Saturday, August 12, 2017

Carrying the Torch













We are the tired, the poor
at one time elevated
now we’re denigrated;
we watch the “disillusionist”
slam our front door.
Where are the promises
that called to our elders
who risked life and limb
to come to this shore?
Who raised up their families
despite any hardship,
now find they are ‘pink-slipped’
and welcome no more.

We need to get back to the basics once promised
we need to return to the truth at our core
where hard work’s rewarded
where cheating is thwarted
where bullshit and liars are shunned and ignored

She stands in the harbor, where some call her ‘Lady’
yet others are known to have called her a “whore”
this symbol of “Liberty“ who welcomes the masses,
this emblem of all who have come here before.
Hold high your lamp, oh, Symbol of Freedom!
Call out the losers, and those who’d abhor…
Remind them our strength is not just in numbers
but in our allegiance for all we stand for!
Remind us stand tall, and help the afflicted
ravaged by hunger, by thirst, or by war.
Help us remember that we are their beacons;
and that trust only comes when you build a rapport.
Just like all families, sometimes we bicker,
yet when push comes to shove we are hard to ignore;
for we’re so much better when we stand together
diverse but united, our country endures.


© Ginny Brannan 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the Still of the Night

Image by author: Back yard, hard edited.













Over the fence what was once a garden
ten, twelve, fifteen years ago
has rendered itself unrecognizable;
 a winding of undergrowth, an overgrown tangle
of weeds and vines, sumac and bittersweet.
The old owner of the land passed on long ago,
his tiny hoarder’s cottage left to a friend.
Uninhabited,  left as tinder to burn to the ground—
faulty wiring or arson for insurance­...we’ll never really know.
The sun has dipped now below the horizon,
dusk turns to darkness,  the former garden
takes on an other-worldly view—
shadow images of arms and hands
stretch out, reaching for the waning moon.
The soft rustle of leaves can be heard, interjected by
the crackle of a branch snapping now and again—
perhaps a skunk or some other wild denizen of the night,
but more than likely one of three feral cats whom
have adopted this yard and made it their home.
The sound of a passing shower, raindrops on tree tops
adds its whisper to the chorus
odors of wet leaves and dampened earth
come slipping through the screen.

There is a certain comfort
in the night sounds, a normalcy…
a sense of security;
counterbalancing the chaos
to erase the lunacy of the day,
I close my eyes now, and surrender
and to my dreams, now slip away.

"Goodnight room"
"Goodnight moon"

© Ginny Brannan 2017

* Quote from children's book, "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown

Judging You, Judging Me












“We all judge. that’s our hobby.
Some people do arts and crafts. We judge.”
—Stanford, Sex and the City

I heard you say you have no vices,
and see that you’ve taken to judging others
on a sliding scale of perfection;
with no one quite as perfect as you.
You know all that there is to know
on a myriad of subjects
and a multitude of points.
Alcohol, tobacco, drugs…
the bane of the 'weak-minded,'
and anyone with such affliction
should rid themselves of their addiction.
How fast you counter with your opinion,
to expose such ‘weaknesses’ to your minions.

—God forbid you ever knew the anguish of abuse
    the pain of infection that eats the bone
    the torment that rips out  the heart
    the invisible suffering that tears one apart.

I dare you to walk a mile
in the other person’s shoes—
yeah, that person whom you're sure
lit up that cigarette just to “spite” you;
the one you’ve deemed as thinking
“only of themselves”
polluting the air that’s there
for only you to breath
Perhaps they, like you, needed
a night out, a reprieve—
from the worries that they carry,
from a life you could never understand.
How hard it must be to keep up that image of the perfect man
Don’t you see that they, too,  pull their pants on one leg at a time?
In another lifetime, you also might have been judged...
but we no longer talk of lifestyle choices
in once-hushed tones and whispered voices.

So best not judge lest you be judged...

We ALL have vices, some obvious
and some so subtle that even those affected
cannot see them for what they are.
Yet, if we take a good look in the mirror
we might realize —with some measure of shame—
inside all preconceived notions lies this truth:
   we really are the same...
not one of us is perfectno matter what we claim.
So, be careful where your laurels rest
  and whom you would defame

© Ginny Brannan 2017

*TY to C.B. for the perfect quote above, which I saw and remembered on your page from such a long, long time ago.


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!!