Ophelia

Into a sea of emptiness
She falls
Nothing was great enough
For her

With no energy to swim
(or live)
She stops
And the water she once drank for life
Swallows her

No longer
Do we mourn for thee, Ophelia
For thou art dead,
stolen,
lost,
To a world which shall care for thee—
Not like this one.
We sing your praises
Solemnly
Our dear,
brave,
silent girl.

-Karin Salisbury

 

File:John Everett Millais - Ophelia - Google Art Project.jpg
Ophelia by John Everett Millais
photo credit

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Needing

Her grandmother used to knead by hand
On a floured surface
Removing treasured wedding bands
In exchange for dough-covered fingers
She can remember Grandmother’s punching
and shifting
and pushing
and turning
Filling the dough with joys
or
frustrations
Whatever were the feelings of the moment, the day, the week, the month

Now years later
with no floured surface
She carefully measures her wheat, honey, water,
Yeast, oil, gluten into her bowl
Breadhook attached, machine plugged, timer set,
the mixer does all of Grandmother’s work
to the tune of ten minutes.
The timer sounds, the kneading is done —or is it?

She longs to touch the dough
like clay in the artist’s hands
Bringing life into element through the hand-builder.
Pulling out the flour, she dusts her counter and hands
Ooooooo—wow. How could she know it would feel so fresh in her hands? She turns in her sorrow for the fussing she did to John who wouldn’t put on his shoes and head to kindergarten class in time for the bell and pats in her smile she shared with the baby this morning. She infuses the bread with her spirit
as she feels
Grandmother near.

The futility is passed. She embraces the past, and

Making bread is now a joy.

-Karin Salisbury


photo credit

Spoken Word Poetry

Ever since a thoughtful friend shared Sarah Kay’s TED talk with me years ago, I have been enamored of her work. She recently shared a poem from her new book, and I wanted to share it with you, my dear blog readers. xoxoxo

Apron Strings

I lay resting next to you–
Your heavy eyelids drifting
in and out of dreams
Your fingers wrapped around my
apron strings.
I gently unweave myself from you
tiny bone of my bone
flesh of my flesh
And move the strings out of your grasp
–but I like the way they look
Enclosed in little hands
new skin
fresh from Heaven
I want you to hang onto me forever

How will I know when to let you go?

-Karin Salisbury


photo credit

Control

Up in my figurative tower
Growing out my hair
Confined, cornered,
Her tight hold on my soul
Mirrored only by the way she held the brush
And band
For another twist
Or braid
Manipulate my spirit, my voice
In, out, down, through, under, twist, braid, tight, tighter, tighter….

Architecture

Who hired me
as architect for your early life?
My experiences with Legos are hardly
Sufficient credentials, I think….

Still, I labor
Planning the experiences that will build
You.
Modifying blueprints as my
on-the-job training requires
Will you love soccer, ballet,
the trombone?
More importantly, will you love
Yourself?
Your fellow beings?
Your God?

With experiences as cinderblocks and
Love as mortar
We work together building the edifice of

You.

–Karin Salisbury

photo credit