Little Things

Little Things

By Jane Tawel

June 19, 2020

 

Sometimes, all we can see are the very BIG, gigantic, massive,

momentous, colossal, towering,overwhelming things which

Threaten to undo us.

The feelings just run through us.

The thoughts swirl round like mucous.

And our souls relate to truth like Judas.

We long for change and newness,

But the mirrors that once knew us,

Now conspire to just excuse us

From the lies that now delude us.

Oh, the BIG things chew, chew, chew us.

And of course, the GREAT BIG Truth is,

We should let the BIG things do this

Or we’ll never overcome.

 

But sometimes we just need a break, a rest, a sabbath,

a time-out, a healing, and a peaceful pause.

Sometimes we need to look at and truly see the little things, like

a bird,

a bud,

a blade of grass,

a bead of water,

a bubble,

a leaf,

an ant,

a grain of rice,

the shape of an eyebrow,

a freckle,

a wrinkle,

a tiny toe,

the nib of a pen,

a fallen hair,

a seed,

a fingernail,

a grain of sand,

a tuft of fur,

a petal,

a pebble,

a smile,

a scar.

 

Sometimes we need the little things to remind us

That because they are worth living for,

The BIG things are worth fighting for.

 

So, we heal what was blinded, and restore our vision

And refocus our sights

 by looking at the little things.

And that makes the big things

seem small enough to face once more.

P1050907

“P1050907” by claymore2211 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Mind is a Flibbertigibbet

Face

“Face” by ShellieMW is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

“The Mind is a Flibbertigibbet”

A Poem About Living for Now for Tomorrow

By Jane Tawel

May 18, 2020

*

There’s so much static in my brain,

It really gives my heart a pain.

Like flotsam, jetsam, bits of junk,

The thoughts skip by like naughty punks.

I offer to you, J’s Exhibit,

Of my mind, “Case Flibbertigibbet”.

*

Like gnats that bite at things I’m wishing,

For Future’s goals I’m always fishing.

And even when I tell myself,

Tomorrow’s plans must still stay shelved,

I waste the joy in presently,

To try to shape my destiny.

I lose today’s respite and laughter,

By hankering for a blank hereafter.

Could anything less real be dafter?

*

The Past talks trash and keeps on dissing,

With memories, in action missing.

The people, places, faces, finds,

Just roam like vultures through my mind.

They pick and swoop ‘til I’m afraid,

These flashbacks will never decay.

The Past will always be at most,

As insubstantial as a ghost.

It’s best to let my yesterdays

Inform and shape my current ways,

But not to let them roam unchecked,

And joy and purpose, now infect.

For Yesterdays only provide,

Real meaning if we let them guide,

Our current choices and our options,

for Tomorrow’s new adoptions,

of a Life– no matter how small–

that makes a better World for All.

*

So, Now’s the Time I must stop whinging,

And on the negative stop binging.

I’ll give my thoughts a well-earned rest

And focus on the good and best,

Which are not found within my brain,

But in the organ where Love reigns.

The heart’s the true and only center,

Where bad and good can freely enter,

But I decide what I’ll let stay,

Within my heart and soul today.

*

 

My mind can be so adolescent,

I must involve a deeper Essence.

I’ll stop my endless overthinking,

And to my better self, start linking,

Remembered joy and future hopes

But not false dreams or sulky mopes.

Each day I walk a thin tight-rope,

To love, and act, and sometimes cope,

With thoughts that can be used as leeches,

To heal, and grow in all Life teaches.

*

The best’s begun with just a start,

At firing up my loving heart.

Then I delight in fair Creation,

And wallow in imagination,

Of what the world can truly be,

And sometimes letting go is key.

And sometimes we must take a stand,

For Future’s sake, we do need plans.

But there’s a fine line, if I’m truthful,

Between thoughts petty or thoughts useful.

So if I start with my mind emptied,

Of dross, then I will not be tempted,

To focus on the new or old,

But cling to only Today’s gold.

*

The way to change my attitude,

Is by some focused gratitude,

For all I have, am, and believe,

About the meaning of what we’ve,

As human beings have achieved;

And what we’ll dream and do once more,

If only each of us cares for,

The Goodness we can find right now.

If we put our hands to the plow,

And water, plant, and weed and furrow–

Why then, we’ll have a bright Tomorrow.

*

So off you go flibbertigibbet,

Until the next time that you visit,

When I’ll be ready to do my part,

To help my mind with stronger heart.

*

May your thoughts Today be turned to gold, and your hopes for the Future rest in your great ability to feel loved and to do Good.  Be safe, be sane, be hopeful — Jane

It’s Not a Good Time – a poem about not going yet

for Raoul and my dearests: J, C, V, & G

It’s Not A Good Time for You to Go

By Jane Tawel

May 10, 2020

*

It’s not a good time for you to go.

I think you’d better wait.

Let’s take this passing nice and slow,

I’m not really ready to call you “late”.

*

I know I bug you—well, you bug me.

But in this moment, let’s both agree

that under the bridge, our woes can flow,

And it’s not the right time for you to go.

*

We rumbled up and rambled round,

We’ve talked both silly and profound.

I’ve whinged, you’ve whined;

We’ve dashed, we’ve dined.

We’ve made it through the ups and downs,

The smiles, the frowns,

The highs, the lows,

The winds wherever they may blow,

And after all that, I’d think you’d know,

That now’s not a great time for you to go.

*

There’s lots of stuff we still should do.

Some of the same, but some will be new.

We still have dreams we must explore,

And purpose and joy to keep looking for.

So, don’t think you can bid me adieu,

I don’t want a future that doesn’t have you.

*

I’m sorry I didn’t always listen or show,

How much you’ve helped me learn and grow.

The bottom line is– I love you so.

So please stay with me. You have to know–

That it’s not a good time for you to go.

*

(c) Jane Tawel

19/365

“19/365” by DurhamDundee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Vicissitudinal Hopes – a short poem

Vicissitudinal Hopes

A Poem

By Jane Tawel

May 6, 2020

hope_by_burythereckless-d6vz97y

Similarity breeds stagnation.

Longing for variation,

We risk brave adaptation,

and flip-flop dire causations

to beat the slippery slope.

*

Vicissitudes sire transformations.

With some slight alterations,

We make real permutations,

In our most dire situations,

and learn to cope.

*

Since first the World’s foundation,

And each soul’s true gestation,

We always find relation,

To Love and Love’s creations,

So hold fast to hope.

 

Stay brave. Keep loving. Be hopeful.  ~~ Jane

#3 Poem in “In My Room” Series

#3 In My Room – A Sonnet

By Jane Tawel

April 22, 2020

For those of you who may have forgotten your Middle School English Class, A Shakespearean Sonnet has 14 lines written in iambic pentameter, and rhymes every other line until the last two which will form a couplet.  (You’re Welcome. haha! ) Every once in a while it can be rather a fun thing to try to put form right up there with function, and I thought I’d try it in my series of In My Room Poems.

Windowsill

“Windowsill” by Star Guitar is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

In My Room -#3

By Jane Tawel

April 22, 2020

 *

Smells of sage, mint, lavender seep white walls.

Though not for fighting, there is one sharp knife.

Aprons hang like church or temple prayer shawls,

In this room I’ve served in– glad days, good life.

*

Colors much too bright for rooms more mellow,

Impart an ambiance both bold and right.

 Vegetables and fruits recline –red, yellow;

Oven’s warmth melds with sensual delights.

*

There’s salty, bitter, sweet, and savory,

There’s cool and heat and hot and mild and cold.

This room has hosted mealtimes flavory,

And laughs and sorrows here have all been told.

*

I need no place but this to be rich in,

Ambrosial with memories — kitchen.

*

In My Room #2 – The Second Poem in a Series Called “In My Room

The Second Poem in the Series of “In My Room”

By Jane Tawel

021005 #1

“021005 #1” by XiXiDu is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

In My Bed Room

By Jane Tawel

April 20, 2020

 

Prone, with geese remnants and cotton fields’ dross to prop my head,

I gaze out the small, square pane,

the portal to other territories than mine

and I watch the Lacebark Elm.

She moves her green limbs like ribbons blown by breezy-tunes.

*

The previous nights’ bacchanalia of books,

lie like drunken guests,

with spines outstretched or curled-in upon themselves.

They wait for another night of revelry,

For the party of like-minds to begin.

They have long to wait on me, their host,

The alarm clock light reads 5:45.

A.M.

*

For now, I lie between leaves and leafs,

Trees and the products of trees,

Both creations of Imaginations

Far greater than mine.

*

The alarm clock sits useless by my right hand,

I have no where to go, but up, as the idiom proclaims.

Time has lost His hold on me,

And sometimes I miss the deathly grasp of His strong hands,

Time, The Steersman of our fate,

has let me plant my deep roots here,

For a while.

I lie and contemplate the timelessness

of leisure and past due-dates in usefulness.

 

*

There’s an old painting on the wall across the room.

It was carelessly gifted to me, and

Given by someone who loved me

and then passed on but didn’t die.

*

My unpaid dressers of wood and iron

Wait attendance in the dusk.

They stand upright, not like trees, like butlers at attention;

they only sway in earthquakes.

Their wooden faces have completely forgotten

Their arboreal parentage;

The things in my room are not tree-like at all,

No longer alive, like the Lacebark Elm,

not malleable like nature.

*

The things in my room have no power over any one but me.

They are nice – perhaps even friendly—

But they do not touch or inspire anything but the past.

And how can anything change the past, realistically speaking?

The things in my room are useful,

But we are not stirring,

or moving like a good story,

We are staid like dreams,

and stagnant like memories.

*

And so too, the photographs propped-up like corpses in bier-like frames,

Their bodies trapped in decayed lands, here, there and everywhere,

Never moving, never changing,

living only to keep my memories on life-support.

I still love gazing though, at their faces, frozen

in the rigor mortis of confused and confusing smiles,

I can’t remember what we smiled at then.

The people in the photographs look like poorly trimmed trees,

With their limbs caught in motion,

Held high in the old winds of the past.

*

The bodies in the pictures are spiritless here,

Like broken eggs, whose chicks

Have flown the coop, have left the nest,

Have departed for Ports Unknown,

Only the shells remain.

I see the spirits pass this room, from time to time,

Soaring like sparrows, cocky like crows,

As other-like and unlike as eagles.

Resurrected,

They wing towards their own suns,

elsewhere, somewhere else, somewhere else.

I joy in that they have left me some crumbs to lead me back,

and wrinkled feathers to assure me that they were once here.

And I re-read their stories,

Over and over and over again,

Smiling fondly,

Tearing up,

hoping for futures in a place of pasts,

in this room.

*

Books are all about the people who,

just like those in photographs,

are available to tell you what is on their minds,

but not for mutual conversation.

You have to be a good listener

If you want to keep books and memories alive.

*

In all these years I have lived the start of each new day,

Like a new chapter,

Waiting for resolution,

Hoping the story will not end too soon.

Hoping when the story is good that it will not end,

that it will not end,

that it will never end . . .

*

I look around, still supine, caught between finishing the chapter I am in,

(it’s a boring one, with me still lying here like a drowned worm, but I like it);

And the next chapter,

(I’ve read this type of day a thousand times or more,

so, I’m pretty sure how the story goes).

*

I think about people caught in books

or trapped, unbeknownst to them, in someone else’s past.

I think about characters that I love,

but whose life stories sit on shelves,

covered in memory’s dust motes.

And I think, how lucky to have a room,

Where stories still have life.

How lucky to have a setting,

Of Place and Time,

Where characters are loved

And remembered

And given root, and then

set free.

*

I lie like a small grey bird in my bed-nest.

And I look for something outside this room

Hidden in the branches of the Lacebark Elm;

and the window pane is clear,

but I can only see my own reflection in the pain.

And yet, I know, that out there are the living stories

in which my reflection mirrors me with meaning.

*

Perhaps it is now the time to rise;

for me to protagonize my life?

Perhaps it is the hour for me to stirrup-up

With tattered wings, but able to still chirrup-up?

*

And so,

Unencumbered by tossed and turned bedclothes,

Or dog-eared corners,

Or alternative endings,

I rise.

I raise my limbs to

dance my own life,

not like a young seedling anymore

not like a sapling, or a limber birch,

but like a sturdy old Elm,

who has learned to sway to withstand the earthquakes,

in a forest of possibilities.

*

I salute the Lacebark Elm

for sheltering me through the night,

And tug a metaphoric forelock in deference

to this space I fleetingly call mine.

I am like, yet not like, that ancient tree outside.

I think the Lacebark Elm

will live forever.

*

I curtsy to replace the book that fell in the night,

And the ancient hardwood of my joints creak,

as I cross myself at the thought of

the power and unbearable lightness of being

that stories have.

*

In this room,

I am Scheherazade.

I am a storyteller spinning stories from truth and fiction,

telling tales to live.

*

*

A story is a fiercely loving thing

in the arms of a place that belongs to you.

 

Elm tree, Trinity Bellwoods park

“Elm tree, Trinity Bellwoods park” by Spacing Magazine is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

In My Room — Poem #1

In My Room #1

By Jane Tawel

April 16, 2020

 

IMG_7176.JPG

In my room,

that I painted by my own hand

in muted shades of green and coral and tan,

In a year when I was young and trending colors intrigued me,

And my shoulders didn’t ache until evening fell

And I stirred at the stove for the children’s hour.

*

In my room

that has been nestled in this old house for a hundred years and more,

Even before my birth somewhere due east from here;

In this room

Were lives that mattered to someone else

and still sometimes seem to ghost the air here.

*

Whose faint lines are traced in long-gone breathed circles

Whispering still upon the windows here?

 

I long to kiss those tiny mouths that fogged the glass,

And grasp damp, sticky fingers, that mother once did chide,

For etching fleeting messages of love.

*

I breathe deeply in and look

from left to right and up and down

at what  will never be tomorrow,

but only  now and now and now

creeping in this petty pace from day to day.

*

My room invites the shades of sunlight in,

allowing light to tap and pat upon

the limbs of substance hardened around my soul.

In this room,

Like bread kneaded,

I sit on the hard couch that once belonged to Grandma, hoping

To still be needed,

and I rise.

*

In my room,

My thoughts dance in moods that play like musical chair contestants.

The room is piled with books and piled-up memories;

Things I cleaned only yesterday (or maybe it was last year?).

I entertain the thought that I should

Fluff the pillows on the window seat

And look inside the lid that no one opens any more

to search for games or puzzles.

How many pieces would I find missing?

*

In my room, I hide,

Like a child who isn’t sure it’s all been just a game

 — a little scared, a little giddy —

And no one can see her,

hiding behind the coats in the closet

away from the gods controlling her life.

*

And dreamlike all day long are those

who rush by my front yard, obscured

by the big, brooding camphor tree, that stands outside my room,

like a sentinel, like a goddess of ancient woods,

protecting my bunkered thoughts

and sheltering my memories,

in my room.

The River’s Daughter – Thoughts and Poem

The River’s Daughter

By Jane Tawel

April 6, 2020

 

Rain Rain Come Again

“Rain Rain Come Again” by Marvelous Kerala is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

We’ve had some glorious rain these past days – rare here. I think with everyone sheltering in, and perhaps less smog in the sky because of that, the rain has found more room in our skies.  I love rain and will miss it dearly, knowing its season is always quite short where I live.  This is a rather simplistic but heartfelt attempt, once more, to write an ode to a long-time love of mine – Rain.

I have written several poems about rain and this is the second one that owes much and my deepest thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien’s worldview and specifically his character, Goldberry. I am a pathetic writer and imaginer when compared with the great Tolkien, and I would again and again advise people to read his works over and over again as I have done and will continue to do.  But though I may be humbled by comparison, I am eternally grateful for people like Tolkien who have made me, I hope, a much better human being. At a minimum, the works of writers like Tolkien have made me a much more fulfilled and hopeful seeker.

 

 

The River’s Daughter

By Jane Tawel

*

 

I never hated rainy days.

I always dearly loved them.

There was strange joy, being taken away

From sun and waves and friends.

I found friends old and new in books,

While sheltering-in my bed or nook;

And I, with maybe just a cup,

Of something warm, would stay curled up,

My heart fulfilled its deepest longing,

With dribble drops and pitter-patter song-ing.

 

*

 

And some dear days, umbrella-less,

I’d walk outside, quite fella-less,

But nonetheless, romantic joys

Were mine, regardless of no boys.

I’d lift my face to be caressed

By raindrops, which with great finesse,

Would make my yearning skin quite tingle.

And tears and drops would then co- mingle

In rain’s requited passion, joy, and pain,

That I would find, embracing me, while I embraced my rain.

*

My days are long now and nights are restless,

And memories more prone to stress-tests.

I live in seeming endless deserts,

And thirst for rain’s a constant consort.

*

 

My friends are few and treasured,

But they find different pleasures,

And extrovertly walk in droves,

And find their treasures in the troves,

Of sun and heat and bright blue skies.

But though those things may please my eyes,

I still love best mist, fog and grey;

They brighten up my sojourned days.

In rain I find my source of light,

There are no purer, truer sights,

Of what the world can make and hold,

Of growth, and promise, life and soul.

*

I walk in rain alone,

Or worship it at home.

I never feel I’m friendless,

When I can fill my senses,

With all the ways to pray and play,

In cheerful, watery, rainy days.

*

My pulse is quickened by thundering love,

When lightening throbs in temples above;

And though the streams or seas are distant,

My ardor will remain persistent,

For all things water, water, water,

For liquid is my sacred matter.

Ah, when the world has turned aquatic,

The rain holds my life embryotic.

In showery worlds are room after room,

For this child born of Water’s Womb.

*

 

And when the rains have finally ceased,

I’ll be a squatter in sun’s peace.

And in my mind, I’ll float away,

Remembering—dreaming of the day,

That Fortune will return to me,

The place I dearest love to be.

For I, the River’s Daughter,

Am only home, when I’m in water.

10502152_753243838031494_3009644140909250663_n.jpg

My Daughter Clarissa and I –circa 2014

And Now, Love — a short love poem

29103834_1734923716530163_2910932357309564501_n(1)

Raoul and Jane, circa 2018

 

And Now, Love

By Jane Tawel

March 30, 2020

For Raoul

 

*

And now, Love, we wind down,

As Memory’s lane leads on,

 of shared passion and old fuss.

There is no longer need;

But mere desire, hotter than mere lust.

*

Once, Love, we shall again

Be true to greater selves than them;

And we will paint woods green, and dance,

Finding sun and making rain,

Imagination spooning romance.

*

Ah, Love, Tomorrow never comes

Divorced as it must be from Life.

Your face, your hands, your touch,

All elemental to my Why;

To our wed meaning, you are much to much.

*

And Now, Love, we re-learn, re-grow.

We find our way, anew.

And Now, Love, we may finally know,

That you are all to me, and I, to you.

What If We Discover How To Live?

Abandoned Shelter

“Abandoned Shelter” by carva822 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

 

 

What If We Discover How to Live?

By Jane Tawel

March 24, 2020

*

What if we discover

that this is how we were meant to live?

What if by sheltering from the world,

We find shelter in each other?

*

What if we discover

That this is how we save the planet?

Not by using, craving, hoarding, earning, making, shipping, storing

more and more and more and more and more and more,

But by simply doing less?

*

What if we discover

That life is more entertaining when lived,

Than when watched?

That love is more meaningful when given,

Than when received?

What if we learn that

Hope is more fierce than fear ever could be?

That waiting and watching are more pleasant than grasping and greeding?

That Good will conquer both ignorance and evil if we believe it can?

What if we learn our best lesson

While school is out?

*

But….

What if

We never discover anything

more lasting

Than this unsettling moment?

What if we return to what we were

Before?

What if we go backwards,

Again,

Not forwards,

For once?

What if we forget–

And by forgetting

Lose all?

*

What if we find

we really would still rather discover far-off places,

than seek the places close to heart and home?

What if we keep gaining the world

And losing our souls?

What if some of us still believe that

 tax shelters and oil

Are more important than birds and bees?

What if we continue to worship

At the trough, like sheep,

believing the world’s money players will save us

While we cheer from the sidelines?

What if we still believe that morality is

A problem for them, not us?

What if our convenience and comfort

are still more important than our existence?

And what if we discover

that we liked things just fine–

Before we thought we might have to die for them?

What if we never learn that we’ve been dying for them all along?

*

What if we discover too late that

we have already abandoned

the shelter of each other?

 

*

But what if we can finally, truly, earnestly, humbly learn

like a eureka,

like an epiphany,

like a salvation —

That every day always has had

Always will have

Always

holds a choice

Between death and life?

*

What if the only questions we should have asked are:

What are we dying for?

What will we live for?

*

What if we discover that it was actually quite practical —

(Not esoteric at all)

To believe:

That the meek will inherit the earth–

Because they were the only ones who learned how to care for it?

That the last among us–

will be the honored ones

 because they were the first responders?

What if we discover that the least will be the greatest–

Because they learned how to survive and still love

 with so little?

*

And what if we discover

 that the only thing that matters

In the end–

When the clock stops for each of us—

As it will

As it surely will–

The only thing we have ever needed to learn—

Is what to do with love?

*

What if we discover that—

In the shelter of each other,

We will live?

*

Please enjoy this video of the beautiful song by Jars of Clay, entitled “Shelter”.               May you be bound to hope today.– Jane