Poetry

Incognito

Graffiti in town recently seen:
   May you be…
   safe and happy
   well and beloved

Where is this vandalism?
   May you be…
   human
   fully and free  
   like the son of man
   in all his glory?
   May you know…
   mercy and grace
   faith hope and loving?
   May you…
   smile and speak
   in the image of God?
   May you not be…
   tested and tagged
   censored or silenced
   jabbed then traced
   afraid or compliant?

Do not go gentle
into that confined space
Rage, rage
against the dying
of the face

Both photos from Wikimedia Commons by Basile Morin

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Poetry

October Inventory

Our low endeavoring sun
gently downs golden leaves
one by one except when
A frigid blast hurls them
stinging into my face

Leaves soggy one day
crunchy the next
My feet and cane
pestle and liberate their
musty pungent fragrance

Our sky widens again
Sea reclaims once more
its chameleon surface
as boats leave marina slips
on trailers heading into town

But not before sailors take
one final jaunt into grey
green and blue reflections
Return and unwind dock lines
from their hips

Piers abandoned but
boarded by fleet-footed
white mewling gulls
puffing and huddling until
wind hoists their unfurled wings

Stray grasshoppers dragonflies
Lethargic bees and wasps
Solitary monarchs who
missed their scheduled flight
to Mexico

Expat Canadian geese
foolishly form their V’s
then land again in futility
Honking memories of
migratory prowess

They linger all winter
Icy film or deep freeze
on lagoon and marina
simply propels them to
open rivers and sea

Being likewise temperate
We zone out indoors
Hibernate with books and tea
and poems to remind:
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Photos by Sandra Johnson of Into The Light Adventures. I highly recommend you visit her blog filled with excellent nature photography. Here’s the link: https://intothelightadventures.com/

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Poetry

Narrative

October drizzles a blanket
of soggy leaves in the park
covering burial mounds
next to civil war cannons
Beneath rubber boots
small twigs snap
Sound staying beneath my feet
muffled by foggy mist
A woodpecker’s hammer
breaks apart the clouds

So I sit down
take off fingerless gloves
press my palms against
a warm black molded bench
Pull off my cap
with my hair undone
Look up to absorb the sun
The hat blows off the bench
rolls toward the pond and stops
caught on the edge

There are times I miss
picking up your empties
cleaning your ashtray
You know that plastic
turquoise colored one
I bought for you
when you come to visit the kids
After all we have between us
now is history
It’s where everything is headed

Yesterday keeps untold stories
folding into dreams once real
No person can unsing
a song that once was sung
Lingering one sacred night
below a harvest moon
I watched our windows
from the backyard barefoot
Inner lights shining forth
our children’s laughter

Upper photo Wikimedia Commons by Dietmar Rabich; lower photo in the public domain, attribution not found

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Uncategorized

A Very Special Thank You…

…to Rebecca Budd for reading two of my poems on her Tea Toast & Trivia podcast! I am honored to accompany her on a new adventure in podcasting, the use of letter writing as conversation between friends. Learn to navigate this ‘mysterious’ form of literature known as poetry while listening to Rebecca’s smiling voice.

And after you’re done there, head on over to her main page to check out all her other wonderful blogs: https://ladybudd.com/

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Poetry

Bravado

In tender camaraderie
within the covers
of body and mind
I declared to him:
My shoulders are
in my heart
No better yet:
My shoulders are
in my womb
To one up me
he said:
Mark off a spot
I’m all shoulder

Solitary now
Calling on God
for insight
and scanning
the night sky
Entranced I see
the birth of galaxies
He shows me
opening upon opening
wheeling within
Brilliant harmony
Majesty
unfathomable

My vision reaps
ecstatic time with
grateful humility
This is home
While living lies
in the light of others
we can only reflect
self-dignifying
self-justifying
But a better way
is a mystery
To mirror what we
cannot know

Who is able
to bear the weight
of losing matter?
Cloaked in pride
eclipsed by certainty
I grasp reason
and forfeit
precious faith
When I surrender
the shadows
I am lifted into
the Light
of pure Love

Photo, Coconino National Forest – Flagstaff (Public Domain)

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Poetry

H o s p i t a l

We look down at
dumb magazines
or smart phones
While deep inside
panic zooms memory
down the halls
droning in our ears

We calculate our
luck infinitely
Constrict our
honeycombed throats
Emergency sirens
swarm outside
Claxons alarm us

Hearts in
the waiting room
enter pleas
with promises
and we sit here
guts strung out
on a sting

Hesitant and polite
we dance around
the obvious entrance
where fear and
faith are spoken
What becomes of
our beloved?

At this late hour
regrets cling like
pollen on bouquets
The janitor crosses
a shampooed carpet
to remove the
withered blossoms

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Poetry

Carapace

Whose fault is it
I struggle
to rip out
the metal cage
of childhood fear
that grew around
my hopeful heart

Its metal mail
nearly absorbed
cripples the pump
capacity to my brain
and crumbled
rusty habits of feeling
battle to remain

I falter
rushing ahead
when talking
corrosion disconnects
gray matter
from my ever
too quick tongue

Skin transformed
to armor
crushes my backbone
with perambulation
clearly unpredictable
I list a little
when walking

The doctors say
I need more iron
But that is suicide
My heart still loves
inside its prison
“Its inside is bigger
than its outside”

 

Edited Carrie, Grandma & Me

(Top photo of eastern box turtle by Casey Greider; bottom photo of my sister and me with my grandmother in front of the county children’s home)

 

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Poetry

Navigate

For my sister

Once content with
familiar brooks
I feared intriguing
turns and stopped
the flowing
in my heart
that leads to
greater knowing

Then I dreamed
an undertow that
pulled and changed
my course
Forced to brave
a stranger stream
I worried where
it was heading

Now I know sweet
sparkling creeks
trickle in and out of
small ponds
But some fall into
currents swift
Into beautiful rivers and
Beyond

river into ocean

Top photo Chester Creek Trail in Anchorage, Alaska; bottom photo of Plawagan Puger, East Java by Ikhlasul Amal

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Poetry

Stele

A word has power
Whether mined by
demagogues
for control
or carved into stone
for memorial
It can carry us
into exile
From ourselves
From our homes
A word can steel
the heart
or build an edifice
of faith in the future
It sifts or unites
and defines
Yet
destroy the word
You steal
time

rosetta stone

Top photo is the King Ezana Obelisk in Axum, Ethiopia. መንግስቲ ኣኽሱም (Ge’ez language) and  የአክሱም ሐውልት (Amharic language) for the word Axum, photo taken by Ondřej Žváček; bottom photo of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum

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Poetry

Goddessless

You always were
reluctantly uxorious
and wanted
goddesses
lusty and free
able to grant
immortality
But we arrived
quietly spinning
Not truculent
or furious

You once called us
the triple One
Maiden-Mother-Crone
then suddenly
declared us
cursed
and you usurped
the place of
our first trinity
Sometimes you
reconfigured us
as mother with
two sons or
banned us altogether
as Thrice-greatest
Trismegistus

You envied
my appearance
at births
during life
at deaths
You stole my alphabet
and tried to cipher
the metaphors
as if they were
power and wealth
to be counted
The dance I dance?
You need a heart
to understand
this rhythm
of chance

You should at least
have welcomed
me as Mother
alongside
the Father
and the Son
For my gentle smile
and steadfast love
are woman’s purest guile
for eternity won
I’ll be there
arms wide open
when you die
Will you recognize me
abandoned long ago
Your Comforter and
Holy Spirit?
Or will you
hunger for more
of these?
Mammon
War
and Mephistopheles

Intimate_Holy_Family_Sculpture_close_up_1024x1024

Top photo of The Three Moirai by Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764 –1850); bottom photo of the Intimate Holy Family by Bramante Studio

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