The Tide Is Now Turning

“To follow the way of water is to return to one’s spiritual essence.” — Hua-Ching Ni, The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth

“Be!” My grandson commands, so

I look closely with him at a puddle.

Present in this very moment

that stretches beyond time and space,

our hearts connect, pulsating

with this vibrant aliveness.

An insect is floating, and I conclude

it is dead, but he says,

“Bee!” again, and gingerly

fishes it out to rest in his palm.

The water drops off and the bug

stirs, drying its wings from the newfound

land of a toddler’s finger.

We have been talking about gentleness

with living beings, hugging trees.

And now his inquisitive focus

feels the creature step daintily

over his skin, as if showing

gratitude for salvation. I am watching

that wasp-like abdomen as it quivers,

worried that this love-fest

will turn ugly.  I teach respect

and yet I vibrate with memories

of wicked inexplicable stings.

He turns his finger and the exploration

continues but when he looks to me

in doubt, I say, “Fly, bee, fly!”

and whisk it off into the air.

We stand here like herons,

our feet in the water, yet rooted

in the earth, our faces lifted to the sky,

celebrating a tiny flight

with exquisite concentration,

and he says again, “Be!”

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: tide

Soundcloud recording here.

Grokking My Place

“Can you leave without a trace?” — Thomas Hubl

I came to the circle, fueled

by a very simple desire:

to observe and then honor

my body’s signals. To correctly translate

a cough, a sneeze, an itch

after a bite of food into a clear

instruction to throw away

this poison! And I am sincere.

Why continue to eat it, why keep

up this conversation of how costly

it was, how I cannot waste it?

When I step forward into my new

direction, the pull of the ancestors

is so strong that I lose my balance.

I turn to see my four grandparents,

never friendly, united now

by their Great Depression trauma

when food was precious, and lives

were at stake for those

who didn’t get it.

Behind them, a multitude of starving

ancestors, struggling through famine.

How to find a resource to ease this?

We celebrated the earth,

her bountiful nature that fed them,

and realized it is no longer the case,

her food now stripped of nutrients,

empty calories bursting with

genetically-inserted pesticides.

My body knows what is true.

My ancestors, seeing the light,

relaxed their grip.  And 12 hours later,

my son called.  He had to give two-weeks

notice to leave a very expensive

preschool, and though he’d still have

to pay, he knew his son

received more loving nourishment

with me, and that was what was important

and could I care

for him today?  Yes, yes, yes!

The release immediately felt

through all the generations,

karma vanishing without a trace.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: observe

Face Value

We have been experimenting with faces.
Grumpy is our favorite.
We pout our lower lips,
furrow our brows,
a hint of despair in our eyes.
And his grumbly whimpers
would make you cry.
Mine are so exaggerated
that we succumb to giggles
and then wallow in silly and happy.
Yesterday we named frustration
(I wanted a nap and he wanted to run
wild, bumping his tired head).
That one involves tears and wails,
important treasures to gather
on the road to standing sure
when emotions roil through you.
Expressing the full eruptions,
a loved one at your side,
saying, ah, I see your heart,
or oh, this is so difficult to endure!
And when I had to wake him early,
he tried so hard to be cheerful
before slumping against me
while we struggled into shoes.
“I wish,” I told him, “you could have slept
for two more hours, or a hundred
or a billion!” Reflecting now
to guarantee this child will never
be a faceless entity, lost
to his own being. Feelings
mold his beautiful face
and we celebrate each one
and name them as they emerge.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: faceless

Be Right Back

I have tried walking away calmly

while he is reading a book with someone.

I have slipped away quietly

even sneakily

when he is absorbed by puzzles.

Once as he was eating food he loves

I was there and back again

and he never took note.

Yesterday I walked him into the room,

discussed what happened there,

and then closed the door between us.

Oh, the cries, the pounding on the door,

the calls straight from the heart

devastated, abandoned with no resource

no matter who else is in the house.

And the relief on his face when I finally

after two long long minutes

reappear, tears still staining his cheeks.

He has only been on this planet

for a such a short time;

we still count it in months.

I have the feeling that he knows me

in some other plane, and that

he has things to share before I go back there.

That bathroom could very well be a portal

that I use to go back and forth

to a place he loves and misses.

It could be that he knows what I don’t,

that far too soon this grandmother

grandson bond will transform yet again,

that our time together is so sweet

that we should be suspicious

of the doors that separate us

even for a very short time.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: suspicious

A Day In The Life

He fell headfirst onto the tiles

laughingly evading me with two

fistfuls of empanadas spilling out.

Tears, ice pack and blueberry yogurt drops

eased us back to smiles.

He ran toward me later

filled with glee, grabbing my face

and taking tiny chunks of flesh

in his fingernails.

A conveyor of wild nature spirit

must use any tools he has.

He can say “hawk”

because a red-shouldered beauty

perched right outside until he noticed

it preening, then lifting its wings

and spiraling off, like the star of an airshow.

The “H” is a long exhalation,

the sharp “K” a reverence.

We watch the windows

carefully: the hawk brings messages

from the spirit world, reminds us

that the most ordinary experience

is deeply meaningful

if we are ready to see.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: conveyor

Following Joy


This morning, while trying to make a silhouette

with an app my firewall will allow,

I strip the color first, but

then I am flung out into space,

ah, the joy of this moment:

he was already spilling out of my arms

stretching out into his glory

my heart expanding

as we felt into our new roles

of grandmother and grandson.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: silhouette