Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Twenty-four Hours"

            a black velvet cloak   
            that envelopes the Mother   
            cradles her in Heavenly splendor   
            offers her brilliant diamonds   
            in tribute to life   

            like a subtle warrior   
            creeps into the sky   
            wars against Night   
            a battle ground   
                        endless ebony   
                        royal purple       
                        burnt orange       
                        bleeding scarlet   
           spiking and spearing rays of the sun   
                        into Night’s flesh   

            glorifies the Death   
            sings bright notes   
            crystal and clear   
            celebrating the beginning   
            with rainbow droplets of dew   

            at first fresh and young   
            a cacophony of life   
            vibrantly shimmering in blue pools   
            like reflections of eternity   
            in the waters of life   

            the faintly pungent aroma   
            of decaying leaves   
            burns across the sky   
                        soft crimson   
                        silky salmon   
                        deep violet   
                        boundless black   
          encompassing and evolving
          to the depth of twilight   
                        enveloping the Mother   

 Copyright 1994 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Cliff's Edge"

Defiant waves pummel and kick   
striking against soaring towers   
Mists and cold spray leave the edge slick   
siphoning my waning powers     
I stand alone on the cliff’s edge   
collapsing within my despair   
I crawl cautiously to the ledge     
where brutal winds whip at my cares    
My fingers bleed with razor cuts   
sliced by the terrors that grip me    
I desperately grasp at the ruts   
carved by the sea’s eternity   
I lay prone on the jagged ground            
in submissive subjugation        
My chest constricts as I look down            
at Death’s beckoning temptation        

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Starting a Tradition"

         I graduated from Texas A & M one Saturday afternoon in December and moved back to San Antonio the same evening. Neither David nor I had jobs, but we assumed we would each find something fairly quickly. As Christmas neared with both of us unemployed, our spirits sagged. My parents gave us an old aluminum tree they had in their attic, and we decorated it with the ribbons from our wedding gifts. We pooled our pennies and bought one album that we both liked. David landed a job the week after Christmas, but it took me almost six weeks more before I started working for a local law firm.
         By our second Christmas, I had returned to school and only worked part-time at a day care center. We managed to afford a gift for each of us, and we bought a few yards of thick white felt, red and gold sequins, green felt, and some red rickrack. Sewing together every night, we made our own tree skirt to tuck around a real Christmas tree.


      For Paul’s first Christmas, I decided to add to the tree skirt cutout pictures from one of the cute little outfits he wore that first winter. Across the little tummy of our favorite one piece skated adorable penguins. I took cotton to quilt the fabric and added more sequins around the edge. With that little addition, we began our first family tradition.

         Every year, as Paul outgrew his t-shirts, I’d set aside some of our favorites to cut and put onto the tree skirt. A pictorial record of Paul’s interests becomes a part of our holiday celebrations every year. I treasure remembering the Bert and Ernie and Cookie Monster phase. We have heroes like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Batman, and Ghostbusters romping over the white felt. Pikachu reminds us of the hours spent building the perfect deck or hunting for that rare card. One Christmas, Paul designed the Christmas card we sent to family and friends, and we transferred it to fabric to add to the skirt. Even as a teenager, Paul would occasionally toss a much worn shirt my way and say, “Could you put this on the tree skirt?” Thus, we added a picture of a toaster and other odds-n-ends.
         I haven’t added anything to the skirt for many years, but I know there’s still room for additions. Perhaps we’ll leave spaces free for the next generation.


Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman