the sky

By Annette Marie Hyder

scatters sunshine by the handful today
like a king of old tossing coins
to the populace at large
and those coins float
like liquid candles
on the puddles from the storm
plash-meres that are mirrors
filled with peonies
and i want to look in every one
hold my face so that those
peonies turn to roses
reflecting on my throat remembrances
of darkness swirled with gold

The Heaviness of Stone

By Annette Marie Hyder
Memorial Day 2012

For all its marble glamor
and its steely granite allure
it is a fatal beauty
for which there is no cure.
Although there is a glory
to a hero’s pillow
beneath the sheets of history
in colors dark and alabaster
somber as ancient bones…

“It’s hard to see your father’s name
etched in stone.”
— Kevin Caulfield

Links of interest:
Warrior Writers
Combat Paper Project
Memorial Day 2011
Memorial Day 2010

After returning from Iraq, Drew Cameron co-founded Combat Paper Project, an organization which works with returning veterans to turn their uniforms
into paper, which is then used to share stories, emotions and  art; sublimating the gruesome realities of war.

From the site:

“Through ongoing participation in the
papermaking process, combat papermakers are attempting to progress from
creating works specific to their military experiences to expressing a
broader vision on militarism and society. The work reflects both the
anger of the past and hope for the future. Through this collaboration
between civilians and veterans, a much-needed conversation is generated
regarding our responsibilities to the returned veteran and an
understanding of the dehumanizing effects of warfare.”

“The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of
hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The
uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic.
Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service,
into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.”
Drew Cameron

Listening to: Kate Bush

Sunday Things: Jasmine and Jennifer

Sometimes objects transcend the confines of their utilitarian objectives. It is as if they too possess souls in the form of meaning and possibilities and their souls are, in some circumstances, too large for the shell that contains them.

Imagine such an object in the form of a violin that symbolizes a young girl’s yearnings for something special and beyond what she has or is capable of at the present moment. Violins are expensive and frivolous indeed if there are budgetary restraints and considerations for things more immediately important and necessary.

But a violin that is yearned for with all of a young girl’s heart is so much more than just a violin. It is the promise of elegant dexterity in drawing forth from the polished piece cradled in one’s hands sighs and murmurs of beauty mingled so thoroughly with music that they are one and the same. It is aspiration with strings, a box crafted with wings, both friend and vehicle for a wondrous journey.

Yesterday my daughter had a special birthday celebration dinner with her step-mom, Jennifer, and family, Jude, Romeo and Andrew (I was there too!). At the end of dinner the wait staff came out clapping and singing and carrying a large wrapped present. Imagine my shock when Jasmine opened her present to her dreams come true — a violin. Jasmine is besotted with that violin!

We were driving over to Jennifer’s house after leaving the restaurant and I couldn’t help but notice the fog on the steep hillsides. It reminded me of the Smokey Mountains. “Isn’t that beautiful!?” I asked Jasmine. “Yes! Yes it is.” she breathed dreamily. Glancing over at her I saw her gazing rapturously at her violin.

I’ve been blown away every time I think of Jennifer’s getting a violin for Jasmine. Even more than the beauty of the violin itself, the beauty of the gesture is what takes my breath away.

“I used my income tax return money to buy it.” Jennifer told me. “Objects, things, they  don’t matter so much to me anymore but I would do anything for Jasmine.”

Jasmine showed me the card that Jenny got her. On the inside flap is this:

I have loved you with an everlasting love… — Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

To the most beautiful girl in the world!

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday and in keeping with her birthday request, I didn’t blog yesterday or do much of anything but pay attention, undivided attention, to her. In doing so, I not only gave Jasmine what she wanted but gifted myself as well, with the unmitigated joy of being present in the moment with her to enjoy her scintillating presence and marvel at the beauty that she possesses — inside and out.

So, I didn’t get to post it yesterday but nothing’s stopping me today from saying on my blog:

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful girl in the world!

Link to Jasmine’s poem.

“vatican cameos”

By Annette Marie Hyder

night wraps his long arms around me
pulls me under his cloak of dreams
and lowers his lips to mine
sways me into a slow dance
that tilts me on my axis
as if i am an entire world in his arms
whispers that only with him can i see so far
into the vaults where all the stars in the sky
sparkle in their deep-space-wall-safe
the combination to which
he holds in his hands

Composition note: The titular reference is from BBC’s “Sherlock” , Series 2, Episode 1, “A Scandal in Belgravia”.

Spun Glass

By Annette Marie Hyder

Spiderwebs lace the lawn’s green thicket
looking like mouth-blown hyaline panes
and the sun traces his many fingers
of shine through every gossamer scrap
lighting up miniature bulbs of dew
strung like white holiday lights
on blades of grass and spider glass alike.

Sunday Things: Happy Mother’s Day 2012!

We all dream of flight…”

This photo, of me, my mom and my daughter, is the endpaper for my chapbook, The Consequence of Wings (On Angels and Monsters and Other Winged Things)”, published by FootHills Publishing.

(Mother’s Day 2012)
By Annette Marie Hyder

I watched you preen your wings in the sun
and dreamed of feathers of my own.
We have touched different parts of the sky
but it’s thanks to you that I have flown.

My fledgeling’s fletches are dazzlingly bright
seem hybrid especially for height
and visible in their elegant line
is your iridescent shimmer; unmistakeable