Monthly Archives: December 2013

Slowly, Sweetly

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milk bottle flowers

Someday
I hope you show up on my doorstep holding a milk bottle full of flowers
And an awkwardly written poem
I would invite you in for tea
And then serve you spicy chai in generous mugs
That offer up their comforting liquid like some kind of simple salvation
I hope that after a while, you would kiss me
Slowly, sweetly
So that I can feel the burn of cardamom and star anise in my mouth
As we press our lips together
I would count every hair upon your knuckles
Offering up a prayer of thanksgiving in the name of each one
For the simple pleasures
That can still be found
Between two gentle souls

Creative Commons License
This work, “Slowly, Sweetly” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Cliterature 2014 – 10th Anniversary!

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It’s my absolute delight to be closing out the 10th anniversary of Kitchener-Waterloo’s Cliteraturea  transformational and artful celebration of women’s sexuality through erotic readings, film, photography, music, dance and more! I owe so much to Cliterature – without years of support, enthusiasm, and inspiration from the festival’s audiences, there is no way that I would be a spoken word artist, never mind someone who competes in national slam poetry competitions! I always say that some people look forward to Christmas all year – I look forward to Cliterature!

The proceeds from Cliterature will be donated towards Planned Parenthood of Waterloo Region and DrumFIT…most worthy causes!

Please check out the Facebook event page…and let me know if I will see you there!

https://www.facebook.com/events/592058590844113/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

 

Reclaiming The Cycle: Exploring Experiences of Menstruation & Life Cycles

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I will be performing some reproductive/menstrual-themed poetry and having some placenta prints displayed at this event’s Open Tent. Come check it out!

Join Sustainable Cycles for a week of workshops from January 7-10, ending with an open tent event on January 11 to celebrate, discuss, and enjoy one another’s company after a great week together.

Week’s schedule of events:
– Tuesday, January 7 – 6:30-9pm – Consent & Cyclical Bodies
(workshop – http://tinyurl.com/pcfkyte)

– Wednesday, January 8 – 6:30-9pm – DIY Reusable Pad Making & Fertility Charting
(workshop – http://tinyurl.com/ozur2hu)

– Thursday, January 9- 6:30-9pm – Medicine Making for a Whole Cycle
(workshop – http://tinyurl.com/q36gvoa)

– Friday, January 10 – 6:30-9pm – Exploring Experiences of Menstruation (With Artistic Catharsis)
(workshop – http://tinyurl.com/npqobrc)

– Saturday, January 11 – 6-10pm – Open Tent
(conclusion event – http://tinyurl.com/nqypvvb)

*All workshops will take place at 53 William St W, Waterloo. A cozy home atmosphere 2 blocks behind the LCBO in Uptown Waterloo.
**Conclusion event on January 11 takes place at the Queen Street Commons Cafe, 43 Queen St S in downtown Kitchener, one block from the bus terminal.

Note that everyone is welcome. Our events are not exclusive to menstruating individuals. Children are welcome at all events.

Admission to all events is free, however donations are welcome to help support Sustainable Cycles.

Sustainable Cycles is an inclusive cooperative that strives to change the way people think and talk about menstruation. We aim to empower people to make healthy, sustainable choices and share supportive attitudes regarding reproductive health.

Healing Through The Spiritual Practice of Writing

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Workshop: Healing Through the Spiritual Practice of Writing
Monday January 20, 2014, 7-9pm
Facilitated by Beth Murch

Words describe our reality by communicating our ideas and emotions while bringing into being the hidden, the invisible, and the obscure. Writing as a spiritual discipline not only allows us to connect to these sacred mysteries through the rituals that lead to letters on pages, but also grants us the opportunity to embody our journey towards healing through the holy actions of creation and destruction. We will discuss manifesting art from physical and emotional pain, the blessings of writer’s block, how the seemingly mundane act of writing can be elevated to an expression of meditation and how performing our works can be emotionally transformative. Come prepared to write, to struggle, and to grow! There will be an opportunity for inspired artists to share masterpieces and stories. Everyone is welcome! This event is free. RSVP: kwpoetryslam@gmail.com

Beth Murch (B.A. Hons., MA, CD) is a full-spectrum doula and independent placenta service provider, who specializes in assisting survivors of sexual assault and birth trauma to have empowering birthing and breastfeeding experiences. A passionate activist, Beth has lectured extensively on issues involving reproductive justice and childbirth as an environmental issue. She is an author, spoken word artist, and an enthusiastic performer who draws upon themes of sexuality, nature, spirituality, Feminism through her literary craft. Beth can be reached at beth.murch@gmail.com .

Firefly

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glowing-trees

I was inspired to write this poem after reading a journal article discussing bioluminescent trees – trees that light up like fireflies and can be used in place of streetlights. It was also 4AM (the most dreaded of my sleepless hours), and  I was feeling sad. One of my teammates had prompted me to write a poem using the line, “I wish my heart made better choices” after I whispered it in between wiping tears and snot bubbles from my nose with single-ply tissue (seriously, Universe?!). That line found its way into this pout-y little piece. I tried to perform this at a slam recently, and I flubbed part of the poem…which is more frustrating than embarrassing (I mean, you spend so much time rehearsing -you want to get it right!). I had to hide in the bathroom while the scores were read because I needed to splash some cold water on my face to soothe my angry artist’s soul and I couldn’t bear to hear a cruddy score at that moment. The nice thing about blogs? They have “edit” buttons.

“I’ve been accused of falling in love too soon” you said, cigarette smoke wafting
“That works out great,” I replied. “I’ve been accused of not falling in love at all.”
I didn’t realize that you were quoting a line from one of your poems
Because I was so caught up in sharing truths like the beers we had been drinking
What you didn’t tell me that night was that you fall in love with everyone
That you are a magpie looking for the next shiny thing to collect
And I was just another piece of tinfoil decorating your nest
Now, I could live with being one more firefly in your summer night sky
If it meant that my bioluminescence led to the growth of trees that acted like streetlights
That would guide you home to me from time to time
Instead, you caught me in a Mason jar that still smelled like Jack Daniels
Hoping to save me for a rainy day where your darkness needed light
You tucked me into the bottom of your book bag
Forgetting that most animals do not survive captivity

I wish my heart made better choices
That I wouldn’t form soul contracts with people who I can only rely upon to walk away when shit gets real
I wish I could stop reaching out my hands to pull you closer to me when you find it so easy to push me away
They say that good fences make good neighbours, but I’ve never been able to tell if you were shutting me out or if I was locking myself into you
Boundaries. What are boundaries when two people collide like hot air meets with cold air, forming thunderstorms that crack terrifying beauty across a black canvas called friendship?
I pour my love into you like you pour your sour mash whisky into preserve jars
But, like alcohol, you always evaporate like you were never there in the first place
You give your affection away like business cards at a trade show
Like friendship is swag and I should just be happy that you gave me your sticker
You’re like a bank that begs me to take their credit card and then hits me with high interest rates
Trying to convince me I’m special because I’m a “platinum member”

I told you that I don’t fall in love easily because I have a fear of abandonment
You said it was safe to love you because you would never truly leave
That you would always come back to me in the end like the ocean tides are pulled like string by the moon
But in that moment when I needed you more than oxygen, more than G-d, more than a child needs their mother’s milk
You turned on your heel, in a fluid, graceful movement like you were exiting a stage
And literally walked away without looking into my eyes
I have survived more violence than a three minute and ten second poem could ever contain
But nothing has ever ravaged me so much as the sound of a simple door closing

If you are looking for me, for my friendship, for my love, for my firefly’s light
You’ll find them dead in a jar
At the bottom of your book bag
Not gone – just forgotten.

Creative Commons License
This work, “Firefly” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Lonely

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Snow Falling
Image: “Snow Falling” by Beth Murch

Late nights are when I look for you:
Searching stars for the shine in your eyes
Stretching out my hand to the empty side of the bed
I listen for your breathing…
But all I can hear is the snow falling.

Creative Commons License

These works, “Snow Falling” by Beth Murch and “Lonely” by Beth Murch are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Leave Kriti and come here to this holy
temple with your graceful grove
of apple trees and altars smoking
with frankincense.

Icy water babbles through apple branches
and roses leave shadows on the ground
and bright shaking leaves pour down
profound sleep.

Here is a meadow where horses graze
amid wild blossoms of the spring and soft winds
blow aroma

of honey. Afroditi, take the nectar
and delicately pour it into gold
wine cups and mingle joy with
our celebration.

-Psapfo, “Afroditi of the Flowers at Knossos”
(translation by Anne Carson)

Sappho in Fragments
Actual fragments of Psapfo/Sappho’s poetry
Is this your picture? Please let me know and I will credit you!