2018, Summer

The river had flooded its banks that day
Swirling around tree trunks and stranding
Muddy puddles and mosquitos along our path
We jumped the puddles and swatted bugs
I walked only a step ahead under the sun

Puffy clouds floated above when we froze
Barely breathing as that electric blue dart
Whizzed then helicopter hovered over cloudy puddles
Four translucent silver wings glittering

Then eight

Two dragonflies dancing in unabashed performance

One simple moment of life affirming perfection
Standing inches apart, inhaling magic

Minutes of awe laying a path
As wide eyes absored joyful views
Drenched in nature’s excellence

Stillness

Maybe I fell asleep in the stillness
Of my shaded backyard hammock.
An orange cocoon stretched between
Hundred foot tall black walnut trees,
Shrouding me as I gently rocked
In the sweet peace of bird song and
Quiet summer breezes.

Hovering in sweet stillness.
Under cool leaves in silence.

The twenty-minute chime startled
Me back to semi-alert lucidity.
The still minutes of my meditating
Mind seemed brief in drift, slowing
Shallow breath, hands crossed over
Chest in a deathlike repose, basking in
The underbelly of my open heart.

Hovering in sweet stillness.
Under cool leaves in silence.

1982

The last drunk
A slow motion drive
An innocent parked car crushed
A spaghetti jumble of steel

Bent fenders infused with heartbreak
Bumpers twisted in sorrowful tears

Today, the pain, again
Vicarious aguish as the world cries
Cheering the broken with love
And that overflowing kindness

Then, Recovery

Wonderful pain
Painful wonder
Diamond hard
Glowing beauty
As stunning
As life

Mother’s words
Explode

“It’s a good life,” she said

Inviting wholehearted
Joy

Bask Joyfully

Hover in sweet silence
Shaded by cool leaves
Shrouded, gently rocking
In the sweet peace of bird
Song and quiet breezes

Stillness.

Drift in sweet meditation
Calmed by shallow breath
Swaddled, lovingly swaying
In the sweet peace of bird
Song and quiet breezes

Stillness

Bask joyfully
In the underbelly
Of your open heart.

Summer Memories

In my memory “the girls”, my sisters, hid daily in our next-door neighbor’s pine paneled basement. Those older kids, almost teenagers, played whole-heartedly. All summer. The Game Of Life. Clue. Cootie. Cribbage. Endless Monopoly games.

As a kid of five or six they grudgingly allowed me to tag along to the basement refuge my sisters loved. I promised to be quiet and swore not to be annoying. The sweet boy-next-door, a young teenager, tossed me over the sofa back into the fluffy pillows. I loved that the most. Then he dove himself with a laugh and Fosbury Flop before it was even a thing. My hero. The black and white TV blinked non-stop gray. A Ping-Pong ball clicked time with our fun. I understood my sisters’ heaven.

That musty basement was real perfection. And then it wasn’t any more. The afternoon when it changed the college-age sister of the sweet boy whose basement we loved stood on the steps yelling “Don’t you kids have your own damn home?” She was fierce and strong and scary as hell. We slunk up the stairs, hearts pounding. Tails tucked, heads down. Unwelcome refugees. Hugging the wall against her glare. Shame.

My sisters continued playing next door but I stayed home. And when I was old enough I spent most of my time on the creek in the woods behind our neighborhood. I loved the green quiet where I basked in made-up adventures. I was a daring hero with a pocketknife and rope coiled on my belt. Keeping my distance with imaginary armor.

Nourish

Seven AM rowdy bird screams reverb in the oppressive heat
Blasting unknown calls as others sing secret lyrics.
The chaotic symphony infuses my morning with calm.
Serenity amid the clatter.
The definition of contradiction.

Peace

I dry my seat from overnight dew as
A shaky speckled fawn sniffs
around the edges of the patio below.
Her saddle a constellation of white dots.
White tail flicking intermittently some
unseen fly as she moves out of my
Coffee spot gaze.

Welcome

On this other new dawn the weather is cooler. Relief.
The mother stands in the mulch
Just beyond the pool deck munching grass.
Yesterday’s fawn bounds toward her mom.
Baby’s head under belly tilts, grasping teat,
Sucking hard as her baby tail wags at warp speed.
Rhythmically lifting front hoof in time or excitement,
Like any joyful baby thrilling at mama connection.

Nourish

Pressing

Gleaming purple dream come true
It was the hand brakes that got me
Unconsciously pedaling while braking
Complaining about faulty brakes
Clenched hands battling pressing legs

Do I approve of the press?
The answer is no, of course
Certainly also the answer is moot
Inescapably pressing
The omnipresent foe
And always the hero of my story