Friday, December 14, 2012

The prayer we cannot understand

So many shots
and once again
the fabric of existence,
torn apart,
reveals the hell that lies beneath,
the prayer that animates
every mother's heart,
the candles lit in vain
whose fire consumes
the hope we thought we had
and in the light of the flame
Job prays the prayer
we cannot understand, saying
"Yahweh giveth,
and Yahweh taketh away
Blessed be the name of Yahweh."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

All we will see is love

Who better than the trees
to remind us
that when we look
through the eyes of love
all we will see
is love?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who made this night?

Who made this night?
Who wrapped the chilling moon
in cotton wool
and pasted it in to a velvet sky?
Who waxed these marble tiles
with light and rain,
polishing 'til they glow beneath our feet?
What miracles, these vaulted domes,
mosaics, saints,
and deftly crenellated towers
that preen themselves
as evening wanes
inviting hope, and prayers,
and dawns to come
while sinking slowly still
beneath the rising seas?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peaceful coexistence

Hearing the words
"awash in a sea of mercy"
I think of these boats
floating gently in the harbor,
their masts reflected
in the glassy sea --
like snowflakes,
each unique and yet,
from a distance,
all so much the same.
May all who seem
at odds with us up close
find this peaceful coexistence,
which looks so much like unity
from afar...

Friday, December 7, 2012


To sit in quiet prayer,
or meditation,
is simply invitation
to that which is
above, beyond
creating a reverberation,
to soothe our hungry hearts.
But for this transformation to occur,
we must be willing to sink through
the barrage of thought and language
that shields us from our pain,
breathe through our agitation
to the joy that lies beneath;
this patient echo
glowing deep within.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I saw you there
while shopping one day
for Christmas gifts
in stores I can ill afford;
my eyes, glazing at the prices,
unfocused for a bit
to gaze at the reflections --
snowflakes in a window
(trite, of course, but so appealing
in their ritual sameness,
their predictability;
so like the world
we sometimes wish we had) --
and there you were,
sitting on the park bench,
head bowed

(in prayer? in grief?) I wondered...
but surely staggered
tripped and weighted
with the truth of it all,
the unpredictability, irregularity,
all the ways life didn't proceed
as you had hoped or expected.
I'd like to think
I stepped outside myself
for just a moment,
sat with you there on that dark bench
to share the burden of your sorrow,
to join in solemn contemplation
of the troubles
lapping at your feet...

Saturday, November 17, 2012


You know --
or think you do --
the life, the face
as familiar as your own
watching you,
it's suddenly struck down,
leaving the rivers
which you once rowed to joy
now lethal with memory.
And then you come to know
that other world,
the following darkness:
the way the larks of grief
fly up into your face
each time you walk

the once familiar fields;
the way the grass,
once soft enough to roll in
now has edges sharp enough to scar
the feet that can hardly bear
to take another step;
each fallen leaf, once golden, now a grave;
the hands that, reaching out
to help, become instead a reminding slap:
Gone (Can I help you?)
Gone (Do you need me?)
Gone (You're always in my prayers...)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14

This feathered arm,
these leaves,
the scent of a damp
November forest,
all conspire
to both threaten
and reach out;
echoes of a child's confusion --
the hand that holds the whip
and then the food;
the brow that holds the scowl
and then the smile...
Like Christmas --
bright green promise
of a gift
and yet the red
of blood that is to come.

Always and ever
the paralyzing tension
between the longing to be seen
and the desperate need to hide;
caught between the hope and the despair
which colors every beauty that we see
with the threat of death beneath.

The leaf that pauses briefly
before drifting to the ground,
the moss that hides
the dark decay below --
how then do we choose to live?
Who dares accept the glory that is now,
ignore all thought of what might come,
all reminders of what transpired before;
to press her cheek against the soft green moss,
to fill her eyes with that red glowing fire
to know the sweet embrace of o'erwhelming Love.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Acres of light

Looking back
over a life
spent on farms
and in the fields;
knowing how long it's been
since her face has been touched
by any hand but her own,
she remembers
what it was like
to be young and in love;
with the sunflowers blooming --
acres of light.

They were married in autumn
when the cornsilk hung
like a veil over ripening ears.
and their first child -- conceived

in a jubilation of fresh-gathered hay --
appeared the next summer
when the sunflowers were blooming --
acres of light.

Acres of light --
whether covered with snow
or furrowed with mud in the springtime --
acres of light
just as far as they could see.
The view from the window
as she stood and did dishes --
the wide sky with its tall clouds
and those acres of light.

He's gone now, and the children
have grown and moved on.
The house now stands empty,
the fields gone to grass.
The wheels on her chair squeak
as she rolls to the window
and remembers the sunflowers,
acres of light.

Acres of light --
whether covered with sunflowers
or buried in snow --
acres of light
just as far as they could see.
The view from the window
as she stood and did dishes --
the wide sky with its tall clouds
and those acres of light.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This soft progression

After all the noise --
the loud hurrahs
of those who won
and the tears of those
who hoped to win and lost --
the caterpillar continues
his quiet march
across the leaves,
nibbling as he goes,
storing up the makings
for his next cocoon,
a furry, soft
inevitable progression
toward the butterfly
we know
is yet to come.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

That time of year

When elections loom, familiar shapes
become more threatening,
the masks we wear more obvious,
and demons prowl the streets
in search of food for damaged souls;
the mouth of hell yawns wider,
and the roots of all our troubles
come springing to the surface,
reaching out to trip us up.
Familiar landmarks disappear:
fogged in -- or have they left for good?
If we can't see them,
can we assume they're there?
Walk carefully amid the lies;
ignore the beckoning darkness
and superstitious whisperings...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dreaming of Venice

Winter closes in,
dark presses on the windows, cold,
and tucking her feet beneath her
she settles in her chair
to dream of Venice;
of aqua seas and ancient palazzos
blushing in the dying light,
the songs of sweet-voiced gondoliers
echoing across the narrow canals;
the taste of gelato,
cool upon the tongue,
and, oh, the subtlety
of color, and of light;
the beauty that awaits
round every corner;
tucked in every calle and sottoportego...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Come-hither glance

After days of pouring rain,
the clouds lifted their skirts
for just a moment,
giving us a glimpse
of what's been going on
behind the scenes:
up in the mountains,
all that rain had turned to snow,
and the dark hills,
brown for months on end,
are gleaming white again,
sending us a brief
come-hither glance,
an alluring invitation,
tempting us to escape
to higher ground...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A perfect parable

Ten days til Halloween,
and the ghosts have begun
to gather in the trees,
their howls to echo in the wind --

Oh, no, it's just the dog,
whose tennis ball has rolled
beneath the radiator once again, 
and so he crouches --
black nose pressed against the heat
that so intensifies the scent
of that one lost ball --

and whines, and wails
despite the fact 
that six other tennis balls
lie scattered around the room;
a perfect parable whose passion
noisily outweighs the widow's mite
and the one lost sheep...

(Having just seen Billy Collins read, I had to throw a dog into this poem...)

The rock at the root of being

Let us make this pilgrimage together,
one long line of individuals,
sharing a common goal:
to brave the changing tides and reach
the rock at the root of being.
while its prominence lies exposed,
let's reach and touch
our common ground,
then scamper back to shore before
the waves of fear that separate us
roll back in...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rorschach test

What have we here?
A Rorschach test?
So tell me -- what is it you see?
A lacy dress from the Roaring 20's?
Or could it be a shroud,
burial garment for a long-dead queen?
A religious icon?
Does your imagination fly,
or are you simply practical:
"What we see here
are the mottled results
of decades of exposure,
a simple accident, a stain
upon a fortress someone built
when feeling threatened... "
How does what you think you know
color what you see and hear?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The bridge of lost opportunities

Light shifts,
the seasons change,
and seeing the trees fill up with color
my heart slips back
onto the bridge of lost opportunities.

I'd spent the day out wandering the woods,
some forty years ago,
sipping the wine-deep reds of fall
through my camera lens
and found myself standing
on the Taftsville Bridge.

It took a minute for my eyes to grow
accustomed to the dark,
but then, after all that color,

to see the old gray floor
dappled with streaks of light
from the cross-hatched sides
and the one bright maple leaf gleaming there,
each color etched into its skin
like some celestial tattoo,
I snapped, and snapped, and snapped again,
and then rewound the film,
intending to replace and snap some more,
and opened up the camera's back
to find there was no film at all,
and patting my pockets found them empty,too,
and now too late to purchase more,
the sun lowering,
the clouds rolling in...

Life lessons always follow loss,
and still it haunts us,
wisps of failure drifting here and there,
and now, glancing through old images,
I see they're full of losses,
chances missed and loves gone by,
and with the falling of the leaves
the heart gives one remembered leap
and then subsides again.

The longing shimmers still,
then fades to loss
and floats,
ever so gently
to that gray floor.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Soul Food

I wish I understood,
or could explain,
why visits to this place
so feed my soul.
The dark, the light,
the subtlety of color,
the slow subsiding
of weapons into earth again;
the harsh allure of angles,
the cracks
where life is so determined
to seep through...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Might have beens...

Alone and lost
with only a bottle --
but for Grace,
go I.

A suitcase that's full,
a heart running on empty --
but for Hope,
go I.

A life gray and weary,
stale, flat, and unprofitable --
but for passion, and you,
go I.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Evening fades

Evening fades;
both boats and ducks
are headed home to roost.
And so begin the soft familiar sounds,
the clatter and the clucking,
the murmurs and the rustling
of a family settling in,
a boat tying up;
of birds, shifting in the nest.
tensed against the wind and tide,
drop now, and nestle
each to each for warmth,
and for companionship.
Light falls, the dark descends,
and hearts expand to hold the light
until the dawn returns.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A new perspective

Come climb the hill with me,
my love, and let us find
some new perspective
on this life we've built together;
follow the tracks to higher ground
and see our world
in a larger context;
ourselves as smaller cogs
in a boundless universe,
turning slowly with the sun,
revolving on some angled axis
unknown, but surely felt --
yes, felt,
yes, there,
deep within our chests.

Breathe in the light and color;
breathe out, let every act breathe out
awareness of the tender joy
that takes the time to paint each leaf --
first green, then red, then brown --
then gently separates the stem from branch,
softening each fall with a wisp of wind
and a cushion of grass.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Too much peace

Funny, isn't it --
the owners of this boat
have migrated north,
leaving behind
a yellow kayak,
which a group of terns,
migrating south,
have taken as their temporary home.

Why is it
that the terns
dancing on their yellow kayak
are so much more fun to watch?

I guess too much peace
can get a bit boring...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Breathe deep:
traverse that single step
from curiosity to awe;
from I wonder what,
I wonder why,
I wonder who,
step back --
and gaze in wonder.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I have to ask,
is the real me?
The soothing mass of color
that dominates what you see?
The fiery tones
exploding in the corner?
The determined strokes of white
that stitch a loosely woven alb
to mask the passions hidden there?
The stains
that seep through nonetheless,
like wine upon the altar cloth...
All me, I fear,
all working together in communion;
a taste of the Divine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


You reach for me in sleep,
and I, awakened by the ending of a dream,
feel my heart soften at the sound,
that murmur of contentment
that you make,
the strumming of the harp strings in your throat,
when skin connects to skin.

After so many years –
is it 28, or 29? –
I still find this so moving:
the way your hand,
when it finds my arm,
curls so protectively around;
whole body following,
knees pressed in sleep
more tightly into mine,
the curve of a foot, the last to follow,
gliding slowly,
arcing into place beneath my own,
and then again -- that sound you make:
so hard to describe, and yet
each time I hear it,
I hear echoes of a rainy night,
driving home along the river
in a topless car,
the laughing of the breeze
and then that exultant crow,
and your hand,
stealing across the wet seats into mine.

I knew then I was yours,
as I am still,
and will be,
until both our breathing
and our curling
find their rest.

Monday, September 10, 2012

To storm, or not to storm

It's morning,
but I'm not yet sure
which way the wind is blowing:
those clouds beyond the trees --
are they rolling in or out?
Is this light here to stay
or fading fast --
and if I knew, what would I do

Would I change the tune I'm humming
or change direction; walk back home,
in fear of what's to come?

For now, I choose to stand and savor,
feast on the flavors of light and dark,
the exhilaration of the moment
when neither has yet stolen the scene.
The battle's not yet won,
and the color's at its richest,
juicy with the promise
of a day that's waiting to unfold.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The lost dimension

Though land divides
the sea from sky,
and reflections give
illusions of great depth,
there are only two dimensions
here displayed:
the viewer has no sense
of the water that lies beyond,
between the houses and the mountains;
or even that the water here
flows around and through
and back beyond the other side
with each and every tide;
no sense that I could walk to you
from where I stand.

Divisions -- yours and mine -- appear to work
in almost that same way:
I take my stand, and you take yours,
each displaying massive depth of thought
in our reflections,
forgetting -- in the heat of argument --
all the ways that we are linked;
let slip the ancient memory,
the depth of the connection
that flowed across the water
before time began, that carries still
from you to me and back again to you,
and then again, around, beyond, behind us both
along a plane which disagreement makes

And so I ask you this:
what chance have we
of restoring that third dimension;
of finding again
that source that connects us both?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer's End

So happy, on a summer's day,
to hang the laundry out to dry,
to watch the t-shirts
swaying in the breeze
while sailboats scurry by...
too short, these days now:
time and children
fly before the wind,
off on new adventures,
trailing laundry as they go.
The house staggers
with the spin cycle;
tacks, then rights itself again
while seagulls watch
loudly mourning from the rooftop
as the wheels spin out of the driveway,
rushing for a ferry.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

God waves like wheat

Watching from the train
as the world speeds by,
I drink from the cup of summer fields,
glowing in light's embrace;
taste the sweet blue warmth of sky,
roll the clouds on my tongue;
imagine the farmer
stepping from his shed
with scythe in hand...
God waves like wheat
in a field of wind.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Across the cloud of unknowing

Reaching up, or reaching out,
or reaching down --
which is it?
I twist and turn
and twist and turn again,
but no matter which way I turn,
there is a dance,
a cooperation,
a reaching across the chasm
that keeps us feeling separate;
attempting to reunite
across the cloud of unknowing...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some days I walk the beach

beached wood, porous,
like her hip,
that broke in the night
and left her on the floor
to die of thirst.

a bruised shell,
stiff as the helmet
that protected his head when he fell
but couldn't keep out the tumor
that pushed him off the bike
(just a lemon, and benign,
unlike the ones
that took a daughter's heart,
a mother and two father's brains;
three throats
in a single family)

five hours of surgery done, she reports;
he's fine, but no more cycling for a while.

I'm grateful, but I want to ask
where does it end,
why here,
why now,
and when?

some days
I walk the beach
and all I see
is death

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Eye of the needle

Low tide,
and the lumbering threat
of the pounding waves
has receded
to manageability.
It's safe,
for now at least,
to walk out to the rock
and so we stand,
peering through
a hole carved in the stone
by those same waves
and marvel at the view
of surges yet to come.

A straw thrust through a tree by a tornado,
cars tossed by hurricane winds,
this hole --
each a testament
to force and power
far beyond control;
such force could easily propel
dozens of rich men and camels
through the eye of any needle.

Tide shifts,
and the waves begin to tumble toward us like the years;
time finds us scrambling
for higher moral ground
as the impending crash
grows louder, closer.

We see death drawing near
and, hoping to delay,
promise reform
and race the speeding clock
for ever worthier lives
discarding sins like seaweed
on the shore between then and now;
tossing our transgressions behind us
like clothes, abandoned on the stairs, a tell-tale trail
in the desperate climb to Passion.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At the center of things

Such tissue, torn and scarred,
surrounds the heart
lying like a wound
at the center of things;
a deep pool in which
the leavings of life's seasons
float brightly for a while
then disappear
into hidden caverns of longing,
slowly breaking down
into fragments of memory,
providing mulch
for seasons yet to come,
loves yet to grow,
promises yet to be broken
which in their own way
also feed the soul.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

About the light

What is it about the light --
even this light,
dappling, as it does,
this dull clay wall,
these random roots --
that, on a morning after
one of those nights
when silent tears
have stained a pillow
in the darkness,
brings reassurance, and hope,
and makes my heart

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Those loving eyes

though not often enough,
my camera sees
with different eyes,
and even something simple --
a splash of birdlime,
a tissue-thin slice
of seaweed
tossed upon an aging step --
appears to have
a grace and beauty
all its own.

And then I see
that all our desperate posturing --
the many tricks we use
to present ourselves
as appearing to have more value than we suspect exists --
will never hide us from those loving eyes --
and might

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Made in the image

Why --
when the dog barks
and I look out my window
to see what set him off
and spot instead
the moon,
lifting her golden bucket
and pouring streaks of light
across the lagoon --
why do I not step outside
to sit on my bench
and drink that liquid joy?

Why reach for a camera,
when I know it can't begin
to capture the color
that sings through all that light;
can't begin to capture the wonder of that first sighting?
Or is it enough
to grab a glimpse,
a frail and faulty image,
so that seeing we might imagine
the truth that lies behind --
much as we,
seeing other beings
made in the image of God,
can begin to imagine
the Truth that lies behind...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Why be enemies?

Though you lean to the right
and I the left,
we both derive our energy
from the same blue sky,
so why
be enemies?

Though the color of your skin
is all washed out compared to mine,
we're both standing
on the same ground,
so why be enemies?

Though we're differently molded,
we're both made of the same stuff,
so why be enemies?

Though your path
seems quite straightforward
while mine's been quite confusing
and complex,
both paths in some way fuel
the lives around us --
so why be enemies?

And face it:
neither of us controls
-- or even knows --
when the Great Disconnect
will finally occur.
Could we not co-exist til then
in harmony?
Why be enemies?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ode to a Gosling

The tenderness with which these arms enfold
a baby goose, adopted by a stranger
gives us a taste of Your love, which must hold
each heart protected, safe from mortal danger.

The troubles that befall us when we're young
and form all our behaviors as we grow,
need not become a cage, but perhaps a rung
upon a ladder, or seeds that You sow

to bring us to fruition, given time,
and grace, and conscious rumination;
a structure, not restrictive, but sublime
through which each one can reach life's culmination.

Rage not against the chains which keep us bound
but see them as the loss which leads to found.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No pain, no gain

Picture your back, she said,
as a wooded shoreline,
and with each breath,
new green shoots of wonder
growing there:
flourishing, healthy.
And, she said, after a pause,
with each breath out
the dead branches and the rocks
are loosening up
and falling into the sea.

But wait, I thought --
if all the rocks
were to fall into the sea,
the hillside would be gone,
and with it the trees,
who'd have no place
to spread their roots.

At last, she said;
at last you see -- we need the pain
to keep us grounded,
to keep us rooted in our bodies.
Pain has much to teach us:
Don't run away, but sit --
sit and listen for the lessons.
Breathe in those new green shoots
and let them root and grow
in what you learn.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A moment's glow

Caught in a patch
of late-afternoon sun,
the tulips on the kitchen counter
glow with a light of their own,
and in so doing, cast a shadow,
carving in black
upon the marbled surface
a temporary testament.

For one brief moment
they take the center stage
and all of us,
standing in the room,
remark upon the glow
and then move on,
shifting with the light
into whatever's next --

the sifting of some flour,
the stirring of a soup,
a handful of blueberries
brought in from the garden;
turning our attention
to a new savoring --
a blue burst of sweetness
or the setting sun,
bringing a blush
to the cheek of a distant mountain.

Moments later, turning back,
we find the tulips tame again,
the light distributed evenly,
all shadows gone.
The marbled counter
dwindles to mere formica,
the oven timer dings
and dinner is served.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

So calm, so grounded

Low tide,
a quiet morning,
and the rocks
poke their hard heads
forth from the sand
to breathe the fresh coolness
and watch us wander by.
Do they wonder what it must be like
to be so rarely still?
I wonder what I might learn from them,
from living a life so calm,
so firmly grounded.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer, and the hollyhocks

and the hollyhocks are dancing
in the leaves' dark green embrace.
That which holds and shadows them
doesn't seem to make them restless;
rather, they are flourishing,
delighting in the contrast
between the soft pink ruffles
and the jagged grasp
that separates,
defines, yet links
the subtle variations
of the many blooms
that grace the single stalk,
each sowing seeds
to ensure the dance continues.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

In the arms of the Divine

Morning comes,
and with it,
a reminder --
that we are always cradled
in the arms of the Divine.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Though I'm not certain I believe
in Heaven anymore --
except the kind we can find right here,
by being present and aware --
if there were a heaven,
and all those things
that we grew up assuming about it
were true,
I imagine they'd have rolled out the red carpet
for Nora;
that all the women who went before
would be waiting at the gates
with roses in their hands,
cheering as she strode through --
this friend to all,
who brought her wit,
her humor, pain, and hope
to everything she wrote --
this gracious soul
who let each of us know
that we were not alone,
that our struggles were hers as well.
I'm imagining her now,
stepping forward,
head held high,
in shoes impeccably glamorous
(and yet, sublimely comfortable --
it is Heaven, after all!)
to receive the Oscars she so deserved:
not best film, or best direction, or best screenplay,
but best friend, best wit;
best sage,
and, yes, best life.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Like a puppy,
almost blind,
trapped in a Cone of Shame,
I'm desperate to scratch,
to poke at,
to chew on
whatever bug is biting me,
whatever welts
my body is throwing up
in response
to whatever topic it is
that I'm suddenly allergic to.
Worse yet,
I can't seem to sleep for the itching.
Where's the drug
that I can take
to make this go away?
How long before the seasons change
and whatever thought is in the air
or goes to seed,
freeing me from this

Friday, June 22, 2012

A trick of the light

So often,
when I go in search of my camera,
it's not the photograph I thought I saw
but something sitting quietly
beside the caller
that finds its way into my lens --
and brain --
and sows the seeds of invitation:
what was it that really called?
what was it that I really saw?
and how could I have ignored
something so beautiful
and been drawn to something
so mundane?
And what is it that decides
which is beautiful,
and which mundane --

some preconceived notion, perhaps, might tell me
that the echo of a tree
shimmering upon the water below
might have more perceived value
than something built by man?
Or is it just a trick of the light,
a stillness in the sea,
a vacillation in the current
that makes one now stand out,
then fade away as another different reflection
takes its brief shape upon the water;
that in the instant between the call and my response,
some shift occurs:
what was no longer is
or has moved on,
and now I must be present
to some new radiant gift.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I heard my soul

I heard my soul
the other day,
singing in the garden:
one soft wild whistle
danced upon the page
and then subsided into night.
Having heard that tiny
chirp of promise,
I'll listen more intently now;
still the insistent humming
of the bees in my brain,
the murmur of the flowing
in my veins,
to hear, below
that steady shimmer of noise,
the bright clear call
of hope.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More than enough

And if my job
is to make visible
that which -- without me --
might not have been seen,
what invisible constructs govern
what I see,
and what I choose to share?

Is it enough
to have seen
something that isn't there?

Is it enough to have seen
reflections in a bowl,
even if there is no
discernible pattern?

Is it enough to have seen
that when the colors shifted
the beauty might become more obvious?

And does beauty or proportion even matter?

Perhaps it is enough to say
these shapes, these colors
caught my eye
when I was looking for a sign
that You are everywhere,
even in an empty bowl.

Perhaps it is more than enough.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I'm not saying it's a masterpiece,
I'm only saying
there was nothing more I could add,
not without taking away
from what was already there.
Even though I am a beginner at this
I could see another stroke
could wreck whatever balance
might have been achieved,
because the paint,
already dry,
would never allow me
the privilege of a library, or a parent
(once there's enough)
who can decide, for every book or toy,
to give an old unwanted one away;

Some strokes, some actions, once applied
have a way of becoming permanent.

Perhaps it is a luxury --
this knowing when we have enough,
this knowing one more possession,
one more award,
one more lover,
will necessitate
the tossing of the old;
the luxury, that is, of understanding
that making new friends
and keeping old
may soon prove to be a strain on time
and so we stop,
and find ourselves in that dark cave of knowing:
this is quite enough;
there is no room for more
without losing what we have
and so we turn to those we love,
and stroking now with hands,
no brushes now, no paint,
but just a touch,
a sweet caress to celebrate
there is no need for more.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The ideal puppy

Walking the perpetual garage sale
that is our beach,
I chose to leave our dog behind
(the Canada Geese are back,
and he loves to roll in their leavings)
but something must have thought
I shouldn't have to
walk the beach alone
because I found
this charming puppy
barking at my feet,
its floppy ears spinning
at the thought that I might rub him,

or, even better,
pick him up,
 and give him a hug.

And so -- what can I say? --
I lifted him into my arms
and carried him home.
He's really such a pleasure --
no vet visits,
no daily inoculations with insulin required,
no nightly eyedrops,
no fur to trim or brush,
no unseemly barking at the UPS man...
the ideal puppy.