Monday, September 26, 2022

Tenacious Kindness

Tenacious kindness, sometimes only as thin as a spider web thread amid the tangles of what is worst in us, weaves together the fabric of what is best about us.

Me, 2020+/-

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Hearty Steward

I'm stewing
Not savoring
Not flavoring
Not favoring this mixture of feelings
that bubble up
and bubble under.

I could turn off the flame that feeds the simmer,
but then I wouldn't get the full bodied experience
of a rich hearty stew!

But I am not food for thought,
and I am not a pot.

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.

I am not carrots, potatoes, peas, tomatoes cooked down to sauce,
I am not a stew.
I am not all the lives I might have lived, either.
I am me, and you are you.

Let the stew thicken by evaporation for a while,
then recover. Lower the flame.
As the hours go by,
Let all the thoughts and concerns take their turns in the changing heatscape.
Eventually, remove the lid and set it aside.
Capture the nuances of scents and flavors as they rise.

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
A preparer's prayer for presence.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Now and Then the Bumblebee

I watched a bumblebee

in the paloverde tree

sampling sugars from small yellow flowers.

And for a while 

there was no history

except as regarded the lineage of the bee.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Close Muted

Office building
I am in
has a win-
dow that doesn't
I hear birds chirping in the tree,
muted by double paned glass, I see
them jump and flit from ground to branches
and sing sparrow songs so thoroughly.
Maybe they have found renewed voices
discovering options for more creative choices
in the year and a half-plus that they've been unhampered
by our relentless human noises.
I wish I could open the window and hear them completely.
and listen all day as they sing so freely.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

A Picnic

Abandoned wheelhouse,

hot humid day.

Captain of the ship (a boat with a shade awning) is on the shore of the lake

smoking a cigarette.

The crew of two (the wife and the daughter) are lugging the lemonade and the beer and bag of sandwiches and snacks through knee deep muddy water

to ankle-deep

to wet sandy feet

to the blanket he laid down on somewhat soppy Bermuda grass.

The flies on alert,

the mosquitoes’ flight-pitch elevating,

a puff of smoke disorients them

but only momentarily.

“You shouldn’t smoke!”

comes the call from just up-shore,

from a kid with a stick poking holes in the mud.

“It scares away the bugs,” says the captain with a stain-toothed smile.

The picnic is ready.

The cigarette is stubbed out.

The eating commences.

The ants began marching

when the blanket went down.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Treetops and Rooftops

Out my kitchen window is a lovely eastern golden morning view of treetops and rooftops
that sometimes actually glisten.
and then, of course, as I knew when I made the decision to live there,
the inevitable relationship with the alley.
It’s an alley; people use it as a bypass or a hiding place.
This morning I saw a young man walking slowly up the alley,
dressed for a Sunday afternoon on a Monday morning.
I adjusted the blind so he wouldn’t see me looking
and plugged in the coffee pot.
Was he calm or lost in thought?
Out of a driveway a car crept up the center of the alley behind him, super slowly.
I turned to put the bread in the toaster and set the butter beside it.
I went back to the window. The car had stopped.
He had stepped in front of it like Superman. But I couldn’t read the mood—
he walked around to the driver’s open window
and leaned his hips full contact with the door to talk.
I got the milk for the coffee.
I looked again. Now a woman was out of the car, embracing him.
She was dressed for work.
Did I hear crying? Murmurs.
Consoling? Arguing?
Pleas? Admonishments?
It all just sounded so watery, distant.
But then she sobbed pain and hurt or was it anger?
I looked down to butter the toast
and when I looked again she was back in the car,
and there was some kind of continuing exchange…
“Don’t drag it out,” I said to no one but me, “Just drive away.”
It really was none of my business so I ate my breakfast.
I don’t know what she did.
But when I brought my empty dishes to the sink,
there was no sign of either of them,
just the view of the treetops and the rooftops,
colors sharpening in the day’s advancing light,
and the alley of course.
JO'S/ 2016

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Walking to the Store

Waiting at the red light to cross the big street,
I always step back from the curb to be visible, as I am vulnerable.
Across the several lanes of traffic
a silver car slows to make a right (it has the light).
I catch sight of the woman driving with smooth confidence,
steady agency,
and it occurs to me,
(perspective: historically)
fearlessness reigns
with the car as the apparatus,
as there and there and here and there they go,
finally, the commoners have attained knighthood status
each and all
(ostensibly so)
clad in a suit of armor.