Being Schooled

Lately these mornings as he runs
by, a flower cries.

They won’t let him
stop, he’s buckled into blacktop

rules. On the way to school
he mourns what is uncrushed

the perfect blossom lonely
in the morning rush.

Tomorrow he can come and
linger here, gather dew copious

like tears on his finger
near these blooms he knows

so well. I’ll give him room
a spell, re-membering, hearing

petals fall in ecstasy
being squeezed by one

so small. The exquisite pain
of love so grand

staining skin
absorbed in this tiny hand.

Inspired by: School, Copious, Crush and the phrase “A flower cried.”

White Men Keep Telling Me What To Do

“I do not like that man.  I must get to know him better.”~Abraham Lincoln
I
Their brand burns deep into my brain,
a forced filter to inform my knowing.

My life inscribed by words to the wise,
imbibing heady spirits they’ve poured

bypassing my heart. Seeing through glass
darkly with these prescripted eyes.

The lakeshore is vivid today only.
Golden-yellow gleams sun’s tribute.
Scarlet-orange carpets green.
Purple-mahogany deep drama.
Every tree a poem
deserving 1,000 new words.

No need to crowd
the lines of gawkers missing

by an hour because some bone-
head saving daylight sends

them into cubicle-cages
through the darkness

wealth-seekers know. Sliding
over my rough spots like butter

while I’m too tender to resist.
I absorb it, changed, make lists

of ways I can succeed. Until a friend
requests, tune in,

and suddenly I’m walking the devil’s
backbone and this is no place

for sleep. Every word I know a white
man’s barb into my flesh,

it only hurts when I begin
to pull away

and then, oh damn,
there is no easy way out.

II

Tree praise blazing
in the center of my
cultural lament.
It doesn’t fit.
Just like me
so glorious we stay.

Inspired by: List, Heady, Glass and Butter. and the Devil’s Backbone in Pine Hills Nature Preserve, a 100-foot-high stone ridge barely wide enough for the trail to cross.  (Photo courtesy of https://visitindiana.com/blog/index.php/2019/07/10/pine-hills-nature-preserve/)
Continue reading White Men Keep Telling Me What To Do

Merci beaucoup

Across the water tenebrous woods
await light’s generous revelations.

In the chill, I huddle and watch
what seemed insurmountable in dark

emerging, eminent by noon.
I practice, say I don’t know

in one thousand wondrous ways
that sound like thanks, gratitude

soothing my frightened amygdala with
an intentional evolution, planetary

and necessary as two plovers arc
white-feathered play across

the brightening lake. Speak to me
and I will listen inside you

for the deeply felt praise
behind your triggered fear.

Inspired by: Eminent, Insurmountable, Tenebrous and Chill.

Simply Nuts

In the forest I hug the oldest
denizens and whisper, Grandmother

always heeding Treebeard’s plea
keep an eye peeled for the Ent-

wives. Perhaps they’ve paused here
in deep languor inspired to hold

the wide lake view in cliff perches.
Gathered in a presentation of beauty

glossy and green. Surely they won’t
take umbrage at this three-year-old

practicing his initial magic,
unseasoned and wild hugs and

shouts of joy. You may scoff
at my stories, but I know

a secret: a net of word games
holds us enthralled, from history

pages at age ten to the nightly
news, spinning webbed fantasies.

I choose to believe in trees,
honor the keepers of the planet,

listen to the songs their bird
messengers carry. Find the deep

knowledge in ancient tales, celebrate
the great treasure each fallen acorn.

Inspired by: Umbrage, Languor, Presentation, Initial and the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompts:  ent, ten and/or net.

We In Tune

Feel the blessing of the ancestors
life living through the family

tree. And bless the trees, flowing
love and life and light. Outside

the boxes that hold us in the
desperate drive for cash–

breadcrumbs leading into darkness
where the masters keep us

vapid, blind, deafened
to each others’ cries–far

from these nightmares we call
reality, reciting obediently

schooled from our earliest days
when we only want to go

out and play, dancer answers
to the proper question:

Who are we? An outlawed
fungus clues. The teachings

I seized in my childish frantic fear
run me like clockwork and worse

guide my descendants. I can’t
hold any longer what chokes

my voice. What if 7.7 billion
people speak the truth?

I am here in sacred space
while the demolition begins.

Alert, awake during this new
gestation. Through the dust

and debris of the empire’s collapse
all the dark emotions rear

like panicked horses. The
dismantling goes deep.

I want to fight, to cling
to the disease I know,

dark entity holding sway
simply a house of cards

when my rising power
sings yours, beloved.

Inspired by: Entity, Vapid, Fungus and You Are A Song by Mirabai Ceiba.

Here Is My Song

Hey blue, there is a song for you, ink on a pen, underneath the skin, an empty space to fill in.~Joni Mitchell

The simplicity of my matinal rites
by the lake and skyful of blue

available to anyone here–trembling
poplars, this downy woodpecker

rattling, a pair of cautious dusky
ducks. The praying mantis looks

over her shoulder with large bulbous
eyes. Three ruby throats of humming-

birds dive and chirrup. My pen glides
in the cursive flow of thoughts

informed by space. Three-year-old twins
on the opposite shore squeal

helmeted and wheeling. The wildlife
flees. Traffic thrums. The shadow

of wings fast across the grass.
By starts and fits I edge into

emotional depths of this shimmering
moment, cloudless blue embrace

bright water quivering in pure
essence goosebumps and chicken skin.

My brother is driving to see his new
granddaughter; my friend is home

from the hospital, these texts
like prayers infusing my heart

beyond the stories this intense
invitation open the multilayered

being green and blue planet
spinning incomprehensibly

welling up, pouring through
the way beneath my dancing feet.

Inspired by:  Simplicity, Matinal, EmotionalAnyone and blue, the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt today (sit and write about the first blue object you see today.) (As always, my really-wanna-edit brain gets a firm no!)  Also a dverse poet prompt to write in descriptive detail.  And Joni Mitchell’s song Blue.

 

At Home In The World

In the forest, he runs down

the path, imploring me to

follow.  He chooses each fork

to rush ahead, until I

urge a backward study

to assimilate just where

we came from.  This precocious

child has left the land

of sardonic tweets and

teen siblings snapchatting, his

heart huge and green

beneath the arching branches.

We unite the past and future

present in this magical

place. Tomatoes ripen

on the vines and herbs

spill over the flagstones.

We taste summer’s glory,

listen to crystals, sing

to birds. The only flickering

screen around is the lake.

We peer into another realm,

the living world unveiled.

Barefoot as mother earth prefers,

we send what is here into

her, bringing grounded 

resonance to surface

with each breath blessing.

Inspired by: Assimilate, Sardonic, Precocious and Unite. and Robert McFarlane’s Words of the Day: “nature deficit disorder” – Richard Louv’s (non-clinical) coinage in Last Child In The Woods (2005) to denote the range of physical & emotional/mental costs arising when people, esp. children, have insufficient access to “nature”.