Epiphyte

August 31, 2019

i hang upside down

like a child on a swing set

my hair blowing long, silky

I am Spanish Moss

an orchid

I live on this earth as support

and breathe oxygen and nutrients deep into my lungs

I want nothing back

except the rough trunk under my knees

to hang in the breeze

The Golden Heart

August 29, 2019

Her heart

like the golden marsh

mourns and rejoices

a tidal pull, surge, shrinking

Rich nutrients amid the mud

sea creatures birthed

oxygen depleted

She is left with an open heart

and then it closes

tight as a clam

or maybe an oyster

maybe there’s a pearl inside

always the hope they will return

emerge from a car

Too soon,

the car leaves

with hands out the window waving goodbye

It begins at birth

she thinks as she cries

This letting go and holding on

a steady rhythm

guided by the moon

 

“Wide open spaces, room to make her big mistakes.”  – Dixie Chicks

I retired in March.

In August, I’m still struggling.

When you’ve worked like a draft horse your whole life-it’s a transition.

Now, I knit.

I read.

I exercise.

I nap.

I watch TV.

I reach out to friends and family who are busy, former co-workers.

My first project was planting a wildflower garden in front of my parents’ house.

Mother and I could imagine delicate shy blooms and the nuance of their colors.

What we did not imagine was a meadow, and a meadow is what we got.

Its perfect for rabbits, between copses of trees in a woodland, but on St. Mary’s Lane??!!

Now, we must cut it down and plant tame and controlled azaleas.

The wide open spaces aren’t working out too well..

But the big mistakes are.

 

Adrift

August 13, 2019

It could be a dugout

No, a canoe

maybe a kayak

I see now the boards

curved and weathered

A small fishing vessel

the motor up

Water laps at the sides as it gently bounces

sways

A woman is in it alone

She has long ocean-dusted hair

She is smiling but scared

No oars to propel

No depth finder or soundings

Only the stars

Her eyes reflect the blue of the water even if they are green

She wears white

Her face is white

in spite of the sunburn

Nothing tells of a direction or path

She drifts with the sea

in a safe lagoon

but it is tidal

She knows she’ll be swept into the deep

Even as she languishes

for now in a safe but dynamic harbor.

 

If-as some psychologists say- we are everyone in our dream

Then I am an old black man,

emaciated with a tooth ache

a prisoner in my bed

My room is tar paper dingy

I have a rag balled up in my mouth for the pain

 

I am the efficient woman with cool hands

who straightens his covers

retrieves the wadded cloth from his mouth

and replaces it with a clean folded one

cold, medicinal

 

I am the children frightened by a real threat

hiding behind the woman’s bountiful dress

I am safe here

and she is brave

 

I am the Angel of Mercy with no fear

Soothing foreheads

Saving children

Standing as Courage and Compassion

in the wake of the dead.

I breathe

It is all I can do

while my arms rotate

legs revolve

Muscles build where there were none

like some volcanic tectonic shift

Distance from the shore

the port

grows

I am out of the harbor

swimming with the bass

cycling with the birds

I fly

I dive

I feel my breath leaving

 

 

Cousins’ Chorus

August 6, 2019

Gathered in a circle

bass, tenor, parts

our voices

like a DNA spiral

harmony floats up the ladder

our steps conjoined

strengthened by one another

Genes match in vocal chords

chorus makes us one