Thursday, March 11, 2004

Cool Hat ...

It has been



lost and found,

rumpled, crumpled,

laundered until

it cries for mercy,

and it sits like

a cabbage leaf

on my head.

But then she,

a young girl about

half my height,

flashes a smile,

says, "Cool hat!"

and for a moment,

just a heartbeat,

a quickened stride,

I feel like

tossing my hat

in the air

and dancing.

© 1999

(originally published in Capper's)

Sunday, March 7, 2004

A Simple Request ...

As some of you know, I write a weekly newsletter which I e-mail to a small audience (57 readers in 17 states, at last count). "Squiggles & Giggles" is a potpourri of comments, usually on the lighter side, plus one of my poems.
The most recent installment, however, began on a serious note. Then I reconsidered. Much too personal, and not in keeping with the usual tone of "Squiggles & Giggles," I decided, so I withdrew the item.
I hope you won't mind, though (this is, after all, a personal journal), if I share that item with you now: 
MY THOUGHTS, as I write this tonight, are elsewhere. I wish it weren't so, but it is, and the result is that I am going to break one of the few rules we have here at Squiggles & Giggles: No politics or religion.
No, I am not going to slip in any campaign propaganda. And I'm certainly not about to preach a sermon.
There is, however, one of our group ... my sister, Sue ... who is in the hospital, and could use a miracle. All I am asking is that, if you pray, please say a prayer for her ... now ... tonight ... or on your daily commute. If prayer is not your thing, then may I suggest a moment of thoughtful silence on her behalf?    
Thank you.

Afterthoughts ...
Thank you, J. I appreciate that so much.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Like That ...

It's like

when you think

the cup is empty

but you lift it


tilting it toward

your mouth,

and a solitary drop

comes rolling

off the bottom,

goes bounding

onto your tongue

so now you really taste

the flavor of it,

far greater

than the rest

of what you've drunk,

and it quenches

the thirst of memory,

lying there

long afterward,

most valued

because there is

no more.

© 1999

(originally published in the Palo Alto Review; subsequently nominated for Pushcart Prize honors)

We enter this poem with something having been said before our arrival. But we tune in to it, for who hasn't absently lifted the cup and been surprised by the bitterness, or the ultra-sweetness, of that last drop?

The poem speaks of the obvious, but it also speaks of endings, partings, loss ... and happiness ... those good memories that come to our rescue when we need them most.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Clutter, Glorious Clutter ...

Someday I shall have room

for everything I possess,

all the room I ever dreamed

of having, room to lean back

casually and survey the vast

reaches of things collected

in years of serious pursuit

and delayed disentanglement.

But the jam-packed reality

of today is that I shift

cautiously among the poems

poised for avalanche, books

teetering on the brink

of revenge for being left

stacked like cold flapjacks

all these busy-busy years,

treasured items gathering

dust, clipped so long ago

from forgotten magazines.

So much of my past, perhaps

my future, too, nudging me

when I turn, bumping me when

I bend, skittering when

we touch, hugging me like

a lover just before the train

pulls out. And I stand here,

loving it all right back.

© 2000

(originally published in Nanny Fanny Poetry Magazine)

Someday, perhaps, I shall be better organized. Meanwhile, I have some serious reading to do. Maybe a little writing, too.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Autumn Dreams ...

Softly, the rain

descends, puddling

in the darkly

glistening street,

pausing to quench

the thirsting roof

before dripping,

a muffled sighing,

to the ground.

Wind chimes stir,

and the cows

are suddenly home,

winding along

that narrow path

where the sun

lately streamed.

I stir, savoring

quilted warmth,

softness of pillow,

go drifting off

again like a puff

of milkweed.

© 2000

(originally published in St. Anthony Messenger)

There's something so soothing about the music of a gentle rain. It cradles us as we drift between sleep and that which becomes reality. I've tried to capture that feeling in this little piece.