We hear the skirl of the winds announce
your stalwart trek through snow-piled drifts.
We love your irrepressible bounce,
accept your volatile mood that shifts
from sullen sighs to a roguish grin.
With feisty defiance, you take a swing
at frosty winter’s arrogant chin,
then open the equinox door for spring.
In subtle degrees, your hands will peel
the layers of crusted ice between
still-huddled roots; you start to heal
the blistered soil with soft-hued green.
The song of awakening leaps and spills
beneath your firm and piercing glance;
you sweep through the prairies and fir-clad hills,
preparing the stage for April’s dance.
It’s such an eagerly awaited time,
when Spring presents her latest line, reveals
a hint of fashions waiting to unfold. . .
the surge of blushing curves and pastel swirls
as pirouetting buds uncurl, their wafting
fragrance caught on shirttails of the wind.
With gentle skill, her tucks and frills conceal
the scars of winter’s wounds. I gather cuttings
from my pain-encrusted heart and lay
them out for her to touch. I long to bloom
again, for just a while; to wear the glow
of violet hopes and freshly petalled dreams.
The orchard waits for strong and eager hands
to pluck the brightly glowing gems. The sun
and rain have marched across these fertile lands,
creating miracles; at last they’re done.
It’s now our turn to crunch, to taste, to let
the splendid flavor dribble down our chins.
We savor slowly, think how fortunate
we are; it’s not among our list of sins.
Was this indeed the fruit that tempted Eve,
that saw the glow of Eden’s promise lost?
With every bite, it’s easy to believe
she could succumb but how unfair, the cost.
And Adam never got the chance to try
a single slice of fresh-baked apple pie!
A willow’s fluted ribbons skirt the creek
while swallows streak on lucent, seamless trails.
Through tangle-rooted tunnels foxes seek
their prey where stark survival law prevails.
The glow of twilight regally descends
on pale chromatic stairs; each leaf entwines
its aura, breathing in the amber blends.
With calibrated strokes the night aligns
new etchings on the mountain, dusts the trees
with porous shade. A cricket choir embeds
the hollows with nocturnal harmonies
and stars bequeath their pulsing, silver threads.
Then time itself withdraws, in pensive thought,
to ponder all the wonders God has wrought.
Your wings unzip from southern warmth
to map new latitudes of dawn;
you brave the Gulf’s voracious gape —
a twenty-hour marathon.
Through winds and rains and solstice change,
you soar on homing threads of birth;
a flashing dynamo, a wisp
of consciousness above the earth.
You chart the miles with blossom-breaks,
(between your forays after flies)
refuelling on their nectar blends
a swizzle-pause to energize.
We hang our scarlet beacons out
to signify a landing site;
our honor is to briefly share
your iridescent glory flight.
Diminutive, defiant darter,
tiny heart in pounding pace;
we savor every fleeting glance —
a streak of heaven’s fragile grace.
Lavender moments roll down through the greyness
that sometimes hangs heavily over our heads;
if we can just catch one and breathe in its essence,
our thoughts will go swinging on lavender threads.
Lavender moments are clear with a focus
that shows us the rush of this journey we’re on;
we suddenly see the importance of pausing
to savor the sunlight before it has gone.
Lavender moments are fresh with awareness
of all that is precious — the waking-up smile
of a loved one, the warm validations of friendship,
the markers we leave at the end of each mile.
They’re filled with an “ah”, like a soft-feathered murmur
that layers a hush on our workaday lives.
Our burdens feel lighter, our faith becomes stronger
whenever a lavender moment arrives.
We often ignore them — the schoolteacher, waitress,
the clerk at the store where we shop;
the truckers delivering food for our shelves
and the farmers who planted the crop.
The all-weather workers like garbage collectors
disposing of waste we discard;
police personnel and the medics on call,
and the fire crews standing on guard.
Our staunch volunteers who extend helping hands
as they reach to help others along;
responsible parents protecting their children,
ensuring their future is strong.
From offices, kitchens and factory rows
emerge names we are honored to view:
the listing of Persons so Very Important…
look closely, the list includes you!
Remember the giggles that dusted our childhood,
the fantasy threads that we spun?
We sloshed into puddles, blew multi-hued bubbles,
had picnics with teddy bear fun.
When naughtiness surged out of mischievous urges,
we’d shrink from the scoldings in sight;
then curl in a blanket and sob with abandon
while hugging our teddy bear tight.
As years slowly settled their weight on our shoulders,
the bubbles all floated away.
Our picnics and giggles have now been sequestered
by schedules we’re bound to obey.
When caught between pressures that threaten to break us,
our hearts feel a hesitant tug;
we need a few moments to curl in seclusion,
with teddy bear comfort to hug.
Of all the body parts we own, our nose
is pointedly the one that doesn’t stay
where it belongs. It sniffs prevailing winds
and chases rumors — huffs them in and puffs
them out (with variations on the theme).
Beneath a haughty sheen, it sneaks behind
the neighbor’s fence where gossip grows, and seeks
the place where folks conceal their naughtiness.
It pokes away at closet walls until
they fall … and all their secrets tumble out.
A nose was meant to be attached; to serve
its owner with delight and as a means
of warning of surprise attacks. It should
not be cavorting in the streets, intent
on scents of business that are not its own.
He had hoped he’d be presented
in a poet’s structured rhyme,
dressed with careful punctuation,
standing proudly in his line.
Or perhaps inside a novel,
a magnificent depiction
to be quoted by the critics,
autographed at large receptions.
He was shocked to be inserted
as a casual afterthought
in a phrase between two brackets
and so easily forgot.
But his worst humiliation
was the final blow that fell. . .
when exposed upon the printed page
he saw he was misspelled!
She waits for the moment — at last they’ve arrived!
Through tumbles of laughter, each one gets a hug;
fresh cookies are ready, the little ones squeal
as bundles spill out on the living room rug.
Their warm recollections and up-to-date news
are shared in a flurry; the house is aglow.
Then, “Grandma, a story?” The tucking-in joys
bring tender reminders of years long ago.
The hours spin by and she’s caught in the whirl;
but time’s now an enemy, schedules are tight.
Soon everyone’s leaving as kisses are blown,
surrounding the car till it fades from her sight.
She closes the door, slowly breathing the scents
of cookies and giggles that cling to the walls.
Then hollowness enters on little stone feet.
The armchair is waiting; the first teardrop falls.
The richness of their vintage years still glows,
and holds his loneliness at bay. Today,
he tends his rows of mellow memories,
content to savor moments plucked by time
that linger, filled with flavor, in his mind.
He feels her presence near — her touch as light
and soft as apple blossoms floating down
to rest upon his palm. He smiles at how
her nuances of thought would shift; her look
of impish resignation when she’d murmur
“Yes dear,” and his eyes would twinkle back.
He doesn’t worry now, about the state
of world affairs, or whether rain will fall
tomorrow. Wrapped in contemplation of
the seasons of their love, he waits his call…
rejoicing in the harvest of their years.
Patterns congregate around us,
sleep within us and astound us —
large as life or insignificantly small.
Patterns darting through the heavens,
moleculing through the oceans,
painting pitter-patter flecks upon our wall.
Patterns boldly over-rated,
others deftly understated,
patterns twisted into convoluted lines.
Patterns patented and stolen,
some disguised and never known,
patterns rolling off the edges of our minds…!
Color’s not a substance, it’s a process:
the way our brains identify the light.
Light consists of energy that travels…
our neurons scan and label it on sight.
Each flower, rock and person is reflecting
varied lengths of radiating threads;
the shorter rays are violet (not purple),
longer ones are brighter shades of red.
Black retains its total saturation,
absorbing all the light that it receives;
white returns the colors of the spectrum,
but individual hues are not perceived.
Light enters through the keyhole of our pupil
and splats against the retina wall behind,
where tiny rods and cones define the message,
then send it zipping onward to our mind.
And that’s where rainbows form — they’re right inside us;
our brain outlines their arch of pulsing hues.
So ponder now… does color have existence?
Or is it merely someone’s point of view?
A spindly tuft of grass, forlorn beneath
majestic pines, gazed upward at the sky.
“I’m such a tiny speck in all of God’s
creation…tell me please, what use am I?”
On fringes of an ocean-rolling wind,
a whisper came, “Your value, little blade,
is equal to the tallest tree, your place
essential in the cosmos I have made.
“The outward lines and curvatures which form
containers for the flow of life don’t show
the attributes of worth. Your inner surge
reveals the truth; just spread your roots and grow.”
The meaning of this message was absorbed
with humbleness by earth’s inhabitants —
except for us. We blatantly invent
our own degrees of “worth”… what arrogance!
It floats above our tender moments,
spins the joy within our smiles.
Its gentle drift upon our shoulders
helps us walk an extra mile.
It glows to light the lamp of courage,
weaves a song for aching hearts;
it binds our family albums, holding
pages that could fall apart.
It offers shade in heat of battle,
spreads a blanket when it’s cold.
We test its guidance when we’re children,
seek its comfort when we’re old.
It ties the hopes of generations;
flows in rhythm, stretches, bends.
It reaches from our souls to heaven. . .
circles on without an end.