Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2015 04 28 Poetry: Seeded Hand April 28, 2015

28 down and 2 to go. My oh my how four weeks can run by in a flurry.

And here we are, once again.

This is still National Poetry Month, and it has been my honor to take part in something of significance that honors a form of writing that I am so fond of. Like the seasons that wrap around the calendar, writing has found a way to wrap around my billy goat soul. It helps me to realize how many things there are out there that I cherish more than I know.

One of those things is gardening, which I never thought I would ever get a chance to do after I lost my vision. Back in the summer of 2010, we had one of the best gardens that we have ever had out here on the ridge. My wife took charge of the reins that year and helped the season to bring us probably the best harvest season we had ever had. It was a hard year, but with her efforts, the wicker baskets were rounded full with a splendor that I will remember forever.

In the summer of 2013, I was given the opportunity to dig my fingers back into the soil with a dear friend of mine. It was hard at first, but after a few hours down in the dirt, the sweet, sweet dirt, I quickly remembered everything that I love about gardening. It was one of the best summers I have ever lived, and it brought me back to a level of independence that I could never have been able to afford.

I love to garden. I love to grow. I love to listen to the plants speak and sing their songs. I love the sound of the summer breeze whistling down through the rows of planted life. I love it and I hope you like the following poem.

Take care.

Deon

***

Seeded Hand

A slow, spring thaw brings with it a welcoming sight
Battered row and beaten hill applaud the warming days of May
Last years withered vines slowly give way to steel tine
Moist coolness caresses tired spirit and replenishes a searching soul

Senses come alive with sweet aromas of freshly turned earth
Dig down deep with anxious hands and clutch the moistened dirt
Like old family remedies, the feel of earth soothes a growing heart
Loosening, fertilizing, sowing away under the rays of the day

Promising of new growth, the planted seed take their place, row on row
With crafted care, mounds, hills and beds slowly take their shape
Stretching from seed, sprouting armies slowly show themselves
Push and shove, shove and push, reaching onward and upward

Giving way to growth, soil cradles stem and stalk
Young, bashful green, crouch timid amidst showers of sunlight
Row and hill emerge with summer’s sprouting promise
Infant bounty is nourished by day and caressed by night

Inch by inch, new growth stands tall with impatient life
Nature’s chorus sings its familiar tune across posted row
Wandering vines search out, grabbing hold and clutching tight
Twisting buds proudly burst out loud with fragrant flower

With hand held care, flavor and fruit grow and slowly find their shape
A mid summers breeze carries with it the hint of scented names
Spice and flavor ride along the wind, singing out loud
Patience and care give way to the moon’s full, fresh bounty

Smells and tastes define the assortment of rooted vine
Cool days chased by chilled nights beckon fall’s harvest call
Hand picked beauty slowly rounds the wicker full
Cherry, roma, and early girls ripen with painted shades of red

Bells of yellow, green and red are crisp with slice
Orange jacks and towering gray stripe search out autumn’s song
Plump, sweet kernels cling tightly to silky stalk
Canned rewards trumpet loudly, signaling the season’s end

Once again, hand sculpted earth has given its all
Thankful splendor gives way to winter’s gripping frosts
Frozen vines huddle close and recall daydreams of summer tales
Chilled blankets of white cradle the ground with a season’s lasting lullaby

Thawed once more, the tines of spring reach in and dig deep
Grateful cycle, awakens again with new, familiar ground
The promises of a new season await the seeded hand
Journey towards the harvest fall begins new again

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2015 02 24 Constructiveness February 24, 2015

Constructiveness

Hello. My name is Deon, and I’m a writer. I haven’t always considered or called myself a writer, but these days, it’s fairly apparent that most of my constructiveness is done so using a keypad and a screen reader. Is constructiveness a word? If it isn’t, it should be.

I’m still not used to the sound of calling myself a writer, and I’m certainly not used to the feelings associated with it. Fact is, I’m a rather shy person, and whenever I receive praise for my writings, or for anything, I can sense my ears getting red. Yep. You heard it. My ears get beet red whenever I get embarrassed, brought on by my pathetically shy state. I suppose I’m not as shy as I used to be when I could see, but characteristic traits have a habit of sticking to us like glue, and stuck to me it has.

I am a writer, and before that, I was a regional salesman, which is a glorified name for a truck driver who sells stuff to people who need the stuff and have money to buy the stuff. I was pretty good at it, and was the top salesman for my last company a couple years in a row. The company had over thirty regional sales reps, so once again, I was pretty good at it.

I’ve always done well with things that I have taken part with. I suppose I owe that all to my folks and my siblings. My brothers and sisters all excelled in whatever they tackled, which provided me the inspirational drive that has stayed with me to this day. Always try to throw faster, run faster, swim faster, jump higher, and if you don’t, keep practicing until you do. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be done? No blue ribbons or trophies for just trying. At least not back where I came from.

Like I said, I’m a writer, and I love to write. I have written long stories, short stories, poems, essays, stuff I don’t know what to call, and I have enjoyed every second of it. It was a little slow in coming, that is after I lost my sight. You see, I had to learn how to touch type, which was something I used to cringe at whenever I heard my wife suggest I learn. Finger cramps, wrist cramps and hand cramps weren’t anything I looked forward to, and the four fingered, hunt and peck system I used up to then seemed to work for what I needed to do.

Boy did that mind set change.

With a rehab and independent living skills program opportunity dangling there in front of me, I had to learn how to touch type, and learn I did. Within a couple weeks I was banging away like a finger tapping, key punching fool. I was actually surprised how easy it was to learn. I suppose that my mental attitude had a huge part to play in the learnings, but either way, my life as a writer was born.

I have written a few miles of text in four plus years. Around corners, up hills, down across bridges, and it all ends up right in front of me on my pc screen, with JAWS hollering out the detailed adventure.

One other thing I’m not used to doing, and feel totally uncomfortable with is critiquing of others writings. Unless it’s a very familiar material matter that the writing is about, then I will add my advice with details that transpire with the writing. As far as writing styles, formats, and anything to do with the English language, count me out. Sorry to say it, but I have never liked the learning of English. Sentence structures, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and the likes have twisted my mind up like a butter pretzel. I know the language fairly well, and I do ok with the writing of it, but to try and tell you that this should be over there, and that shouldn’t even be here, well, I’ll just quietly sit and listen, while I try to learn.

The first time I had one of my writing pieces critiqued in a constructive manner just about destroyed me inside. I felt like someone had broken into my home and robbed me blind. No pun intended. I felt as though everything I had ever written wasn’t up to standards, wasn’t appreciated, wasn’t, or shouldn’t ever be displayed in any public forum again for as long as I lived.

But then again, that’s just me.

It did take some time to be able to look past the criticism, the critique, the painful experiences, and find the lessons that were hidden inside the critique. Once I was able to step back from my emotions and approach the critique from other’s perspectives, I was able to grow and evolve. I like to use the phrase, absorb, adapt and advance. That’s what my writings, along with being blind, have taught me. Almost as a prize fighter does, we absorb the blows, learn how to better shuck and jive our way through the situations and take control of said situations when and if they should arise again.

As I said, I am no critiquing noble or anything, and I probably will never lay claim to such a thing, but I do know how hard it can be to receive at times. I do know how much we put ourselves out there when we write. I know how deep into spirit and soul our writings come from, and with such strong emotions wrapped around those amazing penned words, I know how cutting the critique can be at times.

I hope that with each incident, I will grow and become more aware of the lessons that are inside each well thought out comment made towards my writings, and I will always try to take advantage of each situation and make the best of it.

From a truck driver’s writing perspective, I hope that I’m able to keep on writing for the rest of my life, as it has brought me riches beyond belief.

No matter where you go, there you are, so please, please, take full advantage of it.

Thanks for stopping by, and God bless all of you. Take care.

dp