Winter Solstice 21 December 2013

 Raven in the snow_edited-1

This morning the Winter Solstice illuminated the Western Gate of the Medicine Wheel of the Seasons, marking a significant shift.  Golden-crowned Kinglet greeted me on Salmon Creek trail.   White Egret and Great Blue Heron reminded me that this season is a time for slowing down, reflecting, going within for interior time.   Raven and Crow noted that this is a time of intense light in the spiritual world.  The Sun rose out of the fog just as the Capricorn Solstice occurred.

May we fluff our feathers and enkindle the inner fires of our hearts so that light of spirit may more brightly guide us in the coming year. May we nurture that inner flame and honor that good medicine.  May the brilliant light of the Celestials, of the Sun,  Moon and Star Nations embolden us to write, paint, compose, create new artistic pieces.  May we give thanks and gratitude for all that is provided for us and gifted to us as we celebrate holidays, holy days, and prepare for a new calendar year.

This holiday season, reminds us: “to become the extra light that is needed to push thru the dark night of the soul. To become that which we do not see in our lives. To become hope and faith and love… To become a living light no matter what season it is.” (Gillian MacBeth quoted by Stephanie Austin in Eco-Astrology Update:  Gemini-Sagittarius Full Moon, Solstice and more, December 2013).

 

Virgo New Moon

Baby Crow 1With gratitude to the editors at Hiraeth Press, Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea was released on Thursday, Rosh Hashanah and the Virgo New Moon.

Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea is now avail­able in paper­back wher­ever books are sold. Look for it in New Renaissance Bookstore (Portland, Oregon),  Cover to Cover Books & Expresso and Celestial Awakenings (Vancouver, Washington), on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and  in the Hiraeth Press book­storeVisit our Store»

Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea | Now Available!

Aquarius Full Moon

With the full Moon last night, I celebrate the completion of my first collection of poems. I am honored that Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea  is forthcoming from Hiraeth Press at the end of this month.

http://hiraethpress.com/crow-feathers-red-ochre-green-tea-winner-of-the-wild-earth-poetry-prize/

http://hiraethpress.com/desire-preview-from-crow-feathers-red-ochre-green-tea/

Author page: http://hiraethpress.com/our-authors/gwendolyn-morgan/

With gratitude to so many for their support over the years… much gratitude for connections and reconnections with poets and writers, healers and dreamers, musicians and artists,  family and friends, activists and mystics, animalitos and compañeras.   I fill pages with gratitudes.  A special thank you to Angelina, Sonali Balajee, Peter Boehlke, Page Lambert, Kip Leitner, Michael Lerner, Ketzel Levine, Patricia Pearce, Vicki Reitenauer, Mariana Romo-Carmona, David Romtvedt, Judy Rose, Sarah Schulman, Dawn Thompson, Chase Twichell, Francis Weller and Karen Wood as well as folks from Artsmith, Caldera, Commonweal, Hollyhock Summer Gathering and Soapstone, for encouragement and support.     In memory of Gaydell Collier, Tricia Clappison Dietrich and Ann Eskridge, women writers who have been waiting for my first book of poetry to be published.

Dowitchers

With Gratitude

I am honored that Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, my first collection of poetry, is forthcoming from Hiraeth Press at the end of this month. Please see the first press release and my author’s page:

http://hiraethpress.com/crow-feathers-red-ochre-green-tea-by-gwendolyn-morgan/

http://hiraethpress.com/our-authors/gwendolyn-morgan/

 

As a child, I dreamed of being a writer.  I have written most of my life — journaling, writing poems, letters, stories and essays. I wish to express gratitude for all those who encouraged me in my writing – beginning with Mrs. Franklin, my sixth grader teacher and Mrs. Aragon, my high school English teacher, who posted one of my essays on the bulletin board declaring me a writer.  When I was seventeen, I had my first poem published in a small anthology of collegiate writers.    Since then, over the decades, I have continued to write, submit poems for publication from time to time, and read voraciously.

My intention for my poetry is to offer richly textured poetic renderings of natural landscapes and emotional nuances in response to those landscapes.   I weave concerns for global warming, social inequities, and health care together with images of birds, plants, animals, breath, evoking our interconnectedness with all sentient beings and the spiritual universe.   My poems reflect a deep sense of care for and rootedness in the natural world, and my thankfulness to be alive.

Again, with gratitude to many dreamers, two-leggeds, four-leggeds, winged ones and the cosmos for inspiration and support.

 

photo by Kim Campbell  http://www.campbellsalgado.com

 

 

Within the Breath

 

                                              Within the Breath

White flowers on lemon balm, basil

our minds wander amidst spices

through consciousness of well-being

focused, present, a small flower spider

a soft peppermint leaf,  a crow feather

and all the blackbirds gathered below us

red-winged, solid black, sheer garnet, obsidian

in which one sings, one holds nothing

except the song, the singing

symmetrical, immediate

green tea, prayer wheel, snail labyrinth

the soul is sensitive to images

to what is in us, the hemoglobin

platelets, the resonance of cellular memory

to what is before us, the light gathered

crow, staircase, basil, rose

this evening we face the west, sun dappled faces

maple leaves, blackbirds, shadows, breath

in which one breathes, one holds everything.

— Gwendolyn Morgan

Honorable mention Elizabeth Bolton Poetry Prize

Written River: A Journal of Eco-poetics, Summer Solstice 2013, p. 53

http://hiraethpress.com/written-river/issue-archive/

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/575202?__r=79210

forthcoming in Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, Hiraeth Press, 2013.

 

Angelina

Angelina is a rescue donkey who lives at Lavender Dreams Farm, a lovely home and Donkey Rescue.  http://www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com   This winter she inspired me to complete this 30″x30″ acrylic on canvas painting, which premiered at the First Unitarian Church Fine Arts Show April 12-14, 2013.   Donkeys are gentle creatures who have been sorely mistreated — and yet who gently remind us of our interconnection with all sentient beings.  Some donkeys offer healing via equine therapy as they are able to not only sense but also relieve others of emotional and spiritual pain.

 

Donkey Graces

 

“If a donkey brays in the morning,

Let the hay makers take a warning;

If the donkey brays late at night,

Let the hay makers take delight.”[i]

— for Angelina

 

Plant three rows of organic heirloom carrots.

Buy a dozen pink ladies, apples from the orchardist down the lane.

Remember to have your hair styled, her hooves trimmed.

 

Massage the sway back of an older rescue donkey,

the thick charcoal gray stripe that runs vertical holds the myth that once upon a time

donkeys had unmarked gray fur, and that it was only after Christ’s entry into Jerusalem

on the back of a donkey that they received the dark cross on their backs.

 

Watch the donkeys haul the peat like a wheelbarrow in an old Irish storybook,

heal the ailing, the sorrowful, people and animals alike.

 

Remember Saint Nicolas used to wear the garment of a bishop

as he rode on the back of a donkey (no sleigh, no reindeer),

and in Egypt, donkey’s milk was a cosmetic applied to ensure smooth skin.

Donkeys bring unfettered grace to each morning.

 

Take delight in the greeting bray of Angelina at dusk.

Buy a plush toy donkey named Esperanza.

Place dried red roses in her saddlebag, tuck one behind your ear.

 

 

[i] Welsh Folk saying. Angelina is a donkey who resides at Lavender Dreams Farm and Donkey Rescue. http://www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com https://www.facebook.com/DonkeyRescuer

 

[i] Welsh Folk saying. Angelina is a donkey who resides at Lavender Dreams Farm and Donkey Rescue. http://www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com https://www.facebook.com/DonkeyRescuer

 

Wild Earth Poetry Prize

With gratitude — Hiraeth Press posts news of Winners of the Wild Earth Poetry Prize 2013:

“We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Wild Earth Poetry Prize: Martin Willitts, Jr. for his collection, Searching For What Is Not There and Gwendolyn Morgan for her collection, Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea! . . . .

Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, is Gwendolyn Morgan’s first collection. The book offers richly textured poetic render ings of natural land scapes and emotional nuances in response to those land scapes. She weaves concerns for global warming, social inequities, and health care together with images of birds, plants, animals, breath, evoking our interconnectedness with all sentient beings and the spiritual universe. There is in these poems a deep sense of care for and root­ed ness in the nat ural world.

 

A little about Gwendolyn: Gwendolyn Morgan learned the names of birds and wild flowers and inherited paint brushes and boxes from her grand mothers. With a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, she has been a recipient of writing residencies at Artsmith, Caldera and Soapstone. Her poems appear in: Calyx, Dakotah, Kalliope, Kinesis, Manzanita Quarterly, Tributaries: a Journal of Nature Writing, VoiceCatcher, Written River as well as anthologies and other literary journals….”

Winners of the Wild Earth Poetry Prize 2013

Collection forthcoming December 2013

Western Screech Owl 1

Caw! Caw! Caw!

Photo by Judy A. Rose

Crow Feathers, early August, Arch Cape

 

Crow talks to me in the morning

news of the interrelated universe

in the afternoon when I walk along the beach

I find two black crow feathers

a small round stone amongst dozens of stones

on the edge of the water…

— Gwendolyn Morgan

To read more…

Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics Vol. 3 Issue 1

Written River, Hiraeth Press, pp. 40-41