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© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2017

 

Remembering a kind friend on his birthday, Greg Rose. He is a very genuine, gentle and loving soul.

 Oxytocin

 
 

Oxytocin ©Jo Hewitt 2017

 
 
Oxytocin Love                                    
 
Potion Molecule Motion
 
Humanity’s Light.
 
 
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Asher and Parisa Save Halloween

 

Asher and Parisa running back to the skeleton door. From Asher and Parisa Save Halloween © Jo Hewitt 2017

Asher and Parisa running back to the skeleton door. From Asher and Parisa Save Halloween © Jo Hewitt 2017

 

They had run through the night.

Through shadows long and short

And shadows unseen.

Under shifting moonlight,

They had saved Halloween.

They had help from two owls

And some slinky black cats.

They had been guided

By high and low flying bats

And a lantern named Jack.

They had heeded the words

Of the big birds black.

They had done everything

The ravens had rasped.

What was left-nothing more.

They hurried now, hurried back

To the skeleton door.

They had to make it through,

Before the mid-night.

Before it closed, forever shut tight.

They were at the fence now,

The door they were nearing.

Oh no!

Their skeleton keys were disappearing,

First one, then two.

With P-Nut and Sadie along their side

They ran so fast, they almost flew.

Would they make it inside?

Would they make it through?

Just a few more steps under the skeleton stare.

Just a few more steps.

They were almost there!

 

Asher and Parisa running back to the skeleton door.
From Asher and Parisa Save Halloween
© Jo Hewitt 2017

 

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2017

 

Years ago I tasted my first fig. I wasn’t sure about it, so tried another. It is an odd fruit, an enigma of dichotomy. It is fibrous and gives the appearance of a matte toughness, yet bruises easily. It offers illusion. It is not overtly juicy, but satisfies a thirst. Even when ripe it presents the freshness of green rooted in the musk of earth.  It draws you from muddy purples to amaranth and orchid bedding a dazzling array of seeded fertility. From poets to scripture, figs have been lauded for healing and as an aphrodisiac, one of the Fruits of the Gods.

 Fig

 
 
Figs by Jo Hewitt ©2017

Figs by Jo Hewitt ©2017

 
 
Much unexpected,                                    
 
Subtle juicy, earthy, green,
 
 
Now an addiction.
 
 

Raw Honey

Raw Honey 

©Jo Hewitt The Teal Mango 2017
                                    

It has been a year.                                 

Shall we again meet?

Shall we gather

In your city

Or would you rather

Mine?

Choose.

Either is fine.

Shall I bring chocolate

And pastry sweet?

Truffles perhaps,

Rosemary, Cayenne, or Lime?

Name the date.

Name the time.

Shall we talk of then or now?

Shall we talk, compare each different path?

Shall we give voice

To the aftermath

Of the why and how

Of each one’s choice,

Of our each different path?

Do you want coffee, tea, espresso?

“Oh, the tea” you might say.

“I guess so.”

For me,

I might choose the coffee.

It is long since my life,

My surroundings,

Afforded me the civility

Of the fragrance of tea.

 

Please, say again

Where shall we meet,

We three

To savor old times

With coffee or tea.

Shall it be your condo?

Or shall it be your

Backyard and pond

Beyond

Your screened porch?

Shall you, or shall I pour?

How much sugar does it take

To sweeten your tea?

One lump,

Two, three,

Four?

How many more?

You stop at three?

Lumps in life come differently.

I will decline the sweetener,

Real or artificial

As may be your habit

or your ritual.

I now drink mine

Bitter, a bit.

As we sip,

As we sit,

Shall my thoughts lead my mind

To the calm of the pond

Or beyond

And leave my ears behind

With your shallow prate?

I have no patience of late.

Nor time.

I do not understand

The reason or rhyme

Of your need

for shallow discourse.

Of course,

If I offer topics deep,

Me, again, will you berate

And claim I condescend?

Why?

Will I again

Need to defend

To you

My view,

My stance

On the current social brew

And circumstance of

Injustice,

Ignorance,

Bigotry and hate?

Perhaps you cannot fathom it

From your city,

Or this pond.

Yet,

Shall I regret,

Shall I reflect

My lack of circumspect

In what words I proffer?

Perchance,

If I were to offer

You honey raw,

A chance for healing,

(In sugar coating

There is none,

None at all)

Perchance,

In my defense,

If I were to coat your cup

And stir with your delusion,

And seclusion,

A picket from your

White middle class fence,

Would you drink it up?

Would you drink it all?

Could you stomach it raw?

Or would you choke

In the coat

Of feeling?

Swallowing the rawness

Is the healing.

 

It has been a year.

Shall we again meet,

We three?

I think not.

I have not time to savor tea.

Time is short.

Barely time for coffee.

We stand at the shore,

The brim,

Of the rim

Of a blackened sea.

The waves of the old ways,

Cresting, crashing

Have come,

To swallow us,

Bitterly.

 

 

Portrait of Miss Sinclair by William Orpen

Portrait of Miss Sinclair by William Orpen

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fox and E.’s E. Grapes

©Jo Hewitt The Teal Mango 2017
The Fox and E.'s E. Grapes © Jo Hewitt 2017

The Fox and E.’s E. Grapes
© Jo Hewitt 2017


 

The Fox and E.’s E. Grapes

You said you’d heard I had a change in heart,

Maybe I would feel better now.

You said you had heard it from the grapevine.

You said your heart was okay,

Your heart was fine.

Did you ask me about mine?

 

What did The Fox say?

As he lured you over the vineyard trestle

To expose your nakedness

To his rakishness

To begin your writhing,

To wrestle,

To twist your morals,

Churning out the inside.

The emperor has new clothes-

His flaccid ethics.

Did you both his bloated corpulence ride?

 

To measure truth, reality, justice and ethics,

What are your metrics?

 

And yet,

Do you have regrets

As he filled your cistern with rancid wine?

Churn, twist and turn

On your mottled bed under the grape vine.

Day and night, night and day.

Did you listen, really listen to

What The Fox did say?

 

With your legs and mouth agape,

Did you ruminate on each

Rotten grape?

Did you swallow it all,

Each little green ball

Proffered on his spear’s length and girth?

What did The Fox say?

Did he promise The Garden’s rebirth,

Make new your own Gethsemane?

And what would that be?

It seems it’s a garden turned dark and gray.

But tell me, tell me,

What did the Fox say?

 

Were you complicit?

Were you complacent?

As the cross was broken for the Sacrament?

 

I call you out on your hypocrisy,

The modern world’s leprosy

Where the seekers of Truth

Are confined in the colony.

 

Did you choke on the soured green pearls you spewed

Askew,

In slouched protection from your

Paltry, pernicious pew?

 

You Pharisee,

Void of humane thought,

Vapid head.

Void.

Where years ago the Good Word fell

Screaming, silent, a knell

To a soul long dead.

 

What did The Fox say?

While, before, after

He mind-fucked your head

Fornicating, penetrating to

Your heart, your Soul,

Giving us all the shaft

 

All you say is:

“My heart is okay.

I worry about MY children, too.”

 

Yes,

Your blonde-haired, blue eyed babes

Who will never experience the

Bludgeoning hate of a bigot’s rage.

 

My heart is fine. My heart is okay.”

Again you nurse your whine

Blood letting whine of malice.

You drink from a long tarnished chalice,

Gloating, your spiritual body bloating,

Seeping, ooze of ignorance.

Dare I say, dare I pray for your temperance?

 

Cease and Desist

 

Resist

The call of The Fox

As he mocks

The Word, turned to bitter brine.

 

This is absurd.

 

Again your whine.

 

Would we be safer

With your Holy Wafer,

A thin stale slice.

Dried up infectious staph of death,

Not life.

Do we warrant a few crumbs

To ease the strife?

 

Do we have a choice?

Do you have and

Will you use your voice?

Do you even have your own thought?

 

I thought naught.

 

In this sordid play

Will you only believe and do

Whatever The Fox will say?

 

You laid your soul upon this perverted alter.

You did not falter

As YOU drained it of life.

What else has died,

What else is dead?

You lay back on your grape leaf bed,

Your legs wide

Spread.

 

This is not a game.

 

Do you think your leaf of fig

Will hide

your shame?

Your holy leaf,

Gold leaf,

Old,

Tattered,

Torn,

Is now our crown of thorns.

 

Your lips, lowered, spread wide,

A bloody smile,

Blood of my children, my friends.

With each thrust of The Fox

Another destructive beginning

Which never ends.

All the while

You writhe under The Fox and whine

My heart is okay. My heart is fine.”

 

Did you ask ME how I feel

Is my heart okay?

 

My heart may never heal

As I breathe

In the stench of your spiritual decay

And of your Judas vote.

 

One thing more I must note,

One thing more needs be said,

 

“Let the dead

Bury the dead.”

 

 

 

Lion Tree

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2017

The SSB Drever and I caught a quick walk in Ellenberger Park under a shifting umbrella window of blue in a gray, rain ripening sky. I have watched the deterioration and transformation of felled and fallen trees. Today this one looked like a lion stretched out under a stand of young, watching trees in dandelion dotted grass.

 

Lion Tree

 
standing tall

 

and free

 

tree used to be.

 

how from fell or fall

 

now lyin’ tree.

 

i came upon thee.

 

from branch and bough

 

new to be

 

from death life endow

 

transforming-

 

inspiring,

 

lion tree,

 

dandy lion

 

in grassy sea

 

lyin’ lion tree.

 

Lyin' Lion Tree © Jo Hewitt 2017 Death and transformation in  a city park.

Lyin’ Lion Tree ©Jo Hewitt 2017
Death and transformation in a city park.

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2016

The Secret In the Snow

 He gave P-Nut one last hug and one last whisper, “Hurry!”

He gave P-Nut one last hug and one last whisper, “Hurry!” From The Secret In the Snow © Jo Hewitt 2016

 

Asher and Parisa had spent the day searching for the Secret in the Snow, from the last twinkle of the Morning Star until the Sun, tired of climbing higher and higher, leading them and their dog P-Nut through the snow covered meadows and wooded areas to  the hidden opening of the cave where the Rainbow Fish swam on summer days, decided it would stop and begin the trek back to the world on the other side of night. It was then, when they had carefully stepped inside the cave they saw it. It was amazing like nothing they had seen before.

The snow had followed them. It’s foot steps getting bigger and bigger to match the shadow it was leaving on the land. They wanted Mommy and Daddy to see the cave and the secret inside. But if they left now, the Snow would hide the opening to the cave forever and ever. They decided to stay, to guard the opening to the cave and its magic. They would send P-Nut back to get Mommy and Daddy, to bring them to the cave with the Secret.

Parisa kept watch on the growing Snow as Asher whispered into P-Nut’s ear, “Go get Mommy and Daddy! Bring them here.”

He gave P-Nut one last hug and one last whisper, “Hurry!”

And then they waited.

 

 

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2016

I love nature. I love dawn and dusk, and the twilight times. I love fanciful stories, myths, and fables. I love the magic of that wonderful place where they all meet-childhood. Whether it is the dew drops of a magical early autumn morning, a blanket of snow enshrouded in the darkening purple shadows of whispering winter pines, the sound of freshly green blades of grass singing in the after math of a spring rain, or twilight shadows of a summer evening giving refuge to the scurrying of fairies with lightning bug lanterns, playing hide and go seek with the moon, I love it all. It is a gift, instilled in me, from my mother. But like fairy dust, in a blink of an eye, it can be gone all too soon.

But, in those rare magic moments-of slivers of moon and glistening of snail trails, of quiet star mornings in winter tales, I reach for a small piece of it, a small piece of my mother, to hold close to me, always.

 Childhood Pretend

 
Much realer than real,
Magic of childhood pretend 
Too soon, comes to end.
 

Girl with Dog at Lily Pond © Jo Hewitt

Girl with Dog at Lily Pond
© Jo Hewitt

Wilma, With Love

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2016

With Love, Wilma

With Love, Wilma

This past spring, in the 3rd month of the year, it was the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s death 3 days short of her 97th birthday, 3 years short of her hundredth.

Over the years I had asked my mother things about her life. Evidently I did not ask enough or I have forgotten; questions do arise. I think, “Oh, I’ll ask Mom.” But it is too late. She had shared the events of her life, facts and observations of the facts. But I wanted to know what she thought and more importantly, what she felt. One time on a road trip I asked her some things. She relayed facts of events. When I pressed her for what she thought and what she felt in those moments of her life, she stopped talking to me, turned her head and stared off to a vacant horizon. She either wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me what she felt.  One of the few things she shared was when I asked if at some point she became ill, in a vegetative state, what  decision she would like me to make for her.

Starting off as a sickly baby, she had her share of hardship. I don’t think I could have gone through what she went through: 11 children, childhood diseases at a time when one suffered through and prayed no one died, sewing their clothing, canning their food in addition to a full time job teaching. Money struggles and a lack of robust health, and the death of three of her children before her own were added to that. The heart and soul of a naturalist and artist, a free spirit, buried beneath the heap of the demands of life, struggling for air. I think of her as a marathon runner. Maybe she didn’t have the luxury of thinking or feeling, but had to focus: one foot, then the next, to keep on going.

Still I wonder. I want to know. Still.

It’s too late. She will never tell.

 

Wilma With Love

 

Oh Weakened Wilma!

Yellow, puny, sickly baby, small.

Did they cuddle you, love you, 

Give you all?

Not enough mother’s milk for you to feed.

Not enough to meet your need.

Give her the summer milk they said.

Might as well, as well she’s dead.

Oh Weakened Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Wistful Wilma!

Did you find delight of dew on naked feet?

Did you run through meadows 

Or fields of corn

To catch the sky above 

You and flowers of the same earth born?

Did you greet the sun of morn

Or the stars of night?

Did your heart mourn the fall of leaves

Or autumn birds in flight?

Hay loft above, straw below,

Did you day dream, hay dreams

To a bovine low?

Oh Wistful Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Wondering Wilma!

From open fields to opening your mind,

Beginning at home, then off to school  to learn.

What will you find?

A new love, for knowledge, you yearn.

This drive, this quest, a thirst, your soul burns.

Science, nature, Latin, literature, art.

Elementary, high school, to university.

Valedictorian. Your hallmark. 

Valē. Embark!

Oh Wondering Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Winsome Wilma,

In this new, college town place

Did you know how much your world changed,

How much your life would be re-arranged?

Someone would not see a plain Wilma Jane face,

But a smile to beguile and rile

A force that would your past erase.

Unintended, unexpressed flirt.

Could you understand love,

Its joys, its hurt?

Oh Winsome Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Wandering Wilma,

What was this love, this vow? 

Was it somehow

A  deal with the devil?

Constant upheaval.

Far from your family home.

Another year, another town, another house, another baby-child,

Love’s illusions defiled?

Your emotions involute, to a dark inner alone.

Oh Wandering Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Wearied Wilma

Moving mouths and moving trucks or vans

Packing, unpacking, reaching, empty hands.

Sugar, eggs, milk shortage.

Ration.

Chipped dry beef gravy

Or hash on 

White bread.

Stomachs grumble to sleep in cold bed.

Not really enough to eat.

Worn out shoes or no shoed feet.

One house with floor of ice

On winter days and winter nights.

Children sick, was it five or six?

Diseases, was it four or more?

Diapers and vomit on beds and floor to clean.

Two weeks of quarantine,

With you to care, just you alone.

Tired, exhausted to the bone.

Oh Wearied Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Widowed Wilma

You are at no one’s beck and call.

There is no one there. At all.

After years of giving your life time blood

To children, dying son, dying husband

Can you answer to one, your heart, instead.

Is it time to pick up brush and pen,

to pick up palette and paint,

Begin again?

Orange, red, gold.

Splattering autumn pigment so bold.

Wispy fingers of dawn clouds so faint,

A trace of light, a trace of your soul.

Oh Widowed Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Waning Wilma,

Did the days begin to run one into the other?

Did monotonous time becomes your new master?

Slowly sucking the flesh of your days,

Faster and faster?

Did your heart running free

Stop, look back to see

The empty place,

The missing arms, the missing face,

The voice, words that at times were gruff?

The clock tick-ticking behind the chimes. 

Was it perhaps enough? Was it time?

Oh Waning Wilma, what did you think? What did you feel?

It’s too late. You never will tell.

 

Oh Waiting Wilma,

What will your heaven be?

What will your heart yield?

Is it the rose fingers of dawn

bejeweled with lingering stars of night?

Is it golden blue sky 

over purple drenched field

From which the winter crow takes flight?

What did death’s summon bring?

Did souls with loving arms around you ring?

Oh so many things I should have asked

before your invitation to death’s dance,

Before the adorning, death’s sunken mask.

Now I could not ask. I could only sing

and hold you, for this transitioning.

A silent wail,

I felt the rift in Heaven that morning night.

Your winter’s birds taking spring flight,

Lifting the veil. 

Oh Waiting Wilma,

What did you see?

What did you feel?

It is too late. You never will tell.

 

Girl With Kittens In Berry Basket. By Wilma J. Russell circa 1930

Girl With Kittens In Berry Basket.
By Wilma J. Russell circa 1930

 

 

 

Haiku and Loku Days-Thistle

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2016

 

Thistle Blossom-ç Jo Hewitt 2016

Thistle Blossom-© Jo Hewitt 2016

A test of courage and finesse, there was a game we played as kids-sitting on a thistle. Early on as I was learning the names and attributes of the weeds around the farm, were they friends or foes, I learned to distinguish the thistle from another weed which, for awhile, I confused with the thistle. I don’t remember what the other weed was, but the thistle has stuck with me. I was amazed that from a plant so hard to touch, to hold, emerged such a beautiful and elegant blossom. And later, it transformed into wisps of magic, silken seeds, whispering farewell, off to the unknown, on the cooling winds of the shore of autumn.

I understand why it is looked upon with such disdain as a vile plant. I know it is prickly. But the blossom is so lovely and the seeds so soft, like butterfly wings and gossamer with dew. I defy the common wisdom; I let a few grow and bloom among my roses.

Life is not so unlike the encounter with the thistle. There are people who are prickly, who are hard to know, and stand alone on the edge. Maybe, given a chance, they will begin to bloom, to yield something special. Maybe life is like maneuvering to sit on the thistle. One has to have courage, finesse, to maneuver to find a way to sit on, or stand and function among the prickles of it all.

In some ways, we are not so different than the thistle. We start out in what ever soil or rocks in which we landed. We are tender and green, but sometimes develop prickles as we go through life. Hopefully we get a chance to bloom and show the world our potential and beauty.  And in the end, our essence, like silken sunlit seeds, wisps of spirit, lift away on the wind.

Thistle

 

Green growth, purple hope 

 

Thistle-prickle, silken seed, 

 

Wind-seed send-begin.
 
 
 
Thistle Seed Pods in Sunlight -© Jo Hewitt 2016

Thistle Seed Pods in Sunlight -© Jo Hewitt 2016

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