Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Historically Speaking

Image: G.Brannan, Little Roundtop, Gettysburg, PA-rendered as painting
















We have history, you and I—
it goes back quite a ways, back to the days
when we were younger—so much younger
It was something even back then,
all fresh and new, pure and pristine…
with youthful exuberance we forged ahead—
where there were no roads we blazed our own,
finding strength in our common bonds,
discovering  that even in disagreement
a deeper understanding can be born.
Yeah, we made mistakes along the way…
words, like blades, cut deep and heal slow.
Scars remain, reminders that this too, will pass.
Life has brought us here,
forward is the only direction we can go—
so we build our course, layer upon layer…
there’s no bullshit, no lyin’ and no denyin’,
we are acutely aware,
that we are grounded
in this place, this space,
this history that we share.


© Ginny Brannan 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Somewhere Between the Rapture and the Rain…















We are, each of us, scarred—
sullied and carved
by jagged remnants
of nameless afflictions.
I will never judge
your scratches and flaws,
nor diminish what you’ve borne
with platitudes and empty words.

For what one sees is minimal,
barely a mar on the surface—
like an iceberg, the trauma
we've incurred sits deeper:
invisible to the naked eye
yet felt on the days
when the sun lies veiled
and old memories rise
to fester once more...
And yet, we survive 
despite our flaws,
or maybe, because of them.

I have felt your distance
as your thoughts turned inward
before focusing once again.
There’s beauty in your nakedness
where only truth remains
no need to cover up the welts,
nor pull away in shame.
Each one of us has a past,
so who can ferry blame?

You may not think I know you well,
but I understand the pain…
no one feels the sun’s sweet warmth
unless they’ve known the rain.


© Ginny Brannan 2017

Image Credit: Melanie Mercoglana Photography, Google Images

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Love Song












Hey now my darlin’, it’s time to come home
I’ve been waiting on you for a while—
our seeds are all sown
and our grandkids are grown,
it’s time that I shared your smile.

Hey now my darlin’, the voice that you hear
as you try to hold on a bit longer…
you remember it well,
by your eyes I can tell
that each day my whisper grows stronger.

Yet, dearest darlin', I’ve always been here
through the laughter, the joy, and the pain…
through sunshine and sadness,
the moments of gladness—
a part of me always remained.

Hey now my darlin', I’m waiting for you
to hold you again, to embrace;
there’ll be hugging and kissing,
and much reminiscing
as I trace the soft lines on your face.

Hey there my darlin', now just close your eyes—
tell me, whose is the face that you see?
The one who adores you,
who lived his life for you…
it’s time to come home now
          to me

© Ginny Brannan 2017


For J & J—and for all whose love endures...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Unconstrained



Ever so subtle, the banjo begins
as the beat of the bass makes its mark,
the melody's captured now by mandolin
till the strings of the fiddle embark.
Clear and concise there’s a single voice heard
then others to bridge harmony...
clapping and tapping ensues, undeterred;
and the lyrics they share— poetry.
They build to crescendo, then slow to a whisper
and hit all the notes in between…
we conjure the places the music now takes us
the land and the people they’ve seen.
Their tone and inflection belying the depth
of the pain and the hardships they’ve known—
they’ve travelled this country, the length and the breadth
now we garner their seeds as they’re sown.
For they bring an escape for a moment or two,
    the music: a balm to our soul—
in the lyrics we’re gifted; transported and lifted
left healed to this feeling of  'whole.'
And always the music that carries us back...
  a reminder of who we should be:
kinder, more mindful, without animus
  no anger or need to appease.

We entered this place to escape from the rain
and in doing so, found a release:
the melodies shared have unlocked the constraints
and leave us encompassed in peace.

© Ginny Brannan 2017

On June 6th we went to hear one of my favorite genres of music, a mix of folk/bluegrass/country, played by The Steel Wheels, a wonderful and talented group of young musicians out of Virginia. There is thought and depth in the lyrics they share, perfectly arranged and impeccably played. There is something in the sounds of a banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass. In words that speak of home and things that touch our hearts and our lives. One of their songs was inspired by a man who learned that Federal land was to be auctioned off cheaply and under the radar. He went to the auction, did not know how to keep the land in trust, to keep it pristine for his daughter and new generations to enjoy. Ended up bidding, however foolish in knowing he could never pay. He got thrown in jail, but the incident brought light to something that would have been left unknown and ignored. These are stories of  hope and of love, of country, of family, of the beauty of this land. How can one not leave feeling uplifted and inspired!!


Monday, May 22, 2017

It's All Part of the Promise...























The words fell away when we were young
they rolled off the tongue with the sweet invincibility
of youth, whose only truth was the dream of  
     “Happily ever after…”

The answers we need remain hidden and masked
in youth’s ignorance are left silent, unasked—
and when the storms come, as they always will,
when easy route stops and the path starts uphill
~ will either or both remain up for the task?
The words to "the promise” stay burning within
like a mantra, they echo again and again…
when worse comes a-calling, when poorer prevails,
when time takes our youth, and when illness assails—
we find that those smooth seas were just a illusion
for life‘s often messy and  seeks retribution.
When the unknowns give way to the hard lessons learned,
the depth of devotion will then be discerned.
So we listen as “promise” is given once more
and hope the new couple will  find what we’ve found:
that love isn’t measured in points that are scored,
nor in how hard you fall, but how well you rebound.

The road that lies waiting remains undefined
   we will never foresee all the changes in course;
 it's determined in part by a love that endures
  and confirmed in the warmth of the hand holding yours. 


© Ginny Brannan 2017

For Mike and Ashley, a gentle reminder to be kind to each other, to forgive each other, and to love each other with all that you are. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

It's Not The Rain, But The Rainbow...

Image: J. Hesch  Used with Permission













Another rainy day dawns,
the gray clouds heavy laden on the horizon,
they blend with the mountains:
heaven and earth indistinguishable;
our spirits are weighted down
soggy as the leaves on the apple tree,
muddied as the splash-back
on the newly planted flowers.
Once, we shrugged these days off
as we waited the sun to come,
as we surely knew it would.

The darker days seem longer now,
as I scour the sky, searching for that thin spot
where the sunbeams hide,
waiting for the final break
that lifts the clouds to dissipate.
I scan the heavens for the sign—
that rainbow—the ‘promise’
that brighter days are coming,
that there will be a reprieve…
if I can just muster the patience, 
the fortitude to hang on
and, channeling the child I was so long ago,
look beyond the clouds and believe.

© Ginny Brannan 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

In a Heartbeat...













Ba bump ba bump ba bump ba bump…
my heart races at eighty-five beats per minute;
faster as I push myself to finish what I’m doing
so I can move on to something else.
I set the bar high, my own expectations higher—
the fear of restructure, replacement remains
a ghostly shadow hiding in a corner of my mind;
for I know all too well that I am dispensable,
that it’s never about the work, but the bottom line.

I‘ve wondered, how does one pace oneself?
Is there even such a thing?
Acutely aware that at this age, this stage
life should be about slowing down,
enjoying each moment…
unsure if this is wearing me down
or keeping my mind alert; keeping me young.
I am reminded on a daily basis
of how life can change in a heartbeat;.
So, like the ‘Little Engine That Could’
  I keep chugging away while I still can

...ba bump ba bump ba bump ba bump ba bump.


© Ginny Brannan 2017