2021-banner-with strip for months below

2021 Poems: September thru December

 

A Thimble, a Cup                Print this poem only  

Usually when I open my eyes,

creeping through the blinds a sun rise

brings a thimble of gratitude to my sleepy mind

for yet another day above ground.

 

But last night

news of flooded darkened homes

faces full of desperation and despair

haunted me

delayed sleep until another morning

was about to dawn.

 

I turned the lights on

just to make sure.

 

Now I am awake

and drink

a cup of gratitude.

 

Written 9-3-21

flood victim.JPG
 

Spending            Print this poem only

 

When I spend time with you

the investment pays dividends

deposited in my soul

and like a big bowl of cereal in late morning

satisfies my hunger and thirst.

 

Your listening, whispers

sparkling eyes

arrest my heart

and take it prisoner.

 

I am yours.

Written 9-4-21

bowl of cereal.JPG
 

Thorns            Print this poem only

 

The thorns in my side

I try so hard to hide

with humor, cleverness, even kindness

but after so long they are well-planted

like seeds they’ve taken root.

 

I am a man full of grace and gratitude

even changes in attitude

I float on great waves

in my wooden dinghy

precarious atop mighty waters

and angels visit

take me into smooth azure lagoons

where I reside in peace

even serenity from time to time.

 

I weep in great sadness

occasional fits of despair

drowning there

I swim up to gulp for air

leap and glide into the light

breathe mercy in my flight

pray for courage and gumption

but discover

I cannot stay afloat alone

so with abandon I dive

into bright souls whose hands and hearts

reach down to rescue me.

Some of them are thorn people too

battered, broken, and rugged

who’ve found the courage to change

the things they could.

 

I guess these thorns are there

to make me come up for air

to give me the zephyr of humility

the certainty of a love

that save me.

 

Author’s note: This is written for those who are in the grip of one or more addictions.

 

Written 9-6-21

Thorns.JPG
 

The Builder            Print this poem only

 

It is hot

I am sweaty and already tired

a lone mason out here in the sun

my back bent over the edge of the foundation.

Behind me the stack of bricks

in my hand the trowel

snatched up from my weathered toolbox.

 

My forehead drips joining the goo of mortar

I lay the mortar bed row

and grab the first brick

to begin the southern wall,

the wall that will face the squalls

of this troubled season.

 

Author’s Note: Sometimes one must begin again the project of building sanity and good mental health.

Written 9-7-21

brick layer.JPG
 

Surprised by Astonishment            Print this poem only

 

Can I still be astonished

or have I become so inured to the darkness

and fallibility in others

that I expect nothing more?

It does not surprise me if

          the wealthy ignore the poor

          fundamentalists hate nonbelievers

          I eat too much

          men abuse women

          I forget to stroke my wife’s hair

          political fervor stifles compassion

          I reject needed correction.

 

But I am astonished by

          nurses and doctors who care for people who abuse them

          the tenderness of a mother who loves her malformed baby

          when I’m forgiven by someone I’ve hurt bad

          childbirth

          politicians who compromise for the greater good

          a firefighter who runs into a burning building

          when my apology is gracefully accepted by a victim of my folly.

 

Astonishment can

          give me hope

          lift me from depression

          bring a smile in the midst of my sadness

          prove my humanity.

 

Written 9-10-21

childbirth.JPG
 
fisherman casting.JPG

It’s like fishing…            Print this poem only

 

Contemplation is like fishing.

Often my reason fails me

and I cast out into the waters

hoping I can catch that vital energy

feel its power, its resistance, its strength

that is elusive

but I know is there

and those moments of connection

with that mysterious force

give me energy.

I am alive

so I keep castings into the ocean

knowing the elan is there,

the verve that takes me from my mind

to dance, to move, to swerve

in that moment of now.

 

Author’s Note: I bow in gratitude to Brian McLaren and Barbara A. Holmes for their wisdom that inspired this poem and kneel in awe and thanksgiving to all the fish I have caught over the years, for the excitement and nourishment – the life they gave me.

 

Written 9-11-21

 
 

Wilderness Dreams             Print this poem only

 

I awaken in darkness

still terrified and running

from the mountain lion.

 

But what if I’m the prey

of my own judging

captive of my comparisons?

At times I feel those verdicts in my gut

like when I can’t concentrate on a task

I SHOULD be doing.

 

When I notice my tight gut

and my mind wanting to flee

I can stop trying

and lying to myself

set my imagination free

roam a wilderness I choose

like right here on the flat and fertile plains

of this poem’s lines.

 

Written 9-21-21

fertile plains.JPG

Forsaking Regret            Print this poem only

 

As she lay there, her face pale, almost ashen
tears flowing,
in her gravelly voice
she said how horrible she felt
about a life so full of mistakes and selfishness
for giving her sister a hard time
being crabby and so critical to her boss
who was also her friend.

She looked into my eyes
regret dripping in every wrinkle
of her rugged face
and she began sobbing.

I cried with her
squeezed her left hand
felt the burden of my own regrets
for the ruts and rocks I had left
in the path of my past.

And I told her she was a different person now
I reminded her that the amends made to me and so many
later in her life were a testament
to a soul redeemed
and now in glory.

She smiled wistfully,
closed her eyes,
and drifted on her tears
into eternity.

 

Written 9-22-21

regret.JPG
 

Blossom            Print this poem only

 

A man wants to make his mark on the world

to leave something of himself that will endure.

It is the human thing to do.

 

For some it is children

for some a book

a dare-devil act

or other feat

that will interrupt the routines

of a father, mother, farmer, pipefitter, or pastor

make them pause and notice

for a moment

or even learn a thing or two.

 

But I wonder if these small interruptions

in the lives of other mortals

are worth

the sweat, angst, hours, gut wrenching

and immense energy of a life.

 

The sage’s magenta petals fall in the heat of the afternoon

and no man, woman or child notices

but bees lit there and sucked a little life

from the blossoms’ hearts.

 

Maybe I should be content to bloom

for a few days in summer

then fall away

to the earth

the love

from whence I came.

 

Author’s Note: A friend of mine just published a book of his poems: Apothecary, by James Kenneth Blaylock. I opened it this morning as I lay in bed trying to wake up. It is a nice little volume of his poems written over many years. It felt good holding it in my hands and remembering James and our little poetry group in our town, remembering him in his wheelchair struggling with his strong arms to propel himself into our lives - which he did. Now he has kids and three books. His gentle voice has been heard. His sad smile has been seen. He has made his mark. Reading his poems, James caused me to reflect for a moment on my own life.

Written 9-27-21

Sage in bloom.JPG
Apothecary.JPG
 
gardenRoom8-11-21.JPG

In This Now            Print this poem only

 

It is good to be in this place

in this time

the plants awakening to the light

the soft music

easing into my soul

the candle flickering

the air and me

cool and still

in this now.

 

Written 10-2-21

 
 

Final Judge            Print this poem only

 

Talent shows have judges

who measure the gifts of the contestants

and proclaim who is the best

based on their performance.

 

We all have gifts given to us

by parents, friends, loved ones, and other teachers,

each of us also being a teacher or gift-giver of sorts

for others and ourselves.

 

When I judge myself

may I be merciful, wise, and accurate

taking into account

how I became me.

 

So, now and in the end

may I be the true me

and not a me conjured in my imagination

or a me who became me

by comparing myself to other mes

for in the final analysis

it is all a gift.

Written 10-2-21

talent show judges.JPG
 

It's too late…           Print this poem only

 

It’s just too late

foes on the verge of a trounce

fate is surely defeat.

Is there one more ounce

of hope, of effort

one more cup of fire

to eek out a victory?

 

It’s too late

to turn back now

you’re too far gone

your past hangs on your ankles

like rusty chains

the ruts in your road too deep

to swerve

to curve

off and out onto smooth.

 

Besides, you’re too old,

too set in your ways

to change now.

It’s too late baby

It’s too late.

When you were two

it happened to you

the stage was set

too bad my boy.

 

But I take a deep breath

look up

and smile at the voices describing my supposed fate

determined…

but I say to those voices:

be silent

because now is my moment

to step into brilliance.

 

Author’s Note: It is too easy to tell myself there is no chance for a future at my age and to give up. I don’t know what it is but I’m just not ready… to give up on the possibilities.

 

Written 10-3-21

its not too late.JPG

Hidden Canyon            Print this poem only

 

Vines and their tributaries

climb the wall overtake

and name of our neighborhood:

hidden canyon.

 

Four decades ago

we explored the woods

and found the rocky canyon

etched into the landscape by Ten Mile Creek.

Our limbs were limber

muscles young and strong

adventure coursed in our veins.

 

But now no woods

just houses and streets

our jaunts into the wild

with woodsy small creatures and critters

are gone.

 

The mystery we found there

now supplanted by novels, poems and stories

of children, young explorers and writers

and I traverse the thicket

of my small universe

searching the hidden canyons of

mystics, dreamers and poets,

combing a terrain deeply inscribed

by the hand of the divine.

 

Written 10-4-21

TenMileCreek.JPG
bayou teche - water rlilis.JPG
 

A Crossing            Print this poem only

 

As she crossed the bayou

the dark lily-padded strip of water

seemed a gateway to a wider world.

The train departed

leaving her family and church behind

anxious but excited as the locomotive

slowly picked up steam headed for a world

she had only seen in pictures.

 

I am on the road

a refugee

an immigrant

with infinite possibilities ahead

wrapped in a small universe I accept

but with freedom

to search

always moving toward

a home with no limits.

 

Author’s note: Inspired by Melanie Durand’s memoire, ”Crossing Bayou Teche.” Poem three of my Teche series.

 

Written 8-22-21

It’s so easy to leave you            Print this poem only

 

It is so easy to leave you

to get lost

in the garbage

fix the sink

watch the cowboys and chiefs

cut the grass, rake the leaves

shop for milk and eggs

exercise my arms and legs

take out the trash

pick up the mail

and a thousand other details.

 

It’s so easy to leave you

to get lost in the garbage

and before I’m through

we’ve drifted apart

and all I had to do

was sit down and start

to look into your eyes

speak from my heart

listen to you

and hang on your words.

 

Together take a walk

forget the clock

listen and talk

laugh a bit

maybe even cry

just you and I.

 

And before long

there we are again

we made it

that’s all we had to do

just be

me and you.

 

Written 10-5-21

couple walking.JPG
 

Getting to know you            Print this poem only

 

Isn’t it strange

how in this brief exchange

of the creative impulse

we gain

a certain kind of intimacy

with each other

yet we never

smell each other

shake hands

breathe the same air

put up with personal idiosyncrasies

and off-putting voice inflections –

all the things our friends and loved ones have to.

 

Yet here we occupy hearts and minds

many of our friends and loves do not know

with such closeness, interiority, and connectedness.

 

What a strange and magnificent gift!

 

Author's Note: This poem refers to a poetry community of which I am a part, HelloPoetry.com. 

Written 10-9-21

helloPoetry.JPG
 
plants inside.JPG

Facing Light            Print this poem only

 

I love to hang out here with you

in this room

where your green bodies

stand up

point to the sky

face the light.

In your soil

my life is renewed

my spirit takes root each day

in your silence

being here a prayer without words.

 

May I re-learn each morning

to move from my darkness

and face the light with you.

 

Author’s Note: Each morning I come into what we call our garden room where a multiplicity of plants face outward toward a wall of windows. In this solitude I join my fellow poets on a website in our fertile creating, where we take time to lift our eyes from our sorrows and let our hearts take flight. It is good to be here together [on HelloPoetry.com], each of us sitting down and standing up in our vibrant garden rooms.

 

Written 10-9-21

 
gray day.JPG

Gray Day            Print this poem only

 

I was hoping for sun

to brighten my mood

and wake me up this day.

 

But shades of gray

hang heavy on the horizon

ground wet from last night’s rain.

 

That’s life.

 

I remember my days of black and white

easy answers cut and dry, clear and bright

lines dark and sure

with me of refined mind

up on ground moral and high.

 

But I have become fond of gray

where friends with their faults

and me with mine stay

in love anyway.

 

Give me lowly, mushy earth

where seeds break open

with verdant birth.

 

Yes, please give me a day

with shades of gray.

 

Written 10-13-21

 

Brother Bees            Print this poem only

 

In these first days of fall

the trees prepare for their journey into winter

summer’s green

yellowing.

 

Honeybees buzz the sage

enter its majestic green body

through the sweet portal

of its magenta blossoms

for one last deep drink

of nectar.

 

My winter approaches

may I imitate my brother bees

maximize what sweetness

there is in my small world

and spark a little life  

where I can.

 

Written 10-21-21

honeybee on flower.JPG
 

Learning to Drive             Print this poem only

 

She was never that close to her mama
who wished her kids independent
but there was the day mama taught her to drive
out in the field where the only thing to hit
was the single large oak in the middle of the pasture.

The old stick shift was a challenge
requiring all the coordination of legs and arms
the teenager could muster.
Then mama left her alone there to practice
and she was glad being by herself,
the intimacy of learning to drive with mama made her uneasy.

Being sixteen and able to drive
a turning point for her
able now to get away from home
to find boys with her friend gave them a thrill -
adulthood’s first stirrings.

They searched for dance halls
where Cajun musicians played
fiddles, accordions and washboards
and she danced the two-step
and boys showed off their moves.

Her mama gave her a rite of passage
with those driving lessons
cut her loose into a wider world
where she would go to India
have her first baby
and practice loving her children
into their own adulthood.

 

Author’s Note: Another poem in my Teche Series exploring the writings of my cousin Melanie Durand Grossman, a fellow Louisiana native. Her memoir, Crossing Bayou Teche, reconnects me with the roots of my family and grand oaks with hanging moss, marshes, levees, waters and music teeming with new life.

Written 10-16-21

learningToDrive.JPG
 

Young Discovery            Print this poem only

 

I followed her into the field across the street,

our parents inside gossiping,

she sat down in the high dry hay

that was the very first day

of a special innocent discovery

“You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

 

I can still remember the aroma of that hay.

When I was tramping through a field

thirty years later

I felt strangely excited and alive

I knew not why.

And today I recalled that day

I followed her across the street

to sit in the hay.

 

Written 10-21-21

field of weeds.JPG
 

A Different Kind of Kingdom         Print this poem only

 

It is an error

to think that I am my work

my paycheck is my worth

bosses are the ones

who define who I am

based on what I’ve done

or the profit I’ve won.

 

I may not be a prince

or a splendid knight

with shield and sword shining bright

in the moneyed corporate kingdom.

 

But I can use my eyes to see

tell the pulsing heart of tree

convey the glittery waters of the sea

listen, laugh, and cry with you

hold you when your life seems through

emerge from a hideous mucky dark

still sparkling with a dazzling beguiling

human spark. 

 

Author’s Note: It seems men and women often devalue themselves and their worth because they are retired and are no longer called or sought after, or maybe someone has lost a job, or has a job that pays poorly or devalues them as human beings of worth, or have to take lower-paying jobs when their good jobs have gone overseas or have been replaced by robots. I think we have to start finding our worth in other places and ways that lift and ennoble our spirits.

  

Written 10-23-21

comfortingAnother.JPG
 

cloud before waking            Print this poem only

 

the cloud was gathering

and i could tell that it was filling up

getting saturated

with enough grace

to rain on and erode

self-will and hubris

the dark, jagged, and silly monolith

which is ego and pride

so wide in our species.

 

as the cloud completely filled and spread across the expanse

a feeling of serenity and strength

spread out within me.

 

after awakening

it occurred to me

that the membrane between imagination and soul

is so thin they burst out on one another

on occasion

and when they do

something marvelous happens.

i think it happens more often

in artists, mystics, seekers, believers,

poets and children.

 

written 10-30-21

cloudBeforeWaking.JPG
 
 

Your Blood on My Head            Print this poem only

 

I kneel at the foot of your cross

me in my sin, fault and weakness,

I who was wandering and lost

in the world’s anger and bleakness.

 

Allow me my sweet, loving Lord,

to suffer like you did - and still do.

I do not ask from pain to be barred

for it is my honor to suffer with you.

 

But grant me the power we saw

as you hung there in sorrow and pain -

the power of love - a new kind of law -

that counts loss as gain.

 

Give us strength of body and soul

to stand under you in your stead

fill the gaps in ourselves and make us whole

so your light and loving power may be spread.

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Note: This poem is based on a kind of vision I had. Jesus was human and even though Christ is God the man Jesus suffered greatly and bled from his wounds. The painting to the right is my favorite depiction of the crucifixion even though it does not show the blood in my vision & in reality.

Written 5-11-21

Christ-stJohnOfTheCross.JPG

Salvadore Dali painting:

Christ of St. John of the Cross 

narrowRoad.JPG

The Narrow Road            Print this poem only

 

I was reluctant to take this road

afraid it would be one way,

scared it would lead to a dead end,

or worse,

a prison from which there was no exit.

 

But I had come to an end

of the road I was on

and made the decision

to turn onto this tree-lined route.

It was true there were fewer

exits, outlets, and divergences -

good for me who easily got lost

on disjointed paths, and floated in crazy canals.

But off of this new narrow road

were trails I could take -

if I but slowed down -

paths through lush woodlands,

clearings where I could look up

and see the sky and clouds

and breathe fresh air,

a lake of sparkling clear waters

where I could swim and dive as deep as I wanted.

 

This narrow road was just what I needed

and it has led to great mysteries,

rich stories full of people like me

who sometimes dip into darkness.

This narrow road led to mountains, valleys and flatlands,

difficult challenges

and flights into heights.

 

I found fellow travelers, sidekicks, and guides

who had taken this road too

and had found the treasures

flowers and miracles along the way.

 

Still I travel this narrow road

rich with guides, saints

and sinners like me

who have tripped and fell

and gotten up

with a Spirit who gave us stength

to stand and walk

and find the Way

to a Kingdom here and beyond.

 

Written 11-28-21

 
coffee in cup.JPG

Coffee in the Morning            Print this poem only

 

It is cold outside

as winter overtakes fall

the room has a chill

but then sipping my coffee

the rich brown liquid takes hold of me

and the fields of a foreign land

gather in my mouth

I hear the shouts and laughter

of the workers harvesting the beans

I poke my finger into the soil

and Earth fills me with gratitude

for its fruits

and its glorious life.

 

Ah! Nothing like hot coffee in the morning.

I sigh. I smile. Life is good here now.

Written 11-14-2

 

The State of Inertia            Print this poem only

 

“Inertia:   (physics) the tendency of a body to maintain in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force, a disposition to remain inactive or inert”

 

I seem to have a mindless patriotism to this state

as if I must salute its flag

and devote myself to it,

volunteer for service.

 

Dare I rebel against the state?

Dare I become a traitor?

What if I join the rebel forces of action

join the anarchy of activity?

 

It is all to easy to stay put

where it is warm and comfortable,

to lay back and just watch.

Oh how I love to watch!

I seem to like being a voyeur.

 

I don’t believe that.

I still believe there is a spark in me

urging me onward

spurring me to leap into the stream

to grow and learn and become,

to either eat the pie

or step out of its sticky sugary mass.

 

I choose to rebel

against the state of inertia.

 

Written 11-16-21

resting - older man.JPG
 

Leap with Me            Print this poem only

 

Maybe if I take the leap of faith

that you will jump into the stream with me

I will enjoy the swim.

 

Written 11-16-21

swimming in a stream.JPG
 

In Clouds of Gray            Print this poem only

 

Here I am in clouds of gray

the curtain closing on the day

on the horizon the last light

softly lingers before the night

bright voices of day’s gladness

fade away, my heart veiled in sadness.

 

The blustery afternoon shook the wings

of elm, its leaves, flying golden things

I hear them sing as they fall

then whisper their farewell call

now in the gloaming of the day

the clouds invite rest or a moment to pray.

 

Ask surcease of sorrow ahead

but dwell not on shores of dread

believe the voice from inside

in each passing moment abide

let go the chains of control

find a piece of joy in your soul.

 

Author’s Note: Ahead in coming months are serious invasive treatments for back, shoulder and other issues for someone I love very much. This poem is my attempt to process it all.

 

Written 11-17-21

clouds of gray with sunlight.JPG
 

Dreaming of Daddy            Print this poem only

 

I am no Freud or native shaman,

experts in dream interpretation,

but the other night I had a dream

of my dear departed daddy.

We were lying on the bed together

and he told me how I had hurt him.

He almost whimpered his disappointment.

This man who was a paragon of strength in my life!

How precious it was to feel his warmth, vulnerability

and humanity in this close encounter.

Even now my eyes grow misty

as I remember the way he was in that dream.

 

I wonder if in my dreaming

I hugged the Father of the Universe

and felt the frailty of nature

the sadness of it for what we have done to it.

 

Maybe we need to feel this intimate connection,

this union of our humanness with a powerful love

to grasp the enormity of our responsibility

in this relationship.

 

Written 11-18-21

Dad and genie.JPG

Dad and my  sister Genie

 

Three Threads            Print this poem only

 

Two souls wrapped together

in seasons and all kinds of weather

here we are these precious three

you me and one we can’t see.

 

Making our path, finding our road,

through our hearts a river flowed

a torrent of love and wild romance.

We tripped, but we danced our dance.

 

Your big brown eyes held my gaze

we talked and tried in a thousand ways

to merge as we fought and sought a third one

we drifted and flew from planet to comet to sun.

 

Where we were going we did not know

we ran fast at first but now… we walk slow

our speed or height mattered less to us

than building together a bond of trust.

 

So we’ve yet another adventure ahead.

All those years ago when we wed

we didn’t know the privilege we’d share

from solid earth to now in mid air.

 

We’ve smelled frangipani and cactus flower

sung sadness and joy and hymns of power.

From three threads together we’ve spun

a beautiful, sturdy cord of one.

 

Author’s Note: To my beautiful wife, our marriage and journey of love with our higher power, as we embark of another adventure through challenges of health and spirit.

 

Written 11-21-21

rope three threads.JPG
 
leopoldMozart.JPG

Poor Leopold            Print this poem only

 

Listening to Leopold’s symphony

for two minutes,

I was bored.

My mind wondered.

I recalled the dramatic first chords

of Wolfgang’s symphony 41

how it awakened me

how I was hooked by his energy and zest.

 

Even though Leopold taught his son,

the fame of the impulsive and creative Amadeus spread

as he wrote and played

and captured the attention of the world.

 

I wonder what poor Leopold thought of his own work

in contrast to his prolific son

a son who seemingly created great music

from nothing

who freed himself from tired conventions.

 

A creator makes something from nothing

and I wonder if being lost in nothingness

as we poets sometimes are,

if letting go of the familiar

makes it easier to create.

 

Written 12-2-21

 

Drops from Heaven            Print this poem only

 

                “Look for the soul,

                  you become soul;

                  Hunt for the bread,

                  you become bread

                  Whatever you look for,

                  you are.”   – Rumi

 

A glorious magenta thistle blossom

a humpback whale breaching

a haiku by my friend John

a kitten swatting at a bouncing string

a silent moment just sitting peacefully

Debussy’s La Mer

a giggling baby

a golden leaf falling from oak.

 

Author’s Note: This morning I had a moment meditating that brought tears to my eyes. It felt like drops from heaven. As I wrote the above piece, I thought of Rumi and looked over on my bookshelf spying a decorative box: “The Card and Rumi Book Pack.” I took it down and opened it. Inside the book cover was a well written affirming inscription from the one who had gifted me this beautiful volume in 2001 upon my reception of an “excellence in teaching” award. It was from Valerie, a former student who is Native American. She ended her remarks with “Aho!” a Kiowa word that means thank you. I opened the book and turned to a tabbed page and read this quote from Rumi: “ At every moment, Love’s voice talks to us from left and from right, all we have to do is to know how to listen.”

giggling baby.JPG
 

Predawn Peace            Print this poem only

 

It is predawn and still dark outside

but I cannot sleep.

The cool of aching winter calls

but the oaks, still green,

soon their leaves will fall

like me who so easily slips away

from the grasp

of the universe

that always beckons me to join

the elements of its peace.

 

But too often

I choose the storms

the collisions

and scattering properties.

 

How sweet it is to close the distance

between us

to find each other

and dwell together

in moments of love, respect,

mutual admiration,

and laughter

that seem so rare

out there,

to abide in sweet and precious harmony

for a while.

 

Author’s Note: The last three days I traveled south to visit with three of my relatives whom I have not seen and hugged for far too long. We shared meals, a few card games, a little music, and a movie. These have been times to cherish and remember in the long months we will again find ourselves apart, at a distance, all trying to avoid the loneliness that haunts humanity these days.

people laughing together.JPG
 
 

Dead Leaves            Print this poem only

 

Dead leaves fly low

caress the surface of the back alley

autumn has hold of this earth

made it brown and gold

boldly proclaiming an end

of the things

once new now old,

things I have grasped - so dear, so tight -

things that no longer sing

now a mere whisper.

 

Transience embraces me

in this season of drifting.

 

Trees now stark

a million fingers

point me beyond

this precious space and time.

 

Written 12-15-21

dead leaves.JPG
 

I hear your whisper, I know your name         

 

Dear Lord it was not too long ago

when I ran about here and there

looking for what, I did not know

toward a place I knew not where.

 

You, a faceless formless force

some THING, an energy somehow,

a blurred unknowable source

not a person in the here and now.

 

I judged a man not knowing much

of what he loved and how he came

to be who he was or what he’d touched.

He was easy to judge and blame.

 

They said if I wanted to feel YOUR hand,

to see your greatness turned to me,

first I had to think of a good friend

who I knew well, who I really did see.

 

I thought of my buddy named Joe

his tears his laugh his sad and lonely past

how he loved in both his highs and lows,

the knowledge and history he’d amassed.

 

Knowing my sweet wife and our private names

I thought of how YOU know every little thing

about me how I grew and how I became.

I thought of how you and I talk and sing.

 

I recalled how I found you and got a new birth

how you and I speak in a most personal way

You are a person now, not a mere force of earth

I call you Papa in the morning and at midday.

 

I see you in grand canyons, in the starry night

hear you in music in the giggle of a child

I cannot get away from you or lose your light

you’re all around me in the cities, in the wild.

 

You are a person who whispers and talks

I know your names and you know mine

you are with me when I crawl and when I walk

we have a love and friendship rare, and fine.

 

Written 12-20-21

 

Passion            Print this poem only

 

Rumi urged jumping into the boiling sea of passion

and grief would run from you.

I have been in that sea.

Swimming in those waters

caught up in the currents

keeping my head above water

there was no time for grief.

 

Now, still, there is passion

but more like a vat of rich soup

about to a boil.

 

The tentacles of loss

reach out to wrap themselves

about my wrists and ankles.

Age, a slow moving barge,

moves up on me

but my arms and legs splash,

and determined,

I inhale a rich tide of inspiration

from courageous friends.

I breathe love

in poems, whispers and music

and battle the sinking.

 

Written 12-22-21

barge-purple.jpg
 

One Day of Light            

 

What a day to see light and its colors

catch the human heart

in its glorious song of love.

For just one day may I see and say

joy and peace and signs of creation

signs of life on the dark landscape.

 

New beginnings that thumb their noses

at our old and aching bones

and every muscle memory of failure

every nodule of shame trying to grow inside.

 

For just one day let me glow inside

reaching with care everywhere

I dare to believe

there’s someone who deserves it -

or not – I give it anyway.

Stoop to look into sad, bleak eyes

that they might see the light

the passion and kindness

that stirs inside.

 

Let’s have one day of light.

 

Written 12-25-21

reaching-posterized.jpg

These are the words of a fool            Print this poem only

 

Thinking of my closest relationships

makes me marvel at what a fool I am.

A map of the streams of my loves

would show small settlements

tiny villages where I’ve rested

from my frantic search for meaning -

spaces made by nights of talking and sharing -

spaces of kisses, cries,

shouts and whispers that kept together

the threads we coiled into a chord

of memories.

 

Memories of foolish leaps we both made

into a friendship, a kinship, a marriage

a co-creation.

 

What faith abides in me that causes

me to abandon logic for love?

It is a mystery to me

how I can stay in this embrace

despite our divergencies?

 

But it is a splendid mystery

I celebrate.

 

Author’s Note: I bow to my new friend ruqayyah I met on HelloPoetry.com. His poem, “keep your friends close” caused me to write this poem. It is about the trust necessary for close relationships of all kinds. I think of my relationship with my relatives, my friends, my church, my wife. All of these are based on some degree of trust.

 

Written 12-28-21

intimate conversation.JPG