My Red Mother

Pain, a herald of her coming.
I prepare with clean wrappings,
Fresh linens to swathe her in.

The gift of life, so often cursed,
The banner unfurled, guarded,
Hidden in the womb of woman.

Send the men away to be men,
Let the women gather instead
For this is the time of sisterhood.

My red mother comes,
A blessing and a mourning together:
Another month without child,
Another month without child.

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Exhale

© Suzanne Miller

The mountains exhale.

Pools of mist ebb and flow among the trees, obscuring the path.  The air, thick with pine and green tea, awakens the senses and beckons toward enlightenment.  Every breath a renewal of spirit, a coaxing of the waters of life which glisten from gossamer designs.  Hands unseen paint ferns of frost upon nature’s canvas, the eternal persistence of night to create that which daily is lost.

Purification by ice.

The cold sun has lost its power.  Indigo hills float against the sky, seduced by freedom’s lure.  A single crane calls to a mate unseen, perhaps absent.  Symbols turned from their meaning, to mingle hope and sorrows in the warp of life.

Aloft on red pillars.

The temple stands at the gates of heaven.  Dharmic harmonies resonate from prayer wheels, turning turning turning: the spin of earth, the passage of seasons, foot following foot.  The journey undertaken is a sacrifice; a thousand steps ascend among the echos of chanting, the singing of bowls, which compel the traveler onward.  Until, at the end of the corridor, the curtains part, opening onto a balcony which stands upon the precipice of the world.

there at the summit
the universe is revealed
as breath is lost

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Memories

Washed smooth by nature’s caress, the jagged edge is eased.  Beside lapis waves which kissed the ocher shores we plucked our wind-worn memories from the sand to leave in our wake a mark of passing.  A tenuous journey across time where two paths cross – the wanderer and the placer.  It takes a steady hand to find the balance; unsettle even one, they fall.  The strength of the offering is in the leaving, an act of faith in defiance of gravity.   Poems precarious, they stand as testaments to the impermanence of creation.

silent words of stone
whisper to the next who pass
you are not the first
follow in my footsteps and
for a moment we are one

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Self Help or Help Yourself?

Leftovers

Sauteed sorrows with a dash of guilt
And topped with crispy, baked depression
Served on a bed of promises of I won’t cry.

A glass of numbness to wash it down,
Then dessert of ice cream and caramel
To finish off my meal of fractured feelings.

Follow up with a midnight raid on the fridge
Where I help myself to seconds of self-help.
Good thing I made plenty.

2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

For today’s prompt, write a self-help poem. It can be written in the style of a self-help article or book. Or you can take it in a more subtle self-help direction.

Days Gone By

In fourteen-hundred and ninety two
Just a bit before me and you
And yet the repercussions of that year
Echo still within my ears
Each time I hear the news stories
Of Reservation tragedies

The fifteen hundreds ushered in
European trade in black human skin
From ruled to rulers they became
About-face in a vicious game
Intent on turning blood to gold
One nation to the devil sold

By sixteen hundred, Irish, too
Were slaves across the ocean blue
In seventeen seventy-six we see
The lie of a land of liberty
Eighteen hundreds, gold rush days
Chinese labor, and trails blazed

Nineteen hundred, suffrage passed
The other half can vote at last
But only if your skin was white
Another bloody fight for rights
A war that’s waging still today
Unequal schools, unequal pay

Two-thousand thirteen’s almost done
Yet so many fights still to be won
History is replete with stains
So can someone please explain
Why we still nostalgically cry
About the bloody days gone by?

Bastet’s Pixelventures: November 12, 2013

Prompt:  I’m walk down memory lane!  Take a walk down memory lane too and show me something that reminds you of by-gone days!  For those of you who prefer to write rather than snap a photo, you can participate by writing a piece of flash fiction or a poem about by-gone days.

Two by Two

T S, “Hakuna Matata, 1″ (via 1stDibs)

Two by Two

When Noah brought into the ark
Animals of every kind, packed full
Leaving to the coming floods
The all-but-two, the majority cull.

Rising waters made the sheep
Look like fluffy clouds upon the sea;
Elephant trunks turned into snorkels
As fish explored new reefs of ivory.

And for a while the arrogant birds
Thought themselves above the tides
Until, one by one, their wings gave way,
Exhausted stars falling from the skies.

Still it rose and swelled until
The last giraffe became aware
Her neck was not quite long enough
To take another breath of air.

2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

For today’s prompt, we’re going to write ekphrastic poetry–or poetry based off another piece of art. In the past, I’ve provided paintings, but today, I’m picking photographs (for something a little different). You may use one of the images below or choose your own

Or in this case, the photo above.  Now I’ll admit, when I saw the *thumbnail* of the above, I thought it was a surreal picture of giraffe up to their necks in water.  It wasn’t until I saw the large version that I realized they were clouds.  Still, I liked the image it brought to mind, so I stuck with it.  Eye of the beholder and all that. 🙂

Do check out some of the other pictures in the link above, they’re really quite pretty.

No White Knight

Ugly.  That’s what you are.  I’m getting sick just having to look at you.  Red blotches on your face and pimples on your chin.  And don’t even get me started on your weight.  Fat.  Fat and lazy.  You ate a whole cake for dinner.  Why don’t you try getting off your ass and doing something instead?  Stupid.  Are you too stupid to realize that your fat is your fault?  It isn’t a medical condition, it’s stuffing your face until you want to throw up, you disgusting pig!  You can’t do anything right.  Oh, you’re crying now?  Pathetic.  You won’t get any sympathy.  Don’t deserve any.  This is why no one will ever love you.  Worthless.  Useless.  Why don’t you just kill yourself.

She let her tongue fly
Rapier sharp words, striking
At the mirror’s face