Distant Shores: a Poem about Our Hearts and Memory


I.

Distant shores elongate in a pose

a clock stands still

as decades from long ago sweep across my face

a wrinkle in the corner of my eye holds a memory

II.

people from our past creep in like marbles on a tile floor

spreading across our hearts like a surf wide angle lens

a frame circles a dot in a tiny box in a room from far away

the lens captures the crevices that donate a sweeping song

over the senses to someone’s soul

deep and uncovered

a blanket lifted to the moon

underneath are the hearts that beat

from this shore to the next

III.

the people we let in and out of our tiny boxed hearts

are bigger than the space we allow them to exist in

so they manifest into giant sequoias

that boast ballerinas

dancing in time cloaks from yesteryear

there they dance

and twirl into magnificent muses

tucked in our tiny pocketed hearts

bleeding onto the distant shores with their surf wide angle lens

IMG_0752

Cliffs of Dover in Dover, England — Summer 2014

Cliffs of Dover in Dover, England

Cliffs of Dover in Dover, England

I wrote “Distant Shores” on MySpace.  Is MySpace even in business anymore?  Thought I would share it since it is National Poetry Month.

bleeding

a frame

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My Christmas Eve Angel — My Mother


“When you see Santa in the sky tonight, know Betty’s got the reigns tonight. She died while I was on the phone with her 9:58 MST/11:58 EST (the nurse held the phone to her ear). 

Believe it or not, it gives me great joy and peace that she passed on Christmas Eve, exactly two minutes before midnight East Coast time. She has always been on EST as a New Yorker at heart. RIP Betty. No star ever shone brighter than you. I love you always.” — My facebook post on Christmas Eve

Betty's Christmas Eve Angel Wings. Santa gave her a ride to Heaven on Christmas Eve. Photo from: Mother Nature Network

Betty’s Christmas Eve Angel Wings. Santa gave her a ride to Heaven on Christmas Eve. Photo from: Mother Nature Network

Betty

My mother passed away on Christmas Eve two minutes shy of midnight EST while on the phone with me. She loved Christmas Eve so much.
She died peacefully after a long illness that didn’t stop her in her tracks. She was diagnosed in 2000 with benign brain tumors (one in her cerebellum and one on her brain stem). I have written many posts about her struggle and my struggle with these tumors.

I am peace. because she is at peace.

My beautiful mom. I am thankful for this moment, which is chiseled in my heart.

My beautiful mom. on my wedding day. I am thankful for this moment, which is chiseled in my heart.

If you want to follow my grief chronicles I am being very open about my feelings on my facebook page, and most posts are public if you would like to follow them and subscribe to them. I am also pretty active on Twitter too. Betty is the most amazing woman I have ever known. I was lucky to call her Mom, friend, and confidant. She loved us kids with all her heart.

Rest in peace my sweet Betty Anne. You had “It.” You were magical.

"A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears." - Anne Roiphe Betty when she worked as the Activities Director at The King Home -- a retirement community for men in Evanston, Illinois.

“A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears.” – Anne Roiphe
Betty when she worked as the Activities Director at The King Home — a retirement community for men in Evanston, Illinois.

Here are some posts about her if you would like to read more about her.

The links below take you chronologically in time when I went to Colorado when my mother was very ill and almost died.

I end this post with my mother’s favorite poem by one of her favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran

I have also included the poem in written form below:

On Joy and Sorrow
 Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kamilah, Kahlil's mother
Kamilah, Kahlil’s mother. Painting by Kahlil Gibran

Mystic


This poem, Mystic, was originally posted on my website, http://www.meganoteri.wordpress.com, that was dedicated to all things rodeo.  I recently made the website password protected to prevent further photo piracy.  I am figuring out what to do about that website.  Lots of left brain stuff has to happen before I make my next move with that website.  So, for now, we will continue our right brain magic here at memomuse.  Oh, how I love the right brain!

For the record, I used to be a Special Education teacher (I was a teacher for 13 years — now I am a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer and photographer), and when I had to get IEP (Individual Education Plan) paperwork ready for IEP meetings, I was a left brained rock star.  I do have a left brain, and a whole brain, but I love me some right brain muse, where color and poetry seeps out like a river running wild, wrapping itself elegantly around a mountain.  So, with that being said, here is a poem I wrote in 2009 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, as the last of the rodeo trailers, cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and people left Frontier Park, when Cheyenne Frontier Days ended.  The photo of this beautiful horse (sepia print) I named Mystic, was one of the last horses in the stalls.  She and I had ourselves a right brained conversation.

I love horses!  What I appreciate and love even more, are the people who take care of them.

It is a lot of work to take care of a horse.  A friend of mine (shout out TJ) recently was up all night, sleeping on and off in her barn, taking care of and loving her horse, who had an injury.  So this is a shout out to all horse lovers and for the people who take care of horses.

Source: artflakes.com via Megan on Pinterest

Mystic ~ Photo by Megan Oteri © All Rights Reserved

I have a horses board on Pinterest.  You can click on the photo of Mystic to lead you there.

Mystic

After the rodeo fans

leave

and the cowboys drive off

to the next rodeo

the horses graze under a sunlit sky

the emptiness of Frontier Park stands still

hearts ache for 2010

and the next time they’ll see each other at The Daddy

horses hold patience while feeding

and an intangible sadness calms the lull

off in the distance are

rodeo cowboys driving down long winding roads

to another ride

another rose

under a sunset somewhere across Western landscape

Poem by Megan Oteri

April is National Poetry Month.  Cowboy Poetry week is April 15 – 21.  Do you know any cowboy poets or cowgirl poets?  I am looking for cowboy poets on the PBR and PRCA rodeo circuit for an article I am writing on Cowboy Poetry.  If you know of any poetic cowboys or cowgirls, tell them to give me a shout.   They can contact me at memomuse@gmail.com.

"Up the Down Staircase" ~ Photo by Megan Oteri © All Rights Reserved ~ Photo of a cowboy going up the stairs in the cowboy ready area.

I think it is rather serendipitous that my photo of Wyoming cowboy poet and country crooner, Chris LeDoux is up for voting the week of Cowboy Poetry week.  Voting starts April 16 for my photo of Chris.  Here is a link to the photo, Chris LeDoux, on Talenthouse.  You can become a supporter today and you will get an email reminder from Talenthouse telling you when voting opens.  I am a fan of reminders.  I will also be posting a story about meeting Chris LeDoux at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2003.  He is a special man and oh, those sparkly eyes and beautiful smile, can make a Wyoming girl blush.  Chris and I went to the same high school in Cheyenne (not at the same time): Cheyenne Central.  Go Indians!  So stay tuned for that story on Monday, April 16 when voting opens.  I promise it is a good one.

Here is a video of one of my favorite Chris LeDoux songs: This Cowboy Hat

Also, check out the  Chris LeDoux official website, run by his son, Will LeDoux.  When you go to the website, you will be greeted by Chris’ music.   Check out the tab that says, One Ride, while you are on the website too.  One Ride is a musical that depicts the life of a rodeo cowboy, set to Chris LeDoux’s music.  I can’t wait to see the musical when it comes to a theater near me.  Shout out in the comments if you have seen it.  I am writing a guest post on, Lost in E Minor, about it.  I would love to hear your thoughts on it.  Also, shout out if you want and share your thoughts on Chris LeDoux.

And I will leave you with a quote I really like.

“Why not just do something a little on the gentle side.” ~ Chris LeDoux

PS – Brain Tumor Thursday will be posted Thursday.  This Thursday I have the pleasure of sharing the profile of an amazing woman.  She calls herself @thelizarmy on Twitter.  She has a blog here: http://thelizarmy.com/.  She is also on the medical advisory board for the National Brain Tumor Society.  Check her out.  She is a rock star and a special human being.  I am really enjoying the connections with the brain tumor community I have made.  My mother has brain tumors.  Read this post to find out more about that and  Brain Tumor Thursday.  You can also read the last two posts here: Tom McLain and Stephanie’s I Am Stronger Now…  If you get freaked out about medical stuff and the mention of brain surgery makes you squeamish, you might want to steer clear on Thursdays.  I encourage you to read the profiles because they are inspiring.  People rock. Period.  Everyone has a story.