Thursday, December 22, 2016

Untitled (Heaven's Gate)

"Untitled" (North) 1993 Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Untitled (Heaven's Gate)

Michigan's elusive Northern Lights
dance and dazzle night's star-studded sky;
a phenomenon I've witnessed a few times
and felt as if Heaven's gate was opening.

Mountain mornings are much quieter, more calming.
Through a veil of mist I see a cascading waterfall freeze
posing statuesque upon the steep rock face
outside my kitchen window and black capped chickadees
my feeder's sole visitors snipping and sniping at one another
even though there is plentiful seed for all.  The window
bars all sound, makes it appear as if they are performing
an intricate ballet just for me - their backdrop
a sloping forest of rhododendrons, leaves curled
and hunched retreating into their secret world

as have I; winter seems to do that.
Neighbors hunker into jackets, hurry by with their dogs
or leave altogether for warmer parts.
I guess I'm some sort of Snowbird as well;
still consider myself a Northerner; scoff when others
think its cold; tell them tales of real snow, wind, ice,
but hold my tongue when at night, alone or with my love
high atop a blue ridge mountain gazing at the stars,
feel as if once again, I'm standing before Heaven's gate
and realize life's journey will end one day,
will greet us all no matter where we are and, I hope,
look something like this.

by Margaret Bednar, December 22, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - A Skyflower Friday - Felix Gonzalez-Torres  "- take his method of title and take a cue from 'issues of identity, desire, originality, loss, or the metaphor of journey'

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


The Red Brick House

The red brick house still resides a quarter mile
from where I grew up - a bit modernized;
original image hangs upon Mother's foyer wall
within gilded frame, watercolored by Great Great Aunt Augusta.

Today, no trace of white picket fence, Victorian scalloped
cornice trim, nor windmill's imposing silhouette.
The gabled bank barn with earthen ramp
from which grand pacers with heart and harness flew
and cozy stalls below where docile draft horses rested
is, at best, located with imaginary eye.

Come fall, my grandmother and three sisters
would hitch pony to cart, drive the slightly hilly, dirt packed road
to Latham Park School - the same caring walls I resided
as a child before closing in '71.

Within Red Brick's walls, Grandmother was born;
and her mother with fifth child in birth did die.

Yet seasons don't end and a farmer's lands
demand, so girls were sent "down the road"
to Grandmother Lyford's white clapboard farm house.
I always imagine piano's notes drifting out onto stone porch,
where buttoned and bowed the girls would sing
and catch late afternoon's summer breeze.

Tucked between "Red Brick" and "Lyford House"
I grew up across the street from "Old Limestone House"
with stately red barn and dear Charlotte in her rocking chair
shaded by huge pines that thrilled me with their size and shape.
Today threadbare and dismembered, if not gone all together,
I still thrill as I palm fallen pinecones -
remember coating them with peanut butter and seed;
hanging them in branches once bursting and full.

These old farmhouses reach out to me, remind me
of family, of friends - carefully tended,
sweetly remembered these sentinels of my ancestors, my roots.

by Margaret Bednar, December 19, 2016

Latham Park School

Harnessed Speed

I have written this poem for a local poetry group (Behind the Stacks) challenge:  Ancestral Dwellings.  Mary guided us with the following:

"On my recent travels to Mesa Verde, I sat on a bench next to a Samurai fellow while he meditated under a canopy.  Together we contemplated the miracle of those dwellings.  Who carved and fashioned such a unique village? And, what were their lives like?
These ancient dwellings spoke to me about the people who once dwelled within -- a story about their personal ancestors.  And, it dawned on me that we all have personal ancestors who, too, inhabited ancient dwellings of their own making.  Deep within all of us lies a hidden memory of our ancestors and the place they called home.  In the month of December, let's gather for BTS and share our poetic take on the miracle of the dwellings of our own personal ancestors."  So, reflect on your past and bring your ancestral dwelling recollections to us in poetry

As you can see, I tweaked mine a bit (not so ancient) - focused on the farmhouses that surrounded me as I grew up - many owned and lived in by my grand and great-grand parents... I look forward to hearing what the others will bring to the table. 

Linked with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform.  

The Old Limestone House

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Haibun - Enchanted

I pull my jacket tightly about hunched shoulders, hunker into woolen scarf, await for sprinkles of snow to descend as I gaze out from within, pole lights shining like stars, the inky blackness a comforting scrim.  This enchanted world offers up a princess and white horse gracefully floating before me, triumphant banners of breath-like clouds and pony-tails trail behind them.  Not a sound but for the gentle rhythm of the horse's three-beat gait and gentle snorts as in unison they circle about the edge of this snow-globe night, damsel and steed seemingly about to sprout wings, fly up and away to the land of the gods...

To be blanketed
with snow crystals: magical
to fly above: joy

by Margaret Bednar, December 13, 2016

I invite you to listen:

This is for "dVerse Haibun Monday - And to all a goodnight"  My Haiku is not good (they are not easy) and I might come back and give it some more thought.   For now, it is what it is :)

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"

Sunday, December 11, 2016



The dogwood tree's bare and I've no pokeberries
nor holly to attract blue feathered friends -
so I'll wait upon spring to lure them back;

in the mean time my bird feeder will proffer
flashes of red and other swiftly fluttering (hungry) songbirds
who've no time for harmonizing, for leisure,

as I, tucked within winter's abode
imagine what it was like for my ancestors
newly arrived from Europe, mid November -

ponder first hesitant steps upon snowy foreign soil,
everything owned carried in two hands
No time to linger, sip tea, enjoy a morning view

but time for backs to bend, a home to build... a friendly hand?

Margaret Bednar, December 11, 2016

proffer:  to put before for acceptance

OK... this was my first response to "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Poetry & Flash Fiction with Magaly:  Snow Birthed Tales".  I realize I may not have followed the rules - a story was to be fiction - but was the poetry to be as well?  Magaly - let me know as I will go back to the drawing board as I usually do like poetry that is fiction and a story... this is just what came about but I will try again.  (I'll be back)