Cadeau de la clé / Gift of the key

Thank you Christine over at http://journeyintopoetry.wordpress.com for inspiring this post. Stop in and meet Christine if you are not already following her. Read and be inspired as I am.

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“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.”   – B.F. Skinner

 

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”   – A.C. Grayling

 

“Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.”   – Hazel Rochman

 

 

Cadeau de la clé / Gift of the key

 

Children

Intrinsically curious

Insatiable in their

Hunger

Starving to understand

Insatiable curiosity

The mystery about them

This world, people

How things work?

Why they do not work?

What is to become of them?

How do they fit in?

Or not?

 

Give them fuel to feed

The fires of inquisitiveness

Open the door to literature,

History, science, poetry

And all the world of print

Give them the tools

To learn, to explore so that they

One day they can be more

Read to them teach them

Give them the key

Entice them to unlock each

Mystery that beckons and the

Gift that they are never

Alone

 

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Bisous,

 

Léa

Only roses

 

“She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbor: “Winter is dead.” – A.A. Milne

 

“A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” – William Wordsworth

 

Only roses

Only roses

Every year on

Her birthday

Mother sent grandma

Roses

When grandma died

They all sent

Red roses

What grandma

Loved most of all

Were daffodils – connection

Her native Wales

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When I see

Daffodils

Growing in the ground

In a florist shop

Or even in a picture

I think of grandma

A son

And daughters

Who only did anything

For appearances sake

Feelings never

Mattered

The façade with the

Sincerity of

Plastic roses

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Bisous,

Léa

It’s in the eyes

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”   – Aldous Huxley

 

“Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.”   – Jon Bon Jovi

 

“It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.”   – Ursula K. Le Guin

 

“Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.”   – Ismail Haniyeh

It’s in the eyes

I’ve always hated mirrors

They can tell nasty

Lies

How many of us look

As we want to

Individuality

Genetic keystone

Too many faces

Buried in cover-up

But underneath

What is really being

Concealed?

A blemish? Scars?

Or does it go much

Deeper?

One day I had to

Acknowledge the reason

Avoidance

Familial markings

Resemblance

To my abuser

All too real

Cannot be denied

But now I’ve learned to look

Further

Into my eyes

I begin to see the

Sparkle

Of light

That which is

Intrinsic, sets me apart

Splintering the genetic code

Variant, random variable or

In this case deviation?

Roguish, albeit compassionate

Laughter my persistent

Muse

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Bisous,

Léa

No – only pity in the end

“…You don’t have to wait for someone to treat you bad repeatedly. All it takes is once, and if they get away with it that once, if they know they can treat you like that, then it sets the pattern for the future.”   – Anonymous

 

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”   – Maya Angelou

 

 

 

No – only pity in the end

The toaster doesn’t

Produce faster

Because you are in

A hurry

No

Turning up the

Volume of your

Diatribes will not

Improve the outcome

No

The bruises never showed

You took great care they wouldn’t

Head and back your targets

No, your story has

Carried you thus far

Has covered up the tracks

At least nobody asked

Questions

Curiosity – my fatal flaw

Truths you never uttered

No

A little girl

Was no match for your

Rage

And no one ever got that close

No

You didn’t win

I escaped – I survived

The cracks in your amour

Are widening but nobody cares

No

You continue to strike out – yet

I am out of reach

Regardless, I am free

Many scars won’t heal – but

I’ve chosen Joy

No

There is no hatred

That is your disease

The only feeling

I have for you

Pity

 

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Bisous,

Léa

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

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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

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Bisous

Léa

…To the left

Despite the fact that I first published this here over three years ago, it seems imperative to reblog it now given current events in Virginia and elsewhere. 

“This is the biggest cemetery for Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti. It must tell us that we have to come back here again and again. We must keep the memory of the worst crime in human history alive for those who were born later.”   –  Horst Koehler, Germany President

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”    –  Martin Niemöller 

This post is dedicated to the memories of Claire Magnani (who wanted it read but couldn’t hear it anymore), Manya and Meyer Korenblit, Chaim Nagelstein and too many others.

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…To the left

Naked they cling to each other

Husband and wife parent to child

Lovers embrace

O mother, with infant at your breast

You must be cleansed

To the side of the large stone building

Lay the belongings

Of those who are to be cleansed

You who wear a yellow star

You shall be cleansed

Soldiers rummage through mounds of clothing

Items are catalogued

By the hundreds

They line up for the showers

Men, women, children

With paralyzing fear

They are herded through large doors

A small boy of five

With piercing brown eyes

Clutches his mother’s arm

As the gas permeates the room

Amid the screams

Comes the cry

“Hush mien kindelein hashem is with us”

And they are cleansed

And Germany is cleansed

And the ovens are cleansed

Made ready for those who will follow

Skeletal remnants of men

Must remove the remains

Of their brothers and sisters

Must pry the gold from their mouths

Must fill German coffers

Must kindle the fires with the bones

Of those they love

Germany must be

Cleansed

Purify

Pile another corpse into the ovens

Those hollow cheeks the vacant stares

Fire will purify

Cold grey ashes will not tell

Of what has been done

Thick black smoke fills the nostrils

With deaths stench

And violates the skies of Europe

Rich German soil harbors mass graves

And Germany will not be cleansed

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NEVER AGAIN!

Bisous,

Léa

precipice – let the memoirs commence

“All the fear has left me. I’m not frightened anymore. It’s my heart that pounds beneath my chest, it’s my mouth that pushes out this breath and if I shed a tear I won’t cage it. I won’t fear love and if I feel rage I won’t deny it. I won’t fear love.”   –  Sarah McLachlan

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”   –  Maya Angelou

“Though silence is not necessarily an admission, it is not a denial either.”   –  Marcus Tullius Cicero 

“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.”   –   Gloria Steinem

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precipice – let the memoirs commence

witness

on the edge

posed for the plunge

knowing the horrors

lurking in wait

my purpose far from benevolent

the past etched in stone

imbedded in scar tissue and bone

trails of crumbs strewn along

neural pathways

certain sounds and smells

like fingernails dragged across the chalkboard

like a battering ram – I shall

break down doors

dragging ghosts and skeletons

from hiding

those who hid from reality

those quashed for what they knew

i shall warm their bones

giving them, at last, a voice

writing it down

testimony

silence and terror

an arsenal generations old

sins of fathers

sins of mothers

this is not a trial

just an airing

of long entombed

evidence

no declarations in anger

a survivor’s memoir

one who is guilty

breaking the silence

bisous,

léa

memoir or fictionalized truth

“Men’s memoirs are about answers; women’s memoirs are about questions. Most male authors want to look good in their memoirs and have a place in posterity, while most women know that posterity is what happens when you no longer care. Women want to connect with others here and now; they couldn’t care less about legacy!   –  Isabel Allende

 

Another way of looking at it: 

 

“I have always distrusted memoir. I tend to write my memoirs through my fiction. It’s easier to get to the truth by not claiming that you are speaking it. Some things can be said in fiction that can never be said in memoir.  

 –  Armistead Maupin

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memoir or fictionalized truth

today

both feet

perched on the edge – a precipice

pulling stories together

exposing more than self

lighting a few candles

would be an effort in

futility

opting for the wrecking crew approach

deciding it was time

breaking down doors

wrenching skeletons

long entrenched

now meticulously scrutinized

committing their crimes

to print

my greatest transgression

bearing witness

for those who were silenced

giving them a voice

while finally trusting

my own

changing names

to protect those not

yet born

and only reality is left

defamed

*

 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!”

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Bisous,

Léa