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“The world cup
will be held in the US
in 2028,” my son announces
and I shudder
to think
I’ll be 77 –
The polar ice caps
are melting at twice
the rate predicted,
adult suicide
rate has sky rocketed,
smart phones
stoop our shoulders
making us
slaves
and leaving
children
hungry for
our attention.
Not to mention
the raging wars,
famine
plastic in the seas
and complete
devastation
of our earth.
That’s the morning –
but as I fall
into the abyss
I find
my sweet
life line:
his curly hair
recently shorn
framing
deep brown eyes,
his skin,
the color
of milk
and coffee.
He smiles
so wide
at the day,
pure
in his love
of life.
Every mundane
act:
a worthy ritual,
such joy
in discovering
the same basket
of toys
week after week:
cherished treasure.
He squeals
in a secret
language
as he pulls
one trinket
after another
sharing his finds
with his universe:
the tired dog,
busy squirrels
collecting peanuts
on the fence,
in plain sight
through the window
that seals us in
to our four walls.
He can
point to
crows winging
up to the roof,
or bluejays
screeching
from the walnut
tree’s lush branches
which frame the view.

It’s a small
and cozy
world
these walls
where
anything is possible,
everything is new
and time
is in each cherished
moment.
In this place
there is no past
no future
no regrets
no desires
no enemies
here
all is as is
precious
valued
and above all
perfect
as it is.

I am grateful
for
my gentle
teacher,
take him in
my arms
to savor
his sweet scent
and feel
my heart
beating
against
his warm
frame,
I squeeze
him
tight
to gather
in every drop
of light
to fill
my darkest place.

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The crow began
calling
at dawn:
guttural notes
bouncing off
the lush
verdant
black walnut
tree’s
wide leaves:
the same
“garbage” tree
we trimmed
down
to barely
a shriveled branch
after the winter storm.
I love this “worthless”
tree
whose shaded
this 100 year
house
summer
after summer.
From my picture
window
I muse at its
grace –
long limbs
reaching toward the earth
dotted
with
walnut buds
so cherished
by the squirrels –
they pluck them
daintily
long before
the nut shells
harden
and sit on the
fence
savoring the sweet
nectar
of young fruit.

This crow
knows
me by sight.
It’s me
who leaves
old cracker
crumbs
peanuts
crusty
bread
old
cold
cooked
rice –
gifts
for
a winged prankster
on this cool
summer morn.
I’m an easy
target –
violet slash
in my hair
slow
sleepy
gait.

From the edge
of the fence
he cackles
as if to hurry me,
and begins
his bounce
of a walk
toward
his
fresh bounty.
Keeping
one dark
eye
fixed
on
the dog,
he comes
dangerously close,
as if to dare:
darts
down,
now
side stepping
on the morning dew.
The dog
knows better,
and meanders
ahead toward
the scent
of marauding cats,
leaving me
to laugh
deep
from the heart
at my cloaked
friend.

Sometimes
in the light
of sunset,
I look out
my bedroom window
and there
in the deep
summer
foliage
on the highest
branch
of my protector tree,
I see him
quiet
but ever vigilant
preparing to roost.
He lets out
an almost melodic
sound,
slips
and
slides
from branch to branch
then back again
to the perfect vantage point,
satisfied
satiated
finally
still
makes one last
cock of the head,
and falls silent.

His ritual
signals
night fall :
I follow suit
curl up
book in hand
dog at bay
grateful
for
another day.

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Now is the gentlest time
of all:
spring sun
breezes
swaying
wind chimes,
porch shaded
squirrels
young
fresh
wide eyed
perched
on the fence
enjoying
peanuts
we’ve
strategically placed
for you to watch
the feasting,
dancing
jubilant
chanting
in your own
secret language.
They are as young
as you,
their fur still bright
and clean,
paws small
and jaws
so tender
they struggle
fiercely
to shed
the peanuts’
coarse skin,
all the while
a mischievous eye
turned
towards you:
as if feeling
the rhythm
of your stomps
and calls.

These are the days
the city longs for,
when the rains cease
and the silence
turns into song
as every being
celebrates
warmth
longer days
cool mornings:
when ravens waken
those sleeping
with their piercing
demanding calls
and song birds
answer timidly
as if in apology
for these black pirates,
marauders
tricksters
I’ve come to love…

We place
a special
mound of peanuts
just for them
in the corner
of the fence.
They’ve come to
expect it –
watching us
perched
on the highest
branches
of this hundred
year old maple tree
as if they’ve done it
for just that long.
Their calls are
distinct
high pitched
directed
clearly to us.
If we doddle,
they buzz us
and alight
on the roof
to wait
complaining
loudly,
You point
and laugh,
then swerve
to my side
for
comfort
and protection,
peering from under my arms
whispering
in your tender
babble.

The afternoon brings
naps
for both of us:
under the hum
of the fan
we rest
on cozy sheepskins
our breath
in sink:
a perfect lullaby
the dog
cannot resist
as he lies
at our feet.
This is our dream time,
to plot
adventures
in green lined
streets
perfumed
with the scent
of blooming roses
and lilacs.
In a short while,
you will run
and fetch
“zapatos”
and point at
the door
knowing
all to well
there
is so much
to discover,
I will oblige
and plunge
into afternoon
heat
to see
the world
through your
young and tender
eyes
and rejoice
at the chance.

 

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I lie on cold wet grass
snail like,
a child curls
its spine
against my belly
the sweet scent
of mother’s milk
wafting
with each
precious breath.
In the distance
somewhere
in the deepest
earth
beneath us
life awakens
seeds
splitting
in the dark
their frilly
tongues
poking
moist sod.
Clouds
thinly veil
the sun
and
the afternoon
breeze
is laden
with dandelion fuzz:
it settles
on our hair:
a gentle kiss.

A song sparrow
breaks
silence
its crisp twirls
hang in the air
suspended
in time,
the babe
answers
with a sigh
and nuzzles
its head
against my breast.
Roses
fragrant in stillness
open
toward
warmth
wings
hummingbird
flit
tonguing
honeysuckle
vines
bees
swarm
blueberry
blooms.

I dare not stir:
this small one
is in my keep,
but I sense
danger
great fear
as the chill
sets in
ending
a long
afternoon….

Warrior
cloaked in black
keeper of the night
trickster
guardian of the blackthorn tree
onyx knight:
you’ve
flown to my side
and
catlike curled
around my neck
your
hard ebony beak
tucked
against my cheek
its cold sharp
edge
poised
ready…
but I feel
only
a light
nudge
which wakens me.

In the dark
of my room
I sit up
still
feeling
his spirit
blessing.

I summon
all the souls
that linger
in the daybreak:
come
guide me
to infinite light,
where I might
find
radiance
courage
hope
for
all
the children
far
and dear.

 

 

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The day winds down
in the loud and busy city,
weary work warriors
tromp
in the mud slimmed
streets
shoulders heavy
from the weight
of the world:
They pass
me
oblivious
blinded
by routine
averting
my eyes
or my dog’s
silly gait –
I send them
silent kisses
and light-
blessings
from one
who
has come to know
the value
of seeing,
truly seeing,
for life
is ever too short.

I pay them little heed,
in my own
smugness
for I know
soon
they too will
stop
one day
and see
the last crimson
rays of a shy
winter sun
swell
over the city.

As the light fades
the ravens
converge
in the tallest
pines
and
call their clans
to lift wing
and fly
off into
the night.
I love their
boisterous
calls
unfazed
by the city’s rumble.
At this hour
they are captains
of the realm.
I sometimes
wish
I could alight
following
my clan –
but have none.
I am an orphan
both real
and poetic:
here
I stand
rooted
to this
brown earth
singing
in my heart
to every crocus
that defies
the long cold
knowing
soon
the dogwood will bloom
and so the lilies
and I will
caress their scent
many times over…..

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Late summer
early fallimg_9173
dry earth
burning fires
mad winds
scorched hearts
cry
for some relief
golden
fields
bitter with thirst
dry grasses
cannot feed
hungry deer
crashing
past
falling
burning trees
flash
of red sun
cresting
high
above
our
saddened hearts:
the world’s
gone mad
cry
geese
headed
south
where
winds
may
shear
their down
andIMG_1688
flatten
their
tail feathers
deep into the sea.

A long song
of destruction
Gaia
sings:
she’s weary
so heavy
in her
deepest
cave
of a heart.

The thunder
rumbles
in the long
distance
a furious
determined
rhythm
crickets
run from:
like strange
punctuation
across the hills.

Blue birds250px-Aphelocoma_californica_in_Seattle_cropped
light
in the drifts
surround
our
prairie house:
a smile
on this dark horizon.
Here
we only smell
the far off
destruction,
but feel
it in our bones.IMG_1572

 

Tonight coyotes
will sing
and taunt the moon
with tender songs
and in the light
of dawn
I’ll smell
the sweet
scent
of wet sage…..

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At 6,000 feet
the air is so dry
that I can
feel the curl
pulled
right
out of my hair.
The air is thin
and movement
slow
concise:
climbing the hills
down into the gulch
lungs
expanding
to their edge:IMG_2013
ribcage sore
from effort.
Sun
so bright
that
by mid morn
all shutters
are down:
happy in my small cave
I hear the wind and
in the distance
a kestrel calls,
as I sit
to write.

As the days
unfold
so my strength:
longer walks,
swims
or hikes.
Always
shadowedIMG_1565
by my constant
companion,
his coat
lightened
by the sun,
pads
of his paws
smooth
gray
from dust.
We trudge
through the sage
to our favorite spots:
aspen glen
lake overlook
river
or old
ramshackle
homesteads.
Always
something worth
pursuing
or
reaching.IMG_1293
The days
unfurl
quietly
gently
long:
sun
strong
till
nine.

But then
comes day 5
without fail.
It’s
marked
by a weary
yet joyous
mood.
Mind
and
body
at ease
happy
to just sit
and be.
Without fail
this dayIMG_4724 (1)
of grace
to read
think
gaze at the mountains
from
my cave,
nap
dream
lucid
drink the nectar
of sheer
tranquility.
I’ve learnt
to accept this gift
and
greet it
lovingly.

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