inward and upward and fold
another shape blooms
Do I recount the happy times
And revel in an antique moment
Yellowing at the edges?
Do I write of sadness
Or memories incomplete?
Trying to capture what is gone
Trying to relive a time that seemed
Very mundane while living it
But I now see was
A last laugh a last story read to the boys
A last annoyance a last resolution
A last hug a last plan a last hope
A last visit to the house with tea in the kitchen
A last “I love you” said and heard by me
And by you
A last breath.
You always said we never know
When it will be the last time we see each other
So sadly true, so many little truths
And now I whisper “You were right”
But I can only imagine you saying “You see?”
Your last day was a chai
You would have smiled at that
The eighteenth day, I hope it was blessed.
Feeling a little gray.
You know, like when you
Let your eyes go out of focus
And all the sharp edges blur
And the colors wash out a little
And that soft gray of twilight
Or dawn creeps and infuses.
The gray of an elephant’s memory
Of a stream in reflection.
It’s not a bad feeling,
Comfortable like a well worn wool blanket
A little scratchy and matted
But warm from your own heat
Until compared to the brightness
Sharpness and activity you expect
That’s expected of you
And then suddenly you’re wearing
A hair shirt and scrambling for the light switch.
I say pull it around you a little closer
Breathe deep and lean into
This, which has its own soft
Clarity to impart.
I think the answer
To the question
“Who am I?”
“Who do I want to be?”
And any day
Any minute we can
Ask ourselves and answer
In a breath.
This breath flows
As this moment flows
Into the next
And with each breath
We get a new chance
To get it right.
To love and show compassion
To live and guide through example
To stumble and accept an outstretched hand
To give without expectation
To receive with gratitude
To answer a smile with a smile
To answer a frown with a smile
To take your brother’s burden
To share your sister’s sorrow and happiness
To be gentle with yourself
In this moment
Be exactly who you wish to be.
Isn’t it wonderful that we’re not alone?
I watch a squirrel outside my window chisel a walnut
And I wonder how people
Came to position themselves like broken gods
Hands outstretched in defense and separation
Ears and eyes covered and closed
Refusing the music of nature for so long
That option came to resemble fact.
Once priests cried brother to the animals
And everyone danced an emphatic “yes!”
Until they didn’t, and machines built fences
Where we divided nature into the fearful wild
And living property (modified to stack for shipping).
Now scientists are proving
What we once already knew
(“Animals Can Think! And Feel!”)
And suddenly we’re not alone (again).
Simple truths read a little like supermarket rags
Here we have an epiphany
(“Overseas Governments Grant Animals Citizen Status!”)
And there we have a revelation
(“Cruelty Discovered in Circuses and Animal Parks!”)
And everywhere we question our humanity
As we stumble to come full circle,
Remembering, forgetting, remembering again
Our family of creatures in our shared home.
Slowly we choose to remember
That it’s truly wonderful- we’re not alone.
And in these intimate moments
Sharing chemistry just by
Sitting in the same room
I realize that we are constantly seeking
And constantly finding
Without even entering awareness.
Sometimes closing your eyes
Can aid your sight
In this realm.
Beauty and ugliness mingle
Oil and water in a tense but balanced dance
Swirl and unite and repel
In each of us
In all of this
And entering awareness
Feels like abandoning awareness
But in truth
Makes us sublime.
Does anyone else
Have an envelope labeled
On their table?
The forsythia was late
And then I was late to
Bundle a bouquet
But now the table also holds
This lively staccato of yellow.
These and more
Like a meal laid out
On this table
Simply but sumptuously.
We warmed by the fire
With books and
Matt’s warm voice reading aloud
With funny interludes of observation
Cat photos from the internet
A dove on our porch railing
And one video of rescued ducks
Swimming in water
For the first time.
It’s spring and
It’s the weekend and
On this day
We thrill our souls
And each other
With little gifts.
Do we twist the tendrils of our words
Coy in the styling
And do you mean what you say?
Becomes a shout
And flutters on a breeze
Catching an updraft
And soars until it dissipates
Into mist in all directions-
Strong and then vaporous
Caught in wisps and hints by a few
Who seek the source.
Who seek the truth.