Map of Austin Poetry  #300-2 Part One
Featured Poetry Supplement
Theme: For Mom

Upcoming Themes:

#300-3 - Gypsy Song
#300-4 - Trains

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Happy Mother's Day, Moms.  This week's selections include:

1.  The Ironing Board by Janet Buck
2.  Mary Alice by Patricia Cruser
3.  For the love of Mummy by Jason Dean
4.  Respect by Luke Warm Water
5.  Grooming by Nii Ayikwei Parkes
6.  Each Mother's Message by Claibie Walsh
7.  Your Weather by Judith Nilsson
8.  Facing Death by Linda Spalla
9.  Mothers Never Die by  Michael Levy
10.  Mother by  Ingeborg Carsten-Miller
11. thoughts on the passing of Mom by Will Webster
12.  Mom by Marilyn Injeyan

1.  The Ironing Board by Janet Buck
Mother stood at the pulpit,
a bit of a goddess in seersucker robes.
Hair in matted spider strings
falling from the tight French roll.
Baggy pockets full of cookies
almost warm by proxy
to treasured the steam.
I watched as wrinkles disappeared
like sand inside an Etch-a-Sketch.
Collars first, then yolks,
then sleeves, then front,
then back, then sleeves again.
A science of pressing in place
what roamed outside control.
She couldn't fix my choppy gait,
couldn't shave those gangly lumps
of soured chancre winning
games of lies we played.
I'd never have two Barbie legs,
never be the gliding swan
that stole the show on
grade school stages
far too slick to navigate.
With ironing --  the board was flat.
Neat answers to this entropy,
a walking life of sticking zippers,
shattered whole ceramic dreams.
I watched as her arms made satin
of anger and stumbling tears.
Here there were no hills to climb --
no roses fainting in her hands.
© Janet I. Buck
2.  Mary Alice by Patricia Cruser

She fought MS
By standing up
Until her falls
Forced her to sit.

She fought psoriasis
By using creams
Bathing herself
As best she could.

She fought Alzheimers
By playing bridge
Keeping her books
And calendar.

But now she fights
Prescription costs
By refusing meds.
She might not win.

©  Patricia Cruser
3.   For the love of Mummy by Jason Dean

For Mummy I care so much
her smiling face
so happy and full of love
her sparkling brown eyes
and those warm lips of kisses

I faery jump
into her loving long arms
snuggling, I tell her my stories
and I feel safe
in her nurturing care

Love her mummy smell
her thick dark brown hair
she always listens
and I learn so much
she is so full of grace

My mummy is great company
we spend time and have fun
she is a wonderful person
a cooking sensation
and we always share something to eat

Mummy for whom I love
I have total trust
she is full of surprises
and like a flower
I thrive in her garden of hugs

© 2004 Jason Dean
4.  Respect by Luke Warm Water

Life is womb
life from pregnancy
birth of life
are keepers of this
which is
the ultimate

Mother earth
creation and nurturer
of all living things
we are all born
of earth
to this life
and to complete
life's circle
we return to
mother earth

The most sacred
life of all
on mother earth
are women
there is no sronger
love bond
than that of a mother
and her children

I will always remember
those words of my own
before her own returning
to the earth
"Never forget son,
that all the money
in the world
can not buy
a baby's smile"

©  Luke Warm Water, from his book "John Wayne Shot Me."
Former resident of Oklahoma and Portland, Oregon Luke currently
lives in his hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota where he feeds
little birds and is working on new poems for his next book 'Dances
With Winos.'
5.  Grooming by Nii Ayikwei Parkes

when I was nine
I considered pointing out to you
the futility
of placing a newspaper
under your feet
while you cut your toenails
because in truth
the trimmed fragments
landed everywhere
except where you wanted
but I couldn't cut
the continuity of your smile
thinking about it now
I remember how
you religiously slathered
your non-existent little toenail
with nail varnish
and I realise
that you silently taught me
to do the things I believe in
even when others don't
see the use

© Nii Ayikwei Parkes
6.  Each Mother's Message by Claibie Walsh

"the worldwide food shortage that threatens up to five
hundred million children daily could be alleviated at the cost of
only one day,
only ONE day, of modern warfare."  -Peter Ustinov

If we know this? If all mothers knew?
If we could print and send this one flyer
in all languages around the world?
Why don't we know this? Why haven't we known this?
We should know this!

Maybe if poets read it? The written word will get out.
We could beat politicians into ploughshares.
Make them maleable. Put them to the fire
and smelt them down to being human.

Think of it! Millions of mad poets fanning
the fires of mothers who are losing children
or have lost children to war and starvation until all voices
rise as universal drumbeats growing louder and louder.
Until it drowns out the sound of guns and bombs,
deafens anything but the word
until it hums like a vibrato thrum up through earth
rumbling like an alphabetic earthquake

And the hands that fight the wars?
Would lay down their weapons
The arms makers? Work harder
to make farm implements and better
ways to grow food. The politicans
who jockey for domination with wars? Would
become Christlike in their mercies and
instead of creating political wars?
Be seen handing out food to children.

© Claiborne S. Walsh
7.  Your Weather by Judith Nilsson

Is your weather about the same as it is here?
We must answer this question endlessly.
A life awash in shadows, and time unclear.

You slip away more each year,
though sometimes you are as you used to be.
Is your weather about the same as it is here?

I miss you even when you're near.
I hold onto you; you can't hold onto me.
A life awash in shadows, and time unclear.

I've seen confusion bring a look of fear.
Still, your whole self is what I always see.
Is your weather about the same as it is here?

Your kindnesses....the way we always had your ear....
The wealth of you, how can I condense it clearly?
A life awash in shadows, and time unclear.

Even now sunsets for you are never just, mere.
You've slipped outside of time, so somewhere you're
Is your weather about the same as it is here?
A life awash in shadows, and time unclear.

© Judith Nilsson
8.  Facing Death by Linda Spalla

Facing death in the eye
Is the longest day of my life;
The saddest moan of my soul;
The scariest emptiness I've ever known.
She is the world to me:
The basis, the start, the scope,
The inner workings, the desires,
The regrets, the standards;
The absolute pure benchmark
By which I have measured life.
Without her, my gauge will be missing.
Without her, my strength will be less;
My vision will be narrowed
But my memories.
Reassuredly warm and blessed.
Facing life without her,
My mother dear,
Will intensify all that she has been,
All that she has shared,
All that I hope to embrace.
She is the best the world can make.

© Linda Spalla
9. Mothers Never Die by  Michael Levy
It was a breeze less day and the atmosphere was serene,
I was just listening to the ocean when a Robin Redbreast perched on
my patio balcony,
She appeared to be surrounded by a band of light, but the balcony was
in the shade, 
Anyway;  the little ball of feathers nodded to me and I nodded back.
She chirped a couple of notes to say hello and I chirped back that I
welcomed her,
I whistled a couple of lines of Amazing Grace and her little head
moved back and forth,
So I began to hum and to my amazement she began to join in,
I stopped and let her take center stage...... what a performance I
was about to encounter.
She sang  such a sweet serenade, enchanting, enticing, captivating my
very soul,
She charmed me..... she had me under her wings,
I was spellbound,
Our souls connected and although my eyes were wide open we began to
fly together,
Upward....upward.... upward; rising ever higher.....higher....higher.
We began to glide on currents of air, sail through clouds,
And all the time Amazing Grace was being sung by my soul mate Robin,
I blinked a couple of times and I was back in my chair and Robin was
perched on my shoulder.......
She whispered "Always respect others and be a good boy"
That's what my mum always told me.

© Michael Levy
10.  Mother by  Ingeborg Carsten-Miller 
She told me
it would not last,
that it would end
before you know.
She told me
many a wisdom
all collected
in her life.
She told me, too,
she could not
live my life
for me.
© Ingeborg Carsten-Miller
11. thoughts on the passing of Mom by Will Webster

she always had a soft spot for poetry
guess that's what made us close
her fundamentally perfect pen hand
and precise spelling
but she was never given a map of excape
sad hurt and unhappy
with all the attributes of a heart too good for this world
she died chained to her sorrows
like a shadow to a lampost

sleep well Mom
I miss you

© 2004  Will Webster
12.  Mom by Marilyn Injeyan

When the veils were lifted
from your eyes,
I asked, "Does the light shine in?"
You replied, "I can see the smuts now."

Atop your black piano, a white elephant
with a mended leg and ear remain
after your passing.
"An upturned trunk brings good luck," you said.

But the blue of my promise,
the rose of my caring,
and the violet of my offerings, went unseen.
The gift of sight was given back,

though you could not see.
the elephant's trunk was raised,
though not victorious -
a curve with no connection.

Your mind was shrouded, blind to velvet clouds,
spread like egret wings in chime blue sky.
The white elephant in your living room
now trumpets to an empty space.

This figurine I gave you, but cannot recover.
I did not paint my colors clear enough.
The room broods in resignation.
My pain is too deep for dying.

© 1993 Marilyn Injeyan

(more poems follow in Part Two)