Poetry · Writing

Winter Bone

Winter Bone

The long exhalation of winter descends on my bones.
Leeching the life from my blood until I’m left as barren as the land. 

The quiet hush of snow covered ground hides the impatient musings of my mind
as I seek a way beyond the bland limitations of this body. 

A fierce squall emerges from the darkness. 

It feeds upon itself as it builds into a formidable wall of ice 
and protects the fragile being lost in the abyss

Snowflakes drift by, oblivious.

by Michelle Murray


Artist Statement

This poem was inspired by an in-class activity for the writing class, From Mundane To Miraculous with Maisha Manson.
We were asked to write about a season that correlates to how we feel in the moment. At the time I was in a great deal of physical pain with the cooling weather. As a person living with chronic pain, winter is a difficult period. There are many parallels between winter and chronic pain and this poem is my way of merging the two in a way that expresses the difficulties and realities of both the season of winter and the seasons of pain. Yet despite the cold and barren starkness of winter, there is a certain beauty and strength hidden beneath the fallen snow. People who live with chronic pain also carry it with a quiet strength that is unseen by those passing in and out of our lives.

Poetry · Visual Art

Learning to Listen

by Melany Bell

Please enjoy this poem and images on listening, begat from my very own mind in 2022. Thank you for listening…
The images and poetry are by : ©MELANY BELL 2017-2022 all rights reserved  

Artist Statement:

I am an Ambidextrous Painter, Scientist, Step-Mother, Lover of Lady’s & their Others.
A Whore a Coward, Liar a Judas
A Free-dome seeking Teacher of Our collective Futures
Made to own Our GrandCestors spaces
reinterpretation of
Shape, Sound Frequency, re-speculating the birth of WE
I am the Word & World created on a stage, page, tone or face
Representing, & recreating a state of a Mind, for the race to BE Human.
I am Preaching Precious Story’s
Mirrors we’re constantly living up to reflecting on,
Herstory’s. Infinite iNtelligence too deep to be Respected
all to make rhyming come back
like when the Last Poets just met
When lazy Saturdays meant SMURPH’S
Prince had not yet worn their bottomless pants
I am UN-comforting white pages turned brilliant
With beats on the backs of breakdowns
An Ali of mental graphics
Shakespeare of word gymnastics
To art like butter to fat is
No attempt, just doing I.t.
ashe

Photography · Poetry · Visual Art · Writing

The Swing – Childhood Lost

Empty swing

Childhood… for some a gleeful, loving time. For others, endless trauma and despair.

Like childhood, a swing can be a reflection of pure joy, letting a child soar into the sky, believing they can sweep their hand through the fleecy, luminescent clouds. For some children, however, joy is overshadowed by anguish and pain. There is no lasting happiness, only the dark, dripping wet swing mimicking the suffering that marks their daily existence. The swing hangs still, a cold rain dripping despair onto the iron ground.

The joy has vanished like the child who, instead of transforming this scene into a gleeful moment, has been swallowed by the shadowy forest dominating the background.

Participant Artist – Michael J. O’Connell

Poetry · Writing

There’s So Much About You I’ll Never Know

by Kristin

CONTENT WARNING: This poem references domestic abuse, family trauma, suicide, and mental health, and may be triggering for some readers.

There’s so much about you that I’ll never know
I inherited your bloodline and self-contempt
Yet I have so little information on who you really were

I remember your gregarious moods, getting the rest of us to laugh uncontrollably
I remember your jazz album collection, from Ella Fitzgerald to Buddy Rich
I remember your immersion in wine culture, the small vineyard and air-conditioned cellar

But most of all I remember the terror, violence and humiliation 
You unleashed on your wife and two small daughters
Time has given me perspective, but back then
I despised you, hatred consuming the young body I inhabited

When Mom broke the news that your dead body had been found
I cried tears for Mom, so in her sobbing, she wouldn’t feel alone
But I was glad to see you go

Your memorial service embarrassed me,
With your friends and colleagues gushing
What a good man you were.
I thanked them politely, thinking “If they only knew…”

1978, the year you gave up on life, was a long time ago
And now my hazy memories feel incomplete
There’s so much about you I’ll never know.

Written by Kristin


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or suicidal ideation, please check out these resources:

National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Crisis Connections (WA, King County): 866-427-4747

Poetry

Where love leads

3/1/2022
WHERE LOVE LEADS 

Love for the way it feels when your love is shared. 

Love gives us all possibilities  

Love is to choose our better instinct 

Writing stimulates the imagination  

Unconsciousness so I can dream about what I don’t know 

Love is to choose one’s better instinct 

My car brings me joy and comfort 

All the live rings because they are alive in ys. 

Love is to choose our better instinct 

My cellphone is how I interact with the world. 

Love brings our focus to one another’s dignity  

Love is to choose our better instinct! 

Poetry

Hummingbird Tongues

by Neysa Peterson
March 9, 2022

Beating wings thrum
Hummingbird tongue
Slender needle
Sipping nectar

Simply nourishing
Watching with wonder
Senses soothed
Spirit renewed

Image clings
When disquiet rings
Solace sought again
Where do I begin

With beating wings
Nourishing
Watching with wonder  
Hummingbird tongues

Poetry · Writing

The Color of Freedom

“The Color of Freedom” by Michael J. O’Connell
A Soldier’s Perspective on the American Revolution

Over us did break the April sun, warmth penetrating the depths of our cold, miserable existence.

Months have seemed to drift, no rush by like the great Father Time tossing sand into the gale.

The ache in me is still, having rationed our morning meal of biscuits, and, for a fortunate few, dried legumes.

My coat, in disrepair for lack of thread,
my boots, endless miles have they tread
until neither mind nor body could comprehend.

Wasn’t it just last year, or before
when I felt this same shining orb upon my back while nesting the precious harvest
into the warm Spring earth?

Time has erased these as well, as the keeper of all things has seen that it is only forward, where the sands still cling to the
fragile glass that my mortality lay.

No matter, I keep my mind at ease.
For it is more than I, or the thousands with me, for whom I lay down my existence.

And if I grow weak for the cause, or slip it from my mind
as the lead surrounds me.

I turn towards that rising sun, and over its brightest hue, least I ever forget, shines the Red, the White, and the Blue.

Copyright 2022 Michael J. O’Connell

From the artist: “I wrote this original poem upon learning that my wife has ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary war. Having been a soldier, I wanted to express my thoughts and feelings on the sacrifices that they made to give us our own nation and homeland.”

Michael O’Connell is a Path with Art Ambassador and Veteran Participant Artist