La flâneuse

“The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”    – Flannery O’Conner

 

“Poetry fettered, fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed or flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish.”   William Blake

 

“The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason. The passionless cannot change history.”   – Czeslaw Milosz

 

*

 

La flâneuse

 

C’est moi –  la flâneuse ( le flâneur)

Moth eaten – béret noir

My imperial crown

Climbing, descending

Village to village

All about town

Meandering the streets,

Villages and cities of

La belle France

Like Walt Whitman

Declarations of poetry

Observations – running

Commentary of my

Scrutiny – meditations,

Entreaties, prayers, odes,

Declarations in verse

Poetry – my creed

*

If you look up the word today flâneuse – feminine of flâneur, the dictionary would give the word stroll. Yet recently I read a brief passage describing 19th century poets in Paris as a flâneur – one who strolled about the streets of Paris crying out in verse much as the American poet, Walt Whitman was known to do on the streets of Manhattan.

Bisous,

Léa

Imagination and a pile of junk

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas A. Edison

imagination and a pile of junk

The junk lies all around me

But does it fit in my poem?

There are several stacks of

Unread books, stories to be told

Genealogy charts, and research

From Sweden’s icy tundra

Spilling loosely across my desk

But does it fit in my poem?

A journal from the 1890’s

Confessions of an ancestor

Crossing the American plains

Covered wagon adventures

Will they fit in my poem?

This most unusual plant

A succulent – leaves like tiny chili peppers

Dark green and growing sporadically

It couldn’t possibly

Fit in this poem, could it?

There are postcards from villages

And towns around France

Stamps for posting to Europe

And beyond

Post-it notes, pens, camera, computer cables

Glasses and more – alas, nothing bears promise

Of fitting in this poem

Imagination regrets its failure

Building junk into a poem

 

Bisous,

Léa

Treasure

 

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”   – Bob Marley

 

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”   – Erich Fromm

 

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”   – Henry David Thoreau

 

*

 

Treasure

 

Despite advance studies

Money rarely trickled down my path

Choosing Mental Health

Over a lucrative career

Despite any talents or skill

The bills remain a struggle

Yet I have the most beautiful sky

Just outside my window

A grand chorus of birds

Sing me awake each day

Summertime, sung to sleep

By frogs and crickets

 

Your latest acquisition

Phones, laptops, automobiles

Will be an albatross

In the not too distant future

And advertisers will tell you

What you NEED to make you

Happy – another purchase

Piled upon local landfill

As you move on to your next

Vital acquisition

While I gather lavender, rosemary,

Figs, almonds and know

How truly rich I am 

 

 

The family said I would never

Have any wealth – be one of them

Would not know what to do with it

Would give it away

There may be some truth to that

I’ve always found others

Who needed it more than me

Yet I’ve more than I

Dreamed could be mine

Surrounded by beauty

In the embrace of my community

Some things cannot be bought

At last, I have come home

*

Bisous,

Léa

Once burned…

“Fake people have an image to maintain. Real people just don’t care.”  

–     Author unknown

*

Once burned

You flash a grin

My way

I feel my spine

Relax

Slipping farther

From caution I

Slide under your spell

Memory dishes up

In your favor

I feel confidence

Abandon me

As you close in

That split second

Your head turns

Calculating your options

Gratefully my senses return

Your attentions return

In a flash

Yet a veil has fallen

Your strengths fade to frailty

Sliding irretrievably from

Possibility

The seas are rich

I am patient

And deep

Your shallow waters

Cannot sustain me

*

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

*

Bisous,

Léa

knowing dark

“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.”   –  Walt Whitman

 

“In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.”   –  Dante Alighieri

 

“Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but is control stops with the shore.”   –  Lord Byron

*

knowing dark

 

were you aware

that both darkness

and light

possess specific scents, music and texture?

the odor of darkness cannot be

fully appreciated by inexperienced senses

years spent where light was restricted

refine the senses educate them

intimacy with every shade of night

each nuance

feeling my way

making the most of a unique gift

over time

senses heighten

evocative

mnemonic

tranquillité

now

sunshine

reveals

a new world

Léa

mon voisin aime me taquiner / my neighbour likes to tease me

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn.”   –  Jane Austen

 

“Listen, you only tease the ones you love.”   –  John Boehner

 

“I have an intense dislike for artificial society. In France, one could lead a free life – to do what one wanted to do without interference or criticism from one’s neighbors.”   –   Robert W. Service

 

Symbol d'Occitan
Symbol d’Occitan

 

mon voisin aime me taquiner / my neighbour likes to tease me

jean est taquiner moi

he delights in telling

le monde

says i am a spy

for obama

the twinkling

dans ses yeux,

illuminating smile

gives him away

everytime

the hard rods of

steel

he shapes into

gates, railings,

le croix de Cathar

or the symbol of the

pays d’ Occitan

the flames of the

forge

a mask

outside

l’ atelier

le masque

tombe

*

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

gratte – gratte

“Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something.”   –  Wilson Mizner

*

gratte – gratte

each morning

Rolande marche au

Tabac

gratte – gratte

gratte – gratte

with the English

half-penny

i gave her

today she has

won 120 euros

then purchased more

scratch cards

from her winnings

i could attempt to

explain the statistical

probabilities

in my broken French

and she would smile

yeux scintillant

“mais oui!”

alors elle

continue

*

Bisous,

Léa

dans le sable des mots / in the sand of words

“To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.”   –  William Blake

 

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”   –  William Shakespeare

 

“All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the fest of the mind.”   –  Khalil Gibran

*

dans le sable des mots / in the sand of words

my hands plunge deeply

this insatiable quest

finding the right verbs,

adjectives and adverbs

the preposition

which when assembled

like Rubik’s puzzle

lead me to what is missing

yet words like sand are

flexible

capable of embracing

the power of

la mer

or sliding through my

fingers

so strong, she restrains the oceans

 large ships skim

across their surface

she cradles the ravaged

cities swallowed in the

tsunami’s of time

concealing their final

resting place

so delicate

a breeze thrusts them

into oblivion

starfish, shells the

similes and metaphors

dans le sable des mots

*

bisous,

léa

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