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) ❤️

A Fine Discovery

Sitting on the shore
feeling inconsequential
in its vast presence,
the surface sparkles
like a rare jewel
just discovered

Dragonflies entertain
like tiny jets
Damselflies with their
blue, iridescent wings
gracefully flit about
relatives by nature


Tiny threads of peace 
weave into the marrow
of our souls

A great fortune
to play a part with nature
in this moment of existence –
to discover such a gem

Lauren Scott (c)

Peach Essence

feeling bashful, she
displays her stunning profile
nature’s loveliness

dazzling passersby
her peach essence entrances
they pause to admire

energy restored
she reclaims her place in life
after night’s spring rain

raindrops vacillate
layers hold their own secrets
delicate delight

petals of velvet
invite raindrops to bask in
their peach enchantment

Lauren Scott (c) 🧡🧡

A Trail of Spring

Contrary to my poem on climate change a couple weeks ago, “The Effects”, I found a trail of spring on a recent morning walk. Even though we’re still in dire need of buckets of raindrops, the blooms I saw rejuvenated my steps. I felt inspired because of their beautiful representation of rebirth, exactly what this lovely new season is all about. They didn’t mind posing for a quick photo op, so would you like to join me for a second time around on the trail?

And now, a little more about Nature herself…

Her Offerings

Harmony lives in each flow of a breeze
In each gentle embrace of evergreens
The clear blue enchantingly shields
Let nothing stay concealed.

Blooms tender their affable smile
Leaves listen in for awhile
Birdsong soothes the whirling mind
A landscape perfectly designed.

Nature’s lessons are plentiful
Shall our choices be flexible?
We are not ignorant to her offerings
Receive them for relief of suffering.

A painting of beauty and brilliance
Mesmerizing even in distance
Can you deny the splendid view?
Allow serenity to fall into you.

(From my book, “More than Coffee:Memories in Verse and Prose”)

Lauren Scott (c)
Thank you for stopping by! ❤️🌺



One Minute of Freedom

The day I saved a spider…My daughter taught me how when she was twelve years old; her heart loved all creatures. There is much to learn from our children.

Lucky for me, the dime-sized trespasser stayed still on the floor, as if paralyzed by my enormous presence, unaware of my heart pounding erratically, ready to jump out of my chest. But I mustered up an ounce of finesse and a pound of courage. I hurried into the kitchen, pulling a tall clear glass from the cabinet, a glass that has its own place on the shelf, and one we don’t drink out of. It holds the label of spider catcher. I placed it over the spider’s body. Then I grabbed a paper plate and cut out the flat base. I slipped that piece under the glass. When I picked up the spider in its glass cage, its speedy steps just about made me fling it across the room! I didn’t want to feel eight tiny legs skitter across my hand. I managed to tamp down those goosebumps, firmly holding the paper. Then again, I never thought the day would come when I felt compassion for a spider, but I did while watching it scurry around the sides, probably fearful. If it only knew I was the good Samaritan. Stepping outside in the yard, I laid the glass on the lawn, pulling away the paper. Out scurried the arachnid – in a cartoon, it would’ve waved to me. The happy spider didn’t waste one minute of freedom. If only humans could be so wise.

Have you lived with arachnophobia? Can you relate to my fear, my pounding heart, and the courage I had to muster up to save that lucky spider? Do you also prefer arachnids to stay outside? Is there a different creepy-crawler that speeds up your heartbeat?

Lauren Scott (c)
Cute spider photo: Google
I can’t look at real spiders on the screen yet,
but I’m working on it. 🙂

Boots


Feeling the trail’s draw

we step deeper into solitude

embraced by the strength

of the bays

Only the occasional

crackle beneath our boots

breaks the silence

Lauren Scott (c)
Photo: Deer Park, Fairfax, CA

A Blooming Conundrum

sunlight fashions smiles
lifting faces to the blue
they sense springtime has
sidled up next to autumn
craving notoriety

rainfall quenches thirst
nourishment long awaited
wilted leaves revive

bright petals unfold
shivering with elation
winter watches with
concern as the months of spring
have seemingly reappeared

Lauren Scott (c) 2021
Photos from our yard with
thoughts from November.





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

October’s Miracle

I forgot how the sound of rain could be soothing
like the calm of a child’s lullaby.
I heard my lantana sing “Hallelujah!” as the soil exhaled,
the thirst for relief felt longer than eternity.
Silk-thread drizzles dusted rooftops on the street
along with the brown brittle hills with flowing grace.
The fascination of puddles slipped my mind,
the childlike sense of play from a hop and a splash.
And who would think the sight of cocoa-brown mud
could be so entertaining in all its messiness!
Would you believe if I said the flowers smiled at me?
And their leaves offered a gentle wave?
Observing from my slightly opened window,
I caught a grateful sigh from the soaked earth,
and I enjoyed listening to the roots laugh in delight.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Pantoll – A Pleasant Surprise

Fires raged in the Sierra mountains this summer, forcing my husband and I to cancel our long-awaited backpacking trip. So, what did we do instead? We thought “local!” We found Pantoll Campground located on Mt. Tamalpais that seemed like a good alternative for a peaceful getaway. Only a forty-minute drive from home, we felt like we had traveled hundreds of miles, entering into another world. Mt. Tam is a popular tourist attraction, but with packing up all the gear and necessities for camping, we always wanted to drive farther into the mountains. It’s funny how one setback unexpectedly leads to a pleasant surprise. Here’s a glimpse into our weekend…

A visitor quietly joined us in our site.
Our cozy accommodations.
Site #1 presented an open concept of a
raised dining and great room with a
rustic fireplace.
Our backyard, perfectly landscaped.
Hiking nearby with views of San Francisco Bay.
Boiling water in minutes for our freeze-dried
feast.
Our only fire because of the red flag warning
for the following day.
Our first beautiful sunset.
Coffee and a gorgeous sunrise. Ahhh…..
A different perspective.
Our once-a-year bacon splurge, using my mom’s
cast iron skillet
that must be about 100 years old!
We hiked to the outdoor mountain theater –
a wonderful, summertime cultural experience.
After hiking uphill a few miles, our legs were
ready for a break.
Back on the trail, views of the SF bay entertained
us again.
It’s all downhill from here. 🙂
Must be 5 O’Clock. Cheers!
Nature’s architecture.

Did you enjoy the scenery? I hope so! We’re glad to have found a local option now, maybe not for backpacking, but at least for camping and hiking. Here in sunny and drought-ridden California, everyone waits for some precipitation to reduce fire danger.
We hope to slip on those backpacks next year…

Thanks for popping in and stay safe,
Lauren ❤️❤️❤️