Saturday’s Poem: Ardor

In youth I believed in ardor

but not even once in roses,

their showiness too sweet

and hues refined, dainty or unreal,

their lives taxing everyone

with the care they demanded.

Hothouse flowers, a pampered lot,

made for show and selfish delights.

And those thorns.

Who would love a flower

that hurt you, drew blood

when one–quite enamored–reached for it,

and with deep fragrances that lured

the admirer into danger disguised as elegance?

Trillium or marsh marigold beckoned me;

forsythia, tiger lily, cherry blossom, wild violets

and those iris whose drooping, near-translucent petals

hid heavenly wonder, yet held

a tenderness that begged for protection.

But the truth was, how much

the rose bush reflected my life.

All the years I sought magnetic attractions,

cultivated or bound by no rules and thriving.

How much attention staying alive took,

the most desired moments being the most costly.

There were threats of harm amid sumptuousness,

enchantments that became tiny pieces

staining pathways as I slipped away,

just making it out alive, the random beauty in ruins.

It was many bruised roses, too few trilliums.

I still believe in ardor’s mystery

if not now seeking it on purpose.

Roses do grace my life along the edges,

tidy rows that bloom under nurture of other hands.

No longer hunting for what is not there–

there is plenty that is–

I wander among light or weighty scents

and often find rainbows, happy even,

as if I belong here (though ever an outsider),

a ballad seeker and lullaby singer

so perhaps at times useful;

a colorist who fills up days in swirls of ink;

a woman on missions with arms held out

despite sudden punch or cut;

holding fast to beauty while binding wounds

and finding a flurry of petals floating to earth.

They shift in their smallness,

and soften under bare feet to make living

even more than expected,

like random plenty amid austerity.

I can, it seems, now be struck silent by roses.

I cannot, it seems, put aside ardor,

nor it, me.

Monday’s Meanders: River Magic/Dusk, Twilight

I’ve walked later in the day recently, mostly to avoid heavy rainfalls, and find the river more beautiful than ever as the winter sun begins to set. These are taken at stretches of path along Foothills Park, an apt name. A section closed during summer for updating reopened; it has been a pleasure to enjoy it again. I hope you like these peaceful offerings.

May peace and beauty comfort you in your daily labors, and amidst these tumultuous times.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Summer’s Song

A summer day sings a choir of trees,

tonal brilliance leaping branch to leaf,

skimming long-necked flowers or snaking vines,

then at rest in clouds and dirt, pooling in our hands.

Wind is breath of heavens unknown, unending;

sweeping valley, summit, plain or desert;

across swamp, the sea and brook;

and swirling, fleeing about gorge and tunnel.

Summer succor is warmth laid upon our flesh.

It wakes sleep walkers with notes of invitation.

Music to romance the ones who must crack open to mend.

July’s tunes dance where there is no one hopeful

enough to move to rhythms of living–the times so

reviled, forsaken and stolen. Suffering, cries that echo.

But still, let summertime enter, settle, sweep out the rooms,

shore up the fearful or weakened, calm the proud or jaded.

Summer unfurls its golden streamers, builds such lattice of shadows.

It deepens the seams of what is torn then slowly repaired.

Find herein a refuge of beauty’s secrets; tilt faces upward.

What can we not love about this winsome repertoire of calls;

gold glimmer astride wings; sunshine-ripened fruits;

and greenness, a miracle of this our yet-turning sphere–

such power, promise cascading from chalice of an azure sky?

Listen. Attune the soul with sweetness,

for it ever sings, the summer, generous

and abundant, day in and day out,

and will most sing for us here, now.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Night Vocabulary

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Then night’s dark environs curved a cave
about as I shut eyes and mind cruised
among a cornucopia of thoughts,
such a banquet that seemed not to
whet my appetite, so I let go and fell

in a wilderness of words, nets
of rapture and folly that caught me,
brave conspiracy of verbal happiness,
a wardrobe of syllables crafted for me
of dismal slags and daring surprise.

Such vocabulary leaving and arriving
hews deep, familiar pathways
to moments which manifest life
despite being paused–by age or health,
temporary material circumstance;

or that restlessness of worry,
all the hard prayers to high slung moons.
Every arc of words creates a visage
of love that recognizes me or not as yet
as I navigate waves of wakeful slumber.

These tricky acrobatics of curiosity,
capricious nouns holding forth, verbs astir,
a language of energy launching me toward
horizons colored with shining letters…
ah, may language of this small bestowed life not desert me.

May I attend and serve until the ending blesses.
And we shall leap, drift into rhapsodies of silence.