Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: What a Woman Gives a Man

What is given by a woman to a man

cannot be returned or exchanged.

It’s no silvery-wrapped first edition book,

no amber jar of healing herbs,

or a magnifying glass that clarifies fine print.

Anything given is what is intended,

not what is imagined, longed for, misplaced.

Her laughter can be a caress over aching temples,

her kiss a great mystery of heat and cold.

A woman’s quietness may seem a retrieval of peace

or a withholding–she may be dreaming. Or emptied.

Her passionate rebuttal may sound as insult or denial;

but she is using skills to illuminate, navigate.

And her eyes locked on a man’s may glow like fires

in a dark wood–they are alight with more to be revealed.

All the years she offers up, receives, makes do, anchors family

may appear as bartering, doing duty if not deep affection.

But it is love that kindles everything in life;

she carries it, or not; you carry it, or not.

It lives inside each gesture and word or it is abandoned.

What she gives is wholly herself, in shards or repaired;

there is a critical point before there came that yes.

That said, it is abundance for you whether you find

it enough or worthy, or pronounce it something else.

What is given by a woman may even be overlooked

though she keeps doing and being as she can.

But all the rest–no matter how little or much–

she keeps close, is hers until the end.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Not Down Yet, My Friend

Thank God Great Spirit Mother Wit Sister Moon

you managed to stay alive again

despite all the wrong workings

of that body (well, and mind)

bold errors in judgment,

those sleepwalking elixirs,

the underhanded means of humans,

self-indulgences like ghost trackers

hunting in daylight or dark, into the

advent of happiness, inside bright hoops of love.

It can be a long howl toward peace.

But you just get up–if needed, one-legged–

shove off sick bed, shake lioness head

toss out a guttural laugh with eyes like horizons

What a mighty fine morning, I woke up again

what trouble are you up to? Need any help?

And we both know those days are over

so now there are little rescues, holding up the roof,

warming empty hands, not running for cover.

We made it this far, my friend,

and it’s better than we hoped

so there is sure–not today, not ever–no going back

as long as we can get through another door,

seek truth, care –as long as we can answer,

one to the other, on this mad earth, and–

let’s face it–if not.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: A Small Knowing

Photos of Pacific Ocean beaches, Cynthia Guenther Richardson-copyright 2020

This body knows some of light.
It has followed gradations
slipping east to west,
beams of sun and moon
that cast sparks of wisdom
on an earthbound being.

Such messages from afar
appease my longing.
The homesickness like thirst.

I have walked along its edges
and deemed it wanting,
transparent shadows
(or remnants of lost light),
harboring me without demand but
also without my full consent.
I have scooped up light while falling,
hands cupped for sustenance, more power.
I have called it closer only
to find austerity, a hard review
of endless want. Denial is an answer.

But that light which knows me loves me,
delivers me to the Source. I slip within,
shed flesh, find spirit braver.

But how can we stay alive without living?

When does light reveal its colors if we are not watching?

Every step closer breaks water as it fills this vessel.

This soul knows signs of light.
It accepts transformation.
It allows slow burning radiance
to envelop me in its long passages.

How can we love if the soul does not?

It carries me like wind carries seed.
Come, it tells me,
may you shine, shine
far beyond this blinded time.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Possibilities for Rescue

What cannot be surmounted

can be welcomed;

what cannot be released

can be tamed.

What cannot find its way

can be protected;

what cannot be believed

can be reviewed.

What cannot be healed

can be pardoned;

what cannot be changed

can be unchained.

What cannot be spoken

can be sung;

what cannot be moved

can be reawakened.

What cannot be joyous

can be recreated;

what cannot stop weeping

can be forgiven.

What cannot be revealed

can be redesigned;

what cannot be embraced

can be blessed.

What cannot come out of dark tunnels

can be retrieved with little flames of truth,

and it is expected that the luminosity

will well save you both.

Friday’s Passing Fancy: Alera and Morgan

If I could do any of these things…

I would plaster your open, luminous faces everywhere

so people would see how wondrous you are;

hold you up to the infinite sky, its light and its dark;

bring you close, closest to this so lonely heart;

call out your names from mountains to seas;

climb and creep, wiggle and sing–me with you;

tell you good stories, and learn your own;

make new games, our hands clapping together;

share how weird and fascinating is life;

admit that each dawn I long for you so–

and therein arises this tearful lament,

you two-in-one, twin grand-baby girls.

But some day, another time–in far better meetings

than from this great distance–

we will draw close as good stones in a circle

to dream and make anew with love that goes on

and be triumphant and silly,

duly surprised, full of comforts,

oh yes and yes, Alera and Morgan!

such a time it will be, can you feel it?

My dear ones and darlings,

my stars all a-shining, you singers of joy,

you bright new blooms, fine dragonflies

in this grief and bewilderment…

in the everlasting gardens where you take root,

in the rows and rows I will not stop this

planting, watering, tending for you