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.

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All photos, Cynthia Guenther Richardson

 

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

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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.

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Less is More

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This is not the deft poem
that other poets may identify,
but all that manifests this moment

a breath across wild space
a plea for uncommon sense
a gesture made toward heaven
a climb up a sycamore tree
a well echoing new fullness
a semblance of those gone
a blossom spun on a wave
a wish for someone’s scent
a tantrum that lost its steam
a trust in shadow’s light
a belief that remains whole
a falling down and rising up
a heart made only of singing
a ghost empty of pain
a release of all that fails
a river dancing my dreams
a madness that creates joy
a woman who ushers in dawn
a secret safely revealed
a whisper of boisterous things
a desert that welcomes rain
a love known to shift shapes
a tale of mercy for us all.

This is not a deft poem and
arrives as a living thing,
hews a trail to more,
thus grants me peace.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Loosening

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Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Bits of me have loosened, come away
like birch strips, so thin they curl, flutter,
litter earth where unseen creatures trod.
It’s the peculiar renewal of nature,
losing this and that, cells sloughing
with nary a shudder, everything
an invention, old making way for newer.

I dreamed once of an entire heroic life,
believing it likely but the person
I am is not made now of that heart
which floated in heaven’s boat,
soul vibrant as flutey chimes.
I have become other than imagined.
Deepened perhaps but less substantial,
working toward transparency.

More diminished as each one I’ve known
passes through the eye of storms
and into an evermore, far halcyon place.

I am not yet invisible but missing parts-
her laugh that sustained, his silence that
taught, their smiles that unlocked more life,
that brilliant blue eye of family that held the world.
One who offered poetry, a necessary bridge.
And, too, one who came ashore to find me,
then we dove right in from high places.
Now only I stand here, putting on my courage

while bits of me have loosened
like failing, downy petals,
revealing a tender center
where– despite fiery tears,
these worn regrets, swift delights,
sorts of love which defy naming–
you you you you you you
still roam, here, inside this sphere

I yet must inhabit