Painting: “Chaotic Bliss”
Artist: Henry L. Jones
2019 – 16×20 inches – mixed media on canvas
Featured Composer’s Notes: The music is a hymn of reconciliation, renewed hope after years of bitterness. The daughter/author seems committed to bridging the chasm between her and her mother, a commitment born perhaps out of a new spiritual vision. The musical phrases reflect the lines “Mother, here in the midst of tomorrows”, “Let us each choose one…sprout a wordless conversation”, and “How I wish you were here”.
Original Musical Composition by Jeff Byers in response to “Wordless. All rights reserved.
Mother, here in the midst of tomorrows
we tend our wounds, turn to everything
we were unable to say in the yesterdays
when you were here and we both starved
on the weak broth we offered each other. The door
to my heart, secured against you, translated
each key you slid inside the lock to mist.
I thought you had the upper hand,
your words hard rebukes, mine slower
but unkind. Our love was a kind
of slow execution, each persistent jab a smaller
death. We must slice the old hours open
like melons ripened overlong, remove the bitter sounds
and spread them to sweeten under the sun.
Let us each choose one, soak it in blood-bound
intention, sprout a wordless conversation
that forgives the past and grows us
into a new, tenable love. How I wish
you were here, now, reaching across
this table for the seedling in my hand.
Cathy Ann Kodra, former RN and special education teacher, now works as an independent editor in East Tennessee. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Blueline, drafthorse, Psaltery & Lyre, RHINO, Still: The Journal, Whale Road Review, and Yemassee. She was a contributing editor for New Millennium Writings from 2010-2018. She is currently associate editor for MSI Press and the Iris Publishing Group. Kodra won the 2016 LMU George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry. Her first full poetry collection, Under an Adirondack Moon, was released by Iris Press in October 2017.