Friday’s Poem: A Small Map to a New Year

Let it begin, the invisible slide into another year,

feet and minds discerning the way from now to another now.

We have the moment, this one captivating us once more

as it enters full consciousness with sluggish drift, a fizzing spark,

a lone howl arising with chorusers lined up watching time.

The old wishing, an ardor for new and surprising, arises.

The new year’s smallness is made larger in expectancy,

though it will be more altered by random schemes.

Like the barn owl that I saw every walk: it disappeared.

Its feathers amid ferns make me weep. I thought it would stay

on and on, a sign of grace in the strife.

We cannot tell a story before it germinates,

is freely given or exchanged like a secret,

or peered at with a flurry of hearbeats: what will be made known?

And so another year’s unveiling is launched,

subdued, perhaps glittery.

Outside my back window, nothing startles me and yet

the old wide sky pinks up and oranges over,

then greys until, half blinded, I still lean

toward limbs of pines and shelter of mountains,

the horizon beyond current reach.

What is this time amid eternity’s strange magic?

Wind shivers my lashes as I step outside, but there

still remains a tick tick, tick tock: clock towers overseeing the night.

So then let it begin. We have done this before,

made time important as we still

opened arms and found them laden with sorrow,

the unweildy bulk of others’ wants and needs

but, too, astonishment and happiness,

love’s sudden salvation amid wars and storms.

Urgency can move us from victim to hero,

faces cleaned of bitter disbelief, transfigured by hope.

Oh, we are immense in our humaness.

We are brave and heartbroken,

scarred and beautiful beyond measure.

I am bowed down by miracles despite the malfeasance.

And the river knows what it knows as I move

through the days, walk, pray, am silent then sing.

In the center of forest, at water’s edge is renewal

but there is more ahead, women and men

and children rowing and trodding through the world.

Their breath as my breath, their fingers grasping my fingers.

We have learned how to walk on our knees all the way

from sunrise to dusk, and to carry or be carried,

have endured and languished in rock-hewn nights.

So we have lived these times, we have lived them in pieces

and in whole and those still here are living still.

Still.

Waiting for one moment to join

another, this age moving to that,

our scrap-stitched courage leading us

to the greater heart of humanity as we

cross bridges to lights in a beckoning distance.

I am crossing with you;

we will clear a path, devise our maps as we go.

Wednesday’s Words/Poem: Such Times Can Be Made Anew

Photo by Hakan Erenler on Pexels.com

As you tumble from the thicket of this year to another

and contemplate grievous wrongdoings in this world,

and how your mind has felt folded with sorrow

or slowed to a stop by the bridle of fear,

and you ask if one should wonder, at all,

why not pause. Look further.

Remember when you held enough hope that you

turned your face toward sunrise as day swung open.

Remember how the taste of honey graces

the buttery warmth of biscuits on your tongue.

Remember when you threw your arms out and

ran through the meadow greeting grasses and flowers.

Remember how, when someone collapses weeping

upon your chest, you are strong enough for all of it.

Remember that when your wounds were harsh that

healing remade wholeness, a weave of lace and steel.

Remember how bees, beetles and birds keep

good company among a delirium of cherry blossoms.

Remember when you dove into green lakes to search

for anything and fish flashed through your legs, and

you got tangled in murk so broke surface for air.

Down you dove deeper despite worry of leeches, for treasure.

Remember the firelight, endless stars dancing above pines.

And then recall this moment here, now, is one more passing,

as our moon and sun grant us rhythm, power, radiance.

If you hold on, beauty missed today will show up tomorrow.

No one can bear up your life as you can, nor clear its hurdles.

No one else can inhabit your heartbeat, nor recreate your story.

So give it more tenderness, allow it the good rest it deserves.

Ignite your natural illumination so it pulses in this fog, that cave.

Your walking in this place of thorns and berries will bless the ground;

if you lose sight of things Light will gather to lead your feet.

It will bring you along with heart and soul, and you’ll think of angels.

Love remains everything you ever wanted to know.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone, and may you embrace your blessings. Find the small joys; may we each be generous with them. I will be back later next week.

Friday’s Poem: Leavetaking

I am going, I must leave you, for this

is a time when much that can be taken in hand,

into heart and held close is not disposable

but a need made known that might save you.

Outside I slide into fecund air, clean air.

The weight of a capped acorn, a burgundy berry

is not newsworthy yet form and function

matter more than chatter’s clackety-clack

travelling the table, words so much wail and

steam in a room before reaching me.

I don’t want to talk frailty and politics,

brutality and the states of moneydom,

but walk the deep singing sweet earth

that cushions my feet as I crest the next hill.

I climb harder, higher to better see the whole.

This is the matter I find at hand;

this is a way that divines who I am

and feeds me the elixer of great love.

I am shy before the sun’s curtsey

as it leaves lounging bodies of mountains,

this rarified country of trees, elegant creatures

putting themselves to bed

and I think with head bowed

Oh holy this perfect light and dark

that yet house us, deserving or not.

Saturday’s Poem: Interludes Intrinsic to the Whole

Light then comes forth, rises as it is wont to do,

leaves traces within caves and tents of scattered shadow

and all the peculiar, keening and unseen things

and, when you do not even search,

sparks life within life as all

appears relentless, darker and beyond

even grand imagination’s scope.

It stirs amid the wreckage with magnetic power

a miniscule breath, a lilt of song.

Embrace, look up with the spirit of welcome

even as–because–beating wings of fear,

of sorrow will hover and circle once more

and all the while, you will have one ancient key

to acceptance, and hope’s illustrious guidance

Friday’s Poem: No More Lost at Sea

In the beginning it is impossible,

the moments infused with

ache of emptiness offset by nothing but

the lost one, the lost one

at night, in morning, in every breath.

You: bright and witty–small words cannot begin to

say the story you wove–

and anger shaped of fear,

and proud and exquisite, anxious

to absorb every moment, gifted or stolen.

That you longed to be a mermaid

so swam in the ocean, all deep bronze skin,

freed hair, iridescent tail.

I remember and sight blurs with sorrow

but there is also this: I understand

how it is to forget that everything

rises from and gives off light, even darkness shines

— even a soul prey to lies, crushed, bitter–

but we must discern it without looking away.

I forgot to look, too. Through the overdose tunnel

I sped only to be stunned by illumination,

beginning to end, and the other way

was destruction, the ruin of surrender to nothing.

Asked to choose before death claimed me,

I chose love, chose light with all the risk,

everything exposed, living human with no guarantees.

I came back. Here I remain.

But you have floated out to a great, faraway sea,

a dance of brilliance flaunting, embracing the waves

as I make my way to one more shore.

I will always look for you here

in my dream explorations

in my simplest living

I am walking toward you

and into the sacred that flares

in all that remains

and is yet to come.

I see you

(for my granddaughter, who passed 4/16/2021)