2020 Poems May-August
Poem List 2020 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.
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.
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
until again light reigns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Exploding Universe Print this poem only
How small I am in my eyes.
May I see me as tall as you do.
keeps me from the gestation
of the universe within me
aching to explode.
Outpouring Print this poem only
My father said
My dear son I love you very much.
surprised by his affection
in the midst of my daily tedium and afflictions.
overflowed into my heart
and spilled out with tears.
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
You are perceptive
no one ever said that out loud to me.
He just grinned and winked.