Friday’s Poem: Lux in Tenebris (Light in Darkness)

Sliver and orb, flash and streak,

rising and flowing across the earth

the quality of light is migratory,

transitional, dynamic as it pervades

our lives like breath, like heartbeats.

Omnipresent as every human need

and rife with potency, nobler than imagined

it spills over rotund or knife-sharp horizons,

an unstoppable beam inside thickets of dark.

It arrives as torn lace aflutter among branches,

shifts and skips between arms and legs

and rides manes of wild horses,

flicks ears of wolves and sleek-backed snakes

as sunlight ’til moonlight ’til starlight joins life to the finish.

The body cannot keep it from coming, nor forget

even in grief, even in blindness.

Light lays itself down, follows us faithfully

then embroiders worn edges of shadow.

Such volume of light in cup, in heart, in hand

has no form to define as it sizzles and dances

but here comes warmth and illumination

that arise from the deep of all mother-father eyes–

but, too, rests itself on mossy log and feathery bloom.

It roams alleys and walls of the city when few are watching.

Suffuses even the cave and recess no one wants to find.

It wends its way to tenderness of lovers’ fingertips,

and skin how it glows, it gleams in pulse of stars,

shimmer of moon and sun let in by window or fissure.

The earth, air, water know such wiles, how magic accumulates,

what means a spot of luminescence at play on brook, leaf, stone.

It changes what is seen, becomes a compass for a map of movements,

a truth telling, a magnification of vagaries of life.

This force is a constancy of inarguable beauty,

a mystery and surprise in the midst of aching and

creating, and in our welcomes, our refusals.

Seeking or not, there is always lux in tenebris

born in homes of the cosmos, released to earth

and still working, undeterred by tremulous times.

May we be bearers of such light,

and brave bearers of life.

(Apologies for accidentally posting two Spotify.)

Friday’s Poem: Cloudwater

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

The insistence of clouds and their vapors.

They will ebb and flow, one to the other

so as to never be lonely or dissipated,

great bodies a convergence of

moisture in ragtag whites and greys.

Then comes the hammer of far weather,

so they are scuttered and donned by winds

that lift and mold them into a face,

an ibis or tails of horses with

a brush stroke of air, a charge of lightning.

All we cannot see in their depths is secret

but their largess of water is borrowed from

the sea its own master; its pioneering tributaries;

the lakes which shift, thrive and are patient;

the brooks a dance and dalliance

in ruts and hollows of dirt.

They lift up the vapors, those beneficent caretakers

of royalty, life blood of the earth, each droplet

altered by movement and alchemy, some thunderous

clouds emergent with power…

…or those surrendered in sprinkle and mist,

soft upon the skins of this world.

A mystery of life in a sky of teardrops for all.

A benediction of water captured in time.

A rush and wash against shore and branch

like ancient harp and drum.

Here is the yielding of rain which

amorphous shapes retrieve to shape again.

The river today is endowed with cloud water.

I kneel at its edge and drink in

a visage of holiness, light to embolden

its sheen and sway, an offering of blueness

to restore my faded eyes with grace.

This signal, a psalm for life.

A restoration around and within.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Middle Time, Better Time

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

What I need is not more time or the old time

but a better time, less seconds that push

everything down into valleys on the map

of a scarred and obfuscating world.

I need a time beyond itself with a harmony that

still pulses inside staccato sighs, and sky breaks

on my shoulders with cascading jangles of blue.

I need a right embrace, not a thousand,

one making a highway to the moon

where all radiance has flown

and stars chime all over here, there.

I need the energy inside the transparent core,

not needless pain of millions hunkered down and

making me itch all night, making me weep

as if there is no end to it and no beginning.

I need to pay attention. To be braver in this middle time.

***

What is needed has been long awaited.

There are dangerous rivers running to sea;

we seek the common, mighty albatross’ arrival.

Watch it glide for ten thousand miles,

dive into iridescent depths for sustenance,

then show us ways through the gloaming

before foaming waves of rancor take

us farther from wherever we want to go.

Seabirds, carry us high on wide wings;

show us the world you know and we so desire.

.***

I need this quicksand of lies reversed,

and a rain of wisdom to saturate the land.

I need to waken to a chorus of humans

calling out, resonant as heavenly bells,

and all the clenched fingers of hands to be

released, and more words of mouths and minds

to be as manna right now to help save us,

language and meaning like fragrant flames

guiding us toward a slow

breaking open of dawn,

our spirits once more

rowing, rowing, rowing toward the light.

.

Friday’s Poem on Sunday: Return to the Falls

For wind which carries rain and sun on its breath,

and secret messages from sea and valley

I give thanks.

For trees and ferns in green garments

which dance, shelter and bend,

which break, fall and sustain

I give thanks.

For fragrant trails hewn of rock and dirt

so feet can trod up the mountain

I give thanks.

For waters that race and slink,

that house fishes, stones and newts

I give thanks.

For shadow creatures passing by,

and bright flip of wings and tails

I give thanks.

For song of beak and river,

rhythm of hoof and paw,

ancient tales of the mountains

I give thanks.

For this seeking life that was half-lost

in forest magic of the Gorge

and rescued there again

I give thanks.

For my soul passing through

holy ways of the Creator,

this woman- a shard of the design,

one day joining sand, air-

I offer most humble thanks.

The picture of me on the crook of the tree is a tradition. Every autumn for 19 years I have hiked the trail to Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia Gorge, where a heart attack felled me at age 51. Gratitude does not enough express what I feel every single day –and never more than when partaking of nature’s wonders. Anyone recovering from heart disease–please do not give up hope.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: These Feet of Rain

This is how life can turn,

on ghosts of smoke, spin of air

and flare of yellow as

clouds grab and release

the weighted, bilious sky.

My toes seek the rarified wetness;

my breath does not halt and drag.

This thundering morning

is not (for me) like the other eleven

as firestorms snagged and exploded

not so far from this locked, taped door.

Long hours have been disappeared into jaws of flame,

bound by smoke, thief and master.

Who believed that time could be erased

by a manic advance of fire that roared,

massacred like hordes unleashed?

There are too many who dread the final report.

But here, now, I unlatch, open my door a crack,

lift my nose to sniff a slick of breeze,

push outward inch by inch into open air,

step into the diffident moment and

an exhausted, mourning earth,

a world that still spins within loss.

I cannot believe any promise of full healing.

Every step now feels like a lingering cry,

a call to wilderness whose great heart blackens.

Still, now, these feet of flesh and rain

hold fast to the primal dirt,

my face lifting to a startle of sunlight.