ocean state poet --- giving voice
Ocean State Poets
Marquerite Keil Flanders
Marguerite Keil Flanders is one of the original members of Ocean State Poets, and enjoys being a "missionary," spreading poetry wherever she goes. She is part of an ongoing writing workshop that has met every other Saturday at the Men's Medium Security Prison in Cranston. Margie is also an enthusiastic participant in the Origami Poems Project.
Having worked as an environmental advocate in the field of Urban Forestry, and served on her town's Conservation Commission, Margie is now trying to put creativity and imagination at the center of her life.
She plays violin in a small community string orchestra, and loves practicing in her studio, where she can watch the woods breathing from her windows. Her biggest, not so secret, passion is swimming in the ocean, which she does whenever she can, even in cold months with a wetsuit that makes her look like an alien.
Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Yankee Magazine, Nimrod International Journal, Comstock Review, Poetry East, The Main Street Rag and in other literary magazines.
Let the beauty we love be what we do. Rumi
After the fire, I drag the rug, charred
and dripping, from my parents’ house.
Long ago women gathered weeds, brewed
dyes as they’d been taught by artisans
of Mesopotamia. Their fingers loomed
what they loved: birds, trees, medallions, all
the green and dark red regions pointing east.
My great-grandmother knew these weavings,
walked across them on her way to afternoon tea.
My mother says to take the rug home.
And somewhere in the furrows
of war is a descendant of the merchant
who sold this proof of survival.
In my looted sleep, I dream of rescue:
women with their fruits and rolled up carpets,
in rooms of sooty damp, praying
for the windows to stop shattering.
I am hanging the rug like a wet flag,
waiting to be saved by its beauty.
Marguerite Keil Flanders
Prayer Rug First appeared in Nimrod International Journal, 2006
Ocean State Poets--Rhode Island