Christina Rosalie

Posts from the “Poems + Wonder” Category

Yes & yes

Posted on July 19, 2015

Unbridled pleasure Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset A collision of love and necessity California Wilds Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Photo: Erika Senft Miller

Photo: Erika Senft Miller

There aren’t words really, not yet. Except that I went, and found myself a part of a tribe of the most creative people among the familiar landscape of my childhood for a handful of days. I can back brimming. I came back on the 100th day of my circle project. I came back filled. Heart-felt. Held. Discovered. Seen. Inspired.

Since then I’ve been nonstop making. A notebook already full. The next book taking shape now fast, and certainly. Big canvases edging into sight… and I’m taking every moment I can to create.

I won’t likely be sharing much… at least not yet, not while it feels fresh and wild. What I am sharing is another 100-day project:

I’ll be writing poems daily for the next one hundred days.

I’d really love for you to follow along HERE.

xo, C

Trying for fire

Posted on May 19, 2015

100 Days of circles

I should be doing other things. There is a list. Deadlines. So many shoulds. Instead I am thinking about the rose that my youngest picked today that smelled like euphoria, and of his smile asking to play catch, and of the homeless people I pass by again and again, each time feeling everything and still not knowing how I can help, passing as I do in my car without carrying cash, or on the sidewalk with my dog. Instead I’ve got headphones in my ears, and paint on my fingers, and I’m circling my circles, and I’ve got this Tim Seibles poem on mind.


TRYING FOR FIRE

Right now, even if a muscular woman wanted
to teach me the power of her skin
I’d probably just stand here with my hands
jammed in my pockets. Tonight
I’m feeling weak as water, watching the wind
bandage the moon. That’s how it is tonight:
sky like tar, thin gauzy clouds,
a couple lame stars. A car rips by —
the driver’s cigarette pinwheels past
the dog I saw hit this afternoon.
One second he was trotting along
With his wet nose tasting the air,
next thing I know he’s off the curb,
a car swerves and, bam, it’s over. For an instant,
he didn’t seem to understand he was dying —
he lifted his head as if he might still reach
the dark-green trash bags half-open on the other side of the street.

I wish someone could tell me
how to live in the city. My friends
just shake their heads and shrug. I
can’t go to church–I’m embarrassed by things
preachers say we should believe.
I would talk to my wife, but she’s worried
about the house. Whenever she listens
she hears the shingles giving in
to the rain. If I read the paper
I start believing some stranger
has got my name in his pocket
on a matchbook next to his knife.

When I was twelve I’d take out the trash–
the garage would open like some ogre’s cave
while just above my head the Monday Night Movie
stepped out of the television, and my parents
leaned back in their chairs. I can still hear
my father’s voice coming through the floor,
“Boy, make sure you don’t make a mess down there.”
I remember the red-brick caterpillar of row houses
on Belfield Avenue and, not much higher than the rooftops,
the moon, soft and pale as a nun’s thigh.
I had a plan back then–my feet were made
for football: each toe had the heart
of a different animal, so I ran
ten ways at once. I knew I’d play pro,
and live with my best friend, and
when Vanessa let us pull up her sweater
those deep-brown balloony mounds made me believe
in a world where eventually you could touch
whatever you didn’t understand.

If I was afraid of anything it was
my bedroom when my parents made me
turn out the light: that knocking noise
that kept coming through the walls,
the shadow shapes by the bookshelf,
the feeling that something was always there
just waiting for me to close my eyes.
But only sleep would get me, and I’d
wake up running for my bike, my life
jingling like a little bell in the breeze.
I understood so little that I
understood it all, and I still know
what it meant to be one of the boys
who had never kissed a girl.

I never did play pro football.
I never got to do my mad-horse,
mountain goat, happy-wolf dance
for the blaring fans in the Astro Dome.
I never snagged a one-hander over the middle
against Green Bay and stole my snaky way
down the sideline for the game-breaking six.

And now, the city is crouched like a mugger
behind me–right outside, in the alley behind my door,
a man stabbed this guy for his wallet, and sometimes
I see this four-year-old with his face all bruised,
his father holding his hand like a vise. When I
turn on the radio the music is just like the news.
So, what should I do–close my eyes and hope
whatever’s out there will just let me sleep?
I won’t sleep tonight. I’ll stay near my TV
and watch the police get everybody.

Across the street a woman is letting
her phone ring. I see her in the kitchen
stirring something on the stove. Farther off
a small do chips the quiet with his bark.
Above me the moon looks like a nickel
in a murky little creek. This
is the same moon that saw me twelve,
without a single bill to pay, zinging
soup can tops into the dark — I called them
flying saucers. This is the same
white light that touched dinosaurs, that
found the first people trying for fire.

It must have been very good, that moment
when wood smoke turned to flickering, when
they believed night was broken
once and for all — I wonder what almost-words
were spoken. I wonder how long
before that first flame went out.


First published in Hurdy-Gurdy by Tim Siebles

Today {Just One Paragraph 12/20}

Posted on August 2, 2013

 
 
 
 
photo (56)



Today, nothing quite lined up, though there were many moments: picking wild berries, seeing friends at the South End Truck Stop, and watching Bean watch the glass blowers, his eyes wide, his whole body watching. And there was last night when my writer crew gathered around my dining room table with wine and good chocolate, ears listening for the heart of my story. Still, today was just today. And I am trying to let it be enough.


Today

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.

– By Mary Oliver


Just this:

Posted on July 6, 2013

fieldAndSky


“The Summer Day”

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
 
— Mary Oliver

What my heart wants to say, even though my own words fall short:

Posted on April 15, 2013

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tangled Roots - Christina Rosalie

KEEPING QUIET

Now we will count to twelve
and we will keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
ets stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engins;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
 

 
~ Pablo Neruda
 
 
So, so devastated by the days events. Words fail, yet my heart is full.

How it is:

Posted on November 4, 2012

The Decision

There is a moment before a shape
hardens, a color sets.
Before the fixative heat of kiln.
The letter might still be taken
from the mailbox.
The hand held back by the elbow,
the word kept between the larynx pulse
and the amplifying drum-skin of the room’s air.
The thorax of an ant is not as narrow.
The green coat on old copper weighs more.
Yet something slips through it–
looks around,
sets out in the new direction, for other lands.
Not into exile, not into hope. Simply changed.
As a sandy track-rut changes when called a Silk Road:
it cannot be after turned back from.

— Jane Hirshfield