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

Advertisements

Soul-sing

spring morning bursts diving
swallows and cantankerous geese

we feast
hungry
ears on birdsong

bluejay squawk
warning every walk

this brilliant cloud-surfing
eagle chased by hawks screeing

my ace here shivering-delicious
offering to sky gods

from the tops of every rung
head-flung scream song

Prompts:  Brilliant, Cantankerous, Hungry, Tops, and Ace for a quadrille.

I’m Down For That

Watching the clock

between settling deep

into my base, rooting

my breath an anchor.

I’m leaving the reactive

airwaves present here now.

All the pieces that desire

integration will bubble up

in his presence, this boy

of joy and sorrow, a force

of nature.  I open

my arms to greet him.

Sometimes he runs right past

focused on the path

to a treasure he’s been considering

all the long ride here.

Other times he leaps up

sure I’ll catch 35 pounds of sturdy

love, and I do,

open heart, alive

with the curious quest

of his three-year-old spirit.

Inspired by Down.

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 Magic Eye

The rush-hour drive transformed, we approach

from the march that protects the magical

forest I inhabit.  Closer we creep

and the skyline’s a mystery.

I’ve never seen these fantastical

castles he counts, six, seven, eight!

Eight, shouting and there must

be dragons.  I’m driving; it’s cloudy,

but he can see these radiant beings

with the superpowers his great

grandmother sewed into his cape.

How to appease a sad boy

whose genuine entreaties are ignored?

Please come.  I offer a large crow

but suddenly the enchanted

creature is in the back seat.

His name is Jerry and he’s friendly

so the chances he’ll scorch us

are slim.  Turn this way, my storyteller

directs, but I’m in the wrong lane

and he’s on his way home.

We leave the skyscrapers

to their work opening up the realms

of newness reserved for the most brilliant

stars among us, here to remind

and include all things lovely

curious and highly improbable.

When I drive home later, alone

in this new landscape, my sight

changes, the noose of reality

loosens and I can’t stop grinning.

 

Inspired by: Radiant, March, Fantastical and Appease.

The Tree of Life

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling) ~ E.E. Cummings

My grandmother’s clutch

on her deathbed commands my face

too close for comfort.  I haven’t yet

realized the foundation of love

she’s constructed.

Nobody knows these words are her

last.  The day before, she was lost

in this grim institution,

howbeit I built bridges to reach her.

Grandma, do you remember

my finest hours, playing in her

four o’clocks, harvesting and planting,

delighted by the unexpected sprouts

she received as my heart-

gifts.  Spinning her collection of antique

marbles when the weather

prevented my intrepid

exploration of peach

and apple trees, magnolias and

sugar maples, the grape arbor

heavy and sweet, buzzing with bees.

Infinite patience as she taught me

botany and canning, tasting jams

and jellies as her true ghost

stories raised goosebumps.

The terrified nights of a sensitive

young child, mapping familiar

territory.  So I’m not the only one.

You remember for me, she said,

so today I am back, I’ve composed

a poem and I read it to her.

We sit in silence until her fingers

like talons bring my ear close.

I’m afraid.

I croon, oh, my darling,

this threshold you have crossed

before.  Listen to the call of love

beyond this heartbeat where

I hold you, always.  She slips

away, silent as the others finally

gather, watching her last breath.

 

 

 

 

Inspired by: Clutch, Howbeit, Intrepid and Sprout and my grandmother’s birthday tomorrow, 21 February 1907.

Connecting Threads

My grandson discovers the bin

of color, my mother’s stash

of baby quilts, ready to wrap

at the drop of an announcement.

He leads her by the hand to say,

please!  In three generations, never

has such a request been made.

Protective and anxious, still

she can’t deny his quest

to explore her treasury, to snuggle

enswathe and pretend to sleep.

He studies each square with such

focus that she demands to know

the exact location of his own gifted

blanket.  Alas, it’s stored out of reach,

too precious for the likes of sticky

toddlers and destructive dogs.

And so his great grandmother begins

sewing — as madly as an 84-year-old

can, accompanied by a soft song

of moans and groans, and breaks

to solve cozy mysteries — mainly murders.

At each visit, he inspects the blocks,

placed in strips just so, no two alike.

She’s had a hard time

choosing the binding.

The backing is a strange collage

of eyes,

perhaps spectacles

black and white on blue.

He seems relieved when she adds

thick batting to make it squeezable.

And now, he spies it folded

neatly, and seizes the finished product

with a glad cry, Bibi, hide!

He is running to cover us

and create a new dark

quiet world.  We look wide-eyed

into each other’s faces, whisper.

An audience is optional; we create

scary dragons out of the smallest

settling of the house, safe here

in the well-meaning stitches

placed in this brand new heirloom.

Inspired by Quest, Squeezable, Optional and Color.