The House beneath the Moon

The rumpled pleats of shapely ash,

wildness pruned by sunken barn—

a peak bends beneath the sun,

broken iron set to finger buoyant clouds

a gable, rumpled, heaving on the breeze it names—

they rise and fall, and breathe so deep

the grass stained patter of a river’s game

like her little feet in the old moon’s shade,

a hovering cloud, a brushing touch

of years, unearthed, with the shaking of the wind.

Now Boarding, Now Rambling

You'll see the imagery-relevance of this soon enough. Image by: Chris Galford.

In keeping with the Den’s theme of travel this week (see previous post for update on that little number, mind you), what few free moments I found today were spent typing up this little number for you folks. Wanted to capture a sense of depart-wait a second! What am I doing, giving away the meanings? That’s for you people to figure out after all – don’t know if I did well, if I just give all the secrets away.

Even so, I think it needs a little touch of work still (and yes, I know I get snipped at by folks for saying that any time I do it on here…but nonetheless!), but that’s the beauty of the blogosphere – so many wonderful minds out there, ready to give and to take, critique, grow, and flourish in the presence of their fellow creative community members. Some silly people believe that if you aren’t content with it, it should be hidden away, kept from public eye until you are…to keep one’s self-opinions and dignity high I suppose. Personally, I like the reality check – and if it’s bad, goodness, shouldn’t a writer wish to know? So as ever…critique welcome!

Consequently, if you haven’t, (and particularly if you’re not wandering in here from D’Verse Poetry), you should give this wonderful community a look. Lovely site, lots of great people about – and if you’re at all familiar with One Stop Poetry, you’ll find lots of familiar faces there.

Now Boarding

The yellow dress sits at the bedside table.

Bare feet upon the tiled trail,

smooth lines catch the dirt,

end in mountains under

Phrygian skies

where words give to mudslides

of heart; no sneakers

will bear them there.

 

It was the shoes they left behind.

When worlds light by tails

there’s no room left to fill,

the memories move like clockwork –

bodies remain,

lost along the long roads

rendered Silken; eyes open

to coal bell rings.

 

No one speaks of the bill till it’s due.

They always say to breathe–

she prays that he will breathe.

Across the prairie roams old

Model T

beating out the departure chords,

soot-lined; black worlds

always greet the young.

 

The yellow dress sits at the bedside table.

She would take his hand,

tell him blisters fade with time,

that their shoes will find him still

in Requiem

somewhere beyond that grey road

they wait; clock ticks

as she offers him the keys.

Youth and Age

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
~Douglas MacArthur

Excuse me while I step out for the day…I’ve got a birthday afoot you know. It seems silly, I think, to still see such celebration past the 21st…but c’est la vie. A birthday, after all, is often more for those around one than for the person himself.  I will go where the flow carries me. But in the meanwhile, I leave you all with a question…

What’s your own fondest birthday memory?

For the World’s Mothers

My own mother and I, featured here at my graduation.

Raise me up

From breathless sound,

The song you sing—life’s song—

The motions and the rhyme

Ring in lessons, tender

Borne on emerald winds

The flowering will always be remembered,

The bloom you brought

With hands held and patient eyes,

Even in depths of mathematical madness

Where children were not meant to play,

Even balancing worlds upon slim shoulders,

Step softly so little eyes won’t see and—

Ever, always watching you

Stir what might otherwise dwell

Hidden in the reeds.

* A special dedication for mother’s day – I know some other corners of the world have already had theirs, but the sentiments remain. For all those amazing women out there that put up with so much (I know we can be a handful)…here’s to you.

Hopes, Memories, and a little Creativity…

Michigan State Capitol Building, by Chris Galford

No Present

Caught himself along the past–

years passed before he ever realized

No Present.

So many are consumed by the past, and what has gone before, they forget to live in the present. As 2011 looms, I hope you reflect, but I also hope you take the time to look around you and enjoy a touch of the now.

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!

Image care of Demotivational Posters.

I’d like to thank you all for all the support you’ve shown as readers, and peers…fellow writers and photographers all. That you’ve shared your works and encouraged and supported me in the sharing of my own has been a joy without end. I wasn’t sure how well the whole “young writer hitting the Big Bad Web” angle would go for me…you seem to see everyone everywhere trying it these days, and it certainly seems daunting to try and wade into such a hefty mass–amateurs, experts, and all manner of unseen forces lurking in the background, with the looming horror of plagiarism and creative theft.

And yet, things have gone better than I ever could have imagined. When I first started the Waking Den, I never would have dreamed there was such a vibrant and accepting community out there, just waiting to nurture and support fellow creative types. It has been an honor, yes, an honor, to read your comments on my own work, and to see and to read and pick through yours. There is a lot of talent out there, and it’s always a pleasure to discover new gems.

The One Shot Wednesday Mike

Another thing I never could have anticipated this year: One Stop Poetry. When I first started posting my poetry, and my photography, I thought I would be lucky if anyone swung through. I would have been happy with a couple comments here and there, be they critiques or praise. Yet then Leslie Moon came along, and through her I met the other wonderful founders of One Stop: Adam Dustus, Brian Miller and Pete Marshall. To be a part of that community, of such an up-and-coming site for creativity, was a joy among joys. Suddenly all those fellow poets were in one places, and they were sharing, and reading, and writing…it was the promised land.

When Leslie asked me on-board as a fellow manager, I was not only stunned, but ecstatic. Never in a million years could I have predicted that – and I couldn’t have asked for more. Since then I’ve gotten to work with Gay Cannon and Claudia Schoenfeld as well, two more managers added to the One Stop family. Between them and the founders, it’s a team without equal – and the experience has been both a blessing and a treasure. I get to interview photographers about their passion, see into the minds behind an art that has always fascinated and intrigued me. I get to share something I genuinely enjoy with the world-at-large.

And one can’t put a price on that.

Pure Michigan, by Chris Galford

Joy? I have a lot of it from this year. 2010 was a great year. I graduated, and not only that, I did so while acing every class. I had a great internship with the Lansing City Pulse that showed me first-hand how a real news organization works, and gave me an

See that guy in the fancy hat? That's me. Post-graduation with my father.

opportunity to flex my knowledge of the arts, as well as my photographic eye. I’ve climbed mountains, wandered beaches. I finished my first novel in a trilogy, “The Hollow March,” edited it, and gotten quality reviews back from its first readers. I’ve met new friends, joined a community of fellow writers, established a writer’s group in my own town, and have set about the ground work for hunting down publishers for short stories, poems and that fancy novel of mine. I’ve applied to law school, gotten my letters of recommendation, and now…I’m ready to hit the ground running.

If 2010 was a great year, I plan on making 2011 an amazing year. I hope you all will continue to support me as I do so – I couldn’t have come so far without all your kind words, your critiques, the inspiration of your presence.

And I hope above all that you all will have a wonderful year ahead as well. Here’s to the old year, and to the new – Cheers to all of you!

 

"Foggy Notions of Photography," by Chris Galford

Homeless Holidays

Too often this time of year, it is habit and standard to think of those closest to our hearts, those we love and cherish and hold above all others. We think of those presents we wish to give them, the smiles on their faces. We think of the cheer on their faces and let it become the holiday, and that is beautiful, and good.

But in that process, we often forget the others – those people that do not have the luxury of that cheer. This is not a wholesale judgment of others, for I recognize the tendency in myself as well – it is only natural, but we must force ourselves to face reality, to turn our minds and our hearts beyond our own.

To that note, for this Christmas Eve I grant a more solemn contribution to the season, the reality of the above:

Carolers sing out,

cheer static smothers cardboard

hides the ringing cups.

This season, just remember, as you are opening gifts and trading smiles with those you care about, that there are others, much less fortunate than we, who will not experience that joy. There are those with naught but memories of these things, and some that have never gotten to experience that holiday joy…please, keep them in your thoughts as well.

Passing

I thought I saw

someone I knew,

she smiled at me and I returned

to fevered touches, fettered glances

of a kingdom once serene,

but then I realized

the face behind those eyes

and the walls, once glittering

unraveled with the mortar

of memory, profound–

these smiles were never ours to hold,

never ours to know,

and two shadows, ill-defined

passed again into obscurity,

no words to mar

the bittersweet serenity of silence.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!