Tag Archives: waking up

The Wakening


 

She

on her knees

plunged the paddle

slicing swift steady strokes

urging the canoe, peeling the water’s rind

Canoe and she

became the horizon point

 seeking the lost open as water-cast wake

reached and stretched with giant gathering arms

~:~

Boy fishing

at edge of the lake

ankles clasped by water

unconscious toes kneading slimy mud

drowsy eyelids dipped and closed

while sleep dulled his senses

All the while

her silent wake approached

slapping the shore

it spread

in a stadium wave

suddenly

the boy woke

realizing his first-time catch

and he heard the sound

of water laughing

Submitted to:

   Poetry Potluck Monday

  One Shot Wednesday

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Introspection


What if I were God

and you were just a part of me?

 You, the corn on the bottom of my foot

an irritation that hurt when I walked

Would I rub you out with an emery board

or clip you off, and drop you on the floor

then sweep your bits under the rug?

What if I were God

 and you, a breast that disappointed

by being too small, too flat, too thin

Would I slice you open, fill you with gel

and hoist you into a wire-rim

then strut you around – my parceled goods?

What if I were God

 and you, a beggar who walked my street

a living reminder of There-But-For-Fortune

Would I cast my eyes the opposite way

and pretend you didn’t exist

then demand the police move you on?

What if I were God

 and you, a kidnapped slave taken for sex

hidden from laws, devalued as human scum

Would I say it was up to you to fight back

that you should have known better

than to walk alone at night?

 What if I were God

and you were part of me?

 Would I love you?

 

 For Poetry Potluck Monday: http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/

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Walking the Sun Awake


6:00 a.m.

Sound shreds the gentle dark

the anonymity of sleep that held me 

lulled me through unconsciousness

for eight blessed hours

shattered, ruined and tossed

in piercing shards, daggered awake

high pitched, throbbing and insistent

mosquito on a Red Bull binge

the sound refuses to stop

6:01 a.m.

My blind hand reaches for something

before my brain slips into gear

the ridged plastic bar fills my fingers

I, a well-trained rat in Pavlovian experiment

press the bar 

censor the sound

opiate waves of relief flood my body

struggling clothes at the foot of the bed

donned in the dark

6:05 a.m.

Like a burglar leaving the scene of the crime

my hand slides the screen door silently back

don’t disturb the neighbors, my sweetheart, or my dog

escape into the dark before anyone asks

Is the coffee ready

Did you remember to pack my lunch

My dog dish is empty and Take me with you

Where’s the toilet paper

Can I have a biscuit

Do I smell bacon burning

I slip out before all that starts

6:10 a.m.

Bright, white and glowing

a Cheshire cat grin

claims the indigo sky as its own

yesterday’s gritty moon

 washed by dew

and night

The soft padding sound

my feet playing a pavement drum

careful to avoid the cracks

though my mother died long since

and the only back I can break

is mine

6:15 a.m.

Street poles spread orange light

A-line skirts against the night air

urge my walking-running toes

first to this pole, then the next

breaking it down so that

all I have ahead of me

are accomplishable goals

the quiet peace still surrounds me

dawn grows less dim

6:20 a.m.

Two figures, one tall, one short

pumping hands and feet in rythym

approach and pass, not even smiles

somehow aware of the unspoken

rule of the pre-dawn walker and runner

we don’t break the spell

we just nod

and keep going

6:25 a.m.

Slipping past houses of black and grey

lamplit windows giving away

those whose occupants have risen

or maybe never went to sleep

walls turn from grey to beige

and charcoal lawns spread green

revealing the sun has risen

my heart beats faster

pumping feet carry me

round the last corner

6:30 a.m.

Light fills the sky as sound steals the road

throbbing wheels and engines

full of people heading into the day

oblivious of my quiet world on foot

and of the robin who woke

as I passed his branch

he sat still, trusting

that I would not disturb him

streets lights sign off duty

one block from home

6:35 a.m.

I slip inside the quiet house

and close the sliding door

an alarm clock rings upstairs

feet hit the floor above me

and the shower door slams open

then closes to the sound of screaming water

my dog’s tail thumps in greeting

I missed you

Where have you been?

“Walking the sun awake,” I tell her

as if she might believe

that is one of my responsibilities

 

Photo courtesy of Google images: http://claire.nu/day/001.jpg

 

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Broken Shield


My friend, Sebastian, told me in one of our discussions, that he uses his imminent death as a barricade – a shield.

How so? I asked. Please explain.

Sebastian said that it wasn’t until he knew he that he could die – and, in fact, was dying – that he began to live. The pettiness, annoyances and inconveniences that plague us all; these, he thinks of as arrows, and he bounces them off his barricade shield. Death protects him therefore, encouraging him to grasp instead the positive gifts of kindness, compassion, generosity and time – precious time – given to him by the people he calls his angels – nurses, hospice staff, visitors, student volunteers and friends who didn’t say, “I’m sorry to hear,” and then stayed away in fear or helplessness, but who came to sit, watch, listen, laugh and cry, and who placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, or gently stroked his cheek when it all seemed too overwhelming. For these precious things, the barricade shield comes down and the love of angels goes pouring in.

Researchers in gerontology and social sciences have reported that, unlike younger generations, people in their senior years, have a greater tendency to avoid things that disturb, and they tend to focus much more on positive, happy and comforting people, things, situations and environments. Perhaps seniors, approaching the end of their life, feel more vulnerable, or powerless to change the big negatives. Maybe years of life-experience have proven at some unconscious level, that what they focus on, is what expands. Why waste precious energy on people, places and situations that drain them, frighten them and make them feel uncomfortable?  It’s understandable.

In my youth, I was always ready to join the fight against establishment and injustice, actively working to make things better, to change people’s attitudes and behaviors, including my own. Yet now, in my sixth decade of life, I sit here horrified by what I see, but do nothing. Oil gushes through the ocean like an arterial disaster; armies of trucks carry deadly chemicals across our country – liquids that are pumped down holes bored deep into the earth, poisoning rivers, land, animals and people – killing America; all this for the sake of fuel for our cars and factories, and for ‘clean’ natural gas for electricity; for corporate profits that allow people to retire in their senior years, live off dividends, and drive their houses-on-wheels until they’re too old or too sick to discover America anymore.

I acknowledge my deplorable lack of action to fight our current attitudes of profit-priority, mindless greed and acceptance of earth-rape. I admit that now in my older years, I lack the passion, energy and naivety of youth to believe that I can do anything to change this world. As the earth bursts and bleeds, casting arrows of blame, I raise my own barrier shield of senior age against it, and I look away. I focus instead on using what time I have left for enjoying the beauty around me; for kindness, empathy, humor, patience and compassion. 

Today, as I sought to focus on those positive things, my comfort was torn, shattered in shame. No shield – no barrier – not even death – could spare the cold realization, that the place where I find the most beauty – the most comfort and peace – is right here, in my grandchildren’s faces – in all of our grandchildren’s faces.

My barrier is breached.  My shield lies broken, crushed on the truth-flooded floor, staining it with a desire to stand up and do something…

 

Does your tap water ignite?  Gasland is an urgent, cautionary and sometimes darkly comic look at the largest domestic natural gas drilling campaign in history. Part of the HBO Documentary Films Series.  WATCH: Gasland: Trailer  http://www.hbo.com

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