I never do these but this amused me

The ‘these’ of which I speak are prompts and challenges (or whatever they are called).

First up – Paula Light of Light Motifs II – Thursday Inspiration 59 – Hair

My contribution, a poem I wrote after I had hacked my hair off –

Phantom Hair

It’s an odd feeling – phantom hair.
Fluffing hair that isn’t there,
I have no feelings of despair.
It will return, I have no doubt.
Until it does, I’ll do without.

Grace St. Clair
July 30, 2010

There will be a second post to answer Rory’s questions.

Just Sharing Some Beauty

(I was cleaning out files and found this – so beautiful. This is not my work, I wish I was this good. The photo doesn’t seem to have an attribution and the writer is, of course, duly noted. I’ve made her name a clickable link to her web site. This is the most smashing thing I have read perhaps ever!)

oldwomanbraids

Beneath the Sweater and the Skin
Jeannette Encinias

How many years of beauty do I have left?
she asks me.
How many more do you want?
Here. Here is 34. Here is 50.

When you are 80 years old
and your beauty rises in ways
your cells cannot even imagine now
and your wild bones grow luminous and
ripe, having carried the weight
of a passionate life.

When your hair is aflame
with winter
and you have decades of
learning and leaving and loving
sewn into
the corners of your eyes
and your children come home
to find their own history
in your face.

When you know what it feels like to fail
ferociously
and have gained the
capacity
to rise and rise and rise again.

When you can make your tea
on a quiet and ridiculously lonely afternoon
and still have a song in your heart
Queen owl wings beating
beneath the cotton of your sweater.

Because your beauty began there
beneath the sweater and the skin,
remember?

This is when I will take you
into my arms and coo
YOU BRAVE AND GLORIOUS THING
you’ve come so far.
I see you.
Your beauty is breathtaking.

Sometimes I feel like

Emily Dickinson “This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me” – just that line (or actually two lines).

Some 52 years ago, (that would have been around 1968) when I was young and starry eyed, I took a poetry workshop course at what was then known as The New School for Social Research (which later became The New School University and is currently The New School – an establishment from which I received my BA in 1982).

The course was taught/presented by Jose Garcia Villa. He was a famous poet, which I actually did not know at the time. One of the first poems I presented in class was roundly derided and criticized by my fellow 20-somethings as sounding like Emily Dickinson. Quite frankly I did not see that as a bad thing but they did.  I had only recently discovered Miss Dickinson and I was deeply enamoured of her work but that particular poem had been written before she and I had met (so to speak).

The cool thing was Mr. Villa liked the poem! He said it was musical. If fuzzy memory serves me, he liked most, or part, of all the poems I presented in class because they were musical. (I think he was in a musical phase at the time).

He said his favorite poem was –

Butterfly
Flutterby
You’d better fly

I’m not too sure what to make of that. Nor do I know if he wrote it, or someone else. Doesn’t matter, it has stuck in my head all these years. Indeed one of my alter egos is Margo Flutterby – it’s musical!

Which just all turns back to my stubborn insistence that poetry must be musical else it is prose. Afterall isn’t what differentiates poetry from prose is the rhythm and meter? And isn’t music rhythm and meter? Hence, poetry must be musical.

You can rhyme or not rhyme but you must sing.

(NOTE: this started out to be about my lack of social interactions and then off it went to something else. Another example of ping-pong brain, squirrel brain, pinball brain – call it what you will.)

Enough Awready…

Curmudgeons & Grouches

Cuddle your cut-offs,
Snuggle your slippers.
If they don’t bring joy
It’s time to ditch ’em.

Bypass the donuts,
Say no to all bread,
Glutens verboten,
Inhale kale instead.

Look on the bright side,
Exist in the now.
Always be grateful,
They’ll all tell you how.

But…

Where are the grouches,
Where the curmudgeons,
People like me who
Live in high dudgeon.

We like our messes,
Our stomachs are fine.
So shove your good cheer
Where the sun doesn’t shine.

© Grace St. Clair

Getting old is not for sissies,

as some folks are discovering, according to some blog posts I have read recently.  Most of these folks are younger than I – much younger.

I’ve been tracking the changes of getting old(er) for a while now, one of them being that the days of “I can eat anything – I’ve got a cast iron stomach.” are long past.  I went so far as to write about it –

Getting old is not for sissies,
So they say,
and they,
are right.

Unlike J. Alfred, peaches
are not a problem
yet,
but peppers

Green and hot,
onions raw,
salami, cheese,
all of these

Bring me to my
knees, and more,
find my husband

At the store.
Pepto, Maalox,
liquid chalk –

All are bought,
and chewed and drunk.
Gagging, gasping
oh the pain!

As I moan,
Never again.

Amazing how a good
nights sleep
has me now on
steady feet.

What’s for lunch?

© Grace St. Clair
(March 2010)

Back in the day – (here I go again!)

I am not a fan of memorizing without understanding. Nor am I capable of it. While I have a talent for remembering and memorization I could never memorize something I didn’t understand – probably why I flunked Geometry II. Or never really mastered another language. The exhortation to “Just memorize it, you don’t have to understand it” never worked for me, actually never made sense to me – but you know, that’s just me.

That said, all through grammar school, as part of the reading curriculum, we had to memorize a poem every week. I loved that because I have always loved poetry. (The first creative writing I ever did was poetry. Ah, the poetry of an 8-year old. I still have a few, cringe worthy, but sweet.)  Bits and pieces of those poems still stick in my head and pop into my consciousness at odd, and sometimes appropriate, moments.

Many mornings, like this morning, when I wake up, the first thing I am conscious of thinking is:

“Here hath been dawning
Another blue Day:
Think wilt thou let it
Slip useless away.”
~ ~ ~ ~Thomas Carlyle

While today is not a blue day, as in sunshine and blue skies, it is indeed a rather dreary rainy day, but I am feeling well rested, and, if not totally energized, at least upbeat and looking forward to accomplishing something, anything, today.

Happiness is – feeling rested and hopeful, if only for practical things, and starting your day with odd bits of poetry making you smile.