Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: September Moons

This was then, before shadows

pounced at the soul of the city:

orange moons strung by walkways,

golden globes floating on shining surface,

the tea tastes floral or astringent inside smiles.

We slid under the high beaming orb of September,

laughed deeply, and no tears. Love such as that.

So natural, arms about one another,

a tale or song on our lips and as we turned

to watch the crowd, more of the same.

If we stepped away it was to take in marvels.

When we held back it was to drink from

well of fragrant night, trees whispering,

night ponds beaming back happiness.

A Chinese Autumn Moon Festival

pulled every person closer, made designs

of hands and voices, music of colors,

a magic so generous it throbbed

with expectancy of more and as kind

as all we passed between us, eye to eye.

This was then, true, and yet

it lives still within, indelible–

a red lantern a good omen swaying

in the brush and hush of twilit breeze,

falling waters compositions like dancing hearts.

Sky widened, a canopy of luminosity

and every passing hour was safe,

even raucous city greetings

as we stepped beyond the inner gates,

reluctantly, arms linked a moment

before drifting each to home.

Yet in not so far a distance awaited two new moons,

babies yet to join the circle, just

then nested in the jubilance of our daughter

and made stronger, more sublime

by our tenderest admiration

and offerings of the flare of autumn’s peace.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: These Feet of Rain

This is how life can turn,

on ghosts of smoke, spin of air

and flare of yellow as

clouds grab and release

the weighted, bilious sky.

My toes seek the rarified wetness;

my breath does not halt and drag.

This thundering morning

is not (for me) like the other eleven

as firestorms snagged and exploded

not so far from this locked, taped door.

Long hours have been disappeared into jaws of flame,

bound by smoke, thief and master.

Who believed that time could be erased

by a manic advance of fire that roared,

massacred like hordes unleashed?

There are too many who dread the final report.

But here, now, I unlatch, open my door a crack,

lift my nose to sniff a slick of breeze,

push outward inch by inch into open air,

step into the diffident moment and

an exhausted, mourning earth,

a world that still spins within loss.

I cannot believe any promise of full healing.

Every step now feels like a lingering cry,

a call to wilderness whose great heart blackens.

Still, now, these feet of flesh and rain

hold fast to the primal dirt,

my face lifting to a startle of sunlight.

Saturday’s Poem: Put Me Outdoors

Put me outdoors, into the arms of evening.

Let pungent winds enfold me, lift me to a hiding moon.

May birds whisper sweetness, cougars lie with paws close,

deer stir inside pearled twilight, eyes bright as honey.

Put me on a saved trail, into satin cloak of dark.

Let the sky find me, Cassiopeia and Cygnus, loyal Venus.

May waters ruffle and mirror, fish tip into blue hush of sleep,

river otters float among dancing grass, muddy stones.

This useless poem is trying to find itself,

is an urgent dream

as demon fires kidnap, possess

flailing branches, a tapestry of roots;

to punish the life-giving dirt;

smother forsaken ones, their dwellings of love.

How does one sleep in a night like this?

How does one rest when I cannot

step outdoors to take in a breath,

am not to trod the trails first

shaped by God’s mastery, of holy

regard for all? Days and nights

are sleepwalkers, are at the mercy of raging

otherness that covets the beauty.

Nothing but ash and tears track the stinging hours,

the birds silenced, the cougar screaming softly,

the deer racing and wandering lost, the fish–

the fish who float somewhere, waiting,

small sleek bodies shimmering

in garish light of ambush,

this curse of wildling fires.

My heart pounds the heavy drum of me

as forests fall, let go, are defeated, gone.

Please, put me outdoors into the mourning night;

grant me one prayer for gifts of the emerald life–

for healings to lift up all creatures once more,

to allow more worship in the arching realms of leaves,

under maps of a trillion stars, light messengers of hope.

Soon release us of this beast’s dominion

and teach us to become wise, how to live in these times

o God o God o God amen

(Close to a million acres have burned in Oregon in unprecedented firestorms. They burn near me. We wait for containment, for victory over them, and a long recovery.)

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Soul Sailing

Yachats trip, last day 092
Photos of Tillamook River rest area, Tillamook, OR. by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

I am taking a small break today from the blog and may take a day off next week if the ocean calls me. But I offer this poem from 2017 and an uploaded audio of my reading. (In the future I might try more recordings; I sure miss face-to-face poetry and other public readings.)

I hope you find a phrase or two to uplift or enjoy today. Please have a safe Labor Day, US readers.

That light is captured by treetops again.
It shakes free its magic and onto me.
I slide into a leafy river afternoon;
earth refines its song, music for living.
What is this tugging
at the corners of my soul?

It becomes a broad sail shining so I go,
passing by smallest creatures that
know me by my name and I, theirs.
This is easy falling in love,
sun riding wind caressing earth,
more sparks from the universe.
Everything is in this balance.
Whatever has been, shall be sacred,
revealed in cathedrals of earth.

So tell me: why do we hurt each other?
Do the skies wound mountains,
or mountains defy their forests,
rivers bleed cradling lands or
lands shun bits of stones hidden deep?
We claim the same privilege of life;
it seeks not to rend, never to ruin us.

Forget not how the Giver loves;
hold back no small act of honor.
Find the root and its branches;
they anchor us one to another.
This I recall by glossy waters,
by the greenness of things.

There, light is captured by treetops again.
It shakes free its magic onto me.
I slide, reach inside a bloom of sun
sheltering a summer sky, soul gliding
like hope to truth, heart to heart.

Yachats trip, last day 081

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Rings of Life

That much can be said with a show

of rings is a matter of a (quite small) intrigue.

Rose gold: vows belonging to another woman,

rescued from a gutter, polished, made safe.

Circling flowers and geometry saluted in silver,

remembrance of happiness, gentleness against skin.

Lustrous pearls held to gold, tenacious, demur,

once a standard bearer for womanly ways.

Moonstone of the dreamer’s way, how it glows of

night’s illumination, an auspicious design.

And a silver band created by youthful hand,

never mislaid or forgotten; 55 years encircling

the finger devoid of a forever wedding ring.

They each nestle in a handcrafted jewelry box.

They last longer if respected, kept close.

Unlike expectations, wishes or promises,

they own their places; I can keep them occupied.

These rings know my skin and its deeds,

stories of sleight of hand and mind,

songs of a topaz and turquoise heart,

an earth/water, wind/fire body.

The droughts of spirit replenished by deepened wellsprings.

The love stretched over chasms, as a bridge–

yet with few hands well met to break the falls–

here they are, just good reminders,

a glimpse of what has been, or not.

That much can be said by a show of rings-

if fractions of truth–

an adornment of metals that hold

history. A few minor and major matters,

a circuitous path ’round the years.

A collection of beauty found, words unspoken, tears unshed.