Seven Poems in Seven Days.

Actually there were ten, but some of them aren’t worth sharing.

 

After feeling “too busy” and having “too much” else going on (right, join the crowd – I’ll share more on this next week)… my heart returns to poetry.  Like nature, this is where I find my grounding, my uplifting. The first thing I ever remember writing.  I wonder if it will be the last.

 

The following is the result of a ten-day personal challenge taken on with Carrie of The Shady Tree.

It turned out to be a prolific enlightening to my inner passion.

Perhaps it may just look like lot of words.

With these, I hope you may find something that touches your heart too.

Read a paragraph, a stanza, a poem as you like.

 

Gratitude for a dear friend, fellow poet, artist, and lover of family, nature and life.

Gratitude for words, creativity, and inspiration – all of which abound in this beautiful world.

(Please stop by Carrie’s site over the next few days, too, to see how the same photo can inspire such different words.)

~

Photo by Carrie of The Shady Tree

 

~

You can only get

Here

by wet foot

Cool and soft and

 

squishing deep brown

between bare toes

Over slick rocks

 

The sweet moist scent of earth and

Decay

Last years dreams fermenting in

 

Never drying soil

Like a festering open wound

Where the branches bend low overhead

 

Heavy and wet and untouched

By daylight

which in turn is obscured

 

By an endless

swath of fog

 

Dampened desires

Laying heavy on moist flesh

Suppressed by sunlessness

 

Do you remember what

burning feels like

Warm and gold on

 

Exposed flesh

 

Instead in this succulence

Each drop a tiny window into the soul

An eternal pool

 

That will evaporate

and turn to steam

Should the sun burn

 

through the fog

~

Photo by Gin

 

~

Barren are last year’s

blossoms

now Hard and brittle

Spent and sallow

having been bent over

By the weight of

last season’s snow

Their seeds scattered

in the spring rains

Brown dust

to brown earth

And so it should be

 

I lean over

as not to disturb

That which managed

against the elements

And marvel

at the simplicity

And complete

complexity and pure beauty

Preserved by the wind like

An embalmed queen

 

What inner

secrets do you reveal

Spilling forth promises

of eternity

That few may

bend close to hear

Before the bright easy days

of new growth

Consume us

~

Photo by Carrie of The Shady Tree

 

~

On Wednesday

The midwife soars

Grounded

 

Taking flight

Because she is called

And though it appears

 

She has no control

And just moves

Out of action or reaction

 

of spreading her wings

And rising effortlessly

gracefully naturally into the stirring air

 

This remains

the most self controlled act

she may ever manage

 

Of leaving a ground

And returning

While remaining where she was.

~

Photo by Gin

 

~

Last year’s leaves

Next year’s soil

Compressed under this morning’s snow

 

Elk tracks across pasture

Revealing delicate chartreuse

Of spring grass

 

Seeds

Transforming

A quiet awakening

 

Beneath the consuming

unassuming white shelter

The robin is silent this morning.

 

How can I see something new

In the same old landscape

Like looking into the eyes of a lover

 

You have wrapped your body

around for over a dozen years

And still find beauty and shiver.

 

now in static essence of early morning

Upon brown damp soil

robin sings in the cold grey light.

~

Photo by Gin

 

~

Boots by the door

coated with clay

Brought in from out there,

Damp coats and wool hats

 

hang to dry.

What’s the point

You ask me

And I don’t have

 

a good reply.

We both know

they will only

be wet again.

 

Somehow starting out

dry

seems like

the thing to do.

 

The dog comes in

indifferent to wet fur and

Brown tracks behind him

With no boots to

 

leave by the door.

 

Out there

Where the bark of aspen

is soaked  to green grey.

Silver tips

 

on bare branches where

water pools in

tiny glass beads,

and brown water

 

flowing through

brown soil, saturated.

creeks cutting new paths.

old paths.

 

it will all be washed away

we say

if this keeps up.

Heavy skies

 

in stratum,

the movement of

silky flowing veils.

What secrets do they reveal

 

As an entire mountain

Obscured

And does it matter anyway

That the horizon has changed,

 

Is no longer

Peaks and ridges

But soft simple close

White?

 

The view, the future, awareness

Lost

In the sound on the metal roof

That comes in waves,

Strong and steady like

 

deep breathing

As wet as the ocean

And as far away

Above me

~

Photo by Carrie of The Shady Tree

 

~

In my dreams

I am flying

Downward

 

Into secret places

Of mountain

And mind

 

Of my soul

Where even in winter

It is lush and green

 

Places no one else

can touch

Or see

 

And maybe I won’t share

Not even with you

Unless I feel certain

 

You need to know

I keep them for

Myself

 

I become Crow

Seeing from above

A  mountain in

 

parts of a whole

 

Its steep slopes

And jagged rocks

And soft spring grasses

 

And the course of

the cutting river

From so high

 

As if I were

in the wind

blowing

 

across the open flats

and navigating the

rugged bluffs

 

in and out of

tall timber

until at last I light

 

upon the highest snag

 

above it all

the voyeur of my soul

seeing across the big air

 

and down into that

hidden oasis

no one else is meant to see

 

stealing a glimpse

detached

in this vast entirety

 

absorb my world

open my eyes

and find myself still

 

flying

~

Photo by Gin

 

~

On the surface

She shines

Simple and radiant

Easy going like

the afternoon breeze

On a good spring day

 

Idyllic

Tranquility

Stillness of soul

 

Waiting for

the coming unrest

 

~

Stirring.

~

spring on the mountain

~

There is an intense clarity found in springtime in the high mountains.  It is not beautiful, but real and raw.  It hides nothing. Like a truth you cannot escape.  An inner stirring as the outer winds churn cold and biting from over the Divide.

It is not a stunning time, but one of stark realities. You are left to face yourself, your world, in all its plainness. Earthen tones and unadorned branches that may snap in the strong gusts if not full and plump with awakening life and the memory of remaining flexible.  A time to weed out the weak, prepare for the upcoming unfurling.  Last year’s brown grass strewn with grey branches like abandoned dreams. I pick them up as I walk by and stack them in burn piles to clean up when the wind dies down and we’re ready for a quiet evening.

~

looking down lost

~

There is no draw here for tourists now.  Instead this is the time to drag the pasture and fix fences, repair gates and clean up back roads. It is a time for work, not for fun and pretty and light and laughter and languid appreciation of abundant natural beauty though there is always that too no matter.  It is quiet at first tired breath, then exhilarating in its wild rapture with roaring river and winds that blend into their own inseparable harmony.

It is not a time to blatantly behold, but rather discretely observe, for what you are witness to now is her nakedness. Soon she shall dress, slowly, in preparation for what will be.

Some days you’re fooled into believing it’s all over or just begun and then you wake to temperatures in the teens and dig into frozen ground and remember where you are in spite of longing for longer days, warmer rays and shorter shadows. Shade cast from the remaining white high hills obscures hopes of lush and green and leaves and blossoms for some time to come.

~

spike and lichen on cedar post

~

It’s quieter around here without the goose.  I confess I snuck down to Ute Creek to check on him.  Only once.  There was a big flock newly arrived of geese, ducks and smaller birds enjoying a warm brown open pool in the otherwise still ice covered expanse. And about a hundred yards away on a stretch of frozen mud, was one solitary goose looking back towards the others.  What do you think? Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

In the meanwhile, there’s this independent hen… Ever hear of such a thing?  In all my years of raising chickens, I never had.   But sure enough.  We got one here now. One of our free range hens decided she is not in need of flock nor rooster (though he’s quite in need of her and tries often to herd her home). Instead she prefers our porch, picnic table, the wood pile outside our front door. Go figure what’s worth scratching for in there.  She’s outside our cabin at any given time of day.  Though I’ve never been liberal in giving credit to a chicken’s sensitivities and insight, it’s as if she knows she’s in a bird friendly zone (it is indeed with my very active bird feeder) and a family in need of a feathered friend.

~

looking up pole

~

And then.

Yesterday we pass by the lake of open water miles down river below our ranch. Bob drives slowly as I have my head out the window and that wind is cold.  I’m looking.  Carefully.

No, that’s not him, I say and he drives on.

How do you know, he asks me.  I just know.

Stop.  Here.  No, not that one… but that one there could be… slow down… pull over!

Rikki, I call.

The one with the big head and the low honk flies off to an island a short ways away and fights with another one before landing.  Rikki never behaved like that, I note to self, and then I realize this:  He is a she!

And there she is, with another female.  Swimming this way from the far bank.

Listen, I tell Bob. I can hear her before I see her.  I know her voice.  My Rikki!

She is calling to me.  We holler, back and forth across the cold grey water…

She remains in the water, closer but never too close, talking together all the time, back and forth, as the dog runs along the bank and I wonder which of us Rikki misses more, but I sense that she won’t come clear to us, and she shouldn’t, and she doesn’t.  And although I’d love to sit next to her and stare into her warm brown eyes and just chatter as the two of us have done so many times before, her distance feels right.  I am happy for her. She has found her place. And it is beautiful.

I am humbled to realize how wild the wilds shall always be, and how domesticated I remain.

I stand to leave in the brown grass along the bank and kick someone’s spent shotgun shells littered along the spring soil.

~

rikki at rc res

~

 

Thaw.

~

leaf

~

Crack open like a fragile white shell

Exposing

churning waters

pumped and swollen in the warm early

spring day

chewed the solid river free

ravage the lingering white surface

like an eager lover

Grey waters, grey sky and a land of ashen hillsides

fading

to patches of brown

a random quilt torn and worn with age

drown out the calls of the newly arrived

bluebird

And the beloved trees stand a silent cold still vigil

Of brown branches and pale needles

fallen

And eternal roots entangled roots

rising

Powerful in their ethereal presence

That can not be erased by tiny beetles

nor chased by a changing climate

entangled with those roots within me

Expanding

the breath of a new season

 

~

baby Rikki

~

 

So… about the goose.

A wildlife success story.

 

Consider this.

The pursuit of happiness is hardly limited to the human mind.  I have looked deep into his warm brown eyes enough to know. He has been lonely, longing, wondering.  I hope he is happy now though we may question both the importance we place on the state of happiness and the impermanence of an emotional state.  In any case…

 

Rikki flew the coop. Or rather, the ranch.  He’s down at Ute Creek with… geese!

I want to ride down there now to call him, have him fly to me, look deep into my cold grey eyes and remind me that yes, he loves me, he is grateful for my having raised him with love, kindness, care. But these things I already know.

 

When we returned from Argentina, we watched the poor guy endure big snowstorms and fend off the fox (after nights of trying to wake in time to “eliminate” the fox problem, I actually saw the bushy red fellow run right by that goose, both uninterested in the other, so I suppose they worked their thing out). We watched him do his best to follow his two and four legged family everywhere (you should see how well he now climbs cliffs and hikes through the trees). And still looking out the window from the warmth of my cabin out to the little feathered football in the snow, I felt a sadness and loneliness in him.  Yes, in a Canada goose. Go ahead and laugh, but it’s true.

 

A few evenings ago, we’re out cooking dinner in the fire pit and I hear geese flying by. The first of the season. There’s just this tiny sliver of a moon and they’re following the river.  Rikki remained by the fire with us, seemingly unaffected.  Then the next day, I hear them mid day. Bob hears them while working down by the new cabin.  Rikki was out on pasture grazing with the horses. Decoy, Bob has called him there.  That’s the last we’ve seen of him.  No feathers.  No chance of a predator with my big beast of a barking dog out there with him.  In my heart, I understand.

 

I’m happy but sad at the same time.  I’m tempted to go check on him but know I should not. I should let him be.  He is where he belongs.

And so am I.

 

~

baby rikki 2

~

 

Some things to consider.

My Ted Talk to Self for the Season.

 

Growing up I wanted to change the world. Didn’t you?

The two of us did. Said we would. Different ways.

 

Both wanted to change the shape of the box.  Or perhaps it was the contents.

You said from within.  I said from without.

Inside, outside.

You told me you’d work with the system.

Me, I wanted to free those trapped inside.

Neither of us were wrong or right.

It takes both kinds. All kinds.

But have we changed it yet?

I’m still trying.

Are you?

 

I told you working within was Old School.  The box is bigger now. Different.  Everything changes. There should be no boundaries.  Autonomy and liberation and expansive ideas.  Silly me, you said.  Maybe you are right.  Maybe not.

 

Remember when I studied art?  I’m remembering how it wasn’t until the 15th Century that we figured out perspective.  We played with it, mastered it, and moved on. Beyond perspective; beyond Realism; beyond painting only that which we can see though the art form is something we look at.  From Classic to Impressionism, Abstraction to Minimalism, Modern and post Modern.  Where are we now?  Evolving, always evolving…

 

As human beings we are constantly evolving – as a society, as individuals.

Those that don’t get stuck in the mud.

Boring…

Try something new.

Look at those who have changed the world.

Those you admire most.

Are they within the box or without?

Chances are you’ll most admire those standing on the side you do.

 

How do we change the world?

Change ourselves.

You can.

I can.

Take charge, take responsibility.

Here’s a quick three step program to get you going.

I’ll let you know how it works – I’m on it.

Let me know how it works for you too.

 

Step one.

Question the box and its contents.

Take a good hard look at what’s in there.

Clarity is powerful stuff.

Don’t accept mediocrity.  Is good enough good enough?

Don’t accept the truths you were given unless they feel right, down to your very core.

Don’t accept the way that was if you think there can be better. Is the way it was the way you want it to be?

Don’t demand it in others until you can do it yourself.

 

Step two.

Figure out where you want it to go.

And since you’re just working on yourself here, where do you want to go?

Who do you want to be?  Now.

Not certain?  Join the crowd.

Then be willing to step out of it.

Look around. Who do you admire most?

Be that person. Now.

Admiration – yes, even envy – is a call to action.
It’s not a green monster, but a great motivator.

What is it about that person that you want more of?

Rather than hate them for having it, figure out how to have it too.

Don’t take it from them either; that’s bad Karma.

Better yet, create it anew for you.

You can do it, be it, have it.

But you have to work for it.

 

Step three.

I just read an article that said no matter what you read from Freud, you really can change your personality.

So, see?  You can change something within you.

And if you can do that… then…

Well, let’s just start with that.

The article said all it takes is 12 weeks.

First, figure out what you want to change.

Then, figure out how you want it to be.

Then, for twelve weeks:

Actively be it.

Fake it till you make it.

In 12 weeks, it will be yours.

Right, we have to be realistic here.  In 12 weeks, I’m not going to be 20 again.  (Don’t worry – I really don’t want to be 20 again!)  But I could be more, say, social. (Or maybe not.)  Yes, I could, but I don’t know it that’s on my list of things to change. Being socially inept isn’t that bad. There are other things I need to work on first.

Choose something that matters most.  Something that will make you feel better about yourself.

And if you feel better about yourself, well, don’t you feel better about your world?

So you see… in 12 weeks, you can change the world.

Just a little bit.

It’s a start.

What are we waiting for?

 

~

pole

 

~

simpson

~