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.

Friday’s Poem: Moving Day

This is it, I think, the last walk to your door

and I pass ravens and horses and geese,

bears and fairies, tidy bright beings

that crowd the hedges waiting to be seen.

They are what you made them, vivid, simple,

creatures rendered of rocks, wood or plastic,

guardians of your ingenuity, vivacity.

Recycled bits and pieces that shone under your hand.

They mark your presence on the way to the house

soon to be emptied as you are moved elsewhere

 

from this place which gleams in light flowing from a

brittle blue sky, beauty a taunt and a poultice. 

It may be the last time I climb this rise in the land

to see you. I mean you, the one I’ve known all my life,

not the one you are becoming with your odd shyness

and vibration of fear and fatal gaps in conversation

memories loose and tangled like threads beneath

the great tapestry of your industrious, iridescent life.

 

I climb the five sienna red steps. You come after a

moment so long that I am deafened by 

sirens screaming toward some far-off disaster,

and clouds converge and bunch, then race over city

center until blueness has gone slate and I sense

the stealth fire invading our territory.

I am trying, pulling you closer as you blur 

like there are veils of smoke that have swallowed us

 

but I cannot save you. So I cross into your

netherworld, one sister welcoming another

with our arms still mighty and weighted with love,

heavy and sound like the heart of stone

you painted for me so long ago

 

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Gathering Here, There

May your quite simple or elegant repast

serve you well, shared at tables of hope

and warming cheer, of peace and forgiveness.

And may your soul’s good ease capture

a gift of delight, and voices free music, and your

hands hold gently all hands in widening circles.

And even if not so fine a thing as all this,

do not turn back, the longing falling away.

May you not regret each trying, and not

dismiss balm and beauty of care we are meant for,

but keep asking for power of Love to bless and

fill you long, long after candles burn down.

When you leave the table, you are not truly alone.

Remember this: that eternal flame glows for you.

Merry Christmas.