Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: This Flesh on Earth

How tender this skin, voluminous

frailty of flesh that nets our dreams

labors in favor of greater longevity

hijacks time and its intentions

redresses error to redouble efforts

carries fear and courage in cellular symmetry

sees depth and breadth in a flash

accepts lust or purity in equal measure

entreats mind and Mother Wit to share wisdom

quiets then rings out voices of billions

bears all stories and creates more tellers

harbors secrets or offers them freedom

restrains, forgoes and denies basic needs

and welcomes touch, water, bread

fights losing battles to preserve a breath

then sooner or later relinquishes its hold:

this skin that brings the miracles together

until– well-used or unbearable– it is shed:

bless this flesh that we may live better,

bless and guard us in our deep seclusions

and may we use great libraries of mind

discover cosmologies of spirit

hear songs of earth and galaxies

dance with a resurrecting Light

to the beat of the blood-deep

yes I mean yes hold close this one moment

lift up our weeping hearts, feel their might

Friday’S Passing Fancy/Poem: A Small Thing

This isn’t a poem. 

It is a moment that wants 

to be set free,  a small

thing with a bigger imagination, 

a plaintive whistling in the dark, 

a boy with a bird on his shoulder, 

a shadowed heart that also blazes. 

This is a pause in lavender twilight, 

a thought that strikes dew-laden air,

a random stop on a serpentine trail that 

detains us so we may become less lost. 

This is a minor rescue despite the rending. 

It is a moment of intimacy saved for  

others frail or frightened or 

hungry for something else. 

Here arrives night, dreams or not,

still an old woolen blanket 

so that inside it we may camp, 

carried by night dense with falling stars,

warming our hands over pulses of

heat from stubs of saved candles. 

This is a memorial, yes, but a story

of miracles. The morning comes like a scarf

drifting over the face. It has always a 

luminosity that wants not to let us go, 

our human hopes close like protection, 

with recognition discerned in kindness, 

and soon everyone more known

to one another in the struggle. 

Angels, that’s what seems closer now, 

the angels summoned of our longing

or our surrendering,

each drifting this way, a chorus. 

To hold up.

To comfort.

To forge a way to new horizons.

So if this is no poem, 

then consider it a memo, 

a reminder, 

a way of remembering 

all that is good about the world, 

the things we must not misplace, 

and promises made to keep: 

find hallowed the life we each can mold 

now, not then nor far tomorrow,

and also release it, exuberant or weary,

with the wings and winds of God

to the hands that will open. 

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Safe Harbor (for Marinell)

Photo copyright 2011 Cynthia Guenther Richardson

This is one larger-made-smaller view we shared,

we were always all in and alright, pulled life to us closer.

It was pure essences we loved, seeking better,

that slim perfection resurrected from any ruin,

aches and vagaries of such living more a pittance paid.

Risk takers underneath calm skin

— those men, such work, this family–

the body and soul moved on, up, through

and if we left things unspoken, kindly so.

The giver gives to be more at home

so we gave, then navigated the mazes,

and always there was one more thing, what next?

so we laughed about it.

We cried with a language of song, not words.

It began to tally up, remnants amid

the new bits, stealthy, powerful,

familiar or confounding, each given

room as needed, little or much.

Sea swelled, flattened into a harbor of mirrors

transforming past and present

so air breathed entered us richer,

left us brighter, our talk languid and

sailing here and there.

Would that you might sit

with me again, sister, admire a view.

Think on this world together with

sorrow and wonder, lean in closer,

shake our heads, note the music

of many waters and winds.

But not now, not here,

for you have gone while part of me

waits to see you leaning forward,

your good being alight in the fantastical beyond

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Rescue

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

From a nest of dark root and sponge,

among the frenzy of greens

arises this one small star

into thin sliced light. A vinca jewel.

It cannot be made unbeautiful

in tease of sun or muddled drear.

A commoner of perfection, it come to me a salve,

its color a prize released from stealth of ivy

for my eyes which open, close, open.

Treetops impale and tug March clouds,

are watchful as I rest and rise;

nodding fans of ferns kiss

my legs, musky beds of moss

suffer my hands and feet.

I live here, too, and from wherever

this day arrived it now follows elegant

lines, spasms of light and the succulent shade,

bringing sky to rustle of feathers

to this skin I wear as poor if valiant shield.

See, they each bear me down to the river

so I may siphon off miracles.

Savor every proof of life.

Be rescued again.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: The Reason for Fishing

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson, copyright 2020

They understood one another then, on river’s bank.

Their rods held like diviners, green water and mud a comfort,

fish darting –savvy but still taking bait

now and then, like she did, gravitating

to his surprising presence.

She’d glance over, make sure he was still there,

and satisfaction filled her like dessert.

They always let the fish go, in the end;

it was the coaxing and waiting, respecting

both fish and fishers, words forgotten or benign

under the brave heat of early summer sun,

the lazy slap of water at ankles, faces steaming

as they stood with hum-buzzing insects and

sashaying treetops, air slipping about flush of wings.

It was freedom to be there, herself with him,

no defenses, either one–even a child knows

how to hide inside loneliness, behind lowered eyes–

and his willingness to be there, close enough.

They could do nothing more; it was all that counted.

Then one day he said

When I was your age no one cared to take

me fishing–just want you to know you have a place.

Don’t forget, muppet,

you have a place. Here. Anywhere.

And even after flick of rod and toss

of line was shared no more–

after he had gone sick, then just gone

and she was nobody’s muppet,

his words carried her, it was the shining promise

and reward at the end of every effort,

cause for another hour’s worth of hope.