cronechronicler

You don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there. And you arrive just the same. Ghanaian saying

Coronavirus Itinerary

From the beginning
It was a strange journey
I thought I would do well
I like staying home

My many fixed routines
Soon seemed to crumble
I needed companionship
The warm blooded kind

I talked to my plants
Texted friends and family
Read books, watched old movies
Took long walks outside

I realized present time
Took all of my energy
Learning to Zoom
Became a mixed blessing

Past familiar habits
No longer sustained me
It was exhausting
Getting through the day

Future time distant
Offered no hint of comfort
May as well live
In this new present I’m in

Mornings are difficult
A thick fog encircles me
Passing by lunchtime
Leaving me empty

And then this morning
I welcomed a visitor
My muse on my shoulder
Telling me to write

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My Writing Room

The smaller of the two bedrooms in my apartment became my writing room when I moved here eight years ago. This is where my blog began with the help of a willing grandson. The large window is a portal to my imagination. I love the tall oak tree among whose spreading branches I watch squirrels and birds build nests and care for their young. The moon and changing colors of the sky shape the budding poet inside me. Within my room are things that remind me of my journey.

Green plants live near my window to catch the light. All are off-spring shoots from friends and family. Tending them nourishes the outdoor gardener in me. On the window ledge are things that shine on sunny days – a royal blue glass coffee mug, souvenir from a Colorado trip; a bluish purple paperweight that was my son’s; an old brass cowbell with lots of family history.

The walls have a geographical bent – picture of a Texas cowboy riding on a lonesome road, wedding present to my Dad a Texan, too. A wooden wall clock in the shape of Ohio, gift to me from my congregation in a small Ohio town. Three framed certificates mark my progress to become their minister.

Everything else is furniture that has traveled with me for a while. The student desk and chair were used by my three sons. The much-scarred cherry end table, a gift from my mother in the 60’s, has been in every home I’ve known. The futon came with me from Chicago when I moved back to Cleveland to be with my family here. My glass computer table and new laptop are beside a table where my printer sits. They are the newest things except for what I write, which await my muse.

With many thanks to Pleasant Street who gave me the idea to write this piece.

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Haiku: Fall House Cleaning

Muse has been drowsing
Beneath life’s daily matters
Awakening now

Cleansing rain falling
Breezes create refreshment
Words begin to stir

Family heart work
Enters time of fruition
Now space for my soul

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Brand New Day

I chose this theme five years ago
Inky blue sky and far away planets
Daring new steps my inauguration
Quote on “About” gave me fair warning
Step into a river and do not expect
The same current twice

My river bore me along for a while
Waves of bright memories transformed into words
Poetry sprang singing from deep hidden well
Then drought drained inspiration
I’m back where I started but oddly ahead
Brand New Day once again.

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Adjustments

My blog announces I’ll explore
The poetry of every day
Newly I have found alas
My everyday has changed

First I blamed my muse
Lazy creature distant
Unavailable to inspire
Or to awaken me

The tree outside my window
And the view
Clouds in dawning sky
Tell me no tales

Family life is bubbling
A stew of new developments
Demands attention
And my energy

Changes unpoetical I think
Call for language spoken best in prose
Stories full of life and real
Ah, my muse awaits me just off stage

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Haiku: Different Strokes

Some poets breathe fire
I regard changing dawn sky
Beauty fuels me.

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Alchemy

Imagine dawn sky dressed in pink-ribboned clouds
Trees green-leaved in summer
Changing colors for autumn
Sobered by stillness of bare-branched winter
Chilling cold and deep silence.

Imagine a mother of sons and grandchildren
Heart filled with wonder, love, joy
And trepidation
World is near changing
Beyond recognition.

Imagine aging a worthy challenge
Rich adventures and exploring
Forge wisdom a gift
Hard-won and enduring
Unknown roads lie ahead

But for today the sun is shining
Golden hours to seize and embrace.
Shadows, too, can be lovely
I’ll plumb them tomorrow.
Translating my life into poems.

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Everyday Inspiration Day Six: Where My Writing Happens

My writing begins where it will. This morning I was in my living room chair reading the Sunday paper when the neighborhood geese flew overhead. A haiku began to unwind in my mind. I reached for a notepad  and pen in the end table drawer and jotted down the first two lines, then sketched out a few more. Later I will give the haiku its final form on my desktop computer .

Last winter I had a dialogue with the early dawn sky and its amazing pink stripes. Every morning I found a new image I used to describe the  stripes. Sometimes the image came to me as I ate breakfast facing the window. I would tear off a scrap of paper from the daily news and write down the thought before it drifted away. A compelling first line was all it took for a haiku to grow.

Writing about my travels or family stories happens another way. I have boxes filled with travel itineraries, notes and pictures of the places I’ve been stored in freezer-sized Ziploc bags. I love to revisit a trip and re-live it in my mind’s eye. Writing brings up more memories. Family stories come to mind from pictures and letters stored in boxes and from objects that have accompanied me whenever I moved. I also write about my family in the present. The actual stories take shape as I write on my computer – sometimes prose and sometimes poetry.

The objects in the  room where I write are  visible reminders of my journey. By the window there is a child’s desk that belonged to one of my sons. A futon and a lamp occupied my computer room in the last place I lived. A maple chair  from my first house  after I was married sits in the corner. The drop-leaf table that matches it is in my kitchen. My Diplomas are on the wall. A picture of a cowboy riding his horse on the winding road of Texas ranch, which was a wedding present to my parents,  hangs over the futon.  My father was from Texas. There is a wooden wall clock in the shape of Ohio, where I now live, that ticks as I type. On the  window ledge is a large coffee mug with the name of the college I attended. My computer, glass computer table, office chair,  printer and the table it sits on are  newcomers. Four green house plants are my living companions.

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Everyday Inspiration Day Four: Portal

Grand Central Station of legend and stories
High arched ceiling, light’s golden glow
Promise of infinite charmed possibilities
Sky’s the limit. Where will I go?

I remember Thanksgivings when bound for New York
College girls promised to “meet under the clock”.
I never did. My single journey was Thanksgiving ’64
With husband and baby son Bobby in tow.

Before  sun was up we arrived bleary-eyed
No sleeping with baby in misnamed sleeping car
Hurried through Grand Central then realized
Bobby’s winter hat was not on his head.

Scurried back to train tracks and lo and behold
Perching there on a pole where a kind stranger had put it
Was the little blue hat. That was for me a beginning
To journey afar and trust the wide world.

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Everyday Inspiration Day One: Why Do I Write?

Writing is the joy and  purpose that putting life experience into words gives me. It happens when I go quiet and lose myself in the actions of the sky, trees, wind and small animals outside my window. It happens when I need to  tie up loose feelings from my own life experience. Experience is the key word.

I write from the perspective of a woman who will turn eighty in two months. I know what it is to have  felt the same way inside as long as I can remember. I know what it is to feel my body aging and live with limitations. Best of all I am discovering the unique joy of the changes I experience. I am changing and like a Janus face can look backward  and forward through a rainbow of experience arching through time from my early years to a still mysterious future.

When I started my blog I knew I could write.  I did not know I have been given the gift of writing poetry. I am a wordy person by nature and reducing my words to the seventeen syllables of a haiku gives me focus. I love to find just the perfect word and word field to express myself. I love writing poetry because at least in the Word Press world there are few rules about complete sentences. I love leaving spaces for readers to fill in with their sense of what my words mean in their lives.

I write because I have stories to pass down to my children and grandchildren. I write for the pleasure of remembering places I’ve been in my travels.

Writing makes me whole.

 

 

 

 

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