Come Sit Beside Me, Please

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Come Sit Beside Me, Please

We all need a call to wake up
To attend to right now, right here
With a quorum of the senses reporting for duty
To cast their vote, for slow

Not like we need food and shelter and all the things in Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs
But, like we need poets and psalmists and prophets and spring
And two thin slices of white bread, to be soft enough to hold a thumbprint soft
So that when thick cut bologna bound with red wrapper and Dukes mayonnaise conjoin to Be pressed forward on the roof of one’s mouth, it’ll stick, (serving its white bread pre-Destined purpose of being bookends for meat) later requiring manual unsticking
And requiring two Diet Cokes to wash down the chips that served as a side in lieu of fresh Fruit at the deli counter  at the Harris Teeter which serves Boar’s Head beef bologna and The best salt and vinegar chips anywhere served politely by the shy but friendly silver Haired lady with the hair net that she wears with pride because she cares to follow the Rules and she cares too

Like we need a young man on a plane to remind us that twenty two year old adventurers
Have not had time to grow old and cold and jaded like the sad stooped man in 19B
Who doesn’t remember what time zone he is in or what his anniversary is or was before She left him for someone who remembered every year with a Hallmark card and a night Out on the town in her church dress and hose

But rather like we need rust on tin to prove there was a time of new and green
And how we live for low tide to find the rare left-handed conch brought in by the Preceding high tide, deliverer of treasures needing a hand to carry them home

And like we need a toe headed toddler who pats the sofa
With his sausage fat fingers and a nose that needs Kleenex
A diaper that weighs heavy with the need for changing
A pat, pat, pat
Slow as a metronome slow on the far left setting
And says “Read me ‘Good Night Moon’ again”
And only you know,
But don’t care that it’s the 23rd time, since Christmas
As he adds, “come sit beside me, please”

And you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Would You Have Said

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We were four. Perhaps you could say we were three against one. (It may be clearer in a moment how we came to be divided in our perspectives.  Before they shifted, again.) Two of us knew the sunset would occur at 6:12, because we had Googled it. A third one joined us. He was no wheel. He was more than welcome on this pilgrimage.

Moments matter. Minutes count. And when you are chasing descending beauty in the sky, and especially when you are chasing the sun as it tucks itself into bed, seconds count. If you blink or turn, the sky performs without you. Nature has no pause button. No rewind.

We didn’t have to go far to watch the sun set, bleed blazing reds and break-open spilling blood orange hues onto the salty creek. Like a dropped and broken egg from my bantam hen, we expected a color explosion to be poured out. A history of admiring the day’s often dramatic curtain closing gave us something we thought we could “count on.” Who among us doesn’t love a sunset.

Three of us walked quickly down the black asphalt road to attend the performance of our favorite star, planet sun. February had just turned brisk again, after she had casually flirted with the air of spring, turning her back on warmer nights. Our speed was due in part to the fact that we were cold and in part because we love the sky when it is drenched in drama. We didn’t want to miss the spectacle.

The sky was a dull and muted mauve this night. Drama had failed to show. As there are truly no bad days when one is walking, breathing, living fully alive, there are no bad sunsets. This one was simply restrained. The sky held nothing head-turning. The beauty was to be seen only by the ones who have eyes for wonder. Who truly know how to look beyond the obvious.

What would you have said? How would you respond to the wisest man among us? The fourth one. The one who just happened to join us, as we huddled up around the chill and swarming South Carolina gnats. The man who had pedaled by us moments earlier on his bike, racing to see the sunset. A sunset that was void of flash and blinding beauty. A close of day performance which was in fact, lovely in its simple majesty.

Our collective response was just short of shame. For we had not seen what he had so clearly seen. We compared the sky to the “night before’s sky.” And concluded it was less than fabulous.

But  he had seen the unique way the light spills before dark. He had witnessed residual pale pinks and royal grays colliding in a 6:18 sky. He saw the shadows and shades and reflections that we did not see. At first. Blind us needed artist him to guide us into the beauty.

At the edge of the creek that night, he delighted in the light. Savored real beauty. And shared his perspective with the three blind us.

I reset my lens. And I silently gave thanks for the man who saw the wonder of a muted sunset; one that came and left its mark on me. One that came as Google said. At precisely 6:12 in all its quiet glory.

And taught me again how to really see. What would you have said? I am still whispering a silent “thank you.” To both of them.

 

Practicing Spontaneous Hospitality

One of my favorite places on the internet is Gracetable.org where I am honored to be a contributing writer. I am privileged to be one of several writers share this writing space and community.

If you know my writing home to be “poetry and prose through a lens of grace” there is a little piece of prose there. Today. One I chiseled out from the hard stone places of my heart. I know, there has been  poetry only here for a good long while. Follow me to Gracetable where I am wrestling with the idea of practicing spontaneous hospitality. What an honor to have you there. (Click here to go there. See you at Grace Table.) Spoiler alert. I think you may like it there as much as I do.

I did not need to offer a physical place at my table, an elaborate meal, or a cleverly designed invitation. I was invited to give the gift of my time. The gift of myself.

Another of my favorite writing homes is my own tiny letter, “A Quiet Place For Words.” Why? Because it is so quiet, off the beaten path and interactive. The format is my favorite, a letter from me to you, written every few weeks to subscribers. Well a favorite, along with my beloved poetry.

What joy to interact with subscribers. The newsletter is going out today. Have you signed up. Come pull up a seat. (Click here to subscribe there). Of course it is free.

Thank you for reading. Always.

peace and grace,

e

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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