Losing It & Understated Beauty

This week I am on Bowen Island near Vancouver, BC at a place called Rivendell. It serves as a retreat center where I have slept and walked in the rain forest, ate good food and written poetry. Today we gave each other various topics to write about. One was simply, “Losing It.” I have not read much in the news about the financial turmoils in the world, but everyone talks about it and senses it is worse than we could ever imagine. No surprise that thoughts of this crisis got into the following poem.

Losing It

Under the mattress,
Behind the cushions,
In my 401K plan and demurring portfolio,
At the Business Park,
Throughout the global market place,
Everyone’s doing it.

The cool cats and nerdy geniuses,
sudden kin with homeless men and welfare moms,
stare transfixed at the jutting, zigzag staircase to panic and poverty.

Everyone suddenly in community,
in unison,
in the corporate devolution,
Everybody losing it.


The next poem I wrote more as a playwright than a poet.


Understated Beauty

It’s in my dresser, top drawer.
No, the one on the right.
Of course you can wear it.
You can have it. (smile)
It was your grandmothers you know.
She gave it to me when I was your age.
I’ve seen you eye it before.
I thought I would probably end up getting buried with it,
Or maybe give it to a granddaughter one day,
Since I only had boys.

What would my boys do with these pearls?

Your father always said he wanted a little girl.
We never realized we already had one in you all along.

How could we know?
Being your mother, how could I not know?


This post has 7 Comments

  1. Marcia on October 8, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Understated Beauty

    How beautiful and moving …………………….

  2. alexander resare on October 8, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Economics and trans issues all in poetry. This is by sure the right blog for me!

    The last two lines I think sums up parenthood rather well

    “How could we know?
    Being your mother, how could I not know?”

  3. Jayna on October 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Kind of laughing on the 1st one. Mila struck up a conversation with a man that was senior accountant at a bank yesterday on the BART. He was in the city looking for work since he was ‘pretty sure’ his bank wouldn’t exist next year. I guess being the senior accountant he would probably no. He asked where she worked and she told him for a non profit and he says with a sigh, “oh well, you’ll be fine then…”

    On the 2nd. Yeah, if only my relationship was even half that good with my mom, but I think it is a work in progress and its been more positive of late.

  4. mila on October 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    That was very sweet 🙂

    Thanks for sharing that with us

  5. Diana on October 8, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I lost it. I think that my retirement might be over now and that I have to give the idea of going back to work some thought.

    My mother didn’t know and as she was getting older, she gave away most of her jewelry to my niece as I silently watched and wished.

  6. Yuki Choe on October 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    My parents were different. They knew, but were still still hoping for… something….

    Unfortunately, they chose to recognize what they saw in the outside, but never knew the person I am inside.

  7. p2son on October 9, 2008 at 7:15 am


    Alexander–yes, so nice to see you in the blogging neighborhood. I have another poem that I need to share with you that I have a feeling you will appreciate.

    Jayna– 🙂 I have been telling that BART story all day. I think I wrote this poem in hopes of envisioning something beautiful between a parent and her/his child who is trans. Sadly many parents struggle not get it and may even refuse to get it.

    Mila– UR welcome (oh and did you get a crazy message from some women named Elizabeth Jeremiah. I think she is on the warpath for Marvin)

    Diana– very sad on both counts 🙁

    Yuki–How they have missed out on seeing the jewel that you are. May they repent of their grave mistake. As Langston Hughes wrote in his poem, I Too, “Besides, they will see how beautiful I am and be ashamed.”