Thursday, August 13, 2009


I mentioned to y'all in the last post, creative pursuits as a tool for 'Restoration' - how the theme or idea was born out of poetry shared between two 'strangers' on an on-line forum for folks trying to find their way through. The word 'Restoration' struck a nerve over there, some good, some not so good. Art should strike a nerve and stir the soul - and sometimes it brings surprises such as forging bonds between like-minded souls trying to move a mountain. These are the two original poems of forging 'The Restoration Project' between myself and the 'unknown stranger' who is now my close compadre and ally, shoveling side by side on the mountain of Restoration. This is where it all began.

><><><><><><><>< ~ RESTORATION ~
by el poquito

Do you know which way I went?
I remember seeing me the other day
talking with the homeless woman
about her missing child -
the auto accident -
and the curse...
and noticing how she
folded and unfolded
the origami change purse
she held nervously in her hands...
telling me her story,
that was my story too,
about the tragedies that had
broken her,
and broken her again
into a pile of human shards
scattered across the land...
unrecognizable from the fine
strong vessels
we once were

Yesterday I was high in the mountains
crossing a dangerous pass -
Dead Man's Pass...
It was too long a journey.
I was so tired...
Last I recall I was looking out the window of the train,
looking out upon the savanna --
The light and heat were beating down upon us
and the gazelles were running swiftly away
fleeing from the hard-breathing animal
that snaked it's way through the plains.
Did you see me come by here yesterday?
Do you know which way I went?

Later I remember seeing me
methodically shoveling the dirt.
How do you move a mountain?
One shovelful at a time...
Restoring hope can take time that way -
like moving a mountain
with a shovel.
It can be done.
I've seen it happen
many times.
But renewal does not birth easily.
Did you catch a glimpse of me?
Do you know which way I went?

~>>>> <> <> <> <> <> >><><><><><< <> <> <> <> <> <<<<~ Variation on a Theme

by mark-shark

It's not brand new,
but not that old
I moved here as a baby.
I crawled on this floor.
I stared at the ceiling on my way to dream.
I barely remember now.

I try to forget the earthquake
that rattled the pictures in the hall,
broke glass,
shook the foundation,
cracked the walls.

I survived.
I picked up, swept, cleaned,

I try to forget the flood
that washed away my flowers,
left snakes under beds,
carved the carpets in mud.

I survived.
I picked up, swept, cleaned,

That time
I thought I wouldn't make it.
But I did.

I try to forget the storm
that swirled a black cloud overhead,
ripped the roof,
shocked the shingles,
roared with rain,
and carried away
my precious hair.

I survived.
I picked up, swept, cleaned,

The neighbors heard my tools
and looked the other way.

No matter.

And Now, I plan a new addition,
And Now, I make drawings,
call for quotes,
touch samples,
consider colors,
wood, marble, granite, oak.

And Now, I stretch string
to define a magic garden,
think about Art
for that old cracked wall.

I plan for the future...

despite the rough location,
despite the unusual weather,
despite the fragile shell
and the history of damage
and things unplanned...

Because Someone Lives Here.

And plans to continue.


Sandi said...

Ah, this is powerful stuff! Once again, I thank you.

Dedalus1947 said...

I'm silenced by such strong and vital images coming from the two frail and ephemeral vessels that house your mighty spirits.

I thank you too.

Sylv said...

Thanks. I am less raw than I was when I first read those. They still touch me but in a calmer, more pleasant, wistful way now.

el poquito said...

"hahaha!" <--- that's our wives laughing at 'frail and ephemeral' - oh, how they probably wish we two ornery curmdgeons would be a little less so! But thanks for the 'might spirit' prop. I think we do try to aim for that - but then don't we all? I think you who show up here at the flor y canto of this table are quite mighty spirits yourselves, otherwise there's much more 'entertaining soothing comfort food' out there on the internet. People who come here more than once tend to have a shovel in their lives - and it's not in the back of the shed.

Thanks for coming by all. Special thanks to my buddy for allowing me to share him and his art with y'all at the table. As some who come through here know, he's a very cool dude. I have the pleasure to roll with with him - shoveling side by side - as with all of you.