The older I get, the more questions I ask, and the harder those questions are to answer.
Once upon a time, I asked things like, “why is the sky blue?” and “where do babies come from?” Now I ask questions like, “why am I so blue?” and “why do babies die?”
Sometimes, I feel like nothing is certain. I’m not sure that G-d exists, but I pray to the Creator daily. I’m afraid to be alone in the Universe – I don’t even like to sleep alone. I am relatively certain that the ocean tides are pulled by the moon, but I can’t decipher the ebb and flow of my own body. When will my period come? Why does my womb bleed when really it is my heart that hurts?
I recently heard the term “skin hunger” to describe people who have gone too long without human touch. I think I might be starving to death because it has been so long since someone has held me that I can’t remember the last time I tasted the salt of skin other than my own.
All my life, I’ve been told that I am too much, but I’ve always felt that I’m not enough.
I’m longing for someone to reach out to, for someone to share my life with, but I’m afraid that I will crush their spirit like a fragile eggshell in my clumsy desperation not to die alone. I’m scared to say what I really feel because I don’t want to be abandoned. How do I say what is in my heart without scaring others away?
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This work, “Questions” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Hello, Precious Blueberries! So, here’s a thing that you might not know about me: all next week, I’ll be in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, performing at the Saskatoon Poetic Arts Festival, alongside several very talented poets! Our heroine is feeling a little intimidated by her colleagues, but she is looking forward to learning so much from them. We’ll be up to all kinds of adventures: workshops, performances, group writing experiences…you name it! We’ll experience a performance and workshop by Sabrina Benaim, of “Explaining My Depression to my Mother” and Depression & Other Magic Tricks fame.
This is a tremendous opportunity for me, and it is one that I would not have had the privilege to experience were it not for the support and generousity of my incredible friends, lovers, dears, queers, and beloved anonymous fans. I am profoundly grateful to everyone who contributed to my YouCaring campaign (whose funding goal was met so quickly I didn’t even have time to make a blog post promoting it!). Plane tickets and other travel expenses are not cheap, and your donations have left this poetess humbled and grateful.
I will take lots of pictures, and I will be sure to keep you all updated on my adventures in Saskatoon!
Trees, Bees, & Babies!
Peace and Blessings,
Photo Credit: Sherri-Lyn Finley of Little Bird Beginnings Doula Services.
I have missed a few days of the NaPoWriMo challenge due to a combination of not feeling the prompts and Life “stuff”, but I’m trying to get back on the wagon. Warning: I’ve totally gone rogue. I’ll be posting things out of order and I’ll probably disregard most of the prompts.
Prompt 12/30: Write a Haibun
April Ice Storm
The robins are building a nest on the windowsill again. Their wings beat against the glass, a feathery knocking. The bathroom faucet is dripping, each wasted water droplet splattering the one before it, a wet smack. Snow from the April ice storm is drifting against the side of the building, wave after wave of whooshing, a ghostly echo of frozen beaches. In the bedroom, in this noisy silence, your rough hand gently scrapes up the white nectarine flesh of my thigh, leaving no mark and yet marking what is your own. Here the unspoken says what words do not.
Spring comes late this year
my heart races against your palm
flowers wait for warmth
Is this your image? If so, let me know so that I may credit you.
This work, “April Ice Storm” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Prompt 8/30: Describe an Event that Can’t be Understood Literally
In the end, we buried it in the garden.
She used the trowel and emptied the whipped topping container that was repurposed into a makeshift casket into the hole.
I said a prayer to a G-d that was as silent as Life’s potential cut short before us.
Together, we placed a rosebush to mark the spot where something almost happened but didn’t…
…and yet, it kind of did, anyway.
Is this your picture? If so, let me know so that I may credit you.
This work, “BabyNotBaby” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Prompt 7/30: Write a Poem Where One Identity Contends or Discusses With another Identity
crawls through forest,
single breast exposed,
dagger strapped to thigh,
calls for stags and wolves to be her companions.
Heroine needs no one,
rides off into golden sunsets alone
with naught but horse for companionship,
hides in thatched-roof cottages, disguised as hag living alone
except for spooky cats that come when beckoned by hands wizened by age.
Leather-tough and hard as nails,
princess needs no one to rescue her
when she slays her own dragons
and turn their hides into leather handbags.
But yet –
Your arms open wide.
warrior queen becomes tender lover
and lays down her sword and shield.
Is this your photo? Let me know so that I may credit you.
This work, “Untitled” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Prompt 6/30: Write a Poem that Stretches Your Comfort Zone with Line Breaks
“Bread plays favorites.
From the earliest times, it acts as a social marker, sifting the poor from the wealthy, the cereal from the chaff.” – Christa Parrish, Stones for Bread
Is this your image? Let me know so that I may credit you.
This work, “Bread” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
5/30 Prompt: Write a Poem That Reacts to Both Photography and to Words in a Language Not Your Own
Poem: 4 o’clock in the Morning
At 4 o’clock in the morning, the river stones are cool and slick.
I hear the water lapping at them, waves tongue-kissing the shoreline with heavy breathing.
The crocodiles swallow the rocks, sliding them down their pink throats so that they can dive deeper,
And the crows gather them in their beaks to leave as presents for worthy recipients.
Somewhere, Virginia Woolf is collecting stones to fill her pockets, each rock clacking against the other, and I am listening to her hum her final tune.
At 4 o’clock in the morning, you are silent as a river stone,
your breathing like the sound of water rushing downstream.
I want to caress your edges,
finger the chips and cracks along your surface.
I want to place you on my altar with my other treasured and sacred possessions: feathers, shells, and plugs of tobacco,
but you lay in bed next to me, your back to my face.
I wonder if I bring you stones like a crow, lowering my head in deference, spreading my wings into a graceful bow,
if you would eat them like a crocodile to keep a part of me inside of you,
and if they would weigh you down like Virginia’s coat.
Photograph by Michael Pike, copyright 2007.
This work, “Gastrolith” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.