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2022

Poems

January - April

 

The cards know            Print this poem only

The cards of the 30 year old deck

festooned with Monet´ prints

swoosh so easily pliant in our hands

we unthinking about what the cards must know.

 

The dealer endures rebuke for bad hands

and pleads randomness and no malice

but still has the cheek to brag of her own good lot.

The cards bear unholy smudges of anger

and oh the tales fingerprints could tell:

loss of cool, onslaught of quiet ire

if not murderous fancies

all shielded by superb acting

and control

of facial muscles

and the pace of breathing.

 

This drama plays out

unspoken but with latently lurking

hurts, slights, envy

and long smoldering resentments.

 

Even patriarchy rears its ugly self-righteous head

and cords of tolerance of the old man are strained

and taut to the breaking point,

Pete now realizing why Kit no longer plays when Dad’s at table.

 

But then there is the rare event

like when it’s revealed that Liz had the better hand

but folded because she knew Burt needed a win tonight.

 

Author’s Note: This poem was inspired by a poem, “Playing cards,” by lua on the website, HelloPoetry.com. Please see that poem: https://hellopoetry.com/poem/4511018/playing-cards/  

 

Written 1-3-22

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The First Day of a Year            Print this poem only

 

Our family room has a vaulted ceiling.

Facing each other in that place,

our eyes meet and in this gaze

across the room

we take flight

through hot afternoons

into cold dark nights.

 

What we reveal in this air

is the stuff of dreams and things

of joy, pain and sorrow washed in tears,

and when the clouds have cleared

there we are in a sacred space

in the wind and tide

where a mystic spirit

arrives and abides

for quiet moments,

and on this holy canvas we spread

the blush of eternity.

 

We bring memories of our dances

and missteps where we fell

into each other’s arms and laughed

at the folly of two fools

who leapt across their rifts and fears

across dry days and long years,

sank into the hearts

of each other

and flew to vaulted horizons

where together we reached

to touch the face of God.

 

Written 1-1-22

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Love Lifts            Print this poem only

 

Your love for me despite the nicks and flaws

lifts me from the pits and the claws of darkness

heaves me over hurtles to the fledgling light.

 

Written 1-17-22

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Exuberance Lulled            Print this poem only

 

I wish my imagination glistened

as it used to

 

I long for the rush of enthusiasm

with dreamy violins and brassy horns

of Tchaikovsky and Mahler

 

Where has the music gone

the tingly feeling in my chest

the excitement

now replaced by numbness

and in the midst of silence

shrill electric strains between my ears?

 

Written 1-21-22

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I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Wanderer            Print this poem only

 

So many great stories of people leaving family

to find a place home enough

where they could find themselves

become more,

someone extraordinary.

 

Most of my life has been such a quest.

Like butterflies I emerged from cocoons

after staying a while in a place to grow

into something or someone

I could live with.

 

I was lucky to find people along the way

strong enough to hear my voice,

people I could trust to stay when I was honest.

Those brave ones became homes for me.

Written 1-22-22

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Slow Dive            Print this poem only

 

I need to plug into your symphony

listen for the strains of your heart

pull myself apart from my tense doing

slow down, dive deeper, below the surface,

then ride the ripples to the distant shore

of your gentle, loving soul.

 

Written 1-26-22

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Winter Trees            Print this poem only

 

Standing alone you spring to life,

then the warmth explodes you

covering every inch of your arms and bodice

adorned in your full flowering dress.

 

But as I swiftly breeze by you on my way

and only take a glance

at you among the others of your nature

you blend in your emerald maturity.

 

It is not until winter

when you reveal yourself,

naked for us to bask

in all the tributaries of your inner world

and I discover your complex truth,

the heart of your loneliness and abandon,

where you have surrendered

your stunning appearance

and reach up and out beyond your earthly roots

for a life beyond seasons.

 

Author’s Note: Winter trees have always fascinated me. Their dark naked beauty at twilight captures me and casts me into a peace like none other. I disclose myself to others to some degree but never have I surrendered all my externality as do winter trees. This kind of abandon might only be possible in a deep and abiding relationship. Or will it be possible only at death? I don’t know. But I  think we have much to learn from these marvelous creatures?

 

Written 2-16-22

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Jesus visits Abraham            Print this poem only

 

Hello dear blessed Abraham.

My father, from his bright land

thought I should visit you.

I saw your herds and as I came through

your fields your people in glowing words

spoke of your kindness and strong belief

of all your goodbyes and your grief.

 

May I kiss your hand dear Abraham?

Will you tell me your dreams for your nation

how you wish to use God’s creation

to worship, respect, and love your Lord

how you wish to choose peace, not the sword

to make your dreams come true

how your prayers glisten in the morning dew?

 

Abraham, you will be revered far and wide

your progeny will birth a holy tide.

I myself will come from your line

many branches from my vine

will make a spiritual kingdom like no other

where enemies will embrace as brothers.

 

From your house will come a great church

sinners will come there in their search

for truth, love, and light

our people both coal and silver

will make our Father’s heart shine bright.

 

Written 2-27-22

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Deliver me...            Print this poem only

 

Across the burnt field

I carry my load

I pierce the smoky expanse

my energy flags

I yearn for rest

but the burden gets heavier

I am alone

and slog for both of us.

 

I converse with my mind:

“Please, a small spell

to float this flood

to higher ground.

Find an ounce of push,

then I can unravel.”

 

A midnight exhaustion overtakes me

I lay depleted

at wits end

I pray

a surrender

concede

abandon

my self

gaunt, frail, devoid.

 

Before sleep an appeal

to a power greater than me

deliver me from these ashes.

 

Author’s Note: After a complex surgery my wife is in a painful period of recovery. Together with the help of friends who bring food and love, and with divine assistance, we will make it. BTW, the prayer worked. I woke up the next day refreshed and ready for what would come.

  

Written 2-26-22

 
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A Small Sanctuary
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This room a sanctuary where we meet

if I but pause a while and stay,

put away pretense and conceit,

open my mind, let plans fly away

 

if I speak from the heart

plainly share what troubles me

tell what’s pulling me apart

ask you where you want me to be

 

soon your breath joins with mine

your whispers are a gentle force

you speak the trace of your design,

a thin golden strand to the Source.

 

These moments in this sacred place

these conversations suffuse my soul

with spirit, light and grace.

Father, thank you for making me whole.

Author's Note: This poem is dedicated to my good friend and medicine woman, Joanna Jacobus who guided me on a significant part of my spiritual journey. Thank you Joanna.

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Written 1-12-22

 

Focuslessness            Print this poem only

 

Sometimes I let my attention deficit

divide me

from us.

 

Written 3-3-22

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Favoritism            Print this poem only

 

Have you ever been the less favorite?

It doesn’t feel good.

It can urge you to jealousy and anger

which can lead you to hurt the favorite

or at least to want to.

 

But then consider why the other is favored:

more loving and caring

more attentive

less self-centered?

 

Or is it the favored one is just better-looking

or genetically given?

 

Whatever the case,

jealousy and hurt

can send me down a crooked path

and make me miserable.

 

Better to just live in love.

 

Written 3-9-22

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Harmonies            Print this poem only

 

The wind spirits

shudder in throaty gusts,

the sage quakes and waves

wind chimes sound a sonorous dance.

 

And inside the red glass flame is steady

the piano throbs the new age

and peace abides

calm in this space.

 

Thank God for this moment

but I yearn to once again hear

the breath of Ukraine

in their choir

and its eastern harmonies.

 

Written 3-14-22

 

First Light            Print this poem only

 

I am present when the field beyond the windows

is still shrouded in darkness

my dream awakened me early in fear and panic

but here with candle flickering in the red glass

this tranquil space breathes into me

unties the tension.

 

A soft reverie has me back at the lake

casting my line out just as the sky whispers

hello to the guy full of hope for that first tug.

That rocky peninsula becomes a sacred space

as first light awakens the birds

and the air is full of mystery.

Author’s Note: There is something heavenly in the experience of seeing the first light of day. Inevitably there is a dawning within me as I write in my journal and the lines twist around into a poem. As I was writing this piece I remembered my many camping trips in the spring of the year to Lake Whitney State Park south of Dallas and my home. I would rise at 4:30 or 5:00 and stumble around dressing and gathering my fishing equipment for the short drive to the peninsula where I fished for sand bass and the treasured striped bass. When the lake was calm it was so peaceful. I am filled with gratitude for those moments, now only memories, but sweet ones.

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Wrapped            Print this poem only

 

Being wrapped in your love

feels so good on a wintry day

makes me grateful even for the gray,

for this life I get to live with you

and the spring that soon will break through

the browns and the downs.

Written 3-15-22

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Words, Angels or Devils?            Print this poem only

 

Words are both angels and devils

they set my mind on the divine

capture the beauty of Earth

from the budding pear tree across the way

then back here to this room where

words become my servants and masters.

 

Spring teems green.

Bluebonnets blanket Texas hills

yet I cannot find words for

their delicacy and glory,

nor how these tiny miracles make me feel.

How do I capture the incredible life

coursing through stems, leaves and blooms?

 

Yet without words no sacred volumes

to guide us

no Rumi, Dickens and Austen on shelves

no Dylan, Jay-Z, Lennon, or Parton in our ears

no Case, Willow, Khoi, Pradip sparkling in our eyes.

 

Yes demons fly in them

but words capsulize the depth, breadth, and passion

of the human soul

I bow to these small human creations

and how they speak the universe.

 

Written 4-11-22

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God’s Surrender            
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Your son is still so dear to me

the seed of his glory yet stirs deep

the ruby flame of his heart glows within

far beyond the bounds of my understanding

I yearn for the fullness of him in my soul

may the arrow of his truth pierce me

and take me to the farthest shores

of love as you surrendered in him.

 

Written 4-14-22

 

Flame            Print this poem only    

     

You are the flame
flickering in my heart.
Remain steady
let us never part.


Written 4-12-22

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Enthusiasm            Print this poem only

 

I looked up the origin of the word:

from Greek “possessed by God,” it said

although enthusiasm is small in me these days –

a tiny flickering flame in a glass of red – 

still it burns hope

to be wholly possessed

beyond the earthy bed.

 

Written 4-14-22

 

The Pear Tree (Waving Hello & Goodbye)            Print this poem only

 

It’s late April

spring is in full swing

bursting with life

the tree lifts its arms,

waves across the field,

its leaves full of light

flutter in perfect rhythm

with the wind.

           -  -  -  -  -

 

The train is leaving the station

the years gathering toward my finish line.

Each season a child frantically

waving at his grandpa

as if to whimper

this might be the last time.

 

Written 4-26-22

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