If you ever lose heart and the earth seems as distant as stars fading into the noise of your busy mind, know this. That a tiny island exists in the blue hands of the ocean. That a tree grows upright into the salted clouds. That two eagles love each other enough to spend their lives greeting the morning sun together. That two eaglets stand in their nest, gazing at the heavens. Looking down to the forever ground. They eat and sleep and flap their wings. And one day in July, one by one, they will jump into the air. They will know the difference between existing and what is beyond. They will hold onto nothing. The hurricane will come, courage catching their pinions on fire, as they mount the wind, climbing ladders into realms of the invisible.

--T.L. Stokes

Sunday, June 24, 2012

After the move is finished...celebration.

Great Auntie meeting Lily

Auntie Kelsey and Lily on heritage day

Friday, June 22, 2012

Night of the Soggy Sky

Each moment we are poised between
being born, and dying. You breathe in
to give birth,

and exhale, allowing life
to leave you.

Within the space of those two things
is what we have. All that we have.
It is the place of peace we search for
all of our long life,

because we forget the wisdom of being
a child,

and knowing everything.

Between Lily and my father I exist in this moment,
thus this poem is for you.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Children's Book - international standout

This is how you write a children's book to stand out in front of all the rest......

Excerpt from: Poetry for Children - White Raven 2012

This is from the White Raven collection of new
children's books for 2012. I picked just one, from Belgium,
because it is written not just for anyone, but specifically for
people with a visual handicap and children who have dyslexia.
It is multi-layered in its approach and so creative.
Enjoy their review. tls

Dewitte, Jan (text)
Vlerick, Freya (illus.)

Rare snuiters. Een prentenen gedichtenboek
(Odd animals. A picture- and poetry book)

Gent : Po√ęziecentrum, 2011. – [36] p. + CD

ISBN 978-90-5655-104-9

Animals – Poetry
»Rare snuiters« is an extraordinary picture and verse book that is explicitly aimed at people with a visual handicap and children with dyslexia. The short, humorous poems are about animals, one for each letter of the alphabet, ranging from ‘Aap’ (monkey) to ‘Zwaan’ (swan). The top of each page contains a silhouette of the animal, set out in relief, and features the name of the animal in Braille. The poet even found a solution for tough letters (like X and Y), although this required some creativity; an example is the X-osaurgoat that lived long ago. The illustrations are large-planed and have an atmospheric, yet high-contrast colour scheme. This ensures that visually impaired people can view them as well. Moreover, all the images can be felt because set in relief. The photos of human eyes that have been incorporated into every image literally add a special touch. The poems themselves are not offered in Braille, but can be listened to via the included CD. (Age: 8+) H Special Mention

for more selections of White Raven 2012 children's books

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Home Builder

The Home Builder

My father is a dark fortress in the sun,
an oak tree, so many arms, every hand
facing heaven.

My father is the wind
with a name.

My father knew how to love
my mother perfectly.

My father was a gardener,
though he'll never say so.
And mother, with her green thumbs,
dark, dark hair and olive skin,
counted days of the sun
and seasons of her little plants.

She held each one up
and they named us,
even the first who didn't draw a breath.

My father will say he was a builder,
and built a house on the island.
He drew up the plans, hammered and
stood with my mother, smiling.

He placed the great windows
facing the waves,
and the setting sun made the air

My father held my mother until she died.
And for seven years his heart lay broken.

Now as the air turns rose-colored,
and the waves begin to leave,
if you stand on the south side beach
where seagulls funnel upward,

you can see him walking over the stones.
We can walk along beside him
for a time, talking about

inconsequential things,
or slipping into silence
like a gentle room
with one lamp.

That's where we are now,
walking along beside him.

for my father
and all of our family