C’est la vie, c’est la guerre. Such is life, such is war.

C’est la vie, c’est la guerre,
black and white,
right and wrong,
life and death,
always a coin with two sides,
flying in an arc,
golden glints catching the light,
hope spinning with chance
in the eternal game.

L’aissez faire,
taking it easy,
taking it as it comes,
each new day a fresh start
enticing us to play again,
to try our luck,
wishing for the best
while avoiding the rest.

Fair of face, full of grace
so the old rhyme goes,
youth now a figment of yesterday,
grace now a prayer
on whispered lips and whiskered chins,
golden memories, golden days
older ways and means,
nothing really as it seems,
good enough to get us by,
until the bye and bye.

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Reunion for the class of ’72

Reunion.
It rolls around
every year,
sooner than some would like,
reminding
how quickly time goes by.

Echoes of memories emerge
of teachers and coaches:
some good, some regrettable,
unforgettable images of yesterday,
moments in time that will never return,
when we, as children and teens,
actually walked to school
come sleet, snow or ice,
before it was hip to exercise,
before fear began to rule.
Neighborhoods where almost everyone
knew your family and your kin,
friends and relationships
we took for granted
searching for adulthood.

Our valedictorian bravely
asserted her choice of future,
facing down critics in a sea of blue and white
wishing her a different path,
choices Gloria Steinem continues to advocate.
Our class defiantly willed the pill
to the junior class,
a decision no less momentous,
no less complicated today.
We thought it was childhood we were leaving
in yesterday’s dust
of country roads and small towns
chasing adulthood and freedom
wherever they led.

We rushed to our futures
and found fate
waiting to teach us
lessons not written in books.
We thought winning defined the best,
whether scholar, athlete, vocalist or musician.
The challenge
to outdistance the rest
with the hottest date, the fastest car
and the appearance of money
was an illusion of life,
reality was yet to be learned.
For most of us, fate had other ideas.

Some found answers in faraway places:
fog covered mountaintops
slippery with snow,
across deep green seas
with white capped waves
or cities
climbing to the sky in shimmering towers of glass,
following roads of asphalt and concrete mazes.
Some, like me,
found happiness in
our own backyards and fields,
clicking our heals together and chanting
“There’s no place like home!”
No place like here.

We’ve survived jobs
that tried to smother us,
and debt that tried to crush us,
putting one foot after the other,
step by step with grit and determination,
sometimes sheer stubbornness,
day by day,
chasing the American Dream.
We survived the trials of raising children
wearing wrinkles and grey hair as badges of honor,
or hiding the damage as best as we can.
We’ve survived bodies
that came without warranties
with parts and hearts
that want to wear out
but we are still here.

Life has a way of showing us
how small we are
in the total picture,
that the only real winners
are the ones who survive.
That’s us! We are the winners,
the team that never gave up.
Our club is select, growing smaller each year.
All the more reason to raise our glasses with cheer.

Here’s to the class of ’72, winners all, far and near!
Toast us with water or soda, wine or beer!
We deserve this,
we are here!

The Gospel of Infinity

The abacus of time held a universe of planets and stars,
brightly colored orbs spinning while suspended
just like reality, one might suppose.mt
Yet in this room of infinite blue,
the surreal was palpable and alive with energy.

He had traveled each world,
walked their varied surfaces with care,
clothed himself in nature’s hand-me-downs
while protecting each fragile ecosystem.
He swam their waters and flew their skies,
bathing in dust storms like birds in the forest,
blown like a snowflake in crystallized winds,
adapting to each and every one.

Pulling his antique gold watch from his pocket of leaves,
he noted the time with a smile,
minutes and seconds mattered little to one as aged as he.
Instead of a photograph in the top of his timepiece,
it mirrored the Milky Way,
his favorite of all his destinations and travels,
full of mystery and promise that never failed,
delighting the explorer within.
Snapping the clock shut with a grin,
He remarked, “I sure do good work, if I say so myself”
then he turned and ceased to be here,
going there with a wink of his eye.

Imagine viewing life from that perspective,
with patience and the wisdom of the ages
instead of our impetuous and heated passions.

Imagine.

Persistence

 


Behind her the past rolled gently,
a landscape of green swells and sunlight
calling her sweetly,
reminding her she was just a breath away
from safety and security,
close enough to reach back for a touch of reassurance.
Nevertheless, she fought through gray uncertainty,
pushing beyond doubt, trusting herself.

She felt trapped in a spiral of time,
vines of the past ensnaring her feet and ankles
even as her arms stretched upwards,
fingers aching to grasp dreams glimpsed through broken skies.
Tearing away, stumbling forward step by step,
she approached her destiny, the holy grail for all who search
despite closed doors and ideas set in stone,
seeking paths only they can discern and follow.

The wind rose up, tugging her hair, whispering regrets,
lamenting low and deep of failure and sorrow
but it wasn’t her song.
Her melody sang lightly in her soul,
notes shimmering like beacons in the night.

Once again, she resisted the darkness
intended to turn her aside

She held the flame of her spirit cupped between her hands,
cherishing it, protecting it from careless thoughts and words;
a candle to guide her way.

Fatigue laid its hand on her shoulder,
offering comfort, rest and delay.
Once again she persisted, stubbornness lending strength.
Perseverance became her calling, her identity and name
as she journeyed to fulfillment,
her restless nature finding each achievement a paving stone,
creating the mosaic of her life.

In the beginning of her womanhood,
she had known few certainties,
a loving heart and curious mind
did not clearly direct her course or career.
She found herself along the way, closing the circle within
by completing herself, true to herself.
She became the woman she was always called to be,
finding voice for word and song unleashed in beauty and creativity.

Persistence and Perseverance, qualities of weeds and determined women
continually spring forth where least expected,
defiantly thriving despite the world they live in.

Nevertheless, wondrously persisting!

Stillness vs. Speaking

There is a time for reflection,
for the silence of inner searching,
praying for guidance before action
but certain truths shine brightly,
beacons in the night.
Evil succeeds
when good people do nothing.
Therefore, I speak.
Therefore I share
because I care
about my fellow man,
my country,
civil liberties and freedoms
extended to all,
never tools for evil and hatred.

I hear your discomfort
with my stand,
but comfort and quiet are sometimes
tools of inertia,
used to disadvantage others.

I cannot be still,
will not be still.
Choose your own path
as you will,
but freedom requires vigilance,
not isolation
on a far away hill.

I yearn for peace,
for love offered hand to hand,
not a hand out, but a hand up
to stand side by side.

While I dream, I stand.
I speak because I can
because I must,
a voice
for those who can’t or won’t,
following my heart, my guide
to do and be my best.
Like it or not,
it’s still my right.

What he or she wanted. 8-3-17

He wanted heaven on earth
but was satisfied with bits and pieces
gleaned from the world he lived in.
Riding away from toil and trouble
with the thrum of his Harley between his legs,
his lady snug behind.
No agenda ahead, no time clock,
just the sweet curve of pavement
hiding adventure just ahead,
adrenaline pumping his veins
and all the time he never had,
waiting round the bend.

She wanted it all,
it was part of her name, her personality
to forever quest for the shine and glitter
of the next best thing,
be it a grandbaby’s hug,
a vase of Queen Anne’s lace
or a walk along a moonlit beach.
Once in a while, prayers are actually answered,
she knew, and there was no point
in trying to hide from the creator
whose design she was.
Thus, she found her everything
like Dorothy of Oz, right in her own backyard
with the boy next door-well close enough!
She was content, living the adventure
unveiling itself a little each day.

The fingertip moon strummed its song on the lake

beneath a starry sky, a puffy, fluffy cloudy sky
misting the earth in droplets of fog.
Waves of shadow edged in froth
whispered their refrain,
rhythm and rhyme in a timeless race
up and down the beach.

The silver cusp cut tension’s thread,
the water rippling relaxed the mind
wiping it clean like tomorrow’s shores
yesterday erased as though
it never was.

Heart beats slow,
breathing too, as soul deep peace
blankets another weary child.
The crescent moon croons its lullaby,
melody playing in the waves,
serenading, consoling, comforting.
Blessing.

Up until now, the wind had been silent,
supporting without voice, watchful.
Restless movements disrupted sleep
as colors of lavender, pine green and blue
displayed under still closed lids.
This was when the wind sent her gift:
cedar carried lightly thru the air,
a smudge softly wafting in curls of scent
restoring peace
once more.
Blessing.

She’d been singing for months,

sending her siren’s call over beaches and pines,
following Canadian winds to hearts
that lay south.

Sometimes her song echoed,
sifting softly through
long green spruce needles,
caressing my dreams and soothing my soul,
all the while feeding my need
to return.

When at last I can wait no longer,
when my toes burn in summer heat
and I yearn for cold, deep waters,
thoughts begin to coalesce,
shaping desires into plans.

Not really believing,
even as items are checked from mental lists
and preparations are begun,
we pack our bags under cover of darkness,
in hopes of hiding our escape
from prying eyes.

I hear her singing
in tires upon the highway
insistently pulling us north,
a pilgrimage shared with strangers
moving quietly through dawn
masked with filmy grey clouds of rain
but nothing can dampen
my joy and excitement.

The long anticipated reunion of lovers
is poignantly classic,
running to the water,
greeting the wind and foamy waves
in a natural completion.

Think of me till we meet again!

I remember or I can’t remember. 7-20-17

I can’t remember the desperation that led a farm girl in France
to travel the ocean in search of a husband and home
far, far away in the wilds of Canada.

I can’t recall the poverty that led a woodsman
from Ontario to lumbering in northern Michigan,
to dance lithe and limber upon rolling logs
jammed in rolling waters.

Great grandfather’s ledger speaks of opportunity and risk,
a willingness to take a leap of faith when there’s no way back
and a glimmer of light ahead.

The voice of the past, written clearly and concisely
tells of debt and hard work, the first cabin and farm.
With humor it remembers great grandma too sick to go milk,
her husband kindly bringing the cow to the door
to ease her day.

Births and christenings, deaths and burials,
marriages and new beginnings,
acquisitions in columns measured
against income that was never enough,
reminding me I have a legacy of tenacity
running deep in my bones,
corded with sinews of faith and optimism.

I remember my parents, formed by the roaring twenties
and fired in the depression of the thirties,
surviving the 2nd world war and beginning anew
a life of their own,
more roots on the family tree,
more fruits the labor of their love.

Death continues to prune, allowing for fresh growth,
my story continuing in rings upon finger
and wrinkles around my eyes,
clear sighted vision of French blue,
watching today’s horizon for opportunity
as I see the next generation reach for the stars.

Saved Photo

Deb’s Morning Glory

Slow to grow,
the young vine sunk roots,
counterbalance to its upward climb.
Sky seeking, warmth loving,
determinedly tweeking,
new forms to entwine.
Base thickening as buds grow,
leaves waving to and fro
barometer for changing weather,
bursting into bloom
with a blessing of brilliant blue!
My windowsill greets me
with Morning’s Glory
and my heart is full of joy!
Thank you, Deb!