Itziar Verría’s Birds—2017

the silence of winter—
the common loon

dreams of summer’s lush lakes,

rushing rivers, it’s an ache

obvious in the eye
the silence of winter—

caught up in that arctic loon’s throat

that faint, ascending whistle,

touching the edge of night
the silence of winter—

my red-throat gulping salt

& flotsam, I tilt skyward, 

with not a song, nor a dream,

only this sash, this blooded scream

Itziar Verría’s Birds —2017

she was 

the black-throated blue warbler—

pondering the staggered vacancies

the soft mist 

where Appalachian meet sky

where the pine, stops off

and the mountain grows high

the snow, dusts in on an 

over-night howl

the gasping gape of the wide-eyed owl

how hunger has a flavour all its own

the wind of winter is fully grown
it lets loose its downy hair

to bloom out, to spring,

to rise from earth to air
but for she, that little bird, 

she sits & ponders

unknown, unheard

Tom Thompson


these Tom Thompson days—

the deep thaw of early spring 

seeping down into the winter dry cracks 

the breeze finding that strange,

twisted pine to pine along with

a sloosh of salted-dirt slush— —

we tap, boot print dams into the 

roadside rivers, a world of our devising 

where we are the kings & queens

where we are on the little tug boat

& we are drifting out to the gutter sea, alone & bobbing too feriously

swallowed by the gurgling gobble 

of the city drain

Oh, the sweet memory of this 

childhood game

before the spring began to sprang
(This art is actually entitled Early Snow but it feels like it could be a melting winter into spring capture, and this is much what it looks like this time of year only the evergreens are a little more dull) 

Forty-Two Portrait

So, I finally took my forty-two photo, a couple weeks late. Actually I took several to find one I like of myself, and… that’s the way the ego crumbles.

 The bottom one is a fairly accurate portrait, no make up messy hair, but filtered because I’m a little more vain than I care to admit and the lack of sun in the winter is not flattering, I feel winter bleached and dull. The top photo, is me trying to look less winter-worn than I feel. It looks like I’ve something in my hair, but I think it’s the white of the matte from the picture behind me showing through. I plucked the glasses off my face. I was reading, and so, the glasses are nowadays necessary, but I don’t wear them unless I need them. 

I am so ready to get some sunshine and salty air. I feel blessed beyond belief to be getting that in a couple weeks when my two oldest and I go away on our first ever girls only trip. I’m hoping it’ll become a tradition, one we can add more girls to as they grow up. My oldest is a little sad that she’s not drinking age in the States, which is just plain bizarre to all of us. She totally will be drinking by the pool in her Aunt & Uncle’s yard. 

Regardless, we have planned a trip to a theme park, I’ve never been since Canada’s Wonderland when I was a kid, and coasters are my thing, last I checked, so we are going; A meeting at the local Kingdom Hall; a Kaleo concert, whoot! whoot! A beach day that involves gator bites & the best Key Lime Pie I’ve had to date; a stop at this awesome Mexican restaurant in Mt Dora; Blue Springs because, Manatees are lovelier than lovely. I may need to visit the wine bar at Winter Park again (& there is a used bookshop there I want to check out) and get Uncle Marty to drive because, there is this one wine, that I need to find again. I am hoping to squeeze in a visit to Clearwater and meet up with childhood friends but honestly, I’m not sure it’ll happen since we have only one day to possibly get that in and if it’s really nice, I may just want to use it as a poolside day rather than driving day. Guess we will play that by ear. But I’m so nervous and excited all at once. In all my years on this planet I’ve never been the head-honcho on a trip, or frankly the primary driver. My husband is always in charge of driving, planning, spending—home & abroad. So I’m thinking it’s about time for me to be head-honcho, at age forty-two it’s strange I’ve always taken the backseat. When I was younger I just was too busy with kids. Now, for the first time, in my whole life, I’m not a passenger. I’ve gotten comfortable in the passive roll, unlike when I was younger and I hated it. Now, frankly, I just don’t care, I stopped caring some time ago. It took too much energy to care and battle for control. I just stopped caring about so much for a long time. My kids, that was the bulk of my care and concern. They got my energy; they got my everything, whatever it took. 

I’ve always wanted to get away with my little women, we all get along well and the oldest two are such good friends, that I get to be part of it is a special thing. I never had sisters and so, I treasure having had so many daughters and getting an understanding of women in the world. I find, I understood boy world better as I came out of childhood, having only a couple precious girlfriends and my brothers and their friends. I definitely didn’t and still don’t understand women. My daughters themselves are combination women who are fine with both being a little untamed & yet having the self awareness to dress up when the occasion calls for it. They are bold, vivacious things that have huge hearts and are both working towards being full time ministers. 

My oldest is in the ministry Tuesdays & Thursdays, faithfully. The second has decided to finish school at home, so has three courses this semester and two more next fall, but she couldn’t handle the ‘high school’ environment anymore. She was frustrated with both teaching quality and the wasting of time. Her goal: do school at home, and get out in the ministry. 

Both of them love Jehovah and their family and friends so much. They work hard and LOVE their secular jobs too. They do have ridiculously fun and good work, and the pay is really good too. They trust Jehovah will provide for them if they put him first. I couldn’t possibly be more proud of them, not even if they were in university on full scholarship. The choices they are making are spiritually mature and heartfelt. They bought a car to share, registered it and pay their own phone bills. The oldest is on notice that rent is the next step, and she’s excited about it. Odd eh. But she is paying her own way on this vacation and she’s so proud of herself for that. 

I’m getting older, and so are my kidlings. Ahhh. It’s a good good thing.