Les Jours de Pluie

By Annette Marie Hyder

The days came gift wrapped
in ribbons of rain.
We ran our hands over the shimmer
of their outer wrappers as they melted
like sugar.
I can taste them still.

In those days
a constellation of coincidences
lit my way
and even the heavens, it seems,
were showing me the way to you.
I have memorized the path
without trying to.

When the sun rose,
when the rain stopped,
and I made my way blinking
from the tent of your arms
the birdsong soared
but not as high as my heart.
What use have I for this feather

that I saved? What use the memory
of sweetness
and a path that pulls me still
to want to wander?
Your arms have transformed
from woven tent to a stone wall
that I know not to loiter near.

In a field of flowers

Image courtesy of Deborah Merrill Williams

I Am Thumbelina
By Annette Marie Hyder

I am Thumbelina in a field of flowers as tall as trees
gliding among the shadows of clouds of immensity
because everything is larger than life — when you walk with me.
Song starts on a subatomic level, twines itself to beat
like hammers made of hummingbirds
because even the minutest of things sing — when I am with you
and the greens chant and the sky is a sea to float away on a deux
as we lay in a field with Brobdingnagian flowers facing an ocean of blue.

Droplets and oceans

Photo credit Vadim Trunov / Barcroft Media

Photo credit Vadim Trunov / Barcroft Media

I am thinking about the smallest of creatures tonight and how we look at our resources as just that — ours. The global water supply is looked at in terms of human consumption but we are not the only ones drinking the water on this planet. When I think of other animals drinking water I might think of large animals at a watering hole, located in Mkhuze Park, South Africa, lapping with the stuttering heartbeat anxiety of drinking under the eyes of predators. I don’t usually think of ants and snails. It amazes me to see tiny creatures stopping for a refreshing sip of water.  I can’t help but reflect on the many ways, invisible to our computer-screen trained eyes, that we are connected with the other creatures, large and small, on our planet. The smallest ones are going about their lives and partaking of pinhead sized beverages just out of sight.

And water itself — it too is an entity of sorts –is alive/full of life and is deserving of far more respect than it is given, this thing that makes our very lives possible. It is easy to be struck with wonder at huge storms and torrential rains but there is glory also in the smallest droplet and miracles to be seen in daily walks that other living creatures take upon the surface of lakes the size of teacups, sojourns on their oceanis ignotum.

Links of interest

Environmental Graffiti: Beautiful photo gallery of insects drinking from raindrops
The Sun: Tiny creatures with the ability to walk on water
Scientific American: How is it possible for insects and spiders to walk on water and walls?

I Carry It With Me

By Annette Marie Hyder
If I could live my life over, I’d try to make more mistakes. — Jorge Luis Borges

I carry my happiness with me, like a snail,
it is the house upon my back
and nifty backpack of protection both rolled into one.
One size fits experiences from large right down to small
and also serves as my graffitied wall.
You can see the places I have traveled through this life.
They are blazoned like luggage stickers on there.
Read them while I crawl.

And it’s true that I am making my way slowly
but then it’s best to make it where I’m going happily
if I’m going anywhere after all.

Facing Feminism: Documentary Film News

Irrigate has commissioned
Emergence Pictures to create a documentary film on the artists and
impact of Irrigate. As one of Irrigate’s collaborators, having exhibited the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know Along the Light Rail Corridor project, this is exciting news!

Emergence Pics has made several short videos already and you can check it out here: Springboard for the Arts YouTube Channel

One of the latest photoems in the Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know project is this one from Anne McMaster-Welch, from Garvagh, Northern Ireland: farmer, lecturer, playwright, she is ‘planting and nurturing words as carefully as generations of women and men once grew crops…’

Sunday Things: Kinship of Rivers

Kinship of Rivers

Kinship of Rivers is a project created and brought about by my friend Wang Ping, scholar, poet, writer, photographer, dancer, rower, public art artist, curator, organizer and fund raiser for the whole project. Wang Ping was born in Shanghai and now lives and teaches on the bank of the Mississippi. She’s been photographing and writing about the Yangtze and Mississippi rivers for the past decade. Her goal is to build bridges across the rivers with her art and poetry and with this river project.

What will the project include?

The project includes travel along the two rivers to connect people and communities, celebrate cultures and rivers through sharing and making art, music, dance, poetry and stories, public performances, multimedia exhibition, traveling exhibitions (from museum to museum) of the works of art and a film documentary.

“We’ll take 2000 river flags from the Mississippi to the Yangtze as peace
offers. We build Sister Rivers between the Mississippi & Yangtze
with arts & joy.” — Wang Ping

Here are ten reasons (from Wang) to support Kinship of Rivers (with the price of 2 cappuccinos) with a link at the end to the indiegogo fundraising project (my river poem is at the bottom of this post):

1. Bring the world’s two greatest rivers together as Sister Rivers, for the first time in civilization.
Bring 2000 beautiful river flags made by the people along the
Mississippi and its tributaries to the Yangtze as our peace offers.
Six artists, writers, poets, musicians (two high school students, 2
college graduates, 2 professors) will bring the best of American culture
and spirits (the Mississippi blues, arts, poetry, stories…) to China.
4. The river flags represent the best of American imagination, generosity, care and love for rivers, land, and free spirits.
5. Your wishes for clean water, air and land will be brought to Tibet, flutter and spread from the roof of the world.
6. It’s easy. Just click the link and contribute. Any amount is important.
7. If you can’t give now, please spread the good will among your friends.
8. And come back later when you can.
9. Many people have contributed: poor, rich, local, national, America, China, Europe, Middle East…the whole world is helping.
10. It makes you feel good. It brings you good energy and luck.

Wouldn’t you like to be a part of this beautiful project?  Click here.

Channel to River
By Annette Marie Hyder
First published in Poems Niederngasse

My shape affects your flow
even as your course
shapes me.
My banks
trimmed with milkweed
and honeysuckle
are for you.

If I grow Ithunn apples,
Persephone pears,
there are no flaming swords
to keep them from you
but I drop them
a gift
into your depths.

For I like your sparkle
your chatter, your flotsam
you jetsam
your dead thing’s bones
at the bottom
and skulking murk
your Nibelung gold.

And you carry
parrot songs
monkey screams
leaf rustle whispers
and children’s dreams
on your broad shoulders

as you lavish
the rich loam of me
and the worn debris
the detritus
into your hungry mouth.

If I have been
plagued, quaked, poxed
bloated with pestilence
you have wound through it all
and continued to
water me well
renew me

even as you have
consumed me.