Dear Readers, with Mother’s Day this past weekend I had planned to write a poem to my mom thanking her for all she has done raising myself and my siblings. But the poem that arrived on the page is very different. My stepfather, of seventeen years, passed away a year ago on May 9th. I have definitely been thinking of him as the anniversary approached and that inspired the following poem.
For The Unsuspecting
This poem can’t make the snow stop falling or take away the cold. It won’t warm your bed at night or make breakfast for you in the morning. This poem can’t change a tire, change the oil or replace a spark plug. It can’t find a new lover for you even if you stand under the Flower Moon and recite it three times backward. This poem cannot make the bed, wash your hair, sweep the floor or stir the soup. It won’t make the clouds cross the sky any faster or the night feel less dark.
This poem is a small engine that fails to start. It is broken, rusty, a piece of metal without any use. It doesn’t haul water. It doesn’t cut grass. What it does do, is shred itself beneath the yellow roses. It blends with the soil and rots away. When you think it has completely disappeared and left your life, it blooms on a sunny day in June.
The landscape painter at the artist colony in the country
noted for its messianic light, its sparse, hard-to-capture
beauty, complains she's come all this way to paint al fresco but
the mosquitoes have driven her inside, no matter the netting
on her hat, her cuffed sleeves and pants, a heavy does of Deet.
They bite through everything. And when she tries to snap a
picture, a breathy handkerchief of mosquitoes flutters over
the lens. What can I do? she moans, trapped in a dull and
narrow room, thinking of booking a ticket back to her studio
in Vancouver. Paint the mosquitoes, god replies.
from God Of Shadows
2018 McClelland & Stewart
(image credit: Trichy Insights)
As spring rain
during this time
our hearts turn
toward the sun.
the tilt of the earth
is a little different.
If we aren't careful
we may lean
and fall off.
The past several day I’ve had the pleasure of seeing owls when I am out for my walk. Standing in the space of their presence brings me a sense of joy and calm – a moment to forget everything that is happening in the world around me.
A Quiet Strength
Hope is a great-horned owl.
It is yellow eyes
that harness strength.
It is open eyes
that face shadows.
Hope allows you to soar
on winds of change
to leave some old habits
and bring something new
into your life.
on a tree limb,
for subtle signs,
sees what usually goes
below your radar.
Hope uses the beauty
to inspire creativity.
Little can stop
an owl once it has set
on "the prize"
Some Fun Facts About Owls
Owls have specialized feathers with fringes of varying softness that help muffle sound when they fly. Their broad wings and light bodies also make them nearly silent fliers; which helps them stalk prey more easily.
An owl has three eyelids; one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.
I continue to find little treasures as I go out for my walks. This morning I came across this inspirational painted rock. We had a lovely sunny morning but unfortunately winter continues to be reluctant to let us go into spring. The forecast for more snow helped me choose the Mary Oliver poem I am sharing.
THE STORM (BEAR)
Now through the white orchard my little dog
romps, breaking the new snow
with wild feet.
Running here running there, excited,
hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins
until the white snow is written upon
in large, exuberant letters,
a long sentence, expressing
the pleasures of the body in this world.
Oh, I could not have said it better