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Sealongings

Waves are formless and endless,
Their gentle rush and lion’s roar
A sound that fills ears, shells, and spirits.

I think that people who complain
That the sea is too loud,
That it disturbs their slumber,
Must be missing a small piece of their soul.
Perhaps the sea has swallowed it and
has yet to give it back.

It holds mine in its fathoms.
It lets me breathe unencumbered beneath the surface.
It rolls in a rhythm that matches my heartbeat.
It serves as a grateful vessel for my tears.
It cools and feeds my passions.

Far away, I hear that gentle rush
In conch shells on the shelves of coffee shops
And in dreams.
Always in dreams.

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the Day: “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” — Kate Chopin

Daily gratitudes:
Birds in the trees
Mr. Man’s paw on my knee
Kelsea’s writing and her sense of justice
New tickets leading to new adventures
Not having to shovel my sidewalk

 

 

Springs
No matter how broken
Winter leaves me
I find that
Like a bough
Thought killed by the chill,
I recover
Under the warmth
Of the spring sun.

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Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Quote of the day: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson

Daily gratitudes:
Working to make things work
That my bout of illness has passed
Faith
Harris Tweed
MKL

40 Years At Sarah P. Duke

Come spring, the siren calls of memories,
Whispers in the wind saying, “Come home,
Come home, the daffodils are rebellious in bloom,
And the pansies of the long gravel walk
Yearn for your gentle touch on each velvet petal.”
Those short stone walls clamber for the feel
Of my shoes balance-walking down them.
The wisteria palace is approaching bloom, vines
Enveloping the gazebo in fragrant violet magic
Promising blosson clusters and later, velvet seapods.
I stand at the edge of the steps, waiting for the view to
Empty of souls, so I can survey my own
Private kingdom.
A descent to the fountains, tricking cherubs
Where my father used to scoop coins from the shoulder-deep pools
Of wishing wells for us on hot summer days.
He is gone now, but the fountains still sparkle.
Criss-crossing rows of bark mulch paths
Through beds of tulips and butterly bushes
Into shade beds of hostas and lilies of the valley.
Still descending, still cross-crissing
To the koi pond teeming with water lilies and dragonflies,
Then up the slate stones, slightly slippery, as they pass
The trickle-down waterfall
To the big sitting rock – the peasant’s view of the garden kingdom.
Down across another little waterfall, through the dark shade
Of climbing magnolias
Into the big meadow beyond
Where Sarah and I drank little bottles of pink champagne
And lay among the dandelions discussing philosophy and world affairs
And boys
While basking in the sun and avoiding the bees.

This haven, with its empty grass hills, where I snuck in
With high school boyfriends for moonlit make out sessions,
With sky-high pine trees where I gathered greenery
For the mantel at Christmas, filling paper grocery bags
And leaving with cold, resin-stained fingers,
With its Japanese garden and arching bridge
Redolant with peace and solitude.

The gardens call to me, with memories of roses and sweat,
Sweetness and spring.

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Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the Day: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling some better
A talk with Charlotte
My voice when it sounds like Lauren Bacall
Spring coming
Soft blankets

 

 

 

Surreality

The shadows surround each parked car,
glooming up,
swallowing hoods and fenders,
lurking in front of darkened headlights,
stealing away as my eye
catches their evil.

Innocent bunnies
bare fangs
and have a Mexican stand-off
in the middle of the street,
dashing off angrily in opposite directions
when I approach.

A dog barks deeply
the sound lingering
in my backyard,
spreading out thickly through the
cool, damp, air.

I do not have a dog.

It is snowing in May.

I tremble from exhaustion,
fumble with the light switches
curl up in a soft bed
and live inside my dreams.

The Fiddlehead Ferns of Fate

The passionate young man in overalls
has aged gracefully.
He tends his garden as he tends his children,
lovingly and in such a way
that each progeny,
be it flesh and blood
or root and leaf,
knows that it is treasured.

The wildness of soul is –

For now –

Expressed in a mystical empathy with beautiful beasts
and in decadent desserts.

He has danced in the pouring rain
and judged the quality of absinthe in a dim cafe
and always remembered a single promise.

A man of such heart
deserves
the cool and wonderous touch of fate
found in another’s hand to hold
as he passes through
this sun-dappled world.

I hope
he finds it
somewhere admist the ferns.

In A World of Shadows and Reflections

The man exists only
on the other side of the revolving door –
except revolving doors
by definition
have no sides.

Twin doves coo
in a white birch tree, barren of leaves –
but in a twist of head and fate,
I tread on ravens,
stark in dead limbs.

Whispers caress the shell curl
of a sleeping ear –
as an explosion of imaginary sound
awakens the dreamer,
disturbed by the dream.

A constant and complacent companion
conspicuous in her absence –
paints black pictures on sunstruck walls,
but lives a secret life
between death and darkness.

Lovely Watchers

Clothilde the charming pink chicken greets me of a morning,
With Porque squeaking a cheery hello to brighten up the cold
(which he is not accustomed to).
Hermie nestles next to Milo, their spikes mingling companionably,
While Henrietta and Captain Jack
lean against the wall, seductively oozing rubber sleaze.
A single gull flies captive within the white and
turquoise of the room, keeping a weather eye over me,
as he did over my Father for years and years.
A pair of baby seals snuggle atop the dresser,
While Bun Bun and Mommy’s Bear warm the bed,
Rudolfo prickling in the covers at its foot.
“They” lie in wait between the windows,
and I drape myself in baby ducks each morning.
It is
a very full
and lovely bedroom.

Beneath the Snow

Somewhere far beneath the cold and snow,
A bloom waits patiently,
Curled within a tender shell of green.
The ice of winter
Always gives way
To the hope of spring.
In time.

Three Yellow Balloons (For Boston)

Three yellow balloons drifted away.
This city that took much of my naiveté
Lost some of its own innocence today.

My old city shines and celebrates.
This day is a vacation day, a play day.
Everyone is your new friend,
The chill of a New England winter
finally shaken off our shoulders.

Music plays at the bandstand,
And the Charles sparkles with
Little jewels from the sun.

It is Race Day.

Runners start far away, but still
the streets are lined with people,
cheering on strangers.

We set up chairs on the roof of a brownstone,
Bask in the almost-forgotten sunshine.
Skip class. Skip work. Skip under the blue sky.

Runners start arriving
At the foot of Heartbreak Hill.
We yell and shout and clap and encourage
and find our favorites to root for.

The runners struggle on with an end in sight,
A goal
Worked for and earned with sweat and time and pain
and pride.

And then

Everything changes
In an instant
In a blast
In screams
In silence
In leftover puddles of blood.

I see
three yellow balloons
drift into the air
above it all.

Just floating.
Released by the hand of a person whose life will never be the same.

Goodbye, balloons.

Goodbye.

Poison and Lies

You fed me.
You fed my soul.
You turned my head.
You twisted my heart.

You spoke such honeyed words
of futures and dreams and forever
with all the sincerity of a true love.
And yet it was all a ruse.
You had cultivated your ability to deceive
For years
and years
and years.

Your artistry is superb.

You use the same words
To the next woman.

“Ain’t gonna happen.”
“If we can make it through this, we can make it through anything.”
“Never before, never again.”
“I’ll never hurt you again.”

By now, you are lying to the next woman –

The one after me –

About the current one –

The one after her –

Only she doesn’t know it yet.
Just like I didn’t.

“We’re only friends.”
“I’m not a man women want.”
“She needs someone to listen.”
“I’m not good at cheating.”
“I’m hanging with the boys tonight.”

You did some things well.
But lying and cheating  –
Those were your specialities.

You spoke the truth only once that I can be sure of.
That last night,
When you said:
I know how to make people love me so they will give me what I want.

What kind of a man lives like that?
A man who blames everyone else for his own failings
While bemoaning the loss of his honor.

Not a man I want in my life.

I do not wish you happiness.
No.
I wish you the poison
And lies that you fed me.

May 2018
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