Friday Repost: coverlet

Friday Repost
for my new friends,
a little dig in the
archives for you.
.

.
.
.
.
coverlet.
.
.
..
.
i dreamt…

i wrote you a poem last night

i traced the words with my finger

across the cotton coverlet

i wrapped you in

to keep you safe and warm
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
i watched

you breathing as you slept

sat on the edge of the bed

for hours remembering

every kiss i ever gave you…

every laugh i ever made you…
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
i’ve sewn

all our memories together

into this blanket of love

i wrapped you in

so you will always remember

all that you are to me
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
i wrote

the poem lightly with my finger

so not to wake you

and over and over and over

i traced the words so you never, never forget

‘please… don’t ever… ever leave me’
.
.
.
.
.
.

black-white-romantic-couple-lovers-large-oil-painting.
.

everyday….. Of Kitchens & Promises

everyday will be a random
posting of daily events or
memories of my daily life
that don’t translate
well into poetry

.
.
.
.
.
029

.
.
I should have known when she spent an entire summer weekend dutifully making notations in pencil on the back of every page of a very neat black clasped, inch thck manuscript. Curious, I inquired, thinking it was something she had written. As she slowly wrapped her left arm around the stack of paper, protective like any good editor and gathering it closer as she lay flat on the pull out futon, answering in a very quiet but deliberate voice,

‘It’s Anna’s autobiography, she asked me to read it and take notes.’

I sat there in my favorite writing chair in the room we shared when she sleeps over, mouth slightly ajar and more than a little dumbfounded. Cbear, my daughter was 12 last year.

I guess I should have known then.

Maybe it should have dawned on me a few months later when she had her choice of languages to study, after testing into one of the better high schools that includes a new advanced 7th and 8th grade college prep program.

‘I decided to continue Chinese. The United States and China wiil be doing a joint space venture someday and I want to be there.’

Spoken so matter of factly, I could only stammer,

‘Uh…sure, that makes a lot of sense Cbear.’

We had spoken about the possibility of her learning French and how it might inspire her writing, poetry and the blossoming creative side of her personality. She’s been learning Chinese for 5 years now, about as long as she’s expressed the burning desire to be an astro-physicist. Stephen Hawking is one of her favorite reads.

It should have dawned on me, right then and there.

I mean, how dense of a father can I be to not realize that my little girl is growing up in leaps and bounds so profound I am continually playing catchup, constantly trying to assimilate and absorb this not so sudden reality? Any comparison, any attempt to relate to how I was at her age has long ago become obsolete becaue there is none.

It feels as though I’m flying by the seat of my parental pants, trying to grasp a shooting star.

And it’s not that I’m attempting to hold her back, that would be as selfish and unfair as it would be impossible but….I just keep wondering where these 13 years went, I worry that her childhood is going by too quickly.

I wonder if she feels the same whooooosh! of time that I do.

Cbear lives with her mom and as a child of a divorce is about as well adjusted as you could expect a kid to be. There are the inevitable day to day details I really regret missing over the years with our every Wednesday, every other weekend sleepover arrangement, but when we’re together we talk about stuff, real stuff.

She and I have always talked, our conversations began when she was very young as my way to resolve conflict, when she occasionally misbehaved and needed some guidance and direction. It was very purposeful, a night and day difference in how conflict was so called ‘resolved’ when I was a kid, the back of the hand injustice I was given as guidance by my parents.

And if there ever was a conversation that
crystalized just how grown up this 13 year
old daughter of mine is now, it is the one
we had a few weeks ago standing in the
kitchen of our apartment after school.
.
.
022
.
.

Soon after moving into Scout’s apartment, we did an assesment of what we now owned together. With both of us being good cooks fond of our own special pots and utensils, the large but poorly designed kitchen that held promise, needed a complete redesign. I cooked professionally for 4 years, and being borderline OCD I designed it to resemble a restaurant kitchen, lots of stainless steel, almost everything exposed, organized and easily accesible.

Every utensil, pot, saute pan and dish had its own place.

I took the entire kitchen down to the studs on the walls and floors and started from scratch, doing most of the work myself. The project took about 6 months, and there were days we wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew.

But now all these years later, our kitchen like kitchens in most people’s homes is the hub of ours too, the place where the day to day life of our family begins and ends, where lists are made, food is shared and conversations had. Ours is not a sit down kitchen with a table, but it is very comfortable with a large counter where we sit and eat, work on laptops, and chatter about our day.

And if you’ve been to other people’s homes for a dinner or party, the kitchen is usually where all the adults eventually find themselves, the magnet of proximity to food and beverages is just too appealing. So in retrospect, it was fitting that Cbear and I had this converstaion in our kitchen that night.

I knew the minute she began talking this was no ordinary conversation, turning off the burners on the stove I turned around to face her eye to eye, heart to heart because what she was telling me needed every bit of my attention and careful consideration. We spoke for about an hour, I listened a lot, I asked questions and she was as direct and truthful and matter of fact as I’ve ever known her to be. After I took her head in my hands, kissed her forehead as I always do, we hugged for a long time before she returned to her bedroom to resume her homework.

I stood there for a long while letting the warmth and wonder of the moment wash over me, shaking my head some, tearing up a little too. I thought about the first time this person, this now young adult and I first met, in the delivery room after the horribly traumatic ordeal of the emergency C section had subsided, where it was very touch and go for both her and her mom, when the nurse finally handed me this tiny bundle of blankets with a baby inside, how tiny this new life felt in my large hands and the truly beautific smile the nurse had on her face as she told me my daughter and her mom were healthy.

I can recognize that tranquil, clear eyed matter of fact innocence now, it was there when I looked in her hazel eyes that night, as i kissed her forehead for the first time and just before the nurse came back to take her to her mom, the promise I whispered in her little ear, that the injustice I experienced as a kid by hand and from the mouths of my parents, would never be experienced by her. Ever. It would end with me.

And I stood there a while longer, eventually turning on the burners again to resume dinner for us both thinking about promises, that we don’t hear or read much about them these days, these days of instantly unfriending someone, where divorce is so commonplace that more than half of Cbear’s schoolmates are living in single parent households, where commitment and devotion seem like such an ancient concept.

I made two promises early in my life, one I broke staying five years longer than I should have in my frst marriage, a marriage that had become loveless, and in hindsight a promise made to fix what my parents broke, my childlike attempt to repair my own family.

I kept the promise I made to Cbear, easily the most important thing I’ve ever accomplished in this life and the woooosh! of time brought me such a profound and divine humility and gratitude that she wanted our living arangements to change,
that she wanted to spend more time with her dad.

We decided a week here and a week with her mom would be best for all of us, and during the first week we were talking about stuff again. I’ve been revealing a little about my life to her when I was sure she was ready. We were looking at old photos of her when she was a baby and I told her of the promise I made to her that night as I held her for the first time.

And I could see it was she who was listening quite intently this time, and when I finished she looked at me eye to eye, heart to heart and said,

‘Thank you dad’,

and we hugged for a long time, right there in the kitchen.
.
.
.
everyday….Bucket of Glads

to her……seedling

to her….will be random posting
of Haiku devoted to
Scout, my partner

.
.
.
.
.
.
in your gaze i see,
.

all the colors of the Sun.
.

with you in my arms,
.
.
.
.
eyes kissing my earth,
.

what i have is all i need.
.

sweet gardener of Love…
.
.
.

sunspectrum_noao_960

.
.
Here are all the visible colors of the Sun,
produced by passing the Sun’s light through
a prism-like device. NASA.gov

restoration

dear friends
another reblog of a poem and subject
that have been on my mind these past
few weeks. hope you enjoy it.

.
.
.
thCAO77128
.
.
.
there is a moment
in the darkness which is my waking hour,
that i realize these bones are older than i remember
shallow muscles ache more than they should…still,
i rise to the occasion. i get up

because that’s what i do,
there is work to be done and coffee to brew.
because work is what i know.
i was taught early lessons in sweat, and
the value of honest labor.

and i thought only i’d heard the
rooster’s faint crow from a distant farm,
but there is rustling in the bedrooms.
the rest of US are rising to an occasion too,
it’s what they’ve known…so we sip

our fresh brewed, congratulate Scout’s parents
on their anniversary yet they choose to celebrate
this moment, their long and loving history
talking of work that needs completion, during breakfast.
‘so, you’ve been married three years less than i’ve lived?’,

and i’m 58 now….so yes, we’ve all brought our considerable
history and collection of tools here to our farm, an old house
certainly deserves repair. because all of US hear the
fading echoes of those who’ve walked these creaky floors.
THEY, who gave life

and love and their sweat of honest labor.
that even during the Great Depression somehow
scratched out a living doing whatever was needed to
keep this farm, this family alive, because day after weary day
they got up, and rose to their occasion.
.
.
PeteWebsterCarpentryTools

these old shoes……Haiku

.
.
to read by
.

.
.
these old shoes
.
.
.

these old shoes of mine…

walked the twisting, painful path

that has marked this life.

.
.

my innocence lost…

psyche and body so bruised,

i ran at fourteen.

.
.

and these old shoes stood

steadfast and true…. with me in

my loneliest hours.

.
.

i can’t let them die…

stitching them back together,

again… and… again.

.
.

i don’t yearn for much…

these days….. my miracles are

the moments i’m in.

.
.
my needs are simple,

f a m i l y…. is my fashion.
.

‘shoes, just get me…..h o m e’

.
.
images (35)
.
.
for my sister Melanie,
ty for your courage.

.
.

a wish come true

dear new friends and old,

it isn’t often that a difficult issue, especially one that involves family, is resolved in precisely the way you hoped it would, that everything might just fall into place, and everyone might play their part according to a perfect but unwritten script. navigating family resolutions, at least in my experience, is like living in a colorless, flat landscape of unsatisfsctory compromises.

that absolute ideal, what you really hope could happen, rarely does.

well, i will tell you today that everything did fall into place, everyone did play their part perfectly, without rancor, without a single voice raised, with empathy and resolve and a single minded, selfless purpose.

because sometimes it isn’t about us, sometimes it’s about letting ‘us’ go, about being a conduit for what someone else needs because that person is counting on you to help make it happen, because they can’t themselves. and i will tell you i am proud of every single person involved because when i wrote ‘every single word, each reassuring gesture is crucial’ in ‘one of those moments’, i realized this wasn’t just a reminder to myself, it was a necessity for everyone else involved as well.

and so a wish was made…. and that wish came true.

yes…our lives will change significantly, everyone’s will, in the small day to day details and in profound, unknown ways. yet, as i sit here writing this and despite my weariness and emotional exhaustion, i am incredibly hopeful for what the future holds for us all, here in our family. this week will be a week of transition, and my singular resolve and commitment is no less important now, than it was getting to this point. i’m not ready to write just yet, but expect me on your pages as i catch up with what i’ve been missing.

this experience has certainly crystallized many of my long held beliefs, that our tragic history does not have to be repeated, that there is a pure universal truth in selflessness, that empathy and patience and love are by far, the most important human attributes.

that if we all work together… we can achieve anything.

i will also tell you there were days i lost my bliss, that anxiety held it’s grip and would not let go, that fear ruled the day, fear that this might not be resolved as perfectly as it was.

and each time i felt i might sink a little lower, i would get yet another encouraging e mail from one of you, from so many of you, or another wonderful comment would appear, some from new friends and old i have never spoken to, and about a dozen new friends arrived to remind me that i was being thought of even in my absence. and on days like this i think about how incredible this community is, and how lucky i am to be here among all of you. i consider you all part of my exteneded family.

there are seven words i hold dear to my heart in the English language, words that to me, are the most important words we can say to one another in certain moments.

‘i’m sorry’…’i love you’…and ‘thank you’.

thank you, thank you, thank you all.
.
.
images (31)

the white dress

this is the second
in a series of
3 poems

1) the improbability of us
.
.
.
.
a beautiful instrumental to read by.
.

.
.
the white dress
.
.
.
i found that photo of you…
like all the serendipitous details
of this twelve year improbable union….it appeared,
falling through time when i wasn’t looking…
face up, lightly to the floor…
.
.
i stood there…
in my infinite moment….lost
before reaching, soft cradling all
its significance in these large hands…
retracing the conflicted memory of that day…
.
.
the surface scratched,
its edges curling and slightly frayed…
the years hidden in a drawer… in between,
taking its inevitable toll…and yet,
there you were… always.
.
.
looking over your shoulder,
peering into everything i ever was…
reassuring my every mistake and imperfection…
reminding me, to myself…because there were days then,
i relied on you to remember who i am
.
.
you brought the photo home that day
casually, with a nonchalant laugh set it down,
as if i wouldn’t notice…..you,
and all that i ever wanted… standing,
with your back exposed in your perfect silhouette,
.
.
outlined in a white wedding dress.
as if i wouldn’t notice, each fine laced detail
and the small elegant train puddled on
the glossy warm oak floor.
as if i wouldn’t ask…
.
.
oh….you just tried it on for a laugh,
while you were there fitting a bridesmaid gown…
and me desperately, silently, yearning to make it real
but i was broken, and could offer only the moments we were in,
and all this quiet heart could ever give you
.
.
and oh, the moments we lived inseperably
and every trust of mine sliced in two have healed,
and embroidered whole again in loyal, brightly thread
and together, again and again persevering against the wind
and our family, our friendship thriving now, where there was none
.
.
.
.
.
.
i found that photo of you,
and i’m gently cradling all its
significance in my hands right now…
and darlin’…you need to know, there is
something… stirring deep in this heart of mine…