For The Unsuspecting

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.

Start Close In

Tonight I offer you a poem by David Whyte. This particular poem speaks to me at this time of so much change and upheaval in our lives. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Start Close In
by David Whyte

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet, 
your own
way to begin
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something
simple.

To hear
another's voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice

becomes an 
intimate private ear
that can
really listen
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don't take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

A Homecooked Meal

(Betty Crocker image)
The poem I've written today was inspired 
by the writing of Jimmy Pappas.

The Secret Ingredient

For a simple dessert I wash fresh raspberries
to remove any trace of Covid-19.
I pop one in my mouth, let water squish with the flesh
of the berry on my tongue.
Now I make butternut squash soup with produce purchased 
on the first outing in a month:
fresh butternut squash, leeks, onions and potatoes,
unsalted butter and farmer market carrots.
A granny smith apple, peeled and cored
adds a hint of tartness.
After it simmers for awhile I add fresh cream,
a sweet childhood delight, that swirls rich and smooth.
The table is set for many guests.
Please join me.  I have prepared a bowl 
especially for you.

Social Isolation

(internet photo)

Today it’s difficult for me to remain optimistic. It’s our granddaughter’s birthday and to add insult to injury, the gift we ordered online to be delivered before this special day, has not yet arrived. I don’t want to have the day pass empty handed from us so I have written her a humble story and illustrated it to the best of my ability. Singing “Happy Birthday” over the phone with her triggered my tears… I guess it’s a small price to pay if we can remain healthy.

I wish everyone strength and fortitude to get through this. May we all remain healthy!

Reading some poetry by Jimmy Pappas, a New Hampshire poet, inspired the following:

Social Isolation

We cannot
tell

if it is time
for

Friday night wine
or

Sunday
prayers.

Let us
bow our heads.

Bill Evans: "Here's That Rainy Day"

By Jan Zwicky

On a bad day, you come in from the weather
and lean your back against the door.
This time of year it's dark by five.
Your armchair, empty in its pool of light.

That arpeggio lifts, like warmth, from the fifth of B minor,
offers its hand - let me
tell you a story...But in the same breath,
semitones falling to the tonic:
you must believe and not believe;
that door you came in
you must go out again.

In the forest, the woodcutter's son
sets the stone down from his sack and speaks to it.
And from nothing, a spring wells,
falling as it rises, spilling out
across the dark green moss.
There is sadness in the world, it says,
past telling.  Learn stillness
if you would run clear.

In Other Words, Elf…

This is written in response to http://patriciasplace.me/2017/12/13/in-other-words-elf/

I’ve never thought much about being an elf.
Mischievous, clever, mysterious creatures.
Then I slept beneath a giant oak tree
and stories of the past came flooding back to me.
Answers to questions I’ve always had about myself.

Onions by Lorna Crozier

red_20onion

The onion loves the onion.
It hugs its many layers,
saying, O, O, O,
each vowel smaller
than the last.

Some say it has no heart.
It doesn’t need one.
It surrounds itself,
feels whole. Primordial.
First among vegetables.

If Eve had bitten it
instead of the apple,
how different
Paradise.

Lorna Crozier
From: Sex Lives of Vegetables.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

heart-192957_960_720i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

by e.e. cumming