Saturday, February 27, 2010

(Not So) Secret Photos of the Colorado Olympic Complex

Bowling National Coaches Conference May 6-10

In my last post, I wrote about my Olympic aspirations and attempt to get my sport of bowling into the games. These are some of the photos I snapped during my stay at the Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the Team USA National Bowling Conference. That was nearly 20 years ago, but I'm sure they are still fairly representative of the facility. The Olympic Complex, former home of ENT Air Force Base and the headquarters of the North American Defense Command, officially became USOC administrative headquarters in July 1978.

A set of sheets and a blanket for the bed, a sink and mirror, a couple of electrical outlets and a shared closet. Yep, that's about it!

I don't really know what I expected to find upon my arrival, but I'm not sure I was quite prepared for the stark housing quarters. The athletes don't live in cushy digs while they train. As it was previously a military command, it is functional and utilitarian at best. We shared sparsely non-appointed rooms and occupancy was co-ed. Females roomed and showered with females (even if their spouse was there) and it was the same for males.

This high powered conference was attended by many of the sports royalty. It was fun seeing professional people, usually seen in magazines and on television, first thing in the morning doing the Fluffy Slipper Shuffle down the pheromone soaked hallway. A bathrobe parade of half eye going this eye going that going everywhere...people. For a cheery morning person like myself, they were like sitting ducks on a pond, easily going down with a straifing barrage of chirpy "GOOD MORNINGs!"

Countdown Clock

This clock is always counting down to the next Olympics. At that time, the count down was marking off the minutes until the 1994 winter games at Lillehammer, Norway.

The amazing Olympic chow hall where forks and knives waged titanic battles on the field of a porcelain plate.

The food service staff got kudos from me for the Herculean task of keeping all the athletes in attendance fueled and ready to go. All the food was donated by large American food corporations like Beatrice. This self-serve restuarant, with skyscraper stacks of nutritionally labeled food, opened three times a day to appease the hungry hoards.

The fairy like gymnasts gravitated to the low fat foods. The cyclists, constantly embattled to consume more calories than they burn in training (a feeling I would like to know for just one day), ate Mt. Vesuvius piles of food. Not yet full, the spinners were tempted by a huge, wanton tray of marshamallowy, vanilla goodness waving her scent bomb in their face. They comandeered the tray of crispy treats, took them to their table and it was a menage-a-trois to remember.

Some of the best amateur bowlers in the world at the time.

Life here was good. It was grand...full of dreams, high ideals and the pursuit of perfection. What would it be like if these high vibrations of hope and excellence were the yardstick by which the rest of the world measured itself?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Aspirations

Me in my 90s, one-piece jumpsuit. Anyone remember those? Wish I didn't.

Okay, lately I've been helping a lot of souls leave this world and move on to the next. It is worthy work but can be tiring. Since the action seems to have slowed down a bit, I need a little change of pace. The Olympic games have given me that "grounded in the body" quality that I need to feel right now.

There was a time in my life when I aspired to become an Olympian. I wish I could say that I know what the quest for Olympic greatness feels like but, I can't. Before I could pursue my medal, I had to first help my sport become accepted into the games.

Way back in the mid-1980s and early 90s, there was a big push to get bowling accepted as a medal sport. We never got any nearer than being granted Exhibition Sport status. Exhibition sports are allowed to perform, for entertainment purposes only, in the games just prior the United States Olympic Committee, USOC, voting, for or against, acceptance on medal status eligibility in the games four years down the road. It is all very political and each sport needs people in high places on their side.

Bowling was voted down. Even though I don't bowl anymore, I still think it is a great game. To me, the best thing about it is that it can be played by most anyone. To the Saturday night beer and pizza crowd, it is a game. To the elite player, it is a game of physics and perfection. But in the end, I think that is exactly what led to the demise of the pursuit.

Although almost every country in the world bowls, it was hard for the powers that be to see it as a world class sport. But if you've ever competed in the upper echelons, you know that it is an extremely difficult and complicated game. One nano-error can cost you your 200 average and send you on a long, lonely ride home without a paycheck. Unlike many sports, in bowling, amateurs can make money without becoming a professional. If you be not perfect, you be penniless in your pursuit.

In the early 1990s, I had an opportunity to spend a week at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A chance of a lifetime I did not let pass. It was training for a tiered coaching program that was developed in preparation for Team USA Bowling. We attended conferences with Olympic sports psychologists, biomechanists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and professional bowlers and coaches. Good friends were made. Good times were had.

My friend, "T"

Even though we couldn't get bowling into the games, I am still proud to have been a part of that time in history. Just trying to get a sport accepted into the Olympics is an Olympic feat unto itself.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Exit, Stage Left

SWISH. That's how I feel right now. Like a basketball shot clean through the center of the hoop. Its after-wind whistling through the net...rippling those nylon diamonds as it drops and rolls across the court to uncharted destinations.

Yikes! The saga of G.G. continues. In my last post, I wrote: G.G. left behind a husband who doesn't even know she's gone. Doesn't know his own name. Doesn't even remember that she existed. They told him she had passed. He doesn't know the difference between G.G.'s death and stuffed eggplant.

I was so wrong. Me. The one who's spent countless hours studying recollections people have of what transpired around them when they were unconscious, sedated or in Near Death Experience. I've read enough case studies from medical journals to know that there is a high incidence of recorded cases where people could quote, verbatim, what was said or done. Enough to know that, despite being in the last stages of Alzheimer's in a coma and on hospice, G.G.'s husband, T.G., could comprehend the that she was gone.

When my brother told T.G. that she had passed, he also told him that if she was the reason he was holding on to life, he could let go now. And after G.G.'s memorial service, he went back to tell T.G. that we had held a memorial for her and had honored his life at the same time. All of their mutual friends and family were there, as was his hospice worker, and it just seemed fitting. Less than 8 hours later, T.G. left his body.

Since he and G.G. met, he had always bobbed along behind in her determined wake. It was like she made one last grand exit, spun on her heels, and with a haughty SWISH of her cape, wrapped it around him and...ZOOM...they were gone. Both in less than a week. Leaving together in death as in life.

I'm the one left standing here with eggplant all over my face. Thanks, T.G., for the wake up call. Bon Voyage...but I have a feeling I'll hear from you again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trading Places

A random universe? I think not. Would a random universe send me to a baby shower and a funeral on the same day? Back to back?

LeeLee glitters and brightens all around her. Even if you don't see auras, you can see this...her golden glow. Folding her hands across her unborn babe, lying solid and low in her belly, an intimate smile, in Mona Lisa fashion, softens her face.

G.G.'s absence is marked by old photographs, the bookmarks of one's life. Her still body, dulled and grayed in death's pallor, has been high-fired into bone-chipped powder. No more smiles for G.G. Or frowns either.

One life arriving.

One life leaving.

One mirroring hope and happiness.

The other, loss and sadness.

Gifts and Games.

Tissues and tears.

I can only imagine the Big Gal Upstairs coordinating these events:

Little go on into the body of Baby Isabelle. Old come on out of that used up, tumor ridden body and rest for a spell. Put your feet up, or what used to be your feet, while we talk about how you'll next come back to work on your karma.

Cosmic orchestration is intense. Wedding Planners and Air Traffic Controllers have it easy in comparison.

Everyone is happy to welcome the new baby...a new life...a blank slate open for great accomplishments and outcomes.

G.G.? Well, sad to say she made a lot of people miserable during her long life. I know it's not right to speak ill of the dead but, she didn't treat people well, especially family. It is what it is. She was who she was. To say it was not so would be lying. Which is worse?

She was Le Grand Bitch. Oh, not my words but those of her children and close family members who were with her through her last sucked breath. I know what they were talking about though. I witnessed G.G.'s reign of terror on many occasions. But even so, there were tears shed at her passing and the transition was hard. A memorial, that she didn't want, was held, anyway, with meat, cheese and veggie trays and salads and carrot cake.

There were a few people she'd made happy during her reign. I overheard them telling the family so. The family, gracious to the last, nodded, comforted and thanked them for their stories and memories.

G.G. left behind a husband who doesn't even know she's gone. Doesn't know his own name. Doesn't even remember that she existed. They told him she had passed. He doesn't know the difference between G.G.'s death and stuffed eggplant.

Still, the day a person takes their first breath and begins pumping blood is marked, as is their last. Two souls trading places in a universe less random than we think.

Would you care for some potato salad or a piece of carrot cake while you make the switch? Not going to be food like this, for either of you, for a long time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Faux Spring Day

Bagging their droplets, the rain clouds

have swished on to shower other states.

Some drier.

Some whiter.

Gray and wet skies have

lost their hand to the

blue and the sunny.

We welcome the break with

open windows and doors

letting in 70 degree temperatures...

letting the breath of warm breeziness

stir the curtains.

People smile...

Inwardly and outwardly.

Shorts and flip-flops,

ball caps and muscle-man T's

bare flashes of white, pale skin...

blinding affirmations of the coming warm.

Animals soak up the warmth of El Sol.

I swear they are smiling too.

Especially those happy California cows.

The steady drone of mowers

and weed eaters from across the way

accompany my walk to the mailbox.

And clean it smells...and green.

Fresh soaked earth--steaming.

And one family member

chooses to leave her body

during this brief respite.

She saw the Light...

too bright to ignore.

Goodbye, G.G., I'll miss you.

But you were wise to

make your move now.

This won't last,

It never does.

It is just a faux spring day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

De Good Life

Willow, of the blog Willow Manor, has created a new blog called Magpie Tales. Willow says, "This blog is dedicated to the enjoyment of writers, for the purpose of honing their craft, sharing it with like minded bloggers, and keeping their muses alive and well." On Friday of each week, she will post a photograph which is a prompt to inspire you to write a short piece of fiction or a poem. Today is the blog's debut. Go on over to Magpie Tales to check out the rules and other contributors work.

De Good Life

"Granpop, I found this while I was cleaning out Gramma Lu's closet. What is it? It sure is pretty."

"Bring it on over here, Calvin," said the old man. "Mah ol' eyes don' work since I got de diabetes." Slowly, he rubbed his hands over the cool piece of metal. Frail, ragged fingers trace its wide mouth and trail down the handle to the tapered base. A solitary tear squeezes out the corner of his eye as a smile rises on his lips like a rainbow in the rain. "Son, oder dan your Gramma Lu, God res' her soul, dis was de best part o' mah life.

Dis was de first trophy ah won on de golf tour. De white men wouldn't let us neaga people play wit dem so we had ta start our own. Had a hard time gettin' sponsors, we did. We couldn' play fuh much money. Hell, we had ta hustle Joe's in every town we wen' to jus' ta make 'nough money ta stay out der. De day ah won dis, ah was flat broke. Ah didn' have a penny ta mark mah ball an' if someone hadn' brought apples ta de tourney, ah wouldn' have been able ta eat. Ah don' think I even tol' your Gramma Lu how busted ah was. An' when ah won dis, ah didn' hafta. She smiled like ah'd given her de world when ah gave her dis.

Son, when ah got up ol' 'nough, ah'd go ta de club an' caddy. Ah was 'bout 12 year ol' when ah started carryin'. Good way ta make some good money...fuh mah family. In dem days, oh, back 'roun 1925, mah daddy only brought home $10 a week fuh some hard ol' work. Why, ah could make $6 fuh carryin' clubs fuh 18 holes. Dat was a lotta money. Mah mama grabbed me by de ear an' pinched it real hard all de while asking me what ah was doin' ta make dat much. Den I'd give mah mama all de money 'cepn a quarter an' ah'd buy me a cegar. Yep, made me feel like a real man.

Mostly taught mahself ta play by watchin' the better players from de caddy shack. Wha, ah even remember lil' Arnie taggin' 'long behin' us buggin' us ta play. Arnold Palmer. He always said de caddies was de best players. He loved a good game. Das' de truf, son. Yo go as' him yo'self. Turned into a mighty fine golfer hisself 'long de way.

Ah walkt 'round wit dat bag on mah shoes. No shoes. Never knew what golf shoes was. Dos spiky, lil' burrs used ta eat mah feet alive. When ah got home, ah'd have ta take a needle an' pick 'em all outta mahfeet. Didn' have no clubs. Jus' took a tobacco stick or a Dogwood strip an' trim it down...made dat ting fit. Know what ah mean? Got some epoxy or somethin' an' put dat thing on de bottom...took it out an' hit it de next day. Man, ah had mahself a golf club...shit. No grip or nuthin'. Jus' took it out an' hit it. Never thought 'bout it. Had one ball as brown as mah daddy's face. Didn' matter how far it went. Wasn' no gripin' and carryin' on like dos boys do today.

Calvin, what yo found der is a man's hopes an' dreams for a better life. You take it now, son. Ah had mine an' Grama Lu don' need it no mo'. Yo go on out der an' get yours. Dat right, son...dat right."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rain, Man!

View Winter Weather

While the right coast has become a giant sno-cone,

The left coast has turned on the water faucet.


Who the heck is that taking pictures while she's driving?

I would NEVER do that, would I?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused,
words of the day
back when Led Zeppelin
ruled, my world
was seen through a
Purple Haze.

I'd gaze in the mirror
to check my eyes
for telltale signs:
too much red against
white and blue.

A mirror and Visine,
my secret weapons, saved
my glutes from being
busted by the fuzz.

*Disclaimer: Now, folks, I don't smoke the wacky tabacky any more. It has been many, many years since I sat toking with Bill Clinton, me inhaling--him not (?). But, when you have a history you have a ifs, ands or roaches. Now-a-days, I just use my memories for background and color.
What I've written qualifies my post for Theme Thursday AND Flash Fiction Friday 55. Go check out the other entries, that's right...go on. Thanks for visiting the Wonderland and have a great weekend.

Friday Flash Fiction 55: tell a story in EXACTLY 55 words. Go see g-man on Friday to give it a try or read more.

Theme Thursday: Mirror-create a post that includes "mirror" in any way.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Technology Anonymous



What separates the two?

Lately I feel like one of the famous Flying Wallenda's walking a high wire tightrope between those destinations. Here I sit at my PC, two windows of the new Internet Explorer, IE, (64-bit) open, one of the IE (32-bit) open because not everything is compatible with the new version, like Farmville on occasion. I'm toggling between Farmville, Facebook, Blogger posts and the post edit windows, my bank accounts, various research articles, Word documents and YouTube.

I have my BlackBerry sitting on the desk beside me. Its constant plink, plink, plink and shrill, shrill, shrill alert me to check my incoming e-mails, Facebook comments, eBay updates and voice mail messages.

Which moment gave me pause for reflection? The one in which I caught myself keyboarding with my right hand while simultaneously phone texting with my left. When did I cross that line? I didn't notice the blustering winds of madness or the drizzling rains of obsession until it was too late.

Thank goodness I'm not like my sister, T, jonseing for Craig's List. She's the one with the addiction problem not me. I can quit anytime I want. Really!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Meditation on Simple Things

I'm simply delighted to help Chris at Enchanted Oaks with her Haitian relief fund. Her family has pledged a $2 donation for each person who participates, with a list, a poem, a prose piece or a comment on her blog about the joy of simple things, to Heartline Ministries for their medical clinic and other programs in Haiti. 100% of all earthquake related funds received will be spent in Haiti on recovery and rebuilding. All state side expenses will be performed by various individuals free of charge. That is hard to beat! You can make your post up until midnight, Sunday, February 7.

So, today, Super Bowl Sunday in the United States, I'm thinking about the simple enjoyment an entire country gets out of this game played by a bunch of sweaty guys tossing and kicking a football, jumping on and smashing each other into the ground until their pants are stained with a green grass juice that is nearly impossible to get out. Is it wrong that I'm more concerned with all that dirty laundry than I am with yards gained and lost?

People are gathering together for celebrations and parties that rival Thanksgiving and Christmas. Come on people, have you been to the stores in the last couple of days? The parking lots are packed. I couldn't even get near Costco yesterday. Carts are stuffed and overflowing with chips and cases of soda and beer. In fact, the total weight gain from Super Bowl Sunday will surpass that of Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. According to Media Life Magazine, while watching last year's Super Bowl Americans consumed 14,500 tons of chips and 8 million pounds of guacamole. Not to mention a 20 percent increase in antacid sales.

In stark contrast, millions of Haitians are gathered together in their fight for survival. I wonder how many televisions are on and broadcasting in Haiti? What if all those cases of pop and beer were water? How far would all those tons of food go in sustaining a starving population?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. Quite the contrary. I think that the Super Bowl serves as a reminder that it is good take the time to truly enjoy the simple things in life while we can. We never know, thankfully, when disaster is drawing our number out of the hat. I also see the New Orleans Saints, being in a position to win the championship, as harbingers of good fortune. Having risen out of the devastation inflicted by hurricane Katrina in 2005, nearly five years later, the team is a symbol of hope and pride, not only to their city but, to the rest of the world.

Now, I have to admit I am not a football fan and probably won't even watch the game, but I am a fan of the indomitable human spirit. Win or lose, the Saints have traveled back up that long, lonely road of adversity.

Go Saints.


11 p.m. Pacific Time: I just read Chris's statement that there were more than a hundred posts/comments about Simple Things which means the goal of a $200 donation was met. Even more exciting, an anonymous donor matched that amount! Way to go bloggers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mirror Images (Flash Fiction-55)

Photo: The lovely and talented, Miss Jessie

I'm looking

in the mirror
for a difference.

Looking for

more than
crow's feet.
More than
nasolabial folds--
those smile lines
on my sagging face--
that I already have.

Kind of like

when I looked
at myself
in the mirror
after losing my

Thinking I

look different.

But my

birthday doesn't
show yet .

Friday Flash Fiction 55: tell a story in EXACTLY 55 words. Go see g-man on Friday to give it a try or read more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Author Interview: Dorraine Darden-Part 2

Jack Rabbit Moon: A Garner Park Story
By Dorraine Darden
ISBN-13: 978-1-58385-139-5
Publisher: Cold Tree Press

Welcome back to our little chat about writing. Today we have part two of an interview with Dorraine Darden, author of Jack Rabbit Moon, and her little dog, Lucky. We'll begin in just a few minutes. The Red Queen was so pleased with the excellent turnout we had for our premier, she most graciously sent over her personal barista and pastry chef. When the Wonderland wait staff comes around, please let them know your culinary desires and they'll get your order while you get comfy. For those of you who missed it, here is Part 1.

Well, Dorraine, is your mug warm and full? Are you ready to get the show on the road? Good, we've got a lot to cover today so, here goes...

Jack Rabbit Moon seems to have a lot of fact blended with fiction. How do you balance the two?

Historical fiction does this frequently. Although this novel is not in that genre, historical details and facts still had to be mined carefully. I not only did research on my own, but had help from several of the locals. Of course having correct and up to date information regarding the park was essential, since it is a real place and is used as a setting in the novel. I was required to receive permission to use the park in a work of fiction. The characters, businesses and events were all fiction. Combined it all seemed to flow like the Frio River.

The intricacies of family life, the good, the bad and the ugly are thoroughly explored in this novel. Do you see any metaphors for life in the families you've presented?

Real life is bejeweled with metaphors and symbols. And so it is with this fictional novel. Here’s a few : Dreams and reality knocking heads, a nice place that’s fixin’ to have the heat cranked up, and the beginning of the end. All are from page one. From the get go we know the main character, Marnie Evans, has had a rough ride and it’s going to get rougher.

Metaphors are also expressed through objects and images, which create new experiences. Marnie’s Daddy, Charlie, was fascinated by jack rabbits. He knew the intricacies of their peculiar behavior. He gave his daughter a gold, jack rabbit pendant, which she ultimately buried in the ground. The pendant represented trust. Now you know something dark and foreboding is going to happen, which will involve jack rabbits. Don’t you?

You have such an easy style of writing that feels almost like southern hospitality to me. Does it come naturally to you? How long have you been writing and do any of your family members posses the same skill with storytelling?

Why, thank you, Ronda. It is natural to my southern personality. Would you like some pie, darlin’? Seriously though, a writer’s style or voice is what E.B. White described as that which is “distinguished and distinguishing.” It could be why we relish some books and not others, just as we are more drawn to certain types of people.

I hear many questions among writers regarding how to discover their writing style. Write and the style will find you. It is you, essentially. Your ideas and the way you view the world and convey it.

As far as writing, I didn’t begin putting words on paper professionally until nine years ago, but started long before that with journal writing.

Regarding other writers in my family, yes, all three of our daughters. Our oldest has had a screenplay she wrote at age eighteen picked up by the Alley Theatre and set to stage, through a teen play-writing competition. She will graduate from college soon with an English degree. Our middle child is a singer/musician who writes her own music and lyrics. We’re not sure about our youngest yet, although she is also proficient with words, especially in the sass department. I'd like to add, I'm very proud of those darn kids. They are also very caring individuals.

It would take a long time for me to write a novel. How long did it take you and did you encounter any surprises in researching and writing?

It took two years to complete Jack Rabbit Moon. I wrote the manuscript then tucked it away on a back burner for a month. When I peeked with fresh eyes, I had a clearer picture of what needed added, deleted and tweaked. A manuscript needs to simmer. No stirring. We get too chummy with our work otherwise and can’t taste extra salt or pepper. Does that sound about right? Well, it is, but here is something else I learned. Read work out-loud. Before the manuscript was published, I was asked to speak and do a timed reading at an event, which really opened my cloudy eyes. On reading, I was shocked to discover I still had some serious junk in the roux, so to speak. ONCE MORE, I went through the entire manuscript and eliminated pesky words which cluttered up the creation.

As far as surprises in writing and researching, yes, there are always those. For me, it was the sheer amount of effort, time and determination required to finish. Carving out time to write when life is hollering, that’s it. But I personally don’t feel we have to neglect family and friends to accomplish this. The key is balance. We still need to get out in the world to keep our experiences fresh and wild. Has anyone seen The Shining? I rest my case.

It might be best that we don’t always know what challenges await us when beginning a novel. Each writer floats a different river. Think of jumping in a cold creek and warming up as we swim. That’s fun, yes? Doing something with passion and conviction is all that’s needed. The rest will come.

I've read in Janet Reid, Literary Agent's blog that to get good writing advice you need to hire an editor or locate and participate in good critique groups or attend conferences and workshops. How did you develop your work?

Janet is one wise agent. If you have never written a novel it can be daunting to begin. Writers need the support, direction and connections these opportunities provide. Novel writing is high art and even though one might have an ability to tell magical stories, there is craft at work, too, which takes knowledge, skill and practice to harness.

For that reason, I initially took a novel writing course offered through Writer’s Digest. My kids were young then and I could do my assignments from home. I learned how to write a fifty page outline, which broke me right in. The course covered all aspects of novel writing, and though intense, I learned well. I would highly recommend it.

Regarding critique groups- I’ve been in those as well but found what worked best for me were individual readers. If we are lucky enough to find two or three friends who can also be objective about our work, then we’ve struck gold. But that’s not to say a great critique group can’t work wonders. The key is honesty. We writers really do need constructive criticism to bring out the shine in our stories.

Hiring an editor- If we are serious about our work, we need one. Mine has not only been a godsend in the advice and corrections department but has been a great mentor as well.

Further development of my writing came through Writers’ League of Texas workshops. I have also attended writing conferences in Austin, Texas. My most recent summer adventure was a six day Hawaii Writer’s Retreat, where I worked with gifted author and instructor, Anne LeClaire. This retreat, which wasn’t at all relaxing, didn’t disappoint. I worked hard but my writing has benefited immensely from the new techniques and careful manuscript editing I received.

If we are serious about our writing, we must take writing seriously. Nobody else will, until we go first.

Dorraine, it has been such a pleasure to get to know you and to learn about writing from your perspective. I located a couple of reviews on Jack Rabbit Moon and they were quite favorable. Folks, if you'd like to read them, visit Stacy at A Writer's Point of View: One You May Have Missed and Deanna at Deanna's Blog, The Life of a Working Writer Mommy: Jack Rabbit Moon, by Dorraine Darden: a review

Remember, you can visit Dorraine any time at her blog, Free Ice Cream. Dorraine and Lucky, on behalf of myself and the Red Queen, we'd like to thank you for visiting the Wonderland. Come back any time. Until then, did someone mention pie and ice cream? Let's go, Dorraine!

Monday, February 1, 2010

5th Annual Cyberspace Poetry Slam

It's happening right NOW! The big cyberevent for February, the 5th Annual Cyberspace Poetry Slam. Brigid, also known as Imbloc or Candlemas, is a celebration of Brigid, a Celtic Goddess. She is the goddess of inspiration and fire. This second big power zone of the year lies halfway between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox . It is a time of coming light, healing, creativity, poetry, and the nine muses and graces. Between now and midnight on Brigid's feast day, select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - and post it over the next few days.

Let's fill the air with poetry, make a wish and spin that wheel of stop spring!!

Candlemas Poem

Night of lit white candles
darkness turned to light
"everything she touches
feast of waxing flame
fire of heart and hearth
fire of the mind
flickering of spark
quickening of air
warming into inspiration
thawing in her innocence
snow into desire

"she shines for all of us
she burns within us all"
spiral heat of life
"she shines for all of us
within us all she burns"
the fires to create
"she shines in all of us
she burns us all within"
awakening arising is her need
"she shines for all of us
she burns within us all"
her candle is our only source.

Kay Gardner
Avalon: Solo Flute Meditations