January - April
Poem List: 2022 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
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/
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.
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.
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
now replaced by numbness
and in the midst of silence
shrill electric strains between my ears?
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
A Small Sanctuary
Print this poem only
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.
Focuslessness Print this poem only
Sometimes I let my attention deficit
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Print this poem only
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.
Flame Print this poem only
You are the flame
flickering in my heart.
let us never part.
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.
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.