If Only

john lennon quote

I just watched La La Land, and loved it.  I had heard the negative reviews so sloughed it off, not worth the time to watch.  Just more Hollywood fluff, a glitzy attempt at contrived song and dance routines by actors who are neither singers nor dancers.  So it won at the Academy Awards, but that doesn’t prove anything. Continue reading If Only

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

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

 

Can’t Get There from Here

broken-heart-photos
Artist Unknown

I took your love for granted,
and now I’ve paid the price.
I threw it all away
just like a gambler throws the dice.
You are all I ever wanted,
how could I have been so blind,
You finally walked away from me,
tired of being burned.
Mistakes have left me stranded
at this point of no return.
I’m looking for a way back,
but you’ve made it very clear.
The road is closed between us,
I can’t get there from here.
Anita Stubbs

 

LOCKS

old women on porchShe sat, reflected.
Locks of silver trembled in fingers reluctant,
Hesitant.
The brush stroked indulgently,
Sensually, unrestrained,
One hundred times.

She sat, reflected.
Strands of silver shimmered in attraction,
In friction.
Crowning highlights bristled in ritual.
Hair, alive and crackling, flew,
Unrestricted.

She arose, retreated,
Locks of silver tightly braided, pinned down,
Properly.
Hair, alive and crackling,
Decently subdued,
And bound.
Anita Stubbs

 

 

Women and Children in Need

living in poverty
Photograph by Steve Liss

When my husband was a little boy, according to court documents, his mother, a widow, left him and his sister in the care of “vicious and immoral people, without proper food or sanitation.”  Due to her neglect, the county removed her youngest two children—my husband and his sister—from the residence and she lost all parental rights.  The older daughter, thirteen-years-old and pregnant, was sent to a state school for girls, where her baby was born and placed for adoption.  An older son, age sixteen, joined the army.  My husband and his sister were ultimately separated from each other.  When he was two and a half and she was five, they were adopted by different families.  They never saw their mother again. Continue reading Women and Children in Need

Roots, Trees, Facts, and Fiction

cropped-untold-story.jpgAlex Haley’s book, Roots, first sparked my interest in the study of family history. It fostered an acute awareness in me of the strength, the pure willpower of each of our fore-bearers, to survive. The legacy we all share, regardless of our biological beginnings, is that we are all descendants of survivors—generation after generation of survivors. That book gave me a better understanding of the miracle that each one—in his or her own place and time—survived at least long enough to produce what would become us! You know, that is an astounding thing when you think about it. Continue reading Roots, Trees, Facts, and Fiction

The Spirit of Poetry

bluebird sings
E. M. Forster, the English novelist, short story writer, and essayist whose work was one of my earliest inspirations, remains one of my favorite English authors. Forster’s creed of life can be summed up in two words, “only connect”, taken from the epigraph to his novel, Howard’s End.

The first of Edward Morris Forster’s work I read was his essay, What I Believe, and his words had a very personal affect on me.  It seemed as though I had met a new friend with whom I shared a “secret understanding” and felt reassured about my own beliefs. Continue reading The Spirit of Poetry

Sycamore Trees Make Me Lonesome

Sycamore-Trees-Pictures-2Just up the road from our driveway, in the yard of the house at the corner, there grows this ancient sycamore tree. I am sure it is ancient—it’s gigantic. Its white and gray mottled bark wraps a trunk as large in diameter as a medium size tabletop. In places, the bark peels and curls away, like dried hide, revealing smooth white skin underneath. And its leaves, resembling great webbed maple leaves often as broad as eight inches, quickly cover the ground when they start to fall—pieces of brown and yellow parchment for a child to rustle around in, or to make pretend dresses from as I recall. Every time I notice that old tree, something similar to melancholy comes over me, and I am reminded of years past, and feel unsettled, sad. Continue reading Sycamore Trees Make Me Lonesome