Melting Beneath the Roses

First, check out the August, 2015 Ekphrastic Challenge Artist’s Choice wining poem! 
Ice House – by Ann Giard-Chase

My response to Rattle’s August challenge is here (Click on the “Ice House” link above to see the associated photo prompt):

Melting beneath the Roses

Do you ever feel like a block of ice,
from the eighteen hundreds?
Like your form is the result of a pickaxe?
Like you’re sweating a melt… losing small beads of yourself with every breath?
Like you’ve ridden thousands of miles, trapped in a train car,
after being torn out of an ice field in the wild wilds of the Rocky Mountain West?
Do you ever feel like your salvation is a dugout cave,
somewhere in the humid swelter of a place,
unknown and foreign?
Do you ever feel like you have finally been dumped,
crashing into the safety of a damp, dark, deep, earthen hole…
only to be poked in the ribs with sharp tines,
while being lifted inch by inch, closer to the sun?



Sometimes being an adult is hard.
Sometimes being a professional is hard.
Sometimes, telling your ego to take a timeout is really hard.
Sometimes, you have to do it anyway.


Yesterday, I received a harsh critique from a supervisor – void of tact or manners. Instead of encouragement or education, she double-underlined comments about how we don’t do things the way I had done them.


Yes.     Ma’am.


Naturally, I felt like a pile of poo. Steamy, stinky, mushy poo.
When the clock hit 5:00, I was out the door.


Then, I went to Yoga, followed by Kirtan
(you can laugh – but don’t knock it ‘till you try it).
Next, I had a cold Guinness with a friend and we played 18 holes of virtual golf.


I don’t know if it was the shivasna or the cold beer… but as I fell asleep, I finally felt a calm descend upon me.


This morning, I walked into work, accepted all of the boss’s “suggested” changes and turned in my project without a single explanation or argument for the way I had done things.


Why bother?


The critique wasn’t about me.


If the critique had been about me, there would have been some discussion.
There would have been some questioning to understand my methods.
There would have been encouragement for the things that I had done right.


No… this critique was a power play.


Later, I will go back through her comments to pull out the constructive criticisms.
I will leave the destructive ones alone.


She can “win” this battle.

It will be lonely at the top, when she has lost all of the people she has torn down, all along the way.



Find a Farmer

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Americans, on average, are 4 generations removed from agriculture.

We are concerned about where our food comes from and how it is raised or grown.

We want a healthy environment, healthy families and healthy food stock.

Many corporate companies are supplied and supported by family farm/ranch operations.

Conventional methods are often designed around practices that have developed over generations of animal husbandry and care.

Farmers and ranchers work hard to maintain sustainable operations, to pass to their children and children’s children.

Natural, organic and local food movements are based in improving food production…

But it is also about reconnecting to our nourishment.


How do we CONNECT the conversation?

How do those far removed from agriculture talk with those who revolve their lives around it?


How do we all learn and share

what practices are used in sourcing our food,

but more importantly,

WHY those methods are used?



*From commonalities in separate conversation amongst cattlewomen, university academics, and young farmers and ranchers.*

Crisis of Self-Confidence


            up over my head

doors locked

            music on

lights off

            knees curled up tight

fisted hands

            eyes closed


I imagine this is where I am

            like a small child

                        hiding at the back of the closet


from the reality of the un-real


I must stand


            eyes open

legs straight


complete crisis

            of self-confidence


tidal wave, as they say

            washing over,       full of inadequate sand.

A Brilliant Idea

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Feeling a little bit down and out, I had a stroke of genius. I pulled up an online dating site that shows profiles without having to create your own… 

just to see who’s out there!

If you write “I’m real and I don’t do drama” in your first two sentences… I’m guessing you’re higher maintenance than you think.

If you write something similar to “is there anyone good left out there?!?!?!” I can tell you’ve already given up, and you expect instant gratification.

If you write “I’m not that good looking…” I don’t have enough patience for your self-confidence issues. I have enough of my own! You posted a picture… let someone else be the judge of your looks. And I’m guessing that looks are probably what you are most worried about.

“I know how to treat a lady.”

Red. Flag.

If you know how to treat a lady, you know it’s a ‘show, don’t tell’ kind of thing.

If you tell me about your kids, I honestly respect that. But I might be too shallow to pick you first.

I also have a lot of opinions, based on your picture. Why are your sunglasses on in every single photo? Why is the only photo you have filled with two or more people that may or may not be you? If I can see up your nostrils, you might want to take a YouTube selfie course. And, ummm…. what are you wearing?!


Let’s face it.

This brilliant idea wasn’t so brilliant after all.

If you are judgmental like me… you might not be ready to meet dates online.