Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Safe Harbor (for Marinell)

Photo copyright 2011 Cynthia Guenther Richardson

This is one larger-made-smaller view we shared,

we were always all in and alright, pulled life to us closer.

It was pure essences we loved, seeking better,

that slim perfection resurrected from any ruin,

aches and vagaries of such living more a pittance paid.

Risk takers underneath calm skin

— those men, such work, this family–

the body and soul moved on, up, through

and if we left things unspoken, kindly so.

The giver gives to be more at home

so we gave, then navigated the mazes,

and always there was one more thing, what next?

so we laughed about it.

We cried with a language of song, not words.

It began to tally up, remnants amid

the new bits, stealthy, powerful,

familiar or confounding, each given

room as needed, little or much.

Sea swelled, flattened into a harbor of mirrors

transforming past and present

so air breathed entered us richer,

left us brighter, our talk languid and

sailing here and there.

Would that you might sit

with me again, sister, admire a view.

Think on this world together with

sorrow and wonder, lean in closer,

shake our heads, note the music

of many waters and winds.

But not now, not here,

for you have gone while part of me

waits to see you leaning forward,

your good being alight in the fantastical beyond

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Rescue

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

From a nest of dark root and sponge,

among the frenzy of greens

arises this one small star

into thin sliced light. A vinca jewel.

It cannot be made unbeautiful

in tease of sun or muddled drear.

A commoner of perfection, it come to me a salve,

its color a prize released from stealth of ivy

for my eyes which open, close, open.

Treetops impale and tug March clouds,

are watchful as I rest and rise;

nodding fans of ferns kiss

my legs, musky beds of moss

suffer my hands and feet.

I live here, too, and from wherever

this day arrived it now follows elegant

lines, spasms of light and the succulent shade,

bringing sky to rustle of feathers

to this skin I wear as poor if valiant shield.

See, they each bear me down to the river

so I may siphon off miracles.

Savor every proof of life.

Be rescued again.

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 Passing Fancy/Poem: Deconstruction, Renewal

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2020

Abstraction, dismantling the function

of things, of spaces, of partnerships

brings an essence of

form and its originators,

play of light on matter,

life in hand like water,

flotation when there was gravity,

gathering where there was separation,

movement where there was bondage.

This is what there is of love:

possibility though there was little left,

regeneration where all was static when

waiting to be undone,

peeled to the core,

discovered.