Sunday, November 04, 2007

GPP Crusade #14

Saturday Afternoon at the Opera

Only the light from the radio glows.
Mommy and I sit close in the dark
Waiting for music to fill our hearts.
Then the overture swells,
Stirring hidden corners in our minds.
I listen while Mommy weaves
Magical tales from strands of sound.

Long years have passed
Since those afternoons,
Long years since Mommy’s gone,
But her legacy lives
And breathes anew
In story-filled notes,
In darkened concert halls,
In magical corners of my mind.

If you're not familiar with Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team monthly crusades, check out her site at
The Crusade this month is "Imaginery friends", in the form of muses. Who's yours?
My mother was, and is, my Muse. She died of breast cancer 30 November 1944 at the age of thirty-five, leaving a five-year-old daughter. The above poem is based on the Saturday afternoons Mommy and I spent listening to the radio broadcasts of Metropolitan Opera performances. We also went to concerts, ballets, and any other musical experiences my mother could find.

Always, always, Mommy explained beforehand what we were going to hear. She made an exciting story of Bizet, Bach, or Tchaikovsky. She was an accomplished pianist, and wrote short stories for the publications of Duchesne College, which she attended in Omaha, Nebraska.

I say she is still my muse, because the light with which she infused my imagination lives on in my poetry and other writing, in my interpretation of songs, and in any other artistic endeavor I undertake. Thanks to my mother, I see poetry and stories in the everyday things which surround me. Give me a car or a turtle, and I'll write you a poem, a story, or an essay. Maybe all three!


michelle ward said...

Kathleen - what a lovely tribute to your Mom, your Muse. Her legacy certainly lives on through you as you have such passion for the special things you shared together. To lose her at age five must have been devastating, but she obviously made the most of those five years. I love your touching poem, and the precious photo and learning more about you. Thanks for sharing with the street team.

Jo Anne Owens said...

Hi Kathleen! This is a lovely tribute to your Mom and it is easy to see how she is still alive in your creativity! Thanks for sharing her with us!

Griselda said...

Ohh Kathleen how very sweet of you to share this, because it opened my heart to more musings, my grandparents used to take me to El Palacio de las Bellas Artes (Palace of fine arts) in Mexico City when I was very young, I dare said they started taking me when I was 3 and we got the sits wayyy at the top, for ovious reasons to them, for me, we were there because we could hear better and also I could see everything, I remember all you described in my mind and heart it is still there all alive and that is why I play opera when I paint. Bright Blessings to your day, may your dear mother stay close to you every moment of your days. Hugs. Griselda

Natalie B said...

Hi Kathleen. What a lovely tribute to your mother. Although you lost her at such a young age, she still lives on in your heart and in your creativity! Thanks for sharing her with us!

Pilar said...

Your mother sounds like a very special person, who embraced life to the fullest. I believe her spirit lives on in you and your love of beauty and the arts. :D

girl_gone_thread_wild said... mother is first and foremost, also my Muse. She is the one who encouraged me to sew, she never stopped teaching my heart to sing while the pedal was pushed... she passed down her threadbox and givings a plenty- she is still with me and reminds me everyday to create what God put in me to sew... which are lil blessings made up of cloth, stitched from the heart to pass along to someone who might be in need of a song and dance, a dance created from thread. xo, Monica

PLO said...

What a wonderful photograph. I can't wait to post my muse, my Grammy. You are such a creative person, I can see your muse is with you all of the time!

Judy Wise said...

I read with interest the story of your dear mother and your relationship with her. She was obviously a wonderful person. She left you with a firm foundation. Thank you for all the musings that your story prompted in me. xo

Fiona said...

What a superb gift to leave her daughter.

Barone said...

The magical and beautiful corners of your mind. I am sorry you lost your mother so early in your life yet so happy for you to have been able to carry her with you into your life, your work, your imagination. Your post will stay with me. It will inspire me to share all of the details that delight and awe me in the world with my daughters, Isabella and Francesca. Mary Oliver wrote, "Life is too short for the beauty of this world and our resposibility in it." In a short time your mother shared so much of the beauty of this world with you.

jodi barone

Loudlife said...

What a beautiful person your mom must have been. Thank you for such a touching and inspiring post. It makes me consider the kind of mother that I am and what memories I want to leave with my daughter.


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