puck) with Barefoot Shakespeare Company productions of Macbeth and Midsummer Night's Dream - set in the summer of 1967.   It will be in rotating repertory, June 8-18 at Summit Rock in Central Park.  William appears in the video at .21

He was both Peter Pan & Robin Hood (both have elements of Puck) several times as a youth and adores Shakespeare - and will always be a bit of a Puck :)

and Barefoot Shakespeare Company's website:  HERE

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Mythical Prejudice"

A little about Puck HERE
and Peter Pan HERE

Peter - which is closely related to Puck
drawing by Chelsea Bednar

Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Flight of the Raven"



Flight of the Raven

I stood at the overlook absorbing the vast Blue Ridge,
enjoying my knew found word - cimmerian -
watched it cavort with a favorite word - luminous
across the mountain peaks...

and as always, I felt a longing, a searching
that always cloaks me at this elevation, sunrise or sunset;
ponder Time which cavorts ahead, enigmatically;
look back, see a mirage - for don't we all
like to rearrange the past into something pleasant?

---

I think it was his size that took my breath away,
not the shadow that winged over me, angel-like,
nor the romanesque profile silhouetted against mountain's vista -
although both were impressive;

felt forlorn as the messenger soared off, his secret intact
so taken with his arrival, I didn't listen.

I've learned it's a powerful privilege to cry with a Raven,
embrace rebirth, anticipate new perspectives
and I ponder what challenges await me,
what hides in the shadows, what is holding me back?

Thrilled my Scorpian's "fire" is compatible
with Raven's "playfulness"...

by Margaret Bednar, May 4, 2017



A really (seriously REALLY cool) neat Pinterest all about Crows and Ravens HERE

Ten neat facts about Ravens HERE

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Small Town Inspirations"




Saturday, April 29, 2017

"The Turning of Things"



The Turning of Things

I often lost myself in Garland's voice,
a young girl believing beyond the rainbow was possible;
eyes closed, hammock rocking gently,
cat curled into my side, sang along prayerfully, quietly,
low notes almost a vibrato.

I'd hear bees bumbling about mother's perennials
attracted to the fantasia of color amidst arcs, bows, curves
of buds and blossoms;

my favorite the iris, or "eiris"
imagined the Greek goddess delivering messages for the gods
from the Underworld or souls Heavenward -

recall the day I sprinkled purple petals upon kitty's grave,
watched a few butterfly off upon summer's breeze
knew they escorted his spirit over rainbow's arch
as I hummed "once in a lullaby"

and sometimes a part of me, as I drift asleep,
goes back before the turning of things,
before my childish heart took a backseat
and I simply believed.

by Margaret Bednar, April 29, 2017

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Imagined by Brendan - Penultimatums: Voyages' End (Almost)"


Monday, April 24, 2017

Charleston City Market


Sweetgrass baskets at Charleston's City Market
Charleston City Market

I finger sterling silver rings,
ponder souvenirs emblazed
with crescent moon and palm tree -

gaze upon Gullah "basket ladies"
coiling bundled sweetgrass and palmetto leaves
'round knots no longer for toil and sweat
but woven mementoes highly sought.

Lift a price tag, raise a brow,
remind myself art isn't always expressed
with oil and brush -

that these "fanners" no longer winnow
rice seed from chaff,
but are modified for fashion and show.

I watch as she hums and smiles,
hands repetitive, competent,
twining biblical bulrush and pine
for style and strength -

weaving a craft dragged from African shores
and a breadbasket for my southern home
to be used with gratitude and awe.

by Margaret Bednar, April 24, 2017

I wrote this poem while oceanside at Isle of Palms.  Wind in my hair, evening sun on the back of my shoulders - toes in the ocean.  Sigh... some people live like this everyday.  I have linked this with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"


books about South Carolina Sweetgrass Baskets:

Row Upon Row:  Sea Grass Baskets of the South Carolina Lowcountry  HERE

Sweetgrass Baskets and the Gullah Tradition HERE

Circle Unbroken HERE

A Gullah Guide to Charleston HERE  ( I plan on taking a number of these tours the next time I visit Charleston)  

Monday, April 17, 2017

No "Glorious" Feeling

Hard Rain Gilad 173 (Photobucket)

No shared step, no smile exchanged, no song beneath this umbrella for two.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Challenge - Micro Poetry - Streetlight Rain"  - my attempt at:  American Sentences as a poetic form was Ginsberg's effort to make American the haiku.  If haiku is seventeen syllables going down in Japanese text, he would make American Sentences seventeen syllables going across, linear.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Sanctuary"



Sanctuary

Effervescent and plaintive -
a contradiction or so it seems,
my song, undeciphered

left behind as I rise,
sail into clouds upon ocean's spray
a spirit suspended -
almost an Assumption...

but with one last breath
I mercifully plunge, a gentle behemoth,
back into deep blue's silence
of bubbles, sunbeams, and vibrations -

an underwater sanctuary.
Can you hear my plea?

by Margaret Bednar, March 28, 2017


My dear friend, Toril, is an artist living in the driftless region of Wisconsin.  She can be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/torilfineart/ and these fine fellows are for sale (there are actually three of them!) and many other new paintings she will be selling this spring & summer. 

With such beauty, it is daunting putting words to the feelings these images evoke... I am my own worst critic, I'm afraid... 



"Springtime Quest"


Springtime Quest

The curve of his neck seems a metaphor,
not "clothed in thunder" (Job 39:19)
but something serene and comforting -
perhaps more akin to soft summer rain.

His nose tickles, comforts
like no words ever can; lips inquisitive -
searching for sweet treats
I gladly offer.

Ears flick backward, forward
as I test iambic pentameter -
his head nods, warm brown eyes
seemingly approve.  He's easily pleased.

Trees brim with birds, mint green grass
is sprouting, and words flutter & tease me
to reach out, grasp, frame them
within lines and margins.

I lean forward ever so slightly,
send Oberon off into a gallop -
challenge this budding spring day
to escape my poetic lasso.

by Margaret Bednar, March 28, 2017

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Thought Animals"

The challenge was to write this poem in quadrille form - I thought that meant four line stanzas - not a total of 44 words!  So not to be accused of not following the rules, here is a 44 version:



Curve of his neck's a metaphor
not "clothed in thunder"...

more akin to soft summer rain.

His ears flick backward
as I test iambic pentameter

mint green grass & words flutter -
tease to be tamed within lines & margins

try to defy my poetic lasso

And also with "The Tuesday Platform

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Home


Home

I close my eyes,
brush away illusion of yesteryear

  smell sweet dandelions 
  and fields of alfalfa & clover,

  hear Sugar barking, 
  warning of Katy's imminent wanderlust
  and roving ways - my father whistles - 
  saves me an afternoon of searching the tracks 
  and riverbed for wayward hound.  

  Mother hums, 
  garden pail full of vegetables I detest, 

  chickens cluck, ponies stomp their hooves; 
  horseflies are especially pesky come late July. 

  I'm busy weeding glorious flowerbeds with my sister
  (we laugh and bicker simultaneously) 
  not sure if what I've unearthed 
  is intruder or poesy.  

  But then,
  I adore the sweet dandelions...

Vignettes such as these shimmer within me;
settle me, center me, shelter me;
create a strength I believe I've fostered
in my children.

A home in their heart,
better than money in the bank.

by Margaret Bednar, March 22, 2017

This is linked with "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Mini-Challenge - Home" and "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

Friday, March 17, 2017

Of Quilts & Killing Fields


Of Quilts & Killing Fields 

Come spring they'd stretch
between birch and pine,
dappled light dancing lovingly
upon tufted ornamental stitches;
billowing sails filled with earthly fragrance.

Beneath snowdrops
lay twisted and mangled;
a killing field begun
by a twitching tail
and a desire to please.

by Margaret Bednar, March 17, 2017


linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Fireblossom Friday - Incongruity"

note:  Snowdrop flowers are white and represent purity.

As a child, every spring my cat couldn't wait to spend more time outdoors and start hunting - he was always so proud to show me his efforts...  I don't deal with this now as my three cats are all permanent indoor cats.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

"Produce Aisle"

"Produce"
Produce Aisle

I've always longed to melt into Monet paintings,
feel his strokes of color upon my skin
warmer than any summer sunrise.

Renoir's eye for intimacy,
Cezanne's bright shapes,
Picasso's creative boldness -
all these things I see as I mingle amongst the produce,

fondle golden beets, caress cantaloupe's contours,
relish the idea of organic beauty upon a canvas,
my brush creating a world of swirls and dashes.

I arrange delicata to the left, a radish's greens
hail from the right, red peppers and aubergine eggplant
centrally featured, shift the pomegranate around,
imagine it outlined with sure, dark Van Gogh-like strokes...

frame these produce divas as they seductively pose,
swear the pear's channeling Marilyn Monroe
(perhaps the butternut too), sungolds pout their red,

and the kaleidoscope mix of carrots claim best dressed
in their gowns of atomic red, cosmic purple,
and lunar white. I take a quick photo of my market still-life,
sweep them off their "red carpet"

take them home to be boiled, baked, chopped, devoured -
fate unchanged, yet destined to be remembered,
perhaps with a brush stroke of summer sun.

by Margaret Bednar, March 9, 2017

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Rommy's Challenge - Synesthesia"  The idea as to swap sensory imagery - What does a sunrise taste like? Does the sound of crickets have a tactile feel?  were examples.  I think I got off track - comparing the produce to divas and a glamorous red carpet type of walk...  Or maybe my sensory is the visual (imagination)?

Delicata?  a delicious squash.  Here is a link to 15 fantastic pumpkins and squash recipes and I have used a number of them... Not only cute but yummy.   https://www.thespruce.com/winter-squash-and-pumpkins-2217736




Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Through the Veil"


Through the Veil 

Every year Stork's Tower's adorned
for the Chrysanthemum Festival,
autumn nuzzles the Black Forest,
fields of gold-ripened crops
and vineyards embrace
beneath sky's vast blue as steeples
and red roofs point toward heaven -

yet 1845 brought the potato blight
to Lahr, Baden-Wurttemberg
(German isn't exactly poetic...)
and Landolin Haas to Lady Liberty's shore
aboard the Rappahannock and perhaps
down the rivers Delaware and Schuylkill
to Pottsville, Pennsylvania
and soon through the doors
of St. John the Baptist
into the arms of Josepha Benedikte
of that same year.

1860 a Wisconsin farmer,
1863, a Civil War soldier...
1865 deceased -
a victim of battle or disease?

I follow the curve and slant
of Theresa Hershede's hand,
keeper of a rooming house,
immigration year 1870,
applying for naturalization ...

So many (great) Grandparents'
partial stories - ghosts upon paper
that flutter alive before me a bit -
who tilled the land still tilled today,
made vows in churches still standing,
in counties and towns I've driven past,
never knowing they are a part of me...

and I've only just begun;
so here's to the immigration trail
from Slovakia, southwest Germany,
and villages of Somerset England -
may lives glimmer once again
through the veil of time.

by Margaret Bednar, February 18, 2017

This is for a poetic prompt I am hosting at "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Immigrants".   Not only am I learning where my ancestors came to in America, but the homelands they came from... how cool to perhaps visit those places in Europe one day....


Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Temptation"


Temptation

A trickle of sweat
defies the rapidly moving paper fan
imprinted with the Savior's face.

My red tongue
swipes salt from my upper lip
almost revealing my secret.

His gentle eyes
seemingly acknowledge
my transgression

but I cannot resist temptation.

I pop another sinfully sour red explosion
into my mouth
careful not to swallow the pit.

The perfumed shade makes me think
for a moment I'm in Heaven
but the stickiness of the imperfect ones

upon the ground
causes me to stop fanning
and ask forgiveness.  He understands.

I hope Grandmother will too.

by Margaret Bednar, February 12, 2017



One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother's cherry trees and our family picking cherries in the summer.  My mom canned and I'm sure my love for cherry pie began with that tree.

This poem is reworked for a poetry group I belong to "Behind the Stacks" (they used to meet in a library) and the theme for February is "Food for Thought".

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Of Canna & Martins

Canna "Orange Beauty" flowers - Wrightsville Beach, NC
Of Canna & Martins

Towering titian beauties bold,
coronated, (or so it seems
as regally they don't bend)
stand tall and proud
as I, like a butterfly revere them
from my lowly adirondack chair -

sip a summer's refreshing drink,
watch Purple Martins swoop, dip,
and dine upon dragonflies
upon a scrim I'd liken to Pissarro -

all before me for but an eve
as I soak in the last rays
of this ocean-side holiday.

by Margaret Bednar, February 11, 2017

This could also have been entitled "February Blues" or "Longing for that Summer Vacation".   This will be linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday mini challenge - Recycle a Saying".  I loosely played with this Korean proverb:  "Butterflies come to pretty flowers"

Note:  I see I didn't read the directions of the challenge completely through - the rub was to change a word or two and do an altered version of the proverb...  I'll put my thinking cap on and give it another go perhaps with another poem.

Here are a few more proverbs I found wonderful:

"Spring won't come from one flower"  Persian proverb
"Patience is a flower that grows not in everyone's garden" Italian proverb
"Beauty without virtue is a flower without perfume" French proverb
"All flowers are not in one garland" English proverb
"Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them" Chinese proverb
"A beautiful flower is incomplete without its leaves" Chinese proverb
"For the sake of the flowers, the weeds are watered" Arabic proverb
"An old man loved is a winter with flowers" German proverb
"Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep" German proverb
"All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of yesterday" Italian proverb
"A kiss without a hug is like a flower without the fragrance" Maltese proverb


Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Walls"


Walls

Hadrian's Wall was built for war,
now weaves its way through cozy hamlets,
rolls past castles, forts, and Roman remnants,
along East River to the Irish Sea.

The other day I basked in winter's sun,
back against a wall, wind blocked,
secure, content as thawing limbs
frolicked upon its canvas.

Walls are built for protection,
and yet as late my mind keeps pondering
what it means for those who reside
on the other side.

by Margaret Bednar, February 9, 2017

I so would love to walk this path, along this wall some day...

This poem is linked with the challenge over at "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marian - Wall"



Hadrian's Wall - Timewatch by klidstone1970


Sunday, February 5, 2017

"Brooklyn Bridge"

The Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

What great monuments man has made
that drape across East River's breadth -
incandescent portraits
of fortune, finesse, and fearlessness.

King's county bows its crown come morn,
Manhattan curtsies (but not demurely) mid cocktail hour -
such ceremony sliced
by tugs, ferries, ships, and boats

all beneath two gothic arches,
a cathedral suspended
clasping two together.

by Margaret Bednar, February 5, 2017

Kings county = Brooklyn

10 things you may not know about the Brooklyn Bridge

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Flash 55 Plus

Sunday, January 29, 2017

"Of Verse, Poesy & Odes"



Of Verse, Poesy & Odes

Palm a poem as if fragile
even if the words are bold.

Let them sink into your skin
as if moonlight,

let them flow through your veins
until they become ordinary

for only then will we know
they nourished.

by Margaret Bednar, January 29, 2017

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge - Condense a Poem"  non other than Pablo Neruda's "Sweetness, always" in our own words, retaining the essence of what we think the poem is.   Below is Neruda's whole poem:

Sweetness, always
by Pablo Neruda

"Why such harsh machinery?
Why, to write down the stuff and people of everyday,
must poems be dressed up in gold,
or in old and fearful stone?

I want verses of felt or feather which scarcely weigh,
mild verses
with the intimacy of beds
where people have loved and dreamed.
I want poems stained
by hands and everydayness.

Verses of pastry which melt
into milk and sugar in the mouth,
air and water to drink,
the bites and kisses of love.
I long for eatable sonnets,
poems of honey and flour.

Vanity keeps prodding us
to lift ourselves skyward
or to make deep and useless
tunnels underground.
So we forget the joyous
love-needs of our bodies.
We forget about pastries.
We are not feeding the world.

In Madras a long time since,
I saw a sugary pyramid,
a tower of confectionery -
one level after another,
and in the construction, rubies,
and other blushing delights,
medieval and yellow.

Someone dirtied his hands
to cook up so much sweetness.

Brother poets from here
and there, from earth and sky,
from Medellin, from Veracruz,
Abyssinia, Antofagasta,
do you know the recipe for honeycombs?

Let's forget about all that stone.

Let your poetry fill up
the equinoctial pastry shop
our mouths long to devour -
all the children's mouths
and the poor adults' also.
Don't go on without seeing,
relishing, understanding
all these hearts of sugar.

Don't be afraid of sweetness.

With or without us,
sweetness will go on living
and is infinitely alive,
forever being revived,
for it's in a man's mouth,
whether he's eating or singing,
that sweetness has its place."

Monday, January 23, 2017

"Revelation"

 
Ever wondered about the story behind these triple roadside crosses?  HERE it is.   
Revelation

As a child I was tucked into bed inspired
with stories of Saints; some plucked from sin
and dismay, others never swayed from righteous ways -

drifted off to sleep beneath moonlit shelf
of angels and figurines blessed -

waited for "marching orders",  my turn to serve;
"Strive for sanctity" a phrase I'd often heard -

drove by triple crosses planted in cow pastures,
wondered if they were a sign.  Opened bibles randomly,
fingered verse as if a crystal ball -

St. Joan had her voices, her visions,
St. Teresa, her raptures, her angels,
my Evangelical friend, her "God told me so" -

but I'm afraid the only voice I hear is mine.
The only vision is what's before me.

Perhaps love is all you need
(inspired a bit from the Beetles
as well as the Bible) -

Love as a verb, a word to galvanize us all
to become our own unique saint.

by Margaret Bednar, January 23, 2017

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge with Brendan - Voices"   I did a bit of an overhaul on this poem - for those who read it through the first time, thanks for doing so again.

I learned this lesson years ago - and I've stumbled many times, but whatever we believe, if we don't put it into action, what good is it?  Most never have a "great revealing" nor a "voice" that divinely inspires... but if we are true to what we believe in (I am talking religion) then we are called to live it the best of our abilities, to be strong, to be our own unique version of a saint, to love God not by being just like the saints before us, but loving God as they did.

And to always remember love is a verb, an action.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Writer



The Writer

Her voice is soft like a songbird's first "good morning",
vibrato's as words pour into her leather bound fortress,
becomes a warrior, a missionary - maybe a bit of both;

a vortex of youth, passion, possibilities -
becomes a full bodied soprano reaching for high C
no longer penning curly cues and girlish giggles
but brandishing flourishes as bold and strong
as ambition dares reach...

and she dares.

by Margaret Bednar, January 16, 2017



Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Poetry, Writing, & Metaphor - Dreaming w/ Stacie"   Metaphors are not to use the word like - I believe if one uses "like" then it is a similes.  They both compare ...