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.

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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.

But It’s Nap Time

On our video call he shows

up forlorn

nursing a finger

injured in flight,

the only way he moves.

I commiserate,

opening up the space

wincing at his adorable

yelp when he smashes it

again

on the screen.

We both firmly believe

my kiss across the air-

waves has healing properties.

My heart reaches out

and gathers him to me.

This precious child,

his power opening like a rare

flower, smiles at me,

utters my new favorite

phrase, come to my house,

Bibi, right now,

please?

Inspired by:  Forlorn, Flight, Adorable and Yelp.

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.

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.