Ritual

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My hair tangled in
your
fingers.

It was not enough to lay
beside you—burned by 
your
fire.

My soul sought
your reverence
wrapped in
skin and
bones.

~Pam Rossow

 

 

_____________________

 

Sleepless

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Her heart wrapped 
itself round and  
grasped  
tight.  
 
Moonlight illuminated  
her face as she 
clung.  
 
Five hours 
till
dawn.  
 
~Pam Rossow 

Blah

 

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Your monotone had no
spice.

No rise or
fall.

Just triple flats.

Vernors without
fizz.

Crystal without
heat.

Café con leche with no
kick.

~Pam Rossow

Math

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1+1+1+1=4.
1+1+1+1+1=lies.
1+1+1+1+1+1=heartbreak+joy.
1+1+1+1+1+1-3=relief+hell+freedom.

~Pam Rossow

Fire Sky

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Her mother wailed—
birthing her under
flame tinged skies
and dying
day.

She danced—
daughter of sinking
sunsets and moonlit
amulets to ward off
gray.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

Photo by Félix Besombes on Unsplash

 

 

Not on my watch

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I stayed up until dawn’s
rays lullabied the
moon to
sleep.

I needed to hear your
soul whistling in and
out of your
lungs.

I listened to hear your
spirit punching air and karate
chopping grim
reapers.

~Pamela Rossow

Engine 2

Flashing lights and rumbling
engines roaring to
life never fazed
you.

Wailing sirens and quick
glances at rainbow
maps were all in a day’s
work.

Like father like daughter—
Not
quite.

Your 911s made my heart merengue,
butterflies wing through my
guts, and
acid crest in my
throat.

Even though I have your
eyes and my
voice doesn’t
crack.

~Pamela Rossow

Wind-blown

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They met near the
dunes— where fire
skies burned cresting
waves.

Consumed hands— sought
flames hidden on islands
where she pirated away
embers.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

Photo by milosz ebert on Unsplash

Artifact

I may have broken but
it didn’t make me
weak.

Cutting myself on your
shards, I
bled.

Crimson cried out— reminding
me to breathe in and
out,

To sink my toes into
quicksand and stand up
straight.

~Pamela Rossow

Kindling

We spun so fast
embers rained
down upon our
faces.

We created space for
sparks, heat, and
combustion.

We neglected the
flames.

~Pamela Rossow

Sprung

You left when the wildflowers
bloomed.

I tripped on roots trying to make
you stay.

April showers bring
May flowers.

I was left alone with the
roses—

socks wet with
dew.

Gate open.

~Pamela Rossow

Firecracker

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I thought you were a rocket— a Comet actually.
Some smoke bombs, a few
sparklers later, a lotta pressure.

Then— a loud
bang.

~Pamela Rossow

Shears

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You left with my
roses—
crimson petals
trailing,
perfumed reminders of what I
lost,
amorous whispers of what is to
come.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

 

 

Photo by Gabriela Gutierrez on Unsplash

Mama Said 

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Mama always said not to play with
fire or else I’d get
burned.

I didn’t know she meant
guys with good hair, straight teeth and
insincere eyes who smoothed in then
ran off with your roses.

I didn’t know she meant
hungry men with voracious
compliments who slid into DMs and tried to
slip into your pussy.

I didn’t know she meant
if you asserted yourself and said no to the good
hair guys and the hungry men and the
winking older ones you’d be no fun or a tease.

I learned she meant
when you grow deep love inside you that
spills out to cover people who feel abandoned or
unloved or not good enough your flame can burn so bright.

Maybe then you will find an honest
man with okay hair and loving hands who
feeds your soul and protects your
heart and burns you with light. 

~Pamela Rossow

 

Defibrillation

 

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You jumped rhythms in ways never seen before—
V-tach,
V-fib,
AFib,
a wild heart.

You never liked to be center of
attention yet—
code blue(s).

Chaotic electrical impulses and
scars met—
tenacity,
Ironman,
AED,
living.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash

 

150 Million Miles

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She didn’t notice the
insincerity in his
smile.

She offered her heart and
shadow swallowed it
whole.

He couldn’t see—

moonlight in her
eyes,
galaxies on her
breasts,
shooting stars between her
thighs

because he burned only with
sun.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Jose De Queiroz on Unsplash

 

 

Pyrotechnics

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July 4th elements
ignited.

Black powder launched
sky high.

Fuses lit while flash powder
exploded.

Silent trails of raining
stars.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

 

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

Lingüística

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Quieres
mas.

Necesito noche floreciendo
jazmín y
pelo de
sal marina y
palabras en mis
senos marcandome con
deseo.

~Pamela Rossow

 

 

 

 

Photo by Chua Bing Quan on Unsplash

 

Apparition

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It slipped in around
3 AM. Under a waxing crescent
moon, a
shadow.

Her toes curled. Heavy
air had her snuggling in
deeper. Liquid
eyes peered.

Long ago, she had closed the
door on his Old No. 7 cadence,
lead legs, absent
mornings, silent
nights. 

So she
slept.

~Pamela Rossow

Answers

You didn’t ask but you should know:

My eyes turn green after they rain.
I, too, have shadows.
I choose light.

My heart dives depths into feeling.
It, too, has scars.
I choose love.

My mind sparks neurons in intriguing convos.
It, too, has doubts.
I choose trust.

My soul craves freedom in belief.
It, too, feels abandonment.
I choose openness.

~Pamela Rossow

Flashover

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You weren’t diminutive in your  
sparking. Your flames lit matchsticks 
within me one by one.  
Each flare blazed  
uncontrolled. Charred scars and splinters  
ignited in my stratosphere. 
It was a pleasure to be burned.  
 
~Pamela Rossow 

Under Construction

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They breathed, moved, played, chewed on
knubby edged pencils while poring over
homework within the fractures.

The splinters rained down during
playdates or dinner time or when it was their
turn to load the dishwasher.

The little daggers wedged themselves into
afterschool club meetings and early releases.

They buried into forgotten PE clothes and
missing uniform belts and non-existent
jackets when the weather turned chilly.

Every he said or she said blah blah blah rooted into
easily penetrated epidermis and psyches.

Chainsaws and heavy machinery tearing,
ripping,
smashing,
flattening,
deafening.

Underestimated, ignored and ridiculed, yet
resurrection.

And hammers.
And skill saws.
And structure.

~Pam Rossow

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

Wild

Photo Credit: The Carroll County Times, Chris Ammann
Photo Credit: The Carroll County Times, Chris Ammann

Hers, a heart wild with
abandon. Reckless – not.

Arms just wide enough to
embrace her Atlantic, legs
long enough to take in moon
silvered walks near waves
colored by night.

A neck sensitive enough to
know a mineral caress,
fingers eager enough to
siphon gritty warmth and hold
smooth treasures gifted by the sea.

Hers, a heart wild with
passion where ocean
blurs sky.

~Pamela

Sharks

Attribution: How to Draw Funny Cartoons http://www.how-to-draw-funny-cartoons.com/cartoon-shark.html
Photo credit: http://www.how-to-draw-funny-cartoons.com/cartoon-shark.html
Words, like knotted muscles,
tense. Wonder if you can feel the
letters jumbling together, backing
up in your throat.

What makes you think I towers
over me? A capital letter? Maybe
you forgot I have one, too. My
name starts with it.

Sounds, like maddened hornets,
rise. Do they sting as they leave
your mouth? Nah, not worried.
Got my antihistamine.

That cacophony, though. Man,
what noise – hard to hear over
pollution rushing through underground
sewers, levels rising.

You forget that my Atlantic is
bigger than your filth. Despite your
spills, it thrives. Creating life in abundance,
cancelling out shore lined trash.

Crashing waves drown out your my and
mine. Washing out to sea your selfish salt
tears and empty beer bottles, bobbing in
blue black riptides.

Treasures remain – handpicked shells with
sunset curves and fragile skeletons of small
creatures. Windblown hair of a tiny one and
a taller one. Even sharks lose their teeth.

~Pamela

The Keeper

What was it in his eyes? Not Monday, too sluggish. Not Tuesday, too fair. Wednesday? Maybe. Wait, Friday. Definitely Friday. An entire succession of Fridays with their infinite possibilities and wild freedom.

Better yet? Summer. Its hazy glint of blazing afternoons, burning stars, and galaxies ripped open wide in a nightly show replayed in his pupils for the world to take notice.

But did it? Did it slow its rushing and clawing and climbing and grasping to stop and look? I mean stare?

If it had, they would have seen, could have inhaled present. Clock hands turned, digital numbers flipped, even sunlight shifted. But his eyes . . . wet with oceans and the beams of a thousand lighthouses anchored.

~Pamela

Mother’s Day Every Day

I am grateful for the opportunity to let my mom know how much I love her on this special day. She loved me before I was born and looked forward to the day she met me.

I feel the same way about my kids. “Mother’s Day” is great but every day is Mother’s Day to me. My kids gave me the best gift anyone could offer–the gift of motherhood–when I conceived them. Meeting them, loving them, raising them, and seeing them grow into beautiful young adults has not been without challenges but I wouldn’t trade a moment for anything. 

Children, I love you. Thank-you for the gift of you which has helped make me into a better person. You have my heart. 

Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who are moms, who act as moms, who love as moms. Today is a special day to celebrate the gift of you!

~Pamela

Ash

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They were solid-
sunlight and energy
wrapped up in liquid
until tiny flames
became infernos.
Burning an orange
hot, frenzy.

Until steam
smothering vapors
put out fuel.
Silence then
ash. 

~Pamela

Unveiled

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A veil blotting out
even sun specks gripped
tight by your hands

going lax—faint glimmers
then blinding warmth
swimming before
my eyes.

I see and feel day
leaving behind night and
your shrouds.

~Pamela

Conflagration

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Her as oxidizer.

A crushing embrace
heated through.

Stoked by red hot embers
igniting an epic blaze, a light
up the sky bonfire —

eagerly licking up
fuel as greedy flames burned, singed.

Catalysts, flashpoint, then combustion.

When the heat simmered down, a white smoky
haze–aftermath still smoldering. He was
changed.

~Pamela

On Motherhood

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What do you wish someone had told you before you had kids?

All the planning in the world cannot prepare you for becoming a mother. Even if you received too much advice from other moms while you were pregnant, you only realize this fact after you give birth—not a moment prior.

You will take pictures and videos—lots of them. From hearing the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of your baby’s heartbeat to grasping ultrasound pics in hand to your husband’s photo capture of you with a tear streamed face holding your precious baby in your arms for the first time to waving good-bye at the bus stop while your stomach lurches to your daughter going to her first middle school dance to talking about the birds and bees to waking up one day and your son is grown-up, you will capture every important moment with a snapshot and/or video clip—and then some.

Real parenting is not your friends’ Facebook shares. Facebook is not the real world. Seeing highlights of your friends’ exaggerated posts, whether it’s viewing pictures of their little ones who are reading novels by the age of 3, potty trained by age 2 using the M&M’s method (it does work sometimes), or playing concertos at age 4, isn’t necessarily reality—even though the photos may be cute. Reality is:  little ones will become preteens, next teens, and then they will go off to live their own lives. Your heart may feel like breaking but you will be proud—so proud. Welcome to the real world and celebrate every moment.

You will always be a mother. This reality will never change no matter how large your son’s shoes are or how your daughter towers over you in heels or if your kids become chefs, police officers, teachers, or parents themselves or if they adorn their bodies with tattoos or piercings or if they grow their hair out and join rock bands—whatever. After the umbilical cord is cut, you are forever mom. If you are lucky, you will become grandmom at some point. Love will never be in short supply.

You won’t ever be the same—never ever. From the moment you find out that you are carrying a life inside you, the ground will careen under you, you may see stars, and you will free fall into a love that no life alert call could rescue you from. You wouldn’t want to be rescued. You fall hard and thank God every day for it.

You are a mother. Imperfect at best yet filled with love so consuming that its presence is like breathing. You wouldn’t have it any other way.

To my mom, I know now–and I appreciate everything you are to me. You are the best. To my beautiful children, you will always be mine. I adore you.

~Pamela

Growing

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Where did the time go?

From feet
little that pitter
patted to shoes that
gape and click.

From wake-ups
and monsters to scare to
looking up for hugs
bent down.

Where did the time go?

From loving huge
and huger still
cords fraying and
knowing well of the
hopes and dreams
ballooning.

Where did the time go?

Life’s shorter and heart’s
bigger to hold memories
warm from the sunshine
of your smiles

~Pamela

Tide Lines

red tide a

You visit me when the rains come.
Sliding in through the rising torrents
beating my windows, in the water
swirling around my ankles.

You can’t help yourself.

There’s something about crushing
waves that are a part of you which make
her eat sand, another’s eyes red from stinging
salt water, one more her heart aching from being
crashed into again and again.

Your wake leaves behind brown tide
lines with dirty foam, crushed shells,
sand dollars in pieces.

~Pamela

She stood . . .

She stood— fingertips tracing the years clinging to her face as her heart fluttered memories of crimson passions now dormant under layers of white. elderly-woman-sitting-looking-out-window-chalmers-butterfieldAutumn had come download (1)and stripped everything away while winter blustered in with ice and freezing sleet. She felt the chill and pulled her mother’s warmth around her shoulders—a crocheted shield against the biting cold. winter windowWhat was next? She mused—thoughts tumbling about her mind like snowballs rolled carefully by the boys outside her window.

Could they feel it? The seasons slipping past, one by one, as winter melted into spring and spring blossomed into summer and summer gleamed into fall then it all began again.

Did they sense the awakening little by little or did they one day just wake up and everything was different, changed and they couldn’t go back no matter how much they wanted or tried? Elusive childhood as a bouncing red ball downloadthey had once caught and held now bumping its way into another child’s hands further up the road leaving behind whys, puzzlement, and questions. Adulthood pressing in and not waiting for an invitation—churning minds into dollar signs, the future, and seriousness. Concerns trying to crease young brows, yet unlined— still pink from an impromptu baseball scrimmage, damp from last summer’s lake water, and cooled by the dappled sunlight in tree forts. treeShe stood—fingertips trailing the lace hem Lace-White-TT_1_of her Sunday dress as age crinkled around her eyes and settled into laugh lines. She felt it all—and she wondered.

Cerulean

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I drank you in—
swam in your
oceans
dove to your
depths
kicked to your
surface.

I inhaled cerulean—
tasted salt on my
tongue
embraced gritty
warmth
wrapped myself in a
crashing embrace.

You were
infinite—
until your finiteness.

~Pamela

Home

Google Image

She once thought his face
brought her home to sun
speckled shadows that
cooled her and white-hot
blazes that burned within.

One glance and her lungs
began drowning in moist
humidity, gasping for
the slightest whisp of breeze
coming off the Atlantic.

She looked away — her home
wasn’t just stifling heat and
scorching sunshine. It was
also diving into cerulean and
inhaling freshly cut emeralds.

Her home welcomed her,
his face turned her out.
Her home comforted her,
his face was vacant a
sign that read For Rent.

~Pamela

In the Arms of Morpheus

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Her arms gathered sunrises close
to her, luring in welcomed heat
and searing passions, crimson clouds
and afterglow.

Her arms swept galaxies close
to her, drawing in crescent moons
and silver shadows, indigo skies
and Orion.

Her arms cajoled him move close
to me, beguiling with silken skin
and trailing fingers, entwined in
Morpheus.

Pamela A. Rossow

Ornament

ornament

An ornament upon
my tree you are-
not.

More like ice crystals
stinging and bitter cold,

a biting wind tearing
through a flimsy sweater,

jagged pieces of snow
globes broken, stabbing.

An ornament upon
my tree you are-
not.

© Pamela Rossow

Ode to Olive Oil

golden rivulets pool
glinting an autumnal
haze making it
difficult to see
anything but amber
apparitions

© Pamela Rossow

Ablaze

This poem was inspired by the photograph below of a person who happens to be an artist, dreamer, photographer, blogger, motivator and friend. Her self-photo has a golden quality to it and this poem is the result. Now check our her blog at Dangerous Linda. Go on, skeddadle.

Ablaze

she was not content to live in
shadow
as pearls do hidden
away until their luminescent
reveal

she was light so much so that
ordinary
could not surround her
one flaxen glance and it blazed
away

she bathed in brilliance arms wide to
embrace
the ritual cascade golden rivulets of
honey and shining flecks of
wheat

she even dreamt in goldenrod while
moons
of harvest trailed her heart’s flights
keeping the dark at
bay

© Pamela Rossow

Always remember

There are times we are compelled to ride waves of emotion as they appear—whether we want to or not. Tonight is one of those times. I am as ready as I ever will be. I trust my doctor, the medical staff and my own body’s capability of healing. Yet there are these thoughts and feelings that accompany this process that I can’t just brush away. Actually, I am surprised by them since they seemed to have quietly surfaced when I wasn’t paying attention.

I have had some exciting moments in my life like learning how to ride my bike with no hands or making my first meal from scratch and having everything turn out not burned tasty or holding my nephew and niece as babies or co-authoring a book or meeting the Dalai Lama.

However, none have compared to the births of my two beautiful children. I can still remember what it felt like to have them kick inside my belly, the late night tangerine raids as cravings hit, looking at their little faces for the first time, the  nights cradling a sick baby and all of the precious time spent watching them emerge into the incredible people they are. I wouldn’t change a thing.

This is the end of an era of sorts. While I knew that two was the perfect number of children for me and I am no longer as young as I sometimes feel, there’s something about knowing that this is it—it’s done, over. Along with the knowing are twinges and hauntings that serve as flashbacks and we wonder, “Has that much time really passed?” “Are we really about halfway done with our lives?” “Can our kids really be teens?”

So we look to the future. I will still have the capacity to give birth—just in a different way. My muses still gaze at me from a close distance, swirling words and ideas and metaphors into my heart and carrying me along on their whimsical flight. I will feel the contractions once more and know the fiery love and intense passion that birthing brings, and I will remember, always remember.

Violet

you came to me in
autumn
violet flowers in
hand weeping
petals

Blue Black

What he couldn’t say in
words he said with his
lips, hovering over her heart
pounding out rhythms in
E C D E F E C.

He skimmed near closed
eyelids that dreamt in liquid blue-
he and she bathed in midnight,
feeling their way along pebbled shores,
staying far from the warmth and false
security of sandbars, away from the
blue black where they once treaded
ice water, going under when swells
broke over them.

He toyed near ears
open, waiting for
exhalations of loving
breath filled with abandon,
minus “ment.”

He searched her intently,
diving then coming up for
air, thinking he’d find the
solace he sought, believing
she secreted away his
talisman somewhere in her
deep curves and gentle
illumination, that she held an
amulet to heal his blue black.

He realized too late she did not
hide the magical powers he
sought to soothe him, to bind
the darkness that plagued
him, bruised him, tormented him.

He pulled away seeking, travelling
past the pebbled beach’s gleam and
sandbars warm till he caught a wave,
riding the blue black till he became no
more than a dark spot on the horizon.

~Pamela Rossow

Mirror

She reflects white-
bathed in glimpses of
her past, gleaming
gold flecks into
her present.

Precious illuminations-
sometimes darkened,
overcome by a
swirling haunting
mist.

© Pamela Rossow

Mom

Dear Mom,

I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. You have shown me so much–how to love, what love is and much more. While life has not always been kind and although the last couple of months have been trying, you have come through it all with a never-ending, deep well of love for all of us.

Today I celebrate more than your existence. I think about your love and what it has meant to everyone who has come into contact with you. I consider your humor that has lightened my life. I reflect on your endurance when life’s shadows have blackened out the sun, moon and stars and you’ve had to navigate in the dark (even after stubbing toes) to find your way into the light.

You are the most inspiring woman I know and I am beyond happy to call you “Mom.” You are so much more than a best friend.

Have a beautiful day.

Love,

Your daughter

Ecstasy

It’s my blogoversary. Just like anniversaries, it’s a time to celebrate and reflect. To my blogging friends, thank-you. To my muses, cheers.


She awoke with sun-
rise in her hair, fiery
highlights that stoked
passions and kindled
rapture.

She strolled with mid-
day on her skin, humid
breath that exhaled
damp infatuations and
desire.

She lay down with sun-
set in her eyes, coral
flares glinting twilight
that sparked fever and
ecstasy.

© Pamela Rossow

White Noise

she leaned into
listening-
wondering if the
faint sounds were
his hands smoothing
the pillows-
hauntings or
subconscious-
maybe it was just the
rustling of her gown
against the sheets-
she couldn’t sleep or
tremble away the
brush of the unknown

© Pamela Rossow

The Universe

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . .”
~Genesis 1:1 (Douay–Rheims Bible)

Could you see from
your celestial heavens
Earth’s axial tilt 23.44°?

Or did you write off the
slant as a slight shake of
the Creator’s wrist, a tremor?

Maybe it was the cosmic
dust so diffracting that
irritated your sight.

Anyway, you should
know that your galaxy is
gravitationally bound-

like the rest of ours. Along
with those stars and inter-
stellar clouds, “dark matter.”

Oh, and your constellation?
One of 88 dubbed “Emu in
the sky.” But it’s true.

Yes, we heard it-your
Big Bang. Really, we did.
Now, there’s just evolution.

© Pamela Rossow

Mammo Whamo

Guys, you can stop reading now. Really. Going into women’s world and will be back in a bit. Until then, find a comfy chair and read something else. I’m probably not even supposed to write about it. I’m most likely breaking some female code. But I’m a rebel and I’m going there. Or should I say, I went? 

I experienced what hundreds of thousands of women have already experienced and it wasn’t fun (even if the nurse was nice). It didn’t sound fun. Not when I was getting advice like, “Take a Motrin before you go” and “Don’t go when you’re PMS” (too late) etc.

If I didn’t get advice, I got the look. A combo smirk riddled with pity from women with a long history of being squashed.

I went anyway. Unprepared for the tiny band aids with silver beads that made me feel slightly burlesque (was that wrong?) or the plastic shelf that was smaller than I thought it would be or the tape to make sure they didn’t move an inch or the pain (everything relative to having given birth, twice) or the fact that my ribs/costo. didn’t like the weird angle for the sideways shots or that a machine was crushing squishing my girls!

I was relieved to hear, “That’s it,” nodded my head, uttered a “thanks” (did I really say that?) and headed for the door.

I got the The Callback and returned for an ultrasound because of “an area that needs more evaluation.” Apparently, they can’t spell since the (s) was left off in areaS. Lucky me.

I returned and was whisked off to the dimly lit “Sand Dollar” room (slight spa feel minus the bulky tech equipment). A witty nurse glopped warm slime on my chest and began her quest. She made small talk to try and take my mind off the fact that she was pausing, going over the same areas, and click, click, clicking images on the screen (oh, shit).

I told her about my dad. How he was a prostate cancer survivor. How lucky I was to have him around. How his surgery had been in September.

I closed my eyes and pretended not to notice the clicking (dammit) and tried to think of the ocean, the waves, the warm sand, sand dollars. . .okay, I was still there and a nurse was finding s-t-u-f-f.

“Oh, yes, very dense.”

“What, exactly?”

“The average woman is 180 thread count. You’re 800.” Lucky me.

“The doctor may come in and check when I’m done” (warning, warning bells).

After 45 minutes of seek and find, she left and Doctor came in. A cute, baby faced guy (I was warned, not like it mattered) with a serious look shook my hand and promptly went to work.

Nurse: “Over there, 12 o’clock.”

Doctor:  “Oh, yes, two of them close together.”

Nurse:  “See that? Could be a third. That’s it for that one.” Next.

Doctor:  “Oh, another.” I twisted to look at the decent size black hole on the screen. Baby Face stopped to look at me.

“Good thing is I don’t see any vascular activity around them but you’ll need to come back in 6 months to be rechecked.” I exhaled. Lucky me.

I don’t know what I would have done had the Doctor uttered different words. Sentences with “needle” and “biopsy” in them. I didn’t feel brave. The clicking had scared me, senseless.

Every day, women go to have their girls crushed squished and some of them get The Callback. They have ultrasounds, get biopsies, and find out they have “c.” Their lives whirl before their eyes. They hear. They feel shock. The life they had before they walked into that office is now different. They fear. They tell themselves they will survive. They live. They are B-R-A-V-E.

“They” (some insurance companies) are now recommending that women get their first mammo at 50 yrs. of age (laughable really). I should have gone a few years ago but I was told I didn’t need to until I was 40. Be proactive about your health, ladies, and follow your instincts. Don’t let monopolies and big business determine when you should or should not establish your baseline. 

If you’d like to donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, just click the image below:

Forget

his eyes
glass reflecting
vacant rooms once
occupied no dog barks
at passers-by from slatted
fences no hydrangeas spill over
borders onto sidewalks his stairway
doesn’t creak memories of silent visitors
treading paths long ago to and fro his attic
forgotten cluttered with shadowy recesses and
memories tucked away in ancient trunks with roses
crumbled given and received as love bloomed precious
lockets house faded photos once fingered by wrinkled hands

© Pamela Rossow

Paper Boat

“please, please,
pretty please,
just one?”

barely audible
a sigh, “just one”
fingers smoothed

© Pamela Rossow

 

Sailing

The sooner we learn to be jointly responsible, the easier the sailing will be.
~Ella Maillart

My uncle loves to sail. He is a highly intelligent man and knowledgeable in many subjects including art (he is an artist), philosophy, literature, technology, writing, and, yes, the thorn in my side, computers. Sailing appears to be one of the most freeing experiences one can encounter in life. To be out on the water sounds incredible and calming and exhilarating (especially to someone who has no sea legs and turns a ghastly shade of green).

Since most objects or experiences can be life metaphors, sailing is no different. While feelings of bliss and joy come from feeling the sea beneath us (so I’ve heard) or looking out over the vast expanse of sparkling waters on a clear day, a dark side of nature exists. Seasoned sailors are aware of this reality. They are prepared and ready to battle it, if necessary, in order to survive. This knowledge is in the forefront of their minds at all times.

How similar is life with sunny days cast suddenly into shadow or unexpected summer storms that arrive with fury. We don’t have to be sailors to respect nature and life. We can live knowing, that at any moment, we might have to fight to survive, that the feelings of bliss we are encountering, at the moment, might end, that we have to be in the now, in the present, to taste life, breathe it in, let it fill our senses, to appreciate it. We try to not let the storms take away our sunlight. We get our life legs under us and stand, sometimes, kneel, and, other times, fall.

Yet, we keep on and, in the keeping on, learn what we must, that which comes from not giving up easily, refusing not to deceive ourselves, being honest, knowing that, in some aspects of our lives, we steer our own ships, saying “I’m sorry” when we mess up, forgiving, having awareness of ourselves and others, appreciating the azure skies (however fleeting) and even the billowing thunderheads that remind us that life is change, and that we bring about positive or negative effects depending on our actions, words, and life views.

(Uncle, if you’re reading this, I hope one day to sail with you. It  doesn’t have to be a long trip. I’d be thrilled to make it a short time without feeling sick. In that moment, I hope to experience the feelings of freedom and peace and exhilaration you encounter out on the water.) 

Words

eu.fotolia.com

You can say anything you want, yessir, but it’s the words that sing, they soar and descend . . . I bow to them . . . I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down . . . I love words so much . . . The unexpected ones . . . The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop . . . Vowels I love . . . They glitter like colored stones, they leap like silver fish, they are foam, thread, metal, dew . . . I run after certain words . . . They are so beautiful that I want to fit them all into my poem . . . I catch them in midflight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of the dish, they have a crystalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily, like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives . . . And I stir them, I shake them, I drink them, I gulp them down, I mash them, I garnish them, I let them go . . . I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves . . . Everything exists in the word . . .From Memoirs by Pablo Neruda (NY: Penguin, 1974), p. 53.

Dreams

she dreamt in
whispers hushed
sonnets that lulled
her soul soothed
her spirit quilted
her heart

© Pamela Rossow

A Dip

she bathed in
romance dipping
her toes in serendipitous
bubbles that swelled emotions
as playful waters washing
over her swallowing
her in a soaked
embrace

© Pamela Rossow

 

 

Eclipse

It was not enough to be
drenched in your sun
showers, to have your
fingers trail moonlight
through my hair, for your
blazing lips to lock noon
heat between us.

I needed more than
galaxies between my
thighs, daybreak in
your smiles, starlight
in your eyes. I tasted
forever on your tongue,
heard always in your
heartbeat, outlined we
on your chest.

It was enough to be cast
in shadow, to have my
sundial blotted out by your
clouds, to see the negligible
pebbles in the hourglass, to
know the darkened cemetery
in your mouth was too much.

Pamela Rossow

The Swing

 

 

digging climbing her feet grazed pink cotton
candy dipped into aqua oceans she flew up
climbing high above “what’s for dinner”
and “due to insufficient funds” she
soared backward into squishy
lake bottoms netting bass
she breezed forward
past “invoices are
due”

then
she swooped
in reverse finding
herself planted firmly
in childhood green she knelt
down “ready, set, HIKE” toes
in the air again propelling towards
treetops skimming feet boisterous breath
not wanting magic memory motion to just stop

© Pamela Rossow

 

Dusk

evening fell
landing amid
fireflies and
moonbeams

© Pamela Rossow

Tête-à-Tête

 

Google Image

he kissed her
crushed rose
mary lèvres
drank of her
lemon balm
swilled her
mint tincture
awaited her
aromatic
sigh

© Pamela Rossow

 

 

Peonies and Pockets

she was all peonies and
candlelight how does
your garden grow with
twilight in her hair
flitting about in lace
her voice sterling tapping
crystal

she was all peonies and
candlelight how does
your garden grow with
twilight in her hair
blossoming about in rose
stained aprons lemons in
pockets

© Pamela Rossow

Anthology

 

her face was
a poem or many
maybe more like
prose nouns clung
to her eyelashes verbs
wet her lips articles tickled
her nose metaphors grazed her
neck exciting the stanzas lurking
behind her ears while off-rhymes
tangled themselves in her hair framing
what lay beneath her anthology’s surface

© Pamela Rossow

 

 

Burn

I watched a tiny
moth dive and dip
towards fluorescent
mercury its wings
illuminated by artificial
watts and wants enticed
teased coaxed by glaring
brightness only to burn

© Pamela A. Rossow

 

Lifelights

Life hits
hard I take
cover under
snowy blankets,
sailing cumulus,
fragrant evergreens,
and stained glass skylights.

© Pamela Rossow

Oneirologist

“The naive judgment of the dreamer on waking assumes that the dream – even if it does not come from another world – has at all events transported the dreamer into another world.”
The Interpretation of Dreams
~By Sigmund Freud

You tried to take away
my wish fulfillment. You
dissected it bit by bit until
it became broken into pieces
of quantitative analysis,
sterile bits of soul laid bare
upon your theoretical
frameworks.

I allowed you to strip me,
leaving my subconscious
naked, the entire time believing
in your precepts, trusting in
your self-professed science,
becoming a hypothetical
experiment.

How could you have known
anything of my candy colored
absurdities, my twilight bathed
inspirations, my laurel hopes, my
Amazon desires? You did not speak
my dream language. Your muteness
sliced my emotions with surgical
precision.

If only you had cared to know
something of my autumnal eyes,
my emerald amulet, my perpetual
shores, my beating waves, my cerulean
depths. You did not feel my swells.
Your resolute bias steeled
cool.

Pamela Rossow

All In

Google Image

she was all
in no cheating
no folding
she had to play
her hand win
or lose life was a
series of five cards
kings and deuces
she refused to quit
because there was
no repeat royal
flushes or full
houses she picked
up her cards and
waited for the flop
she was all
in no cheating
no folding

© Pamela Rossow

Anti-Gravity

                                                                                                             

 

green and gleaming it falls
tumbling from its leafy place
secreted away from grasping
hands and biting mouths
green and gleaming it falls
with every bounce a marring
bruise as downward it hurls
towards earth a final jarring
bump then rolling stop the
view from down to up is far
but not so distant that creamy
yellow blossoms go unnoticed
fragrant beauties yet untainted by
the ravages of avarice and voracity

© Pamela A. Rossow

Orion in Your Eyes


You came with Orion in
your eyes, sweeping me
into a brightly lit nebula.
My tears sprinkled among
your atmosphere, birthing
stars.

You came with warm breath,
exhaling oxidants. I, as fuel,
inhaled you, flaring heat and a
chain of exothermic reactions
CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O
+ energy.

You came with passion in
your lips, lingering, causing my skin to smolder while exciting electrons in a pure white frenzy of
eros.

~Pamela Rossow

 

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  SouleMama’s blog then grabbed by the Wee Man which was lifted from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

Source


Google Photograph

washing over me
and flooding my being a
welcomed liquid embrace
a cocoon enveloping my
eyes nose ears a blurring of
senses floating me crosscurrent
from the estuary to that spot of
freckled sunlight glinting off
limpid waters where leafy canopies
in mirrored reflections tease rippling
the place where You I first sprung

© Pamela Rossow

Gardening

Without encountering manure and decay, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate a beautiful garden. We could plant seeds without preparing the soil. We could randomly drop them onto the ground without creating tiny holes and covering them up. We could forget to water them and pray for rain. We could wish that the sun wouldn’t bake them before they take root.

We could hope the seedlings that do sprout will survive without fertilizer. We could, because of convenience, make a pathway through them and believe that, despite our trampling, they will live. We could think that we will enjoy a great harvest if we just let them be. We could let our rakes, shovels and spades collect rust in the shed because gardens don’t really need muscle. We could let the weeds grow so tall and become so invasive that they begin to choke our plants.

Or we could get on our knees. We could get dirty. We could till the ground. We could carefully place them one by one in furrows and pat the soil on top of them. We could drag the watering can over again and again–no matter how cumbersome–and soak them.

We could plant them in a location where they will get just the right amount of sun. We could create a compost heap, be patient, try to ignore the smell and shovel black gold over them so they could thrive. We could go out of our way to take the longer path and walk around them. 

 

We could hope for a brilliant harvest but not expect perfection without any damage from pests or fungus. We could put our backs into it and use the tools we have to assist our baby shoots. We could repeatedly grab, pull and tug at those invasive weeds that threaten to overwhelm our plants. We could do all of these things if our garden is meaningful to us.

If we have even a speck of faith that the sun will come up each day, that falling waters quench thirst, that dirt–while making us feel unclean–can be washed off, our gardens will appear beautiful to us. We will see the loveliness and color as others see it.

 

And when we are too tired to plant, nurture, dig, pull, water, we will remember that all gardeners have periods when they get stuck on their knees in the mud or fall face down.  We could lay there for a while. Get a little strength back. Then we could try to stand or we could reach out for strong hands to pull us up.

We could begin to plant again–until we figure it out how it all works and how many seasons it takes to get it right. Eventually, we will harvest blossoms of success.


La famiglia è la patria del cuore

photo by dreamstime

Last night, I heard an often repeated Italian expression that, because of recent circumstances, means even more to me than it did four days ago. La famiglia è la patria del cuore or your family is the homeland of your heart. 

We, Americans, are familiar with the expression home is where the heart is. Basically, the same sentiment. No matter where we go or how many miles (or emotions) separate us or how long we are away or whether we nag, smile, bicker, or hug, la famiglia è la patria del cuore. Simple. 

I know how lucky I am to be a thread in this handcrafted fabric.  I am grateful beyond words that I have a dad and mom who have always loved me, protected me, wanted the best for me. That I have a brother who, no matter how little time we get to spend alone together, will always be my best friend. That, even when my children and I are apart, their hearts are safe within my heart. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. 

It’s how my ancestors lived, breathed, prayed, loved, ate, drank, slept. It’s the fundamental stitches my grandparents sewed that now entwine my heart with each of my family members’ hearts. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. It’s the sometimes imperfect loops that still include everything and everyone I am tied to. It’s my roots, my core, my center. La famiglia è la patria del cuore.

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  SouleMama’s blog then grabbed by the Wee Man which was lifted from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

On the Flip Side

 A quick post in the throes of preparing, readying, prepping, steeling oneself for what lies ahead. Time, that elusive fate thrower, has taken aim and hurled darts this way, leaving us dodging left, right, up, down. Attempts to avoid the pain of biting steel punctures. Present has accelerated.  Near future breathes heavily on our necks. There is no inkling of what will be. No psychic knowledge. No spiritual prophesy. Just time and life and waiting plus that impenetrable shield of hope. See you on the flip side . . . .

glittering soot on her eyelashes

I’m excited to introduce a blogger friend whose poetry I have admired for some time.  She agreed to guest post and share an original poem from her collection.  She is an talented artist who weaves beautiful imagery and creativity into her poetry.  She writes about relationships, nature,  love, lost loves, and the bottom line?  She moves me!  Check out her site at glittering soot on her eyelashes and show her some love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

i flow in gold rivulets
alike a slowly setting sun,
skin tingling, lost in blistering air
of the never tomorrows and never agains.
we gulp it down,
unwillingly,
laughing,
saline waters still trapped in alveoli
aftertaste of sea spray on the lips
and
i remember all that you were
and all that you weren’t.

 

 © glittering soot on her eyelashes

 

we never really lose lost loves.
the moral of the story? cut the thread you torture yourself with every once and again or sleep soundly knowing you managed to love again.


Deluge

Lately, I haven’t written much here. Not because words have eluded me but because life has been a deluge.

I have been umbrella-less, soaked, face upturned, eyes closed and experiencing a light drizzle matting down my hair. Other moments, being subjected to stinging, pelting torrents.

In between the tumultuous extremes, I have felt warmth breaking through the lumpy, gray clouds. The sensation of sunlight on my eyelids that have caused them to fly open.

When I have looked up through dampened lashes, I have glimpsed rainbows. Day after day after day. Not one or two or three, more like five or six. Extravagant jewels in the skies. At times, only a fragment of multi-colored hues, but rainbows just the same.

I have savored them, letting my gaze remain fixed on their transparent beauty. My emotions have soared amidst the slowly moving skyscape, flitting here and there, bathed in flecks of violet and indigo.

A sense of hope has permeated my spirit. There is no shaking it off, no angry skies that can blanket it, no lightening zig zags that can electrocute it.  Anticipation remains, expectant, receptive to whatever it is that is now concealed by a watery, dribbling mist.

~Pamela

Indian Summer

Indian summer blew by like
dandelions, nights filled with
a golden orb hanging low in the
shadowy sky, an inflated swollen
moon that whispered of waving
harvests and sun kissed grains.

Indian summer flew by like
birds’ migrations south through
chilled air and leaves turning
scarlet, sunglow, and burnt umber,
pumpkins ripening amidst tangled
vines twisting and turning.

© Pamela Rossow

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by theWee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

Happy Birthday, David!

 

Happy birthday, David.  To my best friend and brother. 

All my love,

Pamela

Friday Moment

this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

Untucked

cold
skin prickling
shivers crawl up
arms traversing
a body in need
of warmth heat
generated from
being tucked

 © Pamela A. Rossow

 

Hedges

dense leafy
greens clamor
towards clouds
growing up and
out pruned boxes
turned labyrinth
mazes hiding truth
obstructing vision

 © Pamela A.  Rossow

The “c” Word

So many people use it every day. It’s one of the most hated words (probably THE most despised word). Yet, we hear it over and over again.

It’s not until it’s used to describe what’s happening to OUR friends, OUR grandparents, OUR selves, OUR moms, OUR brothers, OUR sisters, OUR children, OUR dads, OUR aunts, OUR uncles, OUR loved ones that the word slams us face down onto the asphalt and tries to drag us backwards. But to positive test results, we say, “sCrew you!”

Those of us who either receive The Call or hear about The Call (later when our loved ones tell us about it) encounter the initial effects of “c.” During those moments, “c” seems to have us pinned. We cry. We rant. We get pissed off. We crumple.

Then, we maneuver out of its grip. We stand up. Put on the gloves. Step into the centers of the rings. We don’t wait for the first punches. We throw them. We fight, hard. We love, fiercely. We feel, deeply. We live with awareness. Thankfully, there’s no “c” in H-O-P-E. Just a whole lot of positive energy and prayers.

(Dad got The Call today)

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a poem by E. E. Cummings for you both, I love you)
 
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
 

Friday Moment

this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

Summer

Summer exhales long and slow. Breath perfumed with jasmine and honeysuckle breezes over me.

She orchestrates the jaunting chorus of ice-cream trucks and children’s laughter mingled with the ocean’s sighs. She grabs my hand and slows my pace to a languid stroll.

I inhale the fragrance of pine needles blanketing concrete. The loud buzzing of Cicada is welcome white noise.

Summer works deftly overhead mixing humidity and sunshine with generous heaps of azure. Sprinkling in some electric zigzags and swarthy scowls. The forecast: smiling sun with a chance of growling gray.

~Pamela Rossow

The Unknown

Dear Friends,

Today is it. The unknown stretches out like a blank canvas awaiting an artist’s brush. Our waiting will  probably entail more waiting . . . for test results.

Even though this anticipation has been lurking in the shadows for the last month, we had a great time celebrating life, independence, and personal freedom yesterday.

Positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated as we move closer to knowledge and, hopefully,a  negative biopsy for dad.

Here’s to great U.S. doctors, amazing medical technology, and all of the things and people we take for granted (sometimes)! May we be reminded of wonderful people in our lives and strive to tell them daily, through our words and actions, how much they mean to us.

Love,
Pamela

Weeds

 

 

 

 

 

she preferred black tip
manicures memories of
misty rains sun soaked
afternoons time stopped
by a spade hands burrowing
feeling earth’s heartbeat

 © Pamela A. Rossow

Darlin’

Darlin’ his voice
600 grit sanded
her smooth.

One word polished
away the sharp
edges.

Pamela A. Rossow

Dad

You were the one to catch me when I fell. You kissed my scraped knees and told me it would be okay. While I have long outgrown the nickname “Sweet Pea,” you show me I am still your girl and always will be. We’ve been through some tough times together. You made my couch your bed for nights after I was left alone. You have carried my children in your arms by never walking away, only towards them. You nearly left us once only to survive and come out of it stronger. In the upcoming months, we may have a challenge to overcome again but we will do it together. I will be there for you just as your presence has meant more than the world to me.   Thank-you for showing me, by your actions, how a man should love his children. How a dad’s character is worth more than any expensive gift or worldly possession. I haven’t needed anything but your love. Happy Father’s day, dad. I love you.

Well-Done

No thanks, I’ll pass on
fresh bloody messes.

Too spent from dodging raw
chuck, sick of crimson
tinges, no more hot spots
and uneven roasting.

I want life with consistent convection,
less burning, lower temperatures
and end results that are well done.

~Pamela Rossow

Dear Daughter

Years ago, you made your entrance as my tiny princess sitting Indian style.  I prayed I would have a baby girl to love.  I was granted my wish.  It nearly killed me I could not hold you immediately upon seeing your little face but your dad held you near to me so I could gaze upon you (making sure you were swaddled and safe).  As soon as the doctors allowed me to cradle you, into my arms you went.  I can’t believe how fast the years have passed since that first meeting.  I loved you before you were born and knew that I was given a gift straight from heaven.  While it is difficult not being with you to celebrate your birthday (today), please know I am thinking about and loving you right where you are. When we are together, I am astounded that I must glance upwards to look into your eyes.  I see a tall, hard-working, intelligent, young woman who has dreams and goes after them.  You will achieve your goals because you are tenacious (even when life is rough).  You are beautiful inside and out and I am proud to call you my daughter.  No one could ever replace you!  I love you up to heaven and back.  Happy birthday, honey!

Love,

Mom

30%

30% chance and
must spin wheel
of fortune goes
round slowing
stopping praying
there’s no c’s, n’s
or r’s _ _ _ _ _ _
no a’s or e’s too
just a bonus round
and solved puzzle

©Pamela Rossow

Ashes of Soldiers

 
 
ASHES of soldiers!
As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
Lo! the war resumes—again to my sense your shapes,
And again the advance of armies.Noiseless as mists and vapors,
From their graves in the trenches ascending,
From the cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee,
From every point of the compass, out of the countless unnamed graves,
In wafted clouds, in myraids large, or squads of twos or threes, or single ones, they
come,
And silently gather round me.Now sound no note, O trumpeters!
Not at the head of my cavalry, parading on spirited horses,
With sabres drawn and glist’ning, and carbines by their thighs—(ah, my brave
horsemen!
My handsome, tan-faced horsemen! what life, what joy and pride,
With all the perils, were yours!)Nor you drummers—neither at reveille, at dawn,
Nor the long roll alarming the camp—nor even the muffled beat for a burial;
Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.But aside from these, and the marts of wealth, and the crowded promenade,
Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and voiceless,
The slain elate and alive again—the dust and debris alive,
I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead soldiers.Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
Draw close, but speak not.

Phantoms of countless lost!
Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions!
Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live.

Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! sweet are the musical voices sounding!
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.

Dearest comrades! all is over and long gone;
But love is not over—and what love, O comrades!
Perfume from battle-fields rising—up from foetor arising.

Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal Love!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride!

Perfume all! make all wholesome!
Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
O love! O chant! solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

Give me exhaustless—make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go, like a moist perennial dew,
For the ashes of all dead soldiers.

 ~Walt Whitman

Wet on Wet

 

past future present
jumbled sketches
like watercolors
blurred by rain
pelting the paper

life’s brushstrokes of
blue red yellow blended
muddied translucent
then dots of pure
pigment spotted

muted highlights that
create textured
perspective and scale
not without value
and positive space

 © Pamela Rossow

Monday Memories

Nearly all my best, childhood memories include my family. Sun soaked, water logged days spent swimming in Non and Pop’s pool with my bro, mom, and dad, inhaling the Intercoastal with its pungent, sulphur smell that smacked my sinuses, stalking the brown water, dockside, hoping to see a silver eel streak by.

Memories that also involve the Atlantic Ocean which was just a short walk across A1A from their condo, the mysterious body of water that housed millions of varieties of life.  Whose beaches I lay upon under moonlight, motionless, transfixed, watching as the dark, shadowy sea turtles came ashore to dig nests and lay their eggs. The buoyant salty waves that lapped at my soul. Tides which pulled life’s negativity, ugliness, harshness out to sea till they became little specks on the horizon.  

Just some of the magical powers of memory–like a small town revival with its hallelujahs and deception entangled under one tent.  Fortunately for me (and something most kids take for granted), Ionly experienced the Messiahs during childhood–the joys and carefree days which blurred into years that formed me like wet sand in the hands of a master sculptor. 

My being, my core, my inner child is grainy, sun streaked, and dampened by salt spray. My remembrances which I keep dusted and lovingly displayed in my heart are happy and messy. They leave sandy footprints behind as they traipse through the years to find me where I am now. They slip into my dreams and cover me in beach sunflowers. They resurrect my beloved Nonnie and Pop-Pop whose wrinkled hands stroke my sun bleached hair, whose dark, Italian eyes speak love, whose lips utter “mangia” and “I love you.”

My memories are my buried treasure, coin upon golden coin, hidden from the surface, yet, shallow enough to dive for whenever life becomes overwhelming or hateful or unforgiving. They are my secret to survival. They are. . .and I am.

 

 

 

Cobwebs

  

I brush delicate
wisps of silk from
my face gossamer
threads clinging to my
fingers exquisite strands
entwining themselves
around my thoughts
refusing to relinquish
their glistening hold

 © Pamela Rossow

RED

 

drums pounds
thrums chest
palpitates passion
life’s downbeat
and syncopates
impulsive
       fibrillation        

© Pamela Rossow

 

To Mom with Love

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
~Maya Angelou
 
Mom,
You have shown me by your words, love, and life that we only become butterflies when we have spent time patiently waiting to emerge from the chrysallis.  Then our wings must straighten and dry.  They are delicate and can tear easily, yet, strong enough for flight.  I love you more than words.
Love,
Pamela
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                            

    

                      

                                                         

                                                                

                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                       

                                                                

            

                                                         

                               

NPD

 

 

 

 

 

Then-
(you, “The Universe,” thought) 

That-
my intellect-
cerebrated
you

my lips-
explored
you

my heart-
thrummed
you 

my arms-
catered
you

my hands-
stroked
you

my legs-
received
you

my breath-
inhaled
you

Now-
(you, “The Universe,” know better)

And-
(she will know too)

~Pamela Rossow

Bradbury’s Brainy Bites

Work is done for the day so time to ponder.  I was thinking about Ray Bradbury tonight.  He’s the author of two of my favorite texts: Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine.  He has penned so many inspiring words I have trouble choosing only some quotes (a few are taped to the shelf above my desk).  Long story shorter (I can never guarantee short), here’s a few of my faves:

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ~Bradbury

“He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who reflected your own light to you? People were more often–he searched for a simile, found one in his work–torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people’s faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?” ~ Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” ~ Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“You’ll find out it’s little savors and little things that count more than big ones. A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it’s full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You’ve time to seek and find.”~Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)

“Are you happy?” she [Clarisse] said. “Am I what?” he [Montag] cried. But she was gone- running in the moonlight. Her front door shut gently.” ~ Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. “ ~ Bradbury

“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~Bradbury
 “You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.” ~Bradbury 
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Bradbury

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

Jazz

your first ancestors
had geographic ridges
purple-blue crisscrosses
once slashed gaping open
crimson that mouthed
“wade in the water chillan” 

you called people
responded the blues
bent in depressed
trances third fifth and
seventh like pancakes
flattened by a spatula

you ragged people
shagged under red
lights to a syncopated
rhythm AABBACCC no
more cakewalks just sexy
marches and falling Maple Leaves 

© Pamela A. Rossow

 

 

Spring

  

 Spring

running through fields of
wild flowers fragrant
air plays tag I’m it

perfumed breath-
less near my nape
I have not neglected

the bronze sun on my
face the verdant blanket
underfoot to collapse upon

the secrets you have kept
a first kiss blossoming on a
young girl’s lips stained

with romance she will not
forget that embrace
under your azure skies

© Pamela A. Rossow

 

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

The Flash

 “There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”

~L.M. Montgomery (The Story Girl)

Dear Readers,

L.M. Montgomery has been one of my favorite writers from the time I was a tween and I first read Emily Climbs.  I was enamored by her main protagonist, Emily, who loved writing, life, nature, and was filled with “gumption.”  She experienced “the flash” and from the moment I read about her experience in the text, I felt at home between those pages I eagerly devoured (metaphorically speaking of course 🙂 ).  Emily writes, “Words are such fascinating things. . . The very sound of some of them–‘haunted’–‘mystic’–for example, gives me the flash. (Oh, dear! But I have to italicize the flash. It isn’t ordinary–it’s the most extraordinary and wonderful thing in my whole life. When it comes I feel as if a door had swung open in a wall before me and given me a glimpse of–yes, of heaven).”  Lovely!  She summarized for years how I felt as a small child when stories would sneak up from behind and demand I write them by nightlight (risking my mom or dad catching me awake when I was already supposed to be fast asleep on a school night). 

I hope never to forget the feeling when I capture a moment so real, so intense, so full of passion or grief or joy.  When I am allowed glimpses into my past from my muses and these backward glances overwhelm me, I can once again BE that barefoot four-year old child riding a green bike with a suede banana seat or I can taste honeysuckle nectar on my tongue or I can inhale the neighbors’ perfumed orange blossoms that fill me with summer calm.  I am so grateful for emotions that may be expressed in words, words that are as real to me as this laptop I am typing on or the comfy bed I sleep in or the stir fry I will later make.  Today, I was granted this gift of just BEing and I am thankful.

xoxo,

Pamela

Hidden Treasure

I’m a “quotes” person.  I love quotes from people who have climbed rungs of the highest ladders, who have tripped and fallen face down in grime, who have cleansed themselves by splashing about in rain puddles, who have soared on the wings of ecstasy, who have teetered on rocky precipices, who have cradled a little person close to them and inhaled that baby’s sweetness, who have scratched art into existence, who have loved, hated, accomplished, failed, thrown in the towel, swam with rip tides until they broke free. . .who have LIVED. 

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?

The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within, not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.”
~Stephen King (Different Seasons)

Atomic Self

he a nuclear
fission exploding
uranium 235
shockwaves
traveling to his
core compressing
then the blast
self’s death
and burning
disintegration

© Pamela Rossow

Pitch

staccato notes swirl
round two hiding
between bar lines
attempting a grand
staff she a trembling
treble he a bold bass
together no rests just
a half note plus a half note
trying to make a whole

© Pamela Rossow

To Be

the forest spoke to

her hushed voices

murmuring of frigid

cascades and still

blue-green pools

the forest spoke to

her beckoning voices

enticing her to repose

upon fragrant blankets

of pine needles

the forest spoke to

her enchanting voices

entreating her to peel

away papery bark

and just be

© Pamela Rossow

This Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

 

Feel free to leave a link to your Friday Moment in the comment section!!!

Death

 

 

 

 

I sit living

breathing oxygen

deep into sinewy

recesses.

You sit dying

choking on

carbon dioxide

clouds.

I feel

heavy because

of your shortened

fuse.

You feel

shaky wobbly

raspy not yet

ready.

I sit living

as the irreverent

snuffer puts out your

light.

~Pamela Rossow

Son, I love You

I gave birth, years ago, to a baby boy.  A child who, when I was pregnant with him, had his nights and days mixed up (especially during my last trimester) and one of the only ways he was lulled to sleep was by my movements, specifically vacuuming (yes, I had very clean floors). Who, when I was pregnant, caused me to crave espresso, Jelly Bellies for breakfast and tangerines late at night.  Who told me, with little kicks, that sleeping on my left side was unacceptable.  I must sleep on my back ever so slightly shifted to the right (I was and still am a side sleeper).  So much time has passed since those first years of sweetness (and sleeplessness) yet, if I allow myself to be swept along with my muses, I sometimes end up with snippets of my past carefully cut out with blunt edge scissors (like the way my children used to create their handmade paper valentines or snowflakes).  My past, filled with children, innocence, laughing, crying, healing, loving, draws me in and permits me little glances backwards, a déjà vu of sorts.  A tiny window framed by whitewashed memory, no glass, which I may peer through and view this other world (just for moments at a time). I am amazed, perplexed, astounded when I think about the day I met my son and held him in my arms.  I feel as if I have bitten into a lemon, halved and dipped in sugar, when I acknowledge how many circles those minute hands have traveled since the early days.  My life was altered that morning.  In the birthing experience, there was an imperceptible shift in my core, my soul, my breath.  Life was not ever to appear static again.  There was no grabbing the clock’s hands and halting them.  The button was hit and life began to fast forward.

Dear Son,

When you were born, I loved like I had not loved.  I experienced life in a new, beautiful way that was hidden from me prior.  You changed my life in such a manner that I questioned whether I had ever known love before.  You were, and are, my son.  I am grateful to call you this today.  Happy birthday my man-boy!

With much love,

Mom

Percolator

 

 

 

 

I percolate

bubbling

up over

out for

you.

~Pamela Rossow

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

Feel free to leave a link to your Friday Moment in the comment section!!! xo

Shades

 

 

 

 

he never took them

off glare reduction

his protection from

a white light that

made him squint

almost blinded him

yet he was able to

hide (at least that’s

what he thought)

a shield from the

burning bush that

tried to arrest his

attention away from

narcissistic greed and

hatred that stabbed

twisting itself into a

femoral artery crimson

self-infliction pooling

he never took them

off glare reduction

his protection from

a white light that

made him squint

almost blinded him

yet he was able to

hide (at least that’s

what he thought)

Pamela A. Rossow

 

Monday Memory

Everyone has a memorable picture that brings a smile to their face.   Monday Memory occurs the last Monday of each month and allows us to share that favorite photo and story.   If you choose to participate this month, please remember to drop your link in the comments section of each Memory you visit, so that we may come and visit your site.  This idea was hijacked from my friend, Mary!

My story is cute, funny, and brief.  My dad has always been the treasured “Granpy.”  Part of his obtaining  this status involved many introductory rites (such as the event pictured below).   My parents have been actively engaged with my children since I gave birth.  They have helped out and loved watching their grandchildren