When all else falls dark
only a small flame is needed
for the eye to see
that hope is perhaps
the most dangerous vice
held on to by the human heart
What is it about the simplicity of
clay pots stacked
on my weathered garden bench?
sides chipped, cracks
more than twelve–waiting.
Broken pieces of terra cotta
imbedded in the dirt
beneath my feet.
I tiptoe around them–
they belong here
with the fragrant thyme
that takes over every
space between the stepping
My mother told me many times while I was growing up
“You can be anything–a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut–
Just don’t be a teacher.”
My mother gives good advice, so I tried.
I didn’t get my degree in education, but in English.
I didn’t go to work at a school or a daycare.
I went to Los Angeles instead.
I tried the office job with the boss who didn’t do hers
and expected me to falsify records.
When they needed someone to go to camp
with kids who had never been out of the city,
I packed my bags and got on the bus,
and remembered why I loved working with kids.
Then, despite my mother’s advice,
I quit the job I hated and
I became a teacher.
The moments when I am most alive, I am close to her.
Bare feet sinking into her soil or sand, taking in her breath, relishing in her warmth upon my shoulders, gawking at the myriad creatures that she cultivates and the immense intelligence she bestows upon rooted lifeforms
In this moment, I do not allow worry to sour my spirit or beliefs because of the consolation that she has a way, a solution, a response bound by unequivocal laws that far surpass any knowledge or doubt that I may carry
It is my trust in her that allows for acknowledgment of greater possibilities and deeper peace than what any manmade construct could provide
Her gift of ecology, the perpetuation of life after death, the balance held by all critters and landscapes and seeds, the completeness of this marvelous rock that we all roam, is challenged, constantly and forcibly, by we who believe we can outsmart the system
She has slapped us on the wrists for such ignorance and the destruction that it yields, but the time will come when we are spit out, like the warbler rejecting the bitter aphid
And when we are gone, the world will keep dancing to her tune, perhaps more vibrantly and intimately without our missteps
In this moment, I am grateful for the cosmic phenomenon that secured my chance to witness her truths and contradictions, and hope that someday I will be eager and openminded enough to understand my place among them.
your home is spotless inside and out
you purchased all food groups in one day
you watered the plants in the window box
building for the future of your career
it’s so much easier to care for someone
when that someone isn’t
it seems that when I am most unable to care for
my virtual family has their every need met.
funny the way that works.
sometimes I wish there were
someone on the other side of my screen
to put groceries in my fridge
and tidy my house
and remind me to shower
and to sleep;
a god-like character,
if god gave a damn.
Since Covid I’ve craved soft
Soft people who listen and care,
Soft clothes with soft voices wrapped around me
in a soft steady back and forth
Covid turned down the velocity ~ the pace made space,
for a while it was easy to turn inward,
to feel balanced,
Soft doesn’t sting, isn’t sharp or bitter, doesn’t try to beat me out, come in
first, take the best
Soft doesn’t have a finish line or a blue ribbon to win,
Soft like turtle’s steady calm wings ~ wins the race
Soft doesn’t want more, has enough
like velvet’s gentle embrace next to satin
like whipped cream foam,
Soft adorns a decadent dessert
Soft words are caring and kind,
a pillow that is mine,
a faithful hammock swing
the shade of two 50-year-old family fig trees
Soft is a gentle breeze,
wrapped round a jacaranda,
raining sweet purple flowers in a reign of royal wonder,
safety in the sound of thunder
Soft is a woven tapestry,
setting a spell
a lovely tale to tell
Soft is coming Home