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.
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
Every word, every sentence
I memorized paragraphs
I found warmth
In the chapters
My lips whispered the words
As if they read sacred incantations.
My fingers tenderly turned each page
Missing you upon turning to your last.
But finding joy
Upon turning once more
To your first page,
All over and over again.
Thousands of masts
point into a gray sky,
waiting for the sun
to burn through November clouds,
to warm their decks,
their canvas sails.
Just as I waited,
chilled and bound,
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
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