Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PAD 30 - Lessons learned

Still Learning

Almost sixty, I'm still
learning when to speak
and when to stay silent,
when to push,when wait,
when to sit back, stand up.
I know I know less than
I believed I knew at thirty.
I know I know enough
that I best pass it on.
Almost sixty, still learniong.

Victoria Hendricks
November 30,2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

PAD 29 - Next Step

Two Degrees

If I don't change direction
I get where I'm headed.
Next step continues script.

If I turn my toes two degrees
destination shifts completely.
Next step rewrites script.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

PAD 28 - The Real Story

My Birth Parents

They were young,
in college, fell into
bed, expected bliss
not broken condom.
Conception began me.

They were young,
planned to marry,
keep me, but based
on religion, both their
parents rejected me.

They were young,
could not imagine
life with or without me,
arranged safe adoption,
will never know me.

Victoria Hendricks
November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

PAD 27 - Blame the Opposition

blame the opposition,
make different evil,
ridicule, depersonalize,
make them monsters.
it's so easy, tempting
to blame the opposition.

Victoria Hendricks
November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

PAD 26- Running

Boy Runs

At one you run with joy
with amazement, free.
You laugh when you fall,
bounce to your feet, leap
into loving arms. You
do not run away from,
for, against. You run with
joy, because you can.

Victoria Hendricks
November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

PAD 25 - Animal

Bear in Winter

Come soul winter
I take to my cave,
pull up dark silence
to barricade entrance,
curl in the shadows,
dream my solutions.
When I emerge, new
life follows my footsteps.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Space - PAD 24


My daughter Ruth
works magic with space,
turns chair, clears air,
paints wall, work of art,
opens hearts, sets table,
nourishes friendships,
organizes for serenity,
designs for connection,
moves through room,
trails beauty like love.

Victoria Hendricks
November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PAD 23- Form and nonform poems

Nostalgia (haiku- form poem)

Autumn softens view.
Faded gold glows with tired dreams.
Trees remember spring.

Victoria Hendricks
November 23, 2010

Nostalgia (nonform)

Come fall I remember
sitting on the curb
feet in the gutter,
amazed big boys
could ride two wheel
bikes and not fall over.
amazed pear trees
dropped leaves as big
as my hand, more colors
than I could count at five.

Victoria Hendricks
November 23, 2009

Monday, November 22, 2010

To Take a Stand - PAD 22

Still Standing

At eighteen it was easy,
essential, to take stands,
for, against, on paper,
in public, in my heart.

At forty it was hard enough
to keep my feet, to remain
standing, change hurricane force,
any stand barely maintained.

Almost sixty, I manage tenuous
balance, resist momentum to
take exteme stands, dare not
sit this one out. Keep balance.

Victoria Hendricks
November 22, 2010

Swimming- for We Write Poems


If I ever chose to die,
I would enter ocean
naked from deserted
beach and swim toward
horizon until waves
overcame life force.

Victoria Hendricks
November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

PAD 21 - Permission

Permission Irrelevant

Death does not ask permission.
She comes when she will.
I need not ask permission
to fill to the brim each day I live.

Victoria Hendricks
November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PAD 20 - Right, Wrong

Human Error

We all make mistakes.
That's why pencils have erasers.
It is insanity to repeat the same
mistake and expect a new ending.
We all make mistakes.

Victoria Hendricks
November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

PAD 19 - Holes


Emptiness aches,
contains all I need.
Emptiness urges
action, motion, choice.
Emptiness opens
opportunities, creativity.
Emptiness calls,
contains all I need.

Victoria Hendricks
November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

PAD 18, Lost and Found


Innocence lost.
Wisdom found.
That is the best
I can hope for.
It is enough.

Victoria Hendricks
November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PAD 17, The Reason

No Reason

I can't care why
we live, hurt, die.
Only question I dare,
is what best I do now.

Victoria Hendricks
November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

PAD 16, Stacks

Treasure (for Bob)

I find myself in your stacks,
birthday card, grocery list,
broken string of cobalt beads,
bird lists from Mule Shoe,
random sketch of our child.
You find yourself in my stacks too.

Victoria Hendricks
November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

PAD 15 -On a Clear Day

No Protection

It was a clear day
the day your cancer
was diagnosed, the
day we called hospice,
the day of your funeral.
Lightening can strike
from clear blue sky.

Victoria Hendricks
November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crossroad Prompt - PAD 14


Each waking moment,
I stand each at a fresh
crossroad, choices open.
Love and ego present
clear or muddied options.
No waking moment is free
of opportunity, risk, hope,
danger, power of choice.
We live at the crossroad.

Victoria Hendricks
November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

PAD 13- Question Poem

What Matters?

Only the things
I decide, you decide
we decide matter.

Victoria Hendricks
November 14, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

PAD 13- Forget

Forget Death

Know death can claim
you, me, today, tomorrow.
Know death will come
on her own terms.
Know death will come
then forget her, and live.

Victoria Hendricks
November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PAD 11 - No One Wants War

No one, knowing, wants war.

No one wants her
son dead in distant
dessert, home in
flag draped coffin,.

No one wants his city
in flames, mobs in street,
stores empty, bread lines
children big eyed starving.

No one wants to wake
to sirens, gather squalling baby,
dash for shelter,fear you'll recignise
friend's faces on bodies in the street.

No one wants war until
her ideals, land, plans
are challenged and she
forgets war's smell.

No one, knowing, wants war.

Victoria Hendricks

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

PAD 10 - A Love Poem

Silver beach morning,
You wake me with song,
Pull me out early to watch
dolphins meet the dawn.

Noon on Thanksgiving,
You peel piles of potatoes,
set table with crystal,
together we feed family.

Afternoon thunderstorm,
High on canyon rim,
I tremble. You hold me.
Danger leaves a rainbow.

Evening at Mule Shoe,
we kiss, await sunset, ,
for the cranes to return
to the waters to rest.

Midnight, nightmare,
You sing me lullaby,
I stroke your hair.
You are, I am right here.

Victoria Hendricks
November 10, 2010

PAD 9- Pace - Speed Up Slow Down

Speed up. Slow down.
Tires me, constantly
modulating my pace.
Rather be like tide,
moon, winter, coming,
going, dying, growing,
at whatever rate I will.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Magic Prompt - We Write Poems

When ideas run out,
time is up, heart sinks,
mind races, soul hides,
magic calls neighbor to stop
her car in random parking lot
to wrap me in sustaining hug.
Magic manifests utterly
unexpected dividend check
just enough to replace sewage
system the day bath tubs back up.
Magic keeps my feet moving,
forces me to put on the second
shoe when I would choose to quit,
to die, to lose my life in missing you.
Magic is the pattern that connects,
bigger than me, infinite mystery.

Victoria Hendricks
November 8, 2010

Best Seller Title Prompt for Big Tent (The Last Boy)

For Dean

The last boy I kissed,
full on the lips, you turn
sixty this year like me.
Eighteen, we shared an
orange in a secret fairy circle
in hills covered mustard gold,
lupin blue, rode a friend's horse
on Pacific beach, licked cherry
brandy off each other's lips,
worried over colleges, parents,
different dreams, different coasts.
You let me down easy. I needed
you at home to receive my letters
so I could leave. You understood.
By nineteen, last kiss in my mother's
kitchen, you were no longer a boy,
told me you'd met someone beautiful
at the Renaissance Festival, that she
needed you in a way I didn't and you
needed that. I'd met someone too ,
wasn't honest enough yet to admit
he held my future, knew me flawed
and whole. I cried ten minutes when
you broke up with me, then we talked
hours, sweet friends, happy to be free.
I'm lucky you were the last boy I kissed.

Victoria Hendricks
November 8, 2010

For Bob (A Healing)

The moon will wane and wax again,
rise scarlet and full over warm Gulf.
The coyote in the dunes will wink
and slink away, defeated trickster.
You and I will laugh and kiss chest
deep in lapping water and joy will win.

Victoria Hendricks
November 8, 2010

PAD 8 - Agreement

Agree to Disagree

World-saving cliche.
Children, families, religions,
nations, earth, universe
can no longer afford
the constant futile fight
over who is wrong, right.
We must find infinite ways
to move forward together,
without requiring agreement.
Continuing life depends on
cooperation, not agreement.

Victoria Hendricks
November 9, 2010

PAD 7 - Pro prompt - Pro Balance

Years flow gently, trail through
flowered meadow full of bird song.
Years rush like freeway, well marked,
exit options clear, speed limit posted.
One phone call, one diagnosis, one fire
and path becomes narrow bridge.
random stepping stones across flood.
Best to practice balance on smooth path.

Victoria Hendricks
November 8, 2010

PAD 6 Looking for... Questions

Living has knocked
the questions out of me.

Why is too hard.
Child is born to abuse,
peace, starvation, privilege
bombings, acceptance.
Cells mutate, destroy brain.
Talent blossoms untutored.
Victim dies of depression,
takes gun to school, puts pen
to paper in powerful protest.
Car hits median, flaming coffin,
or carries passengers safely home.
Nation drops bomb or signs treaty.
Person chooses love or chooses ego.
Why is too hard.

What can I do about it?
Living demands I keep asking.

Victoria Hendricks
November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

PAD 5- A Transformation

Each stone, painting, feather,
each tear in tired leather ,
each square yard of carpet,
each slant of light is familiar,
signifies office after 26 years
is built not of wood, glass, paint
but of choices, tears, memories,
life force, defeat, triumph, hope,
A place made sacred by story.

Victoria Hendricks
November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mourning the Silent Celebration. of..Nimue - (Big Tent Prompt)

Nimue, your liine struck me.

Mourning, the silent celebration of
lost loves and temporary triumphs,
moments bravely held against winds
of change, courage that fights death
and courage that meets death.
Mourning, the silent celebration of
tenacious, vulnerable human being.

Words of Wisdom- for We Write Poems

I collect words of wisdom,
mantras, compasses, touchstones.
Real is better than perfect.
When all else fails be kind.
Be the change you seek.
Do it now.
Choose love, not ego.
Give yourself to love, if
love is what you're after
candles, anchors, guideposts,
I collect words of wisdom.

Victoria Hendricks
November 4, 2001

PAD 4- Containment

Hold me.
Enfold me.
Keep me safe.
I begged my mother.
I begged my lover.
I begged my God.
Hold me.
Enfold me.
Keep me safe.
I promise myself yes.
I promise myself always.
I promise with each breath.
I hold me.
I enfold me.
There is no safe.

Victoria Hendricks
November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Poertic Asides, Day Three - Kitchen Sink Time Machine

I stand at my kitchen sink,
pause as potato peel curls
into blue glass bowl. Onion
sautees in my grandma's
battered stew pot. Bay leaf,
browning beef, scent house
with hope, continuity, home.
Black Caleb, ancient now, seems
just a blink from frozen kitten
mewing on porch deck replaced.
Pine cone tumbles with thump from
towering tree I still see as six inch sapling
in a paper cup, gift from Christmas Tree
recycling center your eighth grade year.
Your daughter could be me or you,
shines in eighth grade now, same school.
Mystery is how generations fold into mix
of memory, family. Recipe repeats turn
dial on time machine, kitchen sink.

Victoria Hendricks
November 3, 2010

Victoria HendricksNovember 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ready - Poetic Asides Poem a Day 2

Not ready is a luxury I can't afford.
Foot in front of foot, mind in moment,
centered as possible, open to options,
Alive now, scared, vulnerable, fallible.
I can do my best and hurt you anyway.
I can fall and rise or simply fall dead.
No outcome is certain. Possibility flutters
as long as heart beats. Delight flits in,
unexpected as loss. Foot in front of foot.
Not ready is a luxury I cannot afford.

Victoria Hendricks
November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Poetic Asides Poem a Day One Shut: Now What?

At 54, you graduated, new teacher
second career, masters' degree, rightful
use of your gifts, shared dream,
chance for me to help you help kids.

I loved to make name tags
each August, learn names for
each new class, mentor sad girls,
teach fourth graders story telling.

You were a teacher and I was
your wife. We crafted our own
informal Peace Corps volunteerism.
Dream fed our need to help.

It's all over now. You want out of
the classroom after seven years,
some sweetness, too many shut minds,
Frustration that your gifts ring hollow.

The door is locked No good to bang
it with my fists. I lean against shut door
to your classroom, smell chalk dust,catch
breath., check out the hall for new dreams.

Victoria Hendricks
November 1, 2001