Sunday, August 16, 2015


Spirals, no discernible beginning, no apparent ending. I like to go through life turning upward and outward, fast and slow. Each turn a new vantage point, a new perspective to be taken or left behind. The Grouse is the symbol of the spiral in my Native American medicine cards. The dance of life. The macro of the constant motion of our universe. The micro of the Sufi dancers, swirling themselves into altered states. 

Spirals quest, they seek, like our journey on earth. Their lessons seem limitless to me. I don’t feel boxed in by their form, only bound by my self-imposed restrictions and fears that can stop all movement, cell growth and learning. 

The freedom of the dance can move me to a place where it’s safe to be still, to listen, to rest and to tap into the pulse of the universe where I feel connected to other spirits on our journey as we walk the spiral of life’s labyrinth together. 

Rebekah Spivey for the Poplar Grove Muse

Photos: Pixabay

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Next Chapter

To look outward more often.
To be content with being at the beginning.
To recognize containment as an asset.
To strive for upright excellence and remember the ground.
To know transcendance is birthed from support.
To embrace knowing less and feeling more.
To uplift others on the path to their own relevance.
To sense the merit of one drop at a time.
To live where my heart chooses the path of mind.
To become strong through my eyes.
To deliver through my hands.
To remember, "it is easy to take a human apart -
but not so easy to put them together." Re-member.


Monday, July 13, 2015


“Wherever we go, there seems to be only one business at hand - that of finding workable compromises between the sublimity of our ideas and the absurdity of the fact of us.”
         ―Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters

Over time, the workable compromises became unworkable. Even as I made them, I knew in my head that beneath the seductive sheen of calm and simplicity the incremental compromises offered—time for art and reading with the kid(s) and book groups with the interesting moms I would meet, nightly opportunities to try out the recipes I had been clipping since long before I had a stove to cook them on, perhaps the discovery of an interest in homekeeping I had never once experienced, at the very least a reprieve from arranging for work and daycare from a distance while wrapping up the old job—lurked deep downward currents that could drown soul and self.

Compromise, compounded and committed against myself again, and again, and yet again, has left me stripped bare, uncertain of myself. As the children I structured my life around extend the circles they traverse, with me holding an unsteady and often unnecessary center, I barely breathe some days. I am fortunate that my partner in these crimes against myself is, in contrast, circling in tighter, sharing his own loss of self and direction; yet at times I hardly know who he is circling back to, and pray that my lack of an inner life will not be discovered, dismantled, dismissed.

Time to dig in and write my losses, discover the subjects I know I once had, perhaps even rediscover some sublimity of my own ideas. In the upcoming Conscious Feminine Leadership Training 2015, I embark on a new adventure in reading, writing, and (re-)discovering self in the company of brave and determined women.

Mary, for The Poplar Grove Muse

Monday, June 29, 2015

July 1991

must’ve been the driest, thickest day of July
when we dismantled the tipi
dust rested on plants and sitting-logs
thick and gray
like some hellish frost
come to blight our paradise
dogs were walking powder puffs
of earth’s sloughing off

95% humidity sent sweaty rivulets
coursing between women’s breasts
drew smooth steady patterns
on kids’ dirty faces
paintings on tipi canvas
looked faded and dull
 from six years of pounding weather
and six weeks of no rain

teenaged son shinnied
up and up
like some four-legged creature
at home in his jungle
tugged each lacing pin from its moorings                                                                                              
where canvas was lashed together
some slid out just right
others took yanking, cussing
before they let go
one after another, till all were out

he roared as he grabbed the top edge
of tired, mildewed canvas
            awakened it from its comfortable resting place
and with one mighty shove
sent it sliding down slick debarked pine poles
like a giant skirt
slipping slowly, provocatively
            around the ankles of a mountain of a woman
it landed in folds and heaps
on the dry cracked ground

someone beat a drum, someone cried
someone  moaned—I think it was me
dogs and cats ran
someone played a flute
someone howled like a wolf
strong-shouldered husband and neighbors
heaved loosely rolled  tipi canvas
to edge of tree-line

seventeen poles stood naked and strong
skeletal remains of our Brown County era
they sprawled in a circle 28 feet wide
leaned into each other at the conical top
bound together with thick sisal rope
thirty feet above hard clay-packed floor
above plywood platform
where beds had held our family
close to earth’s steady heartbeat

someone played guitar
someone hooted—crazy, insane
like barred owls carrying on psychotic
conversations in the dark of the night
someone yip, yip, yipped
like coyotes on prowl  

daughter and friend arrived
full of  young woman sensuality
            began dancing on plywood platform
pounding feet drummed steady rhythm
more feet, more drumming
more feet dancing, drumming
hoot, hoot, hooting
kicking up dust

sweating, laughing
crying out for rain
drinking cheap wine
smoking last year’s harvest
stomping, thumping
with bare feet, booted feet
on hollow wooden floor
wild and free
caught up in primal celebration
the moving of the lodge
the feasting of the tribe
prayers for rain, rain, rain

distant thunder, was it? did you hear it?
was that lightning? did you see it?
thunder again—closer
we danced harder, faster
drummed, sang
drummed, danced
rain sprinkled, showered
poured from the skies

mothers and others carried drums
guitars, babies to nearby shack—
door and windows swung wide open
storm-crazed dancers
undaunted by nature’s pelting
perpetuated rain-soaked plywood vibration
with unrestrained ecstasy  

we slung off dripping clothes
to rhythm of pounding feet
t-shirts, shorts
jeans, skirts
tossed into one colorful
soggy, sloppy heap
naked skin like naked tipi poles
shining wet, clean, cool

thunder boomed
dogs barked, babies cried
we drummed our moving-on dance
till slippery plywood threatened to break fragile bones
and massive electric bolts
too close for comfort
shoved us indoors

pounding rain continued to drum
the rusty metal roof as we
panted our thanksgiving
and fed one another
from the multi-purpose
stainless steel dishpan
heaped to overflowing
with July’s ripe, juicy blackberries

                                  Glenda Breeden

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Am Gannet

Photo: Seabirds /VisitScotland

I Am Gannet

I am gannet, seabird,
soaring with my gray,
white and yellow-feathered body
off the volcanic shore of Iona.
The sparkling waters
in Martyrs Bay
tempt and tease me
as they race over
their bounty 
hidden deep below the surface.

I climb skyward high
over the bouncing waves
as they strive for shore.
Now. Turn. Spiral.
Beak first, speeding straight down
wings sleek along my body,

Capture one shiny silver fish.
Burst up through the waves.
Slowly and steadily I balance
on top of the water. One gulp.
Fish gone, sustenance begins.
As Im being nourished
rich nutrients coursing through me,
my mind clears, my eyesight sharpens

I open my beak to call out gratitude.

Rebekah for The Poplar Grove Muse

Monday, June 15, 2015

She was a Tough Old Broad

When I die, I want to be cremated
And buried in an urn
That will turn me into a tree
I don't really care what kind

My loved ones should grieve
However they need to 
That is their chore to complete

I won’t have a gravestone
But if I did, I would want it to say;
“Beloved by many,
She was a tough old broad"

Diana, for the Poplar Grove Muse 

Monday, June 1, 2015

More Than Gold


Today I walked slowly,
small hand in my hand,
and chatted with the kid,
who agreed we MUST have kale for chips
and begged for honey sticks.

Today as we meandered crowded aisles of grains and greens,
overflowing crates of yellows and reds,
I watched the people who picked this food-
soon to be piled on our plates-
watched as they chatted and smiled about the food they knew,
like a child they’d raised.

Today as I peered into the overfilling basket hung on my arm,
I knew the extra minutes it was taking to gather our meals,
the extra minutes it would take to chop and simmer,
the waiting time for rising and kneading,
would always be worth more than any minute or dollar I might save.

Today I walked slowly.