Circle soap

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , , |

A plain looking thing
fat disk
of oil and lye
forced to sit and cure

something permanent
it may not have chosen
for itself

but holding it
between my palms
feels right
subtle thing

under warm water
bumpy rotation
awkward lather
it becomes ethereal.

by Brooke

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Guest Post: Cupid’s Been Busy

Posted on February 14, 2010. Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , |

by Rebecca

Rebecca is a former school psychologist turned supermom of three who makes prodigious use of her library card.

Valentine’s Day seems an appropriate occasion to break out a few love poems. Maybe these will inspire a few of you to put pen to paper and get a bit poetic.


There is something about your profile,
silhouetted against the whiteness of sheets,
bare shoulders poignantly casting shadows
across my side of the bed,
that makes me want to take that paper cut-out version
of your sleeping self
and gently place it across my breast,
the bony structures of your face backlit
by the soft incandescent light
in my chest.


Sometimes when I’ve had a busy day,
the bundle of clothes in the dryer forgotten
in the bustle of chores and children,
I stoop to remove the soft particles of lint from the screen.
Rolling the soft, fleecy evidence between my fingers,
I blush warmly remembering that your
undershirts, khakis, and socks
mingled together with my
bath towel, camisoles, and cotton dresses,
in a whirling dervish of vibrating heat
just a short time ago.
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The Trimurti: A Birthing Poem

Posted on February 11, 2010. Filed under: Changes, death, Friendship, Mormon Life, Mormon women, motherhood, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , |

My new little one.

by Alisa

Twelve days ago, I gave birth to my first baby. As I labored in the hospital, I was aware that I would be missing my dear oldest friend’s great big birthday bash that night. Diagnosed eight months ago with neuro-endocrine cancer, my friend recently learned she probably has less than six months to live. Deciding not to wait for her birthday later on in the year, a huge party was organized in her honor.

While I am overflowing with joy at the birth of my son, and the birth of my motherhood, I hardly know how to begin to say goodbye to someone who has always been there with me, through nursery, primary, junior high and high school, boyfriends, weddings, and more. I am struck by how seemingly polar opposites can hit our lives at the same time.

The Trimurti

I wore a necklace throughout my pregnancy
A trinity charm, swirled into one
Creator, Sustainer, and Purger

For all three sometimes come at once
As they often do at a birth, I suppose.
I crouch upward—breathing, pushing, exhaling
With all I have and more, then sink back,
Eyes shut, catching my breath
All of the moment in my heart.

I smile then—truly
Because I know nothing but love and intensity
For this baby boy

While I lay there
Another birthday is celebrated—
Really, it isn’t exactly her birthday
But if you had less than six months
You’d celebrate early too

Thirty years, her last milestone.
Shiva, do you know you take a mother of five babes?
What do you want to purge? I dare not ask why.

The Creator smiled on us that day twenty years ago
She and I sat over our cross-stitch, two merry misses
When Mother called from two houses down
To witness a birth
My calico calm, near serene, purred her kitten into life
With her hypnotic humming

And I, struggling to do things right
Hastened to tie the thin, red thread around the chord,
When he began to chirp, hardly a mew.

The Sustainer is come to stop time.
I never watch the ticking clock
And open my eyes with ecstatic surprise,
When they place his wet, slippery body on my chest.
And the weather is so mild

February forgot its season
At my back door a crocus pushes its tender leaves upward
Childhood is not unlike motherhood: tenderly aware of only now

Motherhood is not unlike the yoke
Of rainbow connections and pulsing sensations
I love, I feel, I know, I heal
As we vibrate to the lullaby
I sing in the key of present tense

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My first winter in a long time

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , |

by Brooke

Moving from Southern CA to New England is like moving from a virtually weatherless bubble to the real world. So I think about weather constantly. And maybe everyone else here does too, but I’m not used to thinking about weather constantly. So it feels like an obsession to me. And when I obsess about things, I tend to write poems about them.

Winter Weather Poem

It is winter
I wear hat, coat, boots everywhere
when it snows I am amazed
when it rains I am amazed
if anything falls from the sky

I am amazed
as I explain to my son why it happens
and the whole time I think is this really what happens and why?
I keep thinking this as I explain the cold of winter
the sun and its distance
the tilt of the planet

And I am amazed
as we wheel across space
on a giant sphere orbiting a gianter sphere
and my brain gets lost in the hugeness
and so I try to think small
coat, hat, boots
as we walk the block to school

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Space Traveler

Posted on December 10, 2009. Filed under: Changes, Family, Mormon Life, motherhood, Poetry | Tags: , |

  by Alisa

This is a poem I wrote in my first trimester, and in preparing for the birth of my son, I enjoyed returning to these expressions of my magnificat. After many years of marriage, including many where I seriously questioned whether or not I wanted or would have children, I found myself waking early each morning in excitement of the new life growing inside of me. I know that birth is incredibly common, yet to me it seems incredibly miraculous at the same time.

Where does this new consciousness come from? If we believe literally in Kolob, how fast would a spirit have to travel to arrive on time? How interesting the process of growth, of cell division, of expansion. How amazing it is to be the observer of new life, up close. To feel like a part of the Creator in the process.

The Traveler

Nearing the end of my third decade
a new legacy, new magnum opus found me
So I decided on space travel

I’m building a capsule
complete with lifeline
Organic material, grounded and earthy
ignites this odyssey

It was at first a microscopic endeavor
a saline primordial sea — the same soup
that broke in life upon this planet

My mission is not to discover life but to invite it
Nothing less than a miracle, a lightning strike
an other, an infinite number of experiences and thoughts
an eternity of potential that I cannot own, nor will I try

And safely, under my skin, beneath this marked veil
my comfort capsule expands in space
from minuscule detection,
grows so large it will not be ignored

And faster than the speed of light,
as swift as thought, arriving from how far off
the space-traveler comes to this vessel full and dark,
with a flowing supply of oxygen
My song-sound is heard within its soft, stretching walls

The messenger, not so much of divinity elsewhere but inside,
fostering the ontology of all I am
without confinement or constraint:
I am Infinite. I am the Universe.

Inside cells divide, each knowing its work
Within the membrane organelles dance with DNA and RNA
the ribosomal protein play
extending in atoms, electrons, quarks
Photons dance like stars in the spinning sea of space

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Trees (as in all of them)

Posted on November 17, 2009. Filed under: photo, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , |

by Brooke

Tree fixation

I am doing research.
It involves fidgeting with a camera
and sometimes a pencil.
Also, it requires strict observance
of any and all surroundings.

But I must be willing to do some
mind wandering embroidery,
some imagining where I might push the needle
with black thread or gray on linen, stitch by
stitch the shape
of the trees

(from my postcard poems)

While this may sound like I can do without the leaves, I must emphasize that I am as fixated on leaves as I am on trees. Both are one thing and then they are separate things. To me, the changes in trees throughout the seasons will never be anything but fascinating and joyful, and fall-to-winter is one of those stages that I am appreciating now. A few of my tree photos are up on flickr (don’t expect awesome, mostly these are my reference photos 🙂 ). So, what have you recently been compelled to recreate in some form (writing, song, images, sculpture, stories, etc.) or another?

p.s. Also, please feel free to give feedback on my poem. I am always open to revision. Does it seem like there is something missing?

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Apple poem

Posted on August 18, 2009. Filed under: Poetry |

by Brooke

Languish in Lavendar by Carol Marine

{painting by Carol Marine}

Things I tell myself when I eat apples

I do not believe in the necessity
of breaking teeth to eat an apple.
Only in the necessity of breaking skin.

There also cannot be one true way
to eat the apple. Or to share it.
But I’ll say it again, the skin must break
(even if the skin itself is not eaten).
But there is no need to scrape your gums on it,
or break your jaw. And if you are peeling
or slicing it, be careful with that knife.

Do you hear me? You don’t have to hurt yourself
to eat the apple. You don’t have to eat the skin
or seeds
or stem
or bruises.
you don’t even have to eat
this apple.

I’m curious, dear readers, what you think of when you read this poem. PLEASE feel free to comment. I of course was thinking about something (not necessarily coherent) when I wrote it, but I love to see the many interpretations that can come from a single piece. So, there is no right or wrong answer. Only everyone’s own reading experience. Seriously, anything that is going through your head – questions, images, thoughts, feelings. Just comment. Don’t be shy. It will help me with revision if I can get a bunch of responses. Thanks in advance!

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On long-term family planning

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , |

by Brooke

G’s recent post on baby things in the goodwill pile inspired me to post this poem. It’s a first draft from my poetry month goal. What do you think it needs? more concrete images?

On long-term family planning

You once had
an aspiration
most people would balk at.

But who knew it would be so painful
to create
draining your daylight
to maintain the roles you created.

the steady drag
of the daily duties
of living (let’s not even mention
the worst ones
like eating
and sleeping
getting in the way
heavy eyelids and
hunger pangs—
they interrupt
and are difficult

You are changed.
But you are not someone else.
To stop before you thought you would
is not damning.

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Posted on June 28, 2009. Filed under: Family, Poetry | Tags: , |

For Dad and Mother

Wearing at evening,
After the alarm clock,
Lunch pails,
Car pool,
Grocery bags
Up ten steps
Two by two,
Tuna fish
And noodle soup,
School bus,
Socks and blue jeans,
Swimming lesson,
“Papa Haydn”
At the keyboard,
Stacatto oratory
From the first grade reader,
Knights in armor
On their sofa cushion steeds,
Urgent calls
From six-year-old admirers,
Skinned knees

And Band-Aids,
Broken bike chains,
Missing mittens,
Quarrels of unknown origin,
Kitchen strewn with leavings
Of creative genius,
Frying pan
And soapsuds,
Fork on the left,
Spoon on the right,
Gymnastics after dinner,
Toothpaste and pajamas,
And the very latest tactics
For bedtime delay–

I do well to remember:

Someone thought
That I was worth it,
Every day.

~Margaret Rampton Munk

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The question of evil poem

Posted on June 16, 2009. Filed under: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , |

by Brooke

Palm, originally uploaded by brookewill.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Palm Trees

Take this one: transplanted as an adult,
chosen to landscape the grounds of the church.
It must have been a good palm tree.
Done something right
made good decisions—
its life plan set in front of it
promises of being fulfilled.
By all appearances, a good tree.

Perhaps it felt dissonance
in the expectations
at some point—
with the wind blowing sea breezes and
scents stirring a kind of memory
(if a tree has a memory)—
realization set in: it didn’t want
this prescribed pattern of being
fixed and final.
And so it could not perform anymore.
It hit like a raindrop,
suddenly but without much notice
not enough to make a splash.

The gradual deterioration
illness setting in—
Driving past we could tell it wasn’t flourishing
anymore, (had it ever been?)
Now weak enough
to die.

Every other tree remained green, able
to focus
having retained
the ability to photosynthesize
in this garden.

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