Loss for words…

“Trust him not with your secrets, who, when left alone in your room, turns over your papers.”

–   Johann Kaspar Lavater

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

–   Martin Luther King, Jr.

*

Loss for words

As a small girl

I had a passionate

Love affair

With paper

And pencils

But most of all

With words

Every chance I had

I would finger the smooth

Crisp pages

I marveled as the

Pencil raced, danced, glided

Or stomped

Across the sheet

All of the things

That couldn’t

Be said

Would magically appear

Wanting to be heard

Testimony in the court

Of childhood

Aching to bear witness

To all violations

Of one small girl

But

The judge and jury

Routinely

Purged this small girls room

For any trace

Of incriminating evidence

Verdicts handed down

Fast, furious and ever so harsh

Must make an example

Cease and desist

 Trying to hide my words

Lifting the blue and tan

Checked tile cover

Of the fireplace ash bin

Never used –

Maybe it would be safe

Would guard my secrets

Would reveal dark truths

After I was gone

Censorship ran rampant

And the stakes escalated

Until the words

Turned mute

Just prior to turning forty

A crack – nearly indistinguishable

In the wall

Between me and my words

The decades of mounting pressure

And erosion from neglect

An increasing force

That would be

Reckoned with – at times

The words would be shelved

After all they

Weren’t important

Only childish ramblings

That must be silenced

The little girl survived

And my words

Illuminate

This  journey

Deal

With

It!

*

Bisous,

Léa

Love – can break your heart

 

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”   –  Kahil Gibran

“Love is composed  of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”   –  Aristotle

“Where there is love there is life.”   –   Mahatma Gandhi

 

                                         

*

Love- can break your heart

As our choir sang

Pour les maisons de la retrait

I bore witness

From the corner of

My eye

His devotion

Spills from

Pale blue eyes

Rarely leaving her side

Reading, anticipating

His efforts to

Reassure her

Albeit briefly

Respirations syncopate

As though

One heart beats

Pour tous les deux

I can feel fragile tissues

Weakening

The tenuous hold

On this life

Sa crainte

She could cross over

Without him

 Son coeur se briserait

*

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

Re-post: Finding voice

This is a re-post of the first one to appear on this blog 11 December, 2011. My apologies to those who have already seen it.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”   –  Vincent Van Gogh

“Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.”   –  Louise Brown

“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”  

–  Audre Lorde

 

Finding voice…

Be tells me to keep writing

Cait tells me to just write

My past tells me I can’t write

Fear writes for me

Anger writes the loudest, and is most prolific

Joy is silent, nearly invisible

Sadness drones on and on

Pain is sharp, isolated, and intense

Journals are scattered about my home

Tossed into the recesses of the car

They harbor numerous attempts of binge/purge

When moving I will devalue their loyalty

As I shove them through the shredder

The ghosts of childhood critique every effort

They silence me with threats to expose my failure

Deep inside the struggle

To break through the barriers

Quakes with revelatory thunder

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

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

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

Lies, Damned Lies and Politics

“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.”  – Noam Chomsky

“The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned.”The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.
With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.”  – Henry A. Wallace

“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”  – Sinclair Lewis

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”  – John F. Kennedy

Lies, Damned Lies and Politics

September 11, 2001

Every mother’s child is hit

Thousands of bodies

Crushed, shattered, incinerated

Folded, spindled, mutilated

And fifty states a wailing wall

Rescuers hurtled into overdrive

Choking down thick grey ash

Inhaling particles of death

Yeetgadal v’ yeetkadash sh’mey rabbah

Cover the mirrors

Wooden crates to rest the weary

Soggy with tears

Screams of the dead

Reverberate from the

Bronx

To the Battery

And sea to shining sea

Rivers swollen with blood

The malignant mouth

Of the media

Bombards airwaves and print

Inciting the masses

Loyalty to the lone star dictator’s

Final solution

Bisous,

Léa

Apartment # 3

“Molesters do not wear an ugly mask. They wear a shield of trust.”  – Patty Rase Hopson

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”  –  Herbert Ward

Apartment # 3

I can’t remember which scent

Offended me most as a child

The heavy damp mustiness

Of grandma’s apartment

Or the sting of her

White Shoulders cologne

I dreaded the darkness

When the deacon came to call

Heavy drapes drawn tight

The focal point in the living room

A Murphy bed

Always poised

Always covered in crisp white paper

The altar

Waiting for the offering

The spring lamb

Not even two years of age

When sacrifices begin

This man of god

Anoints me in his holy water

Telling me

Not to tell

As if I had the words to expose him

Bottom drawer antique mahogany bureau

Easy to reach for one so small

Always containing gifts

If I’d been good But why were there no Pieces of silver?

Grandma returns as the man leaves

He will not look at me

As he puts on his hat

What was the going rate

For an infant girl?

And why did the mother

Insist I keep returning?

Bisous,

Léa