Where are you now? With the audience silenced. Can you return? Can I find you? The critics miss Your beautiful voice speaking, drawing visions Of life and time, of vision and hope, a woman in yellow. Her hat as is held in place by a hand, a pin, A ribbon. Slipping on and off the bus. I miss you with the audience gone. Quiet air. Friends are far apart these days, Imaginary, real, internet friends, have life. All kept apart by electrons rotating, holding hands Turning in waltz time, 3/4 time, one, two, three Heard beyond time as planets revolve blending with each other Cosmos tracking galaxies, so the revolution Relies on you, a woman scorned, no, not you. You, a writer, spectator, talent, rider of buses But someone said, and someone did. Hurting, You left us, all alone, missing the train you Put before us to ride, taught to negotiate with our souls. I call you as your grandmother might, cheerfully Near the clothes line, over a fence, worried At tea with a friend. Where are you now? Traveling back and forth, seeing a desert, A plain, a woods. The Cat seeking your hand purrs. Comfort from warm sunny days on the porch swing. I read them over and over, your words, hoping that I'll see A sign of life, a breath, star dust, your smile. Are you coming back? Be brave. Words are only words. But they live for us, grow as infants, loved, Even when they scold, they love. Eyes smile, arms hug, Don't leave, don't run away, by bus, train.
Arid: Reflections on a Morning
Morning comes with stale coffee lingering in the air.
Dogs in and out, and in, then out. Two words erupt.
Then fall to pieces as likely to grow as limestone.
The cord is missing, my laptop still and thoughtless.
Bright sun burns my eyes, warms my hair,
Overheats the brain straining to find a foothold
In actions positive and bright. But the morning hour,
With its teasing laughter, places me in an arid state.
Atmosphere, dry as my mouth, nothing grows today.
Pages to remain blank. Inkless as the well in which
I dip my pen while seeking some other way,
I wish to be in the barren deserts of sand in
Timbuktu, where treasures lie beneath,
Hidden for centuries. Their gift? Knowledge
For the eyes of Africa, hidden from the French,
Manuscripts of jeweled splendor, golden highlights,
Speaking of mysteries solved long ago.
Surrounding a barren land with science, government, humanity.
Like cacti, needling those who would steal their worth.
These documents from the twelfth century, thirteenth,
Fourteenth, Fifteenth. Poetry of the stars to linger.
I would linger in the libraries and ponder how, in an arid desert,
The jewels of creativity could bloom and grow.
I would dally at the question posed of a green world.
How could I, in the setting of new leaves and buds,
Think myself without the soil of imagination?
Such a silly thought that morning is more dry, than the
Deserts of Mali or the great Sahara. Perhaps tea
to motivate and enervate? Or a simple peeled orange?
I caught a glance of myself from the corner of my eye this morning and had to stop and look. I looked…happy. Not the usual answer to people who look at me and say, “Are you happy?” but an unbidden, unjudged slightly smiled unthinking happy. It took me by surprise. I was in full thought about the book I’m writing and had put the dogs out for a break. Surely, that was an optimistic moment. I was writing and working through new thoughts, trying to put them in words that weren’t too redundant. And I had been thinking that I had missed Renkian’s birthday two days ago, summer was coming, shh, don’t wake the daddy, dogs. It was all in a rush, just as I typed it, but I was happy.
My trees behind the house are still filling in and suburbia has disappeared. The flowers in front are blooming with no assistance on my part. The kitchen is clean. I should have expected the happy feeling. There are enough trials I’ve gone through and difficult times that I smiled though, but that isn’t the type of thing that brings my inner happy out. It’s simplicity.
When I was small I would sing to the fairies who lived in the rose bushes. I would dance for my springer spaniel and enjoy the tea I served her. I took naps with the puppies she had so they would not be lonely. I followed my mother wanting to move with her mysterious knowledge of what was important in her life. I would pretend to be asleep so my dad would carry me in from the car, jealous that I wasn’t younger still. I would look at snowflakes for hours through the window and be the great SNOWMONSTER in my blue snowsuit and red boots. I knew the names of all of the ladybugs that swarmed in my yard searching for aphids for dinner. I found the inside of boxes most fascinating and would sit in them for hours just looking at things.
People say they don’t understand women. I’m so simple though. If a thought bends toward the color of the sky, rose, rainbow, I’m full of the happiness that small things bring. Bring me a cup of tea, happy. A dandelion, happy. Spring rain, happy. A book, happy. Let me make you something? Happy. I want to share things with the world. I want the world to understand that today, I’m kind, sweet, silly but most of all I’m happy.
Give me a moment to watch a ballgame and I’m so happy for the young men who play and try to keep that game focused on Baseball. They’re happy. I watch Rendon on TV hit the ball with a graceful swing, I’m happy. It’s not things in life that make life important. I believe it’s enjoying the moments of life. So, today I found myself happy as I hadn’t been in a long time. My reflection spoke in loud whispers. I can’t hide the fact that my nature will not dwell for long on the sad, worrisome or terrible. Somewhere that little voice will call from, just loud enough for me to hear, and I’ll see that little smile in the mirror again. I’m happy.
What to do?
To do, today? I wondered.
How to shine?
Where to polish?
Just a book, unread.
Teasing me from the bookshelf.
Just an album.
I saw a tea cup,
Unloved and filled it,
Tea and a book
A sofa and a book.
I’ll settle here.