Two springs ago, I planted dry-rooted twigs
someone promised me were redbud trees.
On my knees, I dug a hole in my new hill
with my bare hands, staked with bamboo
and a child’s pinwheel. Through the droughts
and killing winters, they grew
crowns of reddish teardrop leaves,
which seem to laugh as they dance,
silverback, when the fiercest stormwinds blow.
© 2014 Laura Levesque
National Poetry Writing Month is right around the corner.
For the un-initiated, poets take the challenge in April to write (and publish) one poem each day. Normally we do this in a workshop forum, and give each other feedback. It is a lot of fun, and it’s great to see friends who come back year after year. It is also an exercise which instills discipline in the writer, and the community of fellow poets encourages you to carry on and see it through thirty full days.
The Academy of American Poets has many resources for National Poetry Month.
TED Talk- Clay Shirky- How Social Media Can Change History.
Wind can be gentle or scary.
I think wind can be fierce,
Because it can be scary.
~ poem by Caleb Stone, age 7
The compass spins, its lodestone broken.
I breathe a spell to conjure the wind.
Tonight I am your foundling, your dark star.
Our eyes search Prussian blue, tree-line
skeletons back-lit in ghostly twilight.
Our breath turns powder, crystalline cold.
I hear her bay over my shoulder, that dark she-wolf,
my familiar. Music rushes above, rattling branches,
coursing over the mountain ridge.
My stars flash a beacon. I must turn away.
Night whispers a song you will never
sing for me.
© 2013 Laura Levesque
Star Trails in the North
Image Credit & Copyright: P-M Hedén (Clear Skies, TWAN)
Explanation: Pointing skyward, the wall of this ruined Viking church still stands after a thousand winters, near the town of Vallentuna, Sweden. The time exposure records the scene on December 14th as stars leave graceful arcing trails during a long night, reflecting planet Earth’s daily rotation on its axis. The Earth’s axis points toward Polaris, the North Star, near the center of the concentric trails. Welcomed by skygazers on this winter’s night, a bright meteor from the annual Geminid meteor shower also flashes through the frame. The meteor cuts across the star trails just above the lower church wall. Contributing to the beautiful composition, meteor streak and church apex both gesture toward the North Celestial Pole.
I am a procrastinator. I have enough material for several chapbooks, but I don’t find the time to edit my poems, to collate, capitulate, shuffle, slash and re-write, and produce actual manuscripts to submit to actual presses. This is a flaw. I must fortify myself and make a new year’s resolution. I think some others who know me in my writing life agree. Maybe one just gave me a nudge.
Whether or not his intention was to encourage me by positive reinforcement, or he simply liked my poem enough to publish it and nominate it on its own merit, I am completely stunned and happily surprised that my friend and colleague, O.P.W. Fredericks, and the editors at Touch: The Journal of Healing chose my poem, Promise of the Wind as one of its 2014 Pushcart Prize in literature nominees. I am honored, and humbled, and encouraged. Thank you to all of my wonderful friends- writers who support me online and in life.
This poem is about death, but meant for the living. After death, the memories we create live on in the minds of those who survive us. If we are really lucky, some of our words survive beyond those memories. It’s a reminder to be mindful of the present, but also that in every drop of water lives eternity. The laws of science and physics say that matter and energy are not created or destroyed, only changed in form. The atoms in our bodies are ancient, and are literally stardust. If this is true about our physical selves, the energy that is ‘us’ must in turn be captured, and create something new in life’s un-ending cycles. Bearing this in mind, there is little to fear in dying.