Red Heart Cedar

This red heart cedar stump,
With its dark crevasses
And holes where bugs had homes,
Was sanded smooth.
A urethane finish added for shine
And protection.
The rings are visible still,
Rings that count the years
Until the tree fell in a storm,
Twisted from the earth
By tornadic winds.

Thus, I found it
In the yard.
Took the chain saw to the tree,
Cut it into chunks,
Along with the others that fell
That day while the dog and I
Sought shelter from the storm.

Now I sand and chisel away.
Routing out some hearts concave,
Bowls to be used for filling
At some future date,
Now standing empty.
Sanding some hearts level,
Tables to be used for holding things,
Yet these are empty too.

All this red heart cedar,
Once stood filled with life,
Now stands empty.

With My Eyes

Behind you,
the window blinds closed.
A faint early morning light
Surrounding you
as you slip from bed,
clutching a silky robe.
Your cloak of confidence
worn to shreds by the shyness
of your fingers flexing
round the collar of the robe
before you slip it
over you—
my breath
stolen
away
to look at you then–

Then I knew–
Byron had it wrong
with all his talk of night.
As did Botticelli
with his giant shell.
As I watched you
slip from bed
in the early morning light,
a word occurred,
just a word, a simple thought,
ran through my head,
I’ll not say it
for you’ll not believe it.

Since I can not give you
my eyes
with which to see,
and with your own
you see only flaws
and imperfections of time
magnified, as do we all, I know.
Yet add the all, the total,
the in and out of you
together,
you
standing there,
golden,
your fingers clutching
the collar of a silky robe–
my breath
stolen.

Had Byron or Botticelli seen,
perhaps then,
with their high art
and immeasurable talents,
it would have been captured,
as so many artists have tried
and failed to do.
Then you would see
Yourself with my eyes
that see—
in this soft, golden light of early morning,
a being of some ancient religion
who decided to take flesh
and walk the earth.

In a lifetime,
my words never capturing,
my talent far too small,
too paltry, too pedestrian
to ever encompass
all—
everything I see
in
everything I feel
for
the everything
you are

Reading You

 I read 
 Every word, every sentence 
 of you;
 I memorized paragraphs 
 Of you.
 I found warmth
 In the chapters
 Of you;
 My lips whispered the words
 Of you 
 As if they read sacred incantations.
 My fingers tenderly turned each page
 Of you,
 Missing you upon turning to your last.
 But finding joy 
 Upon turning once more
 To your first page,
 Reading you,
 Discovering you,
 All over and over again.
   

Golden Sky

My lost child
Time runs away from us.
Wandering in darkness,
Stumbling over hidden things,
We cannot find our way.

So it will be
That we stand,
Grieving each other
In this darkness.

Sunshine and hope
Filled us
When I pushed your
Swing in the park.
Laughing we touched
A golden sky.

Then, I thought we’d
Never know this darkness.
But it crept around the edges,
Blotting out the golden sky,
Fading to a distant memory
Until you, my child, doubt it ever real.

The Other Day

mother child

While watching a mother and her child at play
Wrapped in the delight of each other
She gives her boy a gentle toss
His tiny arms wide, wing-like
As if in flight
She’s a safety net
As he lands lightly in her hands
They laugh
Their eyes lock, sparkling
Wrapped in the miracle of each other
His arms wind about her neck
His glistening golden head rests upon her shoulder

And this hole, this longing inside remembers
The rapture between a mother and child