Saturday, July 17, 2010

Athena....A Goddess of Poetry

As I have been wont to do recently, I eschewed the group ride this morning for the simple pleasure of sleeping in, leisurely enjoying my morning cup of coffee while getting updated on the Tour De France, and just waiting for the fog to burn off and the glorious sun to appear to warm my impending ride.

I set off with no goal in mind other than to use 4 hours on the bike, but Lake Merritt seemed a destination with merit, so off I rode, watching the battle between gray fog and blue sky playing out above me. Soon enough I found myself at the lake and passing under the 580 Autobahn, noticing that the Farmer's market was in full bloom there in that park in front of the Grand Lake Theater.

Now, normally I just whisk by or around the Roti Chicken truck, or the other various vendor vehicles unloading there, but today the captivating sound of Blues harmonica caught my attention and made me swerve to the curb, where I saw a duo playing the aforementioned harp and also an acoustic guitar. These guys were good---simple tunes but very well done, and having taken some blues guitar lessons way back in a previous life, I could appreciate it all the more. I took in the scene---many people walking about in the warm glorious sun, naked tots joyfully playing in a shallow fountain, and a wistful, somewhat Bohemian woman sitting on a concrete wall, a typewriter in front of her and a case behind her with a hand painted sign that simply stated " Poems for Sale."

I let that sink in. Now, Cathy, aka Flashette, is quite involved in poetry. This must be prime poetry season because not a day goes by without her pounding out a new poem, and it is all good, I mean, where does she get it all from? So I thought I'd mention that to the young woman on the wall, this mutual poetry jones that they must have in common, and I approached her as I approach many of the people in FlashWorld. I was enthralled by my interaction with her.

I felt a connection with her like she is the proverbial old soul trapped in a 21st century body. I told her things I don't normally tell strangers, but she did ask and I felt primed to tell. She then offered to write me a poem. I was taken aback, really. I've never had this offered to me before, and in a way, it seemed too personal at one level, but on the other hand I saw this as a gift, one of many gifts that have come my way lately. So I stepped aside while she pecked away at the vintage portable typewriter---I mean, when was the last time you heard one of these in operation? It was a reassuring sound, a sound from the past, a sound my mother used to make. A typewriter is the sound of commitment---you make errors, you live with them, there is no instant pixal erasure. As well, it's the sound of creativity, deliberately tapping out each letter, the space between each revealing the mind in thought. After a while, here is what the typewriter produced:

today I met
the world's strongest
man he
single handedly succeeded
in stopping
the river's liquid
song, the music
of his soul
gone, erased
why bother
to taste life
when you can
waste life crunching
through dry crispy shells
where joy was rumored to
be seen by eyes bound
tight by sleep.
but even the strong man
could not compete
with Love's plan
and one day
his heart screeched
and broke free
in a sweet flush
of holy heat
this strong man
took his sacred seat
on the throne
of Eternal Now.

I love it. I was blown away by its resonant wave. I carefully folded the typewritten piece of paper and put it into my cell phone baggie, and all during my ride I thought about it and how I couldn't wait to get home to read it again. The ride itself took on a gossamer quality, lighter, ephemeral. The wind blew right through me.

Ride on my friends,


  1. What a THRILL to read a reflection of me from the outside through You! Makes me feel like when I look upside down while swinging high! Eeeeeek! Shriek! Squeal! I love it! And you may not write "poetry", but your writing sure is poetic!
    Blessings to you, Friend,
    Athena Grace

  2. Hello, I follow Athenagrace's blog and enjoy it very much - well - I think it's an addiction at this point! But wanted to leave a quick comment on your post about her. Love your writing and insight. Will follow your adventure of life as well..

    Atlanta, GA

  3. Athena Grace is one of my all-time, high-priority, blogging buddies! Thank you for the photo...I've been picturing this marvelous specimen of heart and soul, plonking away on an ancient typewriter. An actual photo caused me to melt...I love this young woman from the depths of my Old Soul. I love that she busks poetry! She's kind of this four or five tiered creator! The levels keeps going deeper.

    And bravo! to you - finding the courage to take your plunge. I know how frightening it is to walk away from what we thought was security. Or did we call it 'necessity'? The Universe is so plentiful and I hope you also find that we just need to step out to experience the abundance.

    Your blog is great...I'll go from here to subscription!

    Keep well and look forward to more. - Amy