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.

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

DSCN0134

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