I Praise You, Cold Front

October 31, 2019

Meteorological change

whips the rain away

shifts gravity

 

Suddenly, the leaves are horizontal

the trunks bend but do not break

 

I am a tree this year

A giant poplar

 

I praise you, cold front

I will bend

I will not break

 

 

 

 

Dulcimer, Sweet Song

October 30, 2019

In my lap

a 38 year old child

is cradled

a feather plucks

strings reverberate in heart-shaped holes

A Simple Gift it is

Christmas, 1981

Once it got lost in Stuttgart

rode the train to the end of the line

I cried and prayed

Three months later

a UPS man stood at my door

the handmade case intact

the graceful shape nestled in green felt

Now, I play for international students

They applaud the sweet song

Follow Close in the Fog

October 29, 2019

Headlights dim

reflect back at me

engulfed by droplets

dense in the air

vapored cloud low

wraps my car in shadow

 

Suddenly, red lights up ahead

two wink at me

“Come hither”

my car speeds up

I tailgate

follow lights instead of invisible lanes

 

Once, I hiked 25 miles around Sheffield

Across heathered moors

all night long

I followed the heels of my friend

as he trod

my eyes never straying

in the moonless fog

 

Sight is a gift

which often is blind

 

 

 

 

Undulate

October 28, 2019

Waves of curls and locks

spindle from the fleece

barnyard smells released

we wash

we wash

we wash again

tease out organic matter

card gently

like combing your granddaughter’s hair

roll into rolags

and SPIN.

The waves want to live forever

undulate around each other

like tiny shingles

they twist at the oriface

feed onto the spool

Warm wool

soft and fuzzy

let me smell you

feel you

stare at you

wear you

 

Maggie’s Shoulders

October 27, 2019

shoulders drafted like the wool

pulled gently forward

towards the spinning wheel

the Mother of All

the maidens

the flyer

the bobbin

the drive band

hands smoothed by the start of the whirl

worn patina of singing wood

the lanolin of the fleece

feet treadle

walk in joy

up and down

up and down

up and down

heart of fingers

open and close

open and close

open and close

she is the draft

the wheel

the sheep

and the wool

 

 

 

Spin

October 19, 2019

Spin, little wheel, spin

Help my feet and fingers to work together

in some symbiotic grace

help me find the rhythm and synchronicity

of different movements

as One

May I meditate as I go

pulling wool, washed and carded,

through steady fingers as prayer

May my feet move like a horse’s

even gait

up and down

fueling the movement

round and round

May I not prick my finger

nor lose patience

But Learn

become accomplished

 

Spin, little wheel, Spin.

something’s different

prayers evolve

then silence

 

the tree frogs are long gone,

the cicadas, the katydids

 

but I thought you’d last longer

 

Ichthyologists

October 16, 2019

fish bones like fossils,

framed, scaled

their eyes are gone

gutted

 

we tour the one room middle Georgia museum

learn about stripers, trout, large-mouth bass

brim interpretation

catfish before it’s on your plate

 

my child-sons and I are Ichthyologists

we need no depth finder or map

no binoculars

or line

 

the fish are frozen in time

the pine walls

golden, green, heads

fins hover

 

cannot swim away

 

 

Worry Stone

October 16, 2019

I rub the two inch fossil in my hand

Petrified wood

36 million years old

Rust-colored

smooth as a mother’s hand

on my forehead

cool

 

I hold it to my ear like a seashell

and hear the oceans tumble

fade

36 million years ago.

 

My thumb finds the ledge

My hand grips the rock like Jesus

I return it next to my rosary.

 

 

Do Not Fear

October 15, 2019

365

times

in scripture

“Do not fear.”

 

angels

prophets

psalmists

Jesus

Creator God

invoke us, command us

not to be afraid.

 

And yet we are.

Paralysis grips our larynx

Handshakes give us away

the abdomen breath ignored

 

Paul, I cannot wait to meet you!

Mary, Joseph, Jesus still fully human

Peter hung upside down

Early Christians in arenas

Underground church

and the women who would not let go

for daughters, healing

crumbs like dogs

 

Julian and Teresa

Your radical choices

Anchorites

and Wise Men

 

And the Little Children

who came unto Him

magnetized

the boy who shared his loaf

 

Prostituted women

tax collectors greed

stones

and beatings

jail cells

Morbid death

 

Do not fear?

For I am with you.

That’s all we need to know.