Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Counting

Every week, every day, every hour, every minute, and every second that I pass without my family it feels like a knife trying to get inside a rock. I am the knife and the rock is my life. So this is me, Aylin, and this is my difficult life without my family. Some people think that living in a home for girls like Our Little Roses is a big blessing. Yes, I say to those people, it is a great blessing but at the same time it is a curse. Every night I start thinking and talking to God in my prayers: “Why, God, why did my family leave me alone?” There is no answer. A lot of people see me with my sisters and my aunt, who is not really my aunt, and they think we are a happy group, but really all of us think the same thing that no one ever says: One day, will our mother come to visit us? It is ugly to know that everyone in this school is celebrating Mother’s Day. On this day, I feel ashamed to be me. But, God, listen to this: I am counting the time like people count the stars and I will 
keep counting until my mother comes. My sisters are graduating and soon I will go to college, too. When I graduate from college and when I am finally somebody in this world, God, I will go straight to Mexico where my mother lives and I will stare at her like I stare at the stars and with a voice that cracks like thunder I will say: I forgive you! But for now, God, I am here, in Our Little Roses, counting.

—Aylin [context]

Saturday, January 3, 2015

On the Merry-Go-Round with My Toddler Son

I had forgotten what it was like
so was surprised 
when the ride started
and our horse took off,
up-down up-down
on a gold pole
as old-time piano 
rang overhead.
Round and around we sped
I could hardly think
it was all I could do,
standing there,
to keep my son’s 
small form from sliding
off the slick back 
of our carnival mare.
I was laughing and laughing,
high off challenge and sweetness, 
though still the stress
of holding my son up. 
Through the din of the music
and my own laughter 
came the words of my husband and a friend, 
who were watching:
“He’s becoming more and more aerodynamic!”
“One with the horse!”

And then it was over.
The music stalled, the horses slowed,
and my son turned to face me.
He held out his arms.
I lifted him down
and he slid easily out
into the rest of the day.

--me

Friday, January 2, 2015

Within the Circuit of This Plodding Life

Within the circuit of this plodding life,
There enter moments of an azure hue,
Untarnished fair as is the violet
Or anemone, when the spring strews them
By some meandering rivulet, which make
The best philosophy untrue that aims
But to console man for his grievances.
I have remembered when the winter came,
High in my chamber in the frosty nights,
When in the still light of the cheerful moon,
On every twig and rail and jutting spout,
The icy spears were adding to their length
Against the arrows of the coming sun,
How in the shimmering noon of summer past
Some unrecorded beam slanted across
The upland pastures where the Johnswort grew;
Or heard, amid the verdure of my mind,
The bee’s long smothered hum, on the blue flag
Loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill,
Which now through all its course stands still and dumb
Its own memorial,—purling at its play
Along the slopes, and through the meadows next,
Until its youthful sound was hushed at last
In the staid current of the lowland stream;
Or seen the furrows shine but late upturned,
And where the fieldfare followed in the rear,
When all the fields around lay bound and hoar
Beneath a thick integument of snow.
So by God’s cheap economy made rich
To go upon my winter’s task again.

--Henry David Thoreau