Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Night Unto Morning

aerial view of mountain during dawn
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The morning does not break.
It rises, restless, a thing alive.
It swells, unsettles me with its
erasures of darkness.
Tendrils of light striate blackness,
precocious colors disrupting
night blindness.

But my eyes are not safe from day and
press silk mask and quilt to lashes and lips.
I toss and turn; pieces are misplaced
from endless puzzling dreams.

There is no defense on this earth
where a beam reveals rough edges,
chaos of truth, soured sweetness,
yet every shining thing throbs
in me like impending birth
and behold, the refrain of joy.

I am made for the prismatic
core that fuels life, yet it is
dazzling, strikes chords hard.
So within mysterious slippage
from midnight to dawn
I seek relief, glide and wait.
Before crescendos of light
the web of shadows is erected;
it plans for metamorphosis.

We all want completion, kind illumination,
faces pressed against the scrim,
lives spilling from our palms,
seeking a route for night’s
blending into morning but
without further disturbance,
not one more loss.

The dawn does not break, it escapes
from a well of quietude,
rolls on prodigious waves.
It offers its brilliance.
And then affixes me to this plane,
this spot so I can stand tall, place feet
on floor, walk into a sunlit, fretful world.
Morning is a messenger not refused
and again I must find my way.

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Beyond the Ache is This

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To move, be moved by whim or design,
lilting, dipping on breezes, an invisible kite
shimmying, weightless in suspension,
a take off that is meant to fast ascend
like a creature of air, earthly or otherwise.
Any flight, any wings, lifting til gone.

I once so yearned for it, true freedom.
Plotting release from gravity,
shedding this tinsel thin flesh,
taking on feathers or silver scales,
then starting that vertical trip through
gale, fire or ice, into brave mercurial space.
Farthest away from this place of blood,
pain a clinging cape, and more
betrayals slinking by, misshapen things.

Yet my spirit found no passage for a final portal;
strength grew in place of bitter longings.

Where would wings have taken me safely?
What power would have redeemed all
unforgiven and unforgiving
and fill the cave of my heart?
Not one thing that is temporal.

Only deeper springs at bottom of the well.
I am older, know how to remember the good.
To take a bountiful day, all the Giver gives.
I was made futile by my youth but

live on, corralled by autumn’s
offerings: leaves innocent and vivid
while giving their last on earth;
this painterly stalk and branch
separating an afternoon sky;
happy howl and bark of dog; cluck of hen;
jazzy skitter of cat paws and tail;
bombast of notations from the crows.
Trees sing easy to one another and me
as I pass with a limp and nod.
My hope throbbing, a wild drum in my chest-
glory of joy careening in maze of veins:

bless and take every, any, all
this life this life this life

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Lake Language

Why a poem about a lake without an accompanying photo?  It seems I have run out of media storage space. I have many new, interesting pictures I wanted to share of a Chinese Autumn Moon Festival and Japanese gardens and more.  I’ve had three blogs for many years; I thought I knew what I was doing… but I am in the midst of trying to figure out what next without paying more money to upgrade to the Business Plan, which I don’t feel I need.  If anyone has advice about deleting photographs (while saving texts) in Media other than trashing a few at a time, please share suggestions. Thank you!

Meanwhile, I offer a poem I have worked on a bit more about a visit to Lake Crescent in Washington during trying times 7 years ago. It still resonates with me. 

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Lake Language

 

Those were damaging times,
when all the words left seemed
too little or self-important,
and since I had too long ridden
that dragon’s tail of grief,
not one syllable could tell me anything good.

So I left for the lake, its imperishable
silences and soundings,
mutations ranging deep to death defying,
sterling surface exhaling blue
while I slept, becoming innocent.

That next day the sun rose like a crown.
What seemed at first rain drops
were branches shushing the world.
Leaves flew across my face
burning with color and
clinging to my shoulders,
impromptu cape that streamed
all the way to paradise.

Every mystery bounded trails
so I wouldn’t lose my way:
tiny saplings, mosses, lichen
clung to aged nurse logs,
black beetles scuttled in shining armor,
bees feasted until nectar emptied.
Streams rumbled ancient warrior ground
and my feet listened.

I might have danced with cedars,
vanished on plumes of mist,
but the lake called, its waves
bestowed with promise and
thrusting toward shore,
stones turning over like happy creatures.
Clouds drank at the edge of
water limned in September gold.
Its glacial heart melted in
the palm of my hand.

 

© 2011 Cynthia Guenther Richardson

 

 

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem & Photos: Summer Released

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I have been at length in love, overcome
with summer’s glittery, crackling beauty,
its sheer points of no return in wildest blue
and emerald that trumpets a surfeit of life.
I’ve basked in its generosity, slunk about
in valleys and peaks that dazzle and sting.
I’ve slipped into fairy’s dusk as treetops shake
their big bodies, heat coaxes perfume from my skin.
Summer has courted me, wooed me enough
that I vow patience, loyalty, passionate gratitude.
I have opened my arms, been embraced, gained a healing.

Yet I am willing to prepare for it’s denouement, to
accept its blare of wild light and music will drift afar.
I am ready to welcome eruptions of rust and brass, vibrating
air and muted nights that stir an aria of autumn,
and with it another quickening. And the chiming chill of rains.

Winter even now paces in earth’s cavernous wings.
I sense its call but turn my mind to this reckoning.
Vagabond wind travels north and circles, speaks.
The days will sooner reveal a worn raiment;
it will loosen, float about, seeds of blessings.
I will find my way to other hallowed things,
freed in skittering leaves, captured in the cape of darkness,
the stealthy cold like a spell upon every creature,
a cocoon that deepens magic, unleashes dreams
and will weave me into the sweet, tender ache of living.

Park walks 028
All photos, Cynthia Guenther Richardson

 

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: A Forgotten Bird Bath

Farmer's Market, Tryon hike, neighborhood flowers! 161

Year after year I’ve walked by though failed
to find this hidden place in bushes gathered near
thatched grasses, my eye turned elsewhere,
away from this apparent desiccated stone.
As I draw close, body and mind pause– as
from spongy dirt springs mossy life, tiny blossoms,
chosen rocks settled in the bowl of an old bird bath.
It served its time or did not fulfill its duty, thus
given another chance so prevailed as another thing:
a place for anything to appear, even take hold.

The four rocks I think were picked and placed–
happy child’s play– or they were underfoot
of one who seeded the curbside garden–
but they appear to me as elegant and smoothly dense,
pleasing eggs offered by earth to rest in sun and shadow.
I imagine all were given important names:
Mina, Elwyn, Duke and Chloe–old friends now.
Or each was meant to hold a wish:
inclusion, healing; clear skies, butterscotch cake.
It all may have meant far less, but randomness
creates its own value and has its place.

I step back to see again. There comes revealing light;
soul and senses fill up with pleasure, peace.
For I have seen opulence that could not rival these:
plain offerings given over to dominion of elements,
sparking renewed gratitude in this passerby, and
a certainty of good secrets, treasures to be found
and lessons of usefulness as I continue on.