If You Really Look, You’ll See

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If You Really Look You’ll See

Diamonds mounted on each blade of grass
No gold or platinum
Here
Emerald green
Shoots safely sheltering
Droplets left
Last night or
By the early morning dew

Do you see
Whimsy rained down on the land
Perhaps it’s sips of champagne
Resting on the verdant shoots
Served in earthen flutes
On the lawn
For a thirsty, spotted chipmunk
Parched from
Racing through the rain
To toast the earth’s season change

And if you look you’ll really see
What is invisible
To many
So many rushed and hurried
Souls
Blind
To the garland embellishment
Laid carefully on the old grey stone
Preparing a Fall Party, a grande fete
With mushrooms, toadstools
For each guest
To sit and sip the beauty
Served to those who wish to see

If you look you’ll see
Her
Red carpet’s been
Rolled out
Maple, Oak and Dogwood leaves
Nature’s finest Oriental underfoot
The finest accoutrements for
Each merry guest

A harried pace will make you blind

To diamonds, garlands
And tree roots bent in such a way
To give a weary sojourner
A place to sit and rest

I was blind
But now I see
The field mice sipping Jasmine Tea
From the finest porcelain
Beside the Monarch’s who dropped in
For a festive tea party

And I like Alice
Remain with them

For childlike wonder
Unveils the hidden things
Previously unseen by man

In Which I Talk To A Dead Poet About Life

Robert Lewis Stevenson

{In which I write a letter to Robert Louis Stevenson regarding his poem entitled “Happy Thought” from A Child’s Garden of Verses}

Dear Bob:

You don’t mind if I call you Bob do you? Good. These words of yours are framed and hanging on the wall of our mountain home. So I have the good fortune of viewing them often. And have I told you how very much I appreciate the beauty of your poetry and especially this verse.

But would you please tell me a little of what you mean. Because I have not seen a happy King. Though they may exist or they may have existed. I am sure some have been happy. But some are just mean. And really there is so much responsibility that comes with being King.

So I doubt. And I am not normally a doubting person who wears a dour face. Rather I see the world as full of promise and hope, mercy and grace. But a happy king or queen I have not seen, though the modern day ones seem truly content. And this is not meant to be political discontent. Or even about politics, no not at all. But rather about Joy and its source and how we are wired by God. To love, others and moments that cover us in delight. To give and to serve, to offer and bow low and Christ-like.

Bob, maybe  you wrote at a time when  Royals were filled with grins from their things. Or maybe I am too literal reading your verse. Surely  you  don’t believe they were truly happy, as a result of their things.

But really that is not the point. The point is can man be truly happy as a result of his things? Well maybe if things are all gifts from above. I think you meant things that came straight from God.

Because more and more I find that the world is filled with wonderful things that aren’t really things,not at all. Like miracles and healing. And beauty at nightfall.

The second a firefly lights up his small light. And you happen to be there to see it all aglow. Or when the hummingbird lights on a bush. And the Earth is still while he sips with his tiney tiny bill. Or God wonders and marvels like the stars in the sky. That gather  up like a dipper so big or so small.

There  are “things” such as forgiveness and mending of ways, hope and fresh starts after seasons of long wait. New born babies and reconciled husbands and wives. Marriage and family, tenderness, meekness and soothing a soul. Helping the weary and drying a tear. The end of war.

There are things like laughter so deep that you ache when you stop, long enough to catch your breath, breath deep and  get started, all over again.

There are smells like the Blue Ridge  in July, with wildflowers, cut grass and fresh soil from the earth, swirling and landing up under your nose,  like fresh baked treats rising up to the sky and toes tickled by a cold dog nose.

There are families gathered around by the fire, at night, in the summer telling stories while curled up in a ball, savoring the gift of their days, that end too often with no warning none at all. That pull the curtain on our life like the end of a play.

But I know your heart and with poets that matters a lot,  to me anyway. I want people to see  my heart when they read what I say.

I think you meant wonder and discovery ,not things. Though things in themselves are not saved just for Kings.

And Kings can not be happy surrounded by things. Because God made us. all peoples, to love others not things. And things are not  terrible, no not at all.

For there is the spring at the turn, the bend in the road, at the bottom of the hill. Where I love to stop every night and every  year, taking sips and standing there quiet and still.

And the moon when it is full, is technically a thing.

And then there is Peace and Patience, Charity and Faith.

God grabs our hearts with a world full of “things”. But careful we most be and delicately we must trod.

Because things can rob us of time with each other and God, He  knows that the things can get in the way.

Robert, I knew what you meant and were trying to say. And I think Robert sounds more respectful than Bob. And I choose respect and  dignity. They are two  very valuable things.

Sometimes it is fun just to write words that play
with poets that have gone before
whose words I adore
and have a laugh on a whim and giggle each day
and since you’ve been gone things have gotten quite serious
I should say
Your words are a gift
Every line word and phrase
And I wonder what you would think of
“Things” these day.

Signed,

An Admiring Poet Fond Of  Your Work

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com

Swallowed Up In Time

wpid-IMG_20130430_184203.jpgBuried in the moments like pilings in the pluff-mudd, anchored in the sea, the weight they hold, they bear as
I am
And yet
Carried out in waves of tears, these child years washed me over too fast so fast I fear
I am
Marking, filing, data while I watch these scenes played out of children coming in and growing ones go out
We are
Safe in piles of snowy down and laughing on my bed at something, nothing
They are
Traveling moving on through portals of a life and years are catching up to me, beginnings tagged as endings
I am fighting against
Time
Drowning in an ocean of bittersweet
I weep
A mix of tears
More joy than any other, mingled in the salty mix.

Learning To Live As A Child

spencer with butterfly on handI sat in the middle of a field of clover yesterday, cold spring wind chilling my bones while my insides were warmed by discovery.
I sat in the middle of a playground yesterday, not as a mother or grandmother, but as a new friend to small children.

And I walked through the backdoor of childhood and saw the world through the portal of wonder. It was as if I were a little Alice for an hour or two. But you don’t get there in the blink or the nod or the snap you might think.

No it is a slower dance than even I thought it would be.

Re-entering the world of little ones. You walk gently into sacred territory with respect and eyes wide open to wonder.

And it looks like  preparing for a make believe wedding with clover bridesmaids bouquets. And it smells like dirt balls thrown high to the sky. They are snow or dirt or sand. You speak it and they are changed.It feels like ice-cold metal chain. You hold the chain while you push the swing and if its March and Spring is late, the metal is cold as blocks of ice on your trembling flesh.

When I pulled the white down comforter up over my memories of the day and tucked myself into bed I remembered. I remembered what I learned from being a child, the stirring of emotions my backdoor entrance into childhood kept me awake. I longed to hold on to the day that I knew could not be repeated. Not one of them can.
I can still smell the clover, sweet and fresh. I lifted the flower to my noise over and over this day trying to recall if I remembered this fragrance.

But it smelled new to me. As so much of the day felt new. How had I forgotten the smell of clover or had I never recorded it in my youth.

Had I let my self grow so far away from the mystery and wonder of seeing the world as an Alice?

I asked my new friend who is five or so to see if she could find a four leaf clover. And then I waited for her return. Sweet excitement in her face, she brought back a hand filled with new discovery. That a four leaf clover can be a three leaf clover plus one borrowed leaf from another. That life can be viewed and seen in so many different ways. We limit ourselves as adults. I looked down at the three leaf clover plus the ripped piece from another, sacrificed to total four. Amazed by her creativity, I long to see the world with saucer-shaped eyes. To see it slant in all its mysteries.

At her invitation into child’s play, I entered into a game of hide and seek and found so much more than my friend hiding behind a tree trunk. I re-discovered play and release of the bondage of adult sensibilities, if just for a few minutes. Life is full through the eyes of a child. We watched dogs race and return a thrown ball to their human. And we found squirrels’ nests nestled in the bare tree limbs. And in these frozen moments on a cold spring day, I stared at a squirrel scratch an itch behind his ear. And helped my friend see two messy nests. Where have I been looking if not up. How have I missed so much.

And in throwing a baseball back and forth with her three year little brother, I observed meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness when the ball hit hard on her back. I learned in an afternoon in the park what I needed to tuck into my soul for a refresher course. I needed remediation on play.

I needed to count and run and watch a made up disco dance. And say good job. My soul was hungry for looking at art drawn in the sand with a stick. My soul needed  to watch a paper plate soar as a frisbee on a windy day. My imagination lay dormant more than I knew. Until it was cracked open a bit at the hand of a wildly creative girl and her brother.

Discovery came through the eyes of a child, on a cold day, in a park in Charleston. When the world of an adult was frozen, thankfully in time. And a dormant imagination began to  wake up to the new world that waits all around.

I was Alice for a day because of  friendship and a playdate. One boy and one girl helped me see the world through the eyes of a child. And I am learning to live as a child again.

spencer gets a shot from the top

Joining Jen and Heather.

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