Sun Kissed Days

Sun Kissed Days

Monday, November 27, 2017

My interview at Poets United with the lovely Sherry Marr!

Thank you Sherry!

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ AN UPDATE WITH AYALA

My friends, as so many of us are grandmothers, I thought you might enjoy sharing a new Grandma’s joy at the birth of a sweet little grandson, her first. Ayala of A Sun-Kissed Life, has been writing some beautiful, joyous poems since the birth of wee Aiden, her son’s first child, last February. I have been really loving them, and thought you might too.
Sherry: Ayala, I have been so enjoying your recent poems about your beautiful new grandson. I've been  feeling your excitement and enchantment with this precious new little being. Would you introduce him to us? 
Ayala: Thank you, Sherry! The day Aiden was born I was overcome by gratitude and love for this small boy. There he was, my son's infant boy and I wept and wept with joy. He is a miracle, and life is full of blessings in his presence. His smile melts away all my worries.

photo credit: Robert Cernuda


Hello world
he seemed to say
with one eye open
as he gazed at life.
Seven pounds
fifteen ounces
infant warrior.
Hello snow 
blizzard raging.
Hello mother,
father,
grandmas,
hello nurses,
doctors.
Hello world,
wrinkly fingers and toes,
dimples,
footprints engraved on our souls.
Hello world,
sucking noises,
sighs,
sweet cries, 
the sounds of the Wheels on the bus,
abc's,
paw prints on the sidewalk.
Hello world,
breath,
love,
peace,
I am Aiden and
I am ready to celebrate it all.
Sherry: And you will celebrate right along with him, seeing the world’s wonders through his eyes. He is beautiful, Ayala. So precious. Let’s look at one of your other early poems for him.

What do you see in your dreams
little one?
sheep that you count
white and dreamy
like the billowy clouds above.
What do you see in your dreams
when you sigh in your sleep,
green endless fields,
yellow and black Labrador retrievers?
Do you smile because you see
your mother and father gazing
at you with adoration
sparkle in their eyes.
Do you dream about
your maternal and paternal grandmothers
rocking you to sleep gently and lovingly.
What do you see in your dreams
little one?
The sun shining through 
the gray morning
as the snow melts off
the bare trees
outside your window.
Milk and sweetness
life and love.
Do you see the future smiling on you,
what do you see my love?



Sherry: So lovely. Newborns are so dreamy. Aiden is a family's dreams, come to life.

I enjoyed the following poem so much. I am remembering two years ago, when Lunabella arrived in our family. Babies are magical creatures!

Ayala: Lunabella, a beautiful name for a beautiful girl! Congratulations to you Sherry! 

Sherry: We grandmas and great-grandmas are pretty lucky.

May the sound of the sea
give you tranquillity.
May the sight of the blue topaz sky
spark your desire to fly.
May you bloom like a flower
on the side of the mountain
resilient and graceful.
May your steps be light
and your touch gentle.
May you be strong like
the roots of the oak tree.
May you find the sacred in
the ordinary,
in the light breeze on your face,
in the crimson sunrise,
in the salty taste of the ocean spray.
May you delight in powerful words.
may you be charmed by sweet poetry.
Play in the moonlight,
sketch on the large canvas of life,
bathe underneath the stars.
Dream big.
Love fiercely.
Laugh,
Laugh,
and laugh some more.

Sherry: “Dream big”, and “Laugh”.  Two excellent wishes. How has he changed you, Ayala?

Ayala: I wish for Aiden all the best in this universe. It may sound cliche, but in my heart there are endless dreams for him.
Sherry: I think the following poem explains this very well. Let’s take a look.



Your sweetness 
awakens peace within me,
an immense joy
that roars like incoming
waves breaking on the shore.
The tides rise and fall
with time,
as I look into your eyes 
and our souls meet again.
My words palpable
pour on to the page
unassuming
brimming with enchantment 
and truth.
You nestled in my heart,
my love,
pure,
immeasurable.
I wait for the universe to lift you,
embrace you 
and write the chapters of your life
with peace,
felicity, 
and enlightenment.
Sherry: A Grandmother’s love is so pure, so joyous. His parents must be over the moon!
Ayala: Yes, his parents are over the moon! Both families are devoted to Aiden and his well being.  My boys were and are my universe and my love for Aiden is just a little sweeter if that's even possible. Our time is limited and I savor every moment. When he sleeps over, I stay in the room that was once his dad's and I read while I watch over him. I cherish him.
  
Sherry: I loved the animals and sea creatures in the following poem, Ayala, and the thought of all of the wonders this wee voyager has yet to discover.
Sunday,
thunder pierced the morning.
You fell asleep,
your arms stretched above your head
in surrender
to your dreams.
Lions, giraffes in Africa,
tales I tell you about the sun and stars,
colorful starfish and
blue marlin living in the ocean as
you sink into your dreams.
You touched my face,
your nails on my skin,
happiness climbed to meet you
like the new day.
Short breaths,
joyous sounds
are things I hold as miracles,
for the love I feel is extraordinary.
Your eyelashes flutter,
evanescence, beauty
of the moment. 
I cover your head with kisses,
 my heart open to you,
and the universe.



Sherry: Are you looking forward to introducing him to the world and all its creatures?

Ayala: It is my dream that one day we will travel to beautiful places that we can explore. My mom traveled with Josh and I when he was a little boy, and I am grateful that we have those memories.
Sherry: I hope you do, Ayala. A poem that really got my attention is the tender one you wrote to your son about his new child.


Talk to your son,
my child.
The way I spoke to you on 
moonless nights
about the stars and galaxies.
Tell him your tale:
how you loved cars,
how you simulated their sounds.
Tell him about colorful Lego bricks
you made into castles with soldiers,
about war and peace.
Tell your son
about the stories you devoured
of art and history,
how your home was filled with love,
and every breath was brimmed with gratitude.
Tell him about your ancestors
and their will to survive the
strife and hunger of the grey war.
Tell him about bees and pollination,
the salmon's migration,
grizzly bears,
and bald eagles.
Tell him of your struggles
and your human decency. 
Talk to your son,
my child.
He will grow with sparkling pride.
He will know your love is undeniable,
your love shining through his days and nights.


Sherry: Isn’t it amazing, when it happens to us, the legacy of the generations, living on, as we pass on our hard-won wisdom to those who follow? 

Ayala: I wrote this poem for my son because I am aware that both he and his wife have demanding careers, and I wanted  to share the wisdom that it all goes by so fast, and now is the time to pay attention to these fleeting moments.
Sherry: It does go by in a wink. I know your family history has an amazing legacy, having overcome much that made possible this small voyager's arrival. I am thinking especially of your poem, "A New Life", and your gripping post, "The Legacy." The poems you have written about your family history are wonderful, Ayala. There is a book in that history.
Ayala: Aiden is a part of a rich tapestry, and my hope is that he will make his way and his mark in the universe and weave more strands into it.
Sherry: I am certain he will. He has a strong foundation of love under his feet already. In closing, let’s take a look at a poem about your hopes and dreams for this small wayfarer.


     The storm rolled in,
the trees were stark,
against the dark sapphire sky,
the roads an endless white blanket.
How quiet it gets
when it snows,
I thought the day you were born.
Love was held in each breath,
in your eyes I discovered 
the constellations
of the sky.
I cradled you in my arms,
my heart racing.
I wanted to live,
to love you
through your first scraped knees,
watch over you when you climb trees,
read you bedtime stories.
I wanted to live
to watch your pearly teeth
sprout like limbs of a young tree.
I wanted to guide you to catch
your first fish,
while the seagulls watch in anticipation
waiting to steal it.
I wanted to hear about your first kiss,
when your lips feel like they're on fire,
when they feel soft like billowy clouds. 
I wanted to build bridges between 
your generation and mine.
Share postcards of oceans I have crossed,
of places you will go one day,
when you grow up to be a man.
Building your own life,
your own future.
I wanted to play games
I had played with my brothers,
when we were children,
build forts out of sheets and pillows.
Dance with you in the kitchen,
the way I dance with your grandfather
when the harvest moon floats in the sky.
I wanted,
I wanted,
I want
your breath to be yours,
your space to be free,
your journey to be one of discovery.
Shape your world 
and mold it with your interpretation
and your intention.
Navigate your compass
with true wisdom,
questioning,
seeking,
loving.
Sherry: This is an absolutely beautiful poem, Ayala. So completely loving. Aiden is a very lucky little boy. He is surrounded by love.
Ayala:  I am grateful that my son and my daughter in law recently moved to Florida from Boston. They live an hour away from us, but that is so much closer, and it enables us to be in Aiden's life and watch him grow up. 

When I am not with Aiden, I long to be. I worry about him as I worried about my children. My thoughts are always with him.

I began writing for Aiden when he was in the womb. As he grew month by month and the app would tell me his size as a bluberry or another fruit or vegetable, I would make up little sentences about it. I register them all in a leather bound journal in which I write Aiden's poems to give to him someday. I want him to feel my heart and know how much I love him.
Sherry: That is so beautiful, Ayala. What a treasure that book will be in years to come. I imagine you want the world to be better than it is, for him, and his future.

Ayala: At the moment the world feels fragile and complicated on every level. My wish is to leave a better world for Aiden and all the children.
  
Sherry: Humankind has to work hard on this, extra hard right now. Thank you, Ayala, for this sweet and loving look into your life and its joys. Aiden is so precious.

Ayala: Thank you, Sherry. I loved talking with you. I appreciate all the kindness you have given me. It also thrills me to know that Aiden will have this interview to look back on.

Wasn't this lovely, my friends? Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Places You will Go


The storm rolled in,
the trees were stark,
against the dark sapphire sky,
the roads an endless white blanket.
How quiet it gets
when it snows,
I thought the day you were born.
Love was held in each breath,
in your eyes I discovered 
the constellations
of the sky.
I cradled you in my arms,
my heart racing.
I wanted to live,
to love you
through your first scraped knees,
watch over you when you climb trees,
read you bedtime stories.
I wanted to live
to watch your pearly teeth
sprout like limbs of a young tree.
I wanted to guide you to catch
your first fish,
while the seagulls watch in anticipation
waiting to steal it.
I wanted to hear about your first kiss,
when your lips feel like they're on fire,
when they feel soft like billowy clouds. 
I wanted to build bridges between 
your generation and mine.
Share postcards of oceans I have crossed,
of places you will go one day,
when you grow up to be a man.
Building your own life,
your own future.
I wanted to play games
I had played with my brothers,
when we were children,
build forts out of sheets and pillows.
Dance with you in the kitchen,
the way I dance with your grandfather
when the harvest moon floats in the sky.
I wanted,
I wanted,
I want
your breath to be yours,
your space to be free,
your journey to be one of discovery.
Shape your world 
and mold it with your interpretation
and your intention.
Navigate your compass
with true wisdom,
questioning,
seeking,
loving.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A New World


My father
created a life
out of thin air.
He built a foundation
with his strong hands
and his strong mind.
He built a home,
raised a family,
and found success.
Then he uprooted
to a new land,
to plant new trees,
on new landscape,
of a blank canvas,
for his sons and daughter.
He left notoriety,
a good name,
a reputation,
to start over.
Be invisible,
suffer tragedies and challenges
in his new world,
for all of us to find peace
from the impending war.
He sacrificed for the country,
but he did not want to 
sacrifice his sons.
My mother learned
a new language in her
late forties.
Leaving behind tailored dresses
and sparkling jewels.
Abandoned her status
to work as a cook
at a beach front hotel.
Her dainty feet
swelled into boats,
never to recover.
Her mother tongue spoken to us,
while others did not understand
her broken English. 
Hope drifted in and out of 
the windows of our home
and entered through the
door one day.
But it was not long before 
a new hurdle
had to be confronted.
My mother and father
did not dwell in the past.
They lived every day
stung by the reality of 
putting food on the table
and clothes on our backs.
Their love trickled in our sleep,
raised our dreams,
found a path,
to change,
to rise,
to recreate our life.
 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Woman


Woman,
queen
with a tarnished crown.
Scars on my soul,
mapped like the constellations
in the sky.
I forgot how clueless
I was as a girl.
How sad my soul was,
seeking other lost souls
to lift,
redeem
from the wreckage of life.
The moon shadowed 
my recklessness.
The tide brought erosion
to my shore,
igniting the hunger to overcome.
Thread by thread, 
I weaved into a tapestry
of strength and survival.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wonder


His eyes dart up and down,
the light dancing on the ceiling
holds him captive.
In the sky, the eclipse leaves
us spent with wonder.
He watches the Yellow Tang
floating.
He is mesmerized by the woods,
woods one can get lost and found in.
A sea of green blushing in the presence
of the sun.
Woods captured by color and artists long ago.
Our hands are locked in a puzzle
of familiarity and love.
Devotion and the quest of the unknown.
His eyes are gleaming 
filled with innocence.
My heart is beating,
racing in my chest.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Confessions


Confessionals
leave me aching,
yearning
to lift the veil.
Unearth the secrets 
from their burial ground
of lullabies that are no longer mine.
A language forgotten,
where humanity and love merge.
Where light and grace dance as one.
Saddled by time,
the burden does not dissipate
nor die.
I told the sun about my demons,
the sun told the moon.
The moon lit my dark nights 
and showed me the way 
to a new dawn.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tell Him


Talk to your son,
my child.
The way I spoke to you on 
moonless nights
about the stars and galaxies.
Tell him your tale:
how you loved cars,
how you simulated their sounds.
Tell him about colorful Lego bricks
you made into castles with soldiers,
about war and peace.
Tell your son
about the stories you devoured
of art and history,
how your home was filled with love,
and every breath was brimmed with gratitude.
Tell him about your ancestors
and their will to survive the
strife and hunger of the grey war.
Tell him about bees and pollination,
the salmon's migration,
grizzly bears,
and bald eagles.
Tell him of your struggles
and your human decency. 
Talk to your son,
my child.
He will grow with sparkling pride.
He will know your love is undeniable,
your love shining through his days and nights.