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.

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

Healthy Closet

The 8s, dejected, find themselves stranded
Pitifully pushed out, lost in the dark back
Not rejected entirely, since hope persists

Today 12s prevail large, front and center
They’ve become smug in their prominence
Confident now in their long enduring tenure

Of course it’s true that sporadically tiny 6s
Flamboyantly flourished in the coveted spot
And on rare occasions spunky 4s elbowed in

But rosy glasses cloud the hard to swallow
Truth that the tiny eras of 4s and 6s always
Begin as dark times of grief and searing sadness

In retrospect the stable 12s aren’t all that bad
And sensible 10s are just about perfectly crafted
For a healthy closet’s deep breathing peace

I Do That Too

Because I can answer the questions, I do
Because I can solve the problems, I do

Because I can see my new ex-girlfriend’s mother wilting,
Her shoulders stooped as she begins a diabetic dive,
While her daughter packs boxes, asking which soup
Ladle she can take. “Take them all” I say as I
Prepare her mother a cheese plate with neatly sliced
Cheese and fanned out crackers. I do that too.

Her mother looks from the party plate to my eyes
Sweat on her upper lip from stress and low blood sugar
“You always do too much” she says as she marries a
Slice of cheddar to a Triscuit and takes a bite of relief.

Because I can calm their anxiety, I do
Because I can get it done faster, I do

Because I can hear his tension simmering through the phone
When his proceeds haven’t arrived from the sale that closed
Two days ago, I sit in the theater’s 5th row center seat, clutching
My phone and coordinating a solution. Before the curtain goes up
I text the lawyer and the manager with instructions and suggestions,
Constructing a plan before the lights go dim. I do that too.

Because I know all this, every summer morning I breathe
Crushed lavender buds held to my nose in my cupped hands.

Because I know all this, as often as I can (yes, often),
I escape the phone calls and demands for an hour or two,
While I stroll through gardens of tulips and poppies with
My camera in hand, inhaling beauty and streaming sunshine,
And exhaling worry wrapped in brown paper packages tied
Tight with twine, happily littering the garden’s precious grounds.
Burdens I had accepted are scattered among the tulip petals.

I do that too.