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.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The winds of disappointment

The winds of disappointment
are blowing through,
carrying shards of failure
that scrape and scar
as they pass.

Disillusion is a softer wraith
that floats and fades,
a little harder to pin down
or even see,
but serving as a medium
for other shades

whose voices whisper
might have beens,
if-only's, and why-me's.

And though it seems the branches
are being stripped,
and hurled with force,
there's more than a suggestion
that something sturdy and unwavering
stands firm beneath the storm;
that certain truths endure;
will be wiped clean;
will glow again
once the detritus
 of expectations is swept away.

Monday, May 7, 2012


On a sunny day
I sit beside the water,
watching the ripples and reflections,
mesmerized by the shapes and colors
in the ever-changing display
fed by the trees
on the bank above me;
each frame of the video
I imagine taking
A glorious work of abstract art,
Filled with texture and color,
Light and dark,
Passion and remorse...

Opening my ears as I’ve opened my eyes,
I realize that further down the beach
two geese are training their young ones to swim,
barking commands like a high school coach,
to be certain this dozing human
doesn’t wake up;
doesn’t rise and thread her way across the marsh
to interfere with the day’s lesson.

They have no way of knowing:
I, too, once mothered a gosling,
taught him to swim,
felt my heart soften at the sight of his wet feathers;
to keep marauding eagles from snatching him away.

I, too, have heard that distinctive “Mama” peep
that says – Where are you, Mama?
I’m frightened,
or I’m hungry,
or watch this really cool dive!

And now I wonder,
who is it
that hears my own distinctive cry for attention
and leaves her heart upon the beach
for me to find and know
she, too, is ever-vigilant,
always present,
always guiding,
always listening.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Photographing the moon

The moon bloomed orange
on the fifth of May
and all around the world
people stepped outside to watch
from parks and decks and fire escapes
from balconies and cars
from living rooms and porches,
talking in quiet voices,
singing the moon up
over the horizon
waiting as she burst into flame,
pouring liquid light
through all the windows and the trees,
down city streets and through skylights,
bathing the earth in reflected wonder
as she rose and whitened in the sky,

and everywhere the cameras
focusing, clicking,
whirring, flashing...

Here on the lagoon
the geese nod their heads in rhythm
as my neighbor strums his ukelele,
summoning the moon.
His Russian guest is asking,
what ISO? what exposure?
what focal length?

My iphone buzzes,
and my daughter has sent
a photo: there's our moon,
beaming through
her now much darker sky --
the self-same supermoon
on campus in Vermont --
and then, as I look up,
that first tiny bar of orange
peeps through the clouds
sending a larger echo to the water below:
Here it comes!
Here it comes!