Of Age and Spring

Thinning Live Oak Trees in my front yard. Photo by me taken 3.29.14

My thready Live Oaks still have leaves that hold.
The neighbors trees will soon fill in the gaps.
I pray that drought or flood won’t cause their loss.

Majestic guards, they welcome guests with shade
throughout each year, repelling frost and sun. To lose them now when they are needed most would change my home, and wound my caring self.

We age like that– a halting step, dark spots, a brush that fills with hair, split nails.
We want the sun but fear a fall, a chill.

Then Spring comes in on fragrant flowered breeze.
We braid fresh daisies in our hair and sing. And we arise to wave our arms and dance.
In rainbow shirts we prance among the trees.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 3.29.2014


Out of the Fog


A fog rolled in today; I thought of you
now lost in fog.  When everything fell out,
broke down, or died, you were there.
You said you’d never go, and I believed.
You did stay true, but once again the fog
rolled in and stole your life before it cleared.

Bright heat and clarity exposed new paths.
Through deserts bleak and broken woods, I trod.
I stopped to work, to help, then fled again.
This time the sea’s diving gulls called out
to me beseeching me to delve the fogs that swirl
within, as well as out.  I summoned strength
and shipped my disbelief on autumn’s tide.

I know that strangers linger in the mist,
that purpose changes as the seasons do,
that softness hardens through the longer light,
that ice breaks ships as well as wounded hearts.

I stand, a lonely palm upon the beach.
I will provide relief to those in need.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * 3.27.14

For Tony’s Blank Verse article today @dVersepoetspub
Stop by to read and/or post your own.

Hear, hear!

Historians musicians and present-day otologists
continue to speculate why Beethoven went deaf
and marvel that he was able to compose the Ninth and Ode to Joy.

I remember studying Eliot’s poetry,
reading how he thought Beethoven’s quartets
were meant to be audited, in depth, later in life.

They affected Eliot deeply, changed his spirituality.
I thought I might wait ’til I was mature to be enriched
by the string quartets; but when I reached that accepted stage,

I was still listening to his symphonies; trying to play his sonatas.
I now know I am never going to play the Apassionata as it
requires two hands to play four hands’ worth of notes.

I manage to acceptably play the Moonlight, and with patience
deliver the Pathétique. That brings me to the present, a time
in life most would say is past being simply “mature”.

Nevertheless, this week I downloaded his sixteen quartets.
I determined that I better get started understanding them.
Though I wonder if I haven’t waited too late for spiritual

and poetic enrichment because I, too, am going deaf.
I may not have time to absorb their spiritual depth
and be transformed into a poet of deeper meaning and merit.

But I shall try…as long as I can hear at all…I shall try.

Not sure this qualifies as a poem, but it is about another sense besides sight. I dread going any more deaf. For now it’s low voices and low noises I’m missing but it is continuing and not much can be done my doctor says.
In response to Brian’s request for poetry without images today..using other senses. 
© Gay Reiser Cannon * 3.13.14


overflowingbowlLOUD, Bold, Imposing………that’s me in public and I don’t know why.
I could guess and say “I was an only child, I needed attention, I was lonely”.
Probably not the reasons…I have had a husband, have children, have grandchildren, have friends and yet I constantly talk when I shouldn’t. I don’t always let others finish, and the older I get and the deafer I get, the LOUDER I get.

(Why do I write?)
I could say because I didn’t have the time, money, training and (very likely) the talent to become a great musician. Music is my first love and words are my second … now it’s easy to see why it’s poetry for me: that’s where they join together. When I am quiet (that is when I am alone) I fill up with words and phrases and sometimes with letters. The alphabet still thrills me. I like making letters. Good at penmanship, I just wanted to FONT those letters.  If I don’t talk for awhile, I become a cistern with words dripping in. WORDS Words words words words words words..the filling and the spilling of the words.

(what threatens)
Time and laziness and self-doubt threaten me. I am in awe of so many poets I read. I fall in love with a poem, say Brian or Claudia or Hedgewitch or any one of you writes, and I don’t want to do anything but re-read it and think about it. I roll around on the words and then I think I don’t know how to do that, I never thought of that, I could never have come up with that and I STOP!  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to read more or write more, but I want to think more, and try to think why I can’t write as creatively, not that way but my way, Then I get lazy, time slips away and life interrupts. I want to change, I re-read old poems of my own and sometimes want to destroy them and other times think,”not so bad”. I pledge I will stop this (if I can).

(why will I continue)
Again the cistern fills. Again the words at the brim. Because I have found people who will actually read them. Because my banker told me one day that she reads every poem I link to facebook and is happy she knows someone who writes; that my words touch her.
I want to write for the same reasons Margaret Atwood listed but most of all it’s because if I don’t, my head might blow off and all those words would flood my house — all unconnected and making no sense to anyone. I write to try to make sense of it, to arrange and order the words, to create something of joy, of love, of beauty.

Oooops I exceeded the limit!

Gay Cannon 3.6.2014


Origami-craneI remember when the origami crane named Poetry
flew into my disordered life
I was lying on my second-floor bed staring out the
window into the trees.
As the breeze whispered its secrets to me,
Poetry landed on my pillow
compelling me to unfold and discover;
the first fold opened with a tick, tock, metronomic clock
and I smiled thinking it a robot;
I unfolded its wing and heard the sweetest melody
agreeing, at first, with the clocklike beat,
then becoming looser, freer, stirring my imagination.
I rolled it out flat after that, running my fingers along
the creases, trying to guess what lay between the lines.
A swelling of emotion arose in me, a curiosity as well.
I began to love this little unfolded page, I wanted to make it fly again.
I tried to refold it, to re-invent the flying crane.
I’ve been trying to get it right ever since then.
Once in a while, I get it to fly again – when I think very hard,
imagine very deep, and try with all my heart.

© Gay Reiser Cannon – 3.4.2014