Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Guide to Remembering Your Elements:


By: Joy Haro

We Heart It

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eloquent Graffiti

This one's goes out an old friend...


The Trapeze Swinger

 Listen Here:
 Please remember me, happily
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin, the time when
We counted every black car passing

Your house beneath the hill and up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range, a piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention

But please remember me, fondly
I heard from someone you're still pretty
And then they went on to say that the Pearly Gates
Had some eloquent graffiti

Like 'We'll meet again' and 'Fuck the man'
And 'Tell my mother not to worry'
And angels with their great handshakes
But always done in such a hurry

And please remember me, at Halloween
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white, by midnight
We'd forgotten one another

And when the morning came I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world and then returned
And now you're lit up by the city

So please remember me, mistakenly
In the window of the tallest tower
Call, then pass us by but much too high
To see the empty road at happy hour

Gleam and resonate just like the gates
Around the Holy Kingdom
With words like, 'Lost and found' and 'Don't look down'
And 'Someone save temptation'

And please remember me as in the dream
We had as rug burned babies
Among the fallen trees and fast asleep
Beside the lions and the ladies

That called you what you like and even might
Give a gift for your behavior
A fleeting chance to see a trapeze
Swinger high as any savior

But please remember me, my misery
And how it lost me all I wanted
Those dogs that love the rain and chasing trains
The colored birds above there running

In circles round the well and where it spells
On the wall behind St. Peter
So bright on cinder gray in spray paint
'Who the hell can see forever?'

And please remember me, seldomly
In the car behind the carnival
My hand between your knees, you turn from me
And said the trapeze act was wonderful

But never meant to last, the clowns that passed
Saw me just come up with anger
When it filled with circus dogs, the parking lot
Had an element of danger

So please remember me, finally
And all my uphill clawing
My dear, but if I make the Pearly Gates
I'll do my best to make a drawing

Of God and Lucifer, a boy and girl
An angel kissin' on a sinner
A monkey and a man, a marching band
All around the frightened trapeze swinger

-Iron and Wine 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

On a Journey

This sort of thing has been on my mind these days - we all have so many opportunities to start over, to make things better, to begin again. Blessed are the folks that are able to muster up the courage to say "I have another chance - just this one more chance." And blessed are those who say , "yes, please take it." It takes a strength that is in all of us, but a compassion that is almost not of this world. We all have times when we are called upon to start over. Times to forgive, and be forgiven - as hard as it is to make mistakes, and as scary as it is to explore new opportunities,  it a way to live forever while being born into life again and again -  an Ephemeral Stream, if you will. A baptismal font that stretches and winds back into forever, time and again, bringing with it new waters that never return, but that flow through on through that ravine until the end of time.

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Ephemeral Stream

Elizabeth Willis

This is the way water 
thinks about the desert.
The way the thought of water 
gives you something 
to stumble on. A ghost river.
A sentence trailing off
toward lower ground.
A finger pointing
at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it. 
I wanted to write a poem 
and call it “Ephemeral Stream”
because you made of this 
imaginary creek
a hole so deep 
it looked like a green eye 
taking in the storm, 
a poem interrupted 
by forgiveness.

It’s not over yet.
A dream can spend 
all night fighting off 
the morning. Let me
start again. A stream 
may be a branch or a beck, 
a crick or kill or lick,
a syke, a runnel. It pours 
through a corridor. The door 
is open. The keys
are on the dashboard. 
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On Glancing but not Turning:


  Rosemary Tonks
I swear that I would not go back
To pole the glass fishpools where the rough breath lies
That built the Earth – there, under the heavy trees
With their bark that’s full of grocer’s spice,

Not for an hour – although my heart
Moves, thirstily, to drink the thought – would I
Go back to run my boat
On the brown rain that made it slippery,

I would not for a youth
Return to ignorance, and be the wildfowl
Thrown about by the dark water seasons
With an ink-storm of dark moods against my soul,

And no firm ground inside my breast,
Only the breath of God that stirs
Scent-kitchens of refreshing trees,
And the shabby green cartilage of play upon my knees.

With no hard earth inside my breast
To hold a Universe made out of breath,
Slippery as fish with their wet mortar made of mirrors
I laid a grip of glass upon my youth.

And not for the waterpools would I go back
To a Universe unreal as breath – although I use
The great muscle of my heart
To thirst like a drunkard for the scent-storm of the trees.


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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Join The Poetrycooker in Supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation - Walk for Wishes

Hey guys it's The Poetrycooker, I know it's been awhile, and I promise I'll be back soon, but I want to take a minute to tell you guys about something that's been super important to me. Many of you may not know this but I am a proud, 30 year-old former Wish Kid, and this is my story…

You guys, this organization has done so much to touch me, and I will be forever indebted to the magic that they brought to one of the darker corners of my life. In it that corner is a condition called Neurofibromatosis, and in this corner was pain, self-doubt and questions. But once lit, that corner also had in it strength, grit, joy and clarity. It was up to me to light up this corner, just as it is to every sufferer to light up their own darkness and find strength in it. I guess as strange as it sounds, I am grateful for my condition because without it I wouldn’t be the strong person that I am today.

But when you are young, sometimes it is hard to see the light. At 17 - an age when most kids are feeling the darkness of self-doubt anyway, Make-a-Wish brought me that light. They brought it to my family, and because of that I feel indebted to bring that light into the corners of other children and families that are facing the heartache and doubt that comes with a child who has a terminal illness or life-threatening condition. 13 years ago when my family was contacted by Make-a-Wish, I couldn’t believe it. Surely somebody was worse off, surely somebody deserved it more. But no, I was assured that I was chosen – that my family was chosen. I knew that I wanted us to all do something together. I didn’t think there would ever be a way that I could make up for all the worry my parents experienced, for all the heartache they felt or for all the money they spent carting me around Duke University or Georgetown Hospital. I also had a much younger sister and I knew, surely, that there were times when she must have taken a backseat to my condition. This wish was as much theirs as it was mine. Realizing our shared love of the water, and of adventure (I was never babied due to my condition), I decided to wish for a Caribbean Cruise for the four of us. It was a great time – full of fun and shows and adventures. We rode a limo more than 100 miles to the airport and my sister and I flew on a plane for the first time! We went parasailing and swam with dolphins, we ate snails and lobster and drank root beer floats, and we forgot about everything else. Then I left for college. Everything was perfect. It was a perfect way to end my childhood. It was how I will always remember it.

I want to continue to bring light like this to other families. This year will mark my second time participating in the Walk for Wishes (I ran!), and I am again asking for help. To those of you who donated several years ago – thank you, thank you! You are angels. I ask that this year you challenge your friends and family to donate to Make-a-Wish through supporting me in this September’s event. I promise I will make you proud. (Link is below)

Katie's Walk for Wishes Page
(Opens in a new window)

Much Love and God Bless,


Saturday, April 4, 2015

On All Our Gifts

I have featured this poem on my blog before, but I've not read it out loud yet, I think its time...

You Can’t Have It All

  Barbara Ras

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.

The perfection is here

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Photo Credit: We Heart It.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Reading On All Our Safties

By Jean Valentine
People pray to each other. The way I say "you" to someone else,
respectfully, intimately, desperately. The way someone says
"you" to me, hopefully, expectantly, intensely ...
—Huub Oosterhuis

You       who I don’t know       I don’t know how to talk to you   

—What is it like for you there?

Here ... well, wanting solitude; and talk; friendship—
The uses of solitude. To imagine; to hear.
Learning braille. To imagine other solitudes.
But they will not be mine;
to wait, in the quiet; not to scatter the voices—

What are you afraid of?

What will happen. All this leaving. And meetings, yes. But death.   
What happens when you die?

“... not scatter the voices,”

Drown out. Not make a house, out of my own words. To be quiet in   
another throat; other eyes; listen for what it is like there. What   
word. What silence. Allowing. Uncertain: to drift, in the
restlessness ... Repose. To run like water—

What is it like there, right now?

Listen: the crowding of the street; the room. Everyone hunches in   
against the crowding; holding their breath: against dread.

What do you dread?

What happens when you die?

What do you dread, in this room, now?

Not listening. Now. Not watching. Safe inside my own skin.
To die, not having listened. Not having asked ... To have scattered   

Yes I know: the thread you have to keep finding, over again, to   
follow it back to life; I know. Impossible, sometimes.
Photo Credit: We Heart It.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On the Journey of a Moment


Xena | via Tumblr

Maxine Chernoff

The cinema is a specific language.
           — Christian Metz
What the body might guess,
what the hand requests,
what language assumes
becomes amulet,
which is to say
I am carrying your face
in a locket in a box
to a virtual location
guarded by kestrels,
suggesting the scene’s
geography of love and dirt,
trees ripe with darkness
and bones’ white luster.
In the moonlit blue house,
where snow won’t fall
unless called upon,
grace enters as requested,
lands next to you, grasped,
as if love were a reflex
simple as weather.

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