Castanets, Canines, Audio, & Poetry Readings!

I’ve never participated in a poetry reading before. Even though I’ve sung in front of audiences in my youth, the thought of sharing my original poetry in person immediately starts the internal flapping of butterfly wings. Sharing behind a screen isn’t so scary.

Well, a friend of mine heard of a local poetry night taking place last week, so she encouraged me to sign up. Her exact words, “You should do it!” So I did, but not without jumpy nerves.

There were 27 poets, different ages, even some young voices which was fabulous. I prayed that I wouldn’t be the last reader because we all know the effects of anticipation. Instead, I was second to read, which was a little nerve-racking in itself, but at least it was over fast. According to my friend, I did great. And even in my mind, I thought I had done well, maybe not stellar, but well enough for the first time. I didn’t trip over any words. I didn’t sneeze or fall into a coughing fit. I stayed focused, and afterwards, I received some “Beautifuls”, which I believe is music to any artist’s ears.

Irregardless, I’m glad I finally did this, another box checked off the list. Listening to the others read their original poems or poems written by another author was also wonderful. This event turned out to be an enlightening experience.

Now, for the sake of trying something fun and different, I’m sharing an audio of the poem I read that I recently recorded. I’ve posted “Castanets” before, but I’ve made small revisions since then.

I also can’t help wonder if most people think their voices sound strange when they hear them recorded. I know I do. Nonetheless, here goes…

Castanets

Stepping outside, I stroll down the
quiet road with my lab on my left,
his gait as graceful as a galloping horse
in slow motion.
Squirrels raise their sleepy heads
because of the early hour.
The sky appears to be coal black,
but when I turn the corner, watermelon pinks,

corals, and lemon yellows take center stage.
My camera doesn’t do justice.
Then I recall my son saying, “Enjoy the moment.”
I slip that device back in my pocket.
To my right, salmon-colored roses
flaunt their fragrance and I am intoxicated.

Passing orange poppies,
their stems flutter with excitement,
eager for the sun’s ascent, and in the distance,
silence sings its serene ballad.

As the tempo of our pace speeds up,
a breeze joins us,
and the leaves on the trees lining the lane
sway in rhythm as though dancing a waltz.
Jowls flap, he smiles with brown nose

set in overdrive. The sun’s gentle touch
adds a glimmer to his copper coat.
I pause, bending down to his level,
fingers stroke shiny, silky fur,
his eyes close, contented from contact.
When we move again, his nails on the asphalt

mimic the clicking of two sets of castanets,
and in seconds, I realize these observations
are what life is all about…
seeing…feeling…smelling…listening…
being.

Copper, my walking partner!

I hope you enjoyed

Lauren Scott (c) ❤️

The World Travelers

In those early years
when possibilities
lined up on their doorstep,
they saw themselves
roaming streets of Italy,
savoring pasta,
sipping Frappato.
They saw themselves
walking streets of France
in a cloud of romance.
They saw themselves
driving roads of Ireland
flanked by lush green
countryside.
But over time, they learned
plans can be navigated
only so far
before life takes the wheel.
They haven’t sipped Frappato
or walked warmly
in that cloud,
and they haven’t
witnessed
that countryside…yet.
But over mountains,
through down pours
and gusty winds,
and days when
sherbet-colored skies
lifted their spirits,
their fingers remained
intertwined.

Not only has love
in their hearts prevailed,
but cravings still carbonated
for each other’s company.
It seems they have traveled
the trip of a lifetime.

Lauren Scott (c) 2022

Behind Closed Doors – Book Review

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Robbie Cheadle, a wonderful poet and author of children’s books, paranormal historical, and supernatural fantasy. She is also a prolific baker of delicious cakes that she includes in her books and blog posts. I thoroughly enjoyed her poetry book, Behind Closed Doors.

Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle is a collection of various style poems such as freeform, tanka, haiku, and limerick. Robbie touches on many aspects of life evoking a myriad of emotions. She writes beautifully with strong convictions about marriage, motherhood, dreams, her struggles of working in the corporate world, living in lockdown during the pandemic, and about social issues she finds distressing. Whether her words speak of joy or anguish, they are fiercely passionate.

I personally connected to “Contrasting Colors” because of my strong marriage and relationship with my husband. Robbie creates a lovely metaphorical comparison between her and her husband, showing just how much they complement each other. I really liked the format of this poem. In “He Walks Away” her words paint the picture of her son who is no longer the little boy whose mom’s kisses cured all pain, but a young man who she will need to let go for him to find his way in the world. As an empty nester, my heart felt her bittersweet emotions.

Environmentally, I was drawn to “I saw a fish a-swimming” and “If the polar icecaps doth melt.” Robbie emphasizes the tragic effects of global warming not only on the planet, but on living creatures. She writes with concern and compassion, and some poems are written as twisted limericks bearing nothing but the truth. My stomach felt just as twisted after reading these powerful reminders. But even in trying times, Robbie includes, “Can you see the butterflies?” This poem offers delightful imagery, imploring the reader to dash outside in that very moment to embrace nature’s beauty.

I highly recommend Behind Closed Doors for fans who revel in finding themselves relating to the messages or scenarios, therefore sinking into the deeper meanings.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Robbie’s book. Simply click on “Buy on Amazon” below the image. You can also visit Robbie at her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

~Lauren Scott ❤️

Castanets

I remember yesterday when I stepped outside,
strolling down the undisturbed road
with my dog on my left, his gait as graceful
as a galloping horse in slow motion.
Maybe the squirrels raised their
sleepy heads because of the early hour.
The sky appeared to be coal black,
but when I turned the corner, watermelon pinks,
corals, and lemon yellows took center stage.
My camera did not deliver.
Then I thought of my son
who often says, “Enjoy the moment.”
I slipped that device back in my pocket.
Passing the orange poppies, I imagined
their stems fluttered with excitement,
eager for the sun’s ascent, and in the distance,
silence sang its serene ballad.
As the tempo of our pace sped up,
a breeze joined us,
and the leaves on the trees lining the lane
swayed in rhythm as though dancing a waltz.
Jowls flapped, he smiled with brown nose
set in overdrive. The sun’s gentle touch
added a glimmer to his copper coat.
There was a moment when I paused,
bending down to his level,
fingers stroking shiny, silky fur,
his eyes closed, contented from contact.
When we moved again, his nails on the asphalt
mimicked the clicking of castanets,
and in that second, I realized these observations
on this early morning are what life is all about…
the seeing…touching…smelling…listening…
the being.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

The Smell of Sorrow

Sometimes, we hold plans
with such great importance
that when they become derailed,
our mindsets are not as tough
as we assume,
no, not as tough as spider silk –
they spiral into grottos of gloom
where we keep company
with a suitcase of insecurity.

Indulging in comfort that doesn’t
judge or bicker occurs effortlessly.
The smell of sorrow is overwhelming.

But despite the absence of light,
the sunrise slowly unfolds,
brushstrokes of vivid oranges
illuminate the sky
like a painter brightens a new canvas,
and the experience feels feather-light
as though a burden is lifted.

Our fascination is stirred once again
by a hummingbird’s ability to fly
forward and backwards, sideways,
and even upside down. We hear the
sparrows singing their tales,
and bees buzzing in jubilation.

Sensing the spiritual presence of hope,
we exhale with relief, and we are optimistic
for an extended stay.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Photo: sunrise from an early-morning walk

A Proud Peacock

An unfamiliar word in her circle
she didn’t wish for knowledge,
but her circle was not so durable.
For now, she was aware

of the bitter emotions
tailing it like a hungry stray,
the hit to self-esteem
the “did I say something?”
Loneliness puffed up
like a proud peacock.

She held awareness
in the palm of her hand

pained to know such a
two-syllable word.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Therapy

The day finishes. I grab
the dog bed and bone

and fill the bowl with
water. Drinks sparkle
in crystal clear glasses.
Dialogue begins over
life, the joys and reasons
for rising stress levels.

Cracks in the concrete
absorb emotions.
On
the patio, no thoughts
are silenced.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021



What’s on your list?

My favorite cake made by my son.

Family will always mean the most to me. But as I ride the waves of life, there are many things, and I use that word broadly, that have been significant throughout the years. These are just a few…

Those camping trips when the kids were young: swimming in sapphire-colored lakes and cooling off in sparkling rivers, listening to the them play in the tent – their imaginations leading the way. Sitting around the campfire: singing, laughing, roasting marshmallows. Not just college, but all graduations were joyful events. The dogs that became special family members. Patio time – the talking, the reading, the wine – the outdoor living. Happy blooms in the garden and the hummingbirds flitting about. Walking among Redwoods and the sound of ocean waves. Pinecrest for our 30th, Bodega Bay getaways, and backpacking into serenity. The most loyal friends. Relaxing motorcycle rides. Winter’s coziness: a crackling fire and glowing candles. Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven and homemade carrot cake (a veggie in our home). Kissing and hugging. Songs that resonate. Acts of kindness.

Lantana smiles

And the list goes on…
Isn’t it wonderful that the list goes on?

Though we live under gloomy skies at times,
there is always sunshine waiting to peek through…


What would I read on your list?

Lauren ❤️❤️❤️
Carrot cake photos: My son
Lantana: Our garden
Gratitude stone: Google

A Little Appreciation…

“For those who read, there is more than one world.”
Greetings!
Lowlights & layers Covid safe just in time for Halloween –
Beware of Foilhead!
👻
Our first, cozy fire on a cold autumn night
paired with Chardonnay
I pass by this driveway every day on my walk with Copper,
always admiring how inviting its set up is…

I hope you enjoyed these snippets of my appreciation, and know that I appreciate all of you who continue to pop in and read what’s been on my mind. The last couple of weeks have been tough in some ways, but today is a new day. I hope you’re doing well and wish you a wonderful week.

Lauren 💕🍂🍁

4 am Mind Scribbles

I amble through a palette of pastels
while my mind abates the worry
that ransacks spinning thoughts
Life comes full circle

from her to him to me

Wake up, greet the reward of new light
where autumn finally pervades the air
with battleship gray clouds and a chill
to commence a new season

Lauren Scott (c) 2020