2020 Poems      May-August

 

Threshold            Print this poem only

 

Here I wait resting on the door jamb

standing betwixt and between

shall I stay here or drop my hand,

move beyond what I’ve known and seen?

What will be out there to my left and right

where will the next step take me from here?

They said danger is there out of my sight -

threats, jinxes, and disease if that step I dare.

 

But if I move back into the shady cool

I’ll be safe in this cozy inner space.

Being in between without old rules

not knowing the beyond I’ll face

is scary but this is a journey of revelation

even if sacrifice and loss is in this race

I trust I will eventually find peace and inspiration.

Author's Note: It seems these days we are in what is sometimes called liminal space, it is a place in between what we have known and what reality will be in the future.  It is a threshold which is uncomfortable and scary but also full of opportunity and possibilities of new discoveries, growth, and self-awareness.

 

Written 5-3-20
 

 
goodFortuneGoldClouds.JPG

Bragging            Print this poem only

 

Don’t brag about your good fortune in bad weather

unless you’re ready to hear how theirs is better

 

Written 5-6-20

 

Small Grace            Print this poem only

 

After a moment of small grace

I realized in its presence there is nothing small. 

 

Written 5-6-20

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You sway and sing            Print this poem only

 

You are in the waving limbs

of the pear tree in spring

the inquiring yellow eyes of my cat

the majesty and vastness of the roaring sea

the lively brown eyes of my lover

the soft sobs of saying goodbye

to his precious wife after illness

the soft hop of the toad

the light of the fireflies

the moments of their darkness

the birds who dip and drink

from small puddles of collected rain

the male cardinal feeding his mate

you laugh in the giggle of a toddler

and abide there in his tears

you are the unrestrained laughter of a wife

at her husband’s clumsy goof

the closing off from those we love

and the unfolding of life in isolation

you are my higher power

beyond even the strongest moments

of my fighting ego

as a swift wind

swaying and singing with the sage

and dancing with the sunflower stalk in spring

you show me how to wait

how to breathe in the peace of dawn

how to be.

Written 5-8-20

 

Light Rain            Print this poem only

 

Light rain falls into my day

darkened skies hang low

inside dry suffused dismay

and a small nagging unease

reminds me a clear sunny day

is a gift in the murky malaise

to make this persistent haunt

bearable

until again light reigns.

Written 5-16-20

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Holding On to Hell            Print this poem only

 

I have slowly loosened the grip

of one hand on hell

for a slow and gradual gain

but its persistent flame

still licks at my soul

has made me old

and beat in its heat.

 

I will not win this fight

with the dark and hoary blight

til I loosen both hands

to be wholly free

for the warm and deep embrace

of heaven’s healing grace.

Written 5-14-20

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Looking for doors            Print this poem only

 

At every turn I have looked

listened, felt around for a door

a door here and a door there

one that would open

let in the air

let me aboard

not afraid nor bored

or in doubt

always leaning toward

life, whatever would restore

the child’s enthusiasm

the young man’s excitement for the next adventure.

 

So many doors:

music, art, trees, flowers,

incense, a lover’s lips,

poetry, stories, a lunar eclipse,

lizards, drums, psalms,

the smell of her hair, the feel of her arms.

 

Still I search for a door open to the light

to heaven and depth and height.

 

Written 5-18-20

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Sunflower            Print this poem only

 

Look at the sunflower

one day standing tall

proclaiming its might

while during the night

darkness enters its stalk

and at dawn, drooping and sad,

it has no light or cheer to add.                                                                                                                            

 

Van Gogh felt its moods

change with the path of its star

knew it had much more

to reveal to passers by

and with his artist eye

he stopped to soak in its being and dwell,

painting no fewer canvases than twelve.

 

I wish zealots of a quest would pause -

like Van Gogh - to consider their cause

from a different angle under the sun,

dwell there unafraid to be outdone,

and for a while refuse to be pulled apart

but gently enter the Other’s heart.

Written 5-27-20

 

Owner of the State            Print this poem only

 

It comes in, sparkling and exciting,

with the promise of fun and zest

like a mist dappled with thrills

 

but it is a false promise

like the allurements of commercials

with smiling faces and a myriad of glitz

 

it ends in a state of shame

controlled by lords of the dark

and the owners of hell.

 

I brim over with gratitude for love

and the forces of beauty and mercy

that break the trance -

the spell always ending

with the unlit inglorious state of shame.

 

Written 6-5-20

 

Fully Human            Print this poem only

 

Without all my lovers

I would never enter the realm

of the fully human.

 

Written 6-5-20

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On Edge            Print this poem only

 

I seem to be at home on the margins

where I can be alone

with my folly

sweltering in my private bowl of stew

simmering in the sins

surrounding and piercing me

but you found me there

invited me into your heart

where you loved me

redeemed me

sewed my seams

pulled together my crazy quilt

made separate parts into a whole.

 

Author’s Note: I wonder if these times offer opportunities for us to become quilt makers each in our own ways.

 

Written 6-6-20

 

The Baton Rouge Oak, by George Rodrigue

A Keen Aching            Print this poem only

 

I wrote a poem for him when he was still here

he was a Cajun artist without peer

for her a paean to a life well lived but now gone

her gentle self slipped into an eternal dawn.

 

All too few left who care

to read or hear

my poems of yesteryear

not even a single tear

from anyone but me

for these souls who graced my life

and led me to pause, think, feel, and write.  

 

What sweet sharp sorrow

drifting now in this dark and lonesome lake.

 

Author’s Note: Reflecting on poems written many years ago and wishing these special people were sitting in this room so I could see the expressions of their faces while I read their poems. Losing friends and kin brings a keen kind of aching. For my cousin Marcia Lister and painter George Rodrigue.

Written 6-26-20

 
 

Exploding Universe           Print this poem only

How small I am in my eyes.

May I see me as tall as you do.

My underestimation

keeps me from the gestation

of the universe within me

aching to explode.

Written 6-23-20

Exploding-Universe.JPG
 

Jot            Print this poem only

 

I’m drowning in this night.

Please give me a jot of joy

turn on the light

to spurn this blight

I’ve gone overboard

send me a buoy.

Written 6-20-20

Into the Pool            Print this poem only

 

Living with your depression

in that sphere of despair

is like gasping for air

becoming the dark pool’s possession.

 

Written 6-20-20

 

Outpouring            Print this poem only

 

My father said

My dear son I love you very much.

 

I wept,

surprised by his affection

in the midst of my daily tedium and afflictions.

This outpouring

overflowed into my heart

and spilled out with tears.

Written 6-16-20

 

Walking Lightly            Print this poem only

 

You walk lightly,

said the old wizened man,

As if the floor were too thin

and you, afraid to use all your weight.

 

I looked at him with a surprised grin

and said

You are perceptive

no one ever said that out loud to me.

 

He just grinned and winked.

Written 6-15-20

 
2020 Copyright by Glenn Currier