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

Hero: Women’s History Month

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’… You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”   –  Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

...
Back row: Shirley, Beverly, Dale, Barbara, Donna – Front row: Iris with mother, Irene

Hero: Women’s History Month

– 

Too young

To be a wife

Too young

To have six

Children

Too young

To be a widow

During a

Depression

That rocked

A nation

Dust-bowl days

Too young

But she did it

Anyway

Working two

Or three jobs

Even the oldest

Child, quite young

Early morning

Milk run

Driving a cart

About town

The youngest bundled-up

Along for the ride

Taking in laundry

Yet always made

Time for games and lessons

Much later, when I was born

Offering to mother me

Nighttime work

Running the projector

Rex Theatre on Court Street

Sweeping up popcorn

After the show

Weekends scraping gum

Off the bottom of seats

Renting out an empty room

For hunters

In season

Always a sparkle

In those bright blue eyes

The first to welcome you

Hugs and kisses

Never rationed, regardless

Of what might be

In short supply

Great riches

Packed within

Diminutive form

Irene

Dear great-aunt

Despite their efforts

That I should never know you

We were found

With only a few years

Before your death

101 years young

Your arms reached out

Without conditions

Nor question

Giving my heart

At last, a home

And the mother

I never had

Bisous,

Léa

Circular-causality

“I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.”   –  Susan B. Anthony

” If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and minus.”  –  Emma Goldman

***

Circular-causality

When I left

You

I lay in a

Bed

One pillow

Undisturbed

Sleeping peacefully

At last

When I left

You

The weight of

The world

Toppled

Cascading

From weary shoulders

When I left you

My footsteps – yet

Unsure – guarded

Plodded forward

Into the unknown world

Of learning

You and

Others told me – I could

Not make it

When I left you

There were new friends

Trips to the theatre, museums

Classes, professors

While I was

Looking over my

Shoulder

Waiting for the

Failure

Yet we kept a roof

Over our heads

And each semester

I moved toward the promises

Of the next

My eyes opened wider

With each new step

Experiences extrapolated

The view

Bachelor’s degree

Then a Masters

Adding up

Priorities

You could never

Comprehend

Introspection

Those early

Terrifying,

Stumbling

Footfalls

Learning to dream

Setting boundaries

Having goals

Dreaming

Believing

Allowing the

Dream to

Come true

When

I left

You

***

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

Trad-ing Winds

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.”
– Catherine the Great

“As time goes by, I realize that I do trust the wind. And I often write my songs for myself.”
– David Friedman

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!”
– William Butler Yeats

Trad-ing Winds

Born where

The Santa Ana’s

Drove me

Indoors

Pushed me away

Made me ill

Literally taking

My breath away

Cutting familial

Ties

I now live

Where the

Mistral

Is a frequent

Visitor

Howling

Outside

My door

Slamming

My beloved

Wooden shutters

I laugh

As the leaves

Swirl

Today the

Forces of

Power

Have shifted

I walk with

And against

Her fury

She whispers

Kindly

In my ear

Bisous,

Léa

self-help

“Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out, the need to be rid of something or to get in touch with something within.”
– David Duchovny

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs

self-help

writing like painting

the machine at the boardwalk

pulling taffy

no matter the toughness

of the material

all is brought to the surface

to be examined

in the light

if I pause

stand back

reflect on my work

my interest is vested

before rendering

judgment

Bisous,

Léa

Un Cadeau de Silence

“Simply having children does not make mothers.” – John A. Shedd

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
– Elie Wiesel

“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

Un Cadeau de Silence

Amazon

Wants me to

Find the

Perfect gift

For mom

Mother’s day

Will soon

Be upon

Us

She will

Be upon

With the

Stick

The hard rubber brush

The chemicals

The rituals

Upon me

Beating childhood

Like a seal pup

Until all that remains

Is the bloody pulp

Survival required

Blocking out

So many years

Time and distance

Are both

Healers

Mother’s day

Flashbacks

But the war is

Over

For me

Six-thousand miles

A buffer

Zone

Let

The Hague

Try her crimes

The gift of

Silence

No longer

On the

Table

And

I

Will not

Be

Bought

Bisous,

Léa