Crockery

by Kathy Larson

I don’t mind
the crooked bowl,
the cup with a chip, or
the mismatched plates.

It’s the life I chose.

The life I love.

These small
imperfections
These minor
flaws
Are daily reminders
that though
I thought
I sought
perfection,
Perfection,
it turns out,
is just
a bunch of
crock – ery.

Van Morrison and my heart remembers

by Kathy Larson

I asked Google
to play some music.

She chose
Van Morrison.
And a memory
of you pops like a tiny
iridescent bubble.
I see you, smiling,
that Mennonite rebel
farm boy
who swept me off the dusty streets
of our small prairie town
and into the front seat of his
souped-up ’67 Dart Swinger.
Oh, I loved you.
Loved your wild hair,
your cupid-bow smile,
your dusty, brown shoes
with the platform heels.

You were trying so hard
to break free,
be different,
but your plaid shirt
and dirty jeans
your sad eyes
and the weekends spent at home
on the farm:
you knew.
We both did.

At 15 I thought
I was a woman,
At 19 you thought
you knew what it was
to be mature. To be
a man.
Oh, I smile at that.
But never laugh, no,
never laugh.

I heard,
years ago,
that you made a life for yourself
on the farm.
Beautiful Mennonite bride
beautiful Mennonite children
to carry on the legacy
you thought you could deny.
As sad as that makes me,
I’m happy for you.

But, today
when I heard that familiar, raspy voice,
the one that you introduced me to,
I couldn’t help but wonder
how you are
and if your heart
remembers.


Early Morning

by Kathy Larson

The more things
change. . .
The
more
they
stay
the
same.

Doing dishes at 5:30
on a Saturday morning
is not one of them.

I left
the kitchen
in a mess
last night
after eating
takeout pasta
and watching
a movie
we’d seen
before.

Too tired.
Too lazy.
Too bored.
To clean up.
Like I should have.

Ah, well.
Something to do
this morning
when all the thoughts
crowding my head
refused to let me
sleep.

There’s something
that hasn’t changed.

For Dad

I wrote this for my brothers and sisters last July when we gathered at my sister’s cottage in Ontario to spread our father’s ashes. He had died the previous October and this was to be our final, group farewell to the man we called Dad. Like him, it isn’t perfect, but I think it captured who he was pretty well.

Here goes:

Dad
he loved licorice all-sorts
and off-coloured jokes.
he loved a girl named Sheila.
and his eight brothers and sisters,
though he did once tie them to chairs.
he liked crossword puzzles, Tim Hortons coffee and McDonalds.
he said things
like “pass the salt and pecker” at the dinner table and
we’d snicker and giggle
while mom gave him ‘the look’.
he loved walking and riding his bike.
he was an explorer.
he took us through abandoned farm houses when we were kids;
loved getting us all in the car just to go for a ride.
to this day I love doing that, too — going
for a ride with no real destination in mind.
it’s the journey and the togetherness that matters;
that was his lesson.
oh, and it’s okay to share a bag of chips and a pop
with your brother or sister.
he told stories — some true, some half-true and
some just plain fantasy — but they were all enthralling.
he loved people, and though he pretended to hate
some of them some of the times,
his big heart always betrayed him.
he could be infuriating, embarrassing,
and exasperating.
he never apologized
for who he was,
and that is a rare and noble thing.
not many in this world are strong enough
to be who they are.
he loved the eight of us — Kathy, Tracy,
Duane, Scott,
Shawn, Lori,
Carey and Jennifer.
and though he could, at times,
be tough on us, he could also
be incredibly soft.
he never had much
in the way of material things,
I remember a pair of alligator skin cowboy boots,
and he loved the 12 string guitar his brother Stewart
made for him,
but, really, that was about it.
in the end, and yes, this is a cliche,
it’s not about how much stuff you have,
it’s about how much love you have
and how much love you’ve given.
Dad,
we miss you.
I wish I had told you that more when you were with us,
but, there’s no sense in having regret,
something else you taught us.
I only hope you know how much you are loved
and that to us
you are everything.

Feeling like a poem on a Sunday morning

 

 

20180915_132835Nothing Lasts

by

Kathy Larson

Nothing lasts.
Not
That feeling.
The one that made you feel invincible,
incredible,
indomitable.
Not
That moment.
The one where love made all things possible,
all things exquisite,
and so
beautifully, terrifyingly painful.
Not
That breath.
The gasp that filled your lungs
with hope,
with longing,
with fear they’d burst you were so happy.
Not
That laugh.
The one you felt would always mean
joy,
acceptance,
a feeling of forever.

Nothing lasts.
Not
That despair.
The darkness that stole everything worth having:
the joy,
the light,
the love.
Not
That sadness.
The one that drained your life of
colour,
of music,
and of magic.
Not
That emptiness.
The void that made you hate your self:
your skin,
your every breath,
your right to be.
Not
That failure.
The one that was
infinitesimal,
not ruinous,
and judged so solely by you.

Nothing lasts.
Unless
You
Choose
To
Make
It
© 2018

 

Raven Speak — a poem

bird birds usa raven
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I heard some peculiar sounds outside near my balcony yesterday and went to investigate. It was a family of ravens on the neighbouring balcony. Mom and Dad were out with their teenagers — and the young ones, especially one of them was really unsure of him/herself. It was wobbling back and forth on the banister and making the most worried sounds. I stood and watched them for awhile. The young one would sidle up to one of its parents and seem to demand something from them — most likely food, but I thought it was maybe seeking reassurance. Mom and Dad stuck close, but ignored all the whining. Eventually, they coaxed their baby into flying off, but not before there was a lot more complaining and nuzzling and attention seeking.

Ravens, I think they’re fascinating creatures.

I wrote the following poem earlier this year and submitted it to a local magazine. It wasn’t selected for publication, and I’ve tweeked it a bit, but seeing that family yesterday prompted me to share it.

I hope you like it.

 

 

Kathy Larson                                                                                                      ©2018

 

 

 

Raven Speak

 

Clork? Clork?

They chitter and chatter

Amongst themselves,

Quorkel. Quorkel.

At times,

Voices

Soft and gentle.

Quirrel? Quirrel?

Where were you?

Let me see.

Are you all right?

Grak! Grak!

Leave me alone!

Stay away!

I hate you!

Crah! Crah! Crah!

Death-black wings unfold.

Beaks like scythes slash.

Don’t come back!

So ungrateful!

Kraw! Kraw!

Oh, who cares?

I was going anyway.

There are better places

Than this.

Than here.

Chirrip. Chirrip.

Please, oh, please.

I’m sorry.

I want to stay.

Please? May I?

Gleergle? Gleergle?

We love you.

We’re sorry.

Come.

Sit.

Feel the sun?

Warm on your back?

Chrrgle. Chrrgle.

There now.

We’re okay.