Category Archives: Judy Dykstra-Brown

Screen

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Trapped

Mosquito netting above my head
and tucked securely around my bed.
What person forced to resort to it
hasn’t made  a sport of it
at bedtime, just as they recline,
shut off the lights, and hear the whine
of a mosquito, far then near
directly buzzing in their ear!
Mosquito netting so fine and thin,
both keeps them out and keeps them in.

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I knew if I tried hard enough that I could find my picture of the mosquito–netted bed in my treehouse!  Finally found it in my Facebook photos.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/screen/

Not Much Choice!

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                                                            Not Much Choice!

The prompt today is  Finite Creatures: At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

I wrote “I’ll Have to Go” to this exact prompt last November.  To see that poem, go HERE.

Ocean Koan

I woke up early this morning and while I was waiting for the prompt, a dolphin swam into my consciousness and prompted this tale.  While you are waiting for me to write a poem about the sense of smell, (today’s prompt), please be content with this one written about another sense:

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Ocean Koan

The dolphins ride in on the music.
Oh, how did the dolphins get here?
All of their harmonies forming
around a new music most queer.

They didn’t come in on a melody.
Didn’t come in on a riff.
They came on a dissonant whistle
its tone just a beckoning whiff.

Whatever the dolphins are hearing,
wherever they’re trying to reach,
we cannot hear what they’re saying,
stranded right here on our beach.

Perhaps we divert them with towers
that speak in a language their own–
calling them with no intention,
our messages forming a koan.

We believe we are harmless and loving,
at peace with their watery dreams;
when in truth we are drying their world up–
pulling it loose at the seams.

Then we send out our signals to draw them
landwards where they should not be.
As the fairytales told to our children
draw them to collect at our knee,

their backs to the crystal clear window,
their ears sealed to all the high tones;
while the dolphins swim forever landward.
Our beaches are paved with their bones.

 

I am not an expert on sonar or other communication technology.  If you want to hear more on the subject, go here:  http://www.earthportals.com/beachedwhales.html

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/smell-you-later/

Cinnamon Woes

Cinnamon Woes

When for my yearly physical I went to see my doc,
two cinnamon pills daily were prescribed to me ad hoc.
I had a premonition this solution wouldn’t work,
for prescribing condiments seemed nothing but a quirk.

With no other suggestions, she had me in a bind.
High cholesterol’s no joke.  I knew I had to mind.
I put it off ’til evening for it seemed to me so odd
to buy the stuff in capsules to put into my bod.

I took one before bedtime and it caught up in my throat.
The gelatin slowly dissolved.  The spice began to bloat.
I had cinnamon reflux. Then I had cinnamon burps.
I swallowed and I swallowed and took water in four slurps.

I coughed three times and tasted cinnamon each time.
I savored not its flavor.  Its taste was not sublime.
That throat lump then descended.  The pain was near my heart.
Then suddenly that cinnamon was expelled in a fart.

The jar of cinnamon capsules is huge and fully filled.
Tomorrow morn at breakfast, again I should be pilled.
But though I’m not the type to go against the status quo,
from now on I’ll take cinnamon with sugar, rolled in dough.

Honestly!

Though I always tell it if I can,
of the brutal truth, I’m not a fan.
(It’s the brutal part that bothers me,
and not the actual honesty.)
In fact, let’s institute a pact
to exercise the utmost tact.
When telling others just what “is,”
be gentle, be they Sir or Ms;
for though it’s not right to be truthless,
there’s no excuse for being ruthless.

The Prompt: Truth or DareIs it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?

Second Chance

I wish that I’d been wilder and freer in my day.
Had imaginative friends to join me in my play.
I wanted to stage circuses and playact vivid scenes,
but schemes like this were always far beyond my means.
There wasn’t enough zaniness in anyone I knew
to dream my dreams or want to do what I yearned to do.

We’d play school or hospital or house when we were smaller,
but this imagination palled as we grew taller.
I wish there had been classes in writing and in art
to allow  that side of me to flourish from the start.
Instead, I had to search for whatever it might be,
never finding anyone who seemed at all like me.

What was it I was lacking? Where was the rest of me?
I didn’t have a clue about what I was meant to be.
Half of my life I think that I was trying to fit in
to places and activities where I’d never win–
achieving just enough to make my life appear successful,
yet still I felt unsatisfied–unfulfilled and stressful.

Since I was nobody’s mom, nobody’s loving wife,
at thirty-one I ran away to find another life.
I quit my job and sold my house and caught a westbound train.
Perhaps I’d find in water what was lacking on the plain.
So I went to California and took a writing class.
Then another and another, until it came to pass

that I finally found the playmates lost to me in youth.
They were irreverent, creative, clever and uncouth.
Here, at last, I finally felt like I had found it all.
Words were the playthings that we tossed among us like a ball.
My own life now surrounded me–securely, like a bowl.
Here I felt a part of things–a section of the whole.

Later, I discovered I was an artist, too,
All my life, I hadn’t known.  Hadn’t had a clue.
It took someone just guessing and pushing me that way.
Then I had two mediums for saying what I say.
Art filled out the rest of me ’til I was full at last.
It took almost forty years to find how I was cast.

And then all of those playmates lost to me as a child
began to pull me out with them–out into the wild
to paint myself and write myself anew each dawning day–
discovering those hiding parts in what I sculpt and say.
Every day, like hide-and-seek, I find another part–
all those portions of me I’ve been seeking from the start.

I know that second childhood is a derisive term,
but I have found in fact it is the apple, not the worm.
It is the food I feed upon, the fruit I’ve always sought.
It is simply what I am instead of what I’m not.
It’s filled with messy, juicy things like paint and flux and glue.
Explosive things like nouns and all those verbs like “am” and “do.”

What I missed in childhood, I found when I was thirty,
and it was simply glorious: naughty, messy, dirty.
I rolled around in words and paint with others of my ilk–
these artful things more nourishing than bread or mother’s milk.
At forty, fifty, sixty, I’ve become what I can be–
found what I lacked in childhood: friends that are like me!

The Prompt: is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/childhood-revisited-2/

Bogged Down in Blog

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Bogged Down in Blog

It’s hard to write while traveling–
your half-knit thoughts unravelling
as they call you in to talk
or have a meal or take a walk.

You sleep in other people’s houses,
wrinkles in your unpacked blouses,
possessions jumbled in your cases,
move at unfamiliar paces.

You live a life that’s not your own–
daily walking, driven, flown
while trying to remember faces,
confused by all these different places.

In the past I adored going–
miles passing, airwaves flowing.
I loved to move like a rolling log,
but that was when I didn’t blog!!!

Now I find I’m scurrying.
Wake up already hurrying.
I’m confused and frankly dumb,
forgetting where I’m coming from

as well as where I’m going to.
I’ve lost a sock and lost one shoe.
Still, I find time to write each day,
here in some room, hidden away.

This daily writing’s an addiction
that makes real life a dereliction!
I short my hosts to do my writing.
I’ve given up my life for citing!


The Prompt: State of Your Year–How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/

Hive

Hive

I know the day has started. I hear them stir around.
Yet here I am sealed in my room, making not a sound.
I rarely sleep eight hours, but usually six or four.
Yet this guest room has no window. It only has a door.

With no bird songs to waken me, no sunlight and no dog,
I have gone on slumbering, sleeping like a log.
It’s a deprivation chamber—a cell, a cave, a den;
so I’ll just go on sleeping, perhaps ‘til nine or ten.

All in all, I am the perfect kind of guest.
No need to entertain me. I’ve only come to rest.
In two more days please crack the door of my little hive.
Perhaps just flip me over to see if I’m alive.

Certainly as hostess, my sister is the best,
and I am sure she has some plans for her newest guest;
but for today to leave me be is my sincere request.
After weeks of traveling, Sunday’s my day of rest!

Note: Today marks my twenty-eighth day of travel since I left home and yesterday it was thirteen hours of travel from the time I left for the airport at 3 a.m. to the time I arrived at my sister’s house. When I awoke this Sunday morning after seven and a half hours sleep—the most sleep I’ve had since I left home—I still couldn’t stir before I’d written my daily poem.

When my sister and brother-in-law built their house and made their guest room windowless, the joke was that no guest would want to stay for very long. Suffice it to say that I know how to turn the broadest hint to my favor!!! Thus, this poem.This one’s for you, Patti. Please put the coffee on.  I’m about to make an appearance.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/its-my-party/

On the Road in Sonora

 Busy day today…ten hours of driving and many adventures, beginning with the night before, when we ate at a wonderful restaurant/patisserie called Panama’s in Mazatlan.  Unfortunately, they didn’t serve any alcohol and Blue, the friend I’m traveling with, was dying for a glass of white wine.
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Remember The TV show “House Party,” where Art Linkletter inspected purses from the audience members and gave prizes for certain objects if they were found in their purses?  I still pack a purse as though I expect to be picked in House Party!  So, I just happened to have had in my purse a flask given to me recently by my friend Dianne which I had stocked with a fine Anejo rum! Blue and I both ordered a pineapple-coconut blended smoothie and I spiked them with rum from the flask.  I had always wanted a flask, and I was feeling happy on both counts and then, as usual, overacted as Blue snapped a second picture with my camera.
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So, we had a wonderful meal and afterwards, went in search of boxes of wine–easier to pack and Blue isn’t terribly picky about her wine, other than the fact that she actually has it–every night!  So, we went to several stores that didn’t sell wine before finding one that did…a large store similar to Target, but remember, we are in Mexico.  We stood in a very long line and finally got to the checkout stand…only to be told by the clerk that they couldn’t sell wine after 8 p.m.!!  We couldn’t believe it.  We asked if this was a Mazatlan law and she said no, just a rule of this particular chain store.

So, we went to a 7-11 store. Blue asked if they had white wine and the clerk just motioned at the wall behind her that was covered with shelves of liquor bottles.  Blue asked again in Spanish if she had vino blanco and the girl, who was playing a video game on her phone, again just waved at the wall, where Blue could see they had only red wine.  Off we went to search out another 7-11 store.  Same story.  Only red wine!  So, we retreated back to our hotel.

The next morning, because we had a very long drive, we got on the road early, but when we passed another Ley’s store (the chain that wouldn’t sell us wine the night before.) I asked Blue if she wanted me to stop and she said yes, so I went in to get batteries and met her at the checkout.  She preceded me in line, blissfully holding her two boxes of wine…unbelievably, to be told by the clerk that they couldn’t sell her wine before 8 in the morning!!!!  By now it was getting surreal!!  Or, like a sort of south of the border Candid Camera.

We left the store, shaking our heads, unbelieving.  Blue has lived in Mexico for 19 years and I have lived here for 14 and neither of us has ever heard of this!  Nonetheless, we proceeded to drive northwards and eventually, we came to another town.  It was our good fortune to see another Ley’s store right off the Cuota road and since it was now an hour later, I exited, knowing Blue was anxious to buy her wine.  This time I remained in the car, sure that I’d soon see her emerging triumphant from the store.  She did in fact emerge–but not triumphant. She opened the car door empty-handed.  ????  I couldn’t imagine what had happened this time.  It turns out that once again, she had been told that they couldn’t sell her wine before 8 a.m.  It seems as though unbeknownst to us, we had passed into another time zone and once again, it was earlier than 8 a.m.!!!

Certainly by now we should have gotten a hint that some force in the universe did not want Blue to have her wine, but we share a certain stubborn streak and so several hours later when we passed yet another Ley’s store in yet another town several hundred miles north of our last stop, we stopped again and this time she emerged triumphant with two boxes in her shopping bag.  We drove on and when we arrived in San Carlos and got our room, she was looking forward to her first glass of wine of our trip.

As I set the luggage out for the attendant to carry up the stairs for us (no elevator), Blue called out that she had to go get the wine that she had forgotten to remove from the car!  Two men who were just unloading their car called out, “Oh yeah, can’t forget the wine!”  Of course, Blue had to tell them the story, at which point they said, “That’s a law all over Mexico.  It’s a church thing–you can’t sell alcohol between 8 pm and 8 am.  When we tried to tell them we’d lived in Mexico for many years and this wasn’t so in Jalisco, they were adamant.  So, we let the matter be.  Blue was anxious to have her long awaited first sip and there is no arguing with some people.

Unfortunately, the wine was warm, there was no ice machine in our hotel and the hotel restaurant was closed, so Blue trooped across the road and paid 20 pesos for a glass of ice, then returned to the room and ahhhhh poured her first glass of wine.

I can’t quite duplicate the sound that issued from her mouth when she poured the wine.  She was at the sink out of sight from  where I was lying on the bed, but it was not a pretty sound.  Nor was the wine a pretty sight when it emerged from the box a bright orange color.  Obviously, something had gone wrong in terms of the procedure for wine storage in that store.  Perhaps the demand was not that great for boxed wine or white wine or perhaps no one else had been able to manage to buy it within the prescribed hours, but clearly, this wine so hard won was not to be the prize hoped for.

Something there is that does not want Blue wined.  She poured the wine down the drain and we trooped across the road to a wonderful palapa restaurant perched on a rock high above the ocean and had an adventure not involving white wine but again involving pina coladas, a fall off a bar stool, brash gulls and a toothpick.  But that is a story for another post.

Tomorrow, we cross the border.  The next time you hear from me, we’ll be in Peoria, Arizona, and you’ll get another chapter of our drive northwards.  Yes, we’ll be stopping for wine as soon as we cross the border.  No, I won’t be drinking it, but I’ll still be packing my trusty flask.  Thanks, Dianne!!!

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Retablo of the Patron Saint of Poets and Musicians

Santa Cecilia is the patron saint of poets and musicians.  This retablo evolved before I did any research on her at all.  I had bought this wonderful oil painting in Peru and just let my mind go in building a retablo for her.  I had no idea who she was–thought she was just another madonna.  When I had finished, an artist friend, Eduardo Xilonsochitl, was at my house painting and building a sculpture for me by the pool and he saw her and said, “Ah, Santa Cecilia.”  I then Googled Saint Cecilia and discovered that all of the symbolism of the retablo did in fact tell the story of her life.  Some things just want to belong together and so it was with her portrait .

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16″ X 16: Santa Cecilia: Mixed Media Retablo, Wood, Metal, paper, dried flowers and leaves, Gold Leaf, Feather, Bone, Abelone, Antique Toy Rocking  Chair, Oil Painting on Canvas, Acrylic paint. 16″ X 16. Click on picture to see details.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mad-as-a-hatter/