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Archive for September, 2008

Security

on Wall Street and Main Street
markets move
prices rise and fall
confidence peaks and wanes
experts scramble to explain
what the numbers mean
what the future holds
what will become of us
so I breathe in deep
and remind myself
that You own the cattle on a thousand hills
that You spoke the universe into existence
that You are not bound by time or space or finances
regardless
despite
no matter what
governments or
economies or
world powers do
nothing escapes Your notice
nothing crashes without Your permission
You allow the rain to fall
on the just and the unjust
You are in control

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After Dinner at Erin’s

once we were enemy warriors
battling our similarities
spurred on by our differences
never attempting détente

we clashed vigorously over
nothing more than our mutual dislike
wielding our finely honed weapons
suffering alone beside each other

self-satisfied and insufferable
we found the familiarity of our
conflict somehow easier than
the risk of working for peace

miraculously now we calmly sit across
a table set for two, sharing a warm meal
conversing easily over trivialities and profundities
planning eagerly for more time together

in the space between us now
there is more than détente
there is comraderie, there is friendship
there is hard-won peace

we are still different; we are still similar
now we choose to revel in the joy
of life lived alongside each other
learning to love each other well

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For Lucy Maud Montgomery

The goblins of her fancy lurked in every shadow about her, reaching out their cold, fleshless hands to grasp the terrified small girl who had called them into being.
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Because I love Anne
I read Emily and Kilmeny and Valancy
And Avonlea outshone even Camelot
On the stage of my imagination

Because I love Anne
I looked at the world with eyes that saw
Grandeur all around – Lakes of Shining Water
And White Ways of Delight

Because I love Anne
I treasured my own kindred spirits
Sifted through the Pyes of the world
Until I found my own Diana

Because I love Anne
I watch for real love in my everyday life
And guard against idealizing dark melancholy
Holding out for Gilbert to reveal himself at last

Because I love Anne
I grieve for scope of imagination overcome
By depression and isolation
Desperation overshadowing such resilient insight

Because I love Anne
My heart breaks at knowing
Her brilliant creator sank beneath the depths of despair
Locking away untold stories forever

Because I love Anne
I will share the stories of L.M. Montgomery
With other little girls and hope
They learn her optimism and honor her maker

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He Loved Penguins

He never slept well
But he loved penguins
He lay awake at night
And thought about flightless birds on iceburgs
A row of stuffed tuxedos
Guarded his bed when he finally drifted off
Warm and safe, dreaming little boy dreams
Now he still lays awake
But he doesn’t imagine penguins anymore
He listens to angry noise
Blasting like dynamite into his psyche
Loud words insisting that life is
Darkness and hatred and violence
When he can’t sleep
He wanders, solitary and restless
Drifting off in the wee hours to wake again
Isolated and lonely, frustrated and annoyed
He seems so far away
From the little boy who knew everything
About Emperors and Kings and Fairies
Now intent on knowing everything
About smokes and beers and girls
The boy who loved penguins
Is somewhere in there
I want him to know that there is an easier way
That love is real
That everything passes in time
That he won’t feel this way forever
I want to hang onto him tightly
Pull him in close
Love him for the little boy he was
The curious one who loved penguins
Hope for the man he will become
The one who will again be open and curious
Who will know that life can be creation
Harmony and connection and joy
The one who will find peaceful sleep at last
And wake to teach his own little boys and mine
About penguins

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Rewind

Waking without an alarm
Hovering between sleep and consciousness
I could be any of my selves
Under covers warm and weighty
Rolling to find a cool spot on a pillow
Eventually, one deep breath and a stretch
Ushers in awareness
And my eyes open to a bed I bought
In a house I own, with my dogs on the floor beside me
My laundry on the floor and dishes in the sink
Some days I sigh and wish I could rewind
Time like an old tape in a VCR
To find again late, wine-filled nights
Laughter around a rickety table
A world full of familiar friendly faces
Where I never went to the grocery store alone
Where laundry day meant a long conversation
And Wednesdays meant cheep pizza and beer
Or farther back, bike rides
Marked with the rhythm of practicing spelling
Swinging as high as I could go –
Until the chains relaxed and then pulled taut again
Swimming faster than the other kids
Or miles underwater, muffled sounds overhead
Days when all the time in the world was immeasurably spent
Omnipresent miniature relatives clamoring For apple juice and a diaper change
And time never stretched out long and lonely
Where all minutiae was rich with meaning
Where my best stories were born
And I never woke to find choices like walls hemming me in
In that space between sleeping and waking
With my cheek on the cool pillowcase
Suspended in time

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Haikus for Lucy

she isn’t here yet
she is waiting, biding time
not ready to meet

she is squished in tight
trying to stretch she pushes
against mother ribs

voices echo in
dark warm spaces–already
she knows and loves some

big hands and small ones
blankets ready to receive
newborn perfection

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Truth in Fiction

there are scenes in some stories I play
over and over again
every one has the same theme
she has lost hope
she has struggled to move on
she is finding her independent footing
and she looks up
and there he is standing in front of her
eyes full of adoration and promise
in a book
in a play
in a movie
even on tv
that moment
rocks me back on my heels
stomach clenching like
I’m the one in love
somehow not trite – at least to me
these quintessential,
so clichéd, moments I crave
when he touches her cheek
and she leans into his hand
you can see her entire body
at once relax in relief
and tense with anticipation
her arms up over his shoulders
her hands find the back of his head
she pulls him toward her
and there is the money shot
the perfect kiss
how can I watch this scene
over and over and over again
in so many different stories
some days, it breaks my heart
but more often, it gives me hope
it seems crazy
unrealistic
does it set me up to wait forever
or are these stories telling truths
like only fiction can
echoes of histories
shadows of sincerity
attempts to capture
what it means to fall in love
and have someone love you back
paling in comparison to the reality
it’s not always the first kiss
it’s the first kiss with forever beyond it

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