Tag Archives: people

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

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

Since my friend, Mary, over at Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease, started Monday Memory (which takes place the last Monday of the month), I thought it was the perfect day to reminisce (of course, it’s not the last Monday of the month but, hey, you should know me by now)

Nearly all my best, childhood memories include my family. Sun soaked, water logged days spent swimming in Non and Pop’s pool with my brother, 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), I only 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 “mange” 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.

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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)

Portfolio

she was liquid convertible
bought then sold “securities”
a word not recognized in
her metaphysical vocabulary

terms tossed about like
paper airplanes aimed here
there nose diving into sharp
dips and crumpled equities

result of losses maybe wobbles
in her investor’s confidence or
possibly sheer panic either way
equilibrium shoved off kilter

she was left to question her
worth she realized she was an
asset her price immeasurable
by Wall Street’s standards

he was hit hard when he traded
stock privatized that plummeted
her market value though
rose to astronomical heights

~Pamela 

Love

I am not posting this song because it was my wedding song.  I am posting it for two special people in my life.

Special people,  you must know that this kind of love is the only kind that will not fail you.  It is the best way I can love you, the right way to love you, the most sincere way to love you.  This love I’m referring to doesn’t remain seated warming the chair. This love doesn’t shuffle its feet and walk slowly away from all that it right and honest.  This love isn’t a foot rest that exists for you to kick your feet up and chill on.  When smacked down, however, it gets up over and over  and over again.  It is true, faithful, and unconditional.  It is the best part of me I can offer you.   Do not bring in the concrete mixer and begin pouring and pouring until the walls are so high, the light is so remote, that you get scratched and bruised and cut trying to claw your way out.  Keep your hearts and minds open to the love that you knew and believed in.

 

Goals

 

 

Need to be
kicked in
thrown in
slammed in
dunked in
hit in
long as they
make it
in.

Pamela A. Rossow

Shared at the Thursday Poets Rally (Week 38).

I was nominated for the Perfect Poet Award. I honor it, thank Jingle, and nominate Danroberson for this week.

Blog

 

 

 

 

I subscribe to you

your RSS feed

emotions hopes

fears dreams spilled

pressed networked

on-line a way to

glimpse bits of

soul keyboarded

into existence

I subscribe to you

your RSS feed

capturing pieces of

raw unedited you

Pamela A. Rossow

Potenza

you survived earth’s knee
quaking seismicity over and
over again shaking tremors
shuddered scared ground

blood pooled because of
futile resistance to greedy
boogiemen who subjugated and
humiliated–damn colonizers

you rose above it 2,687 feet under
St. Gerard’s watchful eyes like amulets
sea breeze perfumed comune peering
over the Basento river valley

my ancestors inhaled here made
love here cradled generations here
worked cried died here

all I hold are some color splashed
travel brochures that say your food
is rustic your pottery traditional
your cashmere beautiful

we have yet to meet but when we do
I will love you, wear you, live you

Pamela A. Rossow

Venom

your highly specialized teeth do
not scare me you nor your hollow
fangs the result of convergent
evolution

while not out of your
strike zone I am immune to your
envenomation cold blooded
slitherer

no prey immobilization here
just self-defense your ecosystem is
not healthy your predatory skills
lacking

your clothing scales forced to burrow
no match for a competitive carnivore
your colors bright do not fool
me

© Pamela Rossow

Erosion

thankless moments as crystal

dew drops slip one by one

down green veined leaves

falling cascading while

past like black loam

clouds these pools of present

tumultuous deluges pummel

tiny rivulets turning them into

brooks that swell rush the

future hurry time billowing

currents unaware of piffling

trickles the forgotten source

Pamela A. Rossow

FAIL

Today was a bad day as far as bad days go. It wasn’t awful but it came pretty darn close. I have met some pompous donkeys before but never like the person I encountered this afternoon. I am conscious of the reality that many people I meet in my daily life are going through tough times. Even though I might be having an “off “day, my behavior towards others (when I’m in the grocery store, library or on campus) reflects a fundamental philosophy of mine, be kind anyway (or, at the very least, don’t displace my feelings on someone who doesn’t deserve it)!

I was rudely reminded of how crass and obnoxious some people are (when supposed to be acting professionally). I became the attempted target of an abusive person who tried to belittle me in order to keep “superior” helium from seeping out of his inflated ego.  My immediate reaction was hurt (not a common response). Then, anger.

I spoke to three incredible women who all asserted that we don’t give our power over to individuals who trample on it. Maya Angelou says that “anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” I’m going with this one. Like my amazing friends, she is one smart woman. If anyone knows about oppression, she does. If anyone could have hatred for people (like this man I met today), she could. But she doesn’t hang onto it.

I’m not the same person I was four years and eight months ago. Yes, it’s true, because of an absurd divorce and single motherhood, I’ve been bumped down rungs on the economic ladder. It’s correct that sometimes it’s a struggle to get through the day and I’m grateful when she closes her door.  I acknowledge I am imperfect–sometimes too feisty, too passionate, too inquisitive or too intense.

Despite these characteristics, I am sure of some important truths:

  • I am worthy of respect and dignity because I am human.
  • I’m a woman. The term doesn’t translate to idiot.
  • I never deserve to be called a “what.” I am a “who.”

I know the difference between right from wrong, lies from truth, nominalism from authenticity and abuse from love. So to the man who dropped nuclear bombs today hoping to witness destruction, epic FAIL.

The Haunting

October breathes reflection for me. There’s a supernatural quality to this particular month that evokes sentimental remembrances. Whether it’s because of the changes reflected in nature that strip life down to its bare, autumnal branches, I’m not sure. What I am certain of is the fluctuating nature of life.

Have you ever been haunted?  Truly chilled by specters in the form of uncanny experiences that won’t let you forget past loves or childhood’s embrace? To stand in a particular space and sense a gauzy veil has lifted and you can feel, see and almost touch your past, your joys, your sorrows?

These spirits persist in fingering our souls with their icy bittersweet hands. They haunt us, disguised as filmy apparitions of people who caressed our lives so that, while time unmercifully shoves us forward, our memories, our subconscious, resuscitates them, breathes life into them, and clothes them with skin, flesh, and bones.

So when people cross our paths who remind us of these persons in our pasts, we feel the coolness of shadows. In the shadows, a darkness which briefly flits across our hearts and is the complete opposite of warmth and sunlit freedom and meadows.

These phantoms reach and clutch and we rarely escape unscathed. Our minds, in an effort to deal with the mausoleum of preserved memories, try to wrap themselves around the mysterious and cannot make sense of it. It’s too evasive–too mettlesome to grapple.

We press forward and eventually break away from their grasps. Time, once more, fills our lives with flurries of work, bills, and children. We forget–until the next haunting.