Sunday, January 24, 2010

Musings from the Snow

Yesterday morning, while it was still dark, I stood with my nose almost touching the glass door to better make out the white cover on the ground. Finally, and gradually, as the light grew, it was a breathtaking moment of sheer ecstasy. Four inches of snow lay on the ground, pristine, crystalline, exquisite. Some years we get no snow at all, so it's an event when our beautiful grasslands and mountains get a heavy snowfall. I could barely look away from the window. And the dogs were wild with joy. Gracie, who almost disappears in the snow, pounced and bounced, thrilled when she could make the snow fly with her feet. Such fun. It didn't take long, however, for the melt to begin, and by late afternoon, most of it was gone. But oh, how magical while it lasted!

This quote came to my attention recently: "Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal into the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo." It does feel a little like that sometimes, but more often I feel as though I have been given an astounding gift when I receive feedback from someone who has been touched by one of my poems. Poetry is not everyone's cup of tea, of course, and for many years it was only a casual interest of mine. But I have come to love and respect the impact that a well-written poem can have on one's perspective on life. It allows us to look at something familiar in a whole new way, and to let the marvelous language we share open us to new emotion and understanding. What I attempt to do in all my work is to make poetry accessible and enlightening. Otherwise, why bother?

I'm going back to gaze at the mountain, all dressed in white! Cheers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cycle

having let go
her brittle autumn glitter
the sycamore shivers
in a winter dress
white bones bleak
as a ribcage
waiting in the void
for the turned-in earth
to waken and dress itself
once more

Friday, January 15, 2010

Please help!

Dear friends, I trust you have been as moved as I, watching the horrible news from Haiti. If you have not already done so, I urge you to help the relief effort in whatever way you are able. There are many fine charities, American Red Cross, UNICEF, church aid programs (just be sure that when you give it is through a legitimate channel) but money is what is most needed now. You've probably seen "Text 90999" advertised to donate $10 through your cell phone bill. Please join me in sending whatever you can to help this devastated country begin the terrible task of recovery. Thanks. The poem below woke me in the night, though mere words cannot convey the reality.

Lament

the ground twists
sickeningly
with timeless equanimity,
a natural occurrence
in the planetary construct,
unconcerned
that we will not be able
to comprehend, the devastation
too complete.

the family of earth weeps
that all has been taken
from those who had nothing,
to heap upon the afflicted
a new portion of torment,
leaving an ocean of primal grief
to lap at a crumbled shore
as though nothing had changed,

don’t look away –
stare into the fractured night
where even the trees cry out,
heartbroken.
watch in silent disbelief,
as if the earth had disowned
a whole people
where forever only suffering
will survive.

don’t turn away –
look, you recognize them,
they are us, they are us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OK, I admit it. For all the years that I taught classes and seminars in "Change Management", I have become more change-averse than I ever thought possible. Today really confirmed that. Tom and I went to Best Buy, and though I won't bore you with the ugly details, there were alien words like "router", "wireless" and "network" involved. We, of course, ended up buying more than we planned, but only because the nice boy in the blue shirt assured us that we wouldn't be happy settling for less. At any moment, I expected to hear a PA announcement say "Geezer-assist on aisle 3!" Now, in a former life, Tom was a computer wizard, but now not so much, and though I have never been even close, I do have a nubbin of knowledge that just lets me mess up at a deeper level. It's positively frightening! We'll see if our new high-speed router improves our lives in every imaginable way. I'm running as fast as I can, but my high-speed days are behind me...of this I'm pretty certain!

End of whine!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Still Perfect After All These Years

moon sometimes known as blue,
held above by the barest thread
of spider web silk
setting my window ablaze
with the hopeless perfection I so envy,
just as thin and beautiful as ever
inspiring romance even in your
old age

no one tires of looking at you,
though by now we should be jaded
with your predictable appearance,
mirrored on water, gleaming over
a field of snow, teetering on
a mountain edge, you make us breathless
each time just as the first

no one cries ‘can’t we have a newer moon?’
no one deplores your sameness
or wishes you just a bit larger or smaller
you have not become irrelevant to our lives
just because we know you so well.
no one needs more than one moon,
do they?

Another Year Packed Away

Well, the tree is undecorated and bagged and stored once again in the garage, looking a little like Darth Vader in it's all-encompassing black bag. The precious ornaments lovingly hand-painted so many years ago by Tom's mother are carefully padded in their coffee cans and put away. Most of the traces of the holidays are gone, except for a container of evil cookies that I feel obligated to get rid of asap!

What lives on are the little moments that made this year unique from all the others. It was quieter than usual, no guests on Christmas Day, but daughter Linda and her husband, Gene, came a few days later. They are photographic artists, quite extraordinary in their talent (check out their website: socalsunshineproductions.com) and we spent most of a day driving around to some beautiful venues in our area where they took many pictures of Tom and me. It was fun, and they were able to make us look pretty good! Pure genius!

Unfortunately, not every memory of this year will be a good one. Christmas Eve my great-grandson James, (Linda's son Matt's little six year old) was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and is in Loma Linda Medical Center receiving chemo for the next 5-6 weeks. The prognosis is pretty good, although this is an unusual type for a child to have. It's a hard road for such a little guy to walk, and I would appreciate you keeping him in your thoughts.

The quiet nature of this holiday has allowed me to spend time writing, which is so nourishing to me. One recent poem is here...hope you enjoy it.