Are You Listening?

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I speak into the wind,
but the words come back;

I speak with the wind
and the words sail along,
just waiting for capture,
and I wonder…

Will my message be heard
by those I wish to hear? Or,

will a tree whisk them under its leaves
and keep them as its own? Perhaps,

my words will wave across the ocean,
greeting mariners as it goes?

Or, is it possible that my words
may never leave but
get caught in a whirlwind
and dervishly disappear?

Keeping Time

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File Jun 02, 3 06 49 PM

There was a time when
it seemed we didn’t age.
It was as if the clock was
constantly rewinding, or
perhaps time stood still.

A new hairdo; fresh makeup;
Megavitamins and the gym;
Stylish clothes on trim bodies–
All served to keep a body young.

But it’s the digital age, and
the numbers shout LED red
and click as the minutes pass,
a constant reminder that
time waits for no one.

I wish we could go back to yesteryear,
where people rose with the sun
without need of a musical alarm;
where day played out naturally
and shuttered to the descending curtain
of the setting sun. Then I could

swing like the pendulum
of the grandfather clock
that graced my grandmother’s mantle,

swaying ever so gently back and forth,
never pausing for sickness or glum;
never worrying about stray gray hairs;

never having to worry about
atomic clocks or losing track of time;
Just being content with the ebb and flow
of the life I’ve been given;
at peace with how I’ve kept time.

Earthen Nonet

grow-315470_1280

 

Below the decaying foliage

lies a home for indigineous

insects, their grand heritage

channeled through tunnels of

earth. Through my hands, I

plant seeds, which bring

heritage

to new

heights.

 

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A nonet is a style of poem consisting of 9 lines with the first line containing 9 syllables; the second containing 8 syllables; the third, 7 syllables; and continuing until the last line of only 1 syllable. There is no known history of the style.

Pondering Hibernation

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Sleeping bear graphic

I prepared for winter as if a bear,
eating enough to store a little fat,
prepping my den with soft bedding
and surrounding myself with my
favorite things before thinking about
curling up like a ball of furry fluff.

Then the cold came, and I hunkered in
my corner, ready for hibernation to begin.
Well, eight hours later, I woke to the
pressing needs of primal functions,
cramps in muscles I didn’t know I had,
and hunger growling through my tummy.

How do they do it? The bears,
the reptiles; the bees and the bats?
How do they slow their muscles down,
close their minds to their surroundings
and let sleep overtake their bodies?

Do they eat until they get drowsy,
simply too tired to move?
Do their bodies naturally adapt
to the changing environment?
Or do they meditate into quietude,
re-awakened with the spring?

Just wondering…

Shedding to Grow

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Sneaker in grass

Sloughed off from a
lengthy body, the
tunnel of snakeskin
in the grass still surprises me,

the thought that he’s
outgrown himself again a
little intimidating; well, actually,
quite frightening. Yet,

I’m not concerned when I find
leather uppers lying in the lawn,
flung off because they are too small
for the young boy out there.

I know he chose to shed the shoes
so he could go farther faster;
and I may shed a tear or two
as he stretches and grows;

but, we all bask together
under the same sun,
shedding and growing until
day is done.

Time Warp

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Red trike from behind

Its paint now faded red,
the back tires are as crooked
as the front wheel is bent;
yet, the tricycle frames itself
proud to support another brother.

As chunky little legs
pump the pedals round,
puffy little cheeks wiggle
from side to side across
the aged and battered seat.

I follow behind; but, as usual,
am outpaced in no time.
I see his smile as he turns,
and I’m caught in a time warp
of yesterdays and tomorrows.

Like a Morning Glory

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Morning glory

Engage yourself with negativity,
and your heart will weigh heavy
with dissension in your life;

like the budding, wild rose
that struggles to survive among
the bindweed encircling it,

tendrils twisting ’round it until only
a spindle of its former self remains,
an unwelcome heaviness holding it.

Instead, live like the morning glory
who opens itself up each morning,
choosing its own path among the sunshine,

ringing vitality through the belled blossom
nestled among its heart-shaped leaves,
awakening positive spirits within us.

As darkness descends upon the earth,
join as it enfolds upon itself
in peace, its rapture restored
for another day.

Warmed by Winter

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Fireplace

I closed my eyes
to summon summer back,
when the sun warmed my bare skin
and the landscape lushed green,

But I shuddered as the
warmth of the crackling fireplace,
encircled my chilled body,
bringing loving memories of

family, hot cocoa in hand,
laughing as we looked out at
the lopsided snowman we
made only a few moments ago.

I take a deep breath in,
absorbing today’s wintry scene
of contrasted white snow and
the ever darkening sky,

knowing I don’t want to miss
living in the present moment,
where the cold reflects warmth
and time to slow down and enjoy it.

Welcome Home, Pumby!

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Girl silhouette with dandelion seeds blowing

Pumby was with us
for a few years back then.
Our three-year-old daughter’s
imaginary best friend

graced our table, seated in the
“empty” chair at our tea parties.
At night, she lay under the bed,
keeping the monsters away.

They got along so well. Pumby
was a perfect friend and scapegoat,
accepting her role as the guilty one
when something went wrong.

We were told she moved to
New York City when
the girls were teens, but
she’s baaaack!

Who else could have
let the mouse in,
or shoved the dirty socks
under the bed.

And who else would’ve
lit fireworks past midnight,
then wake me by turning
up the music at dawn?

Welcome home, Pumby,
and Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve 2016

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Night street through blinds

It was that kind of year–
Politicians rankled the masses,
Thugs roamed the streets,
People died needlessly.

A Year of the Monkey, they said.
Two thousand sixteen, it was,
and as its namesake implies,
a wildly mischievous child,

searching, perhaps for an escape,
peeking through window blinds
as the new year comes into view,

wondering whether 2016 will leave
when the window is opened
to welcome 2017 in.

Shopping Like a Tiger

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Slow and stealth like a tiger,
I weave through the holiday browsers,
dodging ribboned mines of packages,
children being tugged through the menagerie,
and rivulets of sodas splashed onto the floor.

I am preying upon the store that
advertised the ultimate selection of
gifts for the whole family, and I sense
that I must be quick and agile if
I’m to acquire my targeted gifts and
return to my den unscathed.

Baring Winter’s Arrival

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I bare sandals as I step out,
half expecting the lawn to respond
like it did yesterday, when
the sun encouraged its green
tendrils to grow plush and wiggly,
tickling my fleshy exposed toes.

But time can change quickly,
and my exposed toes scrunch under,
seeking shelter from winter’s chill
and the inevitable crunch of grass as it
splays frozen and flat beneath the sandal.
Together, we bear the weight of the season.

Sandal feet in grass

The Eyes That Spoke

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I looked into your eyes
and felt as if you knew me,
even though we’ve yet to meet.

Feeling rude, I quit staring,
but your eyes followed me,
causing me to look again.

Kindred spirits, by chance?
Or did you see my raw soul,
and know you could help?

I may never meet the eyes
from that photograph, but
I thank you for reaching me.

Not A Minute Before Its Time

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The dining table, covered with
Mama’s fanciest tablecloth,
seats 15 related bodies today,
nervous they’ll not be comfortable,
yet all excited to be together.

They don’t notice the fine china
brought down from the highest cupboard,
the special silverware from the felted box,
nor the crystal water glasses that sparkle.

The platters and dishes pass quickly
as people fill their plates with mounds of
homemade mashed potatoes, dressing, and
thick slices of slow-roasted turkey.

But as the gravy boat is passed, the
clatter seems to stall as focus is shifted
to the slow stream of gravy as it
flows down over the spout
of the crackled and faded gravy boat;

And in that moment, all thoughts of
the immediacy of today’s lives–
cellphones, iPads, and streaming videos,
are replaced with flashbacks of

Grandma with her starched apron
covering her best Sunday dress,
leaning over the steaming pan, stirring
until the gravy mixture was perfect;

And I find myself,
like Grandma and her gravy,
unable to let this holiday pass
a minute before its time.

Waiting at School

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Hey, school mom
in the beat up truck
jukin’ to the radio,
music turned up.

Have you noticed as we wait
for the school bell’s dong,
I sit quiet in my car

while you burst in song,
a-rockin and a-boppin
to steady the beat.

Your small little baby
buckled in her seat;
it must be louder
than a chicken’s squawk.
If she could just move
and were able to talk,

she’d let you know that
we’re drowning in sound,
and ask you to turn the
big speakers way down.

To Those Who Serve

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To those who serve or
have served in the US military…

where weaponry is part of
the uniform, not an accessory;
tools of the trade, so to speak,
provided to proud recruits.

where to live in close quarters
isn’t a honeymoon but a few
bunks clustered together to
allow for sleep, if possible.

where, day in and day out,
wives, husbands, and children,
are thousands of miles away;
for months, family is a troop of soldiers.

where survival depends on the
combined skills of the team,
no one job more important than
the next, yet each critical to survival.

where pride comes from knowing
that you are serving your country;
and protecting the freedoms of
millions of citizens and future generations.

… I thank you wholeheartedly.

Leaving Us

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We met in the Spring
when you first unfurled with life,
But we’re drifting apart,
and it breaks my loving heart.

Bursting forth with song,
I wave as I stroll by;
Your yellowed hands wave back,
and I realize you’re not strong.

Your neighbor’s orange glow can’t
disguise what’s set to come,
For I know that fall’s approaching
and your earthly time’s ‘most done.

I’ll not forget the pleasures
you brought into my life,
Like cooling summer breezes
and filtering days’ harsh light.

In spite of Autumn’s changes,
I’ll continue to live and thrive;
Learning to cope with sadness
is a key to life’s delights.

Decadently Retired

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Like licking the spatula
when no one’s looking,
Or sneaking up to see
if Santa’s been there,

It feels decadently naughty
to sleep in till after eight, or
to order pizza delivery
in the middle of the afternoon.

But it’s the privilege of
being retired, and I think I’ll
pour a glass of wine, and…
I’ll be asleep before nine!

If Only…

If…
I could mend a fence,
I’d scrap the barbed wire
and build a gate where
friends could pass through.

If…
I could build a bridge,
it would cross barriers
grown up around me,
connect neighborhoods.

If…
I could forge steel,
I’d build a shield
that would deflect evil
and reflect peace.

If only…

My Exercise Schedule

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I know I need to move more,
but when it’s labeled exercise,
my body just won’t go.

Yet, give me a smooth pathway
inside an air-conditioned mall,
and watch me rock ‘n roll.

The music keeps me hopping
through the halls and stores
as I go about my shopping.

Hours fly by, and before I know it,
I’ve met my weekly walking goal,
and I did it all today!

Opening Doors

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Doors in stone buildings down old street

Knock on any door in the World,
and you may find yourself in

The Atacama Desert of Chile
where ne’er a teardrop falls,

Or at Victoria Falls in Africa,
where cascades of tears gush.

You may meet a Tasmanian devil
dervishly clearing out the past

Or a three-toed sloth,
waiting for future to come.

Knock and enter many doors;
experience the worlds beyond,

For only then can you design
the world behind your door.