May 1, 2015

Cecilia Soprano: Two Poems, "The Rocking Horse"

Cecilia Soprano lives in Westchester County and makes her living as an organic gardener and artist.   Her poems and artwork have been published in La Joie magazine and UC at Santa Barbara among others.  Her artwork is often featured on the covers of Inner Directions magazine.

She is a member of the Greenwich Art Society and the Katonah Museum Art Association.  She has published three small books and has had several one woman art exhibits.  Her love of nature and gardening provides the space for uninterrupted inspiration.  Her intention is to make images and words that describe beauty and uplift the human spirit.   My art is about making the simple sacred and the ordinary extra-ordinary.  

"The reason why we exist is to remember why we exist and to realize our interconnectedness with all things."    WEBSITE: or

 The Rocking Horse

It was almost an impulse.  How quickly he picked up the phone
and dialed the number he saw  in the magazine.
The call was to a wood carver in Michigan.
He told the artisan that he would pay the full price in advance.
He wanted to order a handmade rocking horse.
“Carve me a beauty like this horse in the picture.” he said,
Make him large, paint him dapple gray, and give him soft eyes.”

He was asking for courage.
He was asking for the day when he would have a reason to ride.
The day when he'd find his horse waiting outside the door.
When he would climb onto it's strong back,
and it would rock him straight away from his house.
Rock him away from his financial papers, and the voices of clients.
When his horse would trot him out through the tall grasses of
           the hay field where he played as a boy, past the stream
           where he caught crawfish and minnows.
His horse would fly at a full gallop into the wind that would
blow up his nostrils and unravel his hair and clothes.

He would call his horse by the name he had given him long ago
when he rocked in front of the fireplace,
when he rocked with his entire body
pumping the horse harder and harder
to go faster and faster
riding through the prairies past the grazing bison
riding across the plains among wild mustangs
far into the Canyon Lands and wilderness

And far from the static, and
the gray and  barren landscape
that had become so familiar to his grown-up world.

 What I Have

I thought I should want those things.
Those things I was taught that women want.
Things like an engagement ring,
   things like a European vacation,  a house in the country,
  things like matching furniture, an oriental rug.  
But those things passed me by.
Other people got them.  And I noticed that
   those things never really made
   a whole lot of difference
   in their lives.

I stopped at a garage sale once
where an old woman was selling her husbands tools.
"This will be the first Spring in 42 years
    he won't be in the garden," she said,
"He would have worn them out had he lived longer."

I bought the shovel with the faded red handle.
I use it in the garden as he did
Turning over fresh clods of earth.
It digs easy
with a familiar rhythm to the work.

I’m thankful in these moments
for the weight of the shovel in my hands,
for the ground I stand on,

I'm thankful for the things I never had.
For the things I never really wanted,
For the things I will leave behind..

~Cecilia Soprano

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