The Concrete Bench (Unseen, Behind The Lens)

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The Concrete Bench

You would have no way to know

For I am showing you only beauty

It is what I frame, in the imaginary crosshairs

Of my lens

Cropping out ugly, should it

Creep into my viewfinder

As I sit alone, in grateful solitude

On a bench I call my own

Made in my imagination

Just for me, grey, stone-cold, sturdy

To

Reflect

And be reflected

Dream and watch the dreams float by

Held

And undergirded, by the sea

The seen and unseen

Pass me by

While I count the joy and toss the pain

Into the sea, a salty grave

For tears

Maple Syrup On Sunday

Maple Syrup On Sunday

Quiet lulls like soul food, soulful
Margins widen
Again
After the long lonesome loud
Period.
Sometimes you have to call it like it is
Or was
My soul was drowning in noise
Of churning, change
Learning, living, out loud
Speeding Road Runner and Wylie-like
Braking at the last minute
At  the edges of the cliffs
And not the white ones of Dover
Pastoral and pure
More like
The ragged jagged ones
Barrel rolling over the
Falls
Nearly, but bailing out right before rolling over the
Niagara white foamy frothing falls with fierce
Break-neck speed
Like the Tasmanian Devil swirling twirling
I don’t buy that Devil in the Details
Stuff, not one bit
But in the racing like
Nascar through life
Yep
He may crouching tiger
Lay there ready to pounce

But mercifully
Peace seeps in, creeps in
Like maple syrup drips out of a tapped tree
Blanketing a stack of white and fluffy
Flap jacks with sugary sweet
Jesus peace like a river
Re-attends

And life is wondriful
A hybrid blend of glorious wonderful
Again

When Oliver wrote those words about joy and crumbs
I get it, really get it
And if joy were a condiment
It should be maple syrup on Sunday
Poured out slow and steady
So thick and sticky
You couldn’t wash it off if you tried
It wants to linger in the air
On fingers
Counters
Somehow leaving traces of itself everywhere
Creating stagnant pools
In cracks and crevices
Of joy
Sweet like maple syrup on a slow motion morning
Quiet lulls like soul food, soulful
Margins widen
Again

And poetry
Is born again.
pink beach sadie

The Turning: In Which Around Every Corner Is A Discovery

shrimp boats on at night

Often they are small. And then other times they are wonderful and large, looming truths about life. They hover like ebony rain-packed  summer clouds in the afternoon. Or they float by like seeds blown from a spent dandelion. They are coming and going. A constant force to be reckoned with. They are hatchlings and seedlings and fledglings of this life.

Birthed in unexpected places and moments, they appear. And I am called to be vigilant and at peace. A combination of human emotion that allows tender and tough to co-exist. Tender enough to capture the magnificence. And tough enough to know that in the netting, there will be objects that must be released. It is not all glory and it is not all beauty. But seeking the lovely, the grace-filled and the glorious requires casting the net into the life seas.

In a state of watchful child-like wonder I can live this season of my life in a state of re-born newness. Like a bivalve cracks open and lets the water flow in and out, receiving and releasing. Keeping the nutrients, releasing the sediments. I am called to continually take in the discoveries of my life. I would starve on a diet of bland, if I never crack open the door to wonder. I would miss the shades of blue on the hydranga that go to purple, lavender and aqua. And  the hidden greens waiting to decide which color to be.

We would never know the way rain feels, dropping from a summer storm on warm tanned flesh if we remain cocooned in dry places. One more day reveals one more smell or taste, never before experienced.

And words of an eighteen year old child who want to tell their story get tangled in my net. I can choose.  I choose to  listen and realize there is more than the words unfurling from the man/child lips. There is a heart of curiosity and trust. There is his own discovery needing a place to land and light.

In a moment or two, a child will awake from her warm quilted bed in an air-conditioned room and tell me of her ten day mission trip. She has gone away and seen poverty and a world outside of her own. She and her passport are back. And there are stories to gently receive.

A parent lives a layered life of discovery. Because she holds the key to seeing through a child’s glistening eyes. Her own, the ones who look to her and call her momma. And it magnifies the wonder. For at once she is receiving discovery  through her own glassy portals  and stooping down to see through the eyes of those she is raising.

If I see with open wonder and a seeking heart, will I show my children how even in my fifty-fourth year of life, the beauty never ends. The unveiling never stops. And his Kingdom is filled with marvelous intricate designs. That art is living, breathing, waiting, hoping, pulsing all around.

And I am in this middle place. I see through the eyes of my aging mother too. The joys rebounding in her life. The strange and child-like discovery that is hers as she moves through her days. She forgets and then she remembers. And if I can learn to refine a listening heart,  I will hear the most intricate details of a woman, a mother and another poet’s life.

Around every corner is a discovery.  I will raise my net.

And bend into a low and listening stance, ever vigilant, ever watchful. Filled with the ready knowing that something is waiting. And that something is beautiful.

I will round the corner at a slow and steady gait. One that expects to not miss a single fleck floating in the sun-soaked or moon-drenched air.

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Joining Jennifer and Emily

The Rest

rest

She hangs on the wall.

A mirror of my mind.

And I long with her and dream with her.

Used to want to ask her what was on her mind.

Now I know.

She is me and I am her.

And I rest in the knowledge that she is Eve.

Every dream, all of them hang with her.

Her gaze is our gaze.

Her stare is our stare.

And so I know the leg up repose of dreaming.

And you do too.

The craving for a chair to dream.

Go there.

A chair to go and write.

Sit there.

A window pouring out the slanted rays for a moment’s pause.

And dream with Eve.

Rest with her, with me.

And gaze a moment maybe more.

Soak in the world, release what stores up in the achey bones.

And sit under the tree of life.

And hang with Eve, the mirror on our life.

Woman, child,

And rest.

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(Joining Lisa-Jo Baker at Lisa Jo dot com for her #fiveminutefriday – REST)

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