So, You fell ill,
Master of the Universe,
coughing like a limping diesel engine,
sneezing like a volcano at war with the world,
shivering like aspen trees, like recital knees, like
skin about to freeze.
And I take a breath and say “Why not?”
Why would You eschew what pulses through our veins,
what weighs on our lungs, what itches our eyes,
what makes us human, carnis?
After all, being ill isn’t being less, but
it’s a foretaste of death, a reminder that
You are sick with love.
Breathe, breath – together
these bespeak my being
life and death,
hope and despair,
comfort and trouble.
At the bottom and top of
each breath I breathe, in
cradling my death, I
receive and see whom
I am: neither
hero nor coward, neither
genius nor fool, neither
saintly nor diabolic but
both – in my between
inspiration and expiration.
Breathe. Breath. The ‘e’ is me.
Beauty bests me as
it vests me with eyes
seen by robin, whose
cocked head whips
mine round. It
unsettles me as it
wrestles me into
a garment called joy:
a toddler twists
a stalk explodes a bloom
and a preacher weeps the good news:
“finger to ear;
spit to tongue” among these
words, water, wonder.
There is power between
these two trees, where
I sit and ponder
Adam and Eve,
Earth and Life.
In this yard, cicadas sing the day
and crickets night
while quiet holds the between
that both settles and sends.
But now I sit – tree crowns intersect overhead
and under my feet roots intertwine.
I am held by these two friends:
sheltered above, buoyed below with
the earth beneath being Adam of another kind,
and I – a kind of earth, a child of life – am
grateful today to be between
earth to earth,
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust.
You are well named, Lake Ontario.
Diamonds grace your waves,
taking my breath away and
filling me with Spirit.
Your surface sports no
diamonds in the rough, but
diamonds enough for all.
And these glories are free –
not bought or sold or stolen.
These diamonds are magical, mystical, mysteria,
flying from wave to wave
they ground me on the water.
This lake is a font of Spirit,
a fountain of light, a sight which
will never leave me even while
leaving me transfixed.
This lake is called “Devil’s” but
at this moment it is a gateway to heaven.
Its sentinels are a stalwart frog,
a water snake who has perfected s’s,
guppies nibbling at my toes, and
a butterfly in buttery yellow so
stunning that it melts my heart.
I spent a good bit of time tonight
taking in this lake by light of fireflies.
My hope is that it has settled in
my soul so that when the time
comes to step through the
pearly gates, I’ll find them within.
Speak to me, Poem. You
are intimate with the
Muse, and I not. What is
her story? Does she desire
to scratch my surface? Is she
tracking me, like I her? Or
does she roll over in the morning
and find satisfaction enough in
breeze, mountain, crevice?
I weary of my own rhyme and so pine
for her tongue since mine is tired.
Poem, talk to the Muse and
tell her I sit now in silence – my
pen aching to scratch her surface,
while I – well, I itch.
I sit at the stern of my sailboat.
Ducks float here and there. I
speak to them, and they to me, but
in duck tongue. So, no luck there
but still the night is magical.
Masts tick-tock like metronomes,
and the lap of water
against the hull whispers “satis est…”
Night lights are so soft and the
sounds are scrumptious. The
rock of the boat is hypnotic.
Here at the stern I am
the word heard for those
with ears to hear is:
The water is glacier green in this lake called Pink.
Three turtles graced our field of vision as we
traced its circumference. This lake
tells the tale of a day when sea
covered what is now
trees and rocks and the history
that followed that flood.
I look around and see mystery:
people smiling at vistas,
fish at water’s edge,
sun blessing faces – and
joy arrives. It just does.
We work so hard to keep
death and sorrow at bay
that some days I wonder
whether we miss joy in
our striving… but joy
comes to us unawares: in
an unexpected call,
a smile that knows more,
an offer to help and
a willingness to be helped.
Joy comes in green and blue and turquoise.
Joy comes in the leisurely roll of a turtle,
turning my world round.
Today I heard a leaf sing, seeing
green grow lips as the earth
took voice in our garden.
It sang to me that no matter
my state of mind, I can always
lay down in the grass, where
ants would take care of my cares; where
grass would loosen my knot in life; where
the sky would bend down and stroke
my cheek – blue on my ever evolving
summer colour; and the wind, the wind
would refresh and reflesh me with memories of
cool, and sail, and a silent flight by grace
of a glider so many years ago. As I looked up
my time in the sky came again to mind
there on the ground, surrounded by a voice
that sang to me: “Never enough, never enough –
of Creator, creation, creativity! Do not quit,
but do pause, and breathe…”