Monday, 20 February 2012

Grandma's words



you say you know what life and love is all about ?
let me tell you young lady, that you know nothing 


not until you walk the jungle, following your gypsy lover,
in your army boots and knife in your trembling hand, 


fearing the gun fire or sword from the soldiers of rising sun 
will spill the guts of your fair eyes mate on war torn soil 


not until you build a house with your splintered hands,
paint the rooms, scour the floor clean of dust and cobwebs


giving up your carefree days of milk and sugar
to care for sons and hungry children in the streets   


not until you keep your demons at bay, not with pills,
but with day to day toiling, coating your nails black oil  


spitting out truth as you see it in your whiskey laced voice
accepting hard knocks of your choices with a straight back,   


not until you turn your face at night with the full moon 
suckling your brown breast, cheeks flushed in tropical heat    


you curse, damning your man for his lust for other women,    
yet turning the other cheek for his embrace, forgiving


until you close the door, in your widow's
dress, and cry until your eyes held no more tears


holding the baby in your arms, your grandchild, 
your great grandchild, so fair with his brown eyes, can you hear


the song of wild beauty,  mighty 
strong to pierce and heal your feeble heart ~




Reposted for:   D'verse Poets Pub:  The Best ~  Happy Anniversary ~

Written for OpenLinkNight of Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - every Monday
and D'verse Poets Pub - every Tuesday starting at 3 pm EST


My blog is word verification-free for your convenience. Just don't spam me and we are good ~ To read my poems on other stuff, please check out my other blog.    Thanks for the visit.  


Picture credit:    here

89 comments:

  1. nice absolutely nice, Grace, I would like my daughter read this (lol)

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    1. Thanks ~ My grandma was a tough old cookie ~

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  2. Yes many think they know, until they experience and then find they no nothing at all, which is the case each time usually. Oh and don't rub it in...lol! We have to work today, friggin NS.

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    1. Poor Pat...yahoo for the long weekend ~

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  3. Such a powerful write in celebration of womanhood.

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    1. Thanks for your support as always Kerry ~

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  4. there is beauty in the toil...and life is colored by its textures...you have a really cool way of pointing it through allusions to stories to be told...and in them i think we can find some common ground...as women or men...smiles....

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    1. Thanks for your lovely words Brian. I always appreciate them.

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    2. and i alwas appreciate yours....thank you grace for beign a part of what we are doing at dverse...you are truly a special person...and poet...

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  5. Very strong and powerful piece, Heaven. I esp like the fifth and eighth stanzas.

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  6. I really enjoyed the passion in this piece. Thanks for turning off the word verification.

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  7. This is REAL. Very, very real. I love it and I love the title.

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  8. She sounds like a wise woman with good advice but so many of us have to learn by our own mistakes. Enjoyed this, Grace.

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  9. sublimely good...you captured the tone so well.

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  10. "Accepting hard knocks of your choices with a straight back" is my absolutely favorite line in a poem full of great lines.

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  11. Powerful; 'spitting out truth...' Good stuff.

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  12. the final lines are explosive and emotive

    private dreamliner

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  13. I feel like I just got punched in the nose with the truth. This was a splendid and fiery display born from wisdom and experience. I wanted to shout out by the time I finished it....excellent!

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  14. Passionate, powerful, bitter, loving, strong...beautiful!

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  15. wow..this is beautiful, Grace. I love it!

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  16. Grace, Grandma was wise! At least honest. One can admire that!

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  17. This was powerful. I love the raw honesty of it. I felt...I don't know something a little like anger, then pride, then a restful peace within your wisdom.

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  18. Wow, Grace, this is wonderful.
    I always knew my grandmothers had secrets I knew nothing about. They were both very wise, and very quiet about their wisdom.
    K

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  19. Oh Grandma spoke some wise words.........."the song of wild beauty"........sigh. Grandma knew Life, for certain, and the strength that is needed. Wonderful poem.

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  20. As the poem began with the words of the old woman, and ended with the cradled child - so the beautiful thing is that the cycle of life continues, the wisdom passed on from woman to woman to woman.

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  21. A lifetime... so beautifully articulated.

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  22. Yes - a poem for daughters, and very knowing with some beautiful lines - I like the stanza with the full moon -

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday (and it made a contrast to this poem!)

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  23. to really love means going through lots of battles...well captured and your grandma was a wise woman..

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  24. I found it interesting that there are people who do mull over the consequences of this whole idea of physical love. It was a nice awakening read for sure. :)

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  25. LOVE or not, life's battles are what they are. If gifted and mixed with love...then somehow it was all accomplished with great worth, and also some great reward.

    PEACE!

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  26. Very...VERY beautiful--with much feeling and truth.

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  27. Very nice job Heaven, the two lines and the space between each really opens this piece up, allowing the reader that extra moment to dwell upon what they just read. really nice job, thanks.

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  28. Hello Heaven. How are you?
    These are some powerful & true words indeed. Very similar to the ones I used to hear spoken by my mom & my grandmother to my sisters (who didn't want to listen at the time).
    Thanks for sharing. It was nice to see you too over at my blog.
    Thanks also for turning off word verification...It's a pain when I can't read half the words! (smile)

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn

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  29. Another beautiful poem. It's amazing how much easier our lives would be if we actually applied the wisdom our elders pass down to us, but I suppose that would just take away from some of the adventure of finding our own way. Grandma sounds like an amazing woman.

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  30. Wow...so powerful. You've put a lot of emotion into this...I was only talking to someone today about an old lady we know, and saying how spirited she was in dealing with life at 91 and of how much she's been through, what she's seen...they certainly don't make them like her any more...great stuff, Heaven.

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  31. Wonderful write, Heaven! You nailed the voice! Very nice!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/i-go/

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  32. What a slice of real life this was. Your Grandma sounds like she was both touch through no choice and yet soft, as and when she could be too.
    A really lovely read.

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  33. Thanks for removing that new Blogger captcha thing, having such a hard time reading them. I won't spam you, promise :)

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  34. Sounds like Mother Theresa to me. How brave were our grandmothers and greatgrandmothers. My great great grandmother opened the Oklahoma territory after losing her husband on the trip from Ireland and she homesteaded a ranch with only her two daughters to help her. That's as fierce as this well written poem.

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    1. Enjoyed this the second time. The years tear at you giving and taking, loving and fighting, passion and boredom, it all adds up to a life that gives life, supports life as life demands another and like the annual leaf fall, each of us must pass that color to the following generations entrusting that life lives. Excellent, Grace!

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  35. This is excellent! My favorite part is near the top,

    "not until you walk the jungle, following your gypsy lover,
    in your army boots and knife in your trembling hand,"

    So, so true. I think of all I've been through in my 15 years of marriage, and some of those moments were just that way. Love this one! Oh, and thanks for the tip. Going to turn off the verification now.

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  36. Very strong piece! There is a real sense of how much work love really is--beautiful work!

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  37. Wonderful write, full of wisdom. Loved these lines:

    not until you build a house with your splintered hands,
    paint the rooms, scour the floor clean of dust and cobwebs

    not until you keep your demons at bay, not with pills,
    but with day to day toiling, coating your nails black oil

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  38. i found this to be wildly romanctic heaven - i was quite swept away in the narrative and the heroism and resilience of it all - excellent :)

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  39. Wow, this has a gravitas that comes from love hard-earned. Wonderful and rewarding. Thanks for sharing this.

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  40. I really like the poem and I celebrate your courage to write it, given the fact that some of it is not PC. But these hard won truths spoken by people who have found wisdom thru life's school system, they really need to be heard and never dismissed lightly or forgotten by political fashion. I know you know this, but I think it bears repeating, since the honor and respect due to your grandmother are great. But there is wisdom, too, in realizing that many women who were told these same things suffered terrible emotional and physical abuse. My mother was one of them, so I hope you will forgive me if I say so. That should not suggest to you that I think this poem is wrong or something like that. As I said at the start, this is a really well written poem and I think its execution in form and image are excellent.

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  41. Wonderful stanzas that keep building. You have a very powerful voice in this. Excellent in all respects!

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  42. I love this. I think this is one of my favorites of your works.

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  43. A dire warning to womankind not to expect an easy life...

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  44. This is excellent.

    Life needs salt as well as sugar ...

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  45. Genuinely loved this. One of those poems that has your eyes darting for the next line. The adive given my the grandmother- is just so well put- i could see everything, feel her feelings- i knew that she had REALLY lived and seen and felt all of lifes hardship and hurt. This is poetry I love- real life spilled on the page. Fantastic.

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  46. ADVICE! sorry- my attention to detail is particularly bad today!

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  47. wow the truth hurts ...but we all have live our own truths ..loved this thanks for a great share x

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  48. Wow...wonderful and strong piece, Heaven!! So many beautful images and the words flowed so well. I especially loved:

    not until you walk the jungle, following your gypsy lover,
    in your army boots and knife in your trembling hand,

    I read this several times...really love it : )
    -Eva

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  49. Wow...zing, straight to the truth of the matter. We never think about the trials and passions our grandparents had, felt. Amazing piece!

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  50. Whew! I especially found the part about the other women powerful! That kind of pain on top of all else. K.

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  51. Beautiful! Shows how much of life we do not know about until we can reach a point where we are able to look back with experience in our arms!
    Wonderful poem!
    Poppy :)

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  52. Words from someone wise and who actually knew what love means

    To many times in todays society, ppl use love to try and hold a bond that isnt real ... They have no clue what love even is

    Only a few of us in this world knows what true love is and the battles spent fighting, crying, laughing, growing old, and not even letting death break the bond, kind of love really is

    Great posting

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  53. Wow, very strong piece from a person with such a young heart. This piece brought back memories of my grandmother, my mother, and the food for thoughts stories they left behind for the next generation...

    Expression of a great compliment- "Write On Poet"....
    1ManView

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  54. beautifully written as usual...loved the image as well

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  55. Gobsmackingly beautiful Heaven! X

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  56. This is written with so much grace loved it simply !

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  57. Enjoyed this so much the second time through, Grace. Cheers to life and love!

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  58. This is such a powerful piece of writing Grace. It's family history in the making.

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  59. Wow, this is my favorite of yours so far, sorry I missed it in February but was going through major life changes at the time. Magnificent!

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  60. Wow...that grandma was no shrinking violet...what strength. Love how you told her story, Grace..stunning..I could listen to her all day long!

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  61. What an amazing woman. Her vehemence surprised me!
    "not until"--all of that experience! all of that!
    " . . . can you hear
    the song of wild beauty, mighty
    strong to pierce and heal your feeble heart ~"


    Oh my.

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  62. Love this! Grandma is VERY wise! (And strong.)

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  63. This is so very, very strong, and beautiful, and speaks of a love like no other. Wow.

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  64. This is a strong and beautiful piece. Knocked the wind out of me, so to speak.

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  65. Grandma is wise :) great write, Grace.

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  66. wow, this brought a little tear to my eye... the tapestry of a woman's life. beautiful

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  67. Wow, that's a really great poem, Grace. Rich in meaning and emotion, nicely paced, great imagery, and telling a story in a grandmother's voice.

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  68. It says so much about functions roles and emotions that get passed on brilliantly put

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  69. again i thought..what a wise woman...enjoyed the re-read grace

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  70. Wow....so great and a narrative as well. Beautiful language and I could almost see her there telling the story.

    This got me from the beginning:

    "not until you walk the jungle, following your gypsy lover,
    in your army boots and knife in your trembling hand,"

    If true, we might need an entire poem about this : ))

    Love,
    Eva

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  71. Pathetic! Goes to show women are very much at risk and open to abuse. Very real and very true. The pic you painted happened all the time. Great write Heaven!

    Hank

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    1. Ahhh I remember this well! So good! The story as told through the eyes of someone who has experienced it all....and then some....such a fantastic message in this....I've loved reading your work over the past months- and I look forward to reading more!!!

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  72. Excellent piece! Well done! When you look at it that way...can we really say we have loved?

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  73. Yes! This is definitely one of your best. As I said before, you nailed the voice. Wonderful poem!

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  74. Wow - drenched! Ranging, scraggly, sweaty evocative writing! Left me shivering! Very good reading.

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  75. Thank you for your wise words. This stanza resonates a lot to me (I'm talking about the one with the "whiskey laced voice", but it seems like I can't paste in this comment box.)

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  76. Thank you for sharing this :-)
    I opened this and forgot what page was opening and had all kinds of kids running around me :-)

    Wander

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  77. LOVE this! What a woman your Grandma was! WOW!

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Thanks for your visit and comments ~ I appreciate them ~