Sunflower Field


sunflowers

Photo Credit: 360mm Photography (Jenn was our photographer)

Sunflowers surround her
All their yellow faces looking up at the sun
She traces her finger along the silky petals
Towards the fuzzy centre
Her finger lingers there as she
Remembers her youth for a split second
Embraces the feeling of carelessness and freedom
But as quickly as the moment comes
It begins to fade
She closes her eyes
Feels the sun on her eyelids
And can still see the orange hues dancing
Behind the veil of her lashes
She breathes in a long, deep breath
Smelling the crisp air
Bringing back more memories of her youth
The distinct smell of a new day
And all its possibilities for play
For happiness and sunshine
For friendship and laughter

This is what the sunflower represents for her
On her wedding day, her bouquet was a cluster
Of large yellow sunflowers
She held it in her hands, holding onto her dreams
Of happiness and of new beginnings
Grasping onto the little girl within her, who is
Giggling and carefree in her field of silky yellow petals
Staring up at the sky, hoping to be bathed in the affection of the sun

Her hand drops down to the stem now
And in an instant she’s back in the present
The moment has passed
The sunflowers so still and tall
Make her feel small and fill her with longing
For carelessness and freedom
And effortless, fleeting moments
Of true, undiluted happiness

©Cristina Cole – All rights reserved.

Reminiscing About School Days


BackToSchoolVintage-GraphicsFairy

(Photo Credithttp://thegraphicsfairy.com/vintage-clip-art-back-to-school/)

I used to love going back to school after the summer…

A blank slate
A new beginning
The smell of paper
The smell of new text books
The smell of wax crayons
And Mr. Sketch markers
Intoxicating to a child starting a new year at school

New school bag filled with
Fun new pens and pencils
A new lunch bag with lots of snacks
Made by mom with love
A new outfit and shoes
Freshly-washed hair with barrettes
Pinning it back to show a fresh, smiling face

Eyes looking up at the school
Nose sniffing the fresh air
Mouth turned up at the sides
Heart beating with anticipation
For the first day back to school

©Cristina Cole  

Thunderstorm


I fell asleep to the sound of thunder and rain last night. It was blissful…

thunderstorm

(Photo Credit: Michael Bolognesi Photography)

Through the veil of my eyelids

Flashes of blue light seep through

My body tenses while waiting for the thunder to follow

The rolling sound comes nearer until finally

A loud crack shakes through the sky

Then a blanket of rain begins to fall

Soaking the earth, soaking my soul

The soothing sound rocks me to sleep

Nature sings her lullaby

And I listen like a child

While wrapped in my summer quilt

Mother Nature nurtures my senses

Until I give in to a heavy slumber

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

PB&J: Potluck, Bonfire and Jesus


church bonfire

Photo Credit: Allyson MacLeod

Our church, KesPres organized a great event for us last night. We all brought our families and a potluck item to share, and enjoyed dinner together. Afterwards, we gathered around a bonfire to share stories of where we see God in our everyday lives. We sang songs while Kirk played his guitar and the children roasted marshmallows too. It was such a great evening. Here’s a snapshot of it in a poem I wrote when I got home:

Jacob sits in his stroller
Watching the children giggle and run around
I gaze around the room and feel rich
Different conversations happening
The clanking of cutlery on plates
A burst of laughter at one end of the room
The intoxicating smell of different dishes
All prepared with love to share with each other
All the mothers are taking care of their children
As well as everyone else’s – just like a big family

With full bellies and satisfied taste buds
We all sit around a fire
Sharing stories of how we see
God working in our lives
Where his blessings show up
Every day, in simple ways
I watch Jacob watching the fire, mesmerized
I get a little choked up, realizing
This is the first time he’s seeing fire
A fire that God has provided for him
And ensured Jacob’s first glance
Would be in the company of his
Large, loving Christian family

The guitar is strummed
And Kirk’s voice carries over the breeze
Coaxing us all to follow and sing with him
For God, to God – giving praise for his blessings
Warmth washes over all of us
From the fire, from the fading sun on our backs
And from the love being shared in this large circle of our family

Allyson silently takes pictures of the moments we share
Capturing little miracles in her lens
Of families gathering together
Sharing joy in each other’s company
Of children roasting marshmallows
Their goopy fingers holding a stick
Roasting their second marshmallow on the flame
Getting excited as the outer layer begins to brown

The evening is winding down
I can feel the strings of my heart being pulled
I’m already longing for another night like this
And know
That God is working
To make more happen

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Lost at Laundry


sock

The lonely black sock
Waits for its other half to return,
Reminiscing about the days when they were snuggled
Side by side in the cherry-wood drawer.
Those days were warm.
And even though they’d be separated later,
It was only a foot apart.
They could still snuggle when the feet they covered nestled together on the couch
Or wave hello as they swung by each other during a stride.
Neither was jealous of the shoe that covered the sock
For they would be reunited again, in the cherry-wood drawer one day.

But before they can return to their cozy home
A hard journey must be faced.
Each week, before the promise and warmth of each other can be enjoyed
They must fight to stay together through a war.

First they’re torn from the feet they cover with a rush.
Then, they’re thrown into a basket.
Sometimes they’re lucky and remain close,
Other times they land in a heap of other clothes.
Tough and rigid jeans stand between them like a wall.
They must wait a few days, longing for each other.

Then the day of Laundry finally arrives.
They can catch a glimpse of each other as they’re
Thrown from the bin into the Angry Sea of Suds.
Twisting and turning, they struggle to stay above water,
Trying to reach each other, to stay close.

Fear grips them as they’re torn apart
During a vicious spin.
All they have are their memories of the
Cherry-wood drawer to keep them hanging on a little longer.

Once they’ve made it through the Angry Sea of Suds
They’re thrown into the Wicked Wind of Warmth.
They’re tossed around for what seems like days
But it’s only an hour.
An hour of sheer torture as they can see each other,
Almost touch each other,
But there is too much chaos.
And the tough rigid jeans laugh at them.
At their little selves trying to stay together
Amidst all the strong clothes of the load.

Once the Wicked Wind of Warmth subsides
They feel relief and joy.
Their journey is almost over,
Soon they will be reunited.

Usually, they’re snuggled side by side by that evening,
But tonight is a very sad night.
This time, the journey wasn’t a success.
What happened to this poor sock’s partner?
Did the Angry Sea of Suds devour her?
Did the Wicked Wind of Warmth blow her into an abyss?
Or maybe she fell out of the basket on the way.
His poor soul is sad and lonely.
He’s tucked into the cherry-wood drawer on his own.
He has a week to wait for her to be located
By the laundry police.
If she isn’t found by then
His fate will be a long lonely life of waxing wood furniture.
How his heart longs for his other half,
Who was lost at Laundry.

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

The Opposite of a Love Poem


Here’s the opposite of a love poem for those not celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s something I wrote when I was in the “bad relationship” I discussed in Roads.

rocking chair

Life Will Be Different

The moon is full
The crickets sing
The wind flirts with the trees
I rock in this chair
And wallow in despair
With thoughts of you and me

You slumber inside
Your snore is loud
Your breath of booze is sharp
I think if the hate
For your drunken state
And want to rip you apart

You’re selfish and cunning
Manipulative and mean
The greatest liar I know
And over time I see
That you’re not right for me
And my resentment continues to grow

When I decide to leave
You will promise me things
And shed tears of disbelief
But I will be strong
And only move on
To the life that waits for me

And the next time I watch the moon
Hear the crickets sing
And listen to the wind dance in trees
I’ll sway in this chair
Feel the breeze in my hair
And enjoy the life I live for me

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/5235848024/

With an Angel


A poem I wrote when my aunt Ida passed away after battling cancer:

angel

Her face looks chiseled and painted
Hair in thick golden waves cascades to her waist
Her eyes, two emeralds intensified by thick lashes

So enticing is her face that you don’t notice her nakedness
A breeze gives life to her golden hair
She shudders weakly, and blinks slowly, as though awakened

A subtle rustle is heard
And two giant shimmering wings spread behind her

She glows from within and emits an intoxicatingly sweet scent
You wonder why she is here
Is she saving you?
Taking you to heaven’s gate?

You don’t care
You’re already moving towards her
You follow her with childlike curiosity
You fear nothing because you’re with an angel

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

photo credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/

Pepper the Cat


DSC_3791

He’s perched on a window sill
His shiny black coat being warmed by the sun
His emerald-green eyes dilated as he focuses on the scenery outdoors
A leaf blowing around on the ground
Catches his eye
His long black tail twitches with glee

He jumps down ever so gracefully
Stops when he hears a door close
Stares in the direction of the sound for what seems like hours
Ears pointed forward in anticipation

He licks his paw and cleans behind his ears
Living in the moment as he bathes himself
Being clean is important to him
Unless he finds a cool pile of dirt outside
Then he must roll in it and purr with delight

As affectionate and loving as he is
He’s also fierce and hot headed
He’ll go from purring while being pat
To lightly biting the hand that caresses him
He’s being playful, but is pushed away when he behaves aggressively

So he slowly walks to the front door and meows
Wanting to be outside to release the pent up energy
His little paw scrapes at the door, making a scratchy sound
He waits until someone approaches and then meows once more
They finally open the door to let him out

Once he steps outside, he becomes stealth and agile
Keeping low to the ground as he takes in all the scents
Being very still as he listens to the birds in the trees
They have no idea he’s watching them
He loves this part of the game

Something in the grass moves
And his head darts that way
While the rest of his body stays perfectly still
His little nostrils flare as he breathes…concentrates
Then he bows his head lower, chin almost touching the ground
His shoulder blades protruding like two small mountains on his back
Muscles begin to twitch
His shiny black fur stands on end

He waits for the perfect moment to pounce
So eager yet so patient
Then in a swift move he’s on the little grey mouse
Holding his paws over it
Feeling it squirm under him, fighting to escape
He’ll lift one paw to let it try getting away
Happy to let it run a few steps only to pounce on it again

Poor little mouse is terrified
But Pepper’s only playing a game
He’ll catch and release the mouse for a while
Until he gets bored
If he feels affectionate today
He might kill the mouse and leave it at the front door
A little gift from him to his owners
Or he may just let the mouse go
Perhaps injured a little while hopping away anxiously

Today he’s content with letting the mouse go
Besides, he hears the clanking of a spoon against a mug in the house
Someone is stirring milk into their coffee!
If he’s quick enough, he can get a little saucer of milk too
So he abandons his hunting game for now and meows at the front door
Someone lets him in and he makes it to the kitchen just in time

Rubbing against her leg, he meows
Makes his cute little kitty face and stares up at her with big, green eyes
And she falls for it, patting him on the head and saying:
“Does Pepper want some milk this morning?”
He meows again, more urgently “Yes! Yes I would like some!”
He follows her, rubbing against her leg
Meowing and meowing until she places the saucer at his feet
With delight, he gulps down the cool milk until it’s finished

When the milk is all done
He makes his way back to the window sill
After a morning of gazing outside
Hunting mice and drinking cold milk, he’s spent!
He gazes out the widow until he gets sleepy
Then he starts to give himself another bath
Once his coat is clean and restored to its luster
He settles into a cozy position
And lets his eyes close for a little nap

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Angry Sea


This is the place I go when any bitterness from my past creeps up on me…

Delicate as a rose
Her skin is milky and soft
Beneath her the cold rock kisses her feet
Below the rock, waves crash with fury
Wind whips through her dark hair
Giving life to it
She looks across the sea
With a longing in her heart
As though the waves
Will bring back answers
Her ears are brushed with the wind’s whisper
Of promises
A calm comes over her
The anger inside her has found a home
She can feel it leave her body, fall over the rocks
And join the angry sea

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole