Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘poetry


with 3 comments

musing on the myriad ways memories affect us and how elusive memories can be, i have started a number of poems to capture different memories and how memories change through time and space.

For Cyan

i always thought her pale face beautiful ethereal but
it marked her heart as it had been since birth
unable to keep up unable to match a girl much less an infant
and so the surgeries marred her
we never saw physical scars no
she was our fairy child
we saw the scars in her eyes and her writing and the pain reflected

her dark hair grew she dyed it varying colors hid behind it when
drugs smoothed the lines of her face and created a body that a 16
year old teenager could not have cared for
i created a costume to hide it all but in the end
her friends pulled her free
and she danced for the camera as they did

and then
she was gone
closeted in the hospital behind white doors waiting for a new heart
a panacea a perfect solution
we waited breath held
for one heart
first a bad heart—who sends a bad heart to a dying girl?
to be removed again from our fairy girl
and lo
another match a new heart the solution
we talked that night so optimistic in medical terms and emotional
as she lay struggling for breath

and so that next morning that the ethereal body that pale face
could not handle the trauma once more
the scars in her eyes were gone
her breathing stilled

she watches me sitting on stone walls with a solemn face or shy smile
and sometimes i catch sight of her dancing in the rain
she is freer now with her laughter and her eyes lighter in spirit
she feels no pain

in this place called his soul

in this place called his soul
her pain matched his for too long
her confusion followed his down the dark hallways’
twists and turns
her love tried to keep up
as his leapt and ran through tortured tunnels

she stands no longer in that place called his soul
she hears his voice faintly
but the pain is not hers
the hallways no longer hers to follow
the love belongs elsewhere

and although for a time they were lost in the tunnels
she will walk away
she has meadows to run in flowers to find
she has clarity of purpose and mind
and the pain is gone
the sunlight hers at last

a painting

a memory
a painting of great detail and minute accuracy
step closer
peer at the brushwork the intense color
what is this
small flakes of paint have begun to fall
the artist must have used inferior paint

this memory
of great detail and minute accuracy
goes like this
(the bits of paint that have fallen cannot be replaced
the girl has not been 6 for 40 years and the grandfather
is happily
a grandfather and his granddaughter sit on the couch
she 6 years of age in shorts of blue shirt of ……….
his pants ……. shirt plaid his cane leaned beside him
such a nice portrayal
he speaks to her, “…….. ,”
and she allows him to reach inside her shirt
and ……………….. then pulls his hand away
he reaches for the zipper of her shorts but fumbles
she begins to help but ………………………..
he says, “ ……… ,”
she leaves the living room and runs towards safety
her brothers’ room but they yell at her to leave
so she goes ……………… to hide until her mother returns

the grandfather?
we do not know
this is the girl’s memory
his memory died with him
or flaked away before him
so that he died with an empty canvas

not what i wish to give

even though you have exhausted all human constraints on what should and
should not be a trial on the spirit of any one person
i place my hand where your heart should be to still it from its frantic beat

even though you are a ghost
in the true sense of the word a spirit that wanders the world
though your corporeal self still remains (that is a mystery of course)
i smile at your ghost to encourage its return—you should not be without it

even though that ghost is malignant malign: baneful, malicious, misogynist
just the leftovers of your desperate work on a life full of flaws and human-ness

i read a paragraph and think that you would enjoy the play of words across the page
the interwoven message
i hear a word a story a message from the world and know that this is something you should know

the ghost hovers listening wanting
not what i am wishing to give
i wave a hand to send it on its way home
and hope that some of the warmth the calm are carried with it on the wind

Written by senua

July 18, 2009 at 5:07 am

The Performance

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her drone monotone doldrum and dross a chance meeting
intermezzo gentle tease a trip, flurry of fingers on
ebony keys dipping long smooth digits in fluid motion and
throb forte pound at a merciless pace accelerando faster
raised voices in hatred staccato stumble over unspoken
subside pianissimo loving stroking barely there slow
languid adagio leaving, tears fading nothing. Fine.

Written by rosylee

April 13, 2009 at 9:42 am

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Whose Hands?

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I remember her hands, slim and graceful,

gently rounded fingernails

sometimes painted with a soft rose nailpolish,

sometimes cut up from yardwork or from building something.


Hands that could wield a hammer or a needle,

 pounding work or delicate work,

                sometimes doing construction as when building her house

                sometimes doing embroidery or cruel needlework.



Hands that made crocheted gifts for Christmas one year and

hand drawn with the recipient’s interest painted on tee shirts the next. 

                sometimes making and carving candles

                sometimes making beaded flower arrangements for all.


Hands that hammered two by four’s

hands that carried large cement blocks

                sometimes up scaffolding while building a chimney

                sometimes making a retaining wall.


Hands that made things from scratch

hands reddened from boiling water or strained black raspberries,

                sometimes making tofu or bread

                sometimes canning veggies and making jellies.


Hands that hammered wallboard

hands that spackled and sanded each wallboard joint

                sometimes painting ceilings and walls

                sometimes slapping on tar to waterproof basement walls.


Hands that danced through the air

as explanations needed visual expression,

                sometimes in graceful dancing

                sometimes in pointed conversations.


Hands that changed diapers

hands that delighted to convey love to others through touch, 

                sometimes to hold and caress

                sometimes to massage and heal.


But what has happened to those hands?

Whose hands do I now see?

                sometimes bloated from water retention

                sometimes aching from too much work

                sometimes not seeming like the same hands of yore

                sometimes I wonder: whose hands are they?


They are my hands now: aging, not as graceful

hands that convey the passage of time,

                sometimes still able to massage and heal

                sometimes to make bread or draw

                sometimes to build something or paint

sometimes pull weeds and plant.


More likely than not they are dry, needing lotion

or aching from too much writing or weeding

                always wanting to impart love and touch

                always wanting to distill a little more beauty

                                into gardens, or recipes, or creative gifts

                                into life, work, people, love.


They are my hands now—no one else’s

 I am proud of the legacy they reveal

                only to those who have the wisdom to see

                life enhances, not detracts, from the beauty of hands.



Written by thalia

September 9, 2008 at 10:50 am

Green with Envy

with 12 comments

Faced with her own fears
she becomes green with envy
and hides behind it

She, Mother Nature
covers the pain in algae
makes no distinction

except for the eyes
as clear windows to the soul
that strive to take root

— genece hamby, contemporary digital artist & poet

Another Collaborative Post

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My friend, Shiloh, (you remember Shiloh, right?) introduced me to some challenging and lovely forms of the art of Haiku,   It started with her asking if I had ever heard of a Chain Lanturne Haiku.  After she showed me her writing. I suggested we each write a chain on the same general subject, since Shiloh had already written one, I followed the basic imagery she created and went from there.

We researched the form at the following links:,%20Tanka,Lantern,Chain%20Lanter

Poets and Poetry

Shadow Poetry — Resources — Haiku and Senryu


So, with all of this crowding about and vyiing for your attention, here are our attempts.


black and
yellow body,
settles on red

brilliant red
petals swirling

ere night falls,
petals close in,

near full moon,
silver blossoms’
Gwen M. Myers 


on a yellow

sets, pink,
orange paint the

a new day
with a pearly

open, a
yellow jacket

falls, the
rose gently
closes. Pleasant

orb hanging
o’er high mountain

Shiloh Cannon Blackburn.

May 25, 2008

You can also see Shiloh’s post at:


I hope you enjoy both posts, and want to come back for more!!

Written by gwenguin1

May 27, 2008 at 2:54 am

Write the First Faint Line

with 8 comments

Write the first faint line,
unlock the door
to your mind,
and heart.

Sketch shadows
in a darkened room,
resolve questions,
of a forgotten past,
explore dreams .

Persist diligently
in practice, day after day
pursue wisdom,
ponder truth,
awaken your universe.

First line taken from Pablo Neruda’s exquisite poem Poetry.

Written by porchsitter

May 20, 2008 at 3:45 am

Sacred by the Sea

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sacred by the sea
stands crisp white sanctuaries
built on memories

of Minoan past
and heavy volcanic ash
layering the land

once believed to be
home to the Atlanteans
of sky and water


this enchanted shore
where fishing vessels
wait and pray often


the Gods rest quietly
on buildings stacked upon high
cliffs of change and dreams

–genece hamby, contemporary artist & poet (image painted by Genece)

Written by Genece Hamby

May 19, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Dear Jack (written to author, Jack London)

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My saddest lines and words to famous author, Jack London (1876-1916)

You are
my one
distinct and
silent voice
resting deep
in stillness

I stand with no one around. The cool morning breeze pulling a few pieces of hair away from my face, I wait.

The winds shift into a deep ryhthmic longing.

Your breath tickles the nape of my neck. My heart is racing as I feel a soft kiss brush against my skin. Your voice mixes with the winds in the haunting sounds of love.

Gasp! You are behind me, a chilling touch preventing me from falling to your grave with shattered tears. You know I would just as soon dig you up and lie down beside you, then throw the blanket of Earth back to keep us covered. Alas, knowing my morbid thoughts, your ghostly hands wrap around my waist. Gently, you squeeze. I pray you take my life so we can be together. You don’t.

My beloved Jack, I wallow in madness for I cannot reach you. I am unable to touch your hands that I yearn to hold for comfort. I quest to know why my heart and mind would follow you again to this place that keeps me captive; this place that grieves for you. Your grave. The place you were put to rest. The place that rest robs me and burns my soul in the agony of missing you.

Do not give me simple gestures to erase you from my mind. I have tried to unplug the rhythm of your voice to no avail. Jack, you elude my dreams for I cannot place you in my current life. I cannot hear your words and am left only to the haunting chant of you lingering in the depths of my being, your whispers carried through the ethers of time.

Pushed down to your grave, you disappear as quickly as you had appeared. The pangs of anguished love rips from the belly up. A scream can be heard for miles. My knees bend into a ball and the scent of dirt from your grave torches me. You are gone. I am alone again.

What kind of mad woman am I to be haunted by a ghost I can only love from a distant past? How is it that I ache for your expressions that stain my thoughts with ink from your words? Your novels line my bookshelves. Yet, I cannot read them for they bleed me, imagining your lips upon mine from another existence. I am chased by the illusion of what cannot be, lost by the fine threads between this life and beyond.

It is true that I yearn to know this love here and now; to feel that soulful love is possible.

Jack, if it is destiny, I will put you to rest as a ghost of a distant past until another takes my heart as passionately as you. Until then, I remain a soulful lover that surrenders to the dreamer’s dream of awakening.

 Jack London had a great influence in my life from the time I started reading his books at an early age to the many years spent visiting at his beloved ranch (Beauty Ranch) in Glen Ellen, CA (Sonoma County wine country). I have often felt that I have loved him deeply in another time and space. His Credo has been a guiding light:

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

— genece hamby, contemporary artist & poet

Written by Genece Hamby

May 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm