Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Preparation for Freedom

Oh for heat and length and ease of

our bodies returned, a simple certainty

of life even as time dwindles, loses track or forbids.

Yes, what I would give for a life lived

so as hands or feet or arms seek others

there comes a meeting of strength and balance,

a compromise between gravity and flight.

Such lightness and courage of bodies that trust…

Before these days, the poisonous winds,

people in their sporting selves

glowed inside the loosening of green

and warming saffron of fall days,

and perhaps there was a small anointing

of flesh, of spirit with safe exhalations,

and armfuls of praise which result

from such comraderie.

I watched them then with clear eyes;

they welcomed with gestures, smiling.

We now step into October’s gauzy air

streaked with smoke, as a myriad of

spinning leaves fall like shy visitors to earth,

and glance off our finely tempered skin.

Which we yet do own and don’t think otherwise:

our flesh has memorized our contentments–

how do we forget comfort when there is a lack?

–and they call to us as our bodies labor.

Still, we likely dance or tread as solitary over earth.

And all the while inside these besieged vessels,

our exquisite homo sapiens sheaths,

we are waiting as if cocooned,

readied for liberation, poised

to be released–and then to once more rise.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Rings of Life

That much can be said with a show

of rings is a matter of a (quite small) intrigue.

Rose gold: vows belonging to another woman,

rescued from a gutter, polished, made safe.

Circling flowers and geometry saluted in silver,

remembrance of happiness, gentleness against skin.

Lustrous pearls held to gold, tenacious, demur,

once a standard bearer for womanly ways.

Moonstone of the dreamer’s way, how it glows of

night’s illumination, an auspicious design.

And a silver band created by youthful hand,

never mislaid or forgotten; 55 years encircling

the finger devoid of a forever wedding ring.

They each nestle in a handcrafted jewelry box.

They last longer if respected, kept close.

Unlike expectations, wishes or promises,

they own their places; I can keep them occupied.

These rings know my skin and its deeds,

stories of sleight of hand and mind,

songs of a topaz and turquoise heart,

an earth/water, wind/fire body.

The droughts of spirit replenished by deepened wellsprings.

The love stretched over chasms, as a bridge–

yet with few hands well met to break the falls–

here they are, just good reminders,

a glimpse of what has been, or not.

That much can be said by a show of rings-

if fractions of truth–

an adornment of metals that hold

history. A few minor and major matters,

a circuitous path ’round the years.

A collection of beauty found, words unspoken, tears unshed.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Among the Others

It was this: gauzy breath of things, a wild perfume

settled on grass and leaf, and whirring wings about me,

the wash of light sheer raiment falling to earth.

Saltwater marsh, wetland woods, mudflats spread out.

Stepping down the path, heart’s beat pulling me along,

and different tattoos of footprints wound about stones.

Mountains rose up, far off as loved ones.

The tableau revealed the paucity of what I knew

and was trying to learn but always, a simpler woman stirred.

Water rested, shone of myriad worlds above,

below, beyond to deeper, deepest waters. The greenest life.

I was as a twin, outside while also still myself:

to sense all that drank, rested, snarled, predated,

slipped into murky green and blue, fur and hooves,

tails and claws that flew and teeth that tore and ears

that pricked long before any small knowing

came to such as myself, a lesser being,

neophyte of nature’s finer absolutes.

Struck dumb by love for all I do not comprehend,

lost to amazement again–I took it in, held it close

Elderberries, bear-berries, salal berries

leaned this way and that. And my legs went weak

as I recalled their bounty meant for wild things.

Day’s revealing light began to cool,

water lulled each side of a narrow path.

No sound followed but a sigh from within

family of grasses, scrunch of bushes.

Trees gathered up shadows and light

like gatekeepers of that country.

But I felt the others. Tell me not otherwise,

they were there and noses lifted, paws stilled,

ears came awake–

black bears, a cougar or bobcat and coyote.

And this was not–despite my adoration–

our common hunting ground.

Not my moody sky to cover

my differentness in the coming night.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Head for the Hills

That’s the way, take those wheels and flee

half-mad houses belonging to your families,

voices shredding air with impatience,

the brass gong of them reverberating in

your pliant minds, echoing far past night.

(I hear it, too, their picking and blaming

escaping restraint like dogs let loose

into deep shadow, tunneling through dark.

But your houses squeeze tight within walls

with nowhere for grownups to go but

advancement toward each other.

Forgetting they were peacemakers,

ones who soothed, savored the good.

Worry warps them some, remakes life,

and it offers less room for love.

Oh, dear children, I see, I know.)

So there you go now, grabbing bikes,

are gone lickety-split with a wave goodbye.

Don’t parents know their danger is like a

hungry rat, how you’ve shuddered, hidden?

You need them to transform back into

their good, everyday selves.

But not all is ruined, not now or tomorrow as

you peddle and sweat into the bosom of hills

where there are no differences just giant trees,

wild blooms bobbing, hills rippling calm

with grassy green, and sky that blue

and unbreakable, a shield against possible rain.

Your friends call out your name

and you answer with theirs–

all is safe, all is sound as now peels

out the golden ring of laughter again.

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