Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Deconstruction, Renewal

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2020

Abstraction, dismantling the function

of things, of spaces, of partnerships

brings an essence of

form and its originators,

play of light on matter,

life in hand like water,

flotation when there was gravity,

gathering where there was separation,

movement where there was bondage.

This is what there is of love:

possibility though there was little left,

regeneration where all was static when

waiting to be undone,

peeled to the core,

discovered.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: A Small Incantation for Restoration of Goodness

These reminders of the old ways come forward-

so long have we been arriving from Spirit,

how long has the world been turning, teeming–

and the promise I feel beneath my feet

where the heart of a planet yet beats

and we creatures all who live and die

amid dirt, mineral, insect,

moss and vine, the tides that turn,

taste and hear and see. Feel at one.

I seek more courage, my Mother, my Father.

Here are earth, air, fire, water, ether,

a map, a memory of greater things,

our place to become wise, to create, offer love.

Wings and trees that hold up the infinite sky,

every light woven with every dark,

stars combusting, planets revolving:

these that honor flesh, bones, blood

in accordance with the design,

a life made sacred for wayfaring,

a chance for knowing and unknowing.

Ancient callings rise to the present,

on blessings of rain and bright wind:

May there be a vast undoing

of these maladies which grip us in

this time and circumstance where

reckless want devours need and the needy

and power blasphemes humanity, numinosity,

and mind and spirit shrink back

though God-in-all abhors all ways of hate,

and yet– waits, waits for us

to kneel, to speak and sing out, stand up

rekindle the fine cosmic order,

as you and you and I do become

braver. Truer. Ever good.

We are just this far from the All Divine,

closer than dared believe,

we are star filament, souls afire.

May we remember, our Mother/Father,

as we labor. Seek. Transform.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: When He was Here

When he was here with her

the day was a fragrant sheen

of lily-of-the-valley, warm as skin

lolling under June’s bloomed sun.

With lips to her shoulder he

murmured love, momentous

as incantation in strange new language,

words like tiny birds freed from other worlds.

She sees them embracing at water’s edge,

fingers entwined, fledgling roots nourishing

roots they thought could never separate.

But there was no partaking of night’s

indigo power nor the incarnadine of daybreak.

They somehow got lost at the horizon, yet

spoke here and there like ghosts

through want and need.

In time life was built of something else,

they grew up, grew resolute, older, old.

But even now she hears his voice of honey,

words as wings brushing against bare shoulder,

recalls water and wind tasting of salt, amber and him,

that time a relief, a reckoning-

back then, when he was here, she was his

and they became crystalline in the passing light

Friday’s passing Fancy/Poem + Photo: River Devotion

(Photo copyright 2020 Cynthia Guenther Richardson)

Some of us live right here,

creatures who cannot be on land alone,

and others of us find our way to

mercurial sheerness swallowing sky,

powers of light that gather and hold,

breath of river infusing our lungs.

I come to cleanse.

I come to loosen tightened bands of humanness.

To hear with hungry ears, see with fearless eyes.

My blood runs rich, cells plump with exuberance

while my soul flees struggle to find again

river strength born along bank to bank,

its beauty carried deep and far

as I follow its waters on lithe feet,

a confirmed devotee of God made visible

Friday’s Passing Fancy: A Shadow Life/Light of Sobriety

My instinct is to pause near the weakened

and set apart, those men who shuffle bayside

with drooping eyes and lax arms as if waiting for a ferry

that has never come for them so why stay,

those women whose lips are dusted with crumbs,

no drink to wet and warm the slow tongue.

They speak different languages or none at all

but their stillness or words slip about me like lassos;

I am tugged toward a hidden cry of a mind

that seeks and cannot find.

It makes me homesick

for a happiness that can come to all.

You pull back- say we all must find our own way.

Distance may be the strong fence that keeps you in

a safer place, away from possibilities of

madness or privation, as if that suffering

will resurrect yours, bring you to your knees.

I say let us all kneel and nod in recognition:

humanity is dragged through life as well as lifted.

Let us net pain and give it refuge,

carry to brazen streets or yielding sky

any pleas for mercy as a potent offering.

Let slouching man and thirsty woman

meet our eyes with theirs and be known,

feel no shame of crippling loss. It is no sin

to be alive and stumble or to sense

an invisible gathering of angels or others

as their hearts labor for them without judgement.

To be is all any of us we have;

we are each given this, our chance.

Once we were closer to this than believed:

one man, one woman who carved

obdurate caves in which to conspire or hide,

and came the drink, a failed banishment of grief’s specter,

and the drug, a frail bandage to repair bloodletting.

Listen, I know those ones are my people as much

as those who manage dawn to dark with boldness,

heads so high. They have their own tender spots,

their lack of surety. I am not fooled.

I am versed in the strategies it takes to live.

You and I live like common meadowlarks,

migratory, adaptive, field and wood, art and hope

and Divinity the common passkeys

as we careen through lighting strikes of love or fury,

and ride on a wind that sings hallelujah

then drops us in mud and shining grasses.

Earthbound, still.

We know that sun and moon light disguise

and reveal, that shadows and darkness

do the same. One cannot live without

learning navigation, noting signs, getting honest.

But the truth is a shape shifter:

though we live in plenty and strength now

we could be leaning over water’s edge,

or crouched with bread heel in trembling hands

and passersby would turn their heads

only to become blind, or to soon forget.

We must never forget our sisters and brothers,

their bravery and their ache,

what we were, too, yet were welcomed

into a circle and given reprieve.

We must not forget this, how tenuous the line,

and give not pity but dignity,

an easy nod, good word, a signal of love.