empty bowl

 

simplicity2
you carry it
so carefully
an empty bowl
across the room
as though to try
not to spill
what is inside

keep imaginary soup
from spilling over
the gold trimmed rim
until you can sit
at the table
dip your spoon
and drink the air

when the last
is drained
sit back against
the chair
arms crossed
and breathe a sigh
of relief

send it to the kitchen
to be cleaned
then tucked up
on a shelf
away from the light
waiting for
the next meal

la fraser. March 4, 2017

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secret machines II

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II

secret machines
chew glass
in corners

you spit daggers
with your eyes
in the sunshine

what happened
in the shadows
that tears
dig trenches
in your skin?

where do I begin?

secret machines
dig through
the boxes covered
in dust
begging you
to look
while
they polish
the mirror
with a sleeve

held up
to the light
what falls through?

wind passing
the woven threads
lifting a little higher
to the open window

secret machines
turn
just far enough
to remember.

~
la
March 3, 2017

thirty days of poetry

rooted

I have tried, I am sure of it, to join in the madness of writing a poem a day for thirty days before. I have done the November counterpart for novel writing for 9 years. The poetry month challenge popped up on one of my newsfeeds somewhere, and now I am caught in the thin, silky tendrils of possibility.

Granted, it doesn’t start until next month. I consider this my warm up to joining in. The League of Canadian Poets have set the date for National Poetry Month is set for April, but I am feeling the pull to write now. I need to dip my feet in, sink into the deep and let whatever needs to find a voice, whatever wants to arrive to do so.

Basically, I need to get out of my own way and just write. I will do it all over again next month too probably.

I haven’t the faintest idea what will come of it. I managed two days in a row to post a poem. There is hope that more poems are lurking.

If so, they will land here.

~

la

 

 

secret machines

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I

secret machines
fill the space
cracks leave
torn concrete
broken ground
forgotten

gears turn
energy flows
words tumble down

cannot breathe
through the night
heavy with fear
and loathing

cannot see
through the darkness
empty rooms
and hallways

cannot be
more than who I am
to please you

secret machines
listen to
the turning

grinding the song
into dust.
~

la fraser
March 2, 2017

the promise

DSCN2871

the promise
fell
into my arms
unbidden
unspoiled
like raindrops
in early spring
touching skin
with cold, fresh lips

I was safe here
within these walls
afraid to move beyond
the lines
curves
dug deep
in the wooden floors

I could not say
where my feet
bare and bleeding
walked for years
skin cut
and callous
trailed
behind

the promise
stuck like a tick
in long wild grass
as I passed
through

I was the sky
in dreams
while storms raged
sun shone
and the moon
floated
above the fields

I was safe here
and the promise
was broken.
~

la fraser March 1, 2017

Hello February

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The winter limps along and my head is already in spring. It is only the beginning of February I know, but Spring feels closer. I like that. January was a blur. So much volatile energy and events going on in the world, I did not make much time to post or write. I made no resolutions at the beginning of the year, not formal ones anyway, and as this month begins, I am not sure that I will attempt any new projects until the spring actually arrives. Instead, I feel like I am on retreat. Other than going to work and doing some teaching, I am spending my days writing poetry and meditating. It feels like the best thing to do. Of course, tomorrow I may change my mind and I will launch into a brand new project, but not today.

– la

 

birth II

reach the light

nose pressed to the glass
they watch and wait
to see what is growing beneath
my mushroom soup skin
seconds
minutes
hours
measure
the space between
a speaker I cannot see
comes alive with sound
‘breathe’
‘do not move’
‘you are doing great’
she tells me
copper pennies sit on my tongue
pleased to settle among the rocks and mud
I wait to be born
to slide out of this long corridor
be released
please
wrap me
in lavendar
the metal sings with current
piercing through to image
save the stories of feet growing
in my left breast
for another day
pause
then wipe the vomit
from my lips
before returning again
to the peep show
lay me to rest
under the blue-green screen haze
naked
shivering
inside this magnetic resonance
let me wait
dreaming of a gentler day
before the nurse presses
another warmed blanket
to my skin
and wheels me away.
~

Jan 21, 2017
Leigh-Anne Fraser

Today I attended a poetry workshop hosted by the London Poetry Slam. It’s the first time in a little more than 21 years that I have taken part in something like this (way back in university) and definitely the same amount of time has passed since I read aloud a poem that I wrote to a group of mostly strangers.

A lot has changed in the past couple of decades, not the least of which my ability to set aside my anxiety and let my voice be heard. I used to have very few problems standing on stage to sing, to speak or act. Theatre, performance and poetry were an very important outlet for me when I was in high school and university. Sadly, things changed, and I stopped stepping on stage at all, for many reasons, but mostly because I was afraid to. I am still afraid to. Today was scary and cathartic.

My oldest came with me. This is their scene – their friends. I am the outlier, but definitely a welcome one. Those who are part of the Slam community naturally create a safe space. I am very grateful for that. Now that I am officially settled in London after moving here in June, and I have recovered from some health issues/ surgeries, I really want to find ways to be more involved in the community (in addition to my work of course).

The workshop was an incredible for me. Small in size but manageable and led by the gifted Kyra who gave us some collaborative work to do, and then some solo time to write. Throughout the process, I was intrigued by what theme continued to be returned to me. Birth. A topic I could certainly spend years writing poems about. The poem above was birthed from the collaborative prompts we crafted as a group and shared.

It is a deeply personal poem, and one that I had not really anticipated on coming up, but it did. I know from writing with my friends at DD, and our promise to ‘dive deep’, that I would honour whatever did arrive today. I did that. I cried when I read the words. Partially, I did because I was so anxious about speaking to the group and reading out loud, and partially because of the subject matter. I was safe to and I am very grateful for that as well.

I was brave, and the group was brave right along with me.

pretty cool.

la.

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