Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: These Things Amid True Beauty

All the pleasing useless items

hedging their bets that they

take precedence, lined up along

walls or closets, at attention on shelves

and bunched in summer’s spark

and colorations–

these objects playing at art, their

hollow meanings ascribed by those

too restless, with avarice or adoration

 

and how can possessions claim prominence?

What makes the parade of belongings so winsome–

temporal natures proffering importance,

their attributes heightened when placed amid

life’s cracks and repairs, we so arrogant, faithless?

 

Why must this small thing with heft in hand seem a treasure?

We are directed to acquire and we obey easily, choices

a surrender to ragged need of relief. Or simple delight.

We bring so close what fails to stir us deeply,

as if the material world is what saves us.

Which we know will most often

discard us with no backward glances.

 

I survey decorative items chosen and gifted,

at ease in place despite my pondering.

Often their loveliness is facile,

turns heavy and dull, the room more lonely.

I note: let no thing enter that is not real. Wanted.

 

But there is a finer matter: human spaces shared.

A life opened, remade with the touch of a hand.

 

When beckoned by a call, stillness rippling,

I scoop up this blooming peony-soft being

that fits here without thought,

warm against my chest,

eyes round with no blame or insouciance

mouth void of duplicity or meanness

and the breadth and width of the whole world

empties and refills with inestimable value.

This moment and place I belong to earth

becomes infinite as I belong to her.

Any praise uttered cannot

state enough truth

so she sighs and chirps,

speaks for me,

an expectancy of and

a claim upon love.

Monday’s Randomness/Poem: Hold On

This may appear all that is left

after the lifeblood’s power is sown

in places so needed, its source emptying, an echo

as your voice is thrown into midnight or dawn,

when everything that could take you to

the core of need and fear and desire and loss

has done so, then again done so deeper.

That is when to wait, to pause and gather

the lost bloom of your life, cradle it in hand,

feel its riffling curves, its dense symmetry

and memorize its lushness as the center of you

expands and you cannot deny

the ineffable joy

nor it, you

 

 

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Sister, Alright Now

It is quite alright, anyway, sister,

this is one more reconfiguration,

a slip-slide to the right,

a gutsy careening downhill,

a pulling this part closer,

letting that old thing fall,

leaning minor or major to the left,

reaching past what obscures the way,

one leg rather tired maybe dangling

but another still dancing a jig,

one shuttered eye seeing as much

as it can, another luminous and brave,

while our spirits move in vivid infinity

or sing with the rivers, wind, stars,

and burnished wings stir old romances

the rock in your hand a shadow

of old hurt that will bruise no more,

as your rallying for the unwise or forgotten

becomes quieter (we all need mercies),

your thoughts rustle over blue-green lakes 

like a flock of startled geese,

and reflections ripple, smooth your  

face as your eyes widen and narrow,

two sunsets. I see the universal you

 

and the reason this is on my mind

(besides you being you)

is that all of us everywhere must one day

realign renovate rescue relinquish

transfigure our bound-up lives

into a more tender, valorous humanity,

into the torch of compassion,

a superior imagining of love

 

and so, also, we two–you and I–

will hang on, mosses clinging to dirt

on old paths remade for the detours

no matter what they inform us

no matter what you can no longer name

no matter if turquoise skies fade to grey

no matter when the next bell tolls

sounding each new arrival and leave-taking–

 

I will drop from the line and find you.

I will remember everything, my sister.

Especially and deeply for you.

 

 

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: A Small Rebirth

To my surprise, the far reaching hours

become saturated with incandescent hues,

water blues and wistful greens, browns a study in restraint,

views divergent from what I well know, the

city’s mosaic of lost calling out,

trucks heaving, even bikes heavy with urgency,

nightfall melding with day in sly, sooty vagueness

and whispers torn by odd gunshots, mad sirens shaking stars.

Heartbreak and hunger for life fill those streets. My old home.

 

This is another side of the city’s story and mine,

and I am not ashamed to free fall into velvety spaces,

a leisure of quietude, rippling bird lyrics,

sky curving over cathedral of firs, air soft

with itself and my breath floating upwards

from this body’s laboring, dreaming, striding:

liberation begins again, imagination and

yes, moments of bravery that speak

to upheaval unlike others over two decades.

 

Surprising to feel this gentle leaning into swirl of movement

as if I was made for it and it, me, like this unfettered light

that plays and pauses in new shadows, opens a path

of expectancy.

Awash with this beauty I become a slow-filling vessel of peace

shaped by a faith that sends out tender roots,

my legs and heart made stronger with effort, a willingness.

I close my eyes, sip rushes of fragrant wind,

healing nourishment, small salvation (of which exist a myriad),

a rudimentary way to begin. To continue.

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Notes from a Journey with a Daughter

 

Ecstatic, potent as a siren with wind-ruffled allure

the sea breaks beyond our lifted hands.

You spin, bend and unravel a cocoon of mist,

hair tossed wide like a burnished net,

catching cries of gulls, shadows of cormorant wings.

 

A dangerous joy! I follow, brace myself

for demon waves that may dare to capture you

but you disappear, no backward glance.

 

I discover you barefooted atop the rocks,

waiting for shoes to float in.

Not stranded; alive, shining.

Eyes are drenched in sea light,

hands licked by stinging salt, alien foam,

and barnacles hold firm beneath your toes.

 

Broken shells you give me, agate adornments,

and laughter that calls to fishes, seaweed,

and you sing free a blaze of light along the horizon.

You dance toward an incoming tide

for you are falling in love, out of

sadness and its dogged fears,

your woman-child wildness stirring up

sweet tang of air, hope anchored again.