Monday, December 30, 2013

Breath Made Visible

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Anna Halprin

I need to breathe somewhere close to my chest
where the pillows can't reach me
with their quills pointing

I need to feel something akin to quiet
but as I type the word, it feels foreign
a land beyond my ken

I had a dream not too long ago
about breath
moving through soundlessly
a vision
rather than a cue

sifted in light

The end of a year and the beginning of another one. I feel the closing of doors behind me, a certitude of endings of some sort. And I pause for a moment and hold my breath before I left it leave me.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

posted for Dverse

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The seasons change and so do I

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Kate Mereand

autumn has grabbed hold of leaves and pushed its way into veins
altering my perceptions of the small things
inside me.

i posted poems and gathered words like raked leaves
falling short
under brittle tines
pinned to blackened earth.

i said good bye and forged hellos
out of sodden tinker toys
and wondered where i was going.

i wonder still.

copyright/all right reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hello Goodbye

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mkindia 08

I welcome one daughter home this week after a year on the road with her boyfriend and a backpack.  I am getting ready to say goodbye to my other daughter as she gets ready to work in Germany for a year.  So I feel in between somehow, moving along a riptide of emotions.

Expect the unexpected
ride the tide and let be
pulling bits of tears from lips smiling in hope
I fold them both into parts of my heart
to keep them safe
and to touch them before I sleep.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


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Photograph by: Hernán De Angelis Campephilus, 2008

I sit and watch the squirrels chase each other in the walnut tree outside
Their chitterings
can peel paint
off the sides of trees
on a velvet day

and yet I don't mind

how does one small animal manage to make such a racket?

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pee Mail

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John Sargent Noble
Otter Hunting ("On the Scent")
In the public domain in the United States

The sun shone in my heart this morning as I was walking Sasha out to the baseball field.  The dew was still on the grass and nestling its way between my toes. I reached down and took off her leash so that she could sniff as her nose might lead her and not for the first time, stopped to think about what joy that simple act must give her.

I have heard that the difference between a human's olfactories and that of a dog can best be described thusly:
While I might smell something cooking on the stove as marinara, Sasha can smell each ingredient, its proportion, and could, if she had the knowledge, tell you where the ingredient came from.

A perfumerie really.

Her nose tracks some scent
lost to me
intensity in tracking
until she finds the exact spot
then she pees on top of it
pee mail received and answered

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Bee's Demise (Almost)

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A common worker bee
William Cho

Lying among the weeds and the occasional blade of grass, she warms older bones and drowses. Almost asleep, a bees arouses some long buried instinct linked to survival, and she snaps at it, almost clamping down on it.

At 10 years old, she has snapped at many bees in her lifetime, and each time she gets one, she gets stung. But either the sting is not enough to deter, or the instinct runs strong, bumping from one synapse to another.  If I watch long enough, she'll get another one.

Buzz brightly
among the aloe-scented fur
freshly washed
to lure.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Desire For Summer

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 Summer flowers at Stockwood park

I am craving the stillness, the indolence of summer, its high heat spreading like a sheet around me, underneath me.  I am not quite there in terms of my schedule. I have about 4 weeks left to go of intense work. But everyday when I wake up the sun sings its awakening and I am pulled to it before I turn and face the list of things that must be done today.

But first . . .

a small dance
just a two step
on the grass grown too high
its blades grazing my calves
as i feel the light crown my head
and watch the breeze blow through tender grape leaves
against the red fence

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Crayola Grey

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Conté crayon assortment.
Just Plain Bill

I am stressed by the small things right now. A mistaken date on an email. An unexpected chore to take care of.  My failings.

And my failings seem to loom larger right now. Each failing, a catastrophe in the making. Each failing making me feel smaller.

I seem to be able to carve it out and look at it, letting it grow in front of me. Then, when I turn my back to look at the next one, this one recedes a bit.

Failings are sad things really. They crown my day in grey. It is like having a box of crayolas --all in varying shades of grey--the 64 crayon size.

My box is out in front of me today and I am looking intently within. No matter how I move them around inside, I can't seem to feel better about it.

i see the movement swiftly
from the corner of my eye

the jay perches on the old refrigerator
outside the laundry shed

the one rusting out

the jay lens some blue to the grey shed next door
not knowing that my 64 are broken now into nubs

i grab blue while i can

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Ictus to My Day

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Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
A mist rises from a black spruce forest
Image from Public domain images website,

My pen lies in the tapping of keys, a rhythmic ictus to my day.  The sounds of tapping can fill time. I am not sure that they can fill a soul nor help it to find peace.

The tapping continues for lack of a better path. Perhaps that is a loss. Perhaps not. But the way remains through somehow.

Always through.

tiny steps
on blistered feet
each small stone
making its presence known
through pain

the pain bring an odd sort of peace
the fullness of it
alerting me
to the small stone I might not have otherwise known

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Sight of Small Stones

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i blink in the small spaces in between
those spaces where fear has rooted and sprouted

and as i go there today, turn my eyes inward

i am aware of the small pebbles beneath the water
reflecting light above them

i feel like one of them
floating finding a resting place
reflecting the light

and as i feel the other pebbles about me
i turn my eyes to them and see that each one is turned toward the light

who am i not to then?

I am not sure if this is a poem or a musing. I know that the nature of fear and the willingness to feel the other things around me in addition to fear is one of the things I am thinking about. Today in the shower, I blinked and in the darkness in between I saw a set of small stones on a river bed in my mind's eye. There is a peacefulness in that image for me.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I Grew Afraid

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I sat in front of the computer for a long time. It used to sing sweet songs of lyricism in the poets venue. It sang often and I listened. And as I wrote, I felt the need to get "better" at it. I started to listen harder, not more deeply, only harder, to discern the voice and let it speak.

I got better. People liked my work. Or so they told me. I got better still.

I was still listening harder. Not more deeply.

I got my first criticism. I got my first rejection.

I grew afraid.

Don't we all grow afraid?  I was afraid that it wasn't good enough.

I was afraid that that was all there was.

I was afraid to write.

I stepped away from the computer and tended my garden for awhile. It sang sweet songs, simple songs to me. I listened deeply. And the tears fell out of the pockets of my eyes. I felt the wind touch my cheek and then I sang.  I sang back to the trees and the ground and to the buds in the morning dew.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013