Eve in Bloom

LifeWay back there in birthing bed
alone again she’d weep.
Year after year, new flesh, new bone,
pushed out like temporal teeth.
Ripped from its sockets by the roots,
life gasped and screamed for air,
then quieted down in perfect peace
to rich maternal fare.

Grandmother soil, warm and fertile,
the perfect garden spot.
She was Eve in efflorescence:
Black-eyed Susans, Blazing Stars,
Snow-drops, Spring Beauties,

Ragweed and Clover.
She was Eden, perennially pregnant.

Wildflowers, we speckle the landscape,
earth’s laughter, we nourish and flavor the land.
Spawned one by one in darkened rooms,
loosed as fledglings from cradling hands:
farmers, herders,
builders, teachers,
healers.
Grandchildren,
we explore, we discover,
we dance, we sing,
we think.

Anita Stubbs

Give Me the Wine

eveLast night the dogwood bloomed,
splattering white all over the woods.
What magic transpired while I soundly slept,
to lighten their previous mood?
Give me the wine that frees the mind,
the nectar sipped by Eve.
Just let me taste one sparkling drop
to counteract this sleep.
Let Inspiration’s sweetest juice
remove this misty veil,
so I can see the mystery
Eden could not conceal.
Anita Stubbs

One on One

mother nature.jpgOnce, a poetic woman
found the heartbeat of God
beneath a blade of grass.
She simply pulled the leaves apart
and felt the ancient pulse.
When she pressed her palm against the living earth,
and felt the power pounding,
she surely was compelled
To lay her body down.
Breast to breast,
heart to heart,
in communion,
throbbing.
Anita Stubbs

This Old House

Terri's houseThis old house squats around me, over me
Like a brooding mother hen,
Her wings spreading out, to gather me close,
To confine me to her sagging, cozy bosom.
This old house speaks to me, privately,
Like a jealous old lover,
Resenting the chiming doorbell,
The ringing telephone,
Their rude presumptuousness.
Nestling down around me,
Her creaking old body embraces my fears,
And I snuggle deeper into her womb.
Anita Stubbs

Words

writing coverWords are garments
which clothe my thoughts,
like fabric woven from threads.
They can be worn loosely, letting my spirit breathe,
or, bound so tightly, the thoughts are never free.
A few thoughts, essentially unspeakable,
I must wrap warmly in dark, heavy wool,
dressing them carefully for discretion’s sake-
But the majority can be draped in transparent lace,
and exposed to the world.
Anita Stubbs

Mother to Daughter

mothers-day-photo
Artist Unknown

Because you are
I’m fully conscious of unconditional love.
Because you are, I know the texture
of being the center of.
Your awareness of my being,
is not shared by anyone,
not by mother, sisters, father, brother,
not by husband, not by sons.
A daughter’s love, unique and pure,
cares as no one can.
As I am, you are.
as you are, I am.
Anita Stubbs

 

My Rolling Pin

30dc02816355c7453354ac2581363a40My rolling pin turns as silently
On its axis as the earth.
Rubbing my palm along its smooth, wooden shaft
Sets my teeth on edge,
For its abrasiveness disguises itself.
The surface reveals nothing
But perfect uniformity.
Natural etchings of amber
Swirl and speckle in the grain,
But remain two dimensional
Under my touch.
Water spots mar the raw pine blondness,
Splotching with smudges of gray,
Like ancient fingerprints.
This piece of wood belonged to my grandmother.
When I grip the handles,
I feel the warmth of her touch,
And the heat of it spreads up my arms,
Into my heart.
Anita Stubbs

Empty Minds, Empty Pockets

empty pocketsEmpty minds like empty pockets,
hold nothing but fuzz and lint.
No shiny objects, no fancy notions,
ever come from either of them.
Sometimes minds, just like pockets,
get worn and full of holes.
They lose their thoughts and all their money,
when they carry too big a load.
But minds and pockets do their duty,
by stretching their limits and seams.
What wasted potential when there’s nothing there,
in our heads, or in our jeans!
Anita Stubbs
Artwork Source Unknown

Verisimilitude: Sometimes a Four-Letter Word

creative-writingI know verisimilitude is a long word but it is the perfect word for what it means. Sometimes one word, and none other, will do. I came across the word, verisimilitude, for the very first time in a creative writing class. It had been scribbled in the margin of one of my short stories by the professor. “Good verisimilitude,” she had said. It happened to be a short story set during the Depression, with a lot of dialogue. The characters spoke in good ol’ rural East Texas vernacular.

Now, I know that lingo very well, in all its shades and off-colors. I was taught early on to write what I know, and apparently, the teaching stuck, for the particular jargon common to this area surfaces often in my writing. The East Texas culture seems to dominate the gene pool from which most of my bucolic (I have always wanted to use that word!) characters evolve. I know that a fictitious person, of any particular ethnicity, using uncharacteristic words, speech patterns, or body language, would finish me off before I even get started, discrediting me completely as a writer of true-to-life fiction.

I have to admit, the nature of the language and the acts of some of my characters, which is most definitely the case in my novel, The Velvet Bridge, often conflict with my own inhibitions. However, verisimilitude in my work must prevail. Any reflection of real life must portray events as vividly and believably as if the reader was actually witnessing them. Whether or not the reader approves of the reality being witnessed, or of the language being spoken, is a moot point. However, I have been subjected to some criticism, for the use of a few “bad” words, which sometimes a character insists upon using. I suspect this is a common problem among writers, one with which we must come to terms in our own way.

It has been said you cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, and that is so true. Some things just cannot be prettied up and some characters absolutely refuse to speak and behave politely! The character says what she says, and he does what he does, pure and simple. As a character-driven writer, dedicated to verisimilitude by creating honest and mature fiction—work that is believable and true to itself—I will never censor my characters in order to appease my own hang-ups, or the folks back home.