The Glider and The One In Which We Grieve While Living

the glider

The Glider

Calls her out
Into the night

Anchors the seating
For souls
To search

Stars with wings
The lightening bugs
Of all the things we recall
Are insects in a Mason Jar
Holes punched through to last the night

Conversation
In the crosshairs
We open Pooh and cry at the news
Of loss, our Mia

We go back
And forth
Counting on a change
Then see it was made
After all

The wall art reminds
We live forward
But understand in looking back
Truth proclaimed in pottery
Words lined up and down
In the cross

No idle living
On the porch
If metal spoke
It would tell
Of healing there
Black metal harbinger of hope

A forty dollar yard sale
Piece
Be with you
Found and tossed
Find a seat
Gather
Afresh
Huddle anew

The glider
Guides
Groups
Out under the waxing
Moon

She waxes poetic

Remembering her friend
The one who died too soon

Cancer
Claimed another

Come glide with me
The days are numbered
The phone has rung
And doctors tell of cancer
And the fighting man
Who loves to rock and hold a glass
Always more than half way full
Of hope, spins it good and glorious

Sit and rock
Roll back the rock of death
It lost its sting
And tell me all

We’ll knit one pearl two
And make the days

Count
Don’t drop a stitch
In time
The stitches one by one
Will make a perfect
Covering
Come

And glide
You must not move
Mother may I

Gather on your
Glider
Under our moon
With you

Death has lost its sting
Forty dollars
Buys a lot of living

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482px-A_a_milne

In Which We Grieve While Living

Death both stops you in your tracks and thrusts you onward. Propels you forward, harder, faster, fighting mad that it came at all. Births a new desire to grasp the days like a starving man, deprived of food and all that is good. To savor, taste and see that it is good, so good. The all He makes and made. We  ride the waves of grief, nestle in the glory goodness that it wakes us up to see.

Life is revealed in death. We float in seas of salty remembering. Hold on to each other harder, stronger, longer and buoy a grievous soul in love. Linking arms and planning how to rip the wrapping off the day. Crazy to unwrap the gift.

Awake anew to the mystery of the world. The unknowing of the numbered days. Shot out of a canon,  we declare we will press on in living with our grief and sacred remembering of the lives that end. Ended. Continue on in heavenly glory. Bless and pray and thank and grieve. But live. In a holy place of remembering.

We  weep at life without our loves. People, those who have marked our lives, the lives of a child, importantly. Who have invested, sacrificed and loved us well. Smiled when aching, loved when hurting, played while pushing back their own sorrows. They teach us love while living life. Show us mercy upon mercy. Currents of grace whirl round their brilliant countenances.

And we are changed forever and ever, amen.

And it is then we pull out Pooh. Because it is an anchor with its words on living and mysteries, child-like exploration into unknown forests and chasing after demons disguised as hephalumps. We gather the musty pages which smell of childhood and life. That smell of laughter. And yellow smells wise and knowing. Turn the mustard colored pages where a child has added to  with scribbles of their own. Crayons colored green and red have left their waxy mark of random scribbly scrabbly child’s play.

In my home, Pooh anchors with belly laughs. And memories of the best times. Of silly sayings and pages which read a hundred and leventy leven times ninety sound new and as fresh as a the morning’s first drips from a French Press. The world wakes us up. Turns in circles and cycles seem comforting. As life is supposed to be.

Cycles of life, cycles of death, cycles of grief. And Pooh.

My mother read it to my grandmother in her eighty’s. In the home. And in Latin. And they laughed tears, tracking down aging cheeks in salty rivulets.

And on the morning of more news of death, we pull out Milne and let him take us back to happy youth. Where rabbits and owls and kangaroos talk and donkeys struggle with depression and angsty life views. Where a small pig can be a best friend. Where loss and grief loose a little of their sting in the imaginations of an Englishman, a poet a writer a giver of hope.  Years upon years after his birth and death.

His words, a healing gift.

So we press on a little  more gaily into our day. Looking for honey in the sour sorrow of loss. My mother reads Pooh aloud and the pain diminishes a small amount. Our family gathers around grief.

And around story. Childhood joys. We will pray tonight. And lift up the grieving ones to God. We will bow and lift and whisper and cry.

But for now its words of poetry and children’s lit. At times like this, it is always  words. Of prayer.

And a bear.

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photo of A.A. Milne – Wikipedia.org

photo of glide – Elizabeth W. Marshall, poetry and prose through a lens of grace

Joining Jennifer at Jennifer Dukes Lee dot com

In community with Emily at Emily Wierenga dot com

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

Divine Assignment

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I want to wander upon wonder
Brush up against beauty
Pick up pieces of particular perfection
Breathe in the moments too precious to pass by

I want to gather up shimmering rays from the sky
Pack my pockets with intangible gifts
Slow to the beat of the earth’s natural rhythm
Tell you I love you a million times million

I want to praise with my life
Sing with my lips, songs and old hymns
Again and again till my lungs empty flat out
Soak in the broken, but beautiful before me

I want to be blinded by glistening  small ordinary
See past the obvious to what lies beyond
Peel back the layers of meaning and winsome
Press past the concrete and into the waiting

I want to hope with the hurting and cry with the sad ones
Reach out to souls sinking in pain and despair
Wipe the tears creeping down cheeks, chins and noses
Of wrinkled and weary worn out ones

I want to love the unloveable empty and lonely
Point out the grace and the mercy right here
Not miss a chance to say something small
That causes connection between me and you.

I want to answer a calling, divine, sacred, holy
Make art that speaks to the hidden and seen
Gather up fragments of splintered and broken
Love and write with a faith that grows daily.

Sink into moments divine, yet all mine
Marked and apportioned for a time such as this
Soaked in the simple, drenched in holy bliss
A divine assignment is wrapped round this day.

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(Inspiration for today’s post drawn from the words of Elora Nicole who is teaching me a few things about words.)

Joining Jennifer for #tellhisstory

A Circuitous Route

wpid-IMG_20130501_094144.jpgI am walking by the  way of winding.
Stepping back and moving forth.
Finding paths  like Mother May I
Stops and starts and winnowing backs.

I am breathing deep the air of waiting.
Laying down in fields of pining.
Grasping roots of ever-changing.
Finding great in fair to midland, growing.

I am holding on to glory
Surprised by every simple turn en route
Seeing through the lens poetic
Covered in sweet redemption singing.

I am walking round the labyrinth
Praying for the walk to bring
Joy in seeing eyes wide open, squinting barely letting in the light
Weeding out the root, watering dry soil.

I am seeing like a child again
Each turn of spoke and wheel
The way circuitous though it is
Is marked with everlasting wonder, change.

And I am seeing bends and breaks
A slowing with the margins wide
The ratcheted down, down gear shift
The death though slow of pride

Yes I am seeing childlike
The awe and wonder on the route
Parking trains, planes and automobiles
Awhile to walk the more
Circuitous route.

I am holding on to slippery Trust
Blinking back the saline droplets
Finding fresh the seeds of simple
Watering the heart to burst wide open, stretched.

I am knowing in deep places
That the dizzy winding way
Littered with uncertain lingering
Leads me still beside the place I am born to be.

So walk with me the route circuitous
Stumble on the rocks that bruise the skin
Run the race with wheels made to turn slow and steady
Trust  the way of wonder, winding serpentine with grace.

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Joining Duane, Shelly, and Jennifer