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Monday, August 8, 2011

Poems for my daughters...


Close to my heart, my first born,
A fragile fawn, in the forest of my dreams,
Standing in a glade of gilded light,
Basking in her own reflected light.
Poised to leave protected woods,
Trembling on the brink of “Should’s.”
And “Shall I’s?” and “Perhaps I won’t,”
And “What will happen if I don’t?”
While all around her, if she only knew,
I’ve built a ring of heart flames to
Stop the forest fires fast approaching,
As the world outside comes poaching.


Lycia, my lamb, my love,
So tender, so fair, so serene.
You were the lamb who frolicked alone,
The one who kicked her heels the highest,
So wry, so witty, such fun!
The one who nuzzled and cuddled,
Always sensuous and soft,
My Lycia, my lambie, my love,
My beautiful baby,
I love you.
Lycia, my lambie, my love,
Do you remember when
You wore wolf’s clothing?
When you howled and brayed,
While underneath,
The little lamb bleated?
Do you remember when you changed colors,
A black sheep who wandered in dark pastures?
Did you know that I loved you always?
That from the ward and woof of our two lives,
We wove a cloak
In which we will be wrapped together forever,
Mother and child,
Ah, Lycia, my lamb, my love,
How much I have desired
The sweet touch of your tender self,
Resting on my bosom,
So fair, so tender, so serene,
my Lycia, my lambie,
My beautiful baby,
I love You.


You sprang from me, infant child,
Touching every nerve and fiber as you came,
In the most intimate mix of pleasure and pain.
I held you in my arms, throughout so many nights,
Gazing at the midnight stars,
Wishing those peaceful moments
Could be prolonged for ever.
Child of my heart, upon my bosom
The dewey lightness of your lips rested.
I loved you so intensley;
Your beauty seemed unparalleled to me,
Your golden burnished cheek,
Your fluffy, fairy hair, So softly wrapped around my finger.
I watched you dancing through the years,
In satin TuTu and pink rabbit ears,
Skipping rope and splashing
Like a vibrant fish in sparkling pools,
You swam away from me,
Leaving a turbulent wake behind,
Claiming your secret self, not letting me in.
Your womanhood arrived and was marked by you alone,
While I was standing in a pool of waning light,
Wondering: What have I done?
Calling... Come back, come back to me.
But you eluded me,
Slipping behind one more barrier reef, further and further,
Till I could barely catch a glimpse of you.
Was it because I wanted to wear you like a badge,
Impaled upon my bursting breast:
“See my beautiful trophy; she reflects me, you know.”
Or did I wish to share your every thought,
Catch you in my net and flay you clean?
Or could it have been the commanding and demanding
That a mother does who who cares?
The peering and the sneering that a mother does,
Who sometimes fails the brightest promise of her love?
As you draw near to me once more,
Touching every nerve and fiber,
I hold you once again, in the most wrenching mix
Of pleasure and pain,
That we may gaze
Upon that midnight star together;
Child of my heart, I love you.

Poem for an Urban Child

Where are the paths into the woods?
By some, forgotten.
Where are the deer who came down to the edge,
Nibbling on our nasturtiums?
Where are the spider webs,
Glistening in the morning dew?
That bandit-faced raccoon,
Who scavenged through the leavings of our lives;
Who would ever have thought I’d miss him?
Now concrete covers the ground
Where once the succulent blackberries waited
To be made into grandma’s pies.
Prefab homes cover the place
Where once I saw a rabbit,
Sun shining through translucent ears.
A car sits here now. Vile oil,
Like blood, dripping from its carcass,
Where Trillium once bloomed.
All in the name of progress, some say,
But our children are shriveling here.
Has anybody noticed?
Fingers on computer keys,
Eyes glued to their TV’s,
Synthesizing sounds to acid rock.
Where once a child might have knelt right here,
Catching polliwogs,
Or run across a field of daisies,
Chasing fireflies,
Instead he sits within his home, a tomb,
In woods that once were my cocoon.

by Judy Borman Harding

Friday, August 5, 2011

WELCOME to Tree House Reflections

This blog is coming to you from a tree house in Glacier, Washington, a tiny town in the foothills of Mount Baker. The author is a retired school teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, who has the audacity to think that reflections on her life might provide insights, comfort and amusement to her readers. If you would enjoy reading her essays, poems, memoirs, observations, prayers and comments, climb the stairs to this tree house on the banks of Glacier Creek and join me, Judy Borman Harding, as I share with you what I have learned in my seventy two of life!

If you can relate to any of the following, you may find something edifying:

Experiencing a traumatic event in early childhood
relinquishing a child for adoption
being estranged from family
being diagnosed with mental illness
losing a grandchild to abortion
marrying a person of another race
having your child abused by a family member
losing your religious faith
having a radical religious conversion
having cancer
being morbidly obese
Coming close to death

I have personally experienced all of the above and now "open the book."