on gratitude

early evening blushes
with a deepening streak of pink
sun sinks into the earth
the glow darkens
into inky blue

there
a star comes out
then another 
soon the heavens are an endless sweep
a breath

that pulls me
up up up
into the mystery
around me
inside me

i am but another star
as incomprehensibly beautiful as this boundless sky
that holds me
as I yet behold
my heart full with it
full with it
shimmering

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Thank you to Eugie’s Causerie for inspiring this poem. The prompt to which this responds is “Gratitude.”

promise

Her wrinkled fingers almost clasp
the small bouquet of flowers
two white ribbons trailing across her lap
hands trembling
eyes alight above a skewed smile

he stands tall
with hunched shoulders
his body frail
a boutonniere gaily affixed to his lapel
his visage solemn but amused

they forged sixty years together
after he came home alive and intact
still in his uniform
passion, patience, forbearance, humor, joy, sometimes grim determination
brought them to this day 

she looks up at him from her wheelchair
he returns her gaze
as the vows are read again
all these years later
and just shy of death

“I do,” she shakily whispers.
“I do,” he affirms.

###

Thank you to Eugie’s Causerie for this week’s “Renewal” prompt.

for life

tenderness
at the inception
honor the gift
the joy the beauty
the mystery

tenderness
along the journey
acknowledge the shared path
the blind curves the dead ends
the vistas

tenderness
moment by every moment
find it allow it
breathe it
who can afford less?

chance #WritePhoto

Leaning over the rail, I look down into the water — the bird nesting in the reeds, the turtles sunning on the half-submerged limb. The greening and growing around me hiss with life.

I am almost startled by your whisper at my side. My eyes raise from the waters to the leafy tumble above the pond. I search, not seeing. You point. My eyes finally find the deer looking back at us. 

We stand, silent, just watching. Eventually, I realize I can feel you there, the warm of you, a stranger. Not touching.

Months later, I miss you.

###

Thank you, Sue Vincent, for the inspiration of this week’s #WritePhoto prompt.

notice what’s beautiful

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For today, I notice what’s beautiful.

The world is so much more than what turns up on a screen. So for today, I look around me and notice what’s beautiful. And it is everywhere.

I notice the cat’s gentle eyes. I notice the early morning trill of a bird. I notice the way the sun sparkles across the river, the graceful branches of the trees. I notice your smile reaching into your eyes.

Looking up, and noticing, there is beauty all around me.

Today, each day, I notice what’s beautiful.

stand for love

 

veru1_20_19.jpgWe saw a lot of marching this weekend. Many people went to Washington D.C. and cities around the country to press the issues of women and indigenous peoples. Ultimately, the marching was about oppression, injustice, inequality – and shaping a better future. The issues do not belong to individual groups – the issues belong to all of us.

This kind of coming together and expression is especially important in the face of increasingly harsh and repressive reactions to ideas that don’t fit the preferred narrative of some.

And we saw the latter on full display, too.

Out of the many photos emerging from the marches, we will not forget the insolent smile of a young white man standing in the space of an older Native American man as he sings and drums. We cannot ignore the crowd of hooting, mocking young men in the background either.

This is a painful scene to view.

The marching is not done. Tomorrow we commemorate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. There will be more marches around the country.

These marches take place to forward peace, justice, and equality. They are about all of us recognizing each and every one of us for the people that we are, honoring each other with love and respect, and securing those priorities as a premise for our country.  They are the positive wave rising and washing over us, carrying us along in the name of love.

Don’t be left behind in the dark and the cold.

Whether you march or you don’t, you can take a stand. Every single day. You can stand for love. Sing it and drum it. Dance it. Shout it. Paint it. Write it. Act it out. Teach it. Do not stand by to simply watch, but stand actively, wholly, and courageously in the name of love. Over and over again.

It was Martin Luther King Jr. who reminded us, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Go ahead. Stand tall. Stand for love.

 

revelry and resolutions

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New Year’s Eve. Revelry accompanied by hopeful resolutions.

When I was a kid, we always put a cabbage on the table overnight, with silver coins. This apparently ensured that we would have both food and money for the coming year. At midnight, we all went out in the street in our pajamas with every pot and pan from the kitchen and made as much noise as we could.

Although my routine now might actually still include the cabbage, more important to me is the clarifying of intentions. These are broad intentions, not the oft-recommended specific goal-setting resolutions.

They boil down to just a few areas.

Take care of my physical self: Eat well, run/walk, rest.

Allow my creative self: Write. Sew. Ink. Draw. Wherever it goes.

Be my loving self:  Nurture relationships. Nurture community. Stand by my compassion for others and the earth.

Enjoy life: Be with loved ones. Hike. Read more books just for fun. Kayak. Explore. Watch the stars and the birds. Unrushed coffee actually sitting down at the local cafe. Like that.

I usually pick a word for the year, too. This year, I’ve picked three:

Wonder. Love. Joy.

How about you?

sparkles

veru12_24_18So here we have arrived at Christmas Eve. Whatever form the holidays take, whatever it means to you, I wish you joy, and wonder, and love.

For those who are sad or lonely or depressed, I am talking to you, especially. I know joy, and wonder, and love are still possible for you, whether you believe it in this moment or not.

It is my hope that the spirit of this season moves each of us toward real peace on earth and good will among all.

Hugs to all. Jingle bells and all that. 🙂

be amazed

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I know dogs get all the credit, and I don’t begrudge them that, but when it comes to unconditional love, this dude right here is all over it. Honest to Pete, he’s an angel and a teacher with love from the tips of his ears to the point of his tail. His eyes sparkle with love when he looks into mine. So grateful for this little fella. Just wow.

Hey, happy Winter Solstice all! Be amazed!

solstice

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So, it turns out tomorrow is not only the Winter Solstice, it’s also the time of a full moon – the Long Night Moon – as well a meteor shower (Ursid). Ok, that’s pretty cool. Seems like there ought to be some kind of celebration (oh, wait, I guess folks already thought of that, hehe).

The Winter Solstice is kinda funny because it marks the official beginning of winter, but it also marks the shortest day of the year – the beginning of the days becoming longer. Woohoo! I am all for that!

Seems like everything else is going 90 miles an hour around me, with ‘holiday’ preparations and entertainment. Maybe the solstice can just be a time out. A moment just to be calm and peaceful, to notice the stars and the moon. A moment to appreciate the incredible beauty of what’s already been given to us, instead of worrying about the giving and getting of our consuming consumer lives.

Nearby where I live, there’s one of those wild light displays with every kind of holiday character imaginable – from a lit up creche to snowmen, penguins, Disney characters, Peanuts, and more. During the day, half of it sits deflated under tarps. It’s actually kind of a mess. I wish I could say it makes me smile, but it does not – either during the day or at night. I’m sure the folks who put all that effort into it mean well, but it’s misplaced.

Let’s look at the moon and the stars instead. Notice the birds on the wing. Listen to the wind in the trees. In the context of our exquisite universe, let’s ponder those we love, or share the moment with them.  The awesomeness of our universe shows us so plainly that love itself remains the truly treasured gift in our lives.

It’s beyond amazing, the gifts we’ve been given. Who needs to go shopping? Let’s just pause and be astonished by what we have.