Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sonnet #50: End of an era

This picture, this photo that I did not create,
captures a moment, a highlight in my life:
a play I wrote -- what fun, to generate
set, characters, laughs and lines ( all joy, no strife) --

won an award! The audience's favorite!
-- for that night, anyway; the judges did not agree --
but just to have it happen; what a treat!
(even though I know I only won by three

votes -- I'm grateful my family could attend,
as without those three it would have been a tie!)
But I digress, and stray from my intent,
which is to admit graciously, with a sigh,

that sonnets just don't thrill me anymore,
so I'm stopping at 50.  There will be no encore.

The end.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sonnet #49: Night Thrust

Evening comes, with its forward thrust of light,
a punch of gold to throw us into the dark,
a weight of clouds to keep us holding tight
to whatever soothes, to whatever keeps the spark

of hope alive when all seems black or gray:
that emptiness when joy and sorrow leave
and all that's left lacks color, when decay
abounds and we've no strength; even to grieve

is more than we can manage, so we sit,
clutching that last shred of childhood dreams,
our eyes shut tight, one last small candle lit
and flickering, then sputtering... It seems

so long, this night that we endure --
and yet dawn will return: of that I'm sure.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sonnet #48: Sweet Cellist, sit

Sweet cellist, sit, and play your song for me:
place fingers on the strings and slide your bow
across the bridge. Now drift, deft melody:
give beauty voice, and set our souls aglow.

Your hat and beard may hide your face, but still
your music tells us all we need to know
about your spirit, and your strength of will,
your practice; all the work you undergo

to bring this tender ballad to our ears
and stop us in our tracks as we pass by.
This gift, given by one of your young years,
is precious, rare -- an aural butterfly

that flutters into hearing and then departs,
spreading color and delight to all our hearts.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sonnet # 47: God bless the friends

Sometimes you need a friend who's really solid;
who's calm no matter what your crisis is,
who's there for you in times both rich and squalid,
for birthdays, Mother's Days and Christmases -- 

All those moments when life fails your expectations
or gifts you with unpleasantness undeserved.
They listen without judgment to your frustrations,
and snuggle close and murmur "Why, that's absurd!"

So here's to all the rocks that keep us steady:
a toast to those who don't freak out at tears,
who know just when to tease us, and when we're ready
to laugh again, and when to honor our fears.

May all those folks be blessed with sun and flowers,
and may they find safe shelter from life's showers.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sonnet #46: An occasional gambol

We dance along the edges, you and I.
We browse at the intersections: no extremes,
no drifting from the center, into low or high,
but striking some equilibrium in between.

But subtle movement's movement, just the same,
and I can see you heading toward the right
so I glide left to counter.  It's all a game
we play to maintain balance and delight.

Such delicate machinations have their charm,
but just to add excitement, today I'll leap
out of this frame we've built, just to disarm
you; just to spice things up -- it's a way to keep

us on our toes, our relationship alive:
love needs an occasional gambol in order to thrive.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sonnet #45: What we can't see

A mirror, flat, reflective, never lies --
except, of course, each image is reversed.
But life's reflections (unlike water's, of skies)
are rarely flat; more twisted and diverse.

Curved surfaces, both convex and concave,
organic, elemental and ubiquitous,
exaggerate, stretch, mask, and misbehave,
seeming both crisp and accurate while deluding us.

Each path we take has its own bends, and coils
around back on itself from time to time. 
Those twists and turns each have their counterfoils,
which then help build each personal paradigm.

We can't assume that what we see is right:
each human's bent, and that distorts our sight.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sonnet #44: Drop anchor, and then rest

This fragile earth, our precious island home,
this haven for all life, both yours and mine,
the blue unending sea, these clouds which comb
the sky with streaks of light, those hints divine

of life beyond these shores, of depths below
the surface, yet unplumbed, where Self lies waiting
for us to stop and listen, learn, and know
what fuels our thoughts, our hopes, our loves, our hating --

all this provides both guide and inspiration:
a place to live and move and have our being;
to glide or rest - both critical for creation --
or simply to absorb what we are seeing.

So lift your sails, and fly before the breeze,
drop anchor, and then rest, and simply breathe.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

On Father's Day

I didn't call my dad on Father's Day.
We'd grown so far apart,
I couldn't think what to say
that wouldn't come out sounding like accusation.

I remember picking up the phone,
starting to dial, sitting beside my window,
looking at the view he'd never seen
-- and now will never see --
and wondering if he'd even answer the phone.
"Oh, what would be the point," I thought,
remembering the year before,
when I'd flown to Texas at Christmas time,
desperate to mend the rift between us,
and he'd called me at my hotel,
two blocks away,
to say he couldn't see me;

that he wouldn't risk his new wife's

And so, that Father's Day
I hung up in mid-dial.

We never spoke again:
his lawyer called --
less than a month later --
to tell me he was gone,
dead of a disease I didn't even know he had.

Each year on Father's Day,
I find myself
staring out that window and remembering
the year I didn't call my dad
on Father's Day.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sonnet #43: I hold creation

I hold creation cradled in my arms,
its heartbeat slightly faster than my own,
and the love that flows between us gently warms
earth, sky and seas; each beast, each plant and stone.

Vibrations resonate within my chest:
awakening, completion gently follow.
These moments, here with you, have been the best:
the loss that's soon to come will leave me hollow.

Let not the inevitable loss prohibit trust:
however much it hurts, don't be afraid
to love again; don't let some thickened crust
build up around your heart, don't barricade

against some future love for fear of loss:
the gift of love always outweighs the cost.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sonnet #42: Awash in a tide of love

Each heart's a cavern, awash in a tide of love
that rushes in, glides out, and then returns
to unite this life below with that above:
sweet harmony, for which each being yearns.

From emptiness to full and back again
we cycle through and then go back around
sorrow to hope to joy to loss and then
from grief arise anew, new purpose found.

And in each stage, whatever we might feel --
abandoned, lost, ecstatic or betrayed --
the love continues. Whatever our ordeal,
we're not alone, so do not be afraid.

Just trust that affirmation's always there
and nothing will be more than we can bear. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sonnet #41: Seek far and wide

Seek far and wide for that which lies within,
follow each path away from the truth that's yours
drink deep from others' cups, but don't begin
to look inside your heart; just bolt those doors.

Find someone else to tell you who you are,
to fill the holes you can't admit exist,
and save you from yourself. Smoke a cigar,
do drugs or drink or eat.  Do not resist

temptation's lure: what pleasure you will find
lies in escape, not facing all those demons
you're so certain you'll find lurking in your mind
if you ever stop to look, or cease your scheming.

Don't ever pause to sit, or breathe, or dream:
You might discover love, or self-esteem.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sonnet #40: The loneliness of grief

This week I reside in the loneliness of grief:
flat plains where nothing grows but loss and tears,
the home where we once shared your life (so brief,
so rich with love and joy, so poor in years),

a tiny speck of white in a field of gray,
where visitors come and go like tumbleweed,
drifting through but setting no roots to relieve or delay
the cloud of night that with each hour gains speed,

to hurl again resounding bolts of sorrow
to burn my eyes and split my heart anew,
with visions of the past, and bleak tomorrows,
awash in memories of love, and you.

This, too, shall pass with time, but how shall I spend it?
Must I keep battling despair, or somehow... befriend it?

(for Abra, and for Alex)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sonnet #39: Celestial, resplendent

Though we know the sun resides up in the sky,
we also see that light reflected here,
in flowers, as in faces, we can spy
that telltale glow; that golden light so clear

it could only have its source in some Divine
manifestation; an all-encompassing Yes
that in a burst of brilliance could design
a blaze to both illuminate and bless.

Each artificial bulb's pale imitation
leaves us hungering for radiance more true;
for colors whose depth's a constant invitation
to feast on yellow, violet, red, or blue.

This light and that are wholly interdependent:
together they're celestial, resplendent.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Sonnet #38: Push Through the Rock

Something there is, in even the hardest of hearts,
that seeks to grow; that pushes through the rock,
finds room to root and branch, to thrust apart
the granite walls we build, and to unlock

the doors we shut so long ago, attempting
to shield and guard what’s already been stolen,
but though innocence was lost, hearts never empty
but fill again, as rivers do when swollen

with the rushing melt of winter. When spring's sun
honors its ancient promise to return,
its heat awakens hope where there was none;
makes seeds to bud and longing souls to yearn

again for something they thought lost forever;
a love so strong its force great stones must sever.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sonnet #37: Climate Change

Gray tumbleweeds roll thick across the sky
scattering wet dust on cerulean plains
which the sun burns off as she slowly passes by,
There may be clouds, but it rarely ever rains.

Old fences weave their variegated scars
across the dry fields, remnants of better days
when cattle chewed the grass and there were no cars;
when cowboys roped and branded any strays.

It's empty now and dry, land once so fertile;
the riverbeds now barren between the hills.
What water rushed between the banks and hurtled
over rocks, and sang so sweetly in the rills

is gone.  Who dares claim climate hasn't changed
has to be blind -- or just, perhaps, deranged.

Sonnet #36: Non-verbal communication

The What-Not Shop in Cerrillos sells antiques,
Indian crafts, and guns, and also rocks,
but woe to any tourist who dares peek
through windows, or perhaps rattle the locks.

A cactus plant now grows on the only stairs,
the ramp to the front porch is blocked with wood,
and a battered sign out back just says "Beware!"
(of dogs? of tumbleweed? surely nothing good.)

We stop to look and wonder, then drive on by: 
it's clear that we're not wanted in this place
appearances the inviting words belie:
there's no welcome to be found within this space.

The non-verbal communication here's quite clear:
don't look, don't touch, don't even dare come near.

Sonnet #35: Trust

While driving back to Boulder from Santa Fe,
past billowing clouds and cattle in the fields,
we chose a path that took us out of our way:
a minor risk, with great potential yields.

But bouncing up the rippled mountainside,
on thin dirt lanes with potholes big as calves,
I asked him, "Are you SURE?" and he replied,
"You have to trust: we can't do this by halves.

"Marriage:" he said, "it's an all or nothing deal.
Don't give up now; I've never let you down."
And so I took a breath, and said, "I feel
quite nervous but I trust we'll get to town."

And after two hairpin turns and a steep descent
the view that opened up -- Magnificent!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter peeps

Two daughters have I who are peepsters:
They think sugared chicks are delicious
And demand that they get them for Easter:
If I fail those two girls can turn vicious!

A basket and bunny alone --
With some jelly beans and chocolate eggs
But no peeps -- would elicit a moan,
And I would get stuck with the dregs

Of those treats while the girls wept and wailed
And demanded I go to the store
To buy yellow peeps: even day-old;
Better yet, buy three packs, maybe four!

But this Easter I've decided to travel
So I won't have to watch them unravel!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sonnet #34: Beware, ye armored hearts

Let those of us who go into the world
with armored hearts know this -- however strong
the urge to self-protect, to live a curled
and inward life, refusing to belong

to the wounded tribe of lovers who have lost,
and sacrificed, and burn to feel again
that ecstasy whose edges have such cost;
who fall, and in that falling do transcend

the limits of existence -- the truth must yield:
a heart that can't be broken cannot be moved.
Why carry this proud flag and sturdy shield,
if you have no heart for battle? It's been proved:

A life which finds from death and loss exemption
will also lack the glories of redemption.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Refill your cup

Each morning
I refill this cup with love
and sip it slowly, breathing,
feeling tenderness slip gently down
to soothe the ruffled edges of my soul.

Drink up, refill, and sip, and sip again;
let grace become the lining
of my heart
and quench the urge
to hurl back bitter words;
transform their acid churning
into sweetness that will nourish,
even energize,
creative acts and thoughts
in the days to come.

On Presence

I said you were not there,
and yet you were.
I felt your presence,
an emptiness between the seats,
a yawn and then a distance;
a greeting at the end of course,
then home to other things.

Some other presence here,
and yet it's not;
a heart, though empty,
feeling that it's full,
a blessing,
wafting in the air,
a touch,
though there's no finger there.

And which is it that's real?
That body or this love
that radiates acceptance
into every pore of being?
No wonder all those saints held fast;
No wonder.


Each day I dream of flying,
and each night I'm caught again
in the web of life.

Each morning I build a room of love
where you and I together sit,
pluck gently at the strands that hold me fast
as once I held my daughter between my knees
and ran my fingers through her golden curls
in search of nits.

And for each strand we find,
lean in together and examine:
what is the glue that holds me there?
What substance, slick, like love,
might dissolve its grip
and leave us with a thread to weave
into some new creation --
story, poem or art --
whose impact is enhanced
by that bright filament;
enlightened and resolved,
released -- a gift, a breath of air
to lift some other wings
(if not my own) into the stratosphere
where each of us belongs.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sonnet #33: Anticipating Easter

Come, climb with me, this ladder to the stars;
come dive with me, and swim in seas of joy.
Sweet music of the night, strum your guitars,
with songs of heaven let your voice employ,

for grace will come again to fill my heart.
This ache of emptiness will go away;
how I'll rejoice to see that pain depart
and love again pervade each waking day.

What thrill t'will be, to finally unite
with what seemed lost forever, years on end;
to feel at last the color and the light
warming my soul, empowering me again

to give, when for so long I've only taken:
come, Love, come Light, and let True Life awaken.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sonnet # 32: The aloof within

That aloof within, that watches all our actions
and splits our consciousness, must be submerged
if we're to find some deeper satisfaction,
where the petty snares of thinking might be purged.

But how to tame this beast whose pacing haunts us,
when we can't even find the strength to pin it down?
Its sly insidious observations taunt us
as we struggle to stay focused on the Now.

The mistake we make's in believing it's autonomous;
a being to be chased, and then subdued.
Don't think of it as separate and ominous,
but rather welcome it, embrace it, and include

it in your journey to that sweet inviting star:
this shadow's a vital part of who you are.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sonnet #31: The call to light

And yet, there are those trees that reach for the light;
whose branches curve ever upward, toward the sun
and lead us to believe that hope's in sight,
that the time for wandering, lost in fog, is done.

That upward stretch, that hopeful tilt's a clue
there might be life beyond the forest's density,
a world where clarity and warmth renew
each pilgrim's way with sacred vision and intensity.

Each glimpse of light, however brief, enthralls us
and so we continue on the mystic path,
trusting that the destiny which calls us.
will guide and keep us safe until at last

our journey ends and we can then unite
with that which ever calls us into Light.

Sonnet #30: Each living soul a brush

Each living soul's a brush, transcribing love
that flows from spirit, coloring creation.
We empty, that the grace from up above
may pour into our lives: sweet inundation

spilling out into the world through song and story,
in music, acts of courage, and works of art.
That fount of living water, inspiratory,
whose endless source fills every longing heart

with hope and joy and valor to progress
along the path we're given and to find
the resources within to incandesce;
to serve for others as a light divine.

Take now your palette, instrument, or pen
and speak your peace: let each stroke shout Amen!

Sonnet #29: That shield you hold

That shield you hold, that hides your face from me:
how long have you been carrying that around?
I understand your past invites sympathy,
but when did your distrust become so profound

that distance, self-imposed, is your only way
of coping in a world that seems full of threat?
How will you feel the love that flows each day
when your barriers are so thick, so heavyset

that all you know is you, and your own pain?
Can you not lift this veil that hides your face
from mine, and find a way to trust again;
to feel, to flinch, and yet to sense the grace

that permeates the ground beneath your toes,
and the air you breathe; this light that never goes?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sonnet #28: The call that draws us onward

Orison is the voice of the yearning soul:
with silent pleas the longing heart cries out
the need for union, completion its only goal;
sweet hope in eternal struggle with fear and doubt.

And so we frame a quiet space to sit
and make a daily discipline of time,
encouraging our bodies to commit
to stillness, that may lead to some sublime

experience of light, or revelation,
a softening of anguish or remorse,
a feeling we're awash in approbation,
that the path we're on is really the right course...

Our motives may be selfish and impure
but the call that draws us onward will endure.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sonnet #27: Dark skeletons

There was a time when fog and forest seemed
quite fearful -- I remember being small,
and looming roots would trip me as I dreamed
my way along the path amid the tall

Norwegian pines that marked the woods between
my house and yours; nearby the river glowed
with fog that slid through branches evergreen
and cradled the scent of dogwood as it flowed

around and through me. And then, in my youth, I sought
the dark and mist, and found it reassured.
But with age, again, in forests I'm distraught:
the trees seem ominous, now I've matured,

reaching out with slender fingers to whip and taunt me;
dark skeletons, bleak harbingers -- they haunt me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sonnet #26: Thinking ahead to Lent...

It matters not if it's a slender thread
or a stout rope that keeps the bird from flight.
Until what holds her back is cut and dead,
she'll have no hope of soaring to full height.

So what is it that keeps you from the prize?
Things done, or left undone, that hold you back?
I'm not attempting here to moralize,
but just to help you think what you might lack:

What habits, given up, could set you free
to know new heights and depths of love divine
What tasks, if taken on, might help you see
a way to spread your wings and fully shine?

Lent's not about becoming penitent;
it's working to end our own imprisonment.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sonnet #25: Marital Differences

Let me not to the marriage of two minds
object: whatever differences ensue
provide the impetus for growth.  I find
this as I age to prove more true.

If you say neither, and I would neither say;
if you like sugar while I prefer grease and salt;
if you should find all politicians gray
when I see black and white and tons of fault --

There's truth on either side, and so we see
(having been forced to listen, each to each)
that every preference has veracity
or at least some rationale, something to teach.

And so to you I gladly pledge my life
and trust we each will learn from all this strife.

Sonnet #24: When the love of God

"When the love of God arises in thy heart,
Without doubt, God also feels love for thee."
These words from Rumi pierce me, like a dart,
with a hope rooted in holy mystery.

That this longing that has haunted me forever --
the one that I once thought was just for love --
could find its echo in the great Whoever
and rebound back to hold me as a glove

might hold a hand, protecting it from cold --
or sting, or thorns designed to thrust through skin --
that would with all-embracing love enfold
my being, both its blessings and its sin --

this knowledge transforms those who apprehend
its truth: enhanced compassion's its dividend.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sonnet #23: The Long Wait

I wait and wait, but the darn bus never shows.
The ferns droop down to hide my furrowed brow,
the moss on my walls and roof just grows and grows
and still I wait and wonder, "Why not now?"

Or now. Or now. Or now. And still I fail
to see that waiting's not the point: no bus
is meant to take us to the Holy Grail:
the thought it should be easy's ludicrous.

This bench is but a stop along the way --
we need to rest to process what we learn --
but the journey is what matters: each new day
can teach us what we need.  We have to earn

the peace, the love, the holiness we seek:
it mounts up slowly, week by challenging week.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sonnet # 22: The Road to Manzanar

We visit parks and walk historic trails,
tracing the lives of those who've gone before
and trying to imagine their travails:
the hunger, the losses; the courage at their core.

But this trail, this, its bones stained red as blood,
that wanders through the woods down to a dock
to mark the path my Asian brothers trod,
prodded by soldiers and herded off the rock

that was their island home and is now mine;
this trail's injustice haunts our communal heart.
Betrayal marks this path. And though no shrine
can heal the split that tore this town apart,

this bleak reminder of what happened then
drives us to swear "Fear not: never again."

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sonnet #21: Brief memories of bliss

"Let go and let God," the 12-Step people say;
and we're told we'll have to die to be born again.
Emptying that we might be filled is another way
to describe what we must do to be fully Zen.

But it's easier said than done.  Even if we sit
in a quiet space with very few distractions,
start with a gong, and get the candles lit,
the brain has a mind of its own, always in action.

The wheel of thoughts keeps spinning round and round,
and imagination leaps from wish to wish,
our best intentions seem to run aground,
overwhelmed by all the worries that persist.

And yet we're willing to keep attempting this,
our struggles fueled by brief memories of bliss.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sonnet #20: Listen to your heart

In a world where everybody's selling something,
how can we ever really know what's true?
Should we take them at their word, that theirs is better;
or follow our instincts and say adieu

when we're asked to sign, right here, on this dotted line,
"because we're less expensive, and offer more?"
When we google their reputation, it seems fine,
so what drives this urge to show these guys the door?

 Experience has taught us not to trust
the claims of those who feed upon our passions
and take our cash with promises that go bust --
we're left betrayed while to the bank they're dashing.

In such decisions, listen to your heart:
what rises from within may well be smart...

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sonnet #19: In fog, despair

The fog glides in to wrap the trees in shrouds;
the tips of all their branches disappear,
and those we still can see are wreathed in clouds
like smokers, lonely in a bar, nursing their beer.

This weather's not for lovers: it's too grim.
Just those alone, forsaken and forlorn
find comfort here, where foghorns sing their hymns
of loss and warning, of longing for a home.

So wise they were, the ones who designed this park,
this curving walk that leads us to the sea:
they must have known despair has a similar arc --
first down, then briefly up, and then, quite solemnly

it leads us to that edge where we must decide 
to rejoin the living, or follow those who've died...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sonnet #18: Hunter/Gatherer

We humans have two drives: to know, or love.
One gathers knowledge -- a passive receptivity --
while the other hunts with passion, dreaming of
procuring that for which they've a proclivity.

The hunter's motivation? Dissatisfaction,
a hunger, or a longing for love denied.
The knower's quest has far less need for action,
that search is much more simply satisfied.

The hunter's propelled forward by ambition;
the gatherer, storing up that which has passed,
provides the base and fuels the ammunition
for search and discovery; for old ways to be surpassed.

Each type may fail to understand the other,
but the world needs both -- the gatherer and the lover.

Just a note: I first read about this concept -- that humans have a drive either to know or to love -- in Evelyn Underhill's treatise on mysticism.  It is her contention that the drive to love, and the passion that accompanies it, is what moves creation forward -- and I like that, because in my family I am the driven one, and some of that drive comes from a hunger for what I didn't get as a child.  But though my husband's primary drive is to gather knowledge, which is essentially a more passive role (which I do occasionally find frustrating, driven creature that I am) it seemed important to understand that we need both kinds of people. So that's the origin of this poem.  Sadly, the image that worked best reverses the roles to the more traditional pattern, but I can live with that.  Hope you can, too!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sonnet #17: Humor comes in threes

The mystics claim there are three ways of being,
but of course, each mystic's three are not the same,
so I'd hoped that I might clarify by seeing
what this painting has to say; it's a sort of game.

It could mean living in the future, past, or present,
or perhaps to reconcile, affirm, or deny.
Aggressive (left), depressed, or just unpleasant;
to stride, or maybe sit, or even fly.

It could be faithful, lost, or just agnostic
Might be genders -- male, or female, or some  mix.
Parent, child or just adult (to be diagnostic);
just throw it against the wall and see what sticks.
The truth is: interpretations will always vary
depending on who looks: Tom, Dick or Harry.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sonnet # 16: Better together

We artists go to studios to paint --
partly because it can make a dreadful mess --
but also to create without restraint:
when we're alone, there's no one to impress.

So how can I explain this curious fact:
that two of my favorite pieces were painted in public?
Does artistry become a kind of act?
Does playing the role of a painter somehow double it?

I think of myself as terribly private person,
and tend to resent interruptions when I write.
I'm reluctant to even consider that my introversion
is turned inside out when I paint, because it seems trite

to assume that together we're better than we are alone,
but it seems it's a possible truth that I'll now have to own...  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sonnet #15: So quickly gone

Some years ago I passed this scene and paused
to photograph it, and the result I got
was fabulous, but now that picture's lost:
I've a scan, but it really doesn't match the shot.

And so, each year, I pass this way again,
turn right and cross the bridge, hoping to capture
a replacement for the lost, but something Zen
interferes, and nothing I shoot has quite that rapture.

Sometimes the mountains hide behind fog, or rain.
Other years, like this one, the sky's too blue,
so bright the trees just fade into the terrain.
I know -- I'm being picky, but it's true:

Like snowflakes, each view's unique, and ever changing:
look NOW, for nature's always rearranging.

Sonnet #14: The Big Picture

While driving to the mountains, I saw a farm,
a tree, a fence, a silo and some fog
and stopped to let my camera work its charm;
to capture this sweet photo for my blog.

But here's what I find it hard to understand:
why wasn't this the scene that filled my lens?
Could it have been the place I chose to stand?
What can I possibly say in my own defense?

I've lots of pix of just the tree and the peak.
I've photos of the horses and the shed.
There are barn shots, too, each in their way unique.
But no one shot of the whole scene here outspread.

Thank Photoshop for enabling this compilation,
but I blame myself for inferior visualization.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Not a sonnet: Goose view

Oh, to be a goose, and gaze
upon the water as we graze;
to know that as we sit and chew
we'll almost always have a view
that humans pay a fortune for --
and if it should become a bore,
we'll simply spread our wings and fly away:
some new horizon's out there, every day!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sonnet # 13: 4 A NUB, SWAK

Don’t be afraid: I know these are changing times;
And handwritten letters are now a dying art.
But here are some helpful text messaging rhymes:
The shortcuts you need, like how to make a heart.

We’ll start first with the obvious phonetics:
C U L8R means “see you later”; that’s quite easy.
Next come the typical apologetics:
JK, IMHO, and OIC.

Some letters offer laughter, shock and empathy --
LOL, LMAO and WTF --
while others express our heartfelt thoughts of sympathy:

BTW: that heart’s a less-than and a 3

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sonnet #12: Endings and beginnings

Today's the day we denude the Christmas tree.
I sigh to see the last of the colored lights.
We cradle each decoration wistfully,
then pack them all away with soft goodnights.

Each ornament has its own way of reminding
us of Christmases in the past; they were so blest.
Life's different now: our daughters have been finding
new lives of their own far from our nest.

So I'm grateful for this morning's brilliant dawn --
the sunrise with its pink and purple blaze --
though the colors of this Christmas have moved on
new colors, like love, will come to bless new days.

Each moment holds a gift, and though it grieves us
when that gift's gone, we trust love never leaves us.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sonnet #11: Transitioning to wonder

When our efforts meet with chaos and confusion
we might suspect we're doing something wrong.
But that may well not be the right conclusion:
Sometimes disorder's right where we belong.

Perfection doesn't have as much to teach us --
it never takes us past our comfort zones.
Sometimes important lessons can only reach us
when we've been forced to wrestle with unknowns.

At first, this painting, for example, I just hated:
I must have lost my talent, I assumed.
But now, I see the harsh lines I created
provide structure in which new shapes and colors bloomed. 

The process of transition can be depressing,
but the resulting transformation might well prove to be a blessing.

Sonnet # 10: Different lifestyles

Two birds upon a soggy log were floating,
one standing on two legs and the other on one
and the one-legged bird was rather loudly gloating
because his single perch was far more fun.

That bird found great delight in seeking balance
and actually would have preferred a rougher sea.
His greatest source of joy was physical challenge:
a rough and ready winter's bird was he.

The other bird ignored him and just drifted:
the gentle seas her guided meditation,
as through thoughts of her life and days she sifted
listening for some heartfelt revelation.

Which style is better, or safer, I can't say,
because if waves come, each can fly away!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sonnet #9: Art good for the soul

These pretty flights of fancy make us smile:
knotted balloons, or crochet-blanketed trees.
For this we'll drive a hundred extra miles
to see the art that brightens communities --

The wood carvings in Hope, British Columbia;
the moose sculptures in Burlington, Vermont;
the pottery faces we found in Italy's Umbria --
we read, mark and digest as is our wont

and notice that the neighborhoods which thrive
are those that value things like art, and laughter --
traits hard to find, that make us come alive,
set us apart, and warm our hearts hereafter.

Investing in art may never make us wealthy,
but there's a really good chance it keeps us healthy.

Sonnet #8: Boat People

I watch the waves rush toward the pebbled shore
and think of pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock,
of refugees and others who deplore
their native circumstances, and embark

in makeshift boats to cross uncharted waters
in search of lives less troubled, or more free;
risk drowning with their spouses, sons, and daughters
hoping they'll safely land in a new country,

knowing, as they leave, with every breath
that what they leave behind may well be life,
that vehicles of hope can prove ships of death,
and the only world they'll find is the afterlife.

I hate to think of the pain that drives them to it,
but deeply admire the courage they have to do it.

(Sonnet interruptus)

What sort of person,
you might ask,
crochets a rock
and leaves it on a bench
beside an entrance to a park?

And look how long
it must have been sitting there,
to be so dirty,
some strings worn through,
and still so very present.

I want to be that person --
generous to a fault,
releasing art into the world
with no thought where it falls.

I also want to be that rock --
solid, bringing beauty,
even if a little worn --
a sign that somewhere, Someone cared enough
to take the time to make me,
and in that making,
cared about you, too.