Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hello my lovely Bluebell readers!

Here we are already in the busy month of May. Everywhere you turn the words "Mothers Day" are being uttered Sometimes with joy and sometimes not. Its a hard day for some.

Those struggling with infertility or who have lost a child to death. Those who have lost their own mother. Or never really had one. Its not a day completely defined by Hallmark and a singing card for everyone.

But whatever might be bittersweet about it, it is still a day where the most amazing self sacrificing love that the mind can conjure up is acknowledged. The love of a mother for her child.

All of us, whatever our circumstances, know a woman like this. Maybe we had her as our own mother. Maybe we are her going without to build a dream inside a young mind. Bitter sweet and magical, all flowing together....

It is in that spirit, that I chose a poem for us to share together today. The poet is someone I wrote a review on last year.  You can read that review here if you are a new reader to this site.

 Her name is Diane Wakoski. Here is how she describes her writing:
“My themes are loss, justice, truth, transformation, the duality of the world, the possibilities of magic, and the creation of beauty out of ugliness. My language is dramatic, oral, and as American as I can make it.

Oh how I love that quote!

And here is her touching poem about a mothers love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanking My Mother for Piano Lessons

The relief of putting your fingers on the keyboard,
 as if you were walking on the beach
 and found a diamond
as big as a shoe;

as if
you had just built a wooden table
and the smell of sawdust was in the air,
your hands dry and woody;

as if
you had eluded
 the man in the dark hat who had been following you
 all week;

the relief of
 putting your fingers on the keyboard,
 playing the chords of

in an afternoon when I had no one to talk to,
         when the magazine advertisement forms of soft sweaters   
         and clean shining Republican middle-class hair
         walked into carpeted houses   
         and left me alone
         with bare floors and a few books

I want to thank my mother   
for working every day
in a drab office
in garages and water companies
cutting the cream out of her coffee at 40
to lose weight, her heavy body
writing its delicate bookkeeper’s ledgers
alone, with no man to look at her face,   
her body, her prematurely white hair   
in love
         I want to thank
my mother for working and always paying for   
my piano lessons
before she paid the Bank of America loan   
or bought the groceries
or had our old rattling Ford repaired.

I was a quiet child,
afraid of walking into a store alone,
afraid of the water,
the sun,
the dirty weeds in back yards,
afraid of my mother’s bad breath,
and afraid of my father’s occasional visits home,   
knowing he would leave again;
afraid of not having any money,
afraid of my clumsy body,
that I knew
         no one would ever love

But I played my way
on the old upright piano
obtained for $10,
played my way through fear,
through ugliness,
through growing up in a world of dime-store purchases,   
and a desire to love
a loveless world.

I played my way through an ugly face
and lonely afternoons, days, evenings, nights,   
mornings even, empty
as a rusty coffee can,
played my way through the rustles of spring
and wanted everything around me to shimmer like the narrow tide   
on a flat beach at sunset in Southern California,
I played my way through
an empty father’s hat in my mother’s closet
and a bed she slept on only one side of,
never wrinkling an inch of
the other side,

I played my way through honors in school,   
the only place I could
       the classroom,
       or at my piano lessons, Mrs. Hillhouse’s canary always   
       singing the most for my talents,
       as if I had thrown some part of my body away upon entering   
       her house
       and was now searching every ivory case
       of the keyboard, slipping my fingers over black   
       ridges and around smooth rocks,
       wondering where I had lost my bloody organs,   
       or my mouth which sometimes opened
       like a California poppy,
       wide and with contrasts
       beautiful in sweeping fields,
       entirely closed morning and night,

I played my way from age to age,
but they all seemed ageless
or perhaps always
old and lonely,
wanting only one thing, surrounded by the dusty bitter-smelling   
leaves of orange trees,
wanting only to be touched by a man who loved me,   
who would be there every night
to put his large strong hand over my shoulder,
whose hips I would wake up against in the morning,   
whose mustaches might brush a face asleep,
dreaming of pianos that made the sound of Mozart   
and Schubert without demanding
that life suck everything
out of you each day,
without demanding the emptiness
of a timid little life.

I want to thank my mother
for letting me wake her up sometimes at 6 in the morning   
when I practiced my lessons
and for making sure I had a piano
to lay my school books down on, every afternoon.
I haven’t touched the piano in 10 years,
perhaps in fear that what little love I’ve been able to
pick, like lint, out of the corners of pockets,
will get lost,
slide away,
into the terribly empty cavern of me
if I ever open it all the way up again.
Love is a man
with a mustache
gently holding me every night,
always being there when I need to touch him;
he could not know the painfully loud
music from the past that
his loving stops from pounding, banging,
battering through my brain,
which does its best to destroy the precarious gray matter when I   
am alone;
he does not hear Mrs. Hillhouse’s canary singing for me,
liking the sound of my lesson this week,
telling me,
confirming what my teacher says,   
that I have a gift for the piano   
few of her other pupils had.
When I touch the man
I love,
I want to thank my mother for giving me   
piano lessons
all those years,
keeping the memory of Beethoven,
a deaf tortured man,
in mind;
            of the beauty that can come
from even an ugly
You can enjoy Diane's book Emerald Ice along with her other books, The Collected Greed, Parts 1-13,   Jason the Sailor, The Emerald City of Las Vegas and The Butcher's Apron: New and Selected Poems.

 Enjoy the special "mother" in your world this week and till next time keep reading and making beautiful poetry a part of your world.
Till next time, all the best! Indie