Saturday, March 5, 2022

 

Words for the Young

(no matter how old you are)

 

Last night I dreamed I

          was a butterfly struggling

                   to get out of a cocoon

Let me tell you it wasn't

          easy I was exhausted

                   by the time I got out

I woke to a warming sun drying

          my wings as they took

                   shape and structure

Oh my wings were

          beautiful did I tell you

                   I dream in color

Basking in the moment

          as the dream morphed into

                   metaphor I waked to

The existential question will I

          have the courage to fly

                   when my wings dry

In normal times there

          is enough suffering and

                   sorrow to stifle adventure

These are not normal times naked

          evil stalks heart-wrenching

                   loss punctuates

Yet beauty hits us right

          in our face kindness hums

                   in the background

Truth is still spoken daring

          takes its turn goodness

                   will not be denied

Troubled souls still wake to

          wonder love has not

                   lost its power

Then and Now don't have to trade

           places are you ready

                   let's fly






           

Friday, January 28, 2022

 

Epiphany


The wisest of

     the ones who

          made the trip

Wise enough to

     eschew theatrics

          perceive the real

Came to touch beauty

     rephrase truth

           reset goodness

Knew humble trappings

     were an extravagant

          soul filled welcome

Tutored in mysteries beyond

     ken they worshiped

          with second sight

They had come to the

     place where they could

          change their lives

Inspirited to make epiphanies

     palpable for the journey

          entering a new dimension

What I wouldn't give

     for a star here and now

          to cancel Covid fatigue

Pull us back from

     the precipice

          of depression

Nurture the bereaved

     embolden the scared

          succor the survivors

Be a companion to those

     who are forced to

          sleep in the ruins

Dispense justice for those

     who exploit suffering

          impose harm

No star has the magic to do

     our work those who are

          able must stand and sing

The star amplifies the vision

     of love incarnate gives

         light for the journey

The wise among us will

     wed science to love

        to give us truth

The wisest among us will

    share the promise and

         so redeem the suffering





Saturday, December 11, 2021

 


Kyoto Madonna


In a train station dimmed and

     drab people scurried

          without touching

A young mother's adoring gaze

     allowed light and peace

          for those with patient eyes

Her babe held secure with

     love transparent the mother

          ready to share the joy

Our eyes met and with a smile

     she spoke and invited

          a moment of grace

Did I want to hold her baby

     bridged all barriers

          real and imagined

Light sourced from the

     babe the mother

          illuminated the moment

A train moved in

     broke the spell and

          they were gone

I never raised my camera

     but recorded the moment

          in my soul

I coded my story of the Madonna

     moment to peruse later

          and caught the next train

 




Saturday, November 27, 2021

 Movable Mountain




Descending into

     the Bighorn

          Basin on 296

Slowed to fifty

     stopped by the

          sight of the mountain

Breathe hear feel the

     silent exploding

          reverential beauty

Fifty million years

     ago it was a 500 square

          mile breakaway

Rock that left the plateau

     slid sixty two miles

          in thirty minutes

The hardened larva gave us today's

     8'000 foot mountain with

          the old rock on top of new

The Kiowas called this upside

     gift Heart Mountain its western

          view an expansive beauty



Beauty had a bitter twist

     for 14,025 Japanese

          Americans in '42

Forced from their West Coast homes

     by jingoistic paranoia left

          rootless in Wyoming

Looked at the mountain daily

     from behind barbed

          wire and tar paper barracks

One's view of the mountain's beauty

      depended on which

          side one lived on

Barbed wire rolled up in 1945

     leaving one shack

          damage done

Freed from the camp lesson

     learned internees left

          Wyoming's loss

                 ~

Today I live where

     mountains don't

          grow or slide

But where faster than a

     speeding bullet Covid

          rams returns rams

With an impact that

     distorts truth and

          threatens hope

While we watch

     mindlessly mired

          in denial

Past memories and future

     dreams turned

          upside down

And we are left to sort through

     the rubble decide what to

          cherish for rebuilding

Must we blend the past

     and knead the future to

         fashion a livable now



Tuesday, August 31, 2021

 

Not My Final Answer

(at the prospect of turning 90)


Something funny happened

     must stay awake when

          it happens again

The moving finger

     writes to extend three

          score and ten

Now that I

     have forgiven

          my past

Having escaped

     the illusion

          of boxes

Living in the intense

     reality of

          transformation

Engaged in

     the search for

          better questions

Letting go of the

     clutch of clever

          defense mechanisms

Shaking off

     the need

          to fit in

Joyously aware that

     age is not a

          disability

Enriched by rare

     moments

          of joy

Injured when I didn't

     know enough

          to be sorry

Scars of mostly

     self-inflicted bumps

          and bruises

Little time left

     to belabor

          life's offenses

No room to host

     fear or

          anger

Cutting back

     on sighing

          and arguing

Going to bed in

     love waking up

          in love

Reviewing new

     ways to say

          thank you

Tracing new designs

     from recycled

          trash

Challenged by

     a God that

          grows with me



Saturday, August 21, 2021

 

As

It

     happens

          as I

Keep the energy

     lose the fear

          accept the grace

Reserve anger's energy

     to break the evil

          build hope's path

Embrace the dark

     look through

          the pain

Forgive the past

     accept healing

          strengthen joy

Stay the course

     play the ball

          where it lands

Rest my soul

     pause to thank

          rise to pursue

Just so will

     I write

          my life



Monday, August 16, 2021

 

A Memoir of Sorts



The fourth move in as many

     years leaving little

          to carry

It could have been a pro

     shop when faded

          dreams still had a pulse

Two rooms one faucet

     and a necessary

          path out back

Three people who would

     live without privacy

          and still have love

Dad displaced from the

     classroom by

          diseased feet

Growing minnows in a

     hatchery where golfers

          would have played

Mother counting and selling

     fish bait little money

          hard life honest work

Sunrise to sunset and beyond

      they worked through

          pain and sorrow with humor

My inheritance would be truthtelling

     honest dealing the

          saving grace of humor

I used a rifle my grandfather once

     swapped his warped false teeth

          for to shoot bullfrogs

I mostly kept my rebellion

     to myself and when I didn't

          dad's weakness was the paddle

I carried more books home

     from school than

          anyone except Lois Gordon

I opted out on football

     memorized Shakespeare

          recited to mother

Moments of joy

     punctuated the

          boredom

My sister was born there later

     I would claim to be an

          only child as could she

Dad's health improved they left

     the cabin mother got

          a job I left home

The log cabin long gone can't

     imagine that a single person

          has missed it

Hard times linger in memory

     good has a longer

          attention span

Valued imprint left on my psyche

     comes in handy in repacking

          my metaphorical suitcase