Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Missing Ireland"

Christ Church Cathedral
Dublin, Ireland


           When the day’s troubles weigh me down, Ireland calls to me. I hear the lilt of her voice over the drudgery of my days. In a second, I time travel back to Dublin’s streets where we dodge cars and raindrops in pursuit of museums and castles, where I hear the wild tales of Viking conquerors. I’m stretched out on cool sheets, with windows thrown open to the soft laughter of children in a park, dreaming of a magical past. I’m sleeping in the castle where Bram Stoker once lived. And I’m writing a novel in my head.
In Trim, we experience the arms-wide-open hospitality of our hosts, and the loveliness of long idle walks through the ancient cemetery. We skirt around the River Boyne’s treasures. The ancient burial mounds gentled by time, pique my creativity. Another poem, another story, another world to create. Newgrange and Tara, passages into my own imagination. From the parapets of ancient Trim Castle, I view rolling hills dressed in a patchwork of green. Clamoring down the steep circular stairs, I become the servant or the soldier. On another day, from the mist, steps a Frenchman with the key to another adventure. And we enter Ireland’s womb, hear her heartbeat, embrace her warmth as she shelters us from autumn’s cold tears. Over hot tea, we chat with locals before walking through gardens filled with ageless yews. The rain pats softly, now, against our umbrellas.
Our travels take us on, toward the coast and the music of Doolin. Mingled with voices, fiddles, and guitars comes the murmur of the Atlantic. Her song blends with bird and man in perfect harmony. On the Burren, we scramble across rock, zigzag along the coast, and stand on the edge of the world. With ocean spray slapping our faces, we cross over to Aran Island, spending our day in a buggy, our horse on his last trip before retirement, our driver born to this island of rock wall and small pastures. With pride, he introduces us to his dog, and takes us by his cottage before leaving us at the pub. Our “ride” home takes us to the Cliffs of Moher, where my heart aches over the beauty. Our nights fill with food, drink, and song from the local pubs. Our mornings with bright breakfast talk from others who want Ireland as their mistress, too.

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Trim Castle on the River Boyne at Trim, Ireland

Aran Island, Ireland
View from the top of Knowth, Ireland

Approaching the Cliffs of Moher

Friday, March 16, 2012


I wish I could iron out   
         the wrinkles of my life   
                     Use a little heat   
                     Apply a little pressure   
         to smooth out the imperfections of my day   
              neaten up cuffs and collars and puckering button holes   
                                the little irritations   
                                                         with a touch of heat   
                                                                     a little attention   
         Those Natural Cottons   
                     long forgotten in the dryer   
                                 Require more heat   
                                 Demand steam and starch   
                                                         to reach perfection   
And I always get burned   

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, March 15, 2012

“Adventures with the Dentist: The Saga Continues”

         I arrived promptly for yesterday’s appointment with the endodontist. Since my last experience ended so happily, I practically pranced into the room in anticipation of another smooth (and final) visit. I reclined into the same orange chair, bopped my head in time to the same oldies station, and smirked confidently that this second half of my procedure wouldn’t hurt a bit.
         I’d forgotten a couple of things, of course. First, I’d popped a few Advil earlier in the day on my previous appointment. Yesterday, though, Mom had a rough morning, and so I totally forgot this simple added precaution. Then I’d also neglected to factor in the fact that the tooth had already survived trauma at the beginning of last week. My 800 mg of Tylenol usage had tapered back to one pill every evening to make certain no throbbing interfered with my sleep. However, the moment the dentist poked me with a probe, I realized pain would factor into this rendezvous with drill and fill.
         The procedure didn’t take very long, but the discomfort level meant I didn’t find myself mentally singing with the radio. I did snicker once or twice at a comment made by the dentist as he gave his opinion of his best friend’s new girlfriend, but otherwise I focused on breathing deeply and schooling myself against the occasional twinges that struck my tooth with wickedness. When I checked out at the receptionist’s desk, the dentist’s assistant went over the same Post-Operative Procedures as before, mentioning that I would need to make an appointment with my regular dentist to have the permanent fill done. Somehow, I figured the endodontist would have done that! Silly me.  
         I knew on the drive back home that I’d need Paul’s help for the remainder of the day. His Grammy Sitting coupled with Mommy Care as he took care of my needs along with my mother’s. I quickly called my dentist’s office to schedule the final appointment. The receptionist at their scheduling center typed in my name and birthdate, and said, “Are you prepared to pay $800.00 today for your crown?” Once my tizzy fit settled down, (I kept saying, “What? No! I don’t need a crown! The endodontist saved my crown! I need a permanent filling!”) she decided to schedule me for another consultation with the dentist. I kept repeating that I absolutely didn’t need a crown, and I didn’t need a consultation. I needed to schedule for a permanent filling! Finally, I badgered the poor girl into scheduling a consultation with possible filling. Once I got off the phone, I decided I needed some pain killers, changed into pjs, and tried to sleep.
Shortly before dinner time, I woke up from my restless snooze and decided to blow off cooking dinner. We decided on the Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken option. Paul wanted to try their new Dorito Taco, and I knew both Mom and I could handle green beans and mashed potatoes soaked in brown gravy—comfort food. I don’t know what it is about potatoes (in any form), but they always alleviate my stress levels. Now that I’ve had my carb fix, I’ll take another round of pain medications and lounge on the couch for an episode of Modern Family.  

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In her dreams   
         she sorts laundry into piles   
         she pays her bills, and she files       
         she cooks dinner every night   
         she turns off the bedroom light   
In her dreams   
         she tops her glass with iced tea   
         she swallows effortlessly   
         she speaks words without delay   
         she finds joy in every day     
In her dreams   
         she hikes along the fence line   
         she scrambles down the incline   
         she gathers rocks and fossils   
         she walks among daffodils   
In her dreams   
         she beats her disease’s stealth   
         she holds on to youthful health   
         she falls in love at first sight   
         she dances in the moonlight   
In her dreams   
         she wins against crippling strife   
         she regains pleasure in life   
         she conquers her past’s mishaps   
         she destroys the steel-toothed trap   
In her dreams . . .     

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“The Challenge”

Legible writing in soft blue ink   
Reveals with each word the way you think   
Lines of poetry shared with a friend   
Attempt to heel old wounds and to mend   
The pain from love that filled us with woe   
And ugly scars left by our old foes   
Sipping our wine and nibbling at cheese   
The challenge took shape with simple ease   
Five topics as diverse as can be   
Will evolve into our poetry   

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Monday, March 12, 2012

"In The Mirror"

gentles her face     
soothes away the old stress-etched lines     
           from her once pursed lips     
now she smiles     
radiant and relaxed     
her New Life lends     
           boldness to her laugh     
           confidence to her sensuality     
a glint of knowledge sparks mischief in her eyes     
experience strengthens her     
           steel wrapped in cotton     
subtle in her curves     
strong in her possibilities     

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, March 11, 2012

“Twilight at Two”

Metal swathed the sky, muffling birdsong with a north wind’s sigh   
Drops splatted, engorged, against the windows   
Miniature rivulets snaked down the glass   
The double bass drum reverberated, vibrating the air with tension   
Breaking open the sky   
Twilight at two   
Time to strike wooden matches, to inhale subtle sulfur   
Pad from room to room lighting clustered candles   
Genuflecting before each tiny flame     
Celebrating the charm of enlightenment     
Jasmine, cranberry, lavender eucalyptus trail through the house   
A wake of scent drifting within the pools of light   
Shadows soothe as rain song hums in harmony   

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman