I want to feel (Colorado. Winter 2002.)

I want to feel

your arms

spinning me as we dance

until the sun rises

and we must

fall as autumn

rays sneak over mountain tops

and caress our faces

lulling us to lay down

in grass sweating dew

 

I want to feel

your chest

sleeping pressed

against

my back

assuring

me of your presence

with no sheets between us

as I tell the secrets

you knew when we met

 

I want to feel

your hand

cradling my head

tangled

in my hair

so that he cannot leave

until my strands relax

safe

and let him go

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Paper Angels, by Olive Twist

In my years living in Bangkok, I have found it difficult to meet others who also write in English (my Thai is not nearly good enough for Poetry) and are looking for a community in which they can work on writing. One of the things I love already about blogging is the immediate sense of community and camaraderie I feel with others who are also on here sharing their words with the world. It amazes me that this seems to happen so organically and easily on WordPress. In only a month or so of blogging, I have already met some inspiring, beautiful people who have encouraged me to write more and more.

One of these people is Sister Olive, at http://olivetwist.wordpress.com/. Her ‘twist’ on spirituality and delicate words bring beauty and emotion to heavy situations. Olive nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, which really warms my heart. I feel so appreciative, especially since I am new to this whole realm.

 

 Not being a rule follower myself, I am not going to bombard you with facts about me or with a giant list of other blogs I like. Instead, I am going to take this opportunity to slowly share some of the amazing writing I’ve found floating out here in cyberspace. Check back on Sundays for writers who are making me smile.

This Sunday is dedicated to Olive. Thank you, Olive, for really making me feel welcome in the WordPress community and also for encouraging me.

 

Here is one of my favorite gems from Olive’s blog.

Enjoy!

 

 

Paper Angels

http://olivetwist.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/paper-angels/

by Olive Twist at http://olivetwist.wordpress.com/

(The Iris Diaries)

The wind began sending messengers to Iris when she was very young.  Wandering artisans always surrounded her, giving her poems and art and stories. One day as she sat in a café filled with smoke and laughter, a man with faded denim pants and a worn plaid shirt approached her.  He had a familiar mystical flame about his brow, and his reddish hair was curly and matted.

Iris had been inking a picture of a snake climbing up a tree in her sketchbook when he approached her, pointed at her drawing, and said, “Get rid of that snake.”  Then he handed her a piece of dirty folded up paper and went out into the street, as the wind blew open the door.  She unfolded the paper and found these words written in blue ballpoint pen:

So long on this road back to the wall,

I’d pray I’d die before I’d fall;

Death wish in a land of hell,

Don’t want to cry, search for the well

That gives to me the truth of truth;

In it’s sweet light (don’t need no proof).

Walking middle ground

I found my song in a silent sound

Where eyes don’t hide behind

Masks that make you laugh when you should have cried,

That let you live when you should have died.

So long on this road but I hear the call,

I see the truth and with it walk tall.

It aint the stand I’m afraid to make,

It’s the illusion the world wants me to take

That sees the light and clouds the truth

With its lack of faith and search for proof.[1]

She could feel soft flowing air and a rustle of wings.  There was something comforting and kind about the man.

A mysterious long-haired lady with wintery eyes handed her a poem scribbled on aged brown parchment:

The one who weaves the wind

Stood grey before me.

The woods were dawn-grey

Dripping, soft, and so quiet.

The wind-weaver

Was catching shadows and mist

For her loom…[2]

A young man wearing a purple tie-dyed shirt gave her a little poem as he passed her one day, and she sensed that protective spirit again:

Love is the vine

Given mankind

To help him find

His home divine.[3]

One breezy morning while she sat upon a squeaky porch in the ghetto, a man with soft green eyes and glasses approached her and offered her a poem:

The flowers open

At thy feet

Beads of

Dew

Wonderful and new

O

Angel of light

How many dawns

Have I drunk from your cup?[4]

The affection that the Iris evoked from strangers was disconcerting. Why did poets pop up like flowers wherever she went?  Why did they all speak of spiritual things?  She felt that someone was calling for her and wanted to be her friend.

A young man handed her this poem on a small piece of white paper with only his name “Sunrise” on the bottom:

The princess in purple

Carrying her guitar…

She shares her music

With all who’ll listen

Her gentle ways could be an inspiration to all

If only they would take time.

Even her ring is purple.

I’ve seen her on the streets

I’ve seen her in the parks

Always ready to share her music

And her heart…[5]

Iris knew that people were drawn to her, but she wondered why all of the writings were spiritual in some way.  Did people see something that she could not see at the time?

Now she can see how the wind loved her long before she knew him. He had been loyal to her in a sorrowful land, and had filled her life with meaning.

One morning she talked to a man in the donut shop where she worked.  He wore glasses and had curly blonde hair and a beard. She told him of her dream of meeting Christ in an elevator.  A few days later he visited and as she was cleaning the counter, she found a story written which he tucked under his napkin:

Immediately and noisily the doors opened, a mild shock far exceeded by the presence of a man, dressed in a loose white robe, staring directly at her out of the elevator—so directly as to imply he knew in advance where she would be standing…And so it was, and the surrounding city with it, corners dissolving into a blizzardy whiteness, glowing brilliant for a moment and then fading, edgeless as the voice of this prophet, into gray, into black, into liquid- no light, no sound, no scent, no feel, no taste- only absence, vacancy, and peace:  only the consciousness of a smile, the smile of God.[6]


[1] “Back to the Wall” by Jude

[2] “The Weaver of the Wind” by Margaret

[3] By Kelly

[4] From Michael

[5] By Sunrise

[6] By Al

OLIVE TWIST ©2012

***********************

Fall(ing) Breeze (Colorado. Fall 2002.)

 

 

I

 

This autumn wind is gold tinted

from the dust, remains

of a dry summer floating

in the air, pulled

into my nostrils, and settling

(for) on windows that have not been

opened in months.

 

Or maybe the wind is

doing his own interpretation

of the yellow wilting leaves

of trees happily surrendering

to sleep, well-earned, long awaited;

for these aspens have not slept in months.

 

But it cannot be –

the wind does not sleep and

he does not happily surrender.

 

II

 

The leaves are tossed

in a migrating gust

letting go to dance in a breeze

that could take them anywhere.

Let go, for even the ground is better

than someone else’s limbs.

 

How can these fair-haired leaves

dance freely if someone else

is spinning them?

Say goodbye to your tree.

The restless wind is calling you.

 

 

 

Creative Commons love to http://www.flickr.com/photos/vbenedetti/ on flickr for the photo! Grazie!

Prompt: Anagrams

 

 

 

So, in my constant search for new and ever more inventive ways to procrastinate on my writing, I stumbled across this little tool:

http://wordsmith.org/anagram/

The Internet Anagram Server (a.k.a. I, Rearrangement Servant) will, for sure, provide you with hours on end of dilly-dallying that is not writing.

It can also, however, provide you with some really interesting word combinations that make for the start of a really interesting piece of writing.

Put your name, or your character’s name, or your dog’s name, or whatever into the Anagram Server and see what kind of unusual word strands you get.  Can you make them make sense in a piece of writing?

My own name brings up some pretty great combinations, such as:

Barely Crayon Jamming

Cry, Glimmer Joy Banana

Join Almanac Berry Gym (which I’m sure exists somewhere in New England)

Jar Me My Cannibal Orgy

and (my roommate’s personal favorite) Bare Clammy Ninja Orgy

 

Make sure to use the advanced options, which will allow you to make anagrams with words you particularly like.  One of my favorite words was Magical and I will admit to also putting Orgy into the “required words” slot.

Anyone come up with anything good?

 

 

 

Creative Commons love to http://www.flickr.com/photos/bartmaguire/ for the photo! Thanks!

Word Flood (Winter 2012.)

“Self-expression must pass into communication for fulfillment.” –Pearl S. Buck

Her words sank.  Not quickly like an anchor, or with a splash like a rock.  Instead as she spoke, her words fluttered in the air, held afloat by the humidity.  They tickled earlobes, in a language half a world away. Pieces of ideas curled with the wind among tendrils of jasmine, leaving a heavy scent wafting through the city.  Nouns and verbs together toyed with bodhi leaves, pulling them along as they flitted to the ground.  They landed gently on the Chao Phraya, quivering on the surface of the river and leaving ripples too small to be noticed.  Amongst water hyacinth and coconuts they floated, gathering silt and absorbing the wetness of the city.  In this way, the words gained weight and began to drown.

Before long, they swam in the wake of snakefish and nestled between the scales of water monitors.  The more weight they gathered, the more they were immersed, the harder it was to see them. The light had trouble reaching them between algae and waste and even apsaras would be hard pressed to find them.  They landed on the river bed, stirring up the bottom and throwing silt into an already murky darkness.  Covered.

And soon all her pen could do was draw the curves of the paths her words had taken, as if trying to retrace their steps.  Searching between the roots of ficus trees and the stamens of hibiscus for where she had misplaced them.  A world made of tendrils and bubbles, floating in a silent and wordless black and white.  Sea horses and leaves and turtles all swirled with a silent current.  Owls became nok hoo, knock, who? and lost their edges and their names.  Questions were gone and statements no longer made sense.  The world churned as if everything were from the point of view of those lost words, staring up at far away surface of a river that always was moving.

And then there was a flood.  The water seeped slowly, climbing up through sewers and along the streets.  The river rose past dams and sandbags bringing pythons into houses and buoys into cars.  It brought everything from its depths, decay, sand, and her words, which huddled against a curb and waited for the waters to recede.  After months, the river left, burrowing back into its banks but leaving its refuse to dry in the sun.  The sediment cracked and caked.  Mosquito larvae dried like tiny raisins.  The decomposing river sludge made banana trees greener and left seedling strangler figs sprouting along sidewalks.  And, as if growing out from cracked pavement, her words dried, too, finally able to breathe and soak up a little bit of the warm winter sun.

The Weight of Bangkok (Thailand. Summer 2006.)

It was a small splash, the first time the Chao Phraya River touched her skin. It collected itself, making a rivulet, its own tiny clone, and slithered from her shoulder, down her back. It was easy enough to brush off at the time; her attention was focused on ochre-colored robes of tan-colored monks and the smell of sewage. The busy-ness of Bangkok is enough to distract even the most worldly of travelers. It would caress her often while she tried to wrap her mind around the city. She often mistook its gentle droplets for her own sweat. Little by little it seeped into her clothes. The algae would get invisibly caked in her hair. Bathing only made it worse, since it was the same snake that came out of the faucet, running in tiny streams down her legs and nesting in her drain, just waiting for the next time she would stand above it. It brought all of Thailand into her room. The sweat from the bathing mother. The piss of the Ko Kret buffalo. The decomposing rice leaves. The acrid saliva of Asian Open-Billed Storks. The ashes of incense from Wat Pai Lom. The river left them on her eyelashes, resting on the shelf of her belly button and curled in the ques of her pubic hair. In less than two weeks time, she was drowning in it, tangled in water hyacinth.

The combination of water hyacinth and wet heat left me with dreams of the Amazon. Before long, each day was laced with ayahuasca. My stomach ached for and wretched with the newness of each experience. My appetite left me completely, and food became just another beautiful band in the rainbow of the life around me. Piranhas nibbled my toes as I walked down streets dusty with the resin of car exhaust, curry-laced smoke, and incense cinders. Vipers strung themselves from telephone poles and carried the secrets of the city from Klongsan to Phra Pinklao. The sky let loose a constant rain of wet sunshine. Even at night, nothing was dry. The moist fervor of the city covered my body, making it a struggle to keep my hips still.

In the end, it was the weight of everything which finally drove me mad. Every blanket was too heavy to sleep under. Just thinking became dangerous because one could get smothered under the weight of a simple idea. Each thought that went into the air collected condensation and dust, becoming more and more tangible and visible, until it finally dropped to the ground in a puddle and actually existed.