Countdown To Gratitude

All alone with me and we’re waiting for the sunlight.~Daryl Hall

A great blue heron croaks, casts her
proxy vote to compress my

labyrinthine thoughts. Embrace
the threshold, eight, as the sky

reveals unearthly dances
of fog-curling apparitions.

Seven, the strung-tight nerves
that spring me from my

misery under the satellite
dish vibrations to savor, six,

this bright cream half-sliced moon
like delicious custard. The

blessed chill, five, as I sort out
four toxins in air and sound

rippling through my system,
my wake-up call. Three choices:

fight or flight or fix, in the dark,
bouncing on that triangle.

Triggering the memory, that’s right,
there’s more than two sides.

The break of day broadcasts my
intention to resolve my jangling

strings. I tune in to this one
music emanating from my core.

No escape, no resistance,
no prescriptions. Only

opening wider—awake and grateful for
every mundane reason why—

deeper to include even this.
All the reflections

I abhor and abjure
coming to light

welcomed like songbirds
raising the sun.

Inspired by:  Mundane, Proxy, Compress and Countdown, a foggy and mysterious dawn and Kiara‘s prompt july 25. universal 8-personal 7
– challenge yourself to write down 8 thoughts that trigger happiness, joy, and peace today.  I reached gratitude by unexpected paths today.

Oh, and this version of Sara Smile in which Daryl Hall just lets Jimmy Wayne take the song and own it.

My Deepest Thanks

And I thought so that’s how it looks
When one moon loves another moon…~Jasbir Chatterjee

You thought I was giving you

new lines and you couldn’t bear

to change your beloved script.

I was touching something

much deeper

and I thought it was time

for both of us to change.

And of course we did,

a course calculation that my navigation

system responded to even though

you wanted to fight

about small things, stomping angrily

across the stage, smashing

the breadcrumbs I’d left, hoping

you could follow.  I can see

now as I hurtle over these new

roads or stop to gaze

by the light of the full moon

into a slow-moving stream,

what a gift you are to me.

All the lessons I most needed

held up clearly, exaggerated,

until I had no choice

but to see myself roaring like a bear

caught in a trap,

forced to find a way out

even if it meant leaving

that beloved mirror.  When I think

of you now, I wonder if your moves are still

blocked in the same arrangement,

helping each new costar placate you, passionate

feeling into the lines

with all their exquisite turns

or if you’ve looked into that unrelenting

reflection and chosen a different play.


Inspired by PlacateMoon and Arrangement

The Other Side

“Toil and trouble.  Fire burn, and cauldron bubble”
— William Shakespeare

Flames burn

all you have ever held dear

every belief, opinion, perspective,

every particle of your carelessly constructed reality


The pain shatters you.

And when you reach for

soothing water,

your frantic sloshing creates

this unholy mess.

Your life is now charred, sopping ruins.

All the mistakes hidden in that dark cellar

burning in plain sight


in spite of your efforts.

When you huddle in desperate resignation,

all hope gone,

only then does your heart crack open.

Somehow a spark of life still burns.

Before the cycle begins again,

construct an ancient spell:

carefully place aloha, divine compassion,

tausend dank, friendliness,

merci milles fois, delight,

mil gracias, childlike belly laughs

in a circle

to hold you and love you

as you have always been loved,

as you’ve always longed to be loved,

as you’ve never allowed yourself

to be loved.  And we —

we who hold you,

throughout time and space and beyond,

happy to be finally glimpsed

like a delicate spider web at dawn —

we say, ah, cousin,

how you’ve missed us,

how we are you.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: bubble

Got a light?

Struggling to create warmth
on a frigid morning, after the chill
has bitten into my bones.
The news is blaring in the other room
Be afraid! Worry! Stay on high alert!
as if to reinforce the lack of fuel.
There is nothing for you here.
It’s all bigger than you
and you are powerless,
so hush now and sleep
is the droning distraction
aimed directly at my inner spirit.
I realize that it is all true.
Nothing can be done
from this cold place of dread.
I close my eyes and drop into
that deep appreciation I feel
whenever my grandson smiles at me.
I soak into it and feel my heart open
to the tiny sparks, lighting
the kindling to torch my bonfire.
This is my superpower.
This is my choice.
No power in the verse can stop me.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: frigid

Right Now

She calls me honey, sugar and baby

within the first two minutes of meeting me.

There was a time when I would have rejected

this warmheartedness, feeling

I didn’t deserve it

since I’d never received it as a child.

Even a few years ago, I might have judged it

fake, superficial, even found offense.

After all, my upbringing was by straightlaced Methodists

whose pastor has to exhort the parishioners

to extend the sign of peace to their neighbors

(only very quickly, and only when given the cue.)

But recently my son told me

of the standing ovation he received

when he joined the group of elderly singers

in the Sunday choir at his Catholic church.

I’ve never received such a powerful welcome

and I asked if he basked in it.

No, he said, I felt a bit embarrassed by the fuss.

I resolved then and there to really feel it

if I ever get the chance, and so

I open my heart to the warmth

of her profuse affection:

present in this very moment

of human generosity and kindness.

She calls me darling and sweetie pie

as she rings up the sale.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: profuse

Come, phaenicia sericata

The pain wrenches me out of sleep
and I flinch away from it.
Last year, it would keep me writhing
in bed, or else deathly still
afraid that any movement would exacerbate
this agony.
I know right off that I am dehyrated
so small sips of water come first.
Then, eyes closed,
I visualize fresh clear liquid
soothing each inflamed cell.
Allowing careful breaths
to lead me right into the agony.
exploring every nook and cranny.

There is a beach near Esmeraldas
far from any human-made lights
I stretched out on at night
to be stunned by shooting stars.
It is as wide a place as I have ever been,
the vast southern sky filled with strange constellations,
the pale beach stretching out of sight,
the surf roaring and pounding its endless rhythm.
I can go there anytime I remember,
and feel the gratitude
for that magnificent space.

From that wide place, I can call in my ancestors,
ask: whose pain is this?
I accept the instant answers: today
the third great grandmother who died in childbirth
claims it. When I feel
into her abrupt departure,
the echoes are clanging and
I have reached one of my pain song’s writers.
Honoring her brings me to my own lack
of authenticity, feeling attacked
by family members yesterday and not standing
up for myself, taking the casual abuse
as if it were something I could easily shake off.

This struggle to speak my truth
has a long ancestral trail of grief
and pain. Each time I wake up
to my need to be authentic,
I expose yet another festering wound
from the depths of my soul journey.
When I call for maggots,
those fastidious debriders,
most of you wince and reel back in horror,
but my strategy for healing
depends upon the disclosure of secrets
and the pain of holding them.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: strategy