The edge of October rounds near
in cool days and orange revelations
that float quietly
to the dying earth.
Memory, or wood smoke,
hangs thick in the silvering light,
like persistent cats who want dinner.
Oh, I have known such autumns,
of ruby-gold stretched bold
and the music of our rolling on a bed of thirsty leaves.
And too, I have known fall’s full grief
in torn ghosts and silhouettes
of those who could
or would not stay.
Yet Autumn, still I love you,
in your loss, your death, your beauty.
I wander the rustling halls of your night;
Minnesota winter touches
and will not be denied;
she rushes into noses on peppermint wind,
and grabs bare wrists and earlobes.
Unrolling yards of white lace
and smoothing the lakes with ice,
she lays a frozen tea. Can you feel your invitation
sneaking, graceful, through the glass?
Minnesota winter is a hugger.
With dark and months-long arms
she holds us to her snowy breast
and may not know the strength of her own squeezing.
Yet not unkind,
she smiles down in clearest sunrays,
painting blue and glitter shapes across the park,
swaddling our over-busyness in silence.
and only the crunching march
of this journey.
Turning windows golden in the night,
she settles in for the loving season.
Rocking time’s cradle she croons,
singing seed lullabies
and knitting silver booties for Spring.
August was wearing fall's perfume tonight
but it was subtle,
just a cool dab on a warm wrist
so that I smelled it more
with my skin than with my nose.
I've been coming out at night
to sit in summer's last dark.
By eleven, the crickets' thrum and traffic noise from Cedar
is punctuated - boom, crack, sizzle -
by fireworks; another night closing on the Minnesota state fair.
I smile to imagine sleepy, sticky children,
drunk on fried food and the midway,
bobbing heavy heads in homeward bound back seats.
Perhaps they dream of Butter Queens
and the soft pink of spun sugar and baby pigs.
There is so much we have to change in this world,
so much to do, so little time,
but I will let myself have this.
I will tuck the small pleasures beneath my vest
to save for winter.
There are many structures
that support the meaning of why we are.
All are essential,
and mine is only one.
My truth begins before time,
yet in the absence of color,
there was blackness.
The blackness was life, being,
and that being was grace, expanding.
This movement of unfolding was a first becoming,
and grace began to know itself.
With a flicker in the void,
grace caught it’s own reflection,
held in the curved, black mirror of itself,
and fell in love.
It began to woo it’s own heart,
singing warm songs, and laughing low.
Grace created exchange,
and understood the power of growing.
Swirling in lust and pleasure,
grace made love to itself.
From the explosion of this union, this bliss,
came all that we know.
These patterns move through and around us;
stillness is sparked, and grows through ripeness,
becoming stillness again.
We know the seasons, the cycles of life and death.
So everything is made of love,
and the magic of connection.
We walk upon this piece of blessed dust,
each a bit of starlight and desire.
A mindful measure of “moment”
seeks to be still.
Like a toddler playing freeze tag,
it holds an awkward pose
that in earthly nature,
can be nothing but ephemeral.
Greened copper threads
stretch back and past
with the seduction of rememberance,
while sunset orange winds
fling themselves into potential,
to dream the days after.
Born “movēre” in the Latin,
is it any wonder that this moment
wants to move and travel?
My ego has bought it a neat ticket,
on the fastest train
from here to anywhere.
Sometimes I wonder
at the pretense
of presence in the present.
Surely I could more easily carry
the planets’ coal to Newcastle,
and as yet fetch a pretty price.
I grasp the fortunate iron
that rides like rust in my
I fumble, then catch a tool.
I return to breath.
I taste the grace in quietude.
Another breath, I drop down,
eyes into the viridescent heart,
which throws the senses wide.
This piece of time chimes bright;
my ribs bend back in a cathedral chord,
that gently resolves to minor.
I breathe and drop again,
vision now cradled below the hips;
pelvis wrapped in red roots.
I melt into the marrow of holding;
this dark, human bowl that curved,
long before the smiles of our mothers’ mother.
Evanescent and eternal,
the “moment” stays,
even as it dreams of flying.
I am reminded, then distracted,
then reminded again
to the patterns of practice.
|Unzip the jacket with a zing like bee-shot, |
that slips satin from shoulders.
One layer announces its fall to the floor,
and the space around this changes.
Undo the buttons, one by one.
Fingers’ dance, twist and push through,
down the torso, at the wrist,
and the space around this changes.
Shirt-white seagull at my feet
as acrobatic arms twist back, unhook the clasp.
Release the lungs, liberate the chest,
and the space around this changes.
Bare skin, cool to the night air,
pebbles like some vulnerable beach,
and I dig my fingers in;
push back flesh and sand
where the cage, red behind white bars,
opens like a wary cabinet.
There, just in the shadow,
lies the green velvet door;
a graceful, honest pass
to this secret garden.
Set within walls of experience
built thick of brick and knowing,
it wears no sign.
I need no key.
I reach in to touch the silver knob
and spread a shiver
that is bravery, that is fear,
as the space inside me changes.
Luckily, artemis112 and I have started a little inspirational writing challenge, and I will once again try to write at least one poem a day.
I may not post every poem here, but I am going to try to get back to sharing my work regularly, so check in if you like that sort of thing.
And so it begins...
Frank and I met at The Fioretti.
It’s one of his favorite spots, you know
because of the outdoor seating
that lets us dine with his animal friends.
Besides, he really loves their vegan Ruben.
The wait-staff knows us well
and turns a blind eye
when he slips his Birks off under the table
or when Verna, his favorite chicken,
hops up for a snuggle and the promise of pie crumbs.
Though we love the view and Genmaicha, tonight we are quiet.
We watch dusk come slowly over the café,
turning itself round three times,
like an old cat,
before settling with a sigh to rest upon the land.
We are mourning for Newton;
thinking of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary;
tasting tragedy and loss.
We hold hands; pet nearby feather and fur.
We reach for every source of hope, like survivors do.
Then through his palm
and through my tears I feel a whisper.
On the wind, rumbling up through the dirt,
speeding into me,
I hear a new prayer...
I am as I was born, an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred, let me listen and offer compassion.
Where there is injury, let me bring healing and mercy.
Where there is doubt, let me honor questioning.
Where there is despair, let me know my own fortune and let me share it.
Where there is darkness, let me sit and offer comfort in the night.
Where there is sadness, let me embrace.
Oh Life and all that is Divine,
may we offer consolation and may we open to consoling;
may we be understood as we continue to work for greater understanding,
may we love and let ourselves be loved.
For we are blessed in giving and receiving,
and in forgiving, we learn to cut ourselves some slack
for in living, we are born to Eternal Love.
pulls up slowly in a black limousine
and rolls down the darkened glass.
Tossing out cloudburst and a crumpled pack of Marlboros,
the open window lingers,
beckoning to bodies pressed in niches and beneath awnings.
But with what promise?
The Mackenzie’s, Rigby’s and I
ignore the implication,
turning our eyes and empty jars south
hoping for a warm bus, deserved kindness
and the significant transfer.