Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Playing for One

If she loved you once, she might love you twice

but this is her game, it is played as solitaire.

No fine king of diamonds, no mad jack of spades;

no fancy club for the lovelorn where you

can outmaneuver with a winsome grace.

This is not the game where anyone wins.

It is one heart played and nothing more to spare.

Like a dreamy master game, one step forward,

crisscross, slide three over but the window will close.

Set a table as if waiting for two– although

no service is forthcoming, no challenge of wits;

not even remembrances served with an aperitif.

After a cleansing fast, she may even return;

but this is her game and still true to one heart

it is played alone, remains a lively solitaire,

a long running, loss-defying life of solitaire.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: First, the Winter Walking

Not everything is sharp-edged, roped with worry or

shaken by the sight of winter’s familiar greying

as it gathers a curtain of chill, soon

to dissolve in staccato of raindrops.

A wool-bound fisherman at the river knows this,

and those nodding as they clip along the river walk

and the dogs that collide with me, all glad noses and tails

before they strain toward seagulls far from sea

that traverse this other water throughway.

I can’t help but be happy. I’m stuffed with nourishment

of wing and leaf, damp and moss, the wind a soft slap

on my cheeks, a tweak of muscles and bones.

Late light crystallizes the far horizon as I go.

November flows to the south where

waterfalls release the hurrying. These hills

settle deeper into irrevocable green.

It’s a lesson that comes when we see it,

the seeping brightness inside torrents,

rich mud snugged to asphalt and cement,

minty scents of winter with smoky autumn.

I am given this balm, ancient reassurance

as the river wends its way through wood and field.

There is kind remembrance of winters that have shone,

and will shine, and this poultice of rain and platinum clouds.

And, too, a daily circling up with love despite

tribulations, which one by one will

fall to earth and water,

stone and ash beneath our feet.

All photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2020

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 Passing Fancy/Poem: Abundance

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson Copyright 2020

A scarcity of words

scatter then to now-

how much can be told

in small offerings,

like seeds cast

upon wind that may

take root elsewhere.

Simplicity,

the whisper of austerity,

reveals abundance.

So, too, with us.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Eileen with Wild Petunias

We have moved through much a long time,

in weather sour or promising,

with heads in our hands or raised high

and often shoulder to shoulder

making a tent to protect us from this or that storm.

We once may have lived parallel lives,

capricious yet generous, cabaret-infused,

fine literature with potatoes for supper,

and working our way toward freedom.

But a laugh or a howl often passed as

one and the same, floating up from

magic wells of elixirs that soon took us down.

Still, we were big women in deeds, few apologies,

and outliving ourselves, appetites infused

with strong hints of the sacred,

but oh– the loves that followed

as we fancied ourselves enchantresses.

If we were or were not, we imagined or made it so.

Perhaps we did gather up ancient myths

and madness as we went– until it bedecked us

all bright and bountiful, confounding

as changelings or shooting stars arcing over

purpled nights, perilous dawns.

We found bits of peace amid puzzles of need,

then followed thrills on trains to somewhere.

One might that say we beat the bitter odds.

And how we came to value that. Oh, yes. And each other.

Now–these conditions of leave-taking,

me swamped in glories of geraniums

with perfumed leaves that

you cannot pack to go the distance.

You piling one thing after another

in boxes that will not hold all the years

or the more persistent secrets.

This move will accommodate you with newness,

sleek desert moons above swimming pools,

glittery sands folded into naked breadth of sky.

You will dive in, carry on with laps in mirroring water

that keep arms strong, heart calm, face a-glisten.

There will be shocking blossoms amid thorns

and heat that rules, and a horizon open to anything.

Your Maizie: cat nose sniffing at edges of desert;

you: squinting into brazen sun, holding her close.

Nights will welcome the days; your family

has already set a place at the table.

You know that is love in the first degree.

Here will be the rain dances on ferns;

wind to carve the gorge and deep dark as I dream.

It will green from one day to next, trees trembling assent.

I will be awash in stories, mugs of tea, flamenco and ballet,

smiles of grandchildren with rainboots gleaming.

My hair will streak whiter as your red softens.

I already gossip with your shamrock plant,

and will bathe it with east light.

Your berry and pine afghan will

swaddle these feet and arms. Winter’s silence.

Still, we can call for advice, reveal our events,

anticipate truths, and excavate meanings

to hold up to these heartbreaking times.

We are two aging warrior women so battle savvy,

still pilgrims but no longer abandoned, and

counting the good fortunes–and

such men, plans and angers turned loose.

Each discovery of beauty is, we know,

an excellent find amid the rubble

meant to be shared and thereby increased.

It is a trade we like, good giving and receiving.

The distance will recede, our psychic shores

a stone’s toss, gathered words like weathered nets

bursting with gifts, rich nourishment.

And before long we will find our way back

my Irish sister and fine prattling cohort,

my brave, my lustrous friend,

Eileen of the wild petunias.