Saturday’s Poem: Concert Hall

This is a place of safety.

I lean toward a concert hall entrance,

into otherworldly glow of chandeliers, heavy

like incandescent fruits hung from a gracious dome.

Luxe carpeted steps lift my feet higher,

leading me through dim passageways that will

ring with wood and brass, string and reed,

and a union of voices. Those that will sing for me.

My voice is silenced as lights fade;

a burgundy curtain, opulent dressing, swings apart,

and the revelation is a great gathering of human beings,

weilding insturments of transportation.

They commune with the conductor as he

choreographs sound;

they unite unfurling notes, make crescendoes of story.

Before long, they ride a ship to exotic parts

and return laden with treasures for the mind, the soul.

For me, for us. I shelter here, all together.

I come and worship humbly.

I pull close music made of breath, of beating blood

and smile, weep into it, meditate with it,

seek heroine and hero in it,

and bring each precise measure to my thirsting self.

A woman fragranced with English oak and

redcurrent, swathed in an indulgent cashmere

still needs a goblet of clean water, a handful of figs,

a conversation that rouses and clarifies

with a language that tells truths.

Sancutary for all.

The music finds and fits me and I, it,

and the leaning forward is not of body

but spirit and I am lifting,

I am alight and the players and I

cross demarcations, are vast and unmapped,

become one.

Friday’s Poem: Loosening Again

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Bits of me have loosened, come away
like birch strips, so thin they curl, flutter,
litter earth where unseen creatures trod.
It’s the peculiar renewal of nature,
losing this and that, cells sloughing
with nary a shudder, everything
an invention, old making way for newer.

I dreamed once of an entire heroic life,
believing it likely but the person
I am is not made now of that heart
which floated in heaven’s boat,
soul vibrant as fluty chimes.
I have become other than imagined.
Deepened perhaps but a layer less substantial,
working toward brave transparency.

Opacity and clarity, how they surprise me with wisdom.

Yet I seem more diminished as each one I’ve known
passes through the eye of storms
and into an evermore, far halcyon place.

I am not yet invisible but missing parts-
her laugh that sustained, his silence that
taught, smiles that unlocked extra life,
that brilliant blue eye of family which held the world.
One offered poetry as necessary bridge.
One came ashore to find me,
then we dove right in from high places.
Now only I stand here, putting on my courage

while bits of me have loosened
like fleeting, downy petals,
revealing a tender center
where– despite fiery tears,
the blush of regret and delight,
all sorts of love which defy naming–
you and you still roam inside this sphere

I yet inhabit as I call out, seek more grace

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 Poem on Saturday: Rumors of Beginnings

The rumor is that the year changes.

Still, I breathe with my heart, earthen and
cosmic oxygen rising from conduits
hewn of shadow, light, water.
If it is a new entrance before us, also an exodus
that carries us to beginnings. A labyrinth, a journey
with pilgrims come round from afar. You and I.

I say, remand our treasures to the fire
of life, of loss. Plant random bits in good places
where springs quench deeper thirst.
Move among trees and mossy rocks, hollow and peak,
greet sea’s leviathans, guardians of earth, winged messengers.
We can recall such language; God recalls our names.
See, evening is seeded with starlight and the heavens
shed grace: mercy and knowledge given with no falsity.

I hope for a miracle of start overs. Righteous indignations and
angers loosed to be upended, disbanded.

For the poverty of fear and shame with their
failed assumptions, viperous words to be relinquished.

For the superfluous to fall away so ears hear
and eyes see each moment now with the best expectancy.

And fissures and fractures that divert us from
transformation to be healed, and lives that strain
from pressures of the world to be reinforced.

I call for a shepherding of our errant stories,
each one born of blood and bone, erupting with
a capacity for love: let us carry them to country and town.
And reimagine shards of beauty, breakage of sorrows
to remake and brace our living, a creation amid the harrowing.

This labyrinth of prayer is a minor strand of our tapestry.
We hail from a fathomless universe, crisscross earth
in designs of tender bodies. This is what is given us.
We are not ever quite lost as imagined. Nor alone in our cocoons of flesh.

A new time, the talk goes. A chance for reclamation, reaffirmation.

I give it credence, my face tilted to sky, then street.

May we grant favor to one another,
and hoist compassion, a torch from dawn to dark.
Greet peace upon entering and leaving each door, feet
casting off the chains of futility.

Here, my hands, joining the common circle.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: A Small Knowing

Photos of Pacific Ocean beaches, Cynthia Guenther Richardson-copyright 2020

This body knows some of light.
It has followed gradations
slipping east to west,
beams of sun and moon
that cast sparks of wisdom
on an earthbound being.

Such messages from afar
appease my longing.
The homesickness like thirst.

I have walked along its edges
and deemed it wanting,
transparent shadows
(or remnants of lost light),
harboring me without demand but
also without my full consent.
I have scooped up light while falling,
hands cupped for sustenance, more power.
I have called it closer only
to find austerity, a hard review
of endless want. Denial is an answer.

But that light which knows me loves me,
delivers me to the Source. I slip within,
shed flesh, find spirit braver.

But how can we stay alive without living?

When does light reveal its colors if we are not watching?

Every step closer breaks water as it fills this vessel.

This soul knows signs of light.
It accepts transformation.
It allows slow burning radiance
to envelop me in its long passages.

How can we love if the soul does not?

It carries me like wind carries seed.
Come, it tells me,
may you shine, shine
far beyond this blinded time.