Can’t Buy Me

He grabs my face, “Bibi,

you are my FRIEND,”

and then a squeezing 

hug, “I love you SO!”  

I am completely here, my table spread

with a cornucopia of blessings.

And money can’t buy even one

of them—which is great

since I’ve tapped out

of that stranglehold,

the one that wrestles the others

to the ground then gives

them the chance to rise

and fight again.  They are in

a hurry to negotiate,

yearning to play,

their grandchildren growing

apart—the screens covering

them all in strange blue flickers.

Unplugged, we run into the cold

sunlight, pulled by an

ancient dog’s wagging tail.

And I live for these

days by his side

as he teaches me

the subtle and secret paths

inside my neighbors’ boundaries,

open and free.

 

Inspired by these word prompts: Hurry, Cornucopia, Yearning and Negotiate

and this cover of one of my all-time favorite songs. https://youtu.be/01T1tIvYkwQ

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Child’s Play

I record this newly-three boy

–where was I (amazed-watching later,

tiny clues crowded into

misheard space saved by the faith-

full machine capturing now.)

I examine what drives him.

He speaks for tiny

cars, “Him got wheels.”

 “Yes, he has wheels,” I instruct

–where is my pure joy-grasp of

his sentence-structure blooms?

His play-mat roads lead to a picnic

table, a construction site, and one car

is stuck so another saves it.

“Are you okay?”

“No!”

“I will take you to the hospital.”  

And off they go.  I intrude-say,

“You are so kind,” inciting his affronted,

I didn’t.  This car did,”

so I praise the true hero.

My grandson is giving credit

where it’s due, and clueless I

have another anecdote

for my busy

friends, his big heart-rays

lingering in the smiles

he calls forth

their shift unnoticed into

his paradigm of inter-being.

 

 

Inspired by Anecdote, Busy, Examine and Lingering.

True Value

I am so tired of wording

while I wait for the world

to participate in the turnover

embracing the new narrative.

And then this precise

child on this exact

cold overcast day

solemnly offers a paintbrush

dripping purple.  Wordless, I

open my hand to change.

Inspired by: Turnover, Wait, Participate and World.

Leap Out (of the box)

The nos are the stepping stones that get you there ~ Andrea Waltz

If I modify the picture
I recall based on these two

(a throbbing innovator poised
on the ledge and my crotchety

father’s why can’t he mind?)
I discover I have never been

naughty. Arriving here
with a hero’s heart

—dressed in pink lace (torn)
with tight shiny shoes (flung)—

bright eyes and the evidence
so clear my oldest brother

needed glasses from hearing so
many nos. I’m leaping forward

then to go back now
circling into myself

and the most powerful version
of us. (Standing up and away

from those little desks and the prattled
history lies, reciting the facts

blocking the intuitive
deep knowing.) A grandmother might

open the door (but she’s pacing
forgetful, safe in a place

that reeks of urine and bleach.)
Schoolmates pushed in competition

separation, everyone desperate
for unconditional regard.

Today I belong, ready for this
daring feat together, right

beside him embracing
non-linear time.

Inspired by Recall, Picture, Modify and Naughty.

A Crop Of Lies

He articulates in story,

“bad boy!” to his favorite

toy, in the car seat while I drive.

Each word spaced precisely. 

“I am so angry!  

You. Need. Time. Out!”

So fierce and unrelenting

I step in as upbeat arbiter,

“Now can he play?”

“No!,” his tone dark with the

pure manipulation necessary

to control a fire-breathing dragon

with teeth.  “He bites me!”

my grandson wails behind me.

And listen, it takes two 

hands to open that plastic mouth,

so this is obviously

sheer malice.  I’m hopeful

for a second chance.

In Hawaii, children raised

by their grandparents’ patience,

drenched in ancestral lore,

while parents did the heavy lifting

undistracted, family mealtimes

proving the connection.  Special

gifts celebrated, growing

unhindered by the needs of busy-

ness. Old and young would laugh

in delight opening the world

presence.  In my culture, we

post pretty pictures to all 

our contacts. Here’s the life

I wish I led! while chained

to these brutal tasks, a paycheck 

to grind the earth to a shell.

In my stillness, I hear our hearts

cry for release amidst

the blared airwaves

solutions for our misgivings.

Diagnoses and prescriptions the cash

crop and we sow the seeds

of our despair with the fierce

capitulation of a smacked

child, turning to pass

the harsh lesson: conform,

be penitent

or be cast out.

In our desire to belong,

we hold out our hands

for these painful cuffs.

 

Inspired by Penitent, Contacts, Articulate and Drench.

The Interconnection of Being

At three, he’s aware of no

division, calling up the

buffleheads on my computer

for a close-up of tiny ducks

far out on the lake.  Not just black

and white, their iridescent heads

like poems to color.

He greets them, frustrated

by my inability

to establish

a FaceTime connection

with these cousins.

He has no armor,

open, empty

here to enjoy

the ride and I bail

furious and surreptitious,

dipping and throwing

discolored clouds of

beliefs as fast as they

bubble up on our way.

In the dark, we trace

the dim light

of constellations

resonating to a calling

heart songs

carrying us through

this living water.

Inspired by Empty, Armor, Division and Bail.  Photo credit: hhltmaine.org.

The Layers of Now

The knight-errant delates

the enchantress

to the medieval tribunal;

she’s tortured for heresy

and practices of power.

And even now we carry

that shadow impossible

to touch, its weight forcing

our pace.  We believe.

You’re too big for your britches,

my grandma warned. So let’s get

naked, converse with

dinosaurs like a three-year-old,

delighting in the tune

the ancient memory of our being.

Shall we dare the dark

to reach for stars

our own relations

pointing precise lines

of connection, winnowing

past the satellites thrown

like so many toddlers’ toys

in the messy skies?

Clean up, clean up, we sing

over the Wi-Fi pledge

one global chorus

injustice and rubbish

clear to our eyes.

Do you see that, too?

Validated finally

while on the world stage

greedy monsters’

unreined stampede toward certain

disaster

keeps us horrified

and static.

The cordless frequency of fear

corralling us

fenced in seeming separation.

We chafe and squabble,

point fingers and cry,

restless

while under our feet

the only necessary step

simple

calling

until finally we tune in.

Inspired by: Wi-Fi, Knight, Delate and Pledge.