"When people tell you that I am a survivor, they are certainly right. But I have also loved living--and have lived and loved--and sometimes flourished--despite appearances."
I would have given everything
for a house of wood and stone,
anchored on a cliff by the sea, any sea.
A house that would not have blown away.
Only the unbendable cables,
fathoms into the hardening earth,
would have moaned out,
and the tethered house would have prayed
its songs of longing to fly away.
But the cables would have held firm.
I would have stayed cozy by the stove,
knitting dreams in the sleeves of sweaters.
I would have given everything
for a giant-hearted man to have anchored me,
one who could have loved me,
with the strength of moaning cables
that could keep a sea woman
from blowing away.
But who could have kept the white sheets on the line,
the wind socks on the pier, the scarves I wore in my hair
from turning to sails?
Who could have kept me pressed into the mattress down
beside the candle and shuttered window
while the quiet distant bells of the harbor boats rang
their love songs to the sea?
Because all is drawn to the depths of the sea.
Even the clouds that billow far, far above the waves.
All my houses have blown away.
Long-ago friends and lovers glide like unfettered ghosts
through fog at the wharf
and across the smooth boulders of the jetty.
My mother, my father, my sister
float gently in the sea foam or gloaming.
All houses must be free to blow away.
Else they cry in the night, their warped boards pull and shake,
windows crack, foundations give way to broken pebbles.
I was blown away.
And swam back.
Strong enough to hold a man, a child,
strong enough to hold my life.
Brave enough to swim the dolphin waters of gray light
and the impenetrable phosphorous waters
where stars follow the movement of my hands
and make a shining angel of my face.
I am buoyed up on the waves, my anchors falling away,
moaning as they go,
cables unraveling like in a terrible storm,
telling their stories of captivity and pain
to the very dark, sandy,
Previously published in Only the Sea Keeps, 2005, winner of the 2005 Skipping Stones Award, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award (2nd place), and Best Small Press Award, Autumn Pick. Royalties from Only the Sea Keeps, over $6,000, were donated to aid victims of the tsunamis in Asia and to help the efforts of organizations such as Mercy Corps and Doctors without Borders. In 2008, Only the Sea Keeps became India’s best-seller.
Chaucer, Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty, John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Kate Chopin, Walt Whitman, Harry Crews (contemporary), Marcel Proust, Garcia Marquez, Charles Baudelaire, Edward Starr, the writer of "The Hokey Pokey," Flaubert, Albert Camus, Colette
Major World Philosophers, Thinkers, Leaders I Have Looked To
St. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, Thomas Merton, Carl Jung, Betty Giardini, Friederich Nietzsche, Joseph Campbell, Marvin Bell, Kurt Vonnegurt, William Pitt (contemporary), Jesus of Nazareth, The Dalai Lama (contemporary), Jane Goodall, Annie Dillard, Loren Eiseley, Anwar Sadat, Edward R. Murrow, E.O. Wilson, Mother Teresa, Walt Whitman, Carl Malm, Sister Eleanor Harrison, Martin Luther King, Jr., The Right Reverend Shuttlesworth
"All people are not born human beings; until they learn compassion they are mostly walking, talking hunks of protoplasm."--James William Brooks Gibbs
My dad was of a similar mindset as Little Big Man, though he never read the book. My dad could be, like his daughter, a bit "hard" in his judgments on discompassionate people. He and I once agreed that one of our flaws was intolerance. We were both intolerant of intolerance, and could be quite opinionated--to say the very least--on the issues of compassion and tolerance--and, therefore, quite judgmental, too. Dispassion has never been my most noticeable trait. The words "complacent," "apathetic," and "un-engaged" would not apply to me, except when it comes to the world of engineering and most things "metal" or having to do with tar. Even those things give me a headache, and I wish they didn't have to exist.
I engage with all trees, especially sea trees that have been shaped and formed by wind, rain, storms, sea salt. These are my favorite Carmel, California trees. I have favorite trees in all the places to which I have traveled in the world.
Poets and Writers (Individual Trees) You Can Read About on This Site, on the NEWS and FRIENDS Pages.
Send Me a Piece of Current News about Your Writing Career.
Monica Williams-Murphy, M. D.
Over time, I hope this list will grow and grow.
Limestone Dust Poetry Festival
September 10, 2011
The Limestone Dust Poetry Festival, Saturday, September 10, 2011
Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment
The Old Lowe Mill, off Governors' Drive
Heading west on Governors' Drive, just after crossing the intersection of Governors' Drive and the Parkway, take a left on Seminole Drive. Then take a left on 8th and follow the signs to the first-floor of Lowe Mill.
The Festival is free and open to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated.
All poets, traditional and contemporary, are invited to join us for this annual celebration of poetry. Contests, talks with guest poets and authors, programmed readings, and open mic will be included. Specific accepted works from participating poets are to be included in a poetry anthology to commemorate the festival.
REGISTRATION FORM GUIDELINES
- Please print legibly and completely.
- Include this form as a cover sheet with each of your poetry submissions.
- DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR ACTUAL POETRY!
Email / Web page URL:
Name of Poem(s):
Submission Fee for Students, 8-12, $5
Submission Fee for non-students: $10
Fee covers First Poem only
Each additional poem $2.00 ea. (4 poems max)
TOTAL ENCLOSED: ______
This registration form must be accompanied by all fees that apply and a signed release (available on our website) form, in hand, no later than
July 1, 2011
** You will be notified of your reading time and anthology acceptance via email.
Please include two self-addressed stamped envelopes if you wish to be notified by mail.
The Limestone Dust Poetry Festival
PO Box 18951
Huntsville, AL 35804-8951
The Limestone Dust Poetry Festival
P.O. Box 18951
Huntsville, AL 35804- 8951
This contract is made between The Limestone Dust Poetry Festival, Huntsville, Alabama, hereinafter referred to as the Publisher, and _______________________________, whose address is
hereinafter referred to as Writer.
The parties agree as follows:
The Writer grants permission to include his/her creative work entitled the Limestone Dust Poetry Festival Anthology.
The Writer represents and warrants that he/she is the sole author of the Work, that the Work is original, and that no one has reserved the rights granted in this agreement. The Writer also represents, to the best of his/her knowledge, that the Work does not contain any libelous material.
All rights revert to the poet after publication.
The Publisher agrees to provide the Writer with one complimentary copy of the anthology upon publication.
Writer’s Signature_____________________________ Date___________________