In the dark there was Leone

“Can miles truly separate you from friends…if you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?” – Richard Bach

 

“You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left. Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back. Or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”   –   David Harkins

*

In the dark there was Leone

Over and over

I hear of people

Afraid of being

Alone in the dark

It is a fear

I cannot share

As a child

The dark was safer

They were usually asleep

Today

In the dark

I enjoy the company

Of some sweet memories

The rare nugget or gem

Excavated from childhood

An email from a cousin

Tells me that auntie Lee

Died Thursday night

The same cousin who took me

To see Lee a decade ago

After the stroke

Lee didn’t recognize me

But I said goodbye then

Silently through the tears

The lost years could not be restored

Years from now

Lee will still be with me

In the dark and in the sun

Thoughts turn to her

The songs and stories she taught me

Her kindness cannot be erased

Lone sunflower – defiant amongst the weeds

Unfeigned

Unlike those she came from

Flashes of light in the darkness of childhood

*

Bisous

Léa

Mademoiselle

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”  –  Stacia Tauscher

“Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.”  –  William Stafford

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Mademoiselle Ambre

Ambre une poupée vivante

Squeals with delight

Throwing her mother’s phone

Across the café’s floor

Shouts of glee

Declarations of discovery

Of the world around her

The range of her voice

Sometimes startling herself

Temporarily

Trapped in a stroller

Escape is inevitable

Audre’s days of sitting

Dans la café

Visite avec des amies

Disappear with a curious

Toddler’s appetite

“Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma!”

*

Bisous,

Léa

Material Witness

“Art is not a part of life, it is not an addition to life, it is the essence of those pieces of us that make us fulfilled. That give us hope. That give us dreams and provide the world a view very different than what it would have been without us.”

–  Hasan Davis

“Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing.”   –  Julia Cameron

“I think artists can go to a level of vision that can often save us from a situation which seems to have no solution whatsoever.”   –  Susan Griffin

*

Material Witness

This is what I get

For attempting to reduce

The clutter in my life

This red plastic toolbox

Filled with long ignored

Pencils, charcoal, pastels

And other tricks of a trade

They were so foreign to

Me

Something I ached for

Yet knew nothing about

Flashbacks to childhood

A half-sisters art supplies

Tossed aside at the demands

Of her fiancée

Now these things

Were in plain site

Demanding attention

To be dealt with

To be used

To skate across paper

Or canvas

All the negative decrees of a

Lifetime want to be heard

Demand their say

Yet something deeper

Wants more

Dare I open the box?

Dare I see what will happen?

Learning to play

With art or anything else

Is more difficult as we age

But if it is given the smallest chance

It will prevail

The evidence is all around

Me

*

Bisous,

Léa

Fight Censorship and thank a Librarian

“We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.   –  E.M. Forster

 

“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.”   –  Henry Louis Gates

 

“Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of ‘The Giver’: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.”   –  Lois Lowry

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ:

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/statementspols/freedomreadstatement

*

Fight Censorship and thank a Librarian

It’s banned books week

And if a book hasn’t

Made it on that list

I’m not sure it is

Worth my time

Reading

*

It’s banned books week

If you care about

Making your own

Choices

If there is a book

You like that

Has made the list

Speak out

*

It’s banned books week

Somewhere there is a

Librarian who has stuck

Her neck out

For your right to

Read what you choose

They are the hero’s of

The hour

*

It’s banned books week

Celebrate

Read a book

From the list

Read the statement

Freedom to Read 1953

Celebrate

Then go to the independent

Book store and buy

Banned books

*

Bisous,

Léa

splash

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”  

–  John F. Kennedy

 

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”  

–  Jacques Yves Cousteau

 

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”   –  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”   –  Isak Dinesen

*

splash

yes

that’s how I’ve always

done it

with a big

SPLASH

head first

then immediately

diving to the bottom again

and again

the waves

have always

picked me back up

set me on my

feet

never one to stick

in a cautious toe

followed by a

hasty retreat

or gradual

wading forth

to do so

would defy

nature

*

bisous,

léa

evocative

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”   –  Anna Quindlin

 

“A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” 

–       Franz Kafka

 

“To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list.” 

–       John Aikin

 

“A house without books is like a room without windows.” 

  –  Heinrich Mann

*

evocative

 

the scent of honey

SUCKle

vines that tried to

cover

the door to

HELL

the drop of sweet

at the end of the stem

 

darkness

with the stench

of daddy’s stale beer,

cigarettes

or grandma’s

white shoulders

cologne

CHILDHOOD

bypass purgatory

going straight to

the flames

 

survival

a word

survival

all about words

the books

a place to hide

the words

my only solace lie

 in musty pages

i learned of

others

their pain

their plight

the fact

i was not

alone

after ALL

My refuge
My refuge

 

 

 

 

bisous,

 

léa

Doucement

“The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark.” 

–       Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

“A good friend is a connection to life-a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”   –  Lois Wyse

 

 *

 

Doucement

Gently

I shall carry those

Memories

From childhood

Without question

Or judgment

Locked securely

À mon coeur

As long as necessary

Garde –

Garde-

They rest silently

Protected

By all I have seen

And heard

As you are strong

Enough to consider

You only need ask

I stand ready

To bear witness

*

Bisous,

Léa

a poem for my mother

“There’s a phrase, “the elephant in the living room”, which purports to describe what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, “How could you let such business go on for so many years? Didn’t you see the elephant in the living room?” And it’s so hard for anyone living in a more normal situation to understand the answer that comes closest to the truth; “I’m sorry, but it was there when I moved in. I didn’t know it was an elephant; I thought it was part of the furniture.” There comes an aha-moment for some folks – the lucky ones – when they suddenly recognize the difference.”   –  Stephen King

“To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who protect the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. Stand up for the innocent or go down with the rest.”   –  Flora Jessop

a poem for my mother

you say I don’t

remember you

on mother’s day

you tell your friends

i don’t know you exist

 *

but I know

and now I remember

how you took

my childhood

like those

 *

newborn kittens

stuffed into

a burlap sack

sides pulled up

tied tightly

with a fat length

of cord

 *

darkness –

anchored to

that large rock

tossed from the

end of the pier

into the Pacific Ocean

*

over

without a whimper

and you say I don’t remember

you on mother’s day

*

bisous,

léa

For Joseph

“Let us read and let us dance –two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.”    –  Voltaire

“The dance: a minimum of explanation, a minimum of anecdotes, and a maximum of sensations.”    –  Maurice Béjart

“Dance is the poetic baring of the soul through motion.”   –  Scott Nilson

For Joseph

The young dancer

Leaps and spins

Spurning gravity

As he re-defines it

Proud pirouette

Etched in crystal

Strong

Like the eye

Of a

Storm

Delicate

Like gold leaf

Clinging to the edge

Of a porcelain cup

Bisous,

Léa

La Langue Maternelle

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”    –  Martin Luther King

“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”

– Booker T. Washington

“The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, “I was wrong”.   –  Sydney J. Harris

***

La Langue Maternelle

Two sides to

Everything

Especially

Your face

You spoke to

Me and

Others

About this one

And that one

And without stopping

For breath

Turn to them

To speak of

Me

Yet cannot begin

To comprehend

Why the few

Who continue

To listen

To attend you

Are the same

Ones

Talking behind

Your

Back

Your

Razor sharp

Tongue

Viler than any

Serpent

Medusa

Could have learned much

From you

The tears for you

Were shed into the

Sand

I leave you with

Love (does it sound strange?)

From a safe distance

And

Pity

***

Bisous,

Léa