Friday’s Quick Pick/Photos & Poem: Heart of Family

 

Photos, Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Remember that from the start it was
one for all, all for one? An entire lifetime of this.
A sweep of arms that gather in all.

It may have been a fervent dream of hope,
an obstinate faith in unknowns, but still
our circle has looped and held even
when torn to nearly broken.
And repaired, each thread twined with
the next in tensile links of love,
defining a net that catches sustenance,
saves whatever falls and binds together our
disparate truths. And loosens to let you go your ways.

Will you remember when you are less sturdy?
When I am gone? Or if the ties unravel and
you wait at the window, hands reaching for more?
There will be rifts. Misplaced time. Miles flung far.
Yet it has been, remains and will be this:
all for one, one for all, heart overlaid with hearts.

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: A Forgotten Bird Bath

Farmer's Market, Tryon hike, neighborhood flowers! 161

Year after year I’ve walked by though failed
to find this hidden place in bushes gathered near
thatched grasses, my eye turned elsewhere,
away from this apparent desiccated stone.
As I draw close, body and mind pause– as
from spongy dirt springs mossy life, tiny blossoms,
chosen rocks settled in the bowl of an old bird bath.
It served its time or did not fulfill its duty, thus
given another chance so prevailed as another thing:
a place for anything to appear, even take hold.

The four rocks I think were picked and placed–
happy child’s play– or they were underfoot
of one who seeded the curbside garden–
but they appear to me as elegant and smoothly dense,
pleasing eggs offered by earth to rest in sun and shadow.
I imagine all were given important names:
Mina, Elwyn, Duke and Chloe–old friends now.
Or each was meant to hold a wish:
inclusion, healing; clear skies, butterscotch cake.
It all may have meant far less, but randomness
creates its own value and has its place.

I step back to see again. There comes revealing light;
soul and senses fill up with pleasure, peace.
For I have seen opulence that could not rival these:
plain offerings given over to dominion of elements,
sparking renewed gratitude in this passerby, and
a certainty of good secrets, treasures to be found
and lessons of usefulness as I continue on.

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Less is More

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This is not the deft poem
that other poets may identify,
but all that manifests this moment

a breath across wild space
a plea for uncommon sense
a gesture made toward heaven
a climb up a sycamore tree
a well echoing new fullness
a semblance of those gone
a blossom spun on a wave
a wish for someone’s scent
a tantrum that lost its steam
a trust in shadow’s light
a belief that remains whole
a falling down and rising up
a heart made only of singing
a ghost empty of pain
a release of all that fails
a river dancing my dreams
a madness that creates joy
a woman who ushers in dawn
a secret safely revealed
a whisper of boisterous things
a desert that welcomes rain
a love known to shift shapes
a tale of mercy for us all.

This is not a deft poem and
arrives as a living thing,
hews a trail to more,
thus grants me peace.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: This I Can Tell You

 

I found the past today, your zest and stillness,
the sturdy early years and in-betweeness.
Now you’re three quarters grown, still present
more or less, despite a bit of steel in lip,
a drape of walnut colored hair, a flutter
of eyelids, your face a study in pallor and shadow.

These obscure a teen-aged life, its secrets, until
a smile creases the standard blase position.
Words can appear like dewdrops or lightning:
ideas, feelings, a pronouncement, a kind of poem.
I pay heed, branch to bright leaf, age to youth.

Remember how easily you played and sweated?
Danced and pretended with my necklaces, scarves?
And memorized the properties of plants, liked insects,
revered high desert creatures, shared your drawings
or whatever made you mad–it all mattered.

I saved up those times when you still
found my hand, offered wildflowers, songs.
Your heart has ached, become strong in life’s vagaries;
kept company with humans, wildness, imaginings.
A thrum of mystery has gentled sadness, fed hope.

I have been glad to act a fool, to hurt for and hold you.
Still invoke angels to do great work with you.
I am nearer than you know as you sit with
daybreak and midnight and mine the depths
for wisdom that reveals greater truth.

Like water and salt, granddaughter,
the element bravery resides in you.
Like seed and starlight, love and faith,
your life will reach far, forge its way.
I will be here if you somehow forget.
Speak my name. I will remind you again, again.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Hold On

Grey walk at L.Park 014
Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

To be caught and barely held fast!
Drifting through without direction
and without needed restraint,
then to be found before finding,
held without holding, full in the balance.

It is no common or easy thing
to land in the tangle of living
and be content to rest, ashimmer
in elements and shifts of wind,
a being amid beings, simplified, whole.

The broad road feels safe, well trod,
yet in the narrows there is a rise
and spin that takes all higher when
one makes way through thorny places:
go on, blood that’s shed can turn to radiance.