Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Death of an Orchid

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Paper thin, dry as dry,
a remnant of beauty that was,
dropped so lightly with little fanfare,
shed one by one, stripped.
This faded death, this shriveling loveliness,
a necessary verse in the total song of new life
that lies in winding roots and soil,
ready to rise again.
Dying–the necessary part of a resurgent life.


I Only Went in for Dogfood

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And I really did not buy these beauties, but I strongly considered it! Aren’t they cute? They took me down memory lane.

My mom used to get hundred’s of wee chicks like this at a time and raise then from chick to pullet to layers to meals (the sad part).

I loved the babies and always wanted to keep one as a pet. But then they would grow into brainless egg-layers that meant chores. My love, sadly, lacked lasting power.

When they were awesome layers, it made my life difficult because, typically, I would not bring enough baskets to the henhouse for egg gathering. So, being ever creative, I started firing the extras at the henhouse wall. Target practice. Okay, and I may have fired a few at unsuspecting biddies.
Problem: The hens started eating their own eggs! Now why would they do that? It was a mystery for about two seconds till the wall check. The yellow streaks were a dead giveaway. I was busted. Big time.

I don’t remember what the punishment was. I may have even gotten a spanking. At least, I should have. And I only sank into that particular life of crime one season. I had learned my lesson.

Copper did not fare as well with his chicken sin. When our dog took off with a pullet in his mouth, Annie-Oakley-Mom got the shotgun and aimed over his head to scare him. Her scare was a perfect hit. The leg healed, and he never stole another chicken. (She was much kinder with me, thankfully.)

Like Copper, I learned my lesson and never took up egg pitching again, but I found other areas in which to creatively perfect sin.



You can’t do enough right.
You can’t wishful-think the dark edges of reality away—
it will come.
It will come unbidden,
unrehearsed and unwanted.
And it will sting like the devil.
But though I walk in the shadows,
a holy light prepares at least one step,
maybe even two.
And I stumble,
not predicting safety, not earning grace,
just grasping in desperate reliance on a sure Lord
who even dwells in desperate and dark places.

I Thought

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I thought I heard you breathe, but it was leaves rustling in the wind—simply high pressure and low, changing places, stirring up desert sands.

I thought I heard you laugh; but peering through the trees, it was only spring melt of winter’s snow, filling and rushing along a creek bed.

I thought I saw your shininess for a split second; but iridescence, refraction, rainbow colors, caressing puffs of condensation are products of the hydrologic cycle—a simple lesson that any school child should know.

I thought I felt your touch, warm and wet, a comfort; but it was simply my dog nuzzling for attention, sharking me with his long collie muzzle, only slightly awake to my stinging need.

It was easier when I was a child—faith, that is—easier before the jading.

Easier before complications,
distractions, and disappointments.

But then I thought . . . and I wondered what happened to the wonder.

And I thought a thought.

So I listened to hear.
I looked to see,
I reached to touch; and in that moment,
a fragile moment,
I felt
the wonder coming back.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Splinters of God-light

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Walking on these shores of darkness,
fear lapping at my feet–
feet raw and bloody from the sharp rocks of circumstance,
the slicing of life–
each sucking footprint fills black with liquid foam;
but with a will, I bend toward light.
Step by step, I feel for light, searching the weightlessness of hope,
for the splinters of God-light.
And it helps to open my eyes.
The splinters are like glass, beautiful but piercing painful.
And it helps to open my eyes,
for there is forever light above this worrying wave and cloud.
“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”
~Anne Lamott
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Sonnet of Sonnets

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To write a pithy sonnet takes a plan,
the line, the rhyme, the breaks, they all must be
the form from dead guys in antiquity.
So no free verse (I’m sorry Walt Whitman).
The form supports the content if it can.
Italian breaks at eight, apparently;
the thought in six fulfills the finale,
iambic five is obvious in the scan.
So here’s the break at eight (I said before.).
The reader preps to see in this sestet
some brilliant verse that’s terse and rhymed; therefore,
I best press on before I soon forget
the point of this most helpful exercise:
To end with rhyming couplets. Thus, SURPRISE!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Far and Near


Why does the bloated Biafra baby bring a tear,
and the hungry eye-cries of Haitian earthquake victims urge us to tear
our wallets from tightly held fists,
when the man,
the man with the sign in the planter area by the on-ramp,
we assume has a lesser need–that is, if we see him.
The lady,
the lady trying to sell the grubby Beanie-baby at the entrance to the grocery store
does not deserve eye contact,
hand contact,
I-know-you-exist contact,
and we breeze by without even a “No, thank you”–that is, if we see her at all.
Are the far needs greater than the near?
Or just easier to get over? Unchanged.
Are foreigners more worthy than neighbors?
Or is it just safer to care in one fell feel-good swoop
than love thy ever-present neighbor as ourselves?

New to the Family

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I have a new orchid to add to my growing plant family. This ruby-redness called to me.
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Waiting for a Turn

                                                           Red-tailed hawk

This guy seems to be scouting, possibly waiting for a turn at the water cooler. Hmm, maybe not.


Around the Watercooler

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Ah, those gossips, congregating round the water cooler. Wonder what they are talking about now

Look to Remember

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How can I forget
when ruby ripples in indigo call me back
from the tension in my neck, the pain in my head, the serial disasters
broadcast daily–but
how can I forget
when lapping dogs and lap cats bring a deep smile,
and flighty birds, all color and call, pose for pics then burst to the sky
forgetting I’m a friend, and I laugh,
and cirrus fingerprints covering the blue call me back
from the chaos that seems more real than the sacrifice,
from the distance than seems impossible to bridge–but
how could I forget?
I will look and remember.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Love Me with Your Words

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Love me with your words.
You feel it in your heart and know it in your head,
but across miles, I can’t feel it.
I can’t feel it in pithy quotes and Youtube samples,
FB funnies and brain-teasing games.
I can’t feel it in expensive gifts or discount flowers.
Silence is a wall, trapping in and trapping out,
and I can’t read your mind, so
love me with your words.

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