Not Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

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Not Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

Nestled away from the throngs of discourse
(Still in earshot, every one )

Off shore
Where the peacemakers still
Come and go
Singing their muffled songs
Blended  harmony
Paul’s Epistle, the First One
And Ludwig’s musical composition
In the key of love

Ravenous scavengers of joy
Refuse to give up
Hungry for crumbs of hope
Cast wide their wholly nets

Old as dirt, new as momma’s milk
Music heals the wounded heart
Notes or not
Flat or sharp

Upon the raging sea

Twenty Sixteen is split right in two
Broken in halves and thirds and fifths
Thirsty for joy, parched for peace
We need more
Odes to joy

It is hard to beat the masters
Paul and Ludwig raise the bar
High and holy

But for the old salts
With graying hair, weary bones
And raspy throats
Worn out rope
Tethered to what’s left

Who never tire of amazing grace
Refuse to abandon a sinking ship
Or give up weary attempts
At writing their own

Ode to joy
Or at least
A hat tip to Ludwig

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Let Me Put It This Way

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Let Me Put It This Way

The fetal position was an option
Always
But so was one foot in front of the other
If you read this, say, 50 years from now
You should know
There were poets
Taking the pulse of grief

Of the world
Off the chart
Into unchartered red zones of grief

Weeping in unison drowns sorrow
Buoys the soul
Your shoulder a lifesaver
You shoulder a life and weep with those who weep
And write to tell about it

Catch your breath there is more to come
Save some tears for the next go round
And

Hope
Always

Love, everlasting
More

My tears speak French and Southern and pain
Fluent in make it stop
Last week and the week before that
And this
Drain the spirit and weaken the pulse
But joy
Transfusions of joy
Attend the anemic and weary world

Number two pencil, low on lead
Computer cartridge out of ink
Pens spent
The ebony ink  flowed its last drop
Words, written elude me
The timing could not be any worse
But can you hear my heart

Oral traditions of story telling would do well
To come back from the grave
Would you listen amid all the cries of pain
And tears of valid weeping
Lamentations of  Biblical proportion
Are on the rise

Would you hear the story of hope

I had to share my joy with pain
And pain with joy
My humanness binds me to your wounds
Humanity spans the globe
Crosses the Atlantic, The North, The South

The weary world hangs its collective head and cries
Sunken heads bent downward sink the spirit like the Titantic
Pain is our iceberg

And the spectrum of human emotion
Immeasurable, unfathomable
Mourning and grieving
Crying out, is it morning yet
Mercy, is it morning
Yet

And Jesus wept
And surely He is weeping still

Lord have mercy
I speak Southern and am becoming fluent in
Make it stop

Grace

 

 

 

 

Omega

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Omega

Eight lost, some stillborn
Others born, still lost
Sons and daughters of Willow
One remains or so we believe
Alpha and the in-between-ones
Are all gone
Our deposit has not been sent
Hope is a currency all its very own

We are uncovering poetry
It’s what remains now
Well into her eighties
Grief grinds its way through
Those of us remaining
She deposited words
Like shiny gold coins
Rare
Into the safest of places
Poetry, her currency

Page after aging, age-less page
Reveal what Agnes’ life did not
To me

Distance and years
Wedges like a bank vault wall
Kept me at bay

She never knew that mother penned
“For Elizabeth our aspiring poet”
On the inside of Oliver’s “Evidence”

Surprise would have attended us both
That pens are passed into spheres of
The unknown

And just after we grieved for a good long while
The gone-ness grew
The no-going-back-ness
The place where the mind comes back from a long hiatus into dementia
Just to hear “I loved you”
And now
Your poetry

Omega was the last
Black English Cocker puppy
Born alive
In Oklahoma

A sign that one of nine
Remains
For us
A sign of hope
At eight weeks
Omega, should she live
(Meg for short)
Comes to live with us
Eight others rest in peace

Epiphanies born from death
Poetic embalming of her secrets
Now shared
Beauty birthed on every page
Life revealed in death

I cannot crown my favorite line of hers
(It may take a lifetime of catching up to dog-ear my favorite page)
Alpha and omega
And poetry in the in-between’s
She rests in peace
I wrestle with regret and grief

She wrestled with life
And turned it into poetry

 

 

 

En Route

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En Route

We are moving at the speed of life
Going at the pace
Whose measurement is breath by breath
Some days the beating of my
Heart is set to the metronome of grief
Overlaid by the harmonious chords of Pregnant joy, birth and death almost Collide
How do we stand in the crosshairs of
Conflict
Gratitude in the longitude
Grief, latitude
I throw the threadbare anchor line
Over, scan the place where grey
Shades into shadows laced by fog
You know the place of slow fade, too
Choose to pause, honoring the loss
Here the refueling begins
I cannot stop
I catch my breath, netted
Held, released
Fill my sails always with peace
At war with the idea of war
Steer the vessel into the path of righteousness
And
Re-fuel the ship
We are moving at the speed of life
And grace will lead me home