There is Gold Within

The Gold Within

Prayers for he artist hands

  Our perspectives are uniquely attuned to interpretation. We see things differently than others. Our eyes are gathered in potential creation, what if I move this here, color this purple, arrange it a certain way, We are the shifters of form, of statement and speak in our Art expression of a story we want to tell through our piece.  This yearning, this sometimes compulsion, makes us all alike. If any united platform that we sublimely share is, the wisdom of knowing that all people are individuals, that there are no groups, no boxes, no generalities or character profiles that anyone has to fall into to make sense of our own world; that’s already understood. We all engage in the creative space. I attribute this understanding to many things, but my authentic understanding of this came from allowing myself to explore a variety of creative forms. I compose, am a songwriter, sing, paint and digital collage, write books with children and for myself, write community art grants and plays. All because it’s fun to explore, to learn something new, and feel my brain light up.

   A wandering poem, searching for the right words to tell me about itself is not any different than listening to a person speak. A melody or an image is an outstretched hand just waiting for us to take hold of as we move through the poetic atmospheres, coalescing the vapors, the gold within where everything is connected.

   We know that it is interwoven in a language of color and sound. We are simply the weavers, the writers, the interpreters from an already imagined creation.

   A simple illustration of how this is can be found in nature. Sunlight streams through clouds and prisms form on walls, even the color palette of primary colors of blending blue and yellow to make green are reflective of our illustration to the universe.

   On any given day in every present moment, the winds of imagination co-create a definitive expression not only materially but invisibly in the collective consciousness. We are connected and when we are in the creative space, we are home and it is where we belong. Art and literature are ways to feel connected not only to us but to the world. The process is vibrational and everything done or made creates a transmitting frequency that much like a radio signal is sent out.  I love seeing the encouragements fill the pages of blogs and pages on the interment. It reminds me that no matter your style, taste or artistic preference, we understand that this is more than a remark or commentary on a particular piece. It says, I see you and we are kindred spirits. I like what these Artists have to say.

     “Art is an avenue to express intense emotions and unwavering wonder.” I’m inspired by the lighter side of life. Through trying times, I have found myself coping through art and through creating things that made me happier. Brighter subjects that brought me back to life. Now, through my work, I hope to be able to do that for others. I want the viewer to feel the movement, energy, and life coming from the artwork. I want my art to force people to smile again. We all need a little sweetness, a pick-me-up when the world gets too heavy. We can’t be serious all the time.”                                                                                             ~ Natasha Wescot

       “Traditional art education says that people paint for a variety of reasons, but it is all about communication for me, not just the simple act of creating something which can be very enjoyable. The onslaughts of unconscious thoughts in the world are laid bare for others.  Art has life to it. Art is what we do when we have had enough.”                                                     ~ Linda Lane

“I am a portrait painter because of my passion for people. There is nothing more interesting to me than a new face. I search for subjects with whom I feel a connection. My portraits convey a fusion of my feelings for each subject with an intuitional use of color. In my portraits, I strive to reveal the personality of my subjects, intensifying them in a celebration of their existence.”                                                                                                                        ~ Stephen Bennett

“I am more interested in what I discover than what I invent.”                                                                        ~Paul Simon

 

 

Marilyn and the Maligned

 

marilynn stamp

 

  How did this trembling fragile mortal climb a mountain only to be overturned by the footlight? Is she only remembered in a pop culture gouache poster hung on museum walls? Did the barrage of paparazzi journey far too much along her poetic skin until her smile was only a mask?

   She sought in her need an occasional piece of invisible space from the multimedia Blitzkrieg, a gruesomely ignored request, leaving her overwhelmed and lonely.

   Fame has defamed the lives of many young wandering stars that all too quickly lose sight of the ground as they ascend in untrue expression. Party away their gifts, or anxiously tap dance trying to hold on to it all. And then there is this feeling of waning youth and lost desirability looming like a lonesome specter seeking misguided company.

   No one wants to fade away or melt down into the decline of diminished talent or simply become disfranchised has long been fodder for a gossip column.            

  The fresh pain of invisibility in a fishbowl is enough. Only to find that not having lived unencumbered by another’s unreasonable expectations of them is a missing page never to be returned to.

    I sadly watch others make a buck as they are assigned to tabloid vexing, distorted lies, framing my favorite stars in unfair craven icon images to gawk at in grocery lines.

   Somewhere there are parties where someone transparently sadly impresses someone with names purposefully dropped for a quick tainted kick as if speaking it would, or could ever bring him or her closer into their orb as a friend.

    They don’t know her. They don’t have an inkling of her true nature and worst of all they are making her forget that all she ever wanted from this was perform La Dame in Free Form.

   But fame is ecliptic, and can be dismally dark, little joy did it impart for in her desire for the respect she was madly enveloped in lights of exploitive lust, barely escaping with a clean heart. This is the plight of stars past and stars present, whose lives are twisted and assumed in caught moments off guard when the weight of their personality subjects them to scrutiny and with little absolution or discretion stills the wagging tongue to tell tales that rewrite history, a history maybe not all entirely accurate. 

   I am not so sure that I even should care and that curiosity is a mindset not always best pursued. It’s a wasted perusing on perfectly good paper that could be filled with a far better read than what the stargazers report.

 

Covenant Found by Laura Botsford

Anew

Journey along the wheel of life

What sadness breeds my heart into neglect?

The distraction of misdirected compassion in all too many moments that are either lost or left out in the open for a heartless thief to steal is my greatest battle
To fend off the harsh with words from wounded wings is not my desired shatel
Oh Lord, give me a steadfast heart imbued with a clear calm mind That I may not worry anxiously or fret with somberness
Rather that I am a Joy that sings from the flames.
Caress in me a gentler response made of thy words and ways to defend humanity’s greatest gift, kindness.
Remove from me all negatives, cleanse and rid my life of fire trails
For my chalice now is surely strong and tempered well by the mortar of the consecrated ages of this soul
My Lord, do not abandon this intercessor
Rescue me from the very gloom that I’ve fought so hard to eliminate.
Do away with the fortress of my self-righteousness in the name of love.
Have me remember that all who receive the morning’s first sun will rise together as one ray of golden rebirth rising out of our fallen stardust in simpatico fandangos of mellifluous melodies sung
That I may receive evenings indigo air and sleep peacefully after a day well done. Harken to me over and over again until that which I’ve denied of my soul is the very bread of life fully blended into a fine meal, ground whole, and sound

Where reason and kindness become the communion of a covenant found

 

She Journeys

New Stories edited with Spice – she-journeys-cover_pe

   She Journeys is a collection of short stories of the divine feminine spirit as she mysteriously appeared in the many lives of a man who sought love for centuries in search of a great love. She might be playing at Valentine’s Lounge, caught up in a reverie of romantic calling, or in a cross Atlantic night of love, tenderly unfolding in a communion kiss.

“I lay still until the next point in time
What I understand is that love is total commitment
A boy follows the call
But a man won’t waste a woman’s time”
– She Journeys by Laura Botsford
Cover Painting by Billa Bozem

Personal copies for sale with inscription ~ laurabotsford@yahoo.com

Echoes Across the Land

Echoes Across the Land

In these days of retrospect when entitlements are seeking a pass have come to be passé. The wings that carried some of us have lost feathers and the galloping of horses riding over the mountain can be heard. I cast off the old and embrace their thundering as they shake the earth with truth and uncompromising devotion to a better way of being. There on the mountain their dust can be seen descending in a holy cloud devoid of self-righteousness. I am listening. I am changing. I am opening myself to a greater understanding.

    I do not mean to be so different. I just seem so because you are not used to my ways but there is more of me than the ages have seen. My future is in the face of a child so love them well and give them strength as the endless song of the river flows through all treasured border lands touching every shore and filling every whirlpool in discovery until my presence is upon all nations.                                                                      

In the circle of wisdom where the sacred songs are sung and the light-workers pray is the resonating echo of love and kindness, respect for the experience the elders bring to the table the welcoming arms to the young to take up the torch of decency and equality. I see them as one I see them each taking a path of enlightenment for all human kind. The generation of children born to save us from ourselves.

   These radiant beams and haloed renderings of fortuitous fruition of our inherited awareness are painted on the faces moving past me on a carousel.

   Why not be simple, why not be free of worry, and ego’s image consciousness? I have not wanted anything from you except for you to know how much I love you and am pleased with your just, and pure of heart well-being.

   No criticisms, only a chat with you at the feet of God. You are important and you are blessed; anything less than that does not serve.    So that is what the books are saying and the hundreds of thousands self help audios. My pod cast is simple. Just go about your day knowing that in every moment I am there loving you and occasionally serving tea.      

Sugar Snow

I wrote a little book inspired by our Sangha and Deva and Miten’s humming mantra. I also made a pocket-size version for carrying along and gifts for loved ones. “When the town’s snow melts before its time Bedelia, and her friends all gather together in a prayer song of united imaginations. Through the power of their whispering hearts in song miraculously change the weather.

“You’re the notes in this song

Hold hands together

In this new season

We’ll learn to be all we are

Author Signed Copy ~ https://www.laurabotsfordauthor.com/a

Trade book: https://www.blurb.com/b/10934835-suga

Pocket size: https://www.blurb.com/b/10986476-suga

The Time it Takes

Personally I felt the shift begin when Covid first hit in March. Poets and writers alike have come alive with words of inspiration and a return to home.

August 9th~2021

    I have a bounty of inner worlds that I’ve scribed into journals. Volumes of thoughts and feelings, dreams and scenes from days well thought and dreamy that I keep in boxes that now are dusty by the years of storage. It is my last year here in this home in the delta, and I want to write another one, one page every day.

8/10/2021

   The pandemic hit us in 2020, many of us are hanging on, trying our best to make things as normal as possible. I see my family, still don’t visit friends or travel, and though I wear a mask and am fully vaccinated I hesitate again to go out into the world because of the Covid variant.

   My cupboards and closets are slowly being downsized or packed for the anticipated move to Conway to live closer to my children, and those little adorable grandchildren that I long to be a part of their everyday life.

    I feel certain consternation though in the midst of this activity, as if I am slowly letting go the home I’ve known for 40 years. Memories are sneaky things; they appear in objects as you pack or discard. My mother is over my shoulder as I wrap the same pieces she once held to give to me. Did she feel this too, this sense of a fading dream life, an excitement for a new one, a better one that isn’t so isolated?

   Rosa is helping me with all this, and my children are coming labor day to gather and claim their things and pieces they want to claim. I feel my life becoming staged like I am in set design mode for the move. I look at wallpaper and pull up the listing on zillow of Rhi’s old house where we will move to, adjusted in my mind where my furniture will go best. I pick out wallpaper and paint to make it our own, which right now is somewhere between a Ballard magazine and an eastern medication space of repose and enlightening whimsy.

    I make lists and schedules to ease the transitions’, knowing full well that it will all be changed in the flow of it. Such is life. In the quake and sands shifting moment by moment I know in my heart that God is leading me home.

Path Home

Betty Gay’s Chicken and Dumplings


Her eyes were brown with an ebullient twinkle that winked occasionally when she spoke in wisdom quips. “You can only do the right thing, the next best thing is always the right thing,” Betty said breaking out in a little laugh that defied any impending difficulty. “Are you willing to let her get away with that? ” she asked.
“With what, a harsh and narrow opinion of the world at large? She doesn’t know the larger world, she’s never been there, traveled, or gone past the Greenville bridge; how could she know?” I always thought it was odd that people had such sure opinions of life-based only on their rural perceptions. Including myself, I wasn’t sure of new thoughts of places until I visited them and got to know them better. People see their lives through their own experiences and not having had many different ones how could they ever be in a place of understanding?
“One can only fit in a keyhole if one is willing to take on the shape of the key, the slight bumps and gaps that fit into the hole to turn the lock might be too big, too wide, or too new ain’t going to get it.” She folded a cup of chicken stock into the flour, careful not to overwork it, added a little salt and a bunch of pepper. She rolled it out with a floured rolling pin, on a dusted counter of all-purpose flour till it was an eighth inch thick, and began to cut it in diagonals.

“People are like dumplings, all different sizes but when they are put into the soup they make something all together tasty in the same pot.”

“So I see, people are the sum of the soup they came from?” I laughed, pleased that I got her metaphor, and happy to spend some time with this great lady who was making time to teach me the culinary tradition of chicken and dumplings.“Now we set them out to dry for ten minutes, bring the pot to a boil, then pull them apart slowly, stretching them to the max, and then drop them in one by one.” Her skill was exacting with a quick flair that rivaled Julia Child. I marveled at how they puffed as they popped up in the rolling broth. “Let them boil for 10 minutes then add the chicken.” She had cooked the chicken earlier, boned and shredded it in long strands. The succulent scent lingered in the kitchen with mouthwatering homeyness. I felt a kinship with her, a family bond growing, and for the first time a real feeling of belonging in this new world I was living in.
“Get involved, maybe a church or a club of some kind to join?” she suggested.
“Yeah, maybe so.” I was raised Lutheran, my grandparents were devoted Lutherans and my great grandfather on my Dad’s side help found the Swedish Lutheran church in Minneapolis. We went to church sometimes, Sunday school as young kids, had been baptized and confirmed, but on regular church Sundays we stayed home. Dad was a scientist by nature, quantum physics and Einstein was his go-to. Mother wasn’t comfortable in groups, she was a private person who believed faith was a personal relationship with God. It was all about how one lived their lives and treated each other.

She returned to church services when a young pastor arrived who wove everyday life with spiritual and biblical understanding, something she could resonate with that applied to her life, not ancient stories. Dad thought much of the real;y interesting things had been deleted by the churches to control the common man and institutionalize divisions; he believed that nature and life itself is where God truly lived. Their fellowship was with their neighbors and Jesus was a teacher. I felt the same and my spiritual roots were found in Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Leo and I had programs for our wedding and Gibran’s prose on Marriage was on the cover.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:For the pillars of the temple stand apart,And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.


Our music began with a hymn, We Gather Together, I wanted the community to be a part of our ceremony and I felt this was the best way to bring us all together to start our lives off together. It was a first in the Portland Methodist Church. We had a candlelight service with candles in the windows. It is the only time I remember the windows being opened a bit. The evening April air filled the room with a sweet spring fragrance and gently flickered throughout our unity candle ceremony. It was a blend of traditional and our modern-day that we treasured. Pastor Kilgore wouldn’t allow contemporary music but after some determined input by Dorothy Young as to how it was our wedding and not his, he agreed to her playing the sheet music of Longer Than by Dan Fogelberg.


Eatable Stones
How far along the stones of memories stay before they are cast away downstream, replaced with others, and become a different bank? Depending on rain, or exploring footsteps that walked their shores to kick or skip away, stones with genie lamps, stones with the fools gold of promise unrequited, stones shaped like hearts that fell at our feet. Everyone I ever met is in this, and every odd dumpling I ever made is a part of my soup. Sit down, enjoy for all are welcomed here.


*Excerpt from Northern Bell, a Memoir of living in the South in the 1980s by Laura Botsford

Sharecroppers Daughter

Now in a Kindle ebook

Delta My Home

Sharecropper’s Daughter on Amazon and Kindle

    The life and times of a young girl growing up in the rural south as the daughter of a sharecropper in 1949. Penny comes of age through hard times, her love and talent for cutting horses and taming her first love; Smith who is heir to the Silver Leaf Plantation her family works for.

         Billy also has books at home and would be happy to autograph them for you too. email: billyfhh@att.net

sharecropper's Daughter Front cover

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Oasis in the Delta

Good Morning Darlin’

 

It is a usual morning. Leo sings in the bathtub arranging songs to his liking. His beautiful bass tenor rings out in the house. “Oh my darling, I love your pretty face and the way you look tonight, my baby love, ooo baby love.” He strings tunes together into one song like a Broadway overture with a flair for the unexpected. His repertoire moves from Eric Clapton to Diana Ross to Los Lobos, ” Para bailar la bamba Para bailar la bamba se necesita una poca de gracia Una poca de gracia para mí para tí yay Arriba  Arriba.”  I love how he can wake up so alive and full of energy. He gives me lots of hugs in between tunes and treasures that I am safe in bed as he takes care of taking care of us. Days go by and they all add up to how much he loves us even if he doesn’t like his job, he goes there for us.

He goes to the medicine cabinet to get his deodorant. “Good morning señor speed stick,” He says in his best Speedy Gonzales voice. It’s a show every morning beginning at 5:30 am. The kids and I have front row seats and if we can manage to not become fully conscious throughout it and just consider it as a radio in our dreams, we manage to sleep on a little more before we have to get up. It’s an art. Something I learned to do when I had children. I keep half an ear and brain open to the house while the other side of my brain sleeps. Practicing this to perfection took a few years of ears on, ears off until I could seamlessly sleep on between songs.

He doesn’t like breakfast, and as long as his clothes are where they are supposed to be. I don’t have to get up. Which is a good thing for I am a night owl and 4:30 comes pretty close to my usual 11:00 or midnight muse writings. Of all the times of the day after 10:00 is even quieter than grass growing. There is a kind of silence that only farming country offers. The toils of the field are put aside and surrendered to sleep. Even exhaustion dissipates and lifts into the air only to await the nightly trains to sweep it all down the track until morning. There is darkness everywhere with only a few scattered street lamps. The sky expands with so many stars whose splendiferous light sparkles with clarity that I can feel them. “Esplendoroso!” exclaims our Mexican field hands, their beauty not passing them by.

Daylight is different in farming country. People are up well before the earth has time to see the first glimmers of the constant sun. I wonder if the sun what it would say when it moves towards Dixie land. “Yep, I won’t have to worry about those folks getting up. They are already jumping into trucks and tractors to see if the cotton has bloomed if there is enough water running into rice fields safely within the exacting laser designed levees like chocolate licorice ribbons.

When we first farmed and Rhiannon was just a baby my favorite time was the morning. Leo would pick her up and gently lay her beside me in bed. It was like getting a Christmas present every sun up. We would sleep cozily next to each other as crop dusters and grain trucks buzzed outside. The city has nothing on this dawn activity. There are combines on the road and farmers scurrying to get to their fields from the oasis of our little town on a commute that feeds and clothes the world. As a suburban lake child growing up in the North I took for granted the food and the cotton summer dresses I wore, never knowing just what went into the making of them.

There is so much that goes into growing a crop. Those scenic pictures of endless fields of green one sees on a calendar is the romantic and idyllic vision of long hot days of hard work. The soil is tilled down to the hardpan, the rows are drawn in straight mounds, which is a feat of expertise for anyone who has ever run them. I tried to once and it looked like a tipsy trail of wiggles. Then, the seed has to put in just so, carefully calibrated so as to have moisture and just enough room between to grow. There is fertilizer, weed controls to keep it from being choked out by random mare’s tails, pesky morning glories and such. Sometimes it’s not enough and some afternoons the kids would go with Leo, while he walked through the rows pulling them out one by one by hand. Dustin and Rhiannon would play in the runoff irrigation water pools reminiscent of that scène from Woodstock, wallowing, and splashing in the muddy runoff across the turn rows. The laying of heavy aluminum pipes for irrigation along the turn row takes time and patience to hook the rusty 10-foot pipes to together. Then there is checking wells to see if they are still running at all hours of the day and night, making new sets to redirect the translucent life’s blood of any crop on a new line of irrigation. This was back before we had pivots and poly-pipe was still being invented, laying metal pipe was the only way to get water into the field. Back-breaking, dusty enough to choke the air right of your lungs.

Down yonder is the bayou, the big Bayou Bartholomew, whose good fortune for us was to run right through our land up at the Kitrel place. Days, when the rain was scarce as a month of Sundays and the sun moaned like melting wax in a cloudless sky, the only refuge for our crops depended on the relift from the bayou up it pumped noisily  through the metal cylinders, bursting forth it’s murky waters in a flush of milk chocolate through the pipes that seeped through its holes into the rows. The earth sopped it up as it took hours sometimes before you could see the water standing in the rows,  watered out and sufficiently nourished.

It was not at all the Calendar portrayal of farm life as I imagined. My sweaty Romeo covered in dirt, machine grease and water, came home every day from the fields with an appetite and a longing for a cool bed or couch. I was worried for him, I was proud of him, I missed the man I fell in love with who now worked 16 hours a day and had little time to play.

 

Glittersmith

Re-blogged with Chapters two and three of the ongoing story of the Glittersmith.

poetstreets.com

  Chapter 1 ~Tattoos and Tales

Dedicated to Babe, who without his presence in my life, I would not have known how to “Trip the Light Fantastic, nor, “Dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free.”

A Glittersmith is one of those people that you meet, who offer much in the way of adventure, explores undiscovered spaces with joyous abandon, and unpredictability sit on the edge of your seat for the whole ride. They are-a fan-my-brow fabulous person who walks with angels and magnificent misfits; yes that is a Glittersmith. I have only met a few that had that kind of influence on me, where I was swept up into their personality of their childlike spirit – followed willingly in their shinning smiles, and quirky ways like a child follows a butterfly as far as she can until it flies to high to see.

I met Paul Smith…

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