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Deep in the Heart of Amaryllis

 

 

 

Deep in the heart of my red amaryllis

the red turns to the blood-bold

red of the setting sun, a scarlet blaze

of fire, a passionate warmth in this cold

awakening of yet another year. 

I’d like to rest awhile inside this petalled

womb, sift through the remnants

of my yesteryear; ponder the hours

that lie ahead, each day the start

of a new year, each moment holding a lifetime. 

I breathe this fiery strength, absorb this radiant

hope, in this red silence wait to be re-born again

and again to live the truth, the beauty

of my amaryllis so alive.

Christmas Tangles

 

Tangled tree lights, memories of Christmas

past dancing along their twisted wires,

dashed hopes and dreams interlaced

with child-happy faces, the aromas

of gingerbread, fresh greens.

*

But memories aside…

as candles, carols, bells sing joy

to all the world these clear, cold nights,

I wrestle with the tangled images

that flash across my screen,

lives dangling from the wrath

of winds, relentless rains,

mired in mud of bigotry and hate,

shriveled up by lust and greed,  

unmoored by guns and ranting tweets that clang

against the all is calm and all is bright

for which we yearn and pray.

*

And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us…

birthed himself into the tangles

of our winter world

to walk with us,

to ache with us,

to lead us to that

someday tree whose leaves will shelter

all the world with healing joy,

under whose calm, silent branches

arms black and white and red

and brown will intertwine, together

bend the knee before the Child,

whose coming sings the promised hope,

a lion entangles his limbs with a lamb’s,

in a never-ending tango of peace.

 

Sparrow and Me in Autumn

 

So small, so ordinary brown

against the brilliance of the golden

leaves; I watch his anxious body (heart

beating four times faster than my own!),

twitch this way and that, head bobbing

up and down, all a-tremble in the falling

leaves that augur cold, white days to come.

*

Oh, little one, I’d like to offer you

the sureness you are held in tender eye

of God, but often so like you I am;

fearful of tomorrow’s frost, I knot

myself in petty this and foolish that,

fail to lean into the sturdy stillness

of the trees, fail to touch the love

that paints my world so vivid bright,

fail to breathe the calm that whispers

in the crimson winds that brush

across your rapid-beating heart—

and mine.

*

So let me simply sit with you

on your slim, sky-reaching branch,

savor the fragrance of this autumnal

now; let’s hold each other close and trust

we will not be alone as the crystal

walls of winter ice close in

around our fragile lives.

Late Summer Afternoon

 

The air is leaden, thick, and

shadows creep across my silent deck;

the sun arcs slowly toward the west,

the moon, a tiny splinter in the haze of blue,

whispers the dark of coming night; rusty

leaves hang limp, the birds are hushed;

I sit alone, swallowed in the empty vastness

spread across my tiny deck.   

*

A gentle cooing sudden lifts the heavy air;

my eyes look up, and there she sits,

a mourning dove atop the rail, stretching  

her silky neck this way and that; she holds

my gaze, her eye attentive, pensive,

soft; then stretching yet again towards me

across the brooding silence of the day,

she coos once more and lays a gentle

peace, a quiet kindness in my soul

before she softly flows into the endless

hours of this late summer afternoon.

My Summer Travels with Thoreau

          “I have traveled a good deal in Concord,” Henry David Thoreau once famously said of his frequent walks through his home town.   Usually when we think of “travel,” we think of visiting places away from home, places remote maybe, or ancient; places filled with history, with art; places to awaken our imaginations, relax our often over-busy lives.

          But for Thoreau, who never ventured far from his native Concord and his Walden Pond, travel simply meant a careful observation of all that lay immediately around him.  Travel meant having eyes to see what can be so easily overlooked in all the familiar places of our lives.

          These days, living as I do with CFS/ME, I no longer travel much beyond the street on which we live.  But I am learning to travel with Thoreau, learning better to see and appreciate the immensity that lies right here on our little street.  Here’s a bit of what I’ve seen in my spring and summer “travels.”

not the Arc de Triomphe

just a simple arch celebrating

life ever-renewing

inviting us to walk beneath its bower

to mini triumphs of our own

***

lantana basking in the summer sun

reaching beyond its confines

to dance and frolic

in its tiny corner of the world

***

nature’s votive candles

tucked in a niche of the Cathedral of the Wind,

lit, perhaps, in memory of earlier

leaves and flowers that have come and gone,

sanctity of all of life

***

tiny green beetle

bulging black eyes

legs stippled and striped,

antennae extending into the unknown;

mystery of life

***

 

delicate lace tatted perhaps

by Belgian fairies working late

beneath the sliver of a silvered moon,

each tiny stitch a miracle of love

***

a piece of bark shredded from a tree,

limp, but yet alive

with ancient memories,

nature’s sculpted art displayed

on shelf of bright green grass 

***

a lone pine cone

seeds of new life expectant held

in soft green sheltering arms

beneath an endless sky

beckoning to new horizons

here and after here

***

Yes!  I have traveled a good deal on my little street and am thankful for each marvel that has brightened my summer days.

  

All Thumbs

This morning I’m all thumbs,

scrambled as my too-dry eggs,

twisted as my knotted

necklace chain; I drop a pill, lose a

thought, ill at ease with the garbled

verbs and adverbs of my life.

*

My larger world feels scrabbled too,

justice tangled in the skirts of power,

truth slips between fingers grasping

flimsy straws of status and esteem.

*

Meanwhile, a finch sits quiet,

nipping at our thistle seed;

two chickadees meet at the suet;

leafy branches glimmer in the early

morning sun; the stillness holds me

close, an almost holy sigh, whisper

of a somewhere time, God’s thumb

to wipe away the tangles of our tears.

This Little Light of Mine

 “This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine;”

my husband hums the familiar

tune as I sip my morning tea; later

he will sing with the church choir

this syncopated psalm of thanks

for little lights that bravely shine

in all the darkness encroaching

on our deeply troubled world.

I will not hear that joyful sound, but…

*

outside my window, a little

light shines quietly for me, a floral

candle of delicate, shimmering filaments,

lacy whiteness whispering its quiet radiance;

so unlike the neons of our gaudy

world of celebrities and ego tweets,

so unlike bright chandeliers

aglow with pomp and pride that

only shadow deeds of darkness.

*

Bless you, little light; shine on

in your wee corner of this vast

and anxious world; few will see

your radiant smile, but those who do

will quiet sing a psalm of thanks; will even

shine, perhaps, a little brighter themselves.