This is the last day for the October poetry challenge, #Octpowrimo and I am glad I participated. I plan to continue writing poetry within my other posts.  Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me.

I wrote the following poem to kick off my holiday sugar free challenge.

Anyone want to join me?  Leave a comment below… I will probably blog about it in conjunction with my regular posts about dementia, homeschooling a highschooler, art and poetry.

On Holiday From Sweets

Because tomorrow’s November

Better get it in tonight

Between all those trick-o-treaters

Coming at twilight

For tomorrow, I’m not kidding

Being it’s November 1st

I won’t, and I’m not fibbing

Eat sweets, I say, lips pursed

During the season of sweeting

Which Lasts Seven months

from Thanksgiving Day to Easter

I’ll take my sugar lumps

No pumpkin spice lattes or mincemeat pies

no Christmas cookies, any kind,

or assorted chocolates on Valentines

I’ll not pop those Easter jelly beans

Or anything in between.

How long you think I’ll make it

If served cake, you think I’ll take it

About donuts, oh can I fake it

right now I’m so inclined

Sweet sober now’s my way of  thinking

While at this poem I’m busy inking

Tomorrow I’ll be busy drinking

Water, tea and coffee, winking.

~Julie Robinson

There is an old phrase

“Art imitates life”.

Art Isn’t Dying

Rescue art

When it screams

Unbecoming decaying things

Should make the conscious crawl away

How can passion for disaster

hate-filled lyric fashion

Cut up jeans to Banksy shred

Be any statement but:   “That art is dead.”

Bored of their own pleasure

Wanting, working their demise

Receiving doleful measure

A dark and deadly compromise

Of standing, agreeing

And where wisdom once was

Mistaking fleeting feelings

Raw, uncensored, not creating.

This poem has no summation

‘Cause all know a salvation

Starts deep in the art

By the Refiner of heart

~Julie Robinson

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Digital Love by Julie Robinson’s IPAD Pro Doodling.

This post is three poems in one, a pre, a Behrquain, and a post poem.  Enjoy!

I wrote this pre-poem as an introduction to the following Behrquain poem.  And, I’m not entirely sure if there exists such a thing as pre-poems, but I first wrote in paragraph form and it was just trying to pop out a poem so I just said “let it pre”.

Let it Pre

On my response

to the current lack

of civility

in human interactions:

People triggered

exploding over a word out of place

unable to put aside differences

all wounded and wounding

not listening so misconcluding

uncivil and vain

causing pain

the answer to all is in my Behrquain

Tinder Tender

In love

Do we expect

Wholehearted agreement

On everything, every problem

Settled, perfect

It is

Never seeking

Friendships, relationships

Lasting through argued discussions

But strong isn’t broken

From politics

To Christ

Too much tinder

Rubbing between people

Igniting not passion but hate

Yelling screaming fighting

What’s there so dear

Likewise

Letting the truth

Come out in the converse

Plain spoken truth without hot air

And taking the time to

More than listen

Perfect

Only humans

Are we to each other

Forgiving and enlivening

Growing close together

Tinder tender

Loving

~Julie Robinson

The DNA of the Behrquain

What! A post – poem now, an after toast to my Behrquain,

the shape, a double helix DNA,

beginning, creating, unzipping,

 and joining info written

within curvy confines,

a different way to think,

in round rhythm of words,

lacking rhyme, concentrating on structure,

 movement and meaning and time.

My poetry “writing” process.

First,  Believe

I am a poet.

I’ve enjoyed finding out that I am a poet during this #Octpowrimo month.  I remember how at the beginning I felt excited and then halfway through it was, “What have I gotten myself into!”

Second, Find a spark

The spark is usually something that oddly occurs to me like the memory of riding the commuter train into Philly. I have never been a writer who just sits and writes all kind of thoughts free flow.  No, I like to mull over my thoughts while I am driving or cleaning… or, today, cleaning out the garage. My poem below was sparked during my great garage clean out.  The job is mostly completed and good thing:  I am actually able to pull my car in.

Third, Write it down

I begin typing it out and it usually flows.  But then I change it to make it make sense more artistically and fix words.  I look to see if there is an interesting flow or did I lose the concept somewhere along the way.  Also important to me is rhythm and rhyme although I don’t really try to obey any rhyming rules.  I think that the poetry writing is somewhat like painting.  There is a concept and a flow the eyes follow, a point, a main idea and supporting cast.

And then, I use the WordPress save draft or publish feature.  I like to publish it to post on a certain day and time.  For the poems it is around 5:30 am.  Then I put it away until later in the day or in the middle of the night.

Last, I reread later and once in a great while I give up on it and rewrite completely.  If I can’t sleep sometimes I will open up my poem on my iPhone in bed and am glad I do because I catch blatant looking errors that I wonder how I could possibly have missed.

Cleaning out

Allowed to take hold

Things are a task master

and if small’s what we afford

Small piles a disaster

The wealthy watch out for

Those shiny collections

Protecting and keeping

Their lovely perfections

From anyone holding

Or touching them.  Please!

Their temperature must be

Seventy degrees

So whether rich or the middle

Your heart its treasure most mightily tugs

It pulls you down to raise itself

Above the ones you want to love.

But if there is something you have to collect

Pick people and family and friends

Not old stuff in boxes closets garages

Attic and basement or under the bed

..

For life test it’s over,

When we’ve all walked away

those things we collected

They all have to stay

~Julie Robinson

Michael’s Morning Star

Old tunes played on a keyboard with singing

By a man who knows how to do it, bringing

Clapping and smiles under hill country trees

Serving hope love and kidding

A big family are these.

Tired from activity

And the big Texas lunch

Of brats beans and burgers

Swigging beer with no liquor ‘cause happy is quicker

And joy found in more ways than munch

It’s now nap time so staff

Spring to usual day to day tasks

Of wheeling and walking and tending to those

Whose minds may have faltered but not their hearts,

Peace there’s found in these here parts.

All back home the pictures we share

With far away family feeling part of it there

‘Cause seeing the smiles, happy we look

Can’t argue with a good photo took

At Michael’s Morning Star Memory Care

~Julie Robinson

The poem below is the twenty year old me living on the high speed line and working in center city Philadelphia.  For a little while I was taking courses at an eye institute in the north of the city and working in the center city while residing on the main train line in Pennsylvania several stops out.  So, to get to work, school, and home took me a very long time.  I walked to the train station near my apartment, took the commuter train to a bus and a subway to work, to class, to work, and back home again.  It was an interesting commute and I had a lot of strange experiences like breaking my nose in a train wreck or like the time I was flashed (those are for a whole different posts).  Mostly I remember watching people and wondering about where they were going. There was a mental hospital that had closed down, I think, and they were sleeping in cardboard boxes, some screaming strange scary stuff, sitting atop the steamy grates.  I can still conjure the sour smell mixed with the smell of pretzels baking in places.  The smell memory is a core brain area!  But, one of the strongest memories was feeling cold.

This is my first attempt at a Behrquain poem, it is not to rhyme, it has a 2, 4, 6, 8, 6, 4, 2… style.  I hope I got it right. Not rhyming was difficult for me!

Tomorrow, a Coat

Sweater

Wrecking her mood

Pulled o’er her head, static

Lipstick smearing, flyaway strands

Held tight down by hairspray

Taste in the air

Chilly

Fall all around

Gladly wearing it now.

Exhale is warming the fibers

Fogging, frosting glasses

Shirttail wiping.

Making

The subway full

Standing, no seat in sight

Holding handle through jerk and bump

The stop is made, all off

At subway’s end.

Her job

No sweaters there

Chilly but faking warm

And on her break she sipped hot tea

And dreamed of warmer things,

A summer’s play

Darkened

The sky grim gloom

A northern snowstorm dumped

Sweater weather turned winter freeze

Steadfast strode, subway fast

To her warm home

Heartened.

~Julie Robinson

Oh! #Octpowrimo, 25 days into the month of poetry.

Oh! The creative push to write a daily poem for Octpowrimo month has helped me write descriptive scenes in my fiction writing giving it better rhythm but not rhyme goodness me but that is a current problem! Anyone else?

Between fiction writing and oil painting and cleaning out my garage, I find myself “painting” poetic scenes in my mind.

And like a painting I have here still on my easel even before I add additional brushstrokes, I have done them in my mind first, same with the written work that needs additional keystrokes.

So, if that wasn’t enough stroking for one post… here is my poem for day 25: Strokes

Daily Strokes

Stroking a kitten’s like stoking a fire

Petting revs her purr motor higher

Arched high she springs to action

her claws get some friction, her fur some rough lickin’

Pouncing off she finds work of all kinds of hard play

And then there’s window sentry light sleeping where she’s keeping

A watch for her stroker, her purrfect re-stoker

To lay lap curled contently consumed by the fire of the day.

~Julie Robinson

Exquisitely Yours is the name of a hair styling salon in my town. I wonder, in light of the fashion of our time being at a loss for exquisiteness, how a person would pick that name for their salon. I wondered how they would think of hair as exquisite since in this day hairstyle for a woman that is too coiffed is considered out of fashion. Perhaps they are attempting to bring back exquisite. More power to them! Bravo!

But, most likely perhaps they are advertising that they provide exquisite service. That should never go out of style and I would not be surprised if a business in my town, a Texas town that may look a little rough around the edges offers, of course, exquisite service with a dash of southern hospitality.

I love words like a sports fanatic. In thinking about the word, exquisite, I was attempting to conjure up exquisite things and I was wondering if truly we may have lost touch with the concept of exquisite: We live in our cookie cutter homes, purchase modern art, wear unmatched clothing and decorate in farmhouse style, wear relaxed blue jeans and our idea of dressing up is wearing a darker color jean with a pretty top and extra makeup; and to top all that off, easy manageable hair.

And that brings me back to that “exquisite” hair salon. Hair has its fashions and our time is not a fashion of exquisite hair. (My poem, below, is where I had a bit of fun with the fashion of hair.)

Has it been in these past seventy or so years, since blue jeans came into vogue, that most everything has had its exquisiteness washed out in the tide of style involving every kind of fashion. The opposite of exquisite is preferred today.

Of course, being a word sleuth, I looked it up.

Exquisite – of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, coloring, music, or poetry. From Dictionary.com

I was surprised that “coloring” was part of the definition of exquisite. So, I put exquisite coloring as a search term in google and only found exquisite adult coloring books which was surprising since the dictionary evidently believed that there was something exquisite about coloring. What could they have meant by including it? The color of skin, or of fabric or of paint on a canvas?

There is exquisite detail in Michelangelo’s paintings and in architecture belonging especially to the high renaissance and Victorian times and in clothing as it used to be made with fancy buttons and finely woven materials, and velvets, brocade, and top stitching.

If you have a great grandma, go to their house and look around. She probably has some furniture that were exquisitely crafted but you would have to check out an old Sears Roebuck catalog to find an exquisite appliance because they possibly aren’t able to run on today’s electrical current. But, cars. There are car shows in my little town around the courthouse where people gawk at the exquisiteness inside and out of old automobiles.

I know where exquisiteness went: the way of cheap manufacturing. How’d they make us buy into it? Well, I think it was an advertising campaign based on streamlined everything. The new modern look.

Perhaps the short list which is left for exquisite is a person with an exquisite nose or fine jewelry and, especially, flowers – heaven made and never ever going out of exquisite style.

Here’s my poem based upon the Exquisitely Yours Hair Salon.

Fairly Exquisite

A covering, in bible speak

And once exquistely styled,

Is not the style any more

Unless the lady’s eighty-four

Remember power fros, wide picks hanging

And awful Mohawk punk rock wearings

Dread locks worn to partial shavings

Striped or bleached with black roots raising

Tow heads and blue heads, red heads and blondes

Black and brunettes, and my hair, all white

And it’s fashionable now: the young are wearing gray!

Or blue and pink they dye today

Farrah Faucet, Princess Di

Mary Jo Retton or the Rachel, all fly

Or that bowl cut wearing guy

Memories of iconic times

Wings, the shag, bowl cut, pixie

Pin curls, ponytail, curly, wavy,

Mall bangs, side bangs, feather, fringe

Losing, receding, crew cut, balayage

We crown ourselves with stylish hair

And make a glorious statement there

Each decade has its own display

But exquisite’s not the style today

~Julie Robinson

After today, October 23, I have just 7 poems left to write in the #Octpowrimo poetry challenge which spans the month of October. This challenge has required of my brain and heart and soul a rendering of my life transcribed into daily poetry. There are moments I have captured a poem idea but I’m in the middle of something… homeschooling or cooking, caregiving, or doing the list of chores my right brain requires. Those people who love me know I have a left brain that tries to drive both sides.

Anyhow thank you, you poets who came up with this artistic month long stretch and making us all work our creative muscle and lift some heavy word weight!

Poetry Month

October is the perfect stretch

For mind and soul and heart to fetch

New thoughts, old ideas

Holding them warm until they hatch

Solutions are babies

And feelings, the crazies

Then there’s things we all ought to know

So we try some on and wear them out

Til they, independent, grow

To mull and to ponder

And chase em o’er yonder

Across the mind field of near almost defeat,

Tackling, ramshackle-ing

Holding up by their feet

But then those thoughts that slide sideways

Down through the heart’s pathways

And wriggle all cozied up under your skin

Are the ones best divided

And held tightly captive

Fine tuned, put to rhyme

With a beat and some time

A laugh and a tear

Or a hug

And a sigh

~Julie Robinson

Oak Tree with a Cloverleaf

You might remember a tree

Loved in days more worry free

Where climbing was a little work

To sit on branch of scratchy bark

Or lean for hours in summer shade

Writing your first one act play

Of branching arms and trunk alive

Leaves fluttering against the sky

My family’s land, it had a tree

Til freeway cut the property

Estranging that oak

Like a castle’s moat

Now, middle of a cloverleaf

It stately stands, holding memories

Not the drivers by, but the girl in me

Who left my heart up in that tree

~Julie Robinson

Good they didn’t cut it down. My dad tells the story again and again of the property his parents owned. If I’m ever out riding with him I let him repeat the story of the tree. I’m glad for #Octpowrimo because I look around each day for a poem. Today we went out to bring home cheeseburgers and drove around that cloverleaf and I just knew I wanted to encapsulate the feeling.

Melancholy Glee

Lavender spike oil filled the room

better smelling than turpentine

The painter, tired, in a mood

How painting day was now the night

Across the room, with distance to see

That drama of the raging sea

Rough and vast and painterly

But her cat would change it, yes, would he

Who jumping to chase

Snagged his claw on the drapes

And clanging knocked over

Red buds in a vase

So frightened he shrieked

And wherein did leap

His bushy tail becoming a brush, he did sweep

Across the wet painting wide and deep

Oil painter was he

The artist doubled fitfully

Then signed the painting happily:

Melancholy Glee

~Julie Robinson

I went yesterday to visit my husband at his assisted living, Morning Star Memory Care. The story is in the poem below.

With a little Google sleuthing, Heather, the young caregiving attendant found that Adeline died two years ago.

Here’s the picture of the book and what fell out of it….

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A Book of Prayer by Helen Steiner Rice, a book found at Morning Star Memory Care, Fredericksburg, Texas

For the Giver of Books

A Book of Prayer

By Helen Steiner Rice

Was found on the bookshelf

By a visiting wife

Trying to find him

Some relief

Her husband’s dementia

was causing her grief

But opening it up

Its stiff spine told its story

This book never read

Was like a book with no glory

Like a doll never played with,

Dressed fancy on shelf,

Collectible car fifty years still in blister

Or a heart never loved

This written word, its pages not turned,

And heartbeat never heard.

Oh Miss Helen, your book!

She’d now take a look

Then out of the middle

Tumbled postcard, old photo

Of a lady who’d received it

As a gift long ago

Quickly flipped back to the title page

Where the giver had inscribed

“To Adeline, in Memory of Paul, 1995”

The penmanship fancy, quite alive

She’d wonder, pausing the read

To study that photo, who was she

This Adeline whose gift

Has finally now been received

Leaving the book but thanking the Giver

Of life and hope and happenings

This book on prayer, that God is there

Found timely just like everything

~Julie Robinson

Mysterious Scene, oil on canvas 11×14

I’ve been working on writing my fiction book instead of painting. I’m 7 chapters in, engrossed in my own story. I think all the creating poetry has done something interesting for my writing. Only problem is I keep trying to rhyme. But today I decided to finish one of my river paintings. I’m working to finish, sign, frame and show my paintings.

I hope you enjoy today’s poem…it’s loosely based in truth. That’s kinda funny. Loose truth. Oxymoron?

Fall’s Fault

It was blazing hot today

But fashion forced me to

Wear my new boots anyway

Oh! My feet the debt did pay

Changing to sandals for dinner

Seemed smart

So my feet I freed

And all ten toes they sighed relief

But walking home seems winter now

October fashion fail tis true

Cause now my toes are all froze

And my lips are all blue

So it’s Fall but it’s Summer

Feels Winter in Fall

But my poor feet plead

“Please come quick, Spring!”

~Julie Robinson

He Stood You Up?

Against the station pole she’s leaning

Heart palpating, heady, dreaming

As only a heart in love can hope

He’s coming

But he doesn’t… three long hours

Her eyes the crowd filled station scours

And upturned face has thence turned dour

Examining her wilted flower

Is he married, was he lying

Perhaps now he’s inside dying

But she’s not crying, she’s applying

That thin veneer to keep her trying

To be stood up

Thus is a doozy

Suddenly it made her woozy

Careful what you dream, be choosy

What a man! He said he’d meet her

Online chat he seemed so eager

But was she almost off to danger

Narrowly to join a stranger

That email man she’ll never meet

She’ll leave him in that virtual dream

Smiles perfect in her memory

But does he think of her, does he?

~Julie Robinson

I wrote this poem in response to another blogger’s story of being stiffed by an online love when she had her “You’ve Got Mail” un-encounter that scene where the fellow Shop Around the Corner workers say “He Stood You Up?” I have my own story where I met a man online – how much of it did that movie cause??? He didn’t stand me up but he was very strange and I was glad it was only a coffee date. I was able to sip it fast and zip out with no harm done.

Gilded

There it sits

The golden frame

Setting the painting

O’er fireplace hangs

Stormy seas bringing

A ship on the green

Waves swelling, telling

High venture at sea

Ornamental,

Brilliance beaming

Oil captured, artist dreaming

Come, move in closer now to see

What is happening

In that moment

Stormy day atop the wave

Rocking, rolling, treasure toting

Tell me, ship, you coming, going

Got time for a visit pay

Better, navigate my wall untamed

In the artist’s gilded frame

~Julie Robinson

Sometimes I like to imagine that something I have created on canvas is real. I have painted many ocean and beach scenes but this is my first attempt at a sailing vessel. I have the painting sitting on the floor trying to figure out a grouping with some other paintings. It’s actually an acrylic painting though it worked better in the poem to have it be an oil. And I have no fireplace, but I am considering building myself a faux fireplace with candles just so that I can hang it above the mantel.

My good friend Caroline Dechert so sweetly framed it in that beautiful frame and put it in a local art show for me during a time when it was difficult to get out and do things due to caregiving.

That frame is as fancy as friendship. Caroline called me and checked up on me and came to my house to paint with me. She has been one of my biggest art supporters. Friendship is golden.

I think this painting should be named: “Gilded”.

The Dark

Children afraid of the dark need some lighting

For in closets and basements and under beds hiding

Mysterious creatures are sometimes abiding

And mere shadows become some imagined surprisings

Chased out by the day but not by the nighting

By day they’re all gone, you suddenly see

They’ve climbed high up in a tree

Now you’re under your bed for hide and seek

Closets are open without a big stink

In dark they’re at home but by light they’re made weak

So the dangled bedside foot bedside you stick

Don’t give it a worry, not a bit

But you’ll give the monster a chance to lick

If you watch that scary bedtime flick

Needs give the lightswitch the upward tick

~Julie Robinson

Halfway through the month of October’s poetry challenge I thought I’d write a poem to commemorate getting halfway through Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, The Calamitous Fourteenth Century.

Learning From The Dark Ages

An ice age kicked off the dark 14th century

Froze up the water

Famine a looming

War with England, France’s undoing

Earthquake struck

They thought it God’s dooming

A hundred year war, and rodents were toting

A plague that killed droves

But the Church, forgiveness controlling

And divisions took toll on instead of the grace

Some lost their hope ever so slowly

Turned many away from the joy of the faith

High style the shoe was ever so pointy

Held by chain right to the knee

The king captured, knights unchivalrous bolted

Blaming, the peasants, how they revolted,

Starving and frozen no bread in their oven

The vests that they wore, the jacquerie

Now in our T-shirts and scruffy blue jeans

Dependent to shop for everything

Don’t know to sew to make us some clothes

Bake our own bread, we grub hub by phone

Do we read books or binge watch YouTube’s

Kittens and puppies hedgehogs and squirrels

What are we teaching our boys and our girls

Between soccer karate and parent board meetings

To work and to play at all a fast pace

iPhones glowing our proud selfie face

Did we vote in the last governors’ race

Beware the lights dimming for another dark age

~Julie Robinson

Was it Serendipity?

Sometimes I’m thinking

A word has a meaning

But the thought that it captures

Is another way leaning

What did I learn

Googling Serendipity

That it’s a made up word

With no etymology

From an old fairytale

In a city, Serendip

With sagacity and chance

Some princes saved their skins

First, let’s minus chance,

For isn’t it just circumstance

Mixed with possibility?

What’s left for those princes: sagacity

It’s wisdom and thinking

And learning, discerning

Schooling not luck

Nor magic happenings

I like to know words

…Serendipity toured…

For words are our thoughts

Truth treasure unfurled

So what do you call

A chance good event

Where does it come from

It’s a blessing heav’n sent

~Julie Robinson

My iPad keyboard reveals which keys I use the most. Smudgy traces of my fingers linger on the

asdfhjkletiocnm

and delete.

However the

qwrypzxvb

keys are still new looking. Yes, after I noticed the smudginess I gently scrubbed it with a soft sudsy cloth but not before I made a sorta scientific study which consisted of jotting down the smudge/nonsmudge keys and then considering what words I must be leaving out.

At first I thought I might make up words of those underused letters but then I noticed there was no vowel. Then I conjured all those weird words my English teachers used to get so fascinated about clutching their heart enraptured over some old writing that I couldn’t get adolescently stirred up for.

Anyhow that thought trail led me to write this poem for day 13 of this oh so exhilarating challenge.

Word Cake

Word cake, they served it in high school and college

Layered up stories and high minded sonnets

Condensed or flambéed to stir us to think

But drug us all close to the edge of the brink

Longingly lumbering flowery knowy

Old language of poets heavy and doughy

We studied a mouthful, but we were too slowly

Chewing on words a little bit showy

Or so light they puffed up

Now what did they say

Fancy tiered laying flat

Their complicated meaning take

We learned we know nothing

With cream they were stuffing

Our frosted dreams and airy things

Grown fat on old something

~Julie Robinson

I returned today to paint with my Thursday art friends after a very long break. Like many things I’m easing back into life, breathing a little and feeling free. I brought a canvas prepped with a green ground and I painted… clouds

Painting Clouds

Crowning steepled snowy mountains

Gathering rivers lakes and seas

Sailing billowed oceans roaring

Building walls of energy

Oh you droplets misty makings

Cumulative rainbows end

Heavy bottomed gray and brooding

Artist painted, poet penned

Twisting snowing hailing blowing

Drifts and puddle splashes stowing

Cool drink poured for all that’s growing

Owing to our heaven Friend

~Julie Robinson

Tall crepe myrtle grow in the front of my house. They glow especially brilliant in the sun at the time of day called…

The Golden Hour

Evening gilds the pink crepe myrtle

Glorifying every bloom

branches stretch and ivy creep to

Golden hour treasure boons

How we wonder at the Canvas

Painted while we work and play

No excuse we see the story

Written for this time of day

Stroking, revealing, highlighting, detailing,

The Artist touches everything

Giving hope of life eternal

renewing faith, reviving dreams

Though ’tis brief and often weary

Life its golden curtain draws

Thoughts to warm your heart sincerely

At the end, a brilliant dawn

~Julie Robinson

I put my husband in memory care last week and I left there feeling a little sad for him because of who I know he used to be. I saw a spark of his old personality and that made me consider the past 6 years I have been taking care of him in relation also to how long I’ve been raising children and it all made me feel grateful for the chance to take care of and love the people I have in my life.

They No Longer Living Here

It takes a lifetime raising children

Infant babe to driving teens

All the feeding, and the bleeding

Knees and hearts and hopes and dreams

It takes a lifeline helping old ones

through stages in senility

Never sure just how to do it

Stumbling through the years it seems

Raising caring loving praying

Over those you know are growing

Difficulties they are knowing

On them all your heart bestowing

The lives you touch when helping those

Who need a lift to help them through

Doesn’t matter young or old

It only matters that you do

But in the end you’re left a room

At the table, empty chair

The nest swept clean; so what’s it mean

That they’re no longer living there

~Julie Robinson

Fussing is an old fashioned word which basically means to make too much of something.

What’s the Fuss

When thoughts are to words

And words are to us

Selfishness sparks

The language of fuss

For fussing’s the thing

That fumemakers know

When kindred are kindled

It starts the whole row

What if we cared more

Than fueling our fued

And scorching the earth

While in it we stew

~Julie Robinson

I refinished an old desk bought at a local antique store and now have it in my living room. I had to use the furniture stripper twice on the top because I could still see the water rings then stained it to match the original color and put a brilliant polyurethane gloss on the top.

As I worked hard in the garage in the Texas heat in August refinishing this desk I was wondering its story. If desks could talk…

Here’s my day 8 poem:

Generational Thinking

The desk so mid-century

Sat solid and stately

But now it is lately

Neglected and old

With glass rings are lifting

the finish, I’m thinking

The one who did use it

Was busy I’m sure

Who sat and pushed paper

Or solved a crime caper

Or wrote a big novel

The New York Times list

Where was it a sitting

In small or tall building

And now what’s it doing

Retired and poor

Can’t we just shine it

Millenially find it

A place for an iPad

To sit and to think

To blog and to journal

And twitter a kernel

But give it a coaster

For under our drink.

~Julie Robinson

Wow it’s a week into the month. Each day That I write a new poem for this October poetry challenge, Octpowrimo, I find it a struggle at the beginning to get the poem started but then the flow goes. Getting the initial spark is not difficult because there is poetry everywhere when you begin to look for it.

Today’s poem…

Blue

How peaceful a color

But also the blues

Pinnochio’s fairy

Elvis’s shoes

Is sky or it’s velvet

And crying in the rain

It’s peaceful and tranquil

And bruises and pain

How cool in the spectrum

As chill as it goes

But difficult temper

In the bayou throes

Oh rescue this color!

Come yellow and red

To majesty and growing things

No! Get Titanium instead

It’ll lighten its load

And let its light shine

Like the rarified diamond

That few ever find.

~Julie Robinson

My husband who has dementia, was placed in memory care just yesterday. Today was his birthday so we brought cupcakes and I wrote this poem for the occasion.

Morning Star Birthday

He blew out his candle

Balloons to the ceiling

The birthday song sung

by all with such feeling

Enjoying the cupcakes

For some was a feat

Cause at their old age

Their fingers can’t reach

Some have help

With each bite that they take

But then still wear most

Of the chocolate cake

How gentle the persons

The handling care

To sit each bottom

In the dining room chair

Worn out from the eating

They go to the seating

Roun’ TV they’re keeping

A watch without care

At the doorstep of heaven

A place there is given

And nothing is hidden

Watched over by Him.

~Julie Robinson

I wrote this poem on 10/4/2018… and it is true that I did give up all sweets 12 years ago on 10/4/2006. I remember the date because it was 10/4 in CB radio language…“over and out” on sweets because I had been eating sweets like a crazy person.  It is also true I didn’t eat sweets for 2 years and that I’m now back to sweets/crazy status.  So 10/4/2018 I gave up eating sweets for as long as I can.

I gave up eating sweets

I gave up eating sweets

A dozen years ago

For two years, absolutely none

Completely, nil, zero

Then how did it happen

Over the course

I’m back heavy on it

I need a divorce

One where I’m keeping

The pots and the pans

But it gets the mixer

And the cupcake stand

I hope I can leave it

Forever this time

I really don’t love its

Consuming my mind

It taunts and it teases

And whines its “oh pleases”

Through binge worthy

Cringe worthy mountains of eat

It’s all or it’s nuthin

Not even a muffin

Not even just one little bite

I bid thee my sweetie a “final” goodbye.

~Julie Robinson

The Moment of Know

Twas the moment of know

The curtains they blow

The window pushed high

The caregiver low

Out of his mind

He went real slow

Now he wants to go “home”

It’s ringing, the phone

Can you come get your husband,

Did you know he’s not there,

No, I’ve been asleep,

I sleepily stare.

Dark is the town

Out driving am I

At a time that I never

Out of my mind.

~Julie Robinson

This is a true story except I’m not, I hope, out of my mind. Couldn’t get this in the poem but I hardly ever go anywhere at night and it was very mysterious indeed.

I made it to day three! Only 28 to go.

Mockingbirds and Cardinals

Lady cardinals with pink peaked heads

Are waiting atop a tree

Listening to the male, a suitor

Sing bright his suite melody.

How he gets them all undone

Twittering lovely all a flutter,

They all want to be the one, that is

Until the pushy mockingbirds come.

What a show, mocking, seizing

Their places high up in the tree

A plan, a program, in the genes

From the very first to this late scene.

Not quite the same in humankind

Who defend our top tree spots,

It’s fight…not flight, the enemy,

Against the swooping lot.

~Julie Robinson

If you take a peek at yesterday’s post you will see where the roots of the idea for this poem grew.

The Princess of Pee

Don’t mock the cardinals

I stood outside while my 10 year old Yorkie was doing her little business. I say little cause she’s only 9 pounds. She has had a little problem which has given her the nickname “The Princess of Pee” because she doesn’t want to “go” outside when it’s raining and it’s been raining a lot.

Enough is enough. So I figured I’d better stand outside with her to be sure.

And boy did the birds put on a show.

High on top my neighbors tree were three female cardinals. And in my tree, a beautiful male sang loud a courting song which is what got my attention. But then some mockingbirds, the Texas state bird, swooped in and took those high positions.

There are rules in birddom, I’m sure, rules dictating who gets the top of the tree. Sure seems the mockingbird ranks over the female cardinal.

Coming in from the animal show in my backyard, I can’t help but consider in this so far quiet early morning hour as I scoop coffee grounds and put the oatmeal in the microwave… I can’t help but compare our lives to the birds: When my husband got his dementia I had to swoop in and take his place kinda like the mockingbird.

And I wanted to … And I had to…

when I needed to … be at the top where I am the one in charge where I am caregiver to my husband and part encourager part enforcer to our daughter who homeschools.

Gotta be the mockingbird.

I really ought to write a mockingbird poem during this poetry writing month. Right?!

All Colors Brightly Gleaming

It brightens a color

But, color, it’s not

When it’s cold it’s ice

When it’s angry it’s hot.

It once was a poison,

‘‘Twas all the rage

Of painted up faces

In the Victorian age.

An empty blank canvas,

Peace flags flying grace,

The hope of a Bride,

In Cotton and lace.

Full moon rising

And carved concrete fountains,

Pillowy clouds puffing

Up snow capped mountains.

From rocks finely made,

To glittering beaches stored,

All high and foamy cresting waves

Must crash their lives against your shore.

“What? Radiance in the making!

Why must you come to such an end?”

“Because”, says he, “I get mixed up

When I get brushed on, my friend.”

White

~Julie Robinson

I just love this month long poetry writing challenge. I’m stuck on colors right now… I think I may do brown tomorrow.

The poetry writing has come at a good time for me. I’ve been sick with a bad cold and it’s got my poetry lights turned on. And it’s giving me something to think of as I go about my usual day of caregiving.

IMG_0765
For awhile I was churning out little clay animals, mostly owls, but I decided to make a turtle here and I snapped it’s picture as he looked like he was trying to climb out.

Feeling Stuck

I got a bead stuck up my nose… in all honesty, I stuck a bead up my nose when I was about eight years old and had to go to the doctor to get it out.  When you get anything stuck anywhere there is a franticness that sets in.  The bead gets dug even deeper, the kid with the elbow between the chair slats wedges even tighter (one of my kids).

When my grandson came to visit a few years ago he got his finger stuck in my pantry door.  Anything stuck makes me feel so frantic on the inside and his wailing really made made it worse.  I highlight those stuck moments in my mind along with other painful moments like falling off my skateboard.  I thought I could go faster if I ran and jumped on it.  I went up in the air and landed on the concrete where I felt like I kept landing… it was a strange sensation… and I remember laying there looking up at the sky and plumeria trees (we lived in Hawaii) and boy do I remember having to go to school the next day and sit.

What do you do in ongoing life stucky-ness?   Being a 24/7 caregiver for a person with any illness with no end is stuck time that drags on.

We are stuck in my husband’s dementia.

Usually I deal with it better.

Today I am not feeling well.

I feel like I’m coming down with a cold which is making me feel aggravated with his telling and repeating all his weird delusional tales he makes up.

Stuck in dementia… trying to at least emotionally climb out like the painted turtle above.

 

#OctPoWriMo

Day One of #OctPoWriMo 31 Days of October Poetry Challenge – I am writing poetry each day about the subjects of art and caregiving.  I am an artist and a caregiver.  Now I am dabbling a bit in poetry – especially for the month of October.

The Color of Life

Vibrant wave, first in the bow,

Bulls see it before a row.

Parades in velvet, rubies, garnet,

A dress possessed by a harlet,

The lady in and love is like,

To blush a cheek when pleasure spikes.

Oh so fast, it gets the ticket,

Or swirl and swish, can we just sip it?

Red

~Julie Robinson

I’m so glad you were here to read my first poem.  I am participating in a poetry writing group that is writing 31 poems in 31 days in October 2018.

Don’t miss my daily poetry posts as where… for the month of October 2018 I will write art and caregiving poetry in between my other usual posts on art and caregiving.

http://octpowrimo.com.
October poetry writing.