Thursday, May 19, 2022

Morning Miracle

Carmen's morning hair

haystacks wildly, twin

tornadoes tearing through

farm and bedroom as mom

Julie performs magic tricks

calmly while the kid shrieks

bloody murder and somehow

feisty curls transform

into elegant coherence.

Golden straw now re-booted

into symmetric halos resting

in this post-storm quiet,

small ponds shimmering,

kissed by a hard-hat 

pink and blue neon moon,

protecting her happy head

as Carmen scoots along

the park-bound sidewalk

towards swings, slides

and across the street

that bagel cream cheese

slathered.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

 

                                Wordless

 

is a word, yes….yet, there exist moments not held by,

nor linked to, the sometimes sturdy, sometimes limiting,

sometimes crafty, often ambiguous, scaffolds of language:

 

Mushrooms in the park nestled on wet lawn

Rain splattered sidewalk

The thick-legged girl booting a soccer ball beyond the goal

A bird pirouetting along the grass, worm-searching

 

The bench where we sat and where you’re not, now

Clatter of window shades in wind

Tingle of feet after today’s run

The presence of your absence this afternoon

The memory of hugging Therese in her kitchen, silently

 

Bougainvillea blossom on the running path, red with a white dot

The shine and shimmer of my grandson’s grin

The bird alone on a bare limb overlooking the lake

Thoughts of an underlying evolving energy prior to all thought

Downtown Portland library in the afternoon

 

The bald friend with cancer sitting next to his wife at the dining table

The emptiness in my gut, wordless hole

The attempt to welcome emptiness, birthing something vague

and hopeful, unwelded to words, hidden behind time

 

The poet whose fire to express herself blazes on in beautiful evocative lines

My desire to live for a while, like the blossom on the path, wordlessly….

 

 

  In The Beginning Was Wordlessness---another word for ‘the radiance of simple being’

 

(recalling moments unheld by the apparently sturdy and connecting,

yet actually reality-distancing and limiting, sometimes skillfully crafted

yet always ambiguous, supposed scaffolds of language)

 

Mushrooms nestled and white on wet lawn

 

Rain splattered sidewalk

 

The thick-legged girl booting a soccer ball beyond the goal

 

A bird pirouetting along grass, worm-searching

 

The bench where we sat and where you’re not, now

 

Clatter of window shades in wind

 

Tingle of feet after today’s run

 

The presence of your absence this afternoon

 

This sensation in the chest, remembering painting together in the backyard

 

The memory of hugging Therese in her kitchen silently, forgetting

for a wordless moment other guests sitting around the table

 

Bougainvillea blossom on the running path, red with a white dot

 

The shine and shimmer of my grandson’s grin

 

The bird alone on a bare limb overlooking the lake

 

Thoughts of an underlying evolving energy prior to all thought,

perhaps the true source of what is known as word

 

Downtown Portland library in afternoon rain

 

Hummingbird arriving out of nowhere three feet from my face

 

The thicket quivering like silver in morning light at the park

 

The bald friend with cancer sitting next to his wife

 

A sense of not knowing and still stepping forward

 

This attempt to welcome emptiness in the gut, something vague

and hopeful, unwelded to language, struggling to be behind time

 

The poet’s longing to write what’s underneath words and before all images

 

A t-shirt waving, tossed by breeze on a patio chair

 

Sensing weariness in morning’s body, stepping out of bed

 

My desire to live for a time like the blossom on the path, wordlessly….  

Monday, May 2, 2022

Saved

Perhaps God is

a waterfall

tucked deep inside

canyon's swollen lips

on a sweltering April day,

a young friendly woman

with a slight stutter

holding her daughter

'Elli Belli' and me

shirtless grinning,

pants rolled up

past bony knees,

glasses safe

on a dry boulder

and like a toddler weaving

lurching across this pebbled 

bottom to perch

underneath

surprising beauty

receiving all her plunging

grace and happy

din crashing down the cliff

onto soaked ears,

her frothy tongue

drenching my mortal skin,

so sensuously tingling--

such wild joyful purifying,

this fluid's saving

unclenching

must surely be a sin.





Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Can't Stop

Even though

there is a hell-on-earth

war happening in Ukraine

with the deaths of countless

innocents, darkness

and destruction,

the threat of a record

fourth year of drought

scorching East Africa,

the far too many

politicians in this country

who continue their hideous

lies, putting their clutch

on power before the republic's

well-being, I can't stop

looking at the rose

unfurled on the black table

like a thousand crimson

umbrellas

this Sunday morning

as its shielding warmth

quietly bathes

the small green Buddha

who greets dawn's

emerging light

with such composure,

grace and peace,

such belonging,

each and every day....

Monday, April 18, 2022

 

AFTER THE APPOINTMENT

Cascades of thought stilling

My clenched jaws,

This dam of unease

At a red light when

a dream remnant erupting,

Breaks forth from stagnant

Waters, suddenly pine cones

Crunch under/

Foot, a softening breeze awakens

To green and the knowing

Two cancers exist

In body’s fragile core—

Another biopsy soon—

Two hands grip

This steering wheel

I come full circle

Two eyes risen to sky

Interrupted by clouds

Of errant cells

The green light dissolves

In the smudged rear

View mirror

And I am still

Shrouded in stillness

Yet rolling ahead

Willfully

And very much

Alive.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Paradigm Twist, Shift and Shout

Instead of that afterlife idea

Espoused by some, if not many,


Or the equally bought and sold

Articles of faith in a murky nothingness,

 

Or as a last resort

That definite return to the planet

As a new character in a novel plot,

 

I prefer to imagine a grand room                                        

About the girth of Nebraska

Filled with the dead, the living

And the not-yet-born. This motley trinity

 

Shuffling together in stocking feet,

Sometimes raucously, at others' silently

Across a shimmering immense dance floor.

 

Aunt Jessie is telling risqué jokes, her

Wire-rim glasses we broke long ago

Somehow repaired; she’s beaming

Tears of beauty as she grabs

 

Grampa Jozo by his silken

Tie, Grandma Ana his Croatian wife

Chuckles as the two in-laws

Finally groove together.

 

Their son, my dad, has never

Shone in such dazzling light.

His fingers fly across

Grand piano keys, this music

 

Soaks us clean. Mom

Listens, sitting contentedly

With Liz her older sister.

 

Feeling lighter now, we twist

To Chubby Checker, fox trot to Sinatra,

 

 

And waltz to Mr. Mozart. Uncle Frank

With his wooden leg and Camel

Cigarettes rivals the grace

Of elegant Fred Astaire.

 

Gladness rains

Cool elixirs amongst all

in their gathered kinship.

 

Past hurts, regrets and betrayals, injuries

And illness of all sorts one day surely to transpire

Are released completely here

Where everyone perspires scent of peppermint.

 

Fragrance of freesia and alyssum swirl,

Entwined tendrils of night-blooming jasmine
Kissing pregnant air; my lips can feel babies

Kicking in the joyous twirl.

 

Even wallflowers blossom in this sparkling air.

 

When I’m quiet I hear our breathing wafting softly

As we spin and sashay round and round without tiring

To lift each other up in tender spirals

Streaming high and higher—

 

Aunt Jessie soaring, cuddles toddler Lucy

To her maiden bosom; Jozo nestles

Ana in his ample lap; how she

 

And her family ravaged

By an early cancer now

Thankfully forgiven

And forgotten.

 

Beloved past, bright-eyed future

All embraced by those here present,

Without clocks ticking.

 

Uncle Frank still smoking and everyone is gleaming….