*News! October 2013*

October 31, 2013: Life’s a Dance, with poem “plunge”

MDH, Dec. 2012. Votive by Rhonda Skinner.

MDH, Dec. 2012. Votive by Rhonda Skinner.

Whenever poetry appears, a gift has arrived, a surprise that unfolds itself with due space and time.

When unwrapped, the gift is gratitude, for these words find a way to dance despite every stumble.

                                          ~ MDH, October 27, 2013, Kalamazoo

Poetry is my first love. Depending when you and I first met — or when you began reading Dey of the Phoenix — this may be news to you . . . or not. For quite some time, many posts speak of the drum, visual arts, community adventures. Altogether, these interwoven movements make up my dance of life, a spiral that bends just when it seems that the path has gone straight. And, for me, poetry is anything but straight! Poetry is a instinctual dance led by the heart beat, through which movement generates form.

In likeness to this poetic pace, after commuting year-long to Kalamazoo for my art studio, recently I have taken up residence. Making a home is an ongoing process, and I’m pausing to better acquaint myself with surroundings. One step in this direction is giving Intuitive Readings at Lotsa Little Things Gallery, where fun is to be had among a hotbed of creative types. The shop carries work by more than 20 artists! Catch me tomorrow at Art Hop, held every First Friday.

Guess what, though? I still have a place in Lansing too. That means I time-share my weeks with shorter stays among my roots. Be sure to save the dates for upcoming circles. All are open to newcomers!

  • Drumming with the Fire at New Moons at 6:30pm on Sunday, November 3, and Monday, December 2, at a home-based location.
  • The Writing Room recommences Sunday, November 17, from 1:30pm to 5:30pm at Cup of Dessert (formerly Decker’s Cafe) in Downtown.
  • And the Gathered Drum Circle holds fast on third Sundays at 7:00pm, November 17 and December 15, in a home setting.

In closing, I pass on a poem that appeared last month among tall bunches of  chamomile and others whose names fail me. I smiled at the bees and butterflies in their gentle but persistent gathering, a dance within and between blooms. Their presence and practical-creative work a parallel to my pen on paper, a way I make sense of life in its unfolding. The poem “plunge” is another installment from my experiences with Sacred Breathwork. For more of these, visit the poems “Mother Fear“, “Beyond the Corner“, and “I Live Here“.

for Mimi

i do not skim
the surface
but plunge
into the
& meet the face
of my fear
once father
now mother

within our womb
i find myself
& ready to be
in the manner
of my choosing


Tervuren, Belgium, 2008

Previous *News!*
August 2013, “Cusp of Seasons
June 2013, “A Dream, a drum, and a nest o’ robins”
May 2013, “A Season to Birth”
Mar. 2013, “From Vision to Vehicle
Jan. 2013, “Plain Language
Dec. 2012, “The Poseidon Adventure
Nov. 2012, “A Portal to the Creative and Healing Arts

An old word (2008) about my roots and immediate elders…

My ancestors – Cherokee, Irish, Prussian – are rooted in the northern hemisphere, and I was raised on the homeland of the Anishinabeg in an European-named town DeWitt, Michigan, USA.

Of my grandparents, I best knew my mom’s mom Margaret. A Depression child who graduated college and married a dairy farmer, she became a full-time teacher after having four children. During retirement and widowhood, she volunteered in many organizations. Grandma always absorbed knowledge.

My mother Peggy was a high-school honor student and basketball player who first attended college while working full-time. She persevered the challenges of single-parenting willful kids and caring for her aging mother. I still learn from her strength, quiet firm manner, and great sense of humor.

My father Mill was a second-generation tool-and-dye man who loved playing trumpet and swimming. He inherited both his father’s charm and alcoholism. In his final years, he stopped drinking and mended some family fences. My love of words partly comes from him; he was a poet.

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