Sonnets of Sable

Encountering Grace ~ Chapter One

     Sable had a peculiar twang to her voice; it was part English, in intonation, and slowed in long vowels like a forgotten magnolia debutante. She was often misunderstood, like any woman in a foreign country would be, still demure but secretly blunt only to the best of friends.

   How she would tell one of her many yarns, depending on who she was talking to. In her best tales, she added occasional made-up composites of words, like griephop as a noun to describe an irrational arrogant snob or inowoom to describe a childlike woman. It served a purpose as far as her personal philosophy was concerned: “God gives only so many words a day.” She wanted to make the most of each day’s vernacular blessing.

  I was walking around town one evening and saw her sitting on her porch. Her house faced the railroad track. The sun was setting and her rocking stopped as she looked up in awe into the melting gold light enveloped with brush strokes of crimson indigo palette across the horizon. She was entranced by its splendor and so still that even the breeze thought she was invisible and missed ruffling her hair in the wind. I approached her quietly so as not to startle her in her meditation. Sable’s peripheral vision was as sharp as an eagle’s. She saw me coming long before I arrived.

   “Hey lady, what brings you out on this colorful evening? I am sure that the magic of all this,” she said brushing her hand across the sky.

   “Yes, it is a beautiful sunset. I just had to get out of the house and walk around before nightfall.”

   “Well, come on up here and sit with me a spell. I have another rocking chair right here for company,” She patted the chair arm with invitational zeal.

   “Thank you, I would love to come and sit here with you.” I moved slowly up her steps into the sacred bubble of her many years on this porch and entered her reverie with silent respect. She handed me a pair of binoculars, her voice liltingly lifted into a much younger timber. “Look over there on the left of the sky. Do you see that cloud all puffed up looking like a cotton boll?”

   “Yes I do,” I exclaimed, much surprised that I could indeed see it as she did. “It’s fluffed out and ready for picking.”

    Sable laughed, “That’s right, it is the time of the year when all the fields are ready for picking. The sky even knows it. Come tomorrow we’ll hear the planes buzzing through the air raining the musky scent of defoliant, crisping up the leaves till there’s just skeleton stalks poking up high with their big ol’ cotton heads. Harvest is what we live for around here. You hadn’t been here long have you?” She glanced at my face, with a wash of recognition that she knew I was that Yankee girl.

   Yes, Mamn,” I said. I’d been here long enough to know that most responses to elders were preceded by a yes mamn or a yes sir. It is an expression we seldom say up North, not because we are disrespectful, but because it is too formal and less friendly and often comes with a connotation of subservience to authority not needed in everyday neighborly conversation. But in the south, it is rude not to acknowledge one another without it.  

    “How are things going? Pretty different from what you are used to right?

     I hardly knew Sable; she wasn’t someone in the circle of the town. The circle was not something I had become a part of myself yet, or if ever, so I found myself telling her things that I told no one.

   “The people here are quite busy with their own families, work, and church. I am neither a Baptist nor a Methodist. Oh, I was raised a Lutheran but I am more of a spiritual day walker, I gathered up the parts of all the faiths and embrace aspects of many. I guess that either makes me unique in that or very confused.” I laughed. “And my husband is always working; he has little left over other than to sleep and hunt, so we never seem to go to church much anyway.

   It’s not like where I grew up, people do things with their families all the time, take vacations in the summer, go on picnics, swim, boat, and watch TV shows together. I thought it would be like that. It’s not and that is hard for me. I don’t have any friends that I can relate to, and need friends.”

   “The circle you seek is larger than what you think and you being an Inowoom, you are easily misunderstood,” Sable said.

   “An Inowoom?” I asked.

   “That is a woman who is an innocent. She is one of the remembered ones and with no ulterior motives present, just a joyful presence in the world, she is often considered a threat around here. You haven’t been brought here to belong, but to bring belonging to a corner of the planet that has forgotten that the circle of belonging is far wider than they know; you are feather brushed out to the edges where all eventually disappear as one. . Same goes for you too. These townspeople are all bright and shiny for you to discover and understand as well. I don’t think it will ever be easy for you. But you can only be who you are and in time the belonging will take place.

Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.

   “That’s Shakespeare!” I exclaimed, quite surprised that a rural woman would know of Shakespeare, let alone quote the sonnet so eloquently.”

   “I too am not all they would think that I am. I also wear public times with a quiet face. The larger circle brought me here too. It’s of no matter; I have my books to keep me warm and my Garden to keep me green with hope.” Sable’s face suddenly became youthful. I could plainly see her as a young woman of twenty.

  “And it doesn’t bother you, that no one knows this very special side of you?

  “No, It did when I was younger, like you, I wanted to share all the beauty I found in books. I wanted to show my paintings too, but they are like my children and I didn’t want them exposed to the glaring sun of ridicule, robbed of their brilliance in the twilight minds of others’ criticism. Life here is survival; there is little time for culture.  But I see you, I know that you are much like I was back then and you can visit me anytime.”

   “I would like that. I write a little myself, some songs too.” I told her in almost a whisper.

   “You do, well I would love to read one sometime or hear one of your songs. For all that you do is not in vain, if nothing more than to please your time here with all that you enjoy. Never mind their petty jealousies or lack of not knowing, they didn’t fall from the same star as you, and in that, they can’t be blamed, we are all from different backgrounds of experience.”

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;
Sap checked with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o’er-snowed and bareness everywhere:
Then were not summer’s distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distilled, though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

  “These sonnets have new meaning for me Sable; I feel less alone talking with you. I have to go to the store now, but I will return. Can I bring you something from the store?”

   “No thank you Miss Inowoom, I have everything I need.”

   “I hope to see you tomorrow if I could?”

   “That would be nice, I am usually right here.”

  “I look forward to it.” I left her porch the same way I entered; pushing gently through a crystalline bubble. The sun was almost gone, the mist was hovering the low roads now, lingering vaporously in mystical wisps, enchanted and truly otherworldly. I thought about ghosts,   I thought about angels, I thought about Tennessee Williams; he would have loved this place.

Apples and Adams

Apples and Adams ~ Flash Fiction

    The energy in the vacuous atmosphere is cosmic spit dots, splashing and zapping around Zemirah, pulling and splitting cells into Adam’s temptations. It crept into her vortex like an unwanted salesman beating down the door confusing her treasured peace of mind with too much information.  She tried to ignore it asking herself could you leave it where it began or is the real question is, will you leave it behind?”

   Zemirah had a full bowl of apples on her wooden farm table inviting her to a light breakfast. She plucked one, in particular, polished it on her shirt till it shined like Christmas then took a crisp bite of crunch -a-luscious, chewing it slowly to express the succulent juice to the far reaches of her tongue.  

   She looked up and saw through her window perched ever so nimbly on a thin branch was a red cardinal with its beak open beckoning her to listen.  Karuna, Karuna he sang as Zemirah stood still hardly breathing so as not to scare him into a feathered fly away.

   The breeze waved the Little Pretty Woman Orienpets to dance along to the melody. It is like that to find that just stopping to look around and within will bring one home. The cells of her body began to awaken, polishing each one in a river of oneness throughout her being into a softer harmony. She was carried away uplifted in the auspicious altered state of reverie and began to sing along.

   “Karuna, Karuna where have you been so long?”

In Pursuit of Wonderment

   I am certain that the waters that flow into the veins of all mankind can feel the moment when awe and wonder reappear. There in a pocket, is a discovered button, a single peppermint scooped up and tucked away for another time when a sweet tooth calls for a refreshing ahah moment. The doorways of enchantment are seen in the corners of a room waiting for redecorating with live red berry vines carefully stapled into the kitchen window. In as much as there are dreams, and blue willow plates set out for tea; there are friends that come to visit.

   On the balcony a man lights a candle in the moonlight, waiting for one encouraging call from a night owl that waits out the late with him in solid hoots that echo through the trees. No, I am not making this up, these moments happened. They are collected in my memory like a living scrapbook. I look up to the stars glinted and faceted as clouds mover through in an opalescent glaze of silver light, constant and unassuming of their sheer natural beauty. It comes to them in the original fire of that which they are born of and now live on in a new form.

   Moving now into the golden turn where nothing is secret and only love prevails to hold us all together… I feel the kindness of lakes slowly swooshing sensually onto the shore. Out in the woods the leaves rustle and bend the tree to dance, “where are you it sings, where have you gone? Are you knotting the tails to the kite? Are you playing the song from the  old 78? Have you read the cereal box today and drank the milk from the bottom of the bowl?”

   Pieces of precious past times are neatly chipped out of my memory box, made into beads that I wear around my ankles to remind me of the time I walked barefoot through the grass.


Artist Lords Prayer

Artist Lords Prayer


Our Father who created Heaven and Earth

Haloed be thy name

Thy kingdoms come as were imagined in Heaven

Deliver us into the arms of God’s goodness

Whose plan is sculpted from His Arts desire

Give us our daily illustrations

Forgive us of our wasted talents

As we forgive that which keeps us apart

Lead us not into self-deprecation

Deliver us from complacency

For Thine Art the endowment, the inspiration

And everlasting splendiferous expression

Of each unique essence

Forever and ever

Aahhhh men

cherry hakui_pe

Sand Poem

Ancient Bells


To believe that you echo me is to hear the bell chimes from long ago.

There is star dust in my flesh.

There are deserts in my eyes, and my feet are lit with a fresh wind where my soul and heart shall mesh

I see you now… it is you that I feel

Still I ask, “Will you stay? Are you real?”

Somewhere a leaf has fallen

It lands on sapphire water

I hear you calling.

I see your footprints in the sand.

The flame is burning the wood

There is no time to be false

For the camel nears the eye

And my days are beautiful in the heart of God

This wave of salvation carries me

From out of the foundation of collective memory, I deepen

In wide expansive spirals, I coast across the sea

These winks from the stars guide my way, as God wants me to know Her endless light.

And in the rocking lull, I wistfully sail above the troubled  fright

Faithfully pray for her angel’s embrace

Here along the sand,  in poems  that lovers write



Spirit of Gaia


   The Gaia Goddess embodies the depths of her femininity, her limitless source of creativity, compassion is her strength. The Divine Feminine is coming into harmony, emerging from the darkness, reclaiming her power. She will no longer be silenced or dehumanized. Her powers of empathy and intuition are being awakened as we integrate the masculine and feminine into our being, in balance once again. The goddess will no longer be suppressed, manipulated, and made inferior to the patriarchal system. She will awaken to her sensual, erotic power, with no fear of the depth of her emotions and passions.

  She is the future, the compassionate visionary; creating a beautiful Golden Age on Gaia where we live in enlightened communities that are  in harmony with the earth and each other.



Harvest Mornings from Northern Bell

Harvest Mornings from Northern Bell by Laura Botsford


    A truck came by with field hands riding in the back; their water coolers already dusty, their eyes resigned to another long hot day of running pickers and tromping cotton down in old iron trailers until the final rays of a hot August sun melted into the orange sweat of night.

   Crop dusters fly overhead circling like large mosquitoes reading themselves into a dive bomb as they showered defoliant on the unsuspecting leaves. Those that grew up here are say, “I love the smell of defoliant in the morning!” The first time I came here was in harvest time. The first thing I smelled was defoliant. I held my breath certain I would be gassed an irreparably damaged. “Won’t we all be poisoned?” I asked Leo. “Oh baby, now that’s the just the perfume of a season coming to a close, he said.”  “It is really strong I hope it doesn’t asphyxiate us.” I covered my nose and mouth hoping somehow the scent of my jasmine hand lotion would filter it out. Ah, no.

   I decided I would be more objective and really explore this new scent upon my olfactory. Underneath it, in a layer all its own, is a musky woody smell. The white earthen carpet is a field of its own kind of Oz poppies that lulls me into a meditative response as incense does.  The once leaves of green are crackling into brown, dropping off leaving only stalks. As more and more pods of cotton pop and fluff out the air is imbued with a mushroom smell, organic and clean, the original cotton of our lives. For a little town there is a lot of activity so early in the day. By sunrise the entire town was hustling to get their crops out. By noon they will have already worked six hours. By sunset they will have clocked in 14 hours; city people have no idea what goes into farming.  It’s seven days a week no holidays, no weekend summer barbeques; no time to just hang out, at least not for us.  Life has to fit in here somewhere the best it can amid the clamoring of making a living and literally putting shirts on the backs of America.

   There are clumps of cotton alongside the roads edge gathered like snowdrifts  where they have flown out of the trailers on their way to the gins. The air is thick with a musky hemp scent as gin trash burns in a haze of morning fog and smoke. I was afraid to breathe. To them it smells lie home and the end of another season.

   For once in my life I wasn’t busy. It is such an enviable status for a woman like me. I had always worked two jobs or more; struggled to pay rent, fought to stay free even in my darkest of economic resources.  But now that I was in Portland, I had time, time to finally do all the things that I had ever wanted; time to write, time to read, and time to compose all those songs that had been piling up like unfolded clothes. It’s funny how when the chance finally came to do these things I was dumb struck by the droning quiet; it’s true, silence is deafening. The rhythms of my previous life were still motivating me like a push pull toy that clacked restlessly across a wooden floor. I had no one to do anything with, nowhere to go with and no one to do anything with. I was stuck here probably for forever and I better find some way to get use to it.

   Meanwhile life goes on in a swift momentum of getting the crops out before it rains. I am impressed with the devotion and care that these farmers give to their crops. It is truly a blessing to us all.

Valentines From Long Ago

My Love Song

                      Memory Wind by Laura Botsford

I am a living memory in every life that ever invited me to join with them to rustle old leaves

Moving them on from autumns’ auburn and golden blush  crinkled and chipped

from  summers well lived.

I have raised the first breath of Spring out from the frozen crystals of winters sleep.

I have been the fragrant scent of flowers basking in the sun of a summer’s garden noon day deep

And I have held you in the coolness of a shaded tree,

protected you as the resting bird from the glaring heat.

Opalescent and green

Transmutable in every season, I stand beside you,  clearly seen

You are not alone

You are my heart’s desire and everything is moving us into a serendipitous surrender

And remember  that we have never sinned

            As we glide in our places

                                                   Effortlessly on  wind

Though time and love escapes into creases of faded letters

and borrowed memories hold us barely together

Bound and bought

There is no weather that will forsake our love, from where  molten candles once burned brightly,

Extinguish not

Quiet Corners

quiet corners

Embrace by Laura Botsford

The treasure of living in little moments

Where in wonder? I protested that I should live accordingly to that which can only be seen?

For I have witnessed miracles that can’t be explained; lived through moments where surely I feared that this eternal grace may die.

Fade from your bones and crumble in shards of splintered mirrors

I am promised a life far greater than I could dream of because I believed

That my caress is conceived in

My blessed friend, who tendered the broken in me when others did not

The lost and sighing

The unattended feeling blind the forgotten freed

That part in us that feared flying.

She is unafraid

Wished into being

Sovereign and sassy

Bold, gentle and classy

My future is in the face of your child,

Love them all well and give them the strength of a sea’s gracious tide

As she lives free

In a civil sort of wild

Preface for Prayers for the Artist




Preface for Prayers for the Artist

by Laura Botsford


   The story of the artist is a breath page from a book found written long ago in the halls of a poet’s dreams, written with nature’s brushes in quiet places where evening subsides into stillness.  The images, and sounds can be found like bells waiting to be rung. Only some find that these apparitions are fleeting, vivid, and then disappears as one will  wondrously awaken, suspended between reality and dreams. It is in this regard that the desire for the ability to hold the flame, and channel the river, is what we have come to talk about in this book. It is where the in-between moments are saved, savored, supported and scribed in detail for a lasting reflection of guidance and support.

   It is also for those that feel that they are lost in the spheres’ of indifference, casually displaced like mismatched shoes and forgotten languages. Because we know that we are sometimes  thought of as outsiders and unwashed social outcasts, flagrant eccentrics who wander down alleys watching for rainbows, mining out art forms that no one seems to care about. We appear as people who are against the grain of “responsible living.”  Prayers for the Artist is for us, the beautiful, the bawdy; the luminous splendiferous original creative souls.

   Our very presence as artists’ moves people, inspires compassion, and desire for change. We embrace emptiness giving it shape, color, music, and dance. It is a sacred trust passed on to us. Without this essential vibrant frequency in our infinite universes, nothing would exist; we would all still be in a shapeless void. The artist is a consummate patron of this belief, drinking from the communion cup, and sharing in the everlasting kiss of continuous creation. In a sweeter world, all creativity would be recognized as an integral part of sustaining the cultural atmospheres. The arts uplift life, and emanates positivity in our  global connectivity.

  This is a collection of poems, essays and prose dedicated to uplifting the co-creator within us all,  where we soul-fully praise the Source from which all creativity flows.

Thy Art Be Done

  Art is a gift fulfilling itself with every living and willing breath of participation in the creative flux; surrendering to its invisible animated workings of profound spiritual electricity is the power of make and believe, the power of attraction. We affirm in our art what we believe and this fortifies us and each other.

   Our alliance with the Creator is a living expression found in the trusted well-spring of an abandoned ego, a place of allowing the artistic touchstone to be translated.  Tendering these new and trembling fingers with a reflective heart, allows us to traverse along the vivid ethers in nuance and highlighted flecks from an infinite depth of field.  Imagination is God’s divine original motion.

   This enthralling echo unravels in the veins along artisans’ row where masters have left traces of their unique vibration. Their vivid emissions flow into the perfect light curves of history, scaled, and designed for individual interpretation by each of us. We as artists are circled, and highlighted in them with our own artful expressions, and by the artistic testimonies we create. We are a witness to the times, and a new covenant on the earth today. We are about the wonder, and freedom of expression that we whole heartedly express. And in this majestic presence of soul, and mind of all its natural velocity, and vast potential we come to serve original creativity by being on its leading edge.

     It is in the countenance of solitudes’ reflective silence, within a good stream of interstellar inspiration, where I’ve discovered the fullest joy. When I am relaxed and allowed the marriage of the inspired, couples with well honed disciplines to take place, is when something surprising transpires exceeding all my expectations.

   Everyone has their own expression. Each artist desires to be respectful of this shared covenant because it doesn’t belong to us. We belong in it. What we bring to the table is our full attention, and by doing so, we are choosing to generate either negative or positive vibrations. The flow is endless; the healing great, the personal reward is a prosperous, colorful living spirit that is educating and uplifting the world.

    To understand that the productivity of our creative actions generates energy into the universe that aids and alters our collective consciousness is the very and vital purpose for us to engage. It matters little whether our works are masterful or not; this is a personal endeavor. What matters is that creating anything that is artistic in nature draws imagination into not only our own lives but also kinesia generates collective unity into the universal atmospheres thereby sustaining the attributes of all mankind with infinite possibilities, hope, progress, healing and harmony.

    We are incense. We are the wind. We are a door into new lands that is reflected everywhere. We define the times with our works, the fashions, the political tambours in music, media, dance and art; they are all sympatric of this collective flux. Once again, if your heart of art is authentic on some level it is connecting everywhere, and makes a difference.

    The clarity we generate is respectfully recognized by the universe, and thereby influences everything with the intent of our creative purpose. It is in itself a generator feeding from its place in the universe back into the environment with social exchanges, political, cultural and spiritual transformations. It doesn’t matter if you are in a studio painting alone or typing out a screenplay in your home, or dancing around your living room; all of it has the butterfly effect and the flutters are felt everywhere.

      Our creativity encourages individuals in self expressive creative risk taking. We have a tremendous transforming impact in our world, and in the ever-changing atmospheres.

   We are the continuation of muse and masters, craft and devotion to art forms that speak to all with the added spark of life; an effect that I call, the Imaginative Cause.

   This process focuses on creating a positive environment where individual experiences in the arts can be shared, and supported by others.  The second kind of community-making we do is through of importance is in arts development. Throughout this little book are affirmations and quotes that I have found helpful in maintaining a balance between the world and what I think of as, us the spaces between – the connecting dots of what is and what could be.

   It is when we offered our lips to drink from the well-spring of God’s Imagination that we have come alive.   It is a Psalm Song to my Creator, for it is God Source that all creativity flows from. It is the universal spirit that weaves us together. It is up to us to decide which of spectrums colors we will blend, what notes to arrange, the steps to take, the form to make that will make our life vibrate brighter.

   I know that we artists and community makers are in need sometimes of a specific kind of encouraging support. It is with this in mind, and from the heart that we have written this book for you.  I hope that in some measure it brings comfort, courage, and inspiration when you feel adrift in a world that makes you feel less a part of.

   You Belong.  You are Important. Your creative energy is needed now, more than ever. There are many who whole heartedly believe in make and believe. You are not alone without connectivity, we are holding hands in this together.

    Your creative thought process generates a field of energy that penetrates that transcends space and time. In this energy all of us can tap in or out with each other.   We can eliminate each other’s struggle, and celebrate each other’s works simply by recognizing the places we see in each other as being valid.

   We are symbolically associated with the word artist. The definition of an artist is broad, but I like this one best.

An artist, A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice. It is all-encompassing; the process, the journey, the expression is where we are united. It is in the commitment to widen the world with love and understanding.

  These accomplishments are intimated with a longing to pull oneself inside out in an expression or craft that tells us something about ourselves or the world.

   The voice of our ancestral beginning’s are from the foundations of when time first began, when the universe was created and everything was open to possibility; it is constantly changing. On this day, right now the paint box we choose from is many colors, words and the trumpeting sound of us all.

   Just as we did then, we do now in a different age. The relevancy is juxtaposed to the era in which we live. Curiously now though, the lines of time are blended more so than ever with the flux of global connection, technology and higher consciousness.  No longer do we have to travel far to see a great work of art or read a masterpiece. It is at the touch of our hands, and in the communing whispers of our souls.  Our artistic expressions will bend the walls, dissolve the divisions, and help change the shape of our collective soul.

   Only some find that these apparitions are fleeting, that they are vivid, and then disappears as one wakes from a beautiful definitive dream. We can allow the ability to hold the flame and channel the river that I have come to talk of here in this book. 

Prayers for the Artist is for us, the beautiful, the bawdy; the luminous, splendiferous original creative souls.

 Leaning Church Painting by Tim Sorsdahl