The Daily Poem

The lake cups the last silver

gleaming of the day, calm grace

of a queen sipping tea.  Even

the frogs still for this moment

bursting with power-silence,

a song my soul joins in the sheer

shock of voiceless joy.

What holds the light?

And into the darkness, where

all of the errors I chalk up 

and the pain I omit in memoirs

comes creeping in to be

soothed, every critical voice,

the infinite patience of grandmother

who sees into the heart

of the fractious child.  

Who sees me?  Windows flung

open to the cool dawn air,

I’m wide awake in love

despite the stories you shared,

the chaos and confusion,

the hard evidence of the rotted

foundation I’ve exposed.

There are careful trills

exploring the threshold as once

again, the pewter surface

smooths into a lake

and sky, the lilac and vanilla

viburnum’s fragrant oil thick

upon the air.  A twittering now

as a cowbird bolds her way

into the wren’s nest to leave

an offering.  Whose offspring

do we raise at our own

children’s peril?  The notes

continue even when I lose

the harmony of true curiosity

in one more querulous coma

from which I wake 

to sing.

Inspired by: Tea, Chalk, Oil and Omit.

Spoiled Rotten

I am prompted this morning

to consider things putrescent.

Vultures are soaring to scan

the shore so I look with them.

A bloated white body of a grass-

fed carp rises from the depths

of the bay like a slow-mo eruption

to float

through the threshold

of sky and water.  Just out of reach,

so the huge birds land along the point.

And I’m floored by the fatuous

comments of the humans who are disgusted

by the “filthy birds” gathering in a precise

pecking order, watching the creep

of the current bring the body

to their care.  How can we not

praise these two species especially

dedicated to decontaminating

the planet, speeding along

decomposition?  How is this sacred

act scorned and abhorred?

I tune in to the willingness

to plunge in to the blood and gore.

Awaiting what makes us shudder in dread

with wide wingspread warnings

to stay in line, brother.

Integration is a precious gift.

Close to the shore, a fin breaks

the surface, a carp tugging weeds

from the lake bottom.

Above, replete,

the vortex of vultures play

catching updrafts, ascending only

to dive alarmingly in downspins,

and if I relax into

deep listening,

the strains of the symphony

orchestrating this dance

appear:  not sight or sound,

the vibrations of what moves us

in that space where we are one.

 

Inspired by:  Floor, Fatuous, Putrescent, Eruption and  Bay

Ensō

I’m leaving this riparian

life with praising

poplars and twittering songbirds,

the shy dusk-creatures

and the long bullfrog-croak sunsets.

My guides here appear

like magical fairies

in beloved childhood tales. 

Right now a praying

mantis means mindfulness.

I heed her, soaking

up the shore, the banks swollen

from heavy persistence of rain.

Like an inspired brushstroke

or a song, my heart-walls disintegrated

in the trumpet call

of my grandson’s arrival.

Invited to follow him,

I see my fears

a Wile E. Coyote moment

suspending in midair

until realization hits

and I’m dropping

into the deepest chasm

where love lives 

waiting for my adventurous

spirit to emerge,

heart-strings twanging

in a new chord, one fluid

expressive stroke

resonating, moving me once again.

Inspired by: Riparian