Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Long To Return

It is a moonlit, windy night.
The full orb above has pushed aside the stars
and lazy clouds, backlit  in pale blue seem alive.

I want to return, return to the mountains,
to deep corridors hewn from rock,
halls of wild nights and exquisite beauty,
peaks of ecstasy dropping to rumbling cascades
speckled and glittering like the stars wheeling overhead.

And I wake, and I rise from city slumber
thinking on the pine and madrone,
the oaks and redwoods, the sorrell and moss;
this dust that settles 'round unnerves me.
But new strength speaks to me.
This new dawn sings of the hills,
just as the exhausted dusk
shall sing of valleys long.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Terry Coates

I should be writing a love poem,
a sonnet or an ode to affection.
I can not write about a rent of sorrow.
So I'll light a cigarette
because I don't want the drink
and I'll eat something
because I shouldn't smoke
and I'll deny that vent
calling, "Sit with me. Feel me."

"What? You too?" began a fusion,
a harmony in healing
and a lesson on love,
and the value of vulnerability,
and how simply being is enough,
and if I am present
when incumbent upon me to share me
this.... this love will fill the days
when there's little joy in life.

"Sit with me. Feel me."
Your beauty without vanity
made a difference, Terry Coates.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Memory of Mom

I thought of you today
and my memory failed me.
I could not remember the loss,
yet in you
I find memories of happier times.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Journey

My seatmate is a squirming eight year old from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. He is mildly peeved at my rudimentary Spanish. I am impressed by his mastery of English. We are each traveling to Orlando, Florida on a journey.

He travels with family to support family. I also travel to support family. His cousin has earned a new sponsorship in some type of auto racing venue. His tee-shirt sports more sponsors logos than I can count, including Chevrolet, LabCorp and Ricky's Authentic Mexican Food. Oh, there's some Nascar stuff too. Christian, my seatmate, assures me he has no interest in Disney World this trip. He wishes only to yell loud enough for his primo to hear him over the noise.

And so with the lights of Dallas to the north and maybe College Station well to the south I have adopted a grandson for the moment. I am learning a bit about what an eight year olds' life in Hermosillo is like (well, actually a suburb I can not master pronunciation of). And I recall how young boys travel in small tight-knit groups in their natural state. And I am sensing that they fear the violence of their surroundings.

He has the most amazing chocolate eyes. I'd say they are about 65% cocoa in color and they flash with delight when he speaks of his papa. It seems his dad also works in construction and my traveling companion is much enamored of him.

I'm also benefiting from eight year old wisdom. I've been told that eight year old boys don't like to go to sleep but under questioning he admits that they don't like to wake up either. But they have the best dreams; dreams of cousins and Fiestas and riding bikes and a special girl. "Sí. Mañana es el día de San Valentín."

It is somewhere north of Biloxi/Gulfport when I realize my journey has changed. I am traveling to a memorial service, a celebration of the life of a most remarkable woman, my mother.

The life of Margaret Ann, know as Sue to seemingly all but her mother, who called her Ann, and a brother who called her Margaret, will be memorialized by many tomorrow. My seven siblings, her numerous grandchildren, in-laws, outlaws, nieces, nephews, great grand kids, perhaps a sibling or two of hers, friends and God-only-knows who else will assemble in a church in Retirementburg, Florida, to pay their last respects and maybe share a memory or an anecdote about someone I am just beginning to realize how much I miss.

In the two and a half months since my mother went home to her Lord I have not allowed myself to experience much emotion surrounding a deep loss. And my new young friend, in sharing about his family, has in a short three hours allowed me to re-experience some of my childhood again. And the first tears come easily, softly, while some cleansing of those cobwebbed spaces buried under ill-conceived notions of how a grown man should express loss begins.

As we deplane I share a warm handshake and a look into the eyes of my young friend's father. I am convinced that I was he many years back, working to earn calloused hands and raise a family. He is grateful his son didn't disturb my trip. Quite the contrary; his son made my trip memorable and enriched my life.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Let Us Return Home

Let us return Home, let us go back,
Useless is this reckoning of seeking and getting,
Delight permeates all of today.
From the blue ocean of death
Life is flowing like nectar.
In life there is death; in death there is life.
So where is fear, where is fear?
The birds in the sky are singing “No death, no death!”
Day and night the tide of Immortality
Is descending here on earth.


It smells of dust
as the gentle rain begins.
I can taste it growing in the damp air;
no sweetness, not now.
These tears falling, falling, falling

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Loose Ends

Each human life an epic
and unrepeatable anecdote
is still but a sample size of one
and may in the end be the control
for a much wilder experiment
being conducted in the next room.

The role of being myself
fell to my understudy
sometime in my fifteenth year.
That gawky loner
for whom nothingness came easy
had spent his life in the wings
mouthing the lines unaware
the smallness of his perspective.