Spoken Word Spotlight: Elephants and Fathers

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Confession time:  I overslept this morning and did not have time to record a new Spoken Word Spotlight.  Please forgive me for slipping in one of my already recorded pieces.

Elephants and Fathers

Sometimes I am really good at ignoring

the elephant in the room

but this one has started trumpeting

looking baleful

and shooting peanuts at me

in an effort to get my attention

I think I even heard it mutter, “Bitch, please!” under its breath

So, did I ever mention that my father disappeared

off the face of the earth

when I was ten

and has never been heard from again?

there was an FBI investigation and everything

which is retrospect, probably had more to do

with his criminal activities

than genuine concern about his welfare

but let’s not go there

So you being gone for 12 days with no word

Feels familiar

Feels like abandonment

Feels like loss

Feels like mourning

Guess I should have told you that story

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Anticipation

Alisa Hutton/Dusted Words

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It is that unpredictable edge of the wave right before the break. Breathless raw fear that feels as though it may swallow you whole. That moment of  bated-breath before uttering the words of your unspoken heart. I love you. Feeling electricity run through your body like a freight train about to jump its tracks. Tender vulnerability that is seconds away from the light of exposure. Will you rise in strength or cower in shame? Do you open your mouth or leave it alone? Do you keep in silence what I already know? It is anxiety screaming as courage fights to enter the ring of all that is unforeseen and unknown. A dance between yesterday and tomorrow when today is the most meaningful show. It is the universe speaking to you in its loud taps and whispering ways. Exceptionally honorable in its truth and magnificently bold, the feelings of the heart…

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Gentle Breeze (For Glen Campbell, (1936-2017)

Beautiful tribute poem from John W. Leys/Darkness of His Dreams

Darkness of His Dreams

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Counting the dirty cracks in the sidewalk,
Listening to a great old song,
Echoing through my ears,
Whispered on a warm summer breeze
From a southern night, long ago.

Memory’s door is always open,
The path is free to tread:
A little boy singing with the radio,
Rhinestone dreams shared across the miles.

Bedrolls and sleeping bags,
Traveling down the line,
Spotlights and fan mail;
That subway token still inside my shoe.

The caress of your voice still lingers,
Transporting me across the miles,
Through the years,
And keeps you, forever, gentle on my mind.

8/9/17

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On Calling Ourselves Writers

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Davy D is off this week because of work and family commitments.  I look forward to his thoughtful weekly posts as they both stimulate my thinking as well as my creativity.  I know that many of you look forward to these posts as well and I thought I would try to fill Davy’s formidable shoes this week.

An important part of my journey over the last year has been the transformation in my own thinking about myself as a middle-aged woman who happens to write a little to thinking of myself as a writer and a poet.  We have talked a bit already here about whether we can claim the title “poet” or whether it is a title that needs to be bestowed.  I want to dig a little deeper this week into what it means to understand “writer” and/or “poet” to be part of our core identity.  A truth as essential as the color of our eyes or which hand we write with.

Other people on WordPress took me seriously as a writer long before I did.  Their naming of me, that gift of such a title was a profound awakening and inspired the poem below that I wrote in November.  Tell me about your journey– when did you understand you were a writer?  What has that meant for you?

On Becoming A Writer

Sometimes, adopting the names ‘writer’ and ‘poet’
Led her to encounters with the most amazing minds
Connecting her with a larger community

At other times she thought that ‘writer’ and ‘poet’
Were the loneliest names she had ever called herself
Waking up every morning
To unzip her chest, her gut
And bare her truths to the world
Because like others of her kind
She was complex, messy, containing
Multiple truths, not a singular one

Sometimes she felt like she was writing
To a small group of intimate friends
At others times,
She felt like she was calling out her truths
Into an empty desert landscape
Without even a coyote or armadillo
To hear her words before they fell away
Forlorn and unread
Unheard and unacknowledged
Rendering the writer, the poet herself
Invisible, diminished somehow

She was always struck by the juxtaposition
Of her physical body negotiating
Close suburbs,
Crowded subways and jostling city sidewalks
On the way to her day job
While her heart and mind
Wandered in the isolated wilderness
While errant words and wisps of dreams
And drops of feelings like rich, red blood
Continued to seep out of her

© 2016 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Spoken Word Spotlight: Lavender on the Table/Michael Erickson

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Welcome to Spoken Word Spotlight.  Every Wednesday, Christine brings a writer’s words to life.  This week she brings us a poem from Michael Erickson that celebrates the simple pleasures of relaxed summer nights.  Sit back, take a sip of coffee, close your eyes and enjoy.

If you would like Christine to highlight a piece of your writing, please contact Go Dog Go through our Contact Form or email  us at godoggocafe@gmail.com.

Lavender on the Table

The night hung warm around us,

As we pulled blossom from stem.

An aroma of tranquility fills the summer air,

Mixing with murmurs of friends.

We laugh and joke round a table of purple,

Feeling the night with our skin.

I paused a moment to take a breath in, and caved to the sleepiness within.

 

To read more of Michael’s lovely writing, visit The Ink Owl

Radical Authenticity

John W. Leys/Darkness of His Dreams

Darkness of His Dreams

Allen told me, If you want to find your voice
Forget about having it heard.
Speak your true unfiltered thoughts.
Don’t hide that special spark of madness.
Say what you say when no one is listening,
Write what you write when no one is reading.
Don’t write for “likes,” page-views, or popularity.
Open a vein o’er the inkwell,
Vomit gray matter onto your keyboard.

If you write it they will come,
A raggedy band of freaks and weirdos,
Marching out of step with themselves,
Painting their passports brown:
An audience looking for what you’re writing,
Searching for what they didn’t know existed,
Congregating together, hanging on every word.

In an age of cloned sheep,
Thinking for yourself and
Standing apart from the crowd
Can be a revolutionary act.

10/11/16

Inspired byDiscover Challenge: Radical Authenticity

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Night Watch

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I am a dweller

of deep night hours

sleepless in a house of slumbers

very walls seem to breathe

slow rhythmic inhalations

followed by exhalations

occasional rumbles

creaks

as this sanctuary

settles its strong bones

self-appointed shepherd

over flock of souls

gathered gently into my keeping

cradled in my arms

I protect them from demons

jealous dream-stealers

that prey in the darkness

I hum restless spirits

back into deep sleep

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Inspiration Wall: What is Poetry?/Jem Croucher

A collection of words with juxtaposition
Crafted into some lines
That speak of my life and the things that I see
To capture a few of those times

It’s the nuance they have and the mystery too
that capture imagination
And the joy of finding a stanza to fit
Within gift and my arbitration

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Inspired by the Go Dog Go cafe posting ‘What is Poetry?‘ on 3 August