Friday, March 28, 2008

word-children

all my little word-children
are playing here with you.

they are prying with chubby fingers
into the places you have forgotten
with your grown-up
silliness.

they are pirates and princesses
in great clomping shoes
double-daring you to
dream.

they are hop-scotching
across your rules.

they are finger-painting
with your fear and pain.

they are hiding-and-seeking
with your shriveled hopes,
and calling~
come out
come out
where ever you are.

35 comments:

  1. wow, terri.

    i've read through this 3-4 times now and i'm in love with your imagery: clomping, hop-scotching, finger-painting, hiding-and-seeking. great constrast with the grown-upness of fear, pain, and hopelessness.

    sometimes we need to talk to our word-children. and i think sometimes, they just might be able to offer us grown-ups a wise word or two.

    hoping you are well, friend.

    love,
    *k

    ReplyDelete
  2. my dear terri, first i have to say i miss coming here and then "thank you" for always having that kind words to post in my place....

    wishing you a happy day and cant wait to be as active ever again in blogger..hugs hugs hugs

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know that i am a sucker for a good poem Terri. This post leads me to a thought. One thing about poetry, you don't always discern the mind of the author. They are words that we bury inside of us until they surface in our minds taking captive our pen, refusing to go unheard.

    (to use some of your imagery here) Those words are like little turtles that poke their heads out of its shell from time to time. Then quickly withdraw at the scent of danger.

    A good poet will always paint a shadow of mystery into their words leaving the hearer somewhat perplexed. A good poem is like looking at different facets of a diamond, every turn has its own brilliance and splendor.

    In my opinion the whole meaning of poetry is to open a window within your soul that provokes thougt. It is an invitation to the reader to step inside the ancient tomb of their own heart with a deep sense of reverance, knowing that the disturbance could breathe life into the dead or anger the "gods" that are dwelling therein.

    Somehow this poem made me realize that i have angered "the gods" of my own heart. (You used a pirate as a symbol here.) Though this may sound somewhat irreverant, (still i will say) at times i see God as a pirate, my enemy, a theif stealing away dreams of my heart, dreams that were never really mine from the beginning. Though his goodness never changes sometimes we humans see His "no" as a restraint that we kick at.
    Sorry for the blog hog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you are all here
    what fun this is
    i have not forgotten
    pinky promise
    i never will
    you rescue me
    i'll rescue you
    i like your shoes
    who made those rules
    step on a crack
    is it possibly true
    where did you find those jewels
    smear the fear
    gain from pain
    hide my hopes
    not again

    hi, i brought my pretty rocks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ooooh, i love your playfulness with words here, too! especially the pirate image and all the clomping around. :)

    tammy, that was a magnificent observation, all told. love the way you make us think of poetry, love your honesty about walking with our pirate god.

    di, um, all i can say is wow.

    i've missed you guys! can't wait to get back in the swing of things with all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. kirsten: this poem is really how i feel about writing and words in general. it's a kind of delicious freedom that i don't generally experience in other aspects of my life. i know you get that. thanks for playing.

    marcia: hooky? not me. how are you liking my song-children?

    greg: you talking to me or your wife? either way, if it got you to come out of the little cubby hole you've been reading from, i'm happy to hear from you bro. :)

    deli: long time no hear! hope you're getting good news on your side of the world. glad to have you back.

    tammy: thanks for your thoughts. in a way, a poem morphs in ways that are unpredictable. you read your own history and meaning. after a poem has been written, it functions differently for whoever interacts with it. that's part of what i love about it. i know that you are a person who opens yourself to the work of a poem, so i'm happy to have you reading and discovering something personal. bless you my friend.

    di:
    you are a brilliant agate~
    worn smooth from the polishing hands of God~
    transparent lines
    alternating with
    carmel rivers of hope~
    a stone in the pocket of God
    that he can't help but
    caress
    and notice how his thumb
    fits just right
    along the edges of your
    soul~
    it feels good to him.

    christianne: did i ever tell you that i just love having you clomping around here in my heart?

    ReplyDelete
  7. what if you had to choose six of your words as your eulogy?

    which of those word-kids would stand up in shining tin helmets, gleaming and staight, waiting to be chosen?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love it. The words, the images, the meaning. What wise word-children you have.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your writing hon.

    good stuff

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. delicious freedom, yes. yes yes!! and it used to freak me out but now i love how once the artist/writer births something like this through the creative process, it takes on a life of its own. others can find meaning the artist never designed or intended, or the work can take a direction we never consciously intended.

    a little bit of God's thumbprint in us i think.

    and di & terri on the poetry exchange here ... whoa. as someone whose poetry comes out in fits & starts, i'm in awe!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I keep popping over here to read this post.....and i know this will sound morbid, being that i have been dripping with optimism lately is it any wonder that i have nicknamed myself "sunshine"?

    I had a boss a few years ago who told a story when her children were adolescents like 8-10. She was not watching them very well until she saw smoke boiling from a tree outside.

    Her two boys and little girl were playing cowboys and Indians and the two boys had tied their sister to a tree and apparently lit a fire around the base of the tree in attempts to burn their sister alive. (true story)
    So the smoke obviously became a clue that something was rotten in Cleveland.
    (morbid comment)
    My whole point to that story is this....your post takes me to that scene where i am being burned alive, being taunted by hopelessness, being mocked by the piercing pitchfork of sneers fueling a fire that keeps me alive long enough to torture me.

    In my mind your word children are like boa constrictors squeezing out my last breathe only to release me long enough to take in one gasp, every breathe being a tease to drive me to a slow death.
    Charming i know

    ReplyDelete
  13. marcell: play favorites with my kids? never! actually, it's a good question. what would your six be?

    sarah: thanks. i like your word-kids too. they should play together more often.

    dave: *big hug*

    kirsten: that is scary stuff. but worth it i think. i hope.

    tammy: wow. this kind of illustrates what kirsten is talking about. because i absolutely didn't intend anything like that. i was shooting for something much gentler than that. i would not want to be a part of hurting you. does this mean that you want my word children to be quiet?

    heather: i prefer the pirate over the princess too. have at it. there's plenty of shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  14. all are now sitting
    quietly still
    opening our soft pouch
    letting them spill
    this one is perfect!
    hand picked anew
    polished and shiney
    reminds me of you
    i will be bringing
    the best i can give
    what joy in the learning
    the best way to live

    thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Terri Terri
    I should have expected you to ask if i wanted your word children to be quiet. Knowing your sweet considerate side. But no i don't want your word children to be quiet. Why would i want to silence this child-like part of you? That would be selfish.
    Terri you know i am dripping with sunshine these days i could turn a wedding into a funeral. Plus there is a lot of history behind that snake comment. No worries i am laughing in the midst of it all.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is the best and most terrifying part of the game, isn't it, that olly-olly oxen free, come out, come out wherever you are.
    Freedom and pleasure and delight in making silly messes to you and your word children.

    ReplyDelete
  17. unbelievable terri. I just love this poem. "hop-scotching across your rules". Wow. Isn't that what we sometimes do as friends? We hop-scotch right across each other's senses of the rules...I think that is partly what makes us grow closer. At first we are shocked by it and then later we decide to follow and hop-scotch across our very own rules! It feels so freeing:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Terri
    Woe, now i feel like i should seriously say i am sorry to you. That comment was really heavy. I am sitting here saying to myself...."did you say that?" Let me clarify. That comment had absolutely nothing to do with the CONTEXT of what you wrote.

    Something triggered a very old and buried thought and should have stayed buried. You know how someone can hear a beautiful song and it remind them of another time another place. Somehow that mind relates what is beautiful with a sadness.

    I love your words Terri they are always beautiful. I dug up something there that would have been more appropriately kept silent. I am sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  19. and for the ways i've recently hop-scotched your rules terri i'm truly sorry ~ julie what you wrote here touched something deep and profound. you have a way of doing that whenever you appear here. bless you. will be pondering the safety rules of hop-scotch boundary crossing.

    ReplyDelete
  20. di: thanks for that sweet little poem. and as far as the apology...no need. no need at all. my rules are more like suggestions anyway. and what are boundaries? ;)

    tammy: no worries right back at you. please don't feel like you have to apologize. i know the way brains sometimes leapfrog from one thing to the next...that's just the way we're wired. it's usually worth looking at when those things happen. please don't feel like you should keep silent.

    bella: i've always wondered about the origin of that phrase "olly olly oxen free". i like it though. i like it a lot. and i like that you're one of those people who is not put off by messy creativity.

    julie: i love it when you pop in. thanks for those thoughts about our friendships...the way we play with each other's rules in ways that free us up. that's true. you've helped me with that a lot over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  21. As long as your literary kids don't try to play dodge ball, they may roam freely about my mental home. But I don't anticipate that from any word-child of yours. They are always rather benevolent. Relentless and rather nosy - but benevolent.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Terri,

    That was beautiful. This simplicity of being a child . . . the sense of wonder . . . the living in the moment . . . wish I could get it back. This was an inspiring post. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  23. sharp: nosy? more like curious, i think. thanks for the permission to play at your house. :)

    nate: what stops you? too much grown-up silliness?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Too much grown-up silliness is precisely the problem. I am working on resting (isn't that a contradiction?),and hopefully I will regain some of the childlikeness soon.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ha Ha Terri churchill Di put up a blog and it has a country music clip on it. It is called taste Terri......taste!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Terri
    I see that you are redeemable, after all it is obvious that you have exquisite taste in friends.
    No need for one of your charming replies to this little love note.
    Stop fighting your prophetic destiny Terri!

    You know that i am a prophet and i SEE your reincarnated future, and YES you are singing those old Tammy Wynette songs with the perfect pitch of twang and whine. (Although, that belt buckle with TERRI plastered across it has me a little stumped.)
    See what happens when you throw yourself into repentance. The world embraces a whole new you.

    ReplyDelete
  27. how come they always stickin their tongue out at me and no one else?

    ;-)

    i love you t...

    your music plays in my hear...

    ReplyDelete
  28. nathan: hope you get that rest.

    tammy: hmmmmm. i commented on di's post. but i still would like to emphasize that i would rather listen to anything rather than country. i'm sure you'll overlook this character flaw.

    marcia: stinking out their tongue? kids, who's been sticking out your tongue at poor mia? bad word-children!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Terri
    You know i just dog ya. You will never have character flaws to me. I will always be blind to them. It is okay if you hate country music. I remember back in the day it was a target of my sarcasm. Believe me i was ruthless about that twang. I don't know if i have mellowed out in old age or if i have just gotten more insane, or if my life is so screwed up that i have a whole new take on the beer and whiskey tunes. I think it is a little of all three but mostly the latter. I think i am about to pop up "tonight i wanna cry" by Keith Urban. Ya that is a good one.
    I said i wasn't blogging and i probably won't be doing much.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh i meant to say it is good to hear your voice.

    ReplyDelete
  31. How beautiful
    that they are your children

    That you nurture
    them, care for them
    protect them

    and they in turn
    love us

    Can you imagine if they
    were word adults?

    I've never liked that word

    Who wants to be 'grown up'

    I'd rather grow
    rather learn

    Rather be a child
    and play hop scotch
    with God,

    Soft love to you dear friend, Maithri

    ReplyDelete
  32. tammy: i'm praying that things are turning around for you. i hear the heaviness in your voice and it makes me sad.

    maithri: word adults...yeah, that's just not the same, is it? our words, our gifts, our calling...these are tender things that require love and nurturing. they are vulnerable to the ravages of the world we live in. they must be fed and protected and tucked into bed at night. i spoke these words to you a while ago and i'll repeat them here: you play so well with your little word-children...they clearly love you.

    ReplyDelete