An interactive writing poetry event designed for Bread for the Journey Radio

June 21, 2014

To listen to the radio show: www.breadforthejourney.org/radio
To read the poems: www.breadforthejourney.org/interactive-poetry/

Poetry

 

She skates boldly onto

the page, tips one vulnerable foot

back and forth slowly, till finally

the edge of a toe

cuts a simple, sharp line

through the world’s cold resistance

and with that plain courage,

a statement of intention begins;

and you can’t turn back any longer

from the weight of feeling and letting go

into the flow that follows.

Poetry is a choice to feel it all,

not all at once but gradually to sink down

within ourselves, to give what fear

we hold behind our knees

to gravity and grace,

to discover what makes

our whole world turn;

the place our necessary weight

lifts to lightened joy.

 John Fox

___________________________

Time

 

I remember where I was

when I wrote my first poem—

at the kitchen table

in the second home

I had known.

It was dark outside.

I was supposed to be

doing homework.

Guess I was

doing

home

work.

The home inside of me.

 

I wrote the word Time

on paper.

Capital T.

As a child,

I used to write that word

over and over

on everything.

My school book covers,

notepads near the telephone,

In the margins of my mimeographed

school papers.

Time.

Is what I wrote like a graffiti tag.

I used to wonder about it.

I knew it had

gravitas

in a mercurial kind of way.

I could see

The world ran on time

And yet I knew it was illusory.

There

but not there.

I knew that

then. In 1964.

I knew that.

 

And one day

one timeless day when the next word and the word

after that

came to me,

the word Time

became the first word of the first poem

I had ever written.

 

I was ten.

Old enough to recognize a timeless truth,

too young to know what to do

with it.

Marianna Cacciatore

_____________________________

Consider What Happens 

 

Consider what happens

upon hearing a poem

that moves you. The nod

of your head, tucking

your chin close

to your chest, as if

stopping to rest, as if you could cry now

in the middle of a long journey.

Here, whatever you regret having forgotten

even with your aching tiredness

(which you cannot forget) all of a sudden

turns to a surprisingly vibrant sky

as your eyes widen ever-so-slightly

in a recognition that shimmers

under your skin, wells-up

into a calm line-of-sight

that is your own and goes on

almost forever.

Astonished, you walk outside breathing

and slowly stroll in the fresh air

suddenly aware that back in your house

someone new, a stranger you like,

has arrived.

John Fox 

 

_____________________________

The Key

 

When the fact

of uncertainty and sorrow

finally settle

without struggle inside me,

everything relaxes and

I can see for miles

forward and back.

I can smell lavender again.

I can reach for your hand.

 

When forgiveness becomes me

Turn—forgive you

Turn—forgive me

Turn—forgive us all

my walk-about is barefooted

feeling everything as though it is

white sand on a warm beach.

 

But when the story

the story

in the morning paper breaks my heart

the story of the twelve year old girl

sold into sex slavery

by her auntie.

When the story breaks my heart

I’m stumped again.

What do I do?

What do I do?

I cut flowers from the garden

and fill the vase with my tears.

Place them on a makeshift altar

the coffee table covered

with newsprint and remote control.

I dedicate this moment, right now,

to forgiveness.

Right now

I lay down the rant in my head

and pray

May all beings be safe

May all beings be free

May all beings live in peace.

 

The fragrance of stargazer lilies

fill every room.

 

I make a cup of tea

for the one I love

and offer it up

for the many I love.

 

Marianna Cacciatore

 

_____________________________

Days of Rain

 

Open me up to feel due words

 Phillip Booth

from Hope

 

I want the losing it all

as when it rains hard.

I want letting it all loose;

to open myself

to the only true opener

of my freer falling feeling.

 

I want that dense drape of

drenched space to drop

into the entire air,

the atmosphere, the ache, fall

there, drawn, down, drowned

into the lowest ground

 

of the great and good grieving,

soaked into that low place

of kind green grass

and further then,

into the darker grit that gathers it,

the one who finally gets it:

 

who becomes exactly what it is,

the one who lets the grieving sound out

again, yet now, wholly held, returns it

to this singular heart-of-mine

that might, may, must

grow greater through love’s loss.

 

John Fox 

 

 _____________________________

Feelings Are Like The Wind

 

Here’s the thing about staying:

don’t turn away

but don’t build a brick house either.

 

Feelings come and go like the wind.

 

You may join them late in the night,

listen well to their secrets or rantings

but when you sleep

leave the doors and windows open.

No sense in trapping the wind.

 

Morning you may wake with a thought

to make breakfast for your guests

but don’t.

They left in the night without leaving a note.

 

Just as well

they’ll be back.

Changed though.

The wind is like that.

 

Marianna Cacciatore

 

_____________________________

Home Equity

 

God’s hands over my head —

that’s  what a roof means!

But when I wake up in Spring light,

The only thing of worth is an open door.

 

John Fox

 

_____________________________

Liminal Instant

 

Awakening in the garden

I found myself

in the Royal Court of Iris

Purple

Gold

Pulsing

Glowing

 

Being

itself

honestly

 

And for a liminal instant

I thought to ease my way

inside

and radiate too.

 

Marianna Cacciatore

 

 _____________________________

Blown Home

 

Not finally brought home to God

by those mortals who know

how it all is and organize that

around the edges of words

that make up the towns

and train schedules

of understanding’s itinerary, nor even

by the lovely vibrations that linger

after special evening concerts

of happy angels on tour

through form.  Instead

brought home by the wind

coming from way out there,

unknown and holy, beyond the sea cliffs

of solitude, the same wind

that since the beginning of longing

has been embraced to the core

by those who have flung their heart

past the promontory of certainty

out into the open sea: simply to hear

a voice that meets your own

real as a spray of water

full on your face, faithful

as the sun

that sets or rises someplace

on earth always, always the horizon

where the One soul of us all

is waveless and deep,

speaking of Love night and day.

 

John Fox

 

_____________________________

A Seamless Ease of Love

 

Eric says stand on one leg

while pulling this weighted rope.

 

Yureesh says

my new haircut

is called A Center Balance.

 

When I say generous

I see self and other

as receivers in a surfboard kind of balancing act.

Gentle, soft, easy friendliness

for you

and for me

in a seamless rhythm.

 

Look at it this way.

If all we do is breathe out, we’re dead.

 

Breathe in for yourself,

keep going now for someone you don’t know.

Even deeper now for one you love madly.

Receive every bit of feeling seeded there.

 

Now, breathe out and give it all away.

It’s all a love prayer, really,

with no beginning or end.

 

Marianna Cacciatore

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© All poems Copyrighted by John Fox, 2014
© All poems Copyrighted by Marianna Cacciatore, 2014