as the river

morning stillness

credit – swb

Today is the final day of the five-day haiku challenge at WordPress, first suggested on Monday at DPChallenge. This has been fun and who knows, might even start a new trend. For years I have written a six-line poem a day (thanks to Thich Nhat Hanh’s suggestion). Admittedly, the haiku is less spontaneous, requiring more concentration and focus.  Perhaps the mix will motivate going forward.

And with that, today’s offering:

Tidal rivers fall,
rise, inspiration not with
standing. Poems, too.

swb

a woman’s life had rules

sepia photo of my elegant mother

my mother as a young woman

A woman’s life had rules
when I was growing up,
rules about silence, propriety
in its many guises;

masks, false smiles, pretended
enthusiasm for male ego
being a good listener and always
maintaining silent approbation.

Those rules were cast in iron
and wrapped in a death grip ’round
heart and mind, restricting
blood to brain or any thought
of what  I might be, want, or do.

So it never occurred to me
to breathe into my heart,
question, create my own line
of boundary or defense – never thought
I had the power to say ‘NO!’
‘I’d really rather not,’ or

‘what about me?’

Those rules so silently slipped
from mother’s mouth to daughter’s duty,
silent words demanding silence –
there were of course other rules;
but as someone for whom words
are key, I found myself slow
to dismantle
that mother tongue
that tore speech from me
and sent it into oblivion.

swb

Daily Post: Power, Rules

silver lining in violence?

Daily Prompt: Write about something you consider “ugly” — war, violence, failure, hatred — but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.

wild summer sky in VT

by tim bartlett, nephew

Gratuitous violence. As entertainment. OK, that’s two things I consider beyond ugly. Sadly, however, they are often linked in our culture: movies showing extreme/graphic violence of one human to another. I remain revulsed and numbed by the insensitivity of those who claim it entertaining to watch children maimed, women raped, men senselessly killing one another point-blank and in increasingly appalling (if creative) fashion.

As you might guess, I do not support such ‘entertainment’ in any form – by watching, even discussing it. There’s enough toxic energy in our world. Why introduce more? And how is it entertaining? The ‘news’ is violent enough. And I won’t start on my opinion of the (rather direct) connection between watching/playing at violence and learning to be violent.

So where’s the silver lining? When my children were young, shows and movies that portrayed (never mind glorified) violence in any form – name-calling, gun-swaggering, knife-pulling, bullying, abuse of one over/against another – became a supreme teaching moment.  And I’m proud that each of them has emerged into adulthood compassionate, thoughtful and actively working for change in fundamental systems that impact us all: criminal justice, education, the environment. Now THAT’s a silver lining to support.