Author: <span class="vcard">Gudrun</span>

Speak?

I answer: let me write, how the worst
humans have no compassion. Winds
rise; the ocean rises. We swing back
and forth between drought, fire and deluge.

Memory—of a family displaced,
threatened, in hiding, abused
and starved—does not forget
the sounds of death.

Each of us must find a way
to expose that
which should not
exist.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
December, 2018

Uncategorized

Cycles

Looking at sunlight, east of the ash tree
and west of an oak forest that writes
the history of this valley/canyon. Will deer hop
out of today’s bright page? Where is coyote?

I remember how the bobcat killed
a gopher as it destroyed
my last butterfly bush; he came
when he heard my wail, rushed like wind past me,
and demolished the culprit. I did not ask for that.

If I had been quiet, one more creature
would have lived. Now, an imprint
of light and shadow holds the landscape
between past and future.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
November, 2018

A Poem

After Labor Day

A newsperson previews summer’s end;
this proclamation brings relief
and fear—the intense heat that was,
and a chill about to fall
upon an expanding national concern,

which reminds her of the violent years
that unleashed World War II.
And now, once again, she remembers:
how hard it is, not to hate hatred.

Her prayer escapes: “May I breathe
that divine and universal love,
away from those who whip their rage.
Let me not retreat
to a prison of discouragement.”

Gudrun Mouw (c)
September 6, 2018

A Poem

Friend/Enemy

Dear friend, before you died,
you complained, “I’m doing things so
I can keep doing them.” I did not think
those would be the final words
I heard you speak….

Dear enemy, will my aversion
for the harm you keep committing
bring the world, once more,
towards a common good?

May truth blossom
like rosemary
in the midst of drought.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

A Poem

July Afternoon

A wound up breeze unfurls, dries out
what we’ve healed
with grey water, hoses, tears.
So much shrivels while

a shameless cult leader lies to the world,
and an afternoon in solemn silence
sinks oak roots deep
into the sand.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
July 14, 2018

A Poem

Writing a short story has become the new challenge—something different at a time when individual and national complacency has been shaken up. Perhaps, that is the best time to shift gears, when life changes require adaptations and new avenues of effort.

I’ve been trying to remember the many short story techniques I studied during my college years and since then. I remind myself that lyrical poetry and short stories are similar in the use of concise language that, at best, awakens and moves the reader from beginning to end more quickly than a meandering novel. Perhaps, this is because a novel does well to create a believable sense of truth, in spite of the adage that truth is stranger than fiction.

A short stories’ intensity, like a poem, often surprises, even shocks the reader in order to poke holes in consciousness. There is little time for plot complexities and extensive character developments. Just like poetry, the short story, I believe, uses subtle techniques that require careful, sustained attention by the reader best implemented in one sitting.

On the other hand, one sitting would not be adequate for me to produce either a poem or a short story. Once again I recall something heard at a writer’s luncheon—“I have a policy never to revise anything more than three times.” Wow! All I know is that I do not know when the story “Are You a Holocaust Survivor?” will be finished.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Journal Entry The Process of Writing