Gardenia petals
Visual poetry featuring the art of Dawn Petty, the poetry of Annette Marie Hyder read by Belinda Subraman, and the music of Ken Clinger. A Vergin’ Production.




Gardenia petals

By Annette Marie Hyder / St. Paul, Minnesota

Every summer morning
Mother picked gardenia flowers
cluttering the ‘fridge
with water-filled jelly jars
boasting bouquets.

Every evening
she plucked them
like exotic chickens
scattered their petals
onto our sheets
cool and creamy soft
against my skin

I fell asleep
crushing her benedictions.

We had no air-conditioning
but we had electric fans
and gardenia petals.

Mother was young and pretty
with a French nose
that she quietly suffered.
I loved the way it said "arrogance"
where she never would.

Some nights
winds would blow the curtains wide.
Hurricane winds we called them
as they rustled the palm fronds
bullied mangoes from our tree.

Those nights
Mother would sing us old French songs
her mother had sung to her
lonely songs
filled with regret.

She sounded so sad
I forgot the wind
trying to make her smile.

That’s when I
hated her big nose, too.
It got in the way
wouldn’t let her smile
climb up into her eyes.

It is summer,
but I live in a colder place.
I have little occasion
to remember electric fans
and goodnight wishes
scattered on sheets.

But when I do
I think of tears
falling like petals
from a flower in the wind.

Ugly art dolls
Visual poetry featuring the art of Ugly Shayla, the words of Belinda Subraman, and the music of Ken Clinger and John Lisiecki. A Vergin’ Production.





By Belinda Subraman / Ruidoso, New Mexico

Unless we give it up
and embrace our profound
and wavering wisdom
we may find ourselves
mopping our heads with wigs
caking powder on shriveled faces,
lip-sticking not quite on the mouth,
gripping life with shaking hands
in a house of fantasies
with no tolerance for mirrors.

Nurse / writer

By Belinda Subraman / Ruidoso, New Mexico

tender as the unwritten page
lost in a book
swollen in a hurricane

holder of healing spirit
eagle feather, turquoise
abalone shell

a long journey
winding down
eyes that open
to the unseen web
the dream catcher
that snags us all

hands that hold the dying
and a pen

Whose cries are not music
Visual poetry featuring the art of Robin Urton, the poetry of Linda Bennbinghoff, the music of Ken Clinger, with reading and production by Belinda Subraman.




Whose cries are not music

By Linda Bennbinghoff / Lloyd Harbor, New York

I come down to the dark, torn pond
to hear the geese
whose cries are not music, but
catch in my ears:
the cry of wild things
who can make only one sound
and put into that sound
wing-beat, empty marshes
clouds and their quests
for home.

They have traveled miles
are far from earth
when I hear them
but I think of a child
who has no words
and will cry without stopping
as if everything
must begin in pain.

I can spend my whole life
healing it
but find in the end
that love itself contains pain
though I do not give up feeling it
as today I do not give up
hearing these geese
whose cries are constant
and I pause
as their shrillness softens
and the light fades
and the night comes with silence.

A peek into the creative process: first drafts.



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