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As autumn begins
thunder
distant
rare
in this city
where
skies
open
un -announced
drenching
pedestrians
who refuseUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_2d22.jpg
to use umbrellas
wearing
a badge
of hipness.
From the highest
window
I stare at clouds
climbing
darkly
one
upon
another
over the southwest hills
where
roads
become muddy
mini Amazons
if only for an instant,
commuters
disgruntled
grimacing
as NPR
reminds
them
of the sullen
world
they inhabit.

In the rain gutters
across the way
starlings
bathe
in utter abandon
like skinny dippers
after a long hike
in a hidden lake
high in the Cascades.
My mind wanders
today
to all the far off
wet places
I’ve loved:
Kyoto
leaves drifting
in the rivulets
near musty
incense scented
temples
monks
ceremoniously
ignoring heavy
drops
as
saffron robes
drip heavy,
Monsoon in Tamil Nadu
heavy summer
day
pressing
humid
stifling
wet hands
against my breast
as if to choke
all senseless
thoughts
purifying
me
at Kanyakumari
where
three oceans meet.
Here non hipsters
pray
cry
chant
at the sacred
‘ water’s edge.
In Tabio
Andean refuge
my sweet
tender
heart place
where
eucalyptus
drip
cold
drops
which cows
tongue
in morning mist
their bells
ringing
faintly
muffled
by
rushing
water
over
rock laden
mountain paths
I travel:
a long lost
child.
Somewhere
in a meadow
high above
the Madison river
the dog and I
take refuge
under
aspen
to wait
out a summer
downpour
hail
bouncing
off boulders
as pikas
whistle
wild
with delight
to get
summer stink off.
As
fast
as it comes,
it ends
dog shaking
out his tangled
fur
now laying
in mountain sun,
as I wait
for the
never disappointing
rainbow.

From a nearby house
comes
the lonely howl
of a dog
left too long alone:
“kulning”
the rain
home
to his den
where he might
find
the scent of freedom.

“kulning” are herding songs from Scandinavia – eerily beautiful and hypnotic
Pico Iyer is an amazing writer – new discovery for me!

 

 

 

From wonder
of a child’s eyes
to gratitude
of simply seeing
we make
full circle
our journey:
spring blossoms
to fall leaves.
His small
hand
snug
safe
in mine,
we turn the corner
tiptoeimages.jpg
toward
the maple tree,
both of us
gleeful
at the discovery –
on a low branch
a bard owl sleeps
amidst
the city chaos
and gawkers
phones
primed
waiting
for a perfect
shot.
Crows
cackle
above
this
royal sight:
not at all
perturbed
she slumbers
her ample
marbled chest
puffed
fluffed
by the breeze.
We dare say
nothing
but point
smile
tiptoe
backwards
till we
stumble
onto grass:
laughing
with our eyes
grateful
for
this unexpected gift.

August Spiders

The dry heat of August
blooms
spiders:
in corners
window ledges
tree trunks
seen
unseen
crawling
diving
dipping
weaving
dedicated
driven
so industrious
everywhere
celebrating
that
no water
dare
trash
days
of
loving
feverish
creation.
They do it
for love
in the moment
in dark corners
un-noticed
ignored
rarely celebrated,
as do we
poets,
but then
I’ve broken
the spell
giving
these tiny
Picassos
their
weight
in words.

Meditation

On this sunny
breezy afternoon
I stare through half closed eyes
at the leaves
full glory
brightest green
knowing full
well that fall
is just around
the bend
with it
rain
and soon winter.

I pause
to note
that in
this changing world
I barely recognize,
nothing
is as it
once was,
not one thing
because
change
is as constant
as this breath:
from its
unassuming
inhale
to conscious exhale:
here
one instant
gone the next
as impermeable
as light
that moves from
full spectrum
to shade
changing
leaves
with its sly shifts
impermanent
like these
shape shifting
moments
we pass through
year to year
instant
by instant,
taking little note
until it’s too late,
then bow
our heads
toward earth
silenced
falling
into
the abyss
from which we came
into silence
we knew
in our bones
as our grace song,
as our last dance.

I take solace
in the leaves:
they will fall
wither
feed the soil
only to birth
once again
in  spring
as constant
as my breath.
For today
that is enough.

Falcon’s Blessing

186-1866413_falcon-png-peregrine-falcon-png.jpg

Our old 1906 foursquare
is getting a facelift:
literally lifted
4 feet higher than its
foundation.
A new look,
old siding torn off
revealing several layers
of faux brick
down to original wood,
dingy yet sturdy
after all these years.

Now,
our porch is up
as high as the branches
of an old maple
which blesses us with
shade
crows
squirrels
a rare raccoon
and drops its
airplane shaped
samsara
a constant
whirr
come spring.

Early today,
before the city rose
I snuck
out onto
the bare frame
and took in
my hawk’s view –
only to be
greeted
by two peregrine
falcons
swooping
in unison
over me
followed
by dive bombing
crows
squawking
an eerie alert.
In an instant
they peruse
the scene
for unknowing
tweetie birds,
land on the street
like barons
of the city scape,
shake off
the silly
crow mayhem
lift off
alighting on the tree
less than 2 feet
from my amazed
silly
grimaced face.

Oh magic
terrorists
of the sky
come to see
new heights
a top
our once modest
foursquare
in “garlic gulch,”
from this height
Italian mamas
could call
their children
in for dinner
and be heard
all the way
to the Steele bridge
and see the muddy
streets of downtown
across the river
horse drawn carts
pulling
timber
to the railroad tracks.

But, I’m the
master
of this modern catwalk
where I can
listen
to rain
hit the eaves
and smell
fall
just around the corner.
As fast
as the wind
rounds the corner,
the falcons
are gone.
I stand dazed
dreaming
of sunset
when
they might
grace us once again…..

 

 

 

Intuition

My son’s say I am a witch,
calling them
just as they reach
the phone to call me,
guessing the surprise
they have held
for months,
saying the words
they think
just before they
stream out.
More importantly
following my instinct
to the perfect spot
for us
to heal
after so much grief –
our hidden grotto
near a river
I never once had visited
but knew
was to be our healing balm.
This little voice
third eye
all seeing
has served me well,
led me
through my life journey
one twist
at a time,
and saved me
in too many ways
to count.
It’s brought me
to the right place
at the right time
like an invisible hand
over and over.
And when
I fall to doubt
I breath deep
and trust……
today
a breezy summer
day it took
me on an unaccustomed
path
at an irregular time,
so much so
that the dog
lagged behind
half hearted
in our walk
to find the 4 perfect
chairs
for my dining table-
just when my
desperation
and discomfort
was at its peak!
Alas, signature
turn of the century chairs
for a song and dance!
May this beacon
shine on
bright
through many more years
and guide me
as my time nears
so I may
quietly follow
into the fog
fading
softly
into the arms
of what we mostly fear
knowing
I will be held
tenderly
by my duendes.

The notion of “duende”―a demonic earth spirit embodying irrationality, earthiness, and a heightened awareness of death- helper of poets

They say a picture
is worth a thousand words.
I beg to differ:
I’ll trade
you one word
to describe
any moment,
chosen
thought
felt
tasted
from the heart
the eye
the mind.
In my mind’s eye
I can recreate
the tens of thousands
of images
lost to the years,
yellowed
in photo albums,
indexed
filed
hoarded
in boxes,
in books
under pillows
torn in anger
recovered
bits
at the bottom
of an envelope,
or magically
stored
in the cloud
somewhere in the ethers,
floating
to never be held
or touched ,
kissed
brought tight
to the heart.

I’ll trade you
boxes
of colored paper
volatile
fickle
crumbly
faded
by the years
for one
well wrought
phrase
that says it all:
but better
yet
the moment
suspended
in time
to be
enjoyed
year after year
in a poet’s eye.