Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Notes on a Passage of Time

Everything is changed inside time as we know it:

days–pliant as warm taffy, blinding as a marigold sun;

evenings–hummingbirds fleeing a romance of blooms;

and night–a deep navy sea that abandons illusions.

****

Children play on sidewalks, sweat-speckled, wide-eyed,

making hope a rhyme, their feet tapping out fun.

But a cat cries from dawn to dusk, a beauty left behind,

another creature lost–or perhaps it only feels this way.

No matter, its crying sits inside me.

****

Trees waver under the weight of a blue sky–

holding us in or out?–that tries

to surprise those who dare to look up.

Many glance up and away; many look, see nothing.

Our lives avoid or snag each other, press against themselves.

But time is patient, can be shaped/reshaped.

We bargain, bridge gaps, sing out wishes,

plant tomatoes, are puzzled by aphids and ants.

****

Shadows slip over fences and passersby like

phantoms that are lonely, seizing an escape.

Cougars, deer and bears grow restless, confused

as they crisscross emptied roads,

take over porches, lie down in the dark.

****

An eyeless moon and bold-faced stars

helm the heavens while inviolate

angels salvage wishes and prayers,

roam a time of limbo on a spinning earth

with its data and its imaginings

flying like victorious tails of ascendant kites,

or like flags of surrender

depending on how this time reveals it.

****

I break the spell of time,

grab hold of kites,

take to the world a little again.

(Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2020)

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Head for the Hills

That’s the way, take those wheels and flee

half-mad houses belonging to your families,

voices shredding air with impatience,

the brass gong of them reverberating in

your pliant minds, echoing far past night.

(I hear it, too, their picking and blaming

escaping restraint like dogs let loose

into deep shadow, tunneling through dark.

But your houses squeeze tight within walls

with nowhere for grownups to go but

advancement toward each other.

Forgetting they were peacemakers,

ones who soothed, savored the good.

Worry warps them some, remakes life,

and it offers less room for love.

Oh, dear children, I see, I know.)

So there you go now, grabbing bikes,

are gone lickety-split with a wave goodbye.

Don’t parents know their danger is like a

hungry rat, how you’ve shuddered, hidden?

You need them to transform back into

their good, everyday selves.

But not all is ruined, not now or tomorrow as

you peddle and sweat into the bosom of hills

where there are no differences just giant trees,

wild blooms bobbing, hills rippling calm

with grassy green, and sky that blue

and unbreakable, a shield against possible rain.

Your friends call out your name

and you answer with theirs–

all is safe, all is sound as now peels

out the golden ring of laughter again.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: What a Woman Gives a Man

What is given by a woman to a man

cannot be returned or exchanged.

It’s no silvery-wrapped first edition book,

no amber jar of healing herbs,

or a magnifying glass that clarifies fine print.

Anything given is what is intended,

not what is imagined, longed for, misplaced.

Her laughter can be a caress over aching temples,

her kiss a great mystery of heat and cold.

A woman’s quietness may seem a retrieval of peace

or a withholding–she may be dreaming. Or emptied.

Her passionate rebuttal may sound as insult or denial;

but she is using skills to illuminate, navigate.

And her eyes locked on a man’s may glow like fires

in a dark wood–they are alight with more to be revealed.

All the years she offers up, receives, makes do, anchors family

may appear as bartering, doing duty if not deep affection.

But it is love that kindles everything in life;

she carries it, or not; you carry it, or not.

It lives inside each gesture and word or it is abandoned.

What she gives is wholly herself, in shards or repaired;

there is a critical point before there came that yes.

That said, it is abundance for you whether you find

it enough or worthy, or pronounce it something else.

What is given by a woman may even be overlooked

though she keeps doing and being as she can.

But all the rest–no matter how little or much–

she keeps close, is hers until the end.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Not Down Yet, My Friend

Thank God Great Spirit Mother Wit Sister Moon

you managed to stay alive again

despite all the wrong workings

of that body (well, and mind)

bold errors in judgment,

those sleepwalking elixirs,

the underhanded means of humans,

self-indulgences like ghost trackers

hunting in daylight or dark, into the

advent of happiness, inside bright hoops of love.

It can be a long howl toward peace.

But you just get up–if needed, one-legged–

shove off sick bed, shake lioness head

toss out a guttural laugh with eyes like horizons

What a mighty fine morning, I woke up again

what trouble are you up to? Need any help?

And we both know those days are over

so now there are little rescues, holding up the roof,

warming empty hands, not running for cover.

We made it this far, my friend,

and it’s better than we hoped

so there is sure–not today, not ever–no going back

as long as we can get through another door,

seek truth, care –as long as we can answer,

one to the other, on this mad earth, and–

let’s face it–if not.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: A Small Knowing

Photos of Pacific Ocean beaches, Cynthia Guenther Richardson-copyright 2020

This body knows some of light.
It has followed gradations
slipping east to west,
beams of sun and moon
that cast sparks of wisdom
on an earthbound being.

Such messages from afar
appease my longing.
The homesickness like thirst.

I have walked along its edges
and deemed it wanting,
transparent shadows
(or remnants of lost light),
harboring me without demand but
also without my full consent.
I have scooped up light while falling,
hands cupped for sustenance, more power.
I have called it closer only
to find austerity, a hard review
of endless want. Denial is an answer.

But that light which knows me loves me,
delivers me to the Source. I slip within,
shed flesh, find spirit braver.

But how can we stay alive without living?

When does light reveal its colors if we are not watching?

Every step closer breaks water as it fills this vessel.

This soul knows signs of light.
It accepts transformation.
It allows slow burning radiance
to envelop me in its long passages.

How can we love if the soul does not?

It carries me like wind carries seed.
Come, it tells me,
may you shine, shine
far beyond this blinded time.