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Archive for June, 2019

Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts. (Ken Page)

Enough

Enough, such a curious word

to ponder on a solstice day.

Enough light, dark, pain, success,

orchids, and weeds. Illness and health.

Does enough thrive on my dinner table

or include food for a child I will never meet?

Does enough stop at my ego or begin there?

Perhaps, this is not a question to answer.

But, a journey to live.

 

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There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking. (Theodore Rubin, psychiatrist and writer)

Fog in sky, fog in mind and heart

Bare, black trees stand out inside a low cloud. Fog.

Headlights hide the vehicles they lead

 

until they arrive close enough to be

seen by other drivers.

 

In political fogs fact and factoid blur. Alternative facts,

lies that wear well-constructed masks. Fear wins.

 

Each lie repeats often enough to be used as light beams for

followers. The mask asks folk to scoff non-believers.

 

And the non-believers respond with taunts, point out stupidity,

lack of logic, inconsistency. A no-win war begins.

 

In the natural world, sun, blue, and clouds reappear.

Black trees remain leafless. Headlights become optional,

 

a choice. Drivers can see without them. Can eyes open

and human roots join for change? Must fog live in all seasons?

 

Or can sun live despite fog? As headlights point out need,

can drivers carrying hope respond with an ear instead of censure?

 

Yes, I hear where you stand, those who would

destroy the poor and give to the rich, but I disagree.

 

Peace for the world.

Eventually. Please.

 

(originally published in For a Better World 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The one thing I need to leave behind is good memories. (Michael Landon)

So many things clutter our attic. I find my wedding dress, yellowed with age, and remember a poem I wrote after my parents died:

LAST VISIT TO THE HOUSE I CALLED HOME

Dust encases the old homestead.

Encyclopedias from 1963,

boxes of unused pencils,

 

skeins of yarn with faded fifty-cent

mark-down stickers,

a broken clock.

 

Most of the saved items are gone,

Dumpster and shredder items wait.

Bags of cancelled checks

 

on Mom’s closed account.

She died years ago.

Dad’s will to maintain dissolved, too.

 

In the back yard his loss leaked

into the naked, open space

leaving it flat, withered.

 

Before the property grew sullen,

I planted seeds for annuals that sprouted into

a tiny-stemmed miniature garden.

 

They dwarfed next to tomato vines

Dad tied to hand-cut posts.

Sunlight coaxed

 

white blossoms into green and then red fruit.

Inside the house Mom made soups that

took all day to blend the chicken

 

with onions, carrots, celery

into a fragrance that filled every nook.

I try to recall an ancient, lingering scent

 

but it was taken for granted

too long ago. I find my wedding gown

in an eaves closet,

 

zipped in plastic.

I had changed my name and moved on.

The yellowed department-store receipt

 

remains attached to the wire hanger.

I wipe off the grime and carry what-was-me

into what-is-me now.

 

The door locks for the last time.

The sun leaves a sliver of itself

on a pink horizon,

 

a visible color beyond reach,

like memories, both dark and light,

locked inside things left behind.

 

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Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody gets there unless everybody gets there. (Virginia Burden)

Among Facebook’s satirical cartoons, pet pictures, brags and complaints I see a post that jolts me. Someone I know has lost her home to a tornado. Several other people declare themselves safe.

Global warming. Yes. It affects weather. That cause can’t be abandoned. Cleanup help for victims remains. Now.

My contribution seems small because it is small. Yet if it helps another living creature it isn’t nothing. The whole isn’t up to me—not if I’m on a team for the good of all.

A small stained-glass angel picture hangs from my back window. Rain mists our backyard. The grass is a swamp. The angel reminds me that blessings remain. Somehow.

Suffering is part of the human experience. Peace fits in the picture when someone, somewhere brings a moment of light long enough for other individuals to see that light exists. For anyone. For everyone. As soon as we learn to share a goodness no one individual can own. Sounds simple.

Too bad simple isn’t easy. It is possible…

 

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