A New Year to Give Thanks

Happy New Year, Dear Friends. Like the last two years, 2018 was another tough one for many of us. I haven’t said much about that for me and had fallen silent of late.  I guess that’s because I have a tendency to close off when I’m deeply troubled. Aren’t we supposed to stay positive, feign anything but the sadness and fear we might feel? NO. WE. ARE. NOT. I can’t afford to do that at all. Nor can I hold back my gratitude and love. For this reason, I’m giving thanks today. My gratitude for life is lodged in my…

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Grrrl Chillin

Grrrl Chilling Studio by J.A. Kauppinen

As I sit down to write this #MondayBlog today, I realize I am late. However, I won’t worry about that. I’m getting one in long before Tuesday, which makes me happy. Speaking of joy, I feel good today. Why am I happy, you ask? Especially when: There are 540 fires burning in my province and, even in Vancouver, the air quality is BC’s worst in history and the worst in the world. I am stuck indoors in hot temperatures (no air con) because I don’t want to risk endangering my health any more than it already is. I would love…

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Our Quiet Leaders

The original image was published in Kinesis Sept 1993. Sexual abuse and the system: Fighting back. Written by Terry D. Gibson (under the pseudonym Marie Thompson).

  When I think about women who are leaders, I cannot help but think of those who are famous and get lots of attention and benefits from their work. This propels me toward the living and breathing women whom the public does not know and may undervalue. They are the invisible and unsung heroes among us.   As a woman and a leader, I am the young tenant next door who hears your cries while your husband yells and pounds you in the wee hours of the morning. I quietly call the Police for help, begging them not to say…

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“Dreamwood” by Adrienne Rich

  In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see or the child’s older self, a poet, a woman dreaming when she should be typing the last report of the day. If this were a map, she thinks, a map laid down to memorize because she might be walking it, it shows ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert here and there a sign of aquifers and one possible watering-hole. If this were a map it would be the map of the last age of her life, not…

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Tender and Warm

She is tender and warm. Arrives on a morning fresh Without light knock or bell Like a whiff of tea and toast Upon a hot summer breeze. She is tender and warm. We perch on auburn-dabbed cliffs, shoulder against shoulder Study each other sideways. Relax, with breath abated An odd-looking pair, yet Somehow finely matched. She is tender and warm. Our bodies crumple in a fit of laughs. With our heels, we plough small Rocks along and off the dusty edge. Languish in and read saucy prose Savour a bookish kind of bliss. She is tender and warm. Inside, I…

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‘One Art’ by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things  seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.   Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.   Then practice losing farther; losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.   I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.   I…

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Translations – Adrienne Rich

You show me the poems of some woman my age, or younger translated from your language Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow enough to let me know she’s a woman of my time obsessed with Love, our subject: we’ve trained it like ivy to our walls baked it like bread in our ovens worn it like lead on our ankles watched it through binoculars as if it were a helicopter bringing food to our famine or the satellite of a hostile power I begin to see that woman doing things: stirring rice ironing a skirt typing a manuscript till dawn…

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Pears – For Kathleen B. Nestor by Mary D’Angelo

  O, how you filled my baby days with sticky sweet-tasting pureed pears, strained through the family sieve. The yellow-skinned fruit with the spherical base and tapered top that you would skin with your sharp knife.   How we laughed when the cat played with the peel, pawing it through the air, while I sat strapped in the high-chair, my mouth shaped in the smallest O, my eyes wider than the years between us.   My mouth a hangar, the spoon of pears a plane that zipped though the air, each swallow followed by a laugh.   How our memories…

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The Weakness – Toi Derricotte

That time my grandmother dragged me through the perfume aisles at Saks, she held me up by my arm, hissing, “Stand up,” through clenched teeth, her eyes bright as a dog’s cornered in the light. She said it over and over, as if she were Jesus, and I were dead. She had been solid as a tree, a fur around her neck, a light-skinned matron whose car was parked, who walked on swirling marble and passed through brass openings — in 1 9 4 5. There was not even a black elevator operator at Saks. The saleswoman had brought velvet…

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