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.

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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.

Hidden Depths

Venus, Mercury and Jupiter are bright

in the predawn sky

but for these clouds.

I’m asking to perceive

what is hidden 

although this requires a strong

heart and committed receptivity.

I am cultivating the view

from the balcony, investing

in the panoramic even as

I squat in a yoga pose

with my grandson.

It isn’t until after he leaves,

viewing short videos that I hear

his low-voiced comments

and whispered lisps,

turning up the volume so that

next visit, I can reflect back

to him the power of being

heard.  And it becomes obvious,

playing solitaire, how many chances

I skip in my hurry

to turn over the next new

cards.  The winning hand

is easy when I pause,

ignoring the imperious timer

demanding I capitulate

by leaving the present

unopened, rushing to some future

triumph, dragging the detritus

of the past.  He’s scribbling,

and brings me his pencil,

“Not that one,” insistent

on bold ink to etch

his powerful spells in the language

only he can speak 

now

in the moment 

of pen to paper.

Inspired by:  Imperious, Pencil, Capitulate, Squat

Call Up, Darling

“Emotions come, I don’t know why…Call me, call me any, anytime.
Call me.” ~ Blondie

I used to pummel the heavens

wailing, wanting.  Today I wish

to awaken to what lurks

at the edges of my trance,

potential rippling, pulsing

in the magnetic now,

awaiting the touch of my focus.

My grandson demands his mother

call me, and when our faces

appear onscreen,

his devastated wails

almost muffle his mommy,

Nobody knows what’s wrong.

My awareness resting

on the connection in our nervous

systems, I open the container

to allow what is.

This overwhelming emotion

simply needs to be presenced,

the huge wave

sweeping away

everything in its path.

I hear these compassionate ahhhs,

hmmmms coming from my heart

and tears glisten my eyelashes. 

We need

the leisure to feel

without narrative.

A raspy sigh

and he hits the red

button that lets our focus

gently slide out of ceremony.

He’s ready to face his life.

Outside the rain is slipping

into the shimmering lake

which celebrates every drop

in a dizzying dance.

Inspired by: Leisure,  Pummel, Rain, Feeling, and Ceremony.

Still

In meditation, the word pours tranquil

and pregnant, layered

significance.

I follow my breath

to the deep spaces

inward

relief from so-called reality,

the ephemeral

house of cards

that shudders

with the slightest sigh.

 

My grandson stacks metal

canisters filled with marbles

as high as his head,

says, Be careful,

resting the next

weight lightly

before the inevitable

crash, marbles

spilling in glorious cacophony

spinning whirls of color

glass spheres released from their cages

celebrating their rolls to freedom.

We’re silenced by splendiferous

chaos as they come to rest.

 

He looks up, sees me watching,

still

and he says, brightly,

“I’m sorry.”

Relishing his daring

reach,

I want to say, oh,

never apologize

for expressing vitality. 

This is true science:

curious experimentation

in which the investigator’s role

is embraced, purely evident.

“Hey, you know what towers do,”

I say gently, and

his serious face considers me

before he declares, “Fall.”

And all my suspicious pieces

— stilled by a doleful frost 

imposed by utter

terror

at any change

(classified as trauma) —

peer out in

wonder

at this powerful being

gathering shiny balls

in eager fistfuls, filling the tins

before stacking them

precariously

once more.

Inspired by:  Classified, Doleful, Suspicious, and Frost.

On Fleek

He’s at the age

where dark picture 

books are hurled

across the room.

Bad guy, he proclaims,

judging their expressions

with unfailing accuracy.

And though he refuses

to look, still

he plays flee the monster

with his great grandpa,

“scary, scary, scary,”

his invitation: hands curved

like talons framing his face

and a hideous grimace

everything on fleek

for his rendition

the climax

cheeks flush

heart-pounding adrenaline

as he is pursued

by the creeping

old man.  I have yet

to read him the stories

of trolls guarding the bridge

to the destination —

the castle of everything

good, where princesses sleep

next to a freshly bitten

apple.  Right now, he creates

his own telling

of the human condition,

jumping into my arms

and turning to yell, Safe!

and a frowning command, Stop!

 

Inspired by: Castle, Scary, Troll, Fleek, Flush

The Cold Damp Days

My plan is to pacify with a pillow

path and a sheet-draped fort,

a book about farts — Everyone Toots

— don’t mock.

In the summertime, he plunges into bearded

iris to talk to bees,

chases white moths and listens to trees.

In the fall, he hops after crickets

and startles plopping frogs.

With this wind coming in

from the north, we are forced

into rainy day laps

racing fast, high-stepping

marches with a singing bear,

a quick-tempo dance party.

A constant flow

of  invitations

to leap and crawl,

trot and howl,

moving in our circuitous course

to the reward:

naptime,

which I’ll accept with humbled

grace and tumble

into sweet slumber

at his side.

Inspired by: Beard, Rainy, North, Pacify, Mock, and Damp.