Variations on White

In my laboratory where I conduct

experiments on the living

connections which emerge

as I magnify my focus,

a red cardinal flits by.

Brown trees hold up

the lucent white sky.

The frosted white water

is ringed by whiter snow.

This word white is useless.

I scattered black sunflower seeds

under the brown thicket of lilac,

the impenetrable screen so favored

by the wintering songbirds.

Earlier, a pair of dark ravens

flapped in, one settling at the tallest tip

of the oak across the street,

the other accompanying a barred

owl into the poplar.

Noble birds in majestic trees.

Hunters playing

off each other’s unique talents,

usually hidden in the dark

but at dawn,

sitting

at just the right angle

I watch the soundless drama.

The day-old fullness

of moon brightens

all this glowing

until the first intimations

of purple and pink

blaze under the blanket

of white.

 

Inspired by:  Noble, Angle, Magnify and Laboratory.

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Dawn On Me

 

Furious at delays, things in my way,

people slowing me down,

I would still change pace

with pets, mostly dogs

who hiked with me through

the wild places I visited.

On my trajectory of change,

the representative of a simmering

lineage, homeless, stepping always

on alien lands with the unacknowledged

guilt of colonists.  Uneasy but focused,

striding through “on your left”

the airport walkways with my cross-

country skier pace or

driving with my foot down

racing to the beat.

A list of goals

and things to do,

eyes on the prize.

Until a cough grew worse.

Finally forced

down into darkness,

breakdown and loss,

contemplating death in the devastation.

Stripped of everything, my innate

joy surfaced. And now

I celebrate

my unique

steps, pausing to see

what is

and always

coming back to my breath.

Inspired by:  Unique, Cough, Pet and Representative.

The Clearing

~ Dedicated to Cristina Bevir and SETM.

I’m tuning in to this high intelligence

like a tool, a formula,

a magic wand to integrate

all the misinterpretations

cooking in my stew

of yearning.  I listen

to the longing for love

pushing the envelope,

painting the calumny.

“Bad boy,” my grandson says

with a fierce scowl.

I release the heartache

triggered by his tone.

There is an opening in so-called

reality, a way

to mitigate this ancestral

storm by bending before

its force with curiosity.

Allowing every image,

every buried memory,

my faultless intuition

guides me through darkness.

It is constant, holding

mild and humble

as I witness the great

power of healing.

I sit

and offer my expansive

lap: come snuggle.

As our heartbeats connect

we align to the deeper

places of pure possibility.

Inspired by:  intelligence, calumny, cook and mitigate.

Focus

You’re always so solicitous

when I’m ill, as I trace back

to find the particular ingredient

my system reacted against.

Yet all the while,

the unexpressed anger

I held

in the face of enmity

casual cruelty

turned any food at all

indigestible.

It is only now

sitting for a year

for an hour every morning

I listen into that deep space

slide of easy integration

where flowers this new opportunity

to honor my sensitivity.

What was onerous transforms.

The shard of shattered righteous

I found so irritating

now gleaming in new light.

Look, what I hold

and respect, what I release

is also yours,

a great cultural movement

and I am here

for you

as I’ve always been

even

especially

in my blindness,

my terror, deaf,

wincing from the anticipated

uppercut, trapped

in my innermost

circle of hell.

A click as it all comes into focus.

The new way of seeing

the fog lifting

I call your name.

Inspired by: Onerous, Shard, Opportunity, and Uppercut.

 

Saying Yes to my NO

“We don’t speak unless we are spoken to,”

I say, firmly, one raised brow.  “And we don’t turn

our backs to the Queen.”   My brothers believe

my refined umbrage at their rudeness.

“We’ll miss her when she is on her throne,”

they confess to my mother, and one asks,

“How do you become a queen?”

“She’ll have to marry a king,” my mother declares,

although she could just as easily have

opted the way of my father’s bloodline,

the Stuart Scots, “She’ll have to kill

her cousin.”  Casually cutting my quest

for boundaries and respect

marriage or murder

the only choices she could see.

And now she looks up startled

from her murder mystery

as I tell my grandchild, “You simply claim

your birthright.  You step to your full glory.”

Relaxed in my queendom like the Empress,

having sent four emissaries to the borders

in a clear, resounding no.  Crowning

my emotions with the Queen of Cups.

All the growing things I nurture

through the Queen of Wands.

As much wealth as I can summon

as the Queen of Pentacles, and as

the Queen of Swords, who’s summoned

Sekhmet and Hathor, fiercely

feminine, I brandish my pointed

no.  There is a hallelujah chorus

singing through the intricate

pattern of my lineage

as I remember to reach back

through the ever-present now

whispering into the ear of the sad

little girl rising through the chaos

You are a Queen, my darling,

chin up, stand tall, emerging

here we rule together.

I stretch my bones and open

this container to hold more

and more essential pieces

integrating my radiance.

And you look past this easy-

going smile and stop

at the steel resolve

forged in the love

I merit and give myself

unstinting, even as my

strong no lands in you.

 

 

Inspired by:  Intricate, Associate, Umbrage, and Quest.

Redeem On Demand

This movement toward freedom is natural and unstoppable and good.” Pauline Kael

Deep inside me is the divine core,

and here is where resides

this sacred internal partner

flowing through me,

making me an instrument

of peace and love, bright

tones suffusing the air

opening every heart

to birthright.

Even in the depths of grief,

the torrential outpouring

of anger, the song

spills out, unstoppable,

holding us in our most forlorn

moments, invisible refrains

of high intelligence always

open, available,

free love

surging forth in our remorse,

screaming frustration an opening

even the tiniest, most inaudible

invitation granted

instant response.

Inspired by: Forlorn, Frustration, Remorse and Partner

This Musical Life

Make me an instrument of your peace. ~ St. Francis

~ Dedicated To Don

Not even the crepitus in his knees

can stymie his offering: the embouchure

— years of dedicated notes

swirling through the open

window — with which he masters

every woodwind.  Breathtaking

transformed into the sex

of sax as I dance alone,

undone.  Sometimes he sings

in his deep clarinet voice

in the secret language my soul

can translate.  Today

my 99-year-old neighbor

and I regard each other

from the screens that separate

us, unearthed, this heavenly

transport by the flute.

The blessing begins when

he says, “Going down

to practice,” before a fight

and I’m left floating

into the kitchen in my snit,

making my ways to pots

and pans to stir all this

magic into soups and cakes

I’ll bring to her — she smiles

across the way, anticipating

these comforts we’ve created.

We’ll sip tea and savor

the secret ingredient,

what others pay dearly to hear

gifted to us by the very air

until he creaks painfully

up the stairs once more,

baffled to find me humming

— the simmering fight transmuted

into joy washing through

the sink filled with dishes.

 

Inspired by: Embouchure, Stymie, Crepitus, and Breathtaking.