Preparing to Fly 🏡

After the heat and sunny skies of Italy we have been treated to grey skies and rain in Holland. We dressed in traditional Dutch costumes and tasted cheese in the historic town of Volendam. Despite rain we visited the village of Marken and toured a wooden shoe “factory” where we saw traditional wooden shoes as well as many other styles including pink high heel wooden shoes. We listened to classical music in a stone arch passageway in Amsterdam- violins, accordion and trombone sounded like a full orchestra as notes of Handel’s Messiah soared around us. We admired Rembrandt’s Night Watch in the Rijk’s Museum then walked amid life size replicas of the characters of the painting at Rembrandt Plaza. Along with hundreds of others we rode bicycles along the city canals and through Vondel Park. After walking around for awhile we were thrilled we were able to find our bikes among thousands of others!
I have learned from travel that everywhere you go it becomes a part of you in some way – it is impossible to return the same person you were when you left😄

Shadow Lake

The road winds into the distance
rocks, roots, puddles and mud
draw them higher.
Each step one closer to the lodge
built years ago by others
who passed beneath more youthful trees.
Trees that now bend and sway
creak and groan as they lean
to hear conversation below,
chatter to ease the monotony
of the upward stretch.

Clouds twist and tumble
tease with grey and blues swirls,
jackets on and off
in rhythm with their play.

Each stride squashes every day worry.
Layers of adult responsibility shed
as boots splash and smiles spread.
Friends greet each other,
prairie dogs happy to ascend to the alpine,
to explore new territory.
Covered in mud they giggle,
children who play in the rain
because they can.

Thunderstorm

thunderstorm

flash, crash, wake-up Now!
huddle under covers with each strobe of room
power, anger, fear, Boom!
exalted energy bursts of awe
percussion clangs off skyscraper walls
and gives wings to emotions with each sound
overhead whomp, whomp, whomp steps heavy
metal chimes jangle
fast notes tinkle
pica-pica-patta-pica
wind and rain strike a rhythm
tap-tap-rat-a-tat-tat
rumbles echo, bang, rattle, roll,
they swell, ebb, drift away

Bullfrog Baptism

I was alone on a cloudy day
a weary fog
pregnant with plump moisture
sagged in the valleys
brushed treetops with the weight of its burden

A pungent odor permeated the thick air
as I walked outside
the smell of rot and decay
wrinkled my nose

I tried to ignore it
but the damp air trapped it
close to my body
penetrating my clothing
seeping into my pores

I walked faster
my heels clicking sharply on the gravel
crunching beneath my boots
perhaps speed
would allow me to escape the stench

Rounding a bend
beneath wet trees
releasing captured rain drip by drip
I heard a bull frog
and stopped to listen

In the stillness
I realized the foulness I smelled was with me
I tore off my jacket
flooded with relief
delighted I had removed
the offensive article

But as I continued along the path
the rotten smell slowly came back
it was as though a skunk
had sprayed me along the way

With each layer of clothing that I shed
I experienced a brief respite from
the sense of putrid death

Finally I stood naked
tears mixing with a gentle rain

I stood naked
no longer able to deny
where the smell was coming from

On my knees
face in hands
I begged an unseen power
to rid me of the fetor

I poured my heart out
to the bullfrog I had heard in the bulrushes

When I finished
silence of the forest
was broken
by a chorus of frogs
They had been there all along
I was not alone

Teardrops and raindrops
had cleansed me with the outpouring of emotion
I had unwittingly experienced
a rite of passage
No longer did I need to run from myself

This forest baptism
ablution by nature
with bullfrogs as witness
had purified my heart
my character
washed away my funky malodour
so I could recognize
sweetness and beauty within

Clandestine Visitor

Light patter of feet
upon bare floor
spring rain gently tapping on glass

Little person unable to sleep
attempts stealthy reprieve from night time ritual
creeps toward lamplight

Open book lies on blanketed lap
words on yellowed pages invisible
disinterest feigned in clandestine visitor
silently daring next move

The child darts from shadow to shadow
a staccato movement
stops and starts

Her position freezes
as I clear my throat
fetching a giggle

she anticipates discovery

With the willpower of Hercules
I do not look her way

Waiting
Waiting
Waiting

Until just the right moment to
FLING
my arms out
to grab her

Squeals of delight elicited
as we tumble
into a laughing heap

Raindrops

raindrops

Raindrops fall gently
nourishing thirsty earth
life giving water

Swollen rivers flow
swiftly through the neighborhood
alarming the people

This precious liquid,
necessary renewal,
no longer admired

Destruction disguised
a benign interloper
warily watched

Nature’s fury shows
humans cannot outwit drops
steadily falling

Life giving water
becomes the reapers hand
exacting its due

Circle of life come
full as we watch lustrous pearls
of rain gently fall

My Visit to Dordrecht, Netherlands

Brug naar de Tijd, Grote Kerk met Zwijndrechtse brug, Dordrecht,
(photo by Frank Peters)

Colorful echoes of the past
collide with bright visions of the future
Slow steady rain drenches ambition and desire
Need for heat and warmth
propels feet forward
Wetness seeps into fabric, into pores
permeates a moment that has been experienced
by many before
Standing below historical buildings with
their antique facades
Now
seems to be the only thing that matters
yet Now was thought to be
equally important one thousand years ago
Determined explorers, rowdy sailors, sly traders, clever merchants
All who passed this way
share Now
it has come and gone and come again
as colorful echoes of the past
collide with bright visions of the future