Poem List: 2015 January thru April

 

The Observers          Print this poem only

 

Standing in line waiting for the restroom

we chuckled together about standing in line

for the restroom off the Interstate.

We enjoyed the friendly exchange

about what we knew about each other's home towns.

Then she spoke her beliefs about the environment

and his smiles were gone

face rigid as if he were experiencing pain

and each of us carved out our piece of turf

on the environmental battleground.

 

Now no longer bathing together

in the sparkly and lovely waters

of light conversation

we became observers,

suddenly aware

of the coldness of the water

how reddish around him and bluish around her.

 

The shift of feelings

and the gears of the mind

were so sudden it was shocking

as if we had abruptly been pushed out of an airplane

where the air was heavier

and breathing shallower.

 

We were now out of the realm of the warm and friendly

and into the strained arena of ideology.

Now no longer enjoying each other's tone of voice

and personal details that could be a door to friendship

we each crawled into separate boats

moving away from each other.

 

What if the topic had not come up

what if I discovered that we were distant cousins

that her illness the same one mama had

what if we decided to have coffee together

and lingered spinning out and stepping into the terrain

of each others lives?

 

What short circuit of understanding

happened in that moment when we became observers

each in the separate pre-carved regions of our minds?

 

And once that happened

it seemed we could never return

to those warm sparkly waters we had been enjoying.

 

Sometimes it seems as if my mind is my enemy

full of pigeon holes that trip me up

and separate me from the souls of others

and my own.

 

What would it take to fill those holes

and walk into a deeper terrain of mutuality?

What would it take for me to glide over the rocky ground of opinion
into the cool meadow of compassion?

 

Written 1-3-15

 
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Small Reunions
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Are we not brothers and sisters

we here gathered for our family reunion

we who are sprung from the same impulse

the impulse to lay clouds upon the page

to simmer words into a rich soup

with broth taken from the particles of our lives,

we who are sprung from the loins of our creator,

that seed planted somewhere unknown inside us

his cells spread out in the fiber of our poems?

 

Our brotherhood our sisterhood

is inseparable from that fatherhood

that fatherhood that sometimes seems so distant

we cannot remember the exact pitch of his laughter

the strength of his arms

the warmth of his breast

yet when that poetic impulse visits

we know we are home.

 

We here gathered have the same DNA

even those who listen and connect to us

as our words reach in and rest softly

in their minds like pollen

taken in a soft wind.

Those who listen

are our mothers

who sit quietly

as their child tells her stories of adventures

adventures born of fantasy

freshness

and imagining.

 

 

We here gathered

return home and begin each month

sharing our vigor, our tone,

the fruit of that impulse

the fruit devoured with devotion

and patience

and re-created

in the imagining,

in the inner eye and ear

of each listener.

 

Oh what a gift to have these listeners

who abide with us

in the preciousness

of these moments together

as we speak for ourselves.

 

Though sometimes we are few

in this small reunion

its value cannot be measured in numbers.

The tide of devotion and cherishing

cannot be weighed or counted

nor described

but to know it

even if only once a month

is to know the feeling

of warmth and comfort

upon opening the front door

and walking into the living room

of our old home after being away for too long.

The preciousness of these moments

cannot be measured -

only cherished.

 

Dedicated to the small reunion of creators and listeners called Poetry in Progress upon the 4th anniversary of their gathering.

Written 1-7-15

 
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Dream Disorder          Print this poem only

 

Where have my dreams gone?

Have they floated into the mist
gossamer as the passing moment

are they gone between blinks

or free as a child’s run?

 

Have I become too old
to hold those glorious glints

beyond my waking?

Are they no longer alive -
cloudprints I fashion

in mornings?

 

I sometimes wonder

if the deep ruts in my mind

disallow off-road flights

visions

vaultings

fantasies of futures.

 

Can I no longer see

beyond carefully crafted arguments

and tightly held doctrines?

 

Do I have a dream disorder?

 

I hear the public sounds

the hammering

the pounding

of insular insults

in the heat and venom

of self-righteous anger.

 

And I fear the loss

of softness

and gentle conversation about family and health

and exchanges in elevators or vacant corners

about the small daily sufferings of life.

 

And I wonder

if a thread of hope

still waves in the wind

or if abroad in this land

 

is a dream disorder.

 

Written 1-16-15

 
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My Prospects      Print this poem only

After you reach the age of sixty and ten

they say your prospects grow dim

no more applications for schools

just follow the traditional rules

your stuck here all of a sudden

no pushing the up button

just down down into the basement

don’t even worry about placement.

 

Most of your future is gone they insist 

just make up your bucket list 

of all the adventures you desire:

the hot air balloon to take you higher

the magnificent distant lands 

the islands of sparkling sands

all the places you wanted to go

the celebrities you wanted to know.

 

But I say to them, in fact I insist

I don't worry about the things I've missed

but what glories and how many chances 

what children, what people, what dances

are there in this day

what smiles, what moments of dismay

what poems, what islands of sharing

what fortunes of listening and caring?

They say at this age your power is gone

your status your strength and your brawn

I ask how can I love you enough to be free

to give you the power to change me?

I wonder what is the prospect

that I will take time to connect

with the Great Mystery

beyond the bounds of history.

 

This day this minute in time are just right

for making a rhyme

for feeding the birds

for finding the words

to express how glorious is this earth

how grateful I am for my birth

for kittens, blue skies, and your beautiful brown eyes

I can't imagine a more precious prize.

 

It is quite surprising how my prospects are rising.

In this day are fortunes of great splendor

moments to be quiet and tender

every horizon there is right here

in this place not far from you dear

neither below or above

this is the place for love.

Written 2-16-15

What Might?          Print this poem only

How can I sing of your might

how can I proclaim your height

you who are found in depth

in the quick and minute breadth

of a single second or cell

you who chooses to dwell

and grow in me so slowly

you so close to the lowly?

 

And yet I have known

the way my love has grown

for my lover in such a way

that I can safely say

over rugged terrain

through clear skies and rain

mighty the love of husband and wife

who through hurt and fear find life.

 

This might of love I can see

the kind that sets totally free

every moment of creation

from quiet or noise of gestation

to the final intake of breath

to whatever is beyond death

the might there in the dark of night

and in the dim dawning of light.

 

Your might is not in the force of power

but in thin folds of a flower

the kind it takes to give birth

or protect a child or the earth

to subdue the force of pride

put righteousness aside

the might in the wings of a dove

the might it takes to love. 

 

Written 2-23-15

 

 

Room          Print this poem only

 

In this garden room filled with your quiet

I roam clouds and swim depths

breathe your peace, your humility,

you who is called mighty

I find as low as the soil

the slow sure growth

of the ivy

and the roots

oh here you are in the roots

of my darkness and virtue

doubt and joy.

 

I am comfortable here

and at peace

in this living space

where you who are so immense

make yourself small enough

for me to be

my small but true self

here in this humble space

I find

room.

 

Written 2-25-15

 
 
 

Winter’s Reason          Print this poem only

 

The weather man’s been tracking

The arctic front’s furious path.

The east has taken a whacking

by old man Winter’s wrath.

 

They’re digging and scraping

layers of snow and ice

but there seems to be no escaping

the grip of this hard winter’s vice.

 

I have been looking in vain

for the Jonquil’s lively amber

that breaks Master Winter’s reign

and gently abates his anger.

 

The last bag of bird seed is gone

the cardinal, dove, and sparrow

are longing for the hopeful dawn

of the spring’s stirring marrow.

 

But for now let us use this time

to reflect and sink into our souls

find something deep or sublime

unravel our divine hidden scrolls.

 

Maybe we can discover the reason

Mother Nature has granted

this dark and cloudy season

and what seeds she has planted.

Written 3-1-15

 

Joey, our special man        Print this poem only

 

Joey was a special man

who knew what he believed

was not afraid to take a stand

and gave more than he received.

 

He knew groceries and meat

but human nature was his realm

endless hours on his feet

a captain at the helm.

 

A Catholic to the core

full of faith and devotion

to the God he adored

he was loyalty in motion.

 

He's been seen on a horse

riding the Salt Grass Trail

Joey a formidable force

and oh, he could tell you a tale!

 

A master butcher at the chop

his real forte I might add

was being a Pop

a husband and a dad.

 

Sixty two years a very long stay

he captained the family store

serving the public at the K and K

in that smudged white apron he wore.

 

Weather feeding troops in Korea across the seas

or aiding and leading groups here,

talking to Joey, you felt at ease,

he was a man of great good cheer.

 

A friend to the people in the Heights

he was at home with a variety of folk

children, nuns, and even Knights,

listen up now for his next good joke.

 

A man of common dignity was Joe

more than eight decades of life’s span

we bow to you and want you to know

our love for you, Joey, our special man.

 

Author's Note:  In honor of Joey Kowis (1929-2015) , the father-in-law of Lucy Kowis

Written 3-7-15

 

The thread of you        Print this poem only

 

Sitting before first light

in the upper room I wait for you.

 

In the darkness and the rain

you are there - droplets on the window reflecting the inner light

like diamonds scattered on the surface

waiting for the dawn you will bring

in your time.

 

What dawning will you bring me today?

How will I break through all the trappings of my consciousness 

to find you?

 

I know it is up to me to stop

to pause for a second or two.

Only that long will it take to find you.

But it is up to me to stop.

 

How will you appear

in the eyes of those I see

in the silence of those who sit

in the rituals we create to assure ourselves

that there is more than just this life

more than just the furnishings

of our homes, churches, schools, our work?

 

Where will you appear

in our time

in the small creations

of our work and play

as we weave the thread of you

into the fabric of our day?

 

I will look for you today.

 

Written 3-18-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proceed with Fun
By Elizabeth Hobbs and Glenn Currier

Print this poem only

A date was selected
by the duly elected.
to gather these birds of a feather
who loved to put rhymes and words together.

Not just any place would suffice.
It had to be someplace really nice.
Where oh, where could this place be?
just a hop, skip and jump - it’s called Thorntree.

When we arrived the table was prepared
linen and silver and comfortable chairs.
Beyond through the window - what a scene
grass and trees a view so serene.

Rhonda the woman who made it take place
spoke and greeted us with warmth and grace
made us feel at home and welcome there
we knew this would be a special affair.

The diligent staff were eager to serve
took orders and delivered them with verve
the chef’s skill and fare something to behold
scrumptious food was warm - drinks were cold.

Conversation was relaxed and oh so bright
laughter and sharing for this special night!
Poems, jokes and stories – what an array
an evening simply perfect in every way.


"Proceed with Fun," Copyright 2015 by Elizabeth Hobbs and Glenn Currier
Written 3-18-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green        Print this poem only

Just as I was getting comfortable
with dormancy
with the seasonal slowing
the heavy outer garments
and all the protections of living in winter
you show me

you are still green within me
just as hidden from my consciousness
as my organs and hormones
you are alive with fresh growth
and hope
and confidence in the source.

Now I feel the fluids
the stirrings
from darkness
from the tomb of my hopelessness.

Just as I thought winter would not end
I find my way back to this intimacy
this surrender
to love.

I cannot gauge
or measure
my progress
nor see the effect of tiny daily victories
on my self
but I see it in your eyes
my light reflected there
when you forget my darkness
for a precious priceless moment.

You are risen
and again you take up residence
in my heart
in my soul
where you and your sweetness
like nectar in a lily
abide in me

and again I am green with new life.


Written 4-4-15

 
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A Walk Among Tombstones            Print this poem only

 

I walked among you for a while

wandered on the greening ground

over father, mother, and child

listened but heard no sound

only a soft flutter of breeze

and a lone cardinal’s song

looked up through the trees

at spring’s budding throng.

 

How still you rest below

through every season of our lives

under golden leaves and snow

no longer husbands and wives

now all children of the light

no birthdays or family names

nor cloudy days nor stormy nights

nor bitter fights nor hateful claims.

 

Here family plots are bounded

monuments to people well known

but all by dirt and dust surrounded

a few short lines on a tombstone

to remember a woman or a man

perhaps a poem or scripture quote

when their lives ended and began

a jot of life for the living to note.

 

It is good to walk among the dead

remind me of mortality

that life’s a precious thin thread

and a few moments of vitality

to pause and bow and honor those

whose cold bones rest quiet here

to stop and feel the softness of the rose

and give thanks for a life so dear.

Written 4-18-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book no longer in print            Print this poem only
 

 

The truck delivered it

ordered on the web “used”

printed long ago.

 

Yellowed pages are fragile

no longer supple

spine cracked

by decades of openings

of being a harbor

for well-traveled vessels

who moored there

anchored in its wisdom.

 

This book no longer in print.

Oh what a pity

for others who search

for depth,

its old pages still fresh

with meaning

to be fathomed.

 

Its author in the grave

but still alive here

with provocation and comfort.

 

I love this book

and cherish its author

who rises up each evening

at my bedside

when I open it

and drink its freshness

both quenching my thirst

and sharpening it.

 

I am an old book.

I hope I’ll never be out of print

this side of the grave.

 

Author’s note: Tribute to Louis Evely and his inspired and wonderful volume, That Man Is You.

 

Written 10-1-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waking up with you            Print this poem only

 

Intimacy is a strong word

but so weak to say who you are to me.

Sometimes it feels as if you are me

more familiar than a brother

or even my dear lover.

You inhabit me

yet you are a someone

who is not I,

a presence

observing but not just an observer

you abide in me.

 

Like no other.

Not so much other.

Oh, Christ Jesus

where are the words?

I cannot find them

they escape me

maybe because

you ARE the word.

Unspeakable

ineffable

yet so close

you are not near

but here

you abide in me.

 

You bring me to tears

when I awake in your presence.

You comfort me

you make me me

closer even than my mother

I luxuriate

in your love.

Ah! Here you are

your smile fathomless.

Here you are

caressing my soul.

We are so cozy together.

You know me

but you are you

and I am I.

 

I am not sure

I can be I anymore

without you.

 

Written 8-16-15

 
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She Has Wings            Print this poem only

She has wings

her woman life sings

of mystery and strength

for she went to any length

to work, practice, and learn

to make her mark and to earn

a place of respect and trust.

She has done what she must

to fashion, create and complete

she simply does not retreat.

 

She has wings

not satisfied with the things

that most in her home town

did to make themselves renown

she’d not embrace what was “normal”

stay in the confines of the formal

she was willing to swim upstream

and refused to give up on her dream.

 

The Air Force opened doors wide

to a place she could achieve with pride

where she earned her bosses trust.

She succeeded when tested and thrust

where plans and secrets were hidden

telling a Major even he was forbidden.

She spread her wings to cross the sea

where she made her mark in Germany

discovering again that she could fly

conquering fear, piercing the sky.

 

She became a sort of seamstress

delighted with the seamless

she took the fabric she was given

was determined and vitally driven

to take each irregular piece

smooth each stubborn crease

take threads of discord and dark

get from the dull and lifeless a spark

turn all the pieces in her control

into a rare and graceful whole.

 

In the seismic world of oil

she learned to pierce the soil

go down deeper, probe and measure

the truth - that rare and precious treasure

almost as valuable as common sense

and her integrity without pretense.

They called her Mother Superior

for her standards forbade the inferior

she persevered with her given task.

Quit before done? Don’t even ask!

 

Through many trials and tribulations

she rose above expectations.

From injuries and harm endured

she thrived, survived and matured.

She married and had a little girl

raised and nurtured her like a pearl.

A loyal and faithful friend

good to the young and old kin

through storms and tears and awful things

beyond her eighty years, still - she has wings.

Written 3-15-15

 
2020 Copyright by Glenn Currier