Archives for posts with tag: marriage

Jen&cat-Lodi House
The Ring
by Jennifer Lagier

My first husband slipped
the honeymoon gift,
a tiny gold band,
onto my little finger.
I wore it ten years,
through good times and bad,
sickness and health.

After our traumatic divorce,
I used my settlement
to buy a run-down old house,
spent days pulling weeds,
pruning roses,
patching and painting
crumbling plaster.

One night while bathing
after hours of hard work,
I discovered the pinkie ring
had disappeared,
fretted, but let it go
like everything else
I had relinquished.

Months later, while
turning compost,
it magically reappeared
among potato peels,
coffee grinds,
rotten grass clippings.

I took it as a sign,
benediction of my new life,
renovated home,
flourishing friendships,
flowering garden.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, 1981, in my restored Lodi farmhouse. Taken by Bill Rickard.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I thought about the theme of “Lost and Found,” I remembered a time of uprooting and upheaval in my life—going through a wrenching divorce and starting over on my own. At that time, I lost everything, including my ring, but discovered self-sufficiency and the satisfaction of independence. Rediscovering my lost ring was a karmic affirmation that I was on the right path.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 13 books, taught with California Poets in the Schools, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her newest books are Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), and Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018). Visit her at jlagier.net.

Author photo by Laura Bayless. 

Collins

Key
by Clive Collins

I lost our car key somewhere on the sand at Governor’s Beach, or if not there, then coming or going along the forest track that led it.

Governor’s Beach was one of the most beautiful beaches along the Freetown Peninsula, a long white curve with a winding, shifting river that emptied out of the mangroves into the Atlantic Ocean. There was seldom anyone on the beach, and so it was a favourite, but we had been stopped and robbed before on our way to it, and so it had become our routine to leave everything locked in our Renault 12 and go down to the beach in our swimming clothes. The single key to the car stayed in the pocket of my shorts.

Except that afternoon, it did not.

It was our fifth year in Africa, and our last year there as a couple. We had quarreled that morning and during the afternoon at the beach, scarcely exchanged a word. Late in the day, thirsty, tired, hungry and each of us still nursing our own private grievances, we got back to the car and I found I no longer had the key. We looked everywhere there was to look: it was pointless.

Finally, my soon-to-be-ex-wife in her bikini and me in my shorts, we walked up to the paved road to try to thumb a lift back to our house. We felt exposed, and we were. The light was gathering. Night would soon fall. Afraid, for the first time in a long time, we held hands.

Someone or something blessed us. A car came. The people in it were our close neighbours.

Back at the house, I burgled my own home. We were quiet that night, but also sad. Perhaps we understood that more than a key was lost.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, somewhere in Sierra Leone, 1978.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I found this a challenging prompt because, it seems to me, the things we possess and then lose are never simply what they are, but all the myriad associations that we as possessors invest them with either over a long period of time, or at the moment they are lost or found, or even after that moment.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Leicester, England, Clive Collins has spent the greater part of his life working as a teacher in Ireland, Sierra Leone, and Japan. He is the author of two novels, The Foreign Husband (Marion Boyars) and Sachiko’s Wedding (Marion Boyars/ Penguin Books). Misunderstandings, a collection of short stories, was joint-winner of the Macmillan Silver PEN Award in 1994. More recently his work has appeared in online journals such as Penny, Cecile’s Writers, The Story Shack, and terrain.org. He was a short-listed finalist in the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. A chapbook of his short stories is to be published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2017.

Find your soulmate love concept icon road sign
On the Road to Matrimony
by Howard Richard Debs

The escapade had its just desserts,
as I met my wife of now 50 years on
account of it. Back in 1958 when
I was just 15 dear old dad,
in the automobile biz himself
at the time, slipped
someone downtown a little
incentive in return for a driver’s
license with my name on it
a year before its time.
Compounding the “felony” he
rewarded me with a dilapidated
brown Dodge sedan, rust
spots to match, but rust or not
that car put me
ahead of the pack.

I was attracted to her
right off the bat
when first we met
at a dance on the Northwest Side
in Chicago; to get there, I drove
petrified through city traffic
from way out in the boonies
where I lived. The next day I went
to pick her up, met her folks;
they let me take her for a drive.
On the way back we stopped at
Amy Joy donuts for a baker’s dozen.
Sitting in her kitchen, I ate
12 she had one. I was in love.

IMAGE: “Find love” by clenpies, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Back in the day, it seemed everything in life depended on driving.

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PHOTO: The author “having his fill” after a hard day on the road, c.1958.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Howard Richard Debs is a poet, writer, photographer, sometime artist, musician, singer/songwriter. At age 19 he received a University of Colorado Poetry Prize; after some 50 years in the field of communications with recognitions including a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America, he resumed his creative pursuits. A Finalist and recipient of the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards, his latest work appears in Blue Bonnet Review, Yellow Chair Review, Crack The Spine, Poetry Life and Times, Clear Poetry Magazine and its 2015 Anthology, among others, and On Being online in which appears his ekphrastic Holocaust poetry series “Terezin: Trilogy Of Names” and also in On Being online his essay “The Poetry of Bearing Witness.” His background in photography goes back many years, both creative and technical, and his photography will be found in select publications, including in Rattle online as “Ekphrastic Challenge” artist and guest editor. Born and bred in Chicago, he now lives in sunny South Florida with his wife of 50 years Sheila, where they spend considerable time spoiling their four grandchildren. Visit him at the Poets & Writers Directory and on his website.

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REASSURANCE
by Barbara Eknoian

You left without a good-bye,
leaving a sticky residue
in my mind.
I’m wondering,
if given the chance,
what you might have said:
Honey, it’s been a nice ride,
but it’s time for me to go.
Maybe, I’ll see my folks,
get some answers,
and finally learn
what it was all about.

I’m waiting for a sign,
perhaps in a dream,
not like the one
that appeared when
you first left me:
You were singing
in your high school choir,
which made no sense,
since you always said
you had refused to join
when your music teacher
pulled you into his class
by your collar.

I am waiting for you
to tell me
all that you might have said
about your romantic feelings
in our long marriage.
I am waiting to hear your voice
in a dream say,
I’d marry you again, Honey.

IMAGE: “The Bride” by Gertrude Käsebier (1902).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian‘s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, RE)VERB, and Silver Birch Press’s Silver, Green, and Summer anthologies, and Cadence Collective on line. She has received two Pushcart Prize nominations and is a member of Donna Hilbert’s poetry workshop in Long Beach, California. Her first young adult novel Chances Are: A Jersey Girl Comes of Age, and her poetry book Why I Miss New Jersey are available at Amazon. She is currently working on a generational novel.

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Congratulations to Rachel Carey — author of the novel Debt (Silver Birch Press, 2013) — and her fellow playwrights Beth Jastroch and Bob Kolsby on the premiere of their collaborative play Cul-de-Sac at The Shelter in New York City. Directed by Michael Kingsbaker, the play runs from Thursday, June 5 through Sunday, June 8th and features Kelley Gates, Meghan E. Jones, Jordan Kenneth Kamp, C.J. Lindsey, Morgan McGuire, and Aaron Novak.

BACKGROUND:  In the summer of 2013, The Shelter tasked three writers with a unique, collaborative challenge: using a palette of assigned characters, meld individually written stories into a single, seamless play. Six characters, three writers, one narrative. Nine months later, Cul-de-Sac was born. Examining the lives of three couples living as neighbors on a suburban cul-de-sac, writers Rachel Carey, Beth Jastroch, and Bob Kolsby use marriage as a forum to examine the shifting gender norms, cultural expectations, and everyday realities faced by today’s young couples. They show us that what happens behind closed doors can often surprise us, challenging our beliefs about love, passion, and the fidelity of marriage.

WHEN: Thursday, June 5 – Sunday, June 8, 2014

WHERE: Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street, New York City 10014 (just below Bleecker in the West Village)

RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes with a 10-minute intermission

TICKETS: ovationtix.com

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IN GOLDEN GATE PARK THAT DAY (Excerpt)
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Golden Gate Park that day
a man and his wife were coming along
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
He was wearing green suspenders
and carrying an old beat-up flute
in one hand
while his wife had a bunch of grapes
which she kept handing out
individually
to various squirrels
as if each
were a little joke

And then the two of them came on
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
and then
at a very still spot where the trees dreamed
and seemed to have been waiting thru all time
for them
they sat down together on the grass
without looking at each other
and ate oranges
without looking at each other
and put the peels
in a basket which they seemed
to have brought for that purpose
without looking at each other

And then
he took his shirt and undershirt off
but kept his hat on
sideways
and without saying anything
fell asleep under it
And his wife just sat there looking
at the birds which flew about
calling to each other
in the stilly air
as if they were questioning existence
or trying to recall something forgotten…
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Read “In Golden Gate Park…” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in its entirety at poetryfoundation.org.

“In Golden Gate Park…” appears in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s collection, Coney Island of the Mind (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1968), available at Amazon.com.

Painting: “Speedway Meadow” (Golden Gate Park, San Francisco) by Pat Gray, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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AFTER YEARS
by Ted Kooser

Today, from a distance, I saw you

walking away, and without a sound

the glittering face of a glacier

slid into the sea. An ancient oak

fell in the Cumberlands, holding only

a handful of leaves, and an old woman

scattering corn to her chickens looked up

for an instant. At the other side

of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times

the size of our own sun exploded

and vanished, leaving a small green spot

on the astronomer’s retina

as he stood on the great open dome

of my heart with no one to tell.

“After Years” originally appeared in Solo: A Journal of Poetry, Spring 1996

Photo: “Exploding Star 1” by Carsten Huels, EHS Journal, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED