Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Point

Sixty-eight revolutions around the Sun
And what does it all mean?
All the hopes and ambitions,
All the plannings and strivings,
The greatest achievements,
And abysmal flops,
The children and grandkids,
The laughs and the tears,
The deepest soul searching
And the frivolous fluff,
All seem without substance
In this moment of Truth.
Yes, there are triumphs
When Hope reigns again
And darkness gives way
To the cleansing of Light.
No shred of the ego,
Casting a shadow,
Can hold back the brilliance
Of that which is real.
The anger, what of it?
The stumbling, who cares?
And what we call Loving,
Do we know what that is?
Letting go of the stories
And weavings of Life,
I bring my awareness
To that which is here.
And so, in this moment,
I sew with intent
To make this stitch even
And strong without knots.
And on it goes on,
Just this stitch,
And this one,
And this stitch, and this stitch,
Is there a point?

Prema Rose

Saturday, May 29, 2010

O Nights of Summertime!

O nights of Summertime!
Fields of stars
stretching overhead,
lighting my path
marking my passage
through season to season.

Balmy yet rich
in loamy smells,
embracing each seed
hugging me close
noting my words,
accepting my thanks.

Winter’s long gone.
Snow came in May.
We stretched
with blossoming trees
to live through til now.
O nights of Summertime,



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Walking Away ?

I just wanted to note that I have awoken many times in the past few months with the realization that I had, the moment before, been dreaming! This is exciting to me as I am one of these people who feel like I never dream because I rarely have a conscious memory of actually dreaming. This morning I have a snippet … a dream fragment. This is a step towards remembering my dreams and wants to be acknowledged.

I am standing in front of, and looking into, what appears to be a furnace. It is old, huge and kind of scary looking box. There is a large piece sticking out from the middle top; it is a kidney bean shaped balloon apparently made out of metal. I wonder what it is; a filter? I have never seen anything like it. It kind of reminds me of an exposed heart; is it beating? Even as I stand there and think about it, it falls off and rolls across my laundry basket filled with clothes. I am fearful. Is it hot to touch? Will it ruin or stain my clothes? What should I do with this bean heart?

I note that even though this large bean filter do-hickey is sitting on them, my clothes were not clean yet; they are on their way to the washing machine.

I am tempted to not do anything. I have done this in the past when I am too overwhelmed with life in general; like now. I just walk away from a “not right” or “un-resolvable” situation…. until I have the strength or stamina to face it. However, this has not always led to a great outcome. Walking away does not mean that I don’t ruminate on whatever it is. NO. It follows me around, stalking my brain waves.

So I look up from my laundry basket to the face of the furnace. There are two slightly rusty pipes that are now exposed and open. What passed through them? Air? Gas? Not liquid I am sure. Can I walk away from it this time? How close are they to the small flame at the heart of this beast, the pilot light?

I imagine that I if I just close the door and walk away, the chamber will fill with gas and when it can no longer handle the fumes which have accumulated; it will blow up and destroy everything. I cannot take that chance. I do not want my home destroyed. How hard can it be to put back together? I bend down to pick it up and even as I am realizing that it is not as heavy as it looks … I wake up.


* annette

Monday, May 24, 2010

Poem- Faults

Rifts in the Earth.
My faults guide inner collapse
to new formations of beauty
and peaceful balance.

I let it fall.

---Terra Rafael

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Hungry Beast

I am the Hungry Beast.
I devour all I see
That will fill my insatiable belly,
Consuming the productions
Of those whose desperate flesh
Cannot sustain the necessary modicum of hope.
Sustenance is for the poor
And under poor.
I gorge my appetites,
And turn a blind eye and a deaf ear
To those who whimper for a crumb.
I understand survival of the fittest
And will outlast the strongest of the weak,
For I am fed upon the efforts of the have-nots
And the gluttony of those who have.
I ensnare the wary righteous
Even in their piety.
I play the politicians for the fools they are
And hold all accountable to their greed and lust.
I search out the incorruptible
To tempt them to my lair,
For I must feed my emptiness
Until I have exhausted
All sources of desire.
I will consume the very Earth
But still not know fulfillment.
I am tormented by my hunger.
I am lost in the bottomless pit
Of more…

Prema Rose

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Speaking On Paper

Into this already crowded mind, comes images and memories that beg manifestation on paper. Could I deny them even if I wanted to? It seems that they would make their own way to the page, whether in the guise of advice from one of my characters to another, or slip and slide into my poetic verses.

Better to let them have their say right up front.

Sometimes I write only for myself. It’s not too often that I take a piece of personal thoughts and feelings and put it aside in a separate folder from others’ eyes. Yet I have done that. Not everything is for consumption by another.

Whether it’s because of the tone of the writing or the content of the storyline, there are times when I know I am not going to, nor are able to, share it with anyone.

I have to respect my own judgment here. I have an investment in my own well-being and safety needs. Out of these considerations will flow, and does flow, language and ideas that are meant to be shared, in one way or another.

These considerations also allow my inner places to feel free to speak on paper with an awareness that my consciousness will appropriately discern what is okay to share and what isn’t.

And so I can trust myself on paper.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Word Picture of Summertime.

Bare legs and arms, sunshine, warm lazy days
Being a kid out of school, Memorial Day
Green grass, fruit tees, strawberry fields
Hot dogs, 4th of July, fireworks, sulfur essence
Bomb Pops, orange sherbet “Push-ups” and
Ice cream truck melodies
Hot cars, sticky asphalt, air conditioned stores
Fishing for crawdads
Glorious weeks at Grandma and Grandpa’s house
Girl Scout camp, church camp
Float trips, red canoes, and orange life vests
Dolls made of hollyhock blossoms
Lily pond with tadpoles, lilac bushes
Baby chicks, baby pigs, little kittens
Hanging out in Union Star with Grandma Hazel
Sweet corn, green beans & red juicy tomatoes
Homemade ice cream, Tollhouse cookies
Sitting in the basement on cool concrete reading books
Building forts, playing war
Kick the can, four square & tether ball
Mud pies, bee stings, allergies

Days seemed endless at the beginning of summer
And then, all of sudden, it was over.

* annette

Monday, May 17, 2010

Visiting Home

Forty years after it was my address, the house where I grew up still holds a lease on the place called home in my heart. Mom still lives in that suburban ranch-style house, though Dad has moved on to heaven.

The house itself has changed very little. There is new siding, easier to keep up with only a splash of hose water to rinse it clean. The pool and dishwasher were installed after I left for college, but have since become familiar friends when I visit. The trees, which I remember as just little sticks when I was short myself, have far outstripped me in size, needing to be trimmed back. The lawn that Dad kept immaculate and plush as a carpet, now has a few dandelions and sparse spots. The gravel driveway I remember Grandpa Johnson raking is now paved.

Mom has let go of the need to clean house much. I think she mostly did it to please Dad and now he’s gone and she can’t afford someone to come in and clean. She even teases my sister and I when we do some cleaning for her, calling us “Mrs. Clean.” That ties into an old family memory of camping when we saw a man who went to the washroom building so very often that we nicknamed him “Mr. Clean.” Still, I know it is for myself that I clean, not Mom. She doesn’t see or care about the thick dust you can see if you touch or move the framed family photos sitting on the side tables and dressers. I have worked my way through the living room and kitchen, today I’ll do the bathroom and den, leaving my room for tomorrow.

Mom has morphed into a version of her mother, watching the game show network incessantly. “Mom would have loved this channel,” she always asserts. When “nothing is on” she plays cards or does word search puzzles. She doesn’t move much and now it’s getting difficult to get up and walk around. Her eyes are less reliable. The TV is on VERY loud to get through her feeble hearing. She repeats things more often, just like the reruns on the game show network that recycle frequently—but she doesn’t notice. She still wants us to eat, frequently and plenty.

It’s strange and familiar to sleep in the same room I used as a small girl. When I lived there we had a trundle-bunk bed so three of us could use the room. The last full time inhabitant was Dad, when his Alzheimers got bad enough to make him restless, so Mom couldn’t sleep with him anymore. There are still some stains in the hardwood floor from his forgetful spitting. The old dresser was the same one we had when I lived in the room. The window ledges are old and water damaged from over 50 years without being replaced. But they built the house sturdy and most of the original windows are still good.

Yes, I’ve grown & weathered many a storm too. But it is still home. And I sleep soundly in that room.
--Terra Rafael

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meanderings of MY Mind

Meanderings of My Mind

Of all the places that I go
Within my mind,
The twists and turns,
And paths I lose and find,
The changes of a viewpoint,
There from here,
From upside down to right-side up,
So far, yet near.
From all I know
And what I thought I knew,
The letting go
And picking up anew.
The daydreams of my heart
That pull me out
Of that dark place
So filled with fear and doubt.
Stay on the breath
And ride the wave to shore,
Allowing focus to be
Glimpsed once more.
Then off it runs
Like a rambunctious child.
Whoever thought my mind
Could be so wild?

Prema Rose

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've lost some of my daring...

I’ve lost some of my daring edges. Have I grown up. Have I gotten ‘old’.
I never played it safe as I play it these days. I’m curious as to why. I know to follow my curiosity. It usually has information and answers for me.

When I look inside, I can’t find the place where risk-taking lived. Did it get lost in the raising of children, exhausted adrenals, and too much stress? Did I get mirrored that, at my age, it's no longer appropriate to behave that way and I took the unsolicited feedback seriously?

I think this calls for a quest. I already have a Harrison Ford hat. I also know I may meet the poisonous snakes of my own self-doubt. I may become entangled in the vines of my own impatience, and yet I know I could also run headlong into a murky cave and find the answers as I’m coming out the other side.

My desire to know the Truth has served me up until now. It will be my guide, Harrison hat or no.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Derby Hats

As I settled into my window seat on what appeared to be a full flight, I was imagining myself landing in Kentucky. It is a little mind game I always play to assure a safe flight. My seat mate is a slender young woman and we chat up our destination plans. It turns out we are both headed to Louisville for a week-end of horse racing, a first for both of us. We nod to the woman several isles in front of us as she places a hat box in the overhead, obviously Derby bound.

I am so excited. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby and here I am; it is swiftly becoming a reality. I am on my way to visit a long time friend, Peggy, who was transferred to Louisville three years ago. She had sent me a copy of two local magazines, both dedicated to the Derby ritual. One, specifically for women, was all about the hats. They wrote of dresses and shoes but almost as an afterthought. It really is “all about the hat”.

Peggy has an outrageous red and purple hat that she purchased last summer on a trip back to Colorado. We had stopped at the brand new Visitor Center in Georgetown, off I-70, looking for really clean bathrooms. We found those, thank goodness, but she also found this wild and crazy Victorian style hat ~ large red felt, complete with plumes, gauze and yards of shiny ribbon. I saw garish, she envisioned Derby!!

“You’re kidding?” I questioned her sanity until I saw the look in her eye. She was already there.

“No, really. It is a perfect Derby hat.” She was so excited and moved swiftly into problem solving; how to get this prodigious hat home on the airplane. I speculated on the necessity of buying it its own seat!

But now my competitive nature rises to the surface as Peggy and I discuss my own head gear. We have a very loose plan based on a basic straw hat that Peggy purchased for $2.50 at a flea market. We are going to go shopping for flowers, plumes, ribbon, etc., which we will hot glue onto above mentioned bonnet. I have a pale green sundress to base my color scheme around and envision a green and purple creation.

The scene at Dee’s reminds me of a hen house door thrown open. At least one hundred bodies were hurtling from one stall to the next, excitedly pecking at bin after bin of feathers, flowers and bows, “Oh my” ~ cackling amongst themselves as they search for that special treat. Peg and I joined right in, plucking out a six inch wide bright purple dahlia, a long dark green ostrich feather, several purple peacock “eye” feathers and one yard of beautiful purple ribbon. Our piece de resistance was a stem of blue silk butterflies that Peg found. After grabbing a free bottle of chilled water (keeping the hens hydrated) I shelled out $28 and change for my color coordinated hodgepodge.

I am not very artistic and had some doubts as to whether we would create a mess or a “keeper”. However, the next morning we covered the kitchen table with newspaper, Peggy pulled out her hot glue gun and creative inspiration took over. All I can say is we had a blast creating a “work of art”.

I am thrilled to report that both of our hats survived the rains of Derby day and Peggy did receive several thumbs up for her bonnet. She just smiled. I have fallen in love with our work of love. It is so adorable that I am now faced with Peggy’s earlier dilemma; how to get my perfect Derby hat home.

* annette

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Memoir

A Memoir

I was a young lassie, two or three. My favorite place to travel was to my maternal grandmother’s, down in central Alabama. It was literally an over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go, kind of journey. We would take the bus down to her house, as my Dad stayed home to work. It was an hour and a half trip.

My grandmother , Mema Martin to me, Lula Bell to others, and her second husband, Pepa Martin, whose name was Fate, lived in a two bedroom cabin on a dirt road on the way to Jordan dam. We were just across the road from a Boy Scout camp. My cousins and I loved to play and explore around this camp. As the war was still going on, it added to the adventure. If we heard an airplane, we knew it had to do with the war.

Theirs was an unpainted cabin with a front porch we loved to sit on, a wood stove inside.
There were pigs and chickens. “Slopping the hogs” as it was called, always made me wonder and fascinate, how could we eat them, they were so messy. The chickens were entitled to roam the property. There was a well near the back porch with a pump, which supplied water for all the property.

Mema’s only vice was using, or dipping snuff. She used a tin can to spit in, no fancy spittoons then, not in her circles anyway. The tin can was usually wrapped in a small paper bag, probably for a better grip and preventing it from slipping or spilling when picked up.

On one particular day, since it was just my Mom and me visiting, we got a letter from my Dad, there was no telephone. I was very proud of this letter. After reading it I held on to it tightly, deciding I was going home to see my Dad. I started up the dirt road, making my way home. My mother and grandmother thought they would just give my toddling little body some time to see how far I would go. After about one quarter of a mile, I was still trotting along. As my mom understood I had no fear, she decided I needed to be fetched.
Thus ended my sojourn, my first to explore the world on my own.

This wandering into the world, was repeated some forty-five years later by my first grandson when he disappeared out of my backyard here is Boulder on his way to Oklahoma to find his dad who had just moved their belongings a few days ahead of his wife and son. He was found a few blocks away by a policeman, after all the neighbors and his mom were out on a search.
Patricia Jordan

Monday, May 10, 2010

Behind the Image in the Home Movie

Feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, dressed in my prim and proper summer dress and hat, with comfortable, low heeled shoes, somehow I feel decidedly uncomfortable and improper.

Yes, my husband is filming me for the future little ones he imagines we will have. He is blind-blind to the battle going on inside of me as I carefully squat down so as not to show my slip and give some more crumbs to those dirty birds. I look so innocent.

There must be something beyond this pleasant middle class wife business. Will I forever tend to this man, first him then his children and then him again in his old age? I feel some naked force within that compels me to express something more than a smile in a home movie—yet, I don’t know how.

(from the prompts: blind, naked, pleasant, battle, pigeons)

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother Divine

Mother Divine
Who holds all of creation in her heart,
Showering blessings on us
In every imaginable form,
You come as the robin
Greeting my waking eyes,
Perched on the rail of the deck
Outside my bedroom window.
You come in the laughter
And delight of those
Who share a joyous event.
You come with song and dance,
Playing the rhythms of my body
And urge it to burst into exuberation.
You come in the hand of a child
Slipping into mine
For comfort and assurance.
You come in the greeting of a sister friend
Not seen for many months
And home, at last, from India.
You come when all seems lost
And enfold me in your Grace
To teach me compassion.
You are there in the light of the candles
Illuminating my puja table,
Honoring my teachers and masters
Throughout all time and all dimensions.
Where are you not, blessed Mother?
All I have to do is open my eyes
To your Divine presence
And receive your gifts,
Receive your Love
You are here in my innermost space of Space,
Always and ever.

Prema Rose

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Taking your temperature
to gauge the inner and out landscape.
Taking the time to tend
to what needs tending.
Taking a needed rest.
Taking on too much.
Taking the credit and learning how
to receive the gratitude of others.
Taking offense where none was meant.
Taking off to parts unknown
when a break is needed.
Taking turns and sharing the wealth.
Taking food as comfort to a friend.
Taking stock while taking the pulse
of the larger world,
and taking all of this into consideration
as you mull over your life.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lunch At Paradise Café

We did not spend much time in Louisville city proper, but what time we spent was exceptional. We decided to have lunch first and Peggy had a place all picked out, Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. As we drove by it looked like a cross between an outdoor flea market and an art deco diner ~ nothing subtle here!

We walked by the red painted railing that defined the patio dining. It was topped by bright blue wooden planters filled with thousands of large neon silk asters; lime green, orange, day glow yellow and brilliant raspberry. The whimsy continues as we headed toward the front door, flanked by wildly colored organ pipes and a large kneeling gorilla painted shiny lime green. All diners enter through a small gift shop, The World of Swirl, filled with wild and exotic items like “Onion Ring” flavored breath mints.?!?

We opted to sit on the patio; the sun was streaming down through red umbrellas. There were about a dozen tables covered with brightly covered oilcloth. Our table covering was brilliant blue with large red cherries and strong green leaves. The table next to us reminded me of an oilcloth that I had purchased twenty years ago in Mexico. This one was yellow with large pink peonies, plus red orbs and connecting greenery. You could not help but be cheerful in such a bright and uplifting atmosphere.

We, of course, were outrageously cheerful ~ we were on vacation! The very first thing we noticed was the top item on the dessert menu; Very Berry Pie, made with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples and rhubarb, served with cinnamon crunch ice cream. We planned the rest of our lunch around the pie! Working backwards we chose the Fried Green Tomato BLT with a side of herb braised lima beans and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Sharing an entrée seemed to guarantee that we would have room for our coveted dessert.
The service was delightful and they kept the lemonade and ice tea coming. The ladies at the table next to us oohed and aahed over our dessert which was indeed a hefty portion, even to be shared by two gals on vacation.

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling along the Ohio river, flooded with recent rain fall. We roamed from Main Street to Market Street, making our decadent dessert not such an extravagance. My legs ached and Peggy’s feet hurt as we wound our way back to the car. Lunch, though not forgotten, was now replaced by the anticipation of Steve’s smoked flank steak and potatoes, waiting for us at home. Oh, I love vacation!

* annette

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another Whimsical Poem

Another Whimsical Poem

The gnome that I am follows closely to the ground, I do.

I may go round and round in circles, I may

Coming to my favorite shrubs, the ones with the best scents, they have, they have.

I may squat down and finger the grass, and finger and finger.

Then I wander down the lane and wander even more

To find the best scents I wander down the lane

I come upon a flower with all colors, it has every one

And even a sparkle or two makes them shine even more, and more they shine.

Its like they have a secret, they do

And to keep the secret, they sparkle even more, they do even more.
Patricia Jordan

Monday, May 3, 2010

A prose poem - "Yes"

I lounge like a lizard, on a warm Rock, listening to Water trickling into the pond next to my deck. The Air stands still and outlines my skin with amoist dew. The Sky arranges herself smoothly across the heavens, no wrinkles betraying her blanket of breath. The Sun insinuates himself into my exposed pores. My inner editor continues arranging thoughts in neat categories and rows, even though I have long abandoned any interest in them. There is a peaceful sense, a psychic knowing on a cellular level that I really am a part of Nature.

Prompt words: psychic listening editor abandoned sky

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Voice of Truth

I am a lover of Truth
And Truth cannot be bought.
I must speak out where there
Is injustice and oppression,
For my heart cannot bear
The burden of the world’s sorrow
And the cries of children in the night.
The enormity of the depravity
Makes me want to turn my eyes away,
But I cannot.
Nor can I hide my head
So not to see
I must seek out and know
So my voice will ring with Truth
And help bring down the Temple of Lies
Held up by cowardice and greed.
Through apathy, we are manipulated
And live in a fog of our own making.
Truth brings the clarity of sight
And seeing, I must speak up.

Prema Rose

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Today I will...

Today I will allow myself the freedom
to be more of who I truly am
and not make excuses for how
I differ from others, or disagree with them.

Today I will be content with the contents
of the day and not chide myself,
thinking there was more
I could have done.

Today I will give myself the room
I need to yet understand
what I don’t seem to
and be patient with that part of me
that might need more time
to come to realizations
that others may get in the moment.

Today, this day, is all I really have.
There’s no guarantee that I will wake
with the rising of the sun tomorrow.
There’s no guarantee that I will see
another season of the year
or blow out more candles on a cake.

Today is what I have as my own.
It behooves me to make the best of it
and let myself off any hook
I tend to put myself on.