Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Larghetto

Photos, Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2020

This tempo clings to air, a slow breathing in place

larghissimo, largo, larghetto

thick as night under a lost moon,

body rustling inside sleep as spare as frost

fleeing spring heat–and how we crave naked feet,

toes shouting out to grass and concrete.

Where are we now? In a somersault of time, this pause?

Once allegro, allegretto our lives jigged, jagged,

mind’s interior a brilliant palette,

hands given work and seeking more

and not one single day to discard.

We love this life, its sweat and beats,

barely satiated by a feast of possibilities.

We became full-muscled, raw-boned explorers

and dreamers, makers once from so far away

we try to recall ancestors in this cloak of waiting.

How they survived. Loved.

Everyone counts–must–to be better, greater.

But here are our hands full of questions,

prayer and anguish, of need and more waiting

as the pace drifts into low gear.

The life core listens for signals, a good

purposeful speed, movement toward

the primary world again: such music and flavor and touch.

Hope lifts, spirals like dandelion seed in invisible wind

and we reach for it before it tries to disappear

Friday's Passing Fancy/Poem: Sweet Fire

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Persimmon bloom dense

with light, hallowed heat,

brilliant with scent that spells

senses and spirit, an ignition of fire,

tender icterine dazzle of petals,

sacred heart secret within coral canopy,

this passion of sweetest fire

and perfection of design:

a revelation of harmony, love carnal and divine

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: The Reason for Fishing

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson, copyright 2020

They understood one another then, on river’s bank.

Their rods held like diviners, green water and mud a comfort,

fish darting –savvy but still taking bait

now and then, like she did, gravitating

to his surprising presence.

She’d glance over, make sure he was still there,

and satisfaction filled her like dessert.

They always let the fish go, in the end;

it was the coaxing and waiting, respecting

both fish and fishers, words forgotten or benign

under the brave heat of early summer sun,

the lazy slap of water at ankles, faces steaming

as they stood with hum-buzzing insects and

sashaying treetops, air slipping about flush of wings.

It was freedom to be there, herself with him,

no defenses, either one–even a child knows

how to hide inside loneliness, behind lowered eyes–

and his willingness to be there, close enough.

They could do nothing more; it was all that counted.

Then one day he said

When I was your age no one cared to take

me fishing–just want you to know you have a place.

Don’t forget, muppet,

you have a place. Here. Anywhere.

And even after flick of rod and toss

of line was shared no more–

after he had gone sick, then just gone

and she was nobody’s muppet,

his words carried her, it was the shining promise

and reward at the end of every effort,

cause for another hour’s worth of hope.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Life Savers

Photo, Cynthia Guenther Richardson

She said it was only–for quite a long while–

the flowers taking up residence in damp earth,

birds at the feeder gathered as cohorts;

the red brick walkway that reminded of school

and jumping rope and at eight the Firebird Dance

she danced on stage, red chiffon whipping the air;

it was the fountain resurrected with the thaw

and the wham of hammers, buzz of saws fixing

and building, and lawn mowers growling and

dogs chasing dogs and cats, cats making u-turns to win,

children’s laughter and cries carried down the block

and sunshine sparkling like gold dust in her hands

and sky so blue it can break any heart then heal it

and songs that flee her lips unbidden

as she swings on her creaky porch swing–

–she said, Yes, this

with gaze to the mint and emerald leaves–

this is what still carries me year to year

this is what’s always saved me,

it’s what it comes down to, in the end

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: These Things Amid True Beauty

All the pleasing useless items

hedging their bets that they

take precedence, lined up along

walls or closets, at attention on shelves

and bunched in summer’s spark

and colorations–

these objects playing at art, their

hollow meanings ascribed by those

too restless, with avarice or adoration

 

and how can possessions claim prominence?

What makes the parade of belongings so winsome–

temporal natures proffering importance,

their attributes heightened when placed amid

life’s cracks and repairs, we so arrogant, faithless?

 

Why must this small thing with heft in hand seem a treasure?

We are directed to acquire and we obey easily, choices

a surrender to ragged need of relief. Or simple delight.

We bring so close what fails to stir us deeply,

as if the material world is what saves us.

Which we know will most often

discard us with no backward glances.

 

I survey decorative items chosen and gifted,

at ease in place despite my pondering.

Often their loveliness is facile,

turns heavy and dull, the room more lonely.

I note: let no thing enter that is not real. Wanted.

 

But there is a finer matter: human spaces shared.

A life opened, remade with the touch of a hand.

 

When beckoned by a call, stillness rippling,

I scoop up this blooming peony-soft being

that fits here without thought,

warm against my chest,

eyes round with no blame or insouciance

mouth void of duplicity or meanness

and the breadth and width of the whole world

empties and refills with inestimable value.

This moment and place I belong to earth

becomes infinite as I belong to her.

Any praise uttered cannot

state enough truth

so she sighs and chirps,

speaks for me,

an expectancy of and

a claim upon love.