Second Chance

‘Twas in that land of great antiquity,
in Egypt, land of pharaohs, pyramids,
shawabti, mummies and sarcophagi,
that two souls met amidst the dusty ruins –
those proffered promises of life eternal,
(not to be) – now only pillaged tombs
left violated, robbed of gold and gems.
The only laughter that of robbers’ glee,
then darkness, silence for eternity.
So, too, these broken souls with history,
now robbed of joy, of love and even hope,
seemed empty as that promised afterlife.

Yet in this theatre of dust and death,
a seed was planted and new life took breath.

(Happy Valentine’s Day)

#ValentinesDay #SecondChance #Love Poem #Sonnet #Contemplation #Hope #MargaretGHanna

The Test/Heartfelt (Voice and Vision 2021)

Voice and Vision is an annual collaboration between Airdrie and area artists and writers. We meet in May, each bringing an initial piece, and we are randomly paired. We then create a response piece — the author a response to the artist’s work and the artist a response to the writer’s work — which is revealed at the Grand Gala in September. This year, I was paired with Jean K. Blackall. This post features my initial piece, The Test, and Jean’s response piece, Heartfelt. Next week, I will post Jean’s initial work and my response piece.

Owl returns stolen shoestring to Cormorant
Heartfelt When I began working on this collage, the cormorant, all in black, suggested hijab to me — I spent a few years in Saudi Arabia. I could not get that out of my mind, and then the terrible crime of a young man running down a family in London occurred and I just had to make this cormorant a female in hijab. The painting is about repentance (of our society) for the way we segregate and separate Muslim people, leading to young people learning hatred rather than love. That is the understory of the painting, but it is also about the repentance for things said, unsaid and done between friends. Jean K. Blackall, artist. (acrylic and mixed media with hand-dyed paper and found objects; 16x 20 inches)

Cormorant sulked in his basement.
He was angry at old Hooty Owl.
“He’s stolen my favourite shoestring,
That light-fingered, treacherous fowl.”

“We used to be very best buddies
Which many folks thought really weird,
But, oh, we had such fun together
Playing o’er river and field.”

Owl, who’d taken the shoestring,
Sat up in his tree, all forlorn.
He looked at his purloined possession
Once prizéd but now oh so scorned.

“This shoestring, I thought, would be perfect
To spruce up my family’s nest.
But now I see I was mistaken
For friendship is by far the best.

“I miss my old friend, Mr. Cormy,
Estranged is not how we should be.”
He sighed, and he made his decision
Way up on the top of his tree.

Owl picked up that tattered old shoestring
And flew with it back to his friend.
Said, “Cormorant, I am so sorry,
I hope I can make some amends.”

“I regret my rude rash act of thievery.
Your shoestring I gladly give back.
It’s only a thing – I have plenty –
It’s friendship that I truly lack.”

Cormorant looked at his shoestring.
He sighed, then he smiled. “Old Friend,
I missed you much more than that shoestring.
Our spat can now come to an end.”

The moral of this little story
I hope you, Good Friends, take to heart.
A “Thing” is just not worth the having
If it’s going to drive you apart.

#VoiceAndVision #ArtistAuthorCollaboration #NonsensePoem #SocialCommentary #Friendship #Repentance #Othering #Forgiveness #MargaretGHanna

Springtime (?) on the Prairies

Daffodil, the silly girl, was poking up her head,
And Tulip, not to be outdone, arose up from his bed.
They both agreed, “Spring must be here, the sun is shining strong.
It’s time to show our glorious blooms. It’s time to sing our song.”

Then up spoke grumpy apple tree, wet blanket if ‘twere one,
“You should take care, it’s only March. I wouldn’t jump the gun.
Too many Marches I have seen as warm as mid-July,
But then come April, bitter frost, and May, the snowflakes fly.”

“Go back to bed, you silly fools. Remember spring last year?
You froze your little bloomers off!” But neither one would hear.
They grew up green. They grew up tall. They grew like it was May.
And sure enough, just two weeks on, they lived to rue the day.

#Spring #SpringSnow #Poem #SillyPoem #PrairieSpring #AlbertaSpring #MargaretGHanna

The Path

Others have walked this way before
left their stories here.

A bevy of young boys scamper
laughing, pushing, daring
one falls, scrapes his knee
he doesn’t cry
‘cause boys don’t cry.
He gets up, brushes gravel off his knee
runs to catch up with the others

A young couple in love
he plays the gentleman,
holds his hand out to help her down the slope
She’s a New Woman, refuses.
They aren’t lovers anymore.

Another couple
he slips
she grabs him
they both fall into the grass
giggling at the ridiculousness of it all
then discover clouds above.
There’s a ship.
No, it’s a horse.

A man walks alone
walking off his loss
his wife beside him only in his memory
his tears wet the grass.

I step onto the path
my story merges with theirs.

#Poem #Paths #Memories #Stories #MargaretGHanna

On Quilting

Chaos is let loose,
wholeness rent asunder
split into elemental fragments
nuons, quarks, flavours
Spewed into swirling maelstrom
a primal soup

a force emerges
moves within the chaos
element seeks element
in turn combine to molecules
that coalesce in infinite combinations

of complements and contrasts
of ordered patterns and designs

til what results is beauty
infused with love

#Quilting #Beauty #Love #Creativity #Poem #MargaretGHanna

White

Sweet scent fills the air
Wind-blown white flurries drift by.
Blizzard of blossoms

The pear tree is always the first to bloom. She stands vainly, a glory of white when other trees sport only the meagerest green haze. Bees and wasps nuzzle her blossoms and, intoxicated with pollen and nectar, buzz drunkenly back to their nest. Waxwings whistle as they chow down on her blossoms. A robin proclaims her as part of his territory and defies anyone to take her from him. The heady smell of spring foretells the promise of autumn bounty.

The west wind arrives. It goes where it will, and everything in its way must survive or bow before it. It cares naught for beauty or vanity. The wind strips her blossoms, tears her dress to tatters, flings petals thither and yon, not caring where they fall. They gather in drifts or lie trapped in the grass, shreds and patches of past glory.

The wind departs. Her glory is gone. She is just an ordinary tree, clothed in green, humbled until next spring.

(This is my first attempt at haibun, a Japanese literary form combing prose and haiku.)

#Haibun #Haiku #PearBlossoms #Fiction #Spring #Poetry #Prose #MargaretGHanna

Christmas Eve

‘Tis midnight. Now the witching hour begins
When mysteries are revealed; when angels sing;
When snowmen, wearing magic hats, will dance;
When flying reindeer land on roofs and prance.

‘Tis midnight, time of endings and beginnings,
When past and future meet, and in that meeting
Demand that we mere mortals must decide
To stay the course or dare to take the tide.

‘Tis midnight, darkest time of all the year
When doubt and disappointment nurture fear.
But even as darkest night gives way to morn,
So even in darkest hour new hope is born.

So let us live in hope and not despair
And work in faith to birth new day most fair.

 

#ChristmasEve #Meditation #Sonnet #Poem #Hope #Faith #MargaretGHanna #BWLAuthor

In the beginning . . .

Cosmos2_1
Cindy Zampa: Cosmos 2 (used with permission)

In the beginning
chaos and confusion reigned

I did not speak.

The miasma of elements and energy swirled
drifted to and fro
pulsing
pulsing
pulsing.

I did not speak.

The unspoken word is formless, shapeless,
full of potential, opportunity, future, hope

The spoken word takes flesh and form,
is solid, fixed.
takes its own course with consequences
unimagined and unimaginable.

What is spoken cannot be unspoken
what is done cannot be undone

And thus I dared not speak.

But then you took my hand in yours.
I looked into your face,
saw Wisdom in your eyes,
heard you say, “You are not alone,”

And then We spoke.

(Inspired by Cindy Zampa’s Voice and Vision 2019 painting Cosmos 2. The poem combines elements of two Judeo-Christian creation stories: the first chapter of the Book of Genesis and the creation story as narrated by Wisdom (a woman) in Chapter 8 of the Book of Proverbs.)

You can see more of Cindy’s art here.

#VoiceAndVision2019 #Creation #Poetry #SpokenWord #CindyZampa #MargaretGHanna #Meditation

Blah! Blah! Blah!

They bury us ‘neath heaps of words
And promises galore,
With e-mails, tweets and Instagram
And knockings on our door,
With TV ads and streetside signs
Till we cry out, “No more!”

“Where’s the wisdom and the vision
That unifies this lot?
We see no indication that
You’ve given it much thought.
Without that, all your promises
Are so much tommy-rot.”

 

(We are in the midst of a federal election, with politicians from all parts of the spectrum vying to buy our votes with our money. Do I sound cynical?)

#FederalElection #Promises #Politicians #Poem #Humour #Poetry #MargaretGHanna

Beets (Ick!)

Oh, rosy, ruby, rotund root,
for you I do not give a hoot.
I do not like you if you are
roasted, boiled, in a jar,
or served in sauce some think divine –
you’ll not pollute this plate of mine.

Howe’er, your greens are quite delish.
I’ll let them grace my dinner dish.
Stir-fried with onion, not too much,
A little garlic, just a touch.
Served with butter, salt and pepper,
there’s no dish that I like better.

Stay off my plate, you bleedin’ beet.
I want your greens beside my meat.

But if you’re served as borscht or cake
I’ll have you then upon my plate.

 

#Poem #Humour #Food #MargaretGHanna