A Triptych

heart bright in wood

One

It is a strange thing, your leaving
In increments
This slow fade, pains us
The dialing down and dialing back
I wish for your speedy recovery
That you would return to us
It is a strange thing, your leaving. like a dismantling
We are all coming apart at the seams
I never liked one thousand two hundred and fifty piece jigsaw puzzles
Now I like them even less
Pieces are missing from what I can see of you
This slow fade, pains me
I watched you leave us slowly
Someone took the big fat pink eraser to your mind
Long minutes of searching drag by
And you’re still unable to find that lost piece of your vocabulary
The elusive word “chipmunk” escapes
Cruel game of cat and mouse of the mind
But peace attends us in its mercurial way
In a blink we are somehow fine with it all
A fractured picture
It looks nothing now like the photo on the box
Somehow, it looks like this
It is how we are meant to be
Hinged to the past by ligament and thread
Bone and blood
I will be your memory
And you will always be mine

Two

August has come with her goodbyes
I count and recount
Pack mules on every corner
Of every street, the scene repeated
A stuttering and stammering of goodbye
A grand exodus of fallen leaves
And gardens burned past recognition
Once full of promise
Now the leaving has begun
Can you see me waving my hand in hope
Of what will come
I know a secret of these cycles
Spun round more than once
I know the story’s end
The one this Earth is writing

Three

I seemed to think you would remain
Laden with fruit
A freak, an anomaly
Bearing forever
Always dripping with abundance
Your branches
Like a run-on-sentence
No break in the chain of goodness
A train-wreck of the overflow
And last time I checked
You bore one, singular and sweet
A parting gift for your beloved
For that I am grievous
That it is over
The faucet stopped its once endless flow
I let myself think it would never end
For that
I am a fool in the shadow of your love

The Art Of Staying Put

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The Art Of Staying Put

I am moving around in place
Hearing of Greece, the far away way beyond the borders of my soul
Hemmed in by an invisible thread of remaining
I will travel to the back quadrant of the yard, where the vines go farther than I
You and they walk me ’round the world
Grabbing the kite-tails of the airborne pods

They, globetrotters growing, serpentine trails mark their route

And I in the backdraft of all the leaving
I brought an inch worm home
A souvenir  from my journey to the land where the tomatoes grow

We choose to stay
And yet we do not remain

You took me to the movies last night
In the parlor, in our chairs

We crawled into the story of their lives
Turned the pages as they spoke their written lines
Love walks you to herself
Redemption writes a script, transports you in the re-discovery
Of grace, and
As if we had gone away and stayed
Story packed our bags
Yours leather, mine canvas
We the stay-behind travelers

We’ll set off into the salty surf, today
It is our going, our remaining
No markets, no mileage, no passports

Our latitude and longitude place us in the still right here
A little boat and little motor 
Invite us onboard, grateful, always weary travelers 
A long, long way from home we seem to go
When we refine the art of still remaining

And discover endless oceans of restful happiness
Peace attends the souls of those who stay behind
We, the necessary 
students
In this art of staying put

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I am spending some time over at my newest writing project which has made some of these days here a little quieter. Working on finding my stride with both projects. Visit me there where I am crafting a weekly letter for email subscribers. Follow the link here: “a quiet place for words”.

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The Givers

Grace

The Givers

That shade of green on the cover
Haunting
Like face paint green
In October, late
(Oh how I hate the wanna-be witches’ then)
Haunting, like so many books penned for children
Intended for the young ones
But, wait, it is we who are grown, who are or
Were the audience, all along
The souls who hunger for the messages of these books

That Giving Tree green
Cat calls from the shelf and says read me again and again
Soak up the
Metaphor on every page
Like communion bread dipped into crumb-filled wine

Memories are fickle
Holey like wormwood

Memory takes me to the story of the tree
And the boy
And the man
And the taking stirs me in ghostly ways

The paper-puncher holes in my own flawed memory
Fail to recall
Did the boy say a word
Was it only the tree
Oh what a story he would tell
Of his all-about-me-self
Taking the tree down to a stump

As green as that storybook cover
So sad is my soul for the boy, the man
I see myself in that boy
And want to be like the tree

And so I write
Poetry

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Join me for my new labor of love, a creative project for subscribers only. Follow my journey into letter writing  here, at “a quiet place for words”. I am fond of the letter format and would love to have you join me there. (Letters sent to subscribers in-box weekly) It is quieter there, away from the interwebs.

peace and grace,

e

I Am No Longer Waiting

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I Am No Longer Waiting

I have run out of waiting
Used up the dormant days of stand-by
Ushered out the back door the inactive verbs
(The hing creaked, screen door slammed them in the big back-side)
The action verbs threw confetti
Celebrating the retirement of the passive ones

The decision to hang art
To house a cherished antique dresser
In the kitchen of this house built in 1908
Required sacrifice
I wash my dishes at the kitchen sink
By hand (how perfectly primative the naysayers would love to say)
Because of all the art we chose to hang

Because of art and a cherished chest-of-drawers
I can gaze and rinse
And I do
Rubbing the ebony stains off my mustard yellow coffee cup
I do not load and unload
Waiting on tomorrow
Counting on the brighter days to come delivered by the man in brown who carries packages in his big brown truck
Instead, I linger in the soapy water
Striving to clean and no more
Soaking in the now
Soaking in the view of raindrops on the elephant-ears, a verdant giant in my gaze’s line of view

One day last week
I gave up waiting
All the nows are what is life
Like the tinker toys, the wooden orbs of now
Connect me to my life again
Now cannot abide the waiting
She elbows in and stands beside me at the sink

We lay the just-cleaned dishes on the drying rack
And check the back door
Lock it, tight
Safe, secure
Bolt the door
Now stakes her claim
In the kitchen filled with art and dirty water down the drain

I am no longer waiting
Now reigns
Wears her royal crown of rubies
Reflecting
Her red royalty
In the bubbles in my soapy kitchen sink
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Join me as I discover the joy of letter writing within my subscriber-only weekly letter. I love this format for writing. As a creative outlet, it feels quiet and intimate. “A Quiet Place For Words” is my new labor of love. Perhaps you’d like to join me there. Click here to receive a weekly offering in your inbox. I hope you like what you find there. Letter number three was sent this morning. Once you subscribe you can catch up on past letters in the Archives there.

Joining Laura Boggess. Because it is Monday.