A Clear View

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Pepper tree branch removal                                        

Obstructing the view, a pepper tree must be cleared away.

Sitting on the porch, I watch the branch removal operation as

limb by limb they fall down. Where will the birds go?

In the morning the fog lifts and light touches the tiny green leaves.

Soon red berries should bunch and hang: What will happen now?

Loss resonates up from the tree to the branches and through leaves lying on the ground,

from the berries that won’t burst out, from

the raw cut edges left starkly open until they heal.

And how will the birds react now that their touchstone home is gone?

Do they fly around the empty space and land on any skeletal branch?

Or do they widen their wings and push on seeking another location?

The next morning, I hear them sing in the absence of branches.

Soon they gingerly crisscross around the newly opened space; tentatively, as if

flying through a transparent window. Is it an illusion of open that’s actually closed? 

Gaining courage, they dive through cleared air with confidence and speed.

First one goes through, and then many more follow. Several black birds

speed and dive through the newly discovered thoroughfare.

But the red cardinal who once sat on the fanning branches–

riding up and down as the breeze caught, lifted and swayed while

hidden under tenuous leaves, and blended in between clusters of

matching seeds–she no longer sits and peers back at me.

The rest-stop tree becomes a sky road cleared for takeoff.

Change and its subsequent decisions are the hardest of all.

Most birds quickly adapt but some move far away. Some move

to a neighboring tree and wait. Will the branches return?

All are perplexed. Who changed this place in my world?

Was it man or nature? Or, was it God? But the tree doesn’t know.

The birds don’t know. The people think they know.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter.

About this poem: Change is a powerful force in this world. It’s often difficult to come to terms  with the emotional chaos caused by the absence of the familiar and arrive to a place where acceptance allows inevitable decisions about how to change.

©2016 Cynthia Pittmann.  All rights reserved.

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Awareness

Framed Nature © 2016 Cynthia Pittmann

Framed Nature © 2016 Cynthia Pittmann

I sit down and notice morning sunlight and birds

flying low in the green glen– Is this Beatrix Potter’s field

Or a Scottish valley set down right here in

our tropical water-laced world

— all tinted with prismatic light?

Busy girls sit and talk about class and quiz

into a blank canvas made so through

empty speech — as they bounce away the glen smiles

From my corner metal table,

I see the the cement building recede

as dark leaves turn light, lighter and lighter still…

Subtle layers of green gradated tones –an artist’s

practice page…a study of green on black or yellow

or white –or like musical scales played by Pan’s flute

as he dances through unkempt blades — gently

separating tiny yellow-eyed daisies

from white peddles with  his touch…

Or here by me…my arms and face stroked as

my tight ponytail lifts and wisps escape

to brush my mouth and cheeks…

The morning outside conquers this practical

cold round metal table where I’m sitting…

though I notice its multiple polka dot holes

pierced clean through so water won’t collect —

rusting aqua to orange, smooth to rough…

a functional table, purposefully providing

evidence of reasoning and planning.

A student’s seeking words drift by,”There are things

we don’t know about but still they really are there.”

What?! Ah, she wonders about computers and tracking

cookies –but not the glen’s soggy richness or liquid abundance.

Its vitality? –completely unobserved.

But the birds know. See them moving

from branch to branch and tree to tree?

And the trees know, too. They shake and share

–there’s a party going on! But who

sees it or hears? The breeze pushes

ever so gently (look up and listen)…but

chatting students grab for sweaters.

I raise my eyes while leaves fold in and out

rhythmically and soak in

a sun-dappled morning by the glen

near the School of Education

where awareness is never taught.

© 2016 Cynthia Pittmann

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Music

Sun Heart

Sun Heart

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”
Jim Morrison

“Wild Nights” Emily Dickinson

Music

I’m afraid of music.
Secret? Yes (but I can write
Whatever I want here).
I know myself. Too involved
Too upset.
Caught in the sound,

Caught in the dream
Of music. Afraid it will awaken
Something that
Will not let go. Afraid to
Fall in love and wake
Up a fallen woman.

Damage done. (Why?)
Caught in the drive and
Wild abandon, Emily’s
“Wild Nights.” Sucked
Into the Rhythmic vortex
Pulsing beat. Box.

Caught boxing. Who can you trust?
(Not yourself.) The temptation
Weakens and takes you up,
Up. Then, drops you like an egg
On cement – the great
Shame-faced egg. The glutton

Faced with a big meal so
Carefully prepared but rushed
Through, without flavor. A great sin.
A sinner. (Who says?) It packs on
Pounds but breaks you down.
So fast, right?

Ah, the trick. The hit. Heroine’s high.
She’s riding Morrison’s mojo,
Dancing with the snakes,
Going up from the root.
Shoots out the mind.
Mr. Mojo Rising.

Touch. Scent. Light vibration.
Assault. Primal fear. Watch out!
The breakdown, break it down,
Now. Liquid mercury beading up
Silver sliver softening,
Streaming in you, music.
© Cynthia Pittmann
2014


 

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Inspiration for Change

Fenced in

Fenced in

I’m organizing people, tasks, plans
at work and in my dreams. I’m
living my work life twice,
once awake and once asleep.
Let me out!

Walking down the street,
I’m shucked as new corn –
Exposed, raw, open.
It’s New York City in the fall
Curtains blown through –
caught, held, pinned.
(Muse refuse?)

Outside the box
walking through Washington
Square in clear air
Green corners filled out
In secret places
rendezvous and parlez-vous
“Bonjour mes amies!”

Feeling life, living, alive
Holding together, letting go
Convex, concave
light and loose …
willpower?
– it’s now or never.

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Transitions

Image

Looking on the bright side of change

Life and Letting Go

 

Sitting on the porch step perplexed and

Pondering wherefore, whence and whatever! 

However, how come, hence and finally,

What goes around, comes around.

Return,  depart and what happened? 

 

My little boy is growing up, 

Just the way he should. He’s 

Moving out and becoming 

All that he wants to be. 

I’m happy-sad, spilling over 

 

Confusion and curtailed honesty.

Must be strong. Be well. Be better

But my boy is moving out. Starting

To fly (I almost pushed him 

Out of this house-nest)

 

So say it loud!

Say it clear! Deep breath:

Be well! It’s time. 

Bye hon. Bon voyage! (and 

Buck up, Mom.)

 

PS.

Sending love and hugs!

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Beginning’s End, Beginning Again

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via Beginning's End, Beginning Again.

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Beginning’s End, Beginning Again

 
Image
 
In the flow, rapid and slow
In the gaps, on the line-less
Space to down the feather
Comfort, gently caught in the
 
Breeze, tips brushing
Tiny moments of meaning, until
All evaporates and disperses 
Into cloudy and condencing,
 
Contracting and squeezing
Beginnings, pouring out into
Boundary-less sky
Caught by gravity, pushed 
 
Down and pulled by 
Destiny and desire filling 
Soil with essence, quenched,
Now flooded in pools
 
Splashed about by children 
In summer stripes and sun suits,
Joy splashers, innocent and abundant…
More than complete.
 
Spilling over in easy harmony,
Delight in a corner smile 
Where another watches, 
Breathes and releases into another life,
 
Another moment, neither near nor
Far, but close and certain
At end’s beginning, 
Beginning ends.
 
~Meditations on a Sunday afternoon
 
 Cynthia Pittmann
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Metamorphosis

Holding court
in the kitchens,
under counters,
behind the sinks, and
on the streets.
Craving consumption and
barrio binging while
los vencinos bring swarms
of whistling good morning
pleasantries, buenos días.
Devouring de la calle currency,
“Did you see? Do you know?”
“She’s not who she says
she is…” (¿Cajera?)
“He’s not who he says he is…”
¡Qué pasa! ¡Callejera!
Chewing, biting, burning.
Masticating (publicly),
“I know you know what
I know you know.”
No. Nursery rhyme
jump rope goes:
Sticks and stones-
break broke broken bones.
Fallen by the word (¡Me molesta!)
bugged bothered but not broken.
Hester Prynne’s ornate letter A-
scarlet –lovely, sparkles in the sun
revealing a bugged house too small,
a caja packed with suspicions,
tape and addressed to:
“ the slut I know you’re
bent on becoming.”
Bumrush of creeping,
crawling and cutting
cartoon bugs,once happy
in the dark, now carrying on
in the middle of our street.

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Desire

They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields! (Blanche Debois in Tennessee Williams’ drama.)

Desire named in
real conversation but
stories inflate, shock and
tempt. (Her husband’s man-love
and suicide deemed too strong
for the Commission; and her boy love?
“Why he’s just seventeen!”)
Derailed in the Land of the Dead.
Blanche’s Greek drama caught in
magnolia blossom, flimsy scarf,
near black and white. Her
place-less plantation fallen to
debauchery. Once sheltered, then
shown and shut in. Condemned.
Brando brute unmasks both raw
and hungry. His apartment, well
off the French Quarter, pokes
bets and constant craving. Lusting
after life and trading
on decency. Southern chivalry
escorts Our Lady to Castles in the
Air where her blue veined wrists,
gently powdered, reveal deep tracks.

Outside Tailgate where the player plays,
Cajun crawdads boil toy lobsters and
gluttony under the yellow moon. Green,
beige, and deep maroon steam
red on Fat Tuesday’s feast.
Marti Gras and carnival call,
“It’s okay by me, if it’s okay bayou!”

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Urban Fetus

Unborn again.
Secrets on paper
torn and burned in
pyres of canvas
and paint. A gesture of
Monet’s anger frustration fury.
Desire dampened but
dries out again.

Ecstasy, a pill a thrill
given in the closet.
(I know this after-hours place…)
Euphoria rave and
freedom by design.
We have no secrets.

Red orange yellow
burst through
fountain brush
spray splatter swirl
on Cin-cin’s stall.
Corralled by pen.
Pinned stiff to be
extracted.

Womb waves contract,
crash and contort. Artist
wall blanched blank again
for a mural moment of
graffiti, grappled with
and pressed out.
Turn away.

Washed canvas.
We have no secrets…still
I never knew some of those
secrets of yours.

 

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