Mama’s Proverbs

IMG_1487in memory of Eva Leah Robinson McCoy

Bite into the apple of love, enjoy its juice
and let the seeds fall all around you.

~
Lips and hands must measure
before they dispense their wares.

~
Set an extra plate for an unexpected guest—
someday it could be you.

~
What you most despise in your sister’s eyes
is what your own reflection reveals.

~
Darkness and rain
bring birdsong.

~
A stately house shrinks beside the simple one
whose walls vibrate with laughter.

~
To stand your tallest,
plant your feet on rock.

~
No one can schedule a natural birth
and it isn’t over when the cries begin.

~
Ask for your desire and when you receive it
offer it up again.

~
When the sun shines, focus its light in your body
and when the rains pour down, the rocks will gleam before you.

~
Take the hands of children for they fix their eyes on you
and when you grow weak they will scoop you into their arms.

~
The race goes to the horse
who runs for utter joy.

Kathleen McCoy

Pretty Words . . .

elude me this winter, this long winter. The snow remains, melting flake by flake. Even so, we know the day will come when ground is sufficiently dry to respond, to whip grains of ground into a mini-vortex and send its origami cranes skyward again. Writers can’t wait. We witness it all, we soak in snow, we turn blue, we shake ourselves dry and warm ourselves up and go out again and again until at last the rustling begins, the winds lift our latches, open our cocoons.

Eudora Welty tells us “True daring starts from within” where, whatever the weather, we’re not just waiting. We’re raw, we’re real, we’re ready.

Writing and Empathy

Kathleen McCoy:

Marilyn McCabe’s reflections on faith and success seem particularly germane this Easter season. Writers and wonderers, consider.

Originally posted on Marilynonaroll's Blog:

A poem by Dante Di Stefano, “A Drone Pilot Discusses the Story of Abraham and Isaac” (http://www.amethystarsenic.com/issues/4-1/dante-di-stefano.php) compares Abraham’s faith on that day he offered up his son to the kind of everyday faith with which we live our mundane lives, faith that, for example, if we wait in line at a store, we will be served, if we offer up our credit card, the purchase will be successful. “You don’t question the altar or the knife,” he writes. “You don’t ever doubt that the Walmart/will carry the Tide marker you need…” This is kind of stunning, this deep empathy with Abraham’s point of view, speculative though it may be, ironic, rueful. I thought of this poem when I heard a lecture by Alain de Botton about our culturally-based ideas of success and failure (http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success). He claims our contemporary understanding of them can lead us to discount the…

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Between “Human” and “Being”

Poets, like humanoids of all stripes, play a balancing game on a daily basis. Grade papers. Run to meetings. Teach classes. Run kids to events and activities. Check in with the spouse. Dust once in a blue moon. Throw leftovers in the microwave. Eat. Run some more. Rinse. Repeat.

It’s what Ekhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, calls “finding a balance between human and Being” (104). The human part of us is the ego, which is wedded to the roles we play–poet, teacher, wife, mom, etc., etc.–while the Being at our core is timeless, disembodied, the Spirit that transcends all our earthly errand-running, role-shifting, ego-propping, power-grubbing, material-minding chaos.

Today, it’s meeting with the WMDs (Women of Mass Dissemination) to tweak, update, and generally improve our web sites. Tonight it’s marking draft poems for students who are (generally) more confident about their fiction.

But soon–not now, but SOON–it will be just the page and me. Setting the “human aside.” Connecting with poetry. Just . . . Being.