Campanula sp, Blue Bellflower. – Watercolour by Greta Mulligan (Australia)
I was very fortunate to have one of my haiku included in the May 2016 issue of brass bell: a haiku journal, curated by Zee Zahava. This month’s theme was Small Things. To read all the other excellent haiku, please visit: http://brassbellhaiku.blogspot.com
I recently had one tanka published in Skylark: A Tanka Journal. I’m thrilled to have a poem selected for publication by Claire Everett, the editor. She is one of the world’s foremost tanka poets and one whose work I love and admire.
The Ekphrastic Review: writing and art on art and writing, has published my poem, “Sunday Morning.”
Let me give you a brief “back story” on this poem. Many years ago, I stopped writing completely for around twenty-five years. Total silence in my life. I don’t know why it happened, but it did. After what can only be be termed a spiritual experience on a trip to the Fijordland in New Zealand, poetry somehow magically entered my life again. I can’t explain this. It just happened, and I know it happened for a reason. This poem was the first complete poem I wrote when my poetic “voice” returned, and it’s only been read by one other person until today. It’s taken me about fifteen years to gather courage to submit it anywhere. My deepest thanks to editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing this piece.
Here is the link to the journal: http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/april-21st-2016
Rijksmuseum, Out the Window (c) 2013 Mary Kendall
Hymns unsung, prayers unsaid,
I sat by the window and prayed
for forgiveness one more time;
one more time I begged.
Holding the cup of coffee in my hand,
I hoped the warmth would fill me
where your words had left me cold,
but I knew nothing could do that—
fire can burn for hours and be unfelt.
Hymns unsung, prayers unsaid,
I lay down on the empty bed, pulling
the blanket across my cheek, turning
from the window, from the sky
and the sun, praying for some rest.
Note: The window in the photo is not, of course, the window of the poem. I love taking pictures of windows when I travel, especially indside looking out. This photo was taken in June 2013 when my husband and I were in Amsterdam, visiting the beautiful Rijksmuseum.
New Note as of March 11, 2016: This poem has just been published on a favorite online journal called Ekphrastic: Writing and Art on Art and Writing. A link to the journal: http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/beauty-in-broken-pieces-by-mary-kendall
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Readers of this blog don’t always notice its subtitle: One Poet’s Practice. I like to practice. I like to experiment. All poets do. Without stretching the mind, you fall into the pattern of repetition. Each poem starts sounding like the last or the next.
I have been writing a lot in short form poetry–haiku, haiga, tanka, and other small poems. Today, in an effort to go in a completely different direction, I offer you a very long, rambling poem–quite unlike me, I know. It is called “Beauty in Broken Pieces,” inspired by a lovely photograph taken in Dublin, Ireland by India Leigh Lassiter, herself a talented writer as well as photographer. Thank you, India, for allowing me to use your picture as a starting point for this poem.
To hear me read this poem, please click on the link below (give it a minute to load):
Blue Spiral, Dublin, Ireland (c) 2015 photograph by India Leigh Lassiter
Beauty in Broken Pieces…
Perhaps it was once a deep blue vase,
holding seven pale pink peonies
freshly cut one May morning…
the silence shattered
she lost her balance,
the oval table
one in splintered pieces,
the other dazed
watching the water
under the petals.
it was packed away in a doctor’s study,
an old cabinet filled with bottles…
cobalt blue bottles with faded labels,
the dark blue hinting of hidden secrets,
dangers that lay in long-dried residue
of those bottles that were shattered
and thrown upon a fire
that raged for hours,
flaring up in vivid hues
of acid green
and mustard yellow,
tipped with amber,
azure and moon,
the air once heavy
there was no story.
Do you believe the whole really is bigger
than the sum of its parts?
And please, don’t let’s forget
there is always
Large things are large,
but small things
are also large
It is lovely, this small mosaic
made of glass in shades of blue,
blue so dark,
it might still hold the sound
of the ocean from the sand
that washed up and back
over and over
dancing on the ocean floor
before it became
for what is glass
of blue, pearl and silver
might hold the deep bass song
of the darkling ocean,
patterns spiraling through nature
like our thoughts about beauty,
reality or memory’s truth
Fibonacci gave it his name,
the Greeks gave it meaning
with their golden ratio…
it exists everywhere
… a simple nautilus shell,
the sunflower’s seed head
that turns to the sun,
and following its cue, the pinecone,
the hurricane, even the galaxy, the cosmos
and here with this Irish glass spiral
we come full circle of woman
with camera, snapping
a photo, capturing
the balance of