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

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

Antilogy

Moments of joy
and terror
are not balanced
with the precision
of a “blind watchmaker”
Where there is
no chance
of error

Nor can these be
blamed on a
reckless
“devil’s chaplain”
innocent of intent
Who just asks
that we trust him

Theory can’t
unweave
the poetry of rainbows
Yet believes it shuttles
the weft and warp
Starts pulling at and
rearranging its own
tapestry

Its sparkling strings
trick and trap
but unravel
when fitter words appear
We follow their
endless strands
around our heart
protecting our soul

Concept cannot
ascertain
why life is short
Can’t explain
how for some
their bliss is
unthreaded
too early
For others pain
knotted too long

Its dogma proclaims
love is chemical
love is practical
A function
whose time itself
is passing
merely
into electrical
simulacra

It is not self-evident
that our mind
is a “meme machine”
There is also
the reason of faith
A humbler story
of the meek and
mysterious
evolution of spirit

 

Michelangelo's_Pieta_5450_cropncleaned_edit

Photos from Wikipedia; Michelangelo’s Pietà by Stanislav Traykov

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Poetry

Wake Up

Ants cope better
They revive
Being good scouts
determined
to adapt and
sally forth
to defy
insecticides
meant to rout them

Will they
inherit the dirt
they already inhabit
Will there be
a dearth of humans
when asteroids
predicted or not
traject directly
from unseen hands
to silence
the talking species
Will we hear ants
celebrate

Or will it be
“Not with a bang
but a whimper”
An untraceable
genocide
unrighteously conceived
but plausibly denied
by those who deem us
so beneath them
A blight on our planet

Ants can’t write poetry
to magnify reality
or dignify their plight
or dance pointlessly
under starlight
dreaming into
their lover’s eyes
or create symphonies
or paint

What they do well
is cooperate
navigate without
technology
Communicate
on top of
and below ground
They haven’t a clue
about quantum computers
nor take their cue
from statistics
spitting fear and
paralysis

Ants just find
those nooks
and crannies
where toxins
cannot arrive
And faith
reminds us
We do not mind
that there are
flowers
which only blossom
in the night

Night blooming cereus

AntBridge Crossing courtesy Igor Chuxlancev; Night-blooming Cereus by Ernie Murphy

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Poetry

Distance

From an old bench
while basking in
late Autumn’s sun
I notice something
not belonging
among a mound
of large white rocks
piled on the edge
of our spring fed pond
first enlarged
by town founders
Truckloads of boulders
to shore up its bank
have arrived from elsewhere
like me
who chose this village
twice as home
with then without
spouse

A slender stalk of corn
only ten inches high
sprouts among
the white stones
from seeds sown
too late in summer
This plant has no reason
to grow here and now
for me to wonder about it
But I do

A solitary mallard
swims in the pond
by way of a woman
poor, a bit unusual
and often ridiculed
by locals
She loves and cares
for animals of all kinds
especially illustrated
by flea bites
Scabs and scars
spot her arms and legs

She found that glossy
green-headed duck
worried and waddling
through neighboring yards
and placed him lovingly
in our pond
He soars away daily
to visit nearby waters
but returns
Soon his friends
come to visit
Some stay

A man from another town
drives over once a week
his workday finished
and scatters seed corn
to feed our ducks
and other birds
I’ve chatted with him
We’ve both spent time
with the duck lady
as she’s also known

Greedy squirrels
born here
don’t need to be fed
among plentiful hickory and oak
some of these planted too
The little hoarders
skitter and scamper yearlong
Today one glares at me
for an uncomfortable
amount of time
when I dare
to usurp a bench
she’s staked out
as her luncheonette

But no birds or squirrels ate
that particular yellow grain
faithfully scattered
on the grass
near water and stone
And I wonder
who else has noticed
this tiny futile stem
held “green and dying”

In our cherished park
meeting and greeting
each from afar
we can never
fathom the depth
of knowing how
the heart
never sows out of season

Clouds and corn

Top photo courtesy White-Rock-Lake Blogspot; bottom photo by Dani Simmonds

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Poetry

Through

The sun is
a weary yellow
behind flat gray sky
this December noon
Not like autumn
when that brilliant kingfisher
first came to our park
bluer than sky
diving in the glassy pond
rising with his juicy sustenance
Today he wings from tree to tree
eyeing the cold little abyss
rattling his dry raspy chatter
Flies away hungry

They say there’s danger
for the halcyon
as it plummets
from such high places
Birdwatchers tell the story
of a kingfisher
that dove into a lake
broke its wing and slowly
bled into the water
its mate frantic and circling above

I rise from my bench
solitary and free
wander off the path
with memories of green
Some leaves and twigs crunch
over mud not quite frozen
Blotches of thin ice
coat dark puddles

Sundress and straw hat
packed away for summer
bundled in my down jacket
I persist
Hobbling with a cane
twenty-six winters now
The invisible beacon
faithfully leads me on
I dream of spring

kingfisher autumn

Top photo courtesy J.J. Harrison; bottom photo by Andrew Mckie

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