Under The Tundra

I strain toward the present

moment, tiptoeing across

frozen river

memories instrumental in

splintering me

thousands of sharp pieces

held together in a purely

illusionary woman

you see before you.

Be gentle with your grandmother,

I urge this boisterous

little boy, who knows my heart-

child is always

eager to play

out the stuck places.

We wriggle and jump.

Down dog to find missing pieces.

He nestles into my safe

lap for stories

and we learn

we only reach now

together, holding space

that includes prior pains

we can rewrite

when we go back

to the beginning

with strong new love.

 

Inspired by:  Memories, Instrumental, River and Splinter.

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The Magic Words

It’s been seven days, and he’s still

anxious to deliver

his passionately tender

Merry Christmas, Bibi.

His greeting infused with magical

light displays and the mystery

of carefully printed tags —

he can’t read yet — on wrapped

presents it is only natural

to assume are his.  There are layers

of laughter, dancing, parties,

kisses and hugs and the surprise

responses to his hopeful

unutterable longing

for the return of beings

he unreservedly adores.

Our first phrases

are such intricate

integrations of our most

meaningful experiences.

Love language

thank you and good morning

combinations of words he’s learned

to sing like lullabies, instant

defusers when faced with irritation

or anger.  He instinctively knows

the power he is wielding,

and he touches me,

eyes meeting mine,

face to face, urgent

and beaming

as we share the delight

of his spell.

Inspired by: Deliver, Mystery, Hopeful, and Natural.

Hidden Depths

Venus, Mercury and Jupiter are bright

in the predawn sky

but for these clouds.

I’m asking to perceive

what is hidden 

although this requires a strong

heart and committed receptivity.

I am cultivating the view

from the balcony, investing

in the panoramic even as

I squat in a yoga pose

with my grandson.

It isn’t until after he leaves,

viewing short videos that I hear

his low-voiced comments

and whispered lisps,

turning up the volume so that

next visit, I can reflect back

to him the power of being

heard.  And it becomes obvious,

playing solitaire, how many chances

I skip in my hurry

to turn over the next new

cards.  The winning hand

is easy when I pause,

ignoring the imperious timer

demanding I capitulate

by leaving the present

unopened, rushing to some future

triumph, dragging the detritus

of the past.  He’s scribbling,

and brings me his pencil,

“Not that one,” insistent

on bold ink to etch

his powerful spells in the language

only he can speak 

now

in the moment 

of pen to paper.

Inspired by:  Imperious, Pencil, Capitulate, Squat

Call Up, Darling

“Emotions come, I don’t know why…Call me, call me any, anytime.
Call me.” ~ Blondie

I used to pummel the heavens

wailing, wanting.  Today I wish

to awaken to what lurks

at the edges of my trance,

potential rippling, pulsing

in the magnetic now,

awaiting the touch of my focus.

My grandson demands his mother

call me, and when our faces

appear onscreen,

his devastated wails

almost muffle his mommy,

Nobody knows what’s wrong.

My awareness resting

on the connection in our nervous

systems, I open the container

to allow what is.

This overwhelming emotion

simply needs to be presenced,

the huge wave

sweeping away

everything in its path.

I hear these compassionate ahhhs,

hmmmms coming from my heart

and tears glisten my eyelashes. 

We need

the leisure to feel

without narrative.

A raspy sigh

and he hits the red

button that lets our focus

gently slide out of ceremony.

He’s ready to face his life.

Outside the rain is slipping

into the shimmering lake

which celebrates every drop

in a dizzying dance.

Inspired by: Leisure,  Pummel, Rain, Feeling, and Ceremony.

Still

In meditation, the word pours tranquil

and pregnant, layered

significance.

I follow my breath

to the deep spaces

inward

relief from so-called reality,

the ephemeral

house of cards

that shudders

with the slightest sigh.

 

My grandson stacks metal

canisters filled with marbles

as high as his head,

says, Be careful,

resting the next

weight lightly

before the inevitable

crash, marbles

spilling in glorious cacophony

spinning whirls of color

glass spheres released from their cages

celebrating their rolls to freedom.

We’re silenced by splendiferous

chaos as they come to rest.

 

He looks up, sees me watching,

still

and he says, brightly,

“I’m sorry.”

Relishing his daring

reach,

I want to say, oh,

never apologize

for expressing vitality. 

This is true science:

curious experimentation

in which the investigator’s role

is embraced, purely evident.

“Hey, you know what towers do,”

I say gently, and

his serious face considers me

before he declares, “Fall.”

And all my suspicious pieces

— stilled by a doleful frost 

imposed by utter

terror

at any change

(classified as trauma) —

peer out in

wonder

at this powerful being

gathering shiny balls

in eager fistfuls, filling the tins

before stacking them

precariously

once more.

Inspired by:  Classified, Doleful, Suspicious, and Frost.

Boundaries

A parody of functional

family values,

saying no!

an act of defiance,

the comminatory consequences

applied with vicious swiftness

castigation by corporal

belts and fists, open palms,

grabbed and clutched and pulled

frowns and anger seething

the harsh removal of solace

isolation

until the fire appears quenched.

Docile silenced child welcomed back

coldly

watchful as a ghost

I have carried all these years,

never questioning why I flinch

when someone asks brightly,

do you want some feedback?

And here today

my grandson teaches

now

so we explore

— under the disapproving gazes

of oppositional octogenarians

firmly holding disaster

expectations,

preaching pain and

focusing on fear —

The child runs wild

and so

constantly presents

new opportunities

will you still love me

if I do this?  If you say

no, do you mean it

every single time?

to allow these pieces

of my deeply

buried traumas

to emerge

raw

in the fresh air

this child and I create

between

our beating

vibrant

hearts,

the puzzled old eyes

watching stunned

by these new openings,

the ancestral lines quivering

as the past is finally

rewritten.

Inspired by: parody, quench, castigation, and comminatory

Class Report

In the playground, my grandson answers

what’s your name?

in a wide-legged stance, open

arms to embrace,

head flung back,

face to the clouds.

“Sky!”

He is seething with passionate

clarity, his unique voice

stunning the other children

to gapes of Os

before they return to the slides,

the swings, the ladders,

the mulch.  No wonder he calls out

every plane in advance

of sight or sound; his field is

tickled by their presence.

Thankful that I’m in his advanced

class, I realize

I have been calling my teacher

the wrong name,

my subtle finesse

used to delicately show him the way

of the world

dropping flat and sinking

into the vast sea

of his perception

as he commands, Follow me, Bibi,

sure that I’ll catch up.

 

Inspired by: Unique, Finesse, Advanced, Seethe, Voice