My Life Wants to Be A Poem – Creative Non-Fiction

Excerpt from a short piece I just submitted that is getting a lot of traction on facebook…

There is a poem for every life. And like most good poems, there are many words hidden between the immediate fragrance of what resides on the page. And many poems unwritten, or lost, for not having been written at the moment of inspiration. Every life’s poem is sung and every life the creation of that song. And every life has a point when the song might have taken a very different tune and sung itself into a completely different order. What path not taken diverges and longs to be followed, if only in the imagination of the singer.

Poetry Contest Reading

My poem “Elder” placed second in the Upper Valley Arts Guild annual poetry contest. The theme, Indigenous Diversity is Beautiful” inspired me. The event’s interpretation in sign language was also a lovely addition to a sweet afternoon. Thanks everyone who participated and organized this. NH’s former laureate, Marie Harris presided. See below the recording of my reading at aprox 13 minutes in and below, a copy of the poem .

Elder

I am so old that my patience fondles

a future already made.

I am old enough to remember

how to seek food with my drum

and to ask butterfly of future seasons.

I remember that my senses

feel colours that are extinct

and that my skin breathes

all Time equally and seeks it here.

I am old enough to call the rocks

family, the mountains teacher.

When I sit near a tilted line

of water, I know that it is me.

To become old,

one befriends rocks, consults mountains,

honours water. One learns

to stand on the divided island some call life,

and soak peace from sky and land.

I am old enough to know I am a bystander

to the ripples of insect births

and star deaths.

I should be eroded by the shallow crimes

of hate in human history,

but I am old enough to see

that our future sings of a tail

swallowed by its mouth

as it devours its past.

And I am at peace

watching the feast, awed

by its appetite.

I am so old,

this makes me new.

Chapter Excerpt Published

Thanks Charlie for uploading the chapter “New New” from my inspirational children’s novel for adults, Gretial Taan. Still looking for an agent and/or publisher, so this isn’t the end of my search, but only a temporary moment of visibility, which I appreciate:

My Eco Dystopian Coming -of-Age

Confined to an underground city, Adrian’s problem is that everything he loves is illegal: running, pets, nature. Skye’s weakness is that she loves nothing but her computer server, Nanny.

Until she meets Adrian.

Eco warrior meets genius gamester who can access all the city’s secrets. It’s all mischief until they release a wild human from prison, exposing lies about Earth’s contaminated surface. And get caught. Skye’s punishment is to compete in national gaming tournaments, whereas Adrian is sent to brain ReBoot. One emerges a star, the other a rebel.

Thirty years later, Buster interviews superstar Skyedancer about a nameless and maybe mythical rebel who he believes is the unsung hero of city’s Fall. Skye is the only person who knows how Adrian risked his life to free their city. Buster will get more than a scoop and history will get its heroes.

Told from several timelines and points of view, with tensions of false trails, hidden clues, nicknames and unreliable narrators, this dynamic plot explores kindness in an oppressive, inhospitable environment. It asks important questions about the difference between fame and heroism, tracks the line between community responsibility and personal dreams, and explores dystopian narrative without violence.

More Micro Fiction

Amanda is haunted by the ghost of her husband who is not yet dead.

She decides she might not kill him after all.

Medieval Dragon Art

chicago 100

Who will win the battle against dragon extinction? Sacred stories can be reversed…

 

 

Quarantine Blues

What about this short story collection?

Quarantine with sister (pretty good right?).

Quarantine with father and his new bride.

Quarantine  with husbands former spouse’s boyfriend (can you figure that one out?)

Quarantine with five dogs (not allowed out of the apartment) .

Quarantine with the neighbours with quadruplets (fun for an hour?)

Quarantine… and the list keeps growing.  And spawns a reality TV show.

} between the breath – a poem

what is your creation story? asked spiritual doula judi blum…(Intothemeta.com)

 

} Between the Breath

all good stories start with once upon a time

in the beginning there is everything and nothing

then

I wake and I am here  {

}      a mystery

I hear

here and see there

smell and taste and feel

breath in { } and breath out { }

{    Mystery   }

talk      listen

the sun shines

I put my eyes to it

the sun shines

rising moon

rising tide

rising mystery

we shimmer and dance

circle chant

we make babies    we make love

we make peace and it is grace

{

And mystery

}

This

{}

And this

{}

spin this mystery

spin this – your weave

Yours. I laugh

}}}

deep diving with words

my weave  Yours  Ours

pushing hard at these words

urging them to break open

demand their attention

tell me                                    tell me

{yes listening}

 

my silence aches

it is here everywhere

pressing in

`I lean, lean into it

shift    mystery

{{{               I will shift    I will shift and I will

be gone to this      these words

}}}              I will light in

fall in

< >

there?  < >

I hear, see, feel, taste, hear

oh, and it is

it is so close

this whispering

words

silence     silence    creation is about to

tell me its story.

{

and I am                   }{

breath in

}{    I am not     }

breath out

[[[[[[  ]]]]]]

there

between that <love>

and that <love>

mystery

creation

 

{{ and my breath }}

from The Dragon Portal

Thresholds of the Dragon Portal

The dragon portal is not a stopping place. It is not a location or a way of being. It is not a resting or an action. It is not an alternative nor a path. It is not a story nor is it an instruction. It isn’t a concept nor a mental decision. It cannot be pointed to nor caught. I cannot lead you to it and say sit here and you will find it.

The dragon portal invokes a maligned spaciousness of spiritual engagement that includes earth, earth beings, and their place in the cosmos. It is both bigger and smaller than we are. We are always, in every moment, in the dragon portal and we are in every moment out of it. The creation story was an attempt to provide a story in which we can see all of creation and the light flowing in and out of the non-light. The dragon portal is the place which resides between.

But there is a circle around this other place which provides different perspectives into the mystery. Each are cracks in a door revealing glimmers shinning in a moonlit ocean. Each inspire. The doors don’t open any wider. But when each doorway, the little thresholds, are held simultaneously in extreme paradoxical mystery, there is another crack. The dragon portal. Another shimmering view which will change your life and how you live it.

[ The Dragon Portal is a non-fiction sacred text and is free as a PDF – please contact akarastroies@gmail.com for your own version – and look for the wisdom story for adults and children that begins the light weaver series exploring the dragon portal as a allegorical adventure. ]

How To Talk With Owls #7

I have the keys to their enclosures. The raptors. I open them, one at a time, and do service for owls and hawks and eagles and falcons. I rake and clean and water while they, wild talon shod birds, study my every move. As I work, I can’t help but ask: how do you talk to Owls?

 

 

Fight

 

This word, fight, is one step away from flight, yet they’re quite different one from the other. And yes, the title is not a typo.

Rick and I are working together on a Saturday morning in Spring. The weather is summer gorgeous, and it’s probably the first time I’m anticipating the scrapping work without being wet and cold. So yeah, that’s got us in a good mood. We’re psyched, you could say.

Step into the staff area and the mood changes quickly. On the gurney is a towel wrapped bird being held fast between two people and a third is working on a claw. It is so still I believe it’s dead until a single claw opens and closes.

Shit! I had before noticed that theses raptors are armed, but in that moment I have a full appreciation of the possibilities of the talons. The claw opens wide, and the otherwise curved and compacted talons spread like knives in a Kung Foo Movie. Long, curved and wickedly sharp, I have a visceral reaction to this simple movement.

It is a Great Horned owl on the table, one who has lived in the wild around the VINS centre, feasting on birds and occasionally crashing into enclosures and eating VIN occupants. There’s a great sadness in the place because a beloved education bird, Crowy, has been killed by this beast. It broke through the winter brittle plastic roofing by falling through it, and then devoured the “smartest bird I’ve ever known” as one of the staffers admits. Crows are smart, but this royal owl, the most dreaded of all, who eats most of the other owls as well as many large hawks and anything else it can catch and consume, has no trouble imprisoning Crowy the minute it has gained access to the cage. And apparently, it has a princess attitude towards its food and eats only the head.

The scrapping work is going really well. Everybody is in fine form despite warnings that they’re in egg laying moods, which can be worse than usual as they feel more territorial. But we’ve found no eggs and no birds seem out of sorts until our last cage, the bald eagle enclosure. It’s the size of a large living room, maybe bigger, so when two of us step in, we’re not really encroaching on personal space; but the female, who I wrote about the last time, the one who is always in a nasty mood, screaming and complaining, is more agitated than usual. Not only is she vociferous, but she’s actively charging. Once, while I’m on the ground picking up bits of bone, she comes toward me running, and from that low angle, she looks bigger than I am. I also notice that the faster she runs the less wobbly her gait. As described in the previous blog, she’s got a bit of a humpty dumpty gait. What seemed funny before now feels a little more intimidating.

Somehow, the two eagles end up in the same corner and she pounces on him andf he screams. No wonder: she’s got him hooked in her talons. His wings are spread and he’s flapping to get away and she’s hammering at his head with her hooked beak and he’s pecking back, screaming. And despite his obvious willingness to accommodate any of her wishes, she doesn’t let go. My animal instinct rises up in me and I stand and take a few steps toward them yelling “enough!”

Ok – if she had decided to attack me I had a bucket in my hand for protection, so I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been an easy fight. The shock of my aggression stops them dead and she comes toward me, wings outstretch. She stops, hissing, and when I don’t move back, she bounces away, humpty dumpty style.

Later, she comes at me, again seemingly trying to get me out. I stand up and tell her to get back to the other end. She seems a little perplexed, but she goes down to the other end. I’m getting good at this. I don’t know where my great white man protector is – nearby, no doubt ready to help me if I need it…?… and that’s when I say – you know, I think we’re done. Whatever we haven’t done, we’ll leave cause she clearly wants us out of here. I head out with the hose, he with the pail behind me. He looks back and she’s running for the door. He closes it quickly against her arrival and she’s standing there, at the other side, as if making sure we don’t come in again.

We go to the front of the cages and pause in front of the Baldy cage to see how they’re doing. She has stopped attacking the door and is having a bath. She’s practically singing she is having such a great time bobbing and ruffling herself in the fresh water.

All along, is this is what she wanted? Some private time in a bath?