About Me

My photo
Minnesota, United States
As I walk along in life, my muses dance with reflection inspiring me to release the thoughts and emotions of my pondering mind through poetry.

Prompt Poetry & Promotion page for The River

*plus the archive of my older poetry

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Soul Companion


                               The evening arrives
                               in a downcast moment,
                               jabbing spears at
                               anguished hours of longing,
                               cynical wounds
                               bash the soul
                               of a romantic.

                               Struggling to breath
                               consumed by the emptiness.

                               Alone so very long …
                               desiring a gentle caress,
                               an essential need
                               a touch that awakens
                               the body’s impulse
                               to the hands of another.

                               Not just any other...
                               a soul companion
                               a match of the mind
                               a connection that
                               knocks me silly
                               that drives me crazy
                               that I cannot walk
                               away from easily.

                               Cynical thoughts
                               creep in trying to
                               pollute and weaken
                               a romantic’s heart.
                               It wins some days
                               most other days
                               the optimist lives on.

posted for One Shot Wednesday 22 at One Stop Poetry

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Never had a Chance~prose/poetry

 The tale of a barefoot girl with stringy hair and filthy torn cloths. The only child of an almost grown young woman. 

A mother stands in a faded red bathrobe in the doorway of a rundown trailer looking ten years older then her measly sixteen.

 A man in a suit scurries to a black shiny car avoiding eye contact as he passes a girl sitting in a mud puddle. He never looks back.
The tale of a girl with loosely permed curls sitting properly in ironed clothes upon an ironed chair. Eyes of decaying steel.

A mother stands with plastic form and purpled face in a living room of false order. Invisible trembling hands confirm the loaded gun of fear.

A man ringed of jelly, stricken white abandons a black shiny car on the edge. Molded by others, lost of self, he dives beneath waters, never appearing again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Theatrical Limbs

One night I learned the secret!
Why my body uncontrollably
stretches and twists,
outward one minute
springing back the next
like a tight rubber band.
My foot doesn’t lift.
My knee forgets to bend.
My muscles cringe
as my hand curls
to form a claw.

It was a night I was alert
open to the unknown
while my body hurt.

I felt the presence of what I could not see,
then..the shadows revealed strings
that led to me.

I watched the shadows for their source.
They all traced
to one that ran their course.

The shadow was a massive blur.
That resembled..
my words were one big slur.

I nearly fainted from the sight.
Am I dreaming?
Is this right?

A Giant held the strings connected to me
as if I was a puppet
for his glee.

At that moment he became aware
of me peering
opening his mouth with a scare.

I cowered as he spoke
that he ate folk!

His voice shook the room
by surprise
like a flower in bloom.

“You are my marionette for the theater,”
the Giant exclaimed.
“I picked you amongst the rest
because you were the best.”

The doctors call it Spasticity!

River © 2010
inspired by Shel Silverstein.

when the night winds blow... ~ duel poetry

This is the first poem Charles and I wrote together.  :)
Duel Poetry a prearranged poetry writing challenge  between two people to evolve a new poem where each writer must respond to the other writer’s lines  (4 -5 ) until both parties agree that the poem is complete.
posted September 9th on my old site

Friday, November 26, 2010

when spirits touch… - duel poetry

the call of a lone wolf
through the deepest corners
of the northern forest
a sound so primeval

from a forgotten soul
a wanderer of time
a time before men
walked the mossy path
alone, separated
and divided from all
now their relative calls
out their names

pleading for them
to return to the old ways
when men knew their brothers
and walked with their sisters
a time they lived side by side
no blades between or
tar soaked earth
only the warmth of love

for one another
a deep respect
for all who shared this place
and walked upon this path
a thousand miles far
the call of a lone wolf
resonates, passing through
earth, water, fire, and air
a girl lifts her ears
and speaks to the wind

brother I hear you
your voice is my voice
your sadness is mine
the lone wolf replies
young one, I carry
too heavy a burden
for your soft back
the girl smiles
and says to the old one
then let us do as before
and share the burden's
of this world

by Charles Martin & River Urke

Charlie and I did it again! A duel poetry challenge. We were finished in less then a day.  :)
Duel Poetry a prearranged poetry writing challenge  between two people to evolve a new poem where each writer must respond to the other writer’s lines  (4 -5 ) until both parties agree that the poem is complete.
posted September 14th on old site

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Their Eyes (Rictameter)

Their eyes
lock in longing
across the sun lit room.
He stands dazed, moving to her side,
an entrancing bright flash of two bare souls.
They speak of their love of old books
and deep woods, passions rise
captured within
their eyes.

Rictameter - the meter pattern (syllables per line) is 2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2.. First and last lines are identical.
posted for One Shot Wednesday 21 at One Stop Poetry 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Zoo in the Middle of a Jungle

6 am: I sit with my morning coffee looking around our living room,
breathing in the familiar, catching glimpses of memories among the
decor, absorbing the beauty of the Hibiscus opening its flower petals.
My mind begins drifting in my morning haze
 pondering people’s worlds, their realities
 our responses to their realities
the eyes of a stranger
peering into our
homes our

A full size piano in an apartment.
for my daughter’s musical skills

Books galore filling bookshelves
that almost touch the ceiling.
for my life addiction of reading
and smelling paper in my hands

A jungle of plants settled
in front of sliding glass doors.
for my love of life and flowers

A cat strolls into the room meowing insistently
we think he has an eating disorder
A girl is next stumbling in half-asleep
with messy hair, and dreamy eyes.
she still comes and sits on my lap in the morning
even though she’s as big as me- I love it
Right behind her, a dog follows with a look of, “I have to pee.”
he has never left her side
when she sleeps since we rescued him.
  I fondly smile at my growing daughter and our fury companions.
   Hearing the stranger’s eye perceive my full precious life and decide 

a crammed apartment
to many books
to many animals
to many plants
a zoo in the middle of a jungle

A contagious giggle escapes me infecting my daughter,
we both burst in laughter

I shake my head no.. It isn’t that crammed.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One Happy Loving Family
Our zoo in the
middle of a

Friday, November 19, 2010

A White Tail Feather~ revised

The still of the lake calms my soul                    
as I wait beneath the willow.
A light breeze moves through her branches
lightly touching my face,
sweeping the hair from my eyes.
An Eagle calls in the distance.

My mind races with pictures and words,
adventures and quests of self and we.
Along the horizon lined with dark blue waters
bursts colors of red and orange.
I offer my asemaa.
An Eagle glides above calling my name.

Morning rises as I answer my old friend.
A gentle ripple forms on the lake
as the wind delivers our greetings to the other.
I hear his calls carried to my open arms,
his words pass through me.
I hear the call of an Eagle leaving with the wind.

He lands on the broken arm of an ash
on the sands of the shore near the willow.
Praising me for walking the path
many have guided me towards for years.
A choice of life destined to be.

My first tracks are laid down.

He lifts his wings and stretches
to a magnificent size of honor and respect,
wisdom and truth with humility.
He tells me to listen and be open
to what crosses my path
for this is just the beginning.

Rising with every flap of his powerful wings,
he lifts into the blue sky calling his goodbye.
I answer with gratitude and love
as I notice something lying on a rock.
He has left for me a piece of him,
a white tail feather.

  ©River Maria Urke 8/10

thanks to Google images

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Death to the Plain

An ancient time, a time of Pharaohs
leisurely wishing for aesthetically pleasing,
eye capturing, breath taking marvels of beauty.

No, peasant bore brown branding by glance
only glory  of color for birthrights by chance...

Death to the plain!   (said the Pharaohs

Rulers ride the line of place and time   
designing cultures of waxen mold
defining beauty as their own
courted talent for privileged eyes
captured musings of a phantoms guise.

Centuries pass, royalties fall      
freedoms of expression for all!

Beauty lies through the artist’s eyes 
sketching their nameless muse
feverishly absorbed in creation
lost within a bliss of elation
truly mastering their formation.

The willing observer deafened by years  
innately knows his growing tears...

Flow centuries long for all people
denied the beauty known now
taste the waters of the lands
walk through expressional sands
feel the magic of an artist’s hands.    

Beckoned by our silent cries
driven by their passions
clutching works of pure devotion
varying forms of aesthetically pleasing
pieces of deep meaning...

Writings of poetry, sculptures of design
paintings of landscape, photos of line
whispered melodies of modern day jazz…

Aesthetical dimensions
freedoms of expression

  Death to the plain!

                                         ©River Maria Urke 11/10

posted for week 20 - One Shoot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry
click on the name and be swept away to a doorway with many links to some great poetry.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Eccentric Mother

I remember as a girl going to Cybil’s house
So you could learn the old Astrology
After you brushed the old woman’s hair
I remember thinking her and her husband were ancient
Now I know they were wise

I remember you running with me and laughing
When everyone else’s mothers were sitting
Gabbing about each other
I remember thinking I was lucky

I remember you heading my Girl Scouts Troupe
Fighting for equality to enter the old school
Trying to give the gift of nature to the girls
I remember how proud I felt that you were my mother

I remember you cheering the loudest
At my basketball games
I remember you standing up for me
Telling that sexist Gym teacher off

I remember your face when I punked myself out
The twinkle in your eyes
Your daughter was her own unique self
The flash of fright across your face
Knowing it would mean hardships

I remember your disappointment
When I almost got in big trouble
You had me read Gibron
You understood I had to move on

I remember you trying to understand
Your adventurous daughter
Not ever relating but still giving me
The room to fly

I remember the fear in your eyes
The first time I was paralyzed
The second time when you
Told that doctor he was wrong

I remember when I realized
All you had ever done for me
The day I became a mother

You are the woman in this world
That means more to me than any other
You have always been at my side
You will always love me

I have always looked up to you
I have learned from you
How to be the eccentric woman
I am today

Mama you are my Best Friend
I Love You!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To Dance in Heels

Here and there blogging women are writing poems about red shoes. I happen to have wrote a book about women and their love for shoes. It is my baby that I have been trying to get published. An anthology of nonfiction short stories. I included my shoe story which is below....

I joke I found my feminine side at the age of thirty. I began learning how to put on make-up, and get all dolled up for an evening. In no time at all, I came to realize I loved shoes, especially the feeling of dancing in heels. Some people might have thought I drank some funky drink or motherhood had put a spell on me transforming the woman they knew suddenly overnight. A woman they last remembered as a shoeless, nonchalant dresser strolling up to them outside the coffee house wearing Nine West pumps, a pretty dress, and a splash of lipstick. I believe it was simply my time to bloom.

I had three years of enjoying the feeling of walking down the street wearing heels before my life dramatically changed physically. I reached a point with my disease and I became disabled from the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. My balance and leg strength had worsened and I had to start walking with a cane. Wearing heels occasionally turned into a pleasure of my past and a goal to be reached with patience and hard work. Once, I told my physical therapist that wearing heels is one of my personal goals. She looked at me shaking her head not agreeing with my choice at all. I keep that goal to myself now and I tell her my other goal of dancing.

Over the years, my style of dress continues to integrate a feminine twist to its funky fusion of Trendy and Bohemian style. My love for shoes has continued growing with knowledge and new pairs even with my shoe limitations. I focus my captivation on low heels, non-risk boots, and cute flats depending on how I am physically any given day. I do test my limits with height from time to time as I strive to reach my goal to dance in heels again.   

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

~Gichigami ~

Gichigami ~

Oh powerful Nookomis!

You take my breath away
Every morning when my eyes set upon you.

One day you will be gentle and soothing
The next day you are raging with passion.

At times people fear you
At most they are in awe!

You are Nookomis to all!

Then why is respect lacking for you?
Why every day are you poisoned?
Why do people fight over what is left of you?

Oh powerful Nookomis!

Are you laughing or crying at us humans?
                                                                    ©River 1996

One of my favorite poems I wrote many years ago. I grew up on the very tip of Lake Superior in Duluth Minnesota. The lake is a big part of who I am along with my Anishinaabe/Ojibwe heritage. I use a couple of Ojibwe words in the poem. Gichigami means Lake Superior and Nookomis means grandmother. There was a battle over the big fresh water lake at the time I wrote the poem. Some Southwest States wanted the States around the lake and Canada to agree to pipe water down to them because they were running out of water. In my opinion and many others they choose to abuse their water so they could have green grass in desert conditions and other reasons. We did not go for it. I have no idea what they ended up doing with their water shortage.

~ ~
A friend asked me this question.  

I was wondering about the initial line “Oh powerful Nookomis!”… in my cultural view “grandmother” is wise and gentle….so I didn’t fully understand the line…but that is my weakness not the poems…which was well crafted. Would you mind expanding on your intent with that phrase?

I guess to start, I should explain water is female and animate in our cultural view. Nookomisag or grandmothers are wise, strong, and gentle. They are the teachers and traditionally were part of the council. “Oh Powerful Nookomis” Lake Superior is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. It is part of the St Lawrence Sea Way and the huge ocean liners carrying loads follow the water trail dropping off cargo on their way to Duluth. A bunch of those ships lie on the floor of the lake. The storms are intense. Once a friend and I were knocked down by a wave that crashed against the shore rocks walking on a boardwalk. My old dog that was 110 pounds got away in time but we were on the ground soaked. That is on shore. Anyways, Lake Superior is a Grandmother and very powerful. “Oh Powerful Nookomis” 
On other days, her beauty delights nourishing with peaceful bliss. I feel spiritually woken. I absorb her unconditional love and feel renewed by her waters. Miigwech!

One Stop Poetry- One Shot Wednesday
posted for week 19
Check it out- there's lots of good work to be read.  :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


When young we don’t care at all
at mid ego’s can fly
When old we don’t care again. 

Copyright ©-All material unless otherwise stated

Contact the author for permission for the usage/printing of all copyrighted material on these pages.


My Blog List