What is it …

One year later…still true.

Awoodlandrose's Blog

Grace


What is it about grace
that tenders an angry moment
into a peaceful movement?

What is it about grace
that yarns hands into hats
and humor?

What is it about grace
that placards profanity
into protest poetry?

What is it about grace
that that takes stutter and slurs
into song?

What is it about grace
that takes blue into azure and sky
henna into meadows with mice?

What is it about grace
that takes a humble haiku
into the history of words?

What is it about grace
that tumbles small stones into
a river wild?

And what is it about grace
in a child’s smile that is no
different than our own?

Summer 2011

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Hot Hot Hot

Across from where I sit at my computer in my farmhouse dining room, is a large framed print of three elder and matronly West Indian women chopping and cooking. Their shoulders are hunched up, and their breasts sag under cotton dresses and white aprons. They wear wide-brimmed hats or yarn watchman caps that fit in with their unfussy work. These women know their stuff and are cooking for a crowd at the local fish fry most likely on a Friday night, probably tonight as I write this. The food is spicy, the steel band is rhythmic and the cool Caribbean water is in the background.

It is 11 degrees and dropping outside with a windchill below zero. I’ve had this print for about 30 to 35 years now, and all during the long winter months — it never fails to bring a warm smile to my face.

on their ample hips
dem women wear the cadence
and color of the sea

© ag ~ 2017

 

 

 

And We’re Off…

Once again, as has been my practice for about five years now, I make the choice to take the time to reflect, write and focus my attention on one thing during each day in January that I might normally whizz by and lose sight of. In this spectacularly busy world, we regularly make and ignore small choices that do impact all the rest. This practice is called mindful writing and asks that we pay attention and bring presence (by writing here) to all these seemingly insignificant decisions that in realty shape who we are. This is not just about being serious in a somber way (I couldn’t do that if I tried). It is about staying present enough to look beyond our own foibles in order to appreciate the humor and grace that we can normally and easily ignore.

My official practice begins on January 1st every year, however as I age, I need to do more stretching and warming up physically and mentally. Hence this long introduction and a reblog of my last post from January 2016 to start things off:

 

Writing My Way Home  – A Kyirelle

As a mindful writing practice,
I blog daily on that and this.
It is called sharing a small stone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

January lobs with a cold moon,
And winter scenes of snow monsoons.
My muse inspires an artful tone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Tales of grit, grace and gratitude,
Shape its forum and latitude.
With tears of laughter, grief and groans,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Presence is my daily prayer.
Growth is awareness being here.
To this end I write my way home,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

c   Andrea Grillo ~ 2016

“Yes, Virginia (and Andrea) – there is a Santa Claus!”

These words, minus the added parenthesis — (and Andrea) — appeared on the editorial page of the now-defunct New York Sun in 1897. Written by Frank P. Church to Virginia O’Hanlon in response to her question “…please tell the truth, is there a Santa Clause?”

His wise response included the above “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” and the following: “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias (and no Andreas, Graces, Donnas and Toms etc.) There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”

So thankfully, with these remembered words, I am inspired to believe in the magic of Santa Claus or Papa Noel knowing that there is kindness, generosity, beauty, joy and a frivolity in our human clan. There must also be the same spirit and light in our greater “hood” – the milky way and beyond its star dusting. Actually, there are no borders in expressing and sharing joy, love, and peace. And there is also space for grief, anger and sadness. It’s all on the creative spectrum. Just for now though, during this feminine and holy Solstice season, I welcome childhood’s version of Santa’s magic (grace) into my life and believe in it for all life.

Peace.

 

 

 

Call and Response

John Burroughs said it best: “Harvest with a quiet eye.”

Every morning and every evening, I am serenaded by a very resolute songbird. He/she is perched on a low hanging wire directly outside a window over my kitchen sink. Since I wash all my dishes by hand, from dawn to dusk, I am treated to this small bird’s boisterous concerto for what seems like forever, and long after all the other songbirds have quieted and moved on to their daily chores. Its song is a repetitive two-note high pitch that contrasts with the deep lushness of early summer green behind it. I believe the bird is a Red-Eyed Vireo whose voice fills its whole being from beak to tail tip. And from a far-off somewhere else, is the return song… another Vireo answering the call.

I am lucky to be surrounded by woods and fields and awakened at the high point of songbirds in our area as early as 4:45 AM. No need to set an alarm when the windows are open and light breezes blowing. I consider this a blessing, as it lasts only a few short weeks after the solstice, when the daylight begins to dwindle ever so imperceptibly, and birds that migrate leave nests behind taking their songs with them.

This little guy/gal and I are linked in a daily routine when washing dishes is no longer a chore but a sweet beginning and ending to summer love.

call and response from the woods yet another harvest

Glorious June

Happy Summer Solstice. Thank you Sun for your light and fire and year-long blessings.

Awoodlandrose's Blog

June is one of my two favorite months. It oozes heat and passion in the right mix especially at twilight:

twilight ripens
the rose red
ripens twilight

dusk between my toes the long day*

fireflies
in the old meadow
the sky too
lingers
in this garden**

please
scatter my ashes
in a summer garden
as daylight ebbs
and colors ripen

warm moon on the rise pulsing fireflies

*first published Haiku Canada Review
** 1st published Blithe Spirit

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Haikuey For A Friend

“How would you say this more simply and more haikuey”  –

“Spring Sunset Gold-Yellow Song Upon The Sky Trumpeting Daffodils?”

How would I? (turn this observation and string into a haiku), is the question asked of me about eight years ago when it was queried, and almost five years since she passed and crossed over the rainbow bridge. I may have tried once, however I was none-too successful. She was my favorite poet, even though she hardly wrote any tailored or even casual poetry. Her words just flowed into “raspberry and tangerine images.” Ours was a forty-year correspondence with a shared love of nature and the arts.

I rediscovered the question on a sticky note in her very distinct handwriting this morning and decided to sit down and finish the conversation. I hope that I can do her proud and know that she is smiling anyway.

For Robin, forever friend – I miss you and your words:

daffodils trumpet
sunset’s golden song  ~
a listening sky

ag ~ June 2017

I hope the stars appreciate your special beauty.

 

June and the Strawberry Moon (revisited)

Once again…

Awoodlandrose's Blog

Lightning bugs are out and about! This is a reblog in honor of the  solstice, full moon and lightning bugs/fireflies that keep the sun’s light pulsing throughout the short but dark nights.

June

thunder drums
the earth
returns the call
red roses issue
bullfrogs echo
rivers storm
however brief
that passion
ignites
eddies back
a plea from
the full strawberry moon
and her wild
goddess energy
pay attention
please
to these gifts
now

ag ~ 2014

IMG_0637

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Of Twilight

It’s definitely not the rum!

Awoodlandrose's Blog

Waxing Twilight

I feel the sap
rise in my body –
after all it’s Spring.
Or is it the rum
making me feel warmer
than the bedding sun
that I imagine slips away 
under the sheets
into the embrace 
of a waiting lover.

I like to think that
the moon and stars
are made of flesh 
and blood 
lust and longing.
Or is it that 
we are made
of sap and starlight
forgetting our own 
dawn and radiance.

What difference 
does it really make 
when I fall in love
so easily
anyway.

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