Tag Archives: poetry

Perception

You ask me to think about paint colors,
and the soft gray you’ve chosen.
The hue of it is blue, but it reflects
a green during midday, when the sun is highest.

Blue is a color that knows no season, and paints the infinite sky

while green implies the growth of things – dotting where the eye sees.

Grey, itself – like clouds obscure the sky or fog obfuscates the landscape.

Such a color – gray/grey – spelled two ways yet has a continuum of sound transitioning between “a” and “e”

– in both, the sum is intermediate.

I slow down the diphthong
and try to catch the tones between the chromatic versions.
I voice this change in sound color aloud, with the intention
to consider them without interference.
You give me a sideways glance
and say, ”No, I meant, how do they look?”

******

A poem originally written in 2015 during NaPoWriMo, dusted off and reworked here.

Seasons

Standing next to the brick wall to gain a view on an edge,
I see seedlings of a future beginning to assert their presence in a distant hedge.
A clutch of vines hold firm to their path in runners along the wall.
Green patches vie in the foreground, soon to fill the emptiness with crawl.
It all fosters a belief in rebirth. Yet that requires a conviction in the death of things in every place
when what happens is metamorphosis on a pace approaching eye level.
I see a world that sleeps, then grows to the horizon.
In ten years or so, this garden will all be changed and enlightened
from point-to-point, the severity of existence rearranged.
The florets, grasses, leaves, and life with its meandering display,
just as the vine that climbs the wall wrestles with the moment,
the energy of infinity wins out as nature foments.

*Photograph taken by me in March 2019 at the Gardens of Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Ireland.

Now is the time for harvests

Now it is time for harvests and from this I glean:

My small garden teems with tomatoes and poblanos, the plants endured through the dry spells of July and August – seeming to hope against events that their fruit would would come forth.

The window box of basil and sage and thyme is overflowing and beginning to seed, whilst the onions (shallots) share their home with clover – ever-present even after my attempts to weed.

This is a testament to their community and synergy, and I have learned to let them be.

The linden and pear are beginning to yellow and will soon fade and wear – leaving bones to bear the brunt of winter’s ungracious wind, the rattling leaves entrusted to another’s care.

By and by, more near than far – time will rest in plentitude with harvests of what I’ve tended to. I’m hopeful that my days were seeds – that the times I grew and raised and reaped met others’ needs or made amends, or shared a bitter cup whilst making friends.

There’s always one more

In the still life of a stand of flowers, beauty only lasts as petals are reaching their horizon. In a second, they fall and fade from memory.

I pick just one in that moment.  On another day it will grow elsewhere, the memory of the first a propagation of seed and light.

In the waning moments of a day, there is a gasp of light before the darkness draws down the shade.

There are many more specks after it fades. A memory in one more snapshot.

Getting to know the sky requires the memory of space, the distance between and among the stars.  Finding one and remembering where it is.

But if you misplace it, no matter,  there’s always one more.  

Anxiety

I worked in the garden today, removing the troublesome weeds.
The apprehension of a thistle, dug deep with a trowel,
broad leaves and thorns that won’t concede.

I dug through the garden today, pulling up my anxiety.
The crabgrass and chickweed spread in the clover,
rooted deep with angst and unease.

I weeded the garden today, prying the nightshade free.
My concerns over nettle and henbit and dock
disquieted my plain revery.

I cleared out the garden today, the soil freshly turned to see
the divots and pockets where once were the nutsedge
now awaiting new flowers and seed.

Astigmatism

I take my glasses off, polish them in the tail of my shirt,
hoping to clear what confounds and conceals.
A bit more vision, a little less dirt
might give my field of view a broader appeal.

Yet, leaders’ actions are smudged – 
their intentions are keen.
Religion’s bright faces are blurred or unclean
and creation’s bright mornings revel unjudged.

The devilish details are hidden from view,
the rhyming and reason seem random and slant.
Perhaps my prescription is old, needs renewed;
I can’t glean the matter between Hume or Kant.

I polish the lenses, each hot breath I wipe,
viewing the world with horizons in fog.
The boundaries less of a contrast in stripes;
this poem, just maybe, a means to unclog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In kind

We were asked some time ago
to cover our ears and let it go.
As sounds of untruths filled the air
boasting promise (false), laid bare.
Asking us to ignore it all
to hear no evil was the call.

Then one day, we’re cautioned: wise
to keep our distance so no one dies,
to simply cover our mouths to spare.
We close salons and bars, daycare
so those at risk among us most
won’t pay excessive, deadly costs.

And whilst we’re dealt pandemic blows,
mankind’s poor character flaws disclose
an image in the mirror mulled.
Never spoken, but we’ve culled
an awful sinful, biased slant
that fills a cup we won’t decant.

And here we are today with this:
in basic calls we are remiss.
Simple facts to call out lies
and to hold account the ones who try.
To care enough to save the weak
and act on what our family speaks.

No politics that I can name
outweighs this simple, common claim:
mere decency should be our aim.

The wisdom of stick people

We make a step.

Then two. But never alike. There is so much space and planar geometry to consider.

Those drawn from points and lines, making conclusive statements from their biases in plain “right and wrong”

If x then y. Then straight ahead.

They are the ones inconsiderate of the spherical or the enveloping things about intervening axes and overlapped arcs.

Sometimes our way becomes brambled and thick with their branches.

It’s a crowd that crossed our path with felled reasoning, their limbs mangled in the present disagreements, All attempting to move forward.

We can go around it if we choose. We can scale the brush if we desire.

We may assist the ones blocking with compassion, convincing them to move another way.

Yet, the wisdom of stick people is to pile on, despite all admonishments, losing ourselves in the entanglements, rather than consider the spatial options.

We make a step, then two…

A Violette

This poem was partly inspired by the song “Arthur McBride”, a protest Irish folk song of sorts that describes a chance meeting during a walk. After listening, you may find yourself humming the tune as you read.

One morning while walking my big yellow dog,
strolling the sidewalk and whistling a song,
the sun creeping slow and the sound of a frog
moaning and croaking, forewarning.

Coming towards us, two men in red caps
and a little boy pulling a wagon in back
I nodded hello, with a smile and a snap.
The sunlight was waking and yawning.

Hello there, my good friend, spare us some time
to explain our day’s mission – the work it is prime.
Our leader needs your vote in this political clime.
The lib’rals are gathering and swarming.

He’ll keep us all great and help us to win.
He is the best president that ever has been.
He’s building a wall, and he’s scourging the sins.
We think he is righteous and charming.

But what has he done, I asked in reply.
He’s lied to the congress and voters alike.
He insults hero’s families and impeachment decries.
He’s neither so righteous nor charming.

He fancies himself a dictator of sorts,
thinks he’s above the law with contempt for the courts.
Others who govern enable this farce –
afraid to lose power, suborning.

Also, he’s ill-prepared to lead us through strife;
He doesn’t know science or healthcare, he swipes
At the laws we enact for our planet, our lives.
We should be outraged and swarming.

He’s not empathetic for his fellow men,
He worships the dollar, he wholly pretends.
My dog shows more care and concern (compassion)
And then the dog barked without warning.

The red-hatted men stood there scowling, their sprog
was contentedly sitting and petting the dog
(Who sat and enjoyed the attention he brought).
The sun it was higher and fawning.

You see that he’s happy and very content,
For the kindness that your boy has given to him.
He’s ever so loyal, a true life-long friend
and doesn’t annoy with his barking.

Let those who divide for political gain
adopt a philosophy that doesn’t give blame.
We need to avoid the one-upmanship game
The stakes are too high for this scorning.

Now fifteen weeks hence, I am here to recall
this chance encounter that we had – one and all,
the red-hatted men, their ward and my dog
stood on the corner mid-morning.

And now we can no long gather for chat.
The boy he succumbed to a virus, and that
has enveloped a world that was angry and fat.
Now we are all sad and in mourning.

While strolling this evening and walking my dog –
Alleyways quiet, no crowds there agog.
My canine looked back to the noise from a frog
moaning and croaking, forlornly.

April 2020

This is a time of blossoms.
Each day, a petal grows to hide the thorns.
The wind-kicked clouds cry onto the pavement
where people walked in groups
chattering just a few weeks ago.

The clatter and rumble of man’s progress replaced
as the thunder ricochets into the emptiness of night,
followed at dawn by singing birds
among our edifices
from their nests embedded in the steel and concrete.

Mountains breathe the clearing air in a respite
from our industriousness.

We mourn what we have lost,
both the temporary and the dear.

Yet as we cover our mouths in silence,
our eyes are open to see a blossoming world
giving so much in our absence.