*Crisp. 1-10-2019

Crisp.
Freshly pressed pants
sharply creased before relaxing
into a day of ups and downs
becoming softly wrinkled frowns.

Crisp.
Folded stationery
eased from the gilt box,
teasing floral notes
for special correspondence
between good friends,
heart to heart.

Crisp.
Fresh bacon in the morning
breaking into bits,
delightful crumbles
with steaming eggs,
breakfast perfection.

Crisp
the tone of voice behind words
speaking of barriers and distance
frosted with a chill for emphasis.

Crisp
The snap and crack of sheets in the wind,
trapping scents to carry nighttime dreams
over field and forest to unknown paths
lit by will-o-the-wisps,
fireflies and fairy lamps.

Crisp
My desire and energy as I arise
full of intention and focus,
poetry replete without excess,
a dream complete.

A sunny day in January is a treat for Michiganders perhaps more so because of its rarity. When allowed a full nights sleep,

I feel vibrantly alive and ready to live the day. Even on Sunday, a traditional day of rest, there are things to be accomplished.

There is beauty to admire, gifts and people to be thankful for and the challenge to be present for others as we share our lives.

I hope your day is/was amazing as well!

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Legerdemain

Legerdemain is a skillful art,
a misleading subterfuge,
a sleight of hand
in a mental game
I play with myself.
I should catch the trick,
the point where I slip
sliding feet first into delay
before the abrupt stop
of no progress at all.

It’s a game of procrastination
that I promise myself
I will never play again,
yet I do, allowing myself
to play the shell game
for just a moment
sure of winning
this time.

This time
I want to follow the flare
of energy and light,
the lure of accomplishment,
the satisfaction of a job well done,
the burn of mind and muscle well spent,
satisfaction earned
with new skills learned
and obstructing clutter removed.

All I need is perseverance,
the will to seek answers
one step, one day at a time.
All I need is focus
to resist the seduction
of the status quo
and the time lost
one grain at a time,
so slowly at first,
almost imperceptible among the many
then racing to a finish,
the hourglass empty.

I want to drain my glass joyfully
then refill it again and again
with each new adventure,
each new day,
unfazed by distractions
and the stuff of life
that leaves me thirsting and unsatisfied.

Clarity.
Focus.
Action.
These are my directives,
my mantra that sings
with each sunrise.
My only goal
is to meet each sunset content,
blessed by the last cup of wine
with my love,
satisfaction mine
with the day well spent.

Sleigh bells. 12-20-18

Echoing distant yet hauntingly close,
the ringing of sleigh bells
tickled my ears.
It’s been years since Uncle Charlie passed
yet I saw him tall against the snowy hills,
bundled thickly in woolen winter plaid,
vigorously shaking those big brass bells
a smiling imp of mischief,
his grin from ear to ear,
those famous Nelson ears,
as much a family legacy
as his humor.

He always had a joke for his great nieces and nephews,
always urged us on to a second cookie
or helping of ice cream
as if daring mothers to deny his hospitality.
He’d grown up on a fruit farm
when horses were standard transportation,
those bells part of his holiday celebration,
waiting for us to ask questions
so he could tell stories
of how it used to be.

The bells rang again
as his sleigh flew from the barn to the lane!
Merry Christmas, Uncle Charlie!
He’d have a great ride, I was sure
as my heart lifted high as the moon in the sky.
Old memories rose pungent from cedar and snow
as clear as stars hung from holiday thoughts
It’s true what they say,
all hearts do come home
at Christmas!

Strangers in an Elevator

On a normal day, in her normal world
birds flew skyward borne on autumn breezes,
earthward gliding on gentle thermals.
Part of her longed to be back on the farm
grounded securely between sundown and dawn.
Instead she reached for the circle marked up
and pushed the digits for her stop.

It rose smoothly
accompanied by the whoosh
of piped air and canned music
until her stomach hit her lungs as it lunged to a stop
with bells, whistles and flashing lights.
Sliding doors revealed another passenger entering,
a man who stood forward and to her left,
a cushion of space surrounding each.

Three more floors,
a short hop of eternity,
as the elevator faltered to a halt.
Now anxiety flowed instead of song
with it’s own dimension of time.
Lights dimly lit, reflected frustration
on two silent faces held in place.

He punched the dead buttons, in precise, clipped irritation
then resigned himself into a lean against the opposite wall,
speaking for the first time.
“This happens all the time, some glitch no one can ever find.”
He smiled wryly and spoke of basketball with his kids
as she in turn, told stories of her forty acre yard.
Both revealing where their hearts rested
without divulging secrets,
the essence of the day slipping away,
stripped away to a world of only two,
forging a friendship of necessity inside a metal prison.

They heard the hum of life return,
a pulse surrounding before shuddering
in motion beneath their soles, the hitch resolved.
Tension faded, an ephemeral ghost of emotion
now shaded with relief as their journey resumed.

They were quiet again,
slipping back into shells of personality
naturally resuming lives no longer paused.
Their eyes met, matched by shy smiles
and a nod as they parted,
heading for life beyond open doors.

You don’t have to believe me

I believe in simple things
like God above and the devil below,
love that conquers all
and hope sustaining through hard times.

I believe the sun will rise each morn
and set each night despite tearful fears,
that winds will blow both rain and snow
and nature laughingly has the last word.

I look for kindness in the human heart,
disappointed but not daunted
when reality fails expectation.
I find love in unexpected places,
sometimes tethered sometimes free,
gloriously blooming like flower and tree,
showing resilience in every season
changing according to need.

You don’t have to believe me.
My feelings aren’t hurt
by endless various insights
grown and shaped in other gardens.

I shall rise from my farm
and turn my face to the sun,
letting my hair flow in the breezes.
I shall hold one hand firmly in mine,
feet planted against storm and tempest.
I shall resist weedy thoughts and persist,
thriving in the shelter of my mind.

The Nature of a Lake

The nature of a lake is resiliency,
becoming all things to all seekers.
Small and intimate while clouds obscure dawn,
fishermen delight in morning’s edge,
a blue display of watery playgrounds:
a lake is the master of change,
the holder of time and recall.

I wonder her thoughts
at floats, rafts and tubes arrayed
in all colors and sizes, checked and bedecked.
bobbing in the water and bouncing in waves,
as jet skis race and motor boats speed,
Yesterday seems a simpler time and a slower pace.

Through out it all, the lake reflects,
calmly placid and serene.
She gives the gift of peaceful mornings
and beachside coffee,
open air lunches and escapades,
afternoons for books and impromptu naps,
nighttimes of storms and rain sung dreams.
She offers opportunity laced with imagination,
and quiet inspiration,
defining mystery with her mood
and inclination.

The lake gathers her fog for the evening,
shrouds her shoulders in evening mist.
settles her skirts with scalloped fringes
waiting for the night song of insects and frogs
to begin their closing farewell.
She sleeps, in the manner of nature resting,
recharging for a tomorrow she cannot see
but will be ready for as always.

Skirling

Skirling music rises and falls,
notes hang on wisps of fog
the way pipes wail on the wind,
dodging branches rain wet
and green mossy logs.

You inhale as bellows breathe,
a constant hum and thrum,
an undercurrent of droning;
groans moaning through mist
as notes make melody
weighted with truth.

You feel it chill skin,
plucked and puckered in goosebumps,
recognizing the call bone deep
like shadows called from years of sleep,

You hear with ears ringing,
ancestors silent yet singing thru time,
answering without words
to challenge and response,
to grief and sorrow,
love and loss on the air,
lingering.

Hallowed silence follows
the haunting whirl of music,
birds ceasing their song.
Water stumbles over stone,
flowing tears that cleanse and renew.
Time paused begins again.
I catch my breath, remembering.
A sense of belonging settles within,
restored.

*The Greater Good of Gossip 6-21-2018

In the fine art of social discord,
gossip is the tool of choice
for the passive aggressive,
striving to distance themselves
from nasty little arguments
and dirty disagreements.

Slippery words whispered slyly
behind the scenes,
filter through repetition
like water through a screen.
What will remain of truthful grains
hidden amid the grit of innuendo
and the soft film of polluted thought?

Gossip masks intent with misinformation,
hiding originators in the crowd of repeaters,
clouds of ambiguity providing plenty of cover
in broad open blue skies of deniability.
Untraceable,
laced with mocking eyes shielding intent,
lashed with black,
mascara smudged and running
down an innocent face,
tear tracked, side-whacked.
Politicians know it’s value,
employing its silver blade
to skewer, maim and destroy the unwary,
leaving it behind in yesterday’s news,
yesterday’s trash gone in a flash.

Gossip is perfect,
good not to be confused with godliness.
After all, weapons are judged by effectiveness
rather than the soul they lack.