Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Undertaking

She views the world through autumn eyes
that on this day are cast in gray
as winter tries to tip the scale…
Weeks and months and years have passed
to leave eroded and refined
each moment lived; each bend and turn
etched in crease and smile line.

   And always playing in her mind
   the words that paint the world she sees—
   the people met, emotions felt;
   thoughts that bend and twist within
   and beg escape from their confines

When did such purpose come about—
a want, a need to somehow share
and bare the colors of her soul…
when even casual observation
implores discovery on a page.

   And the words…. always ruminating,
   to form and re-form, while creating
   background music heard by one.
   You’ll see her jot a line or two
   on any scrap or sticky note,
   or back of envelope will do.
   And on rare times when words align
   to culminate with her inflection
   she’ll deem a poem or piece complete
   or at very least well- honed
   to “acceptable” perfection.

She sees her world through autumn eyes
as winter creeps up on her trail.
Time has deepened tone and voice
—so often lost within the forest
of other voices in the chorus—
becoming still as life assails
till call to write once more prevails;
another story whispers, waiting,
   the challenge in the undertaking.

© Ginny Brannan 2016

This was written in 2016, and published in the collection: Poetry as a Spiritual Practice: Illuminating the Awakened Woman—a collection of poems by the Journey of the Heart Poets available at

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What are the Odds?

The day breaks slow this January morn
the cloud filled sky cast in ombré gray,
cold sun reluctant to show its face.
As I scan across the barren yard
past the remnants of the last snowfall
still floating atop winter-brown grass,
it dawns on me that this is an odd year.
Not only in the political sense—
I mean, how strange is it that a reality T.V. host,
self-endorsed politician, business man, millionaire—
has promised to be a champion for the people?
The man who would be President—
Yet, even more so for us, in the numerical sense.
Odd years have never been lucky years…
if bad luck or illness will transpire,
it always chooses the ‘odd’ year.
2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2015
surgery, illness, lay-off, more surgery…
I tick off our laundry list of misfortune and misery.
And yet, the optomist in me still struggles
to break the surface,  even as the sun itself
emerges from behind its gray cloud curtain.
I defer, as we so often do, to a movie quote,
an earworm reverberating through my head:

 “May the odds be ever in your favor”

            May they be in all of ours.

©  Ginny Brannan 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

For You, the 'Other Writer'…

So at this time I would profess
—if the truth were to be told—
how every poem that you’ve refined
whispers through my heart and mind
and touches deep within my soul
Oh, that I had such gift as yours!
With subtlety and fine inflection
each story line and each reflection,
each lover's conflict you’ve endured
frozen there upon the page
seeks and speaks to inner core.

Where indeed do such words come
that touch upon such highs and lows,
to paint the hollows so profound
and grapple the unpolished truth?
I hang suspended and spellbound;
for in your words I see myself—
in this mirror that you’ve shared
each fault and glorious imperfection
through introspective interjection
my secrets called out and laid bare.

And so to you, I now confess,
to maestro wielding quill in hand—
I’ve seen my story on your page
as much as you have shared your own.
Through lines transcending time and age,
your tales regale what we have lived,
revealing secrets I have known.
While some aspire, others lead
in ever reaching for that bar,
as each one tries to plant a seed
in hopes that some may stop and read…

Seems for a moment I’ve digressed,
so venture, somewhat tentative
to credit one where credit’s due:
With admiration and respect
that’s earned or ascertained by few—
from moment when we first connected,
my benchmark has been set by you.

© Ginny Brannan 2017

Linked to dVerse Poets OLN #187

Thursday, December 29, 2016

With Certain Inevitability

We know neither time nor place, only that it is inevitable…

… but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. 
                                                                                    — Ben Franklin

In “Tweets” and “Posts” the world responds
to Death’s uncertain rendezvous—
  just two of many that we knew…

As one day ebbs, another dawns
and real or feigned, we mourn each name—
   another faded star now gone.

“Celebrity” does not preclude…
    in ‘Tweets” and “Posts,” the world responds.

© Ginny Brannan 2016

Actress Carrie Fisher 10/21/1956 — 12/27/2016
and her mom: Actress Debbie Reynolds 4/01/1932 — 12/28/1932
The 'Force' was strong between mother and child.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Actively Passing

I wonder does subconscious hear a calling,
like songbirds’ urge to sing before the dawn;
sensing that there will be no denying
and no forestalling when one's time has come.

In recent days we’ve watched you shift, withdrawing—
your focus turning inward to your soul;
a bird with broken wings no longer soaring,
slipping while the decades take their toll.

There is no turning back, becoming “whole” again,
no splint to cure what age and illness wrought.
Words whispered soft, appeasing and consoling…
as you slide ever deeper into thought…

time stands still, the caged bird finds release,
  our consolation—hoping you’ve found peace.

© Ginny Brannan 2016

For L, whose light and love we will carry in our hearts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Not Quite Faded

You carry the visible remnants
of pain endured,
fissures closed,
wounds still healing.
My blemishes mask hidden
tarnished through tears,
sullied in sleepless nights.
Scarred, broken—
two fractured halves
struggling to become whole again.

Don’t look too close,
    you may still see the cracks.

© Ginny Brannan 2016

Linking to d’Verse Poets Pub, where we are sharing our “Scars,” both seen and unseen.  This is a Quadrille, a new form for me, a poem of exactly 44 words.
Come on by and check out what others have shared!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Our "Thanksgiving" Family

We come together each November—and occasionally between— a group of transplants who have found themselves away from the families and places we were raised who have landed together in this small New England town. Some of us have known each other for decades, others not so long. Some have children close in age that go to school together, others are extended family. We are bound by similar values, work ethics, our love of family, and the friendship that we share.

We are college professors, career military, civil servants, healthcare workers, moms, dads, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and friends. We have come from places near and far: from Texas and Oklahoma, New York, and Vermont, a U.S. territory, and a country to our south.  We have crossed state lines, borders, and oceans to arrive here. We are an eclectic mix—Polish and Italian, Irish, Scots, and Scandinavian, Mexican and Puerto Rican, whose families settled here in this country for reasons as diverse as we are—to escape fascism and oppression, to educate and further themselves, to integrate and become a part of this great melting pot called the United Sates; where dreams are possible, differences welcomed, hard work rewarded, and there is freedom to grow and become whomever one believes they can be.

We all bring something different to the table, both literally: turkey with all the fixings, pernil, yellow rice and beans, tamales, Jamoncillo de Leche, pumpkin and apple pies and other deserts; and idealistically with different viewpoints and traditions. The diversity of our backgrounds may have shaped us, but it is our commonalities that bind us; and our mutual respect, fondness and love for each other that makes us family.

© Ginny Brannan 2016

La familia de Madera
La familia Pérez
La familia Natella
The Muse Family
Y todos los de mi familia el Día de Acción de Gracias
Con cariño y agradecimiento

(Think about it: we are all from "someplace else," we are all 'immigrants.' Even the indigenous people, the “Native Americans,” crossed by a land bridge that existed between Siberia and Alaska long before the first Europeans “discovered” this country.)