Tuesday, April 24, 2018


 Made a double dose of Mac&Cheese to share.
The day was warm and bright.

'The Moving Pen'
University Settlement 
Well attended and plenty of food!
Beginning with our faithful and talented volunteer leader
Frank Haberle
 Followed with ten wonderful pieces by my writing buddies, I read these two:

 The first Cut is the Deepest
by M.Slater

Sirens silenced the howling winds.
A bloody trail marked the steps
of a shocked mother rushed
through Emergency to

an operating theater.

An incision of 6 inches was made
through her lower abdomen,
then a second incision
opened her uterus.
I was delivered.

Thus unto this rude world I came.
Elsewhere, my father was
told I was probably dead.
It proved quite untrue.
I howled the proof.

The storm raged all night and day
I was swaddled and held apart.
In recovery, unavailable,
drugged to sleep, my
wounded mother.

What I felt I can not remember,
only imagine the pain of it,
the loneliness and fear
of that brutal welcome
hearing wind howl.

Childhood amnesia veils it all
for many years until one day
a bleeding wound becomes
the memory of something.
Howling confirms it.

This second cut sinks way down,
down to the level of the first,
carries it upward where
it joins the current pain.

Howling's a familiar.

It goes on like that into adolescence,
through adulthood and to old age
so that every cut of every kind
might call the first to mind,
make a calm wind howl.


"Gods Garden"
by M. Slater

It is hard to love a garden well
once you've actually lost one,
watched it destroyed,
first by neglect,
then dug up,

It was a real beautiful space.
Eight x twenty plot on the
Epiphany church plaza.
Emily named it first:
"Gods Garden"
for worship.

In dreams sometimes I recall
the long line of black sage,
its miraculous blue
just springing up
annually, lasting
past first frost.

Golden Correopsis in profusion,
branched and spreading
as regular as the moon,
drought tolerant,
brave and true.
So reliable.

Emily was the first creator-Mother.
When she retired I kept up.
Twenty years with her
fifteen for me alone;
thirty five years
of loving care.

All the weeding, pruning, planting,
seed spreading, mulching,
feeding liquid seaweed,
watering labors, love,
so suddenly

This sad story has a happy end.
It was the right time for me
to let go and move on
and I would not trade
one millisecond of it
for a pot of gold.

I have the image of field daisies
glowing in the dark city night,
nothing so rewarding as it.
Oh, scent of Phlox blooms
perfuming mornings

I can still feel the softness of ferns
holding waving stands of Astilbe
and big cone flowers too.
There's dried fever-few
in musty closets
still working.

Every garden is a grand cathedral,
an altar dedicated to the earth,
from simple flower pots
to window boxes to
little patches or
full acres.

I retain the whole of the experience
in every single cell of my being.
All I gave, gave me more.
The light in my eyes
is sunrise held,
sunsets too.

If you're wounded or well my friend,
go to a garden and join in.
Bring friends as well,
share what is good.
Give it away and
nothing is gone.

'The Moving Pen'
A long running program offered by The Creative Center at University Settlement-This creative writing workshop is designed to help you discover your voice, develop new material and be part of a community of other writers in a supportive environment led by writers from the


Peggy Mcg said...

Your words tell stories. I would have loved to hear them in your own voice.

Mo Crow said...

beautiful odes to life and gardening

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

your love of that Garden...

Anonymous said...

INCREDIBLE birth story. I love the vivid description of the two cuts made to deliver you... and the theme (the fact) of that wound carrying forward, such that 'howling's a familiar'. Not 'familiar', but 'a familiar'. Where and how do you howl now? in your poetry? or is there some more visceral outlet?

Ms. said...

There's no easy way for me to talk back actually. So if there are questions like Dee asked, forgive me. Dee I don't howl, I sing or dance or meditate or sleep or spread honey on toast and eat it :-->