echoes of Autumn…Tanka/Haiku

.
.
.
echoes of Autumn…
.
voices like leaves rustle and
.
scatter to the wind,
.
yet another poet’s pen
.
has sadly been set aside.
.
.
windy-leaves

.
.
a wordless farewell…

like the brightest leaves they fall
.
when their season calls.
.
but just as the memories

of true love always lingers,
.
.
.
creativity
.
and their inspired poetry
.
forever remain.
.
.
.
dedicated to thesilentfingers, Tanumoy Biswas,
Memoirs of a Dragon, cubby and Tiffany Coffman. ty, all.

let the world….

.
.
.

let the world do as it will…
.
what pale light lingers of endless Winter days
.
fades from these eyes averted,
.
far away from this reluctant silhouette’s
.
anonymous imprints in greying sidewalk slush.
.
.
.

let the world do what it has…
.
i measure my walk lightly here in frugal steps
.
and speak less amidst the throng,
.
not belonging where i don’t an eager
.
trade of so many years in such meager wisdom.
.
.
.

so let the world do what it must…
.
that our words and value lie less in volume
.
than in selfless devotion’s daily intent.
.
this grateful heart returns Home

warm with aromas of pine scented candles and

food so lovingly prepared,
.
the eclectic comfort of all we’ve collected
.
of familiar voices and heartbeats
.
and know there is no world i need but ours.
.
.
.
DSCN0856

refuge

.
.
.

thCAWX4BGB
.
.
refuge
.
.
.

on days like this
like so many days
and for no reason
and for all my reasons
this fragile heart can’t
face this relentless world

when all i hear is abundant cruelty
when all i know are slights and daggers
when all i feel is every desperate heart
when all i see is every place i don’t belong

remember… our first momentous night together

pine scented candles and your second hand flowered couch
when so tenderly stroking your forehead hushed you to sleep?
and content just to watch you breath your tranquil dreams

you knew then i could always do that for you and
i knew then i would finally share my every weakness
because there is no refuge in this world for me but you

Friday Repost…..petals open slowly


Friday Repost

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


.
.
.
.
petals open slowly

.
.
.

across undulating fields of truthful wheat
across the window walled skyscraper cities
across churning surf and miles of embattled shore
and a mother’s loving comfort hearing her baby’s cry

know your nourishing and loyal day will arrive
an infinite Sky in her kindness and healing grace
offering all its patient memory and forgiveness
and a wisdom knowing that all petals open slowly

and renewal and its reinvention begin the day
because a child’s heart is a truth we can’t deny
my dearest friend the sun is warming at your window
and our new world awaiting to hear your hopeful reply
.
.

Who is of smiling face
Bestower of all fortunes
Whose hands are ready to
Rescue anyone from fear

It is the child in us
.
.
my morning music and a beautiful video::::enjoy::::

Sunday Prose: The Farm

the farm 026.
.
The Farm will be random posting of a
little storytelling, oral history and updates
on the renovation of our family farm.
.
.
.
Silver Dollars
.
.
.
The sun finally slipped behind the ten foot leafy corn tops, our first full day at our family farm almost complete at eight forty, the entire western sky a warm tangerine. It is serenity still here on this late summer night, no breeze brushing across the grass, not a single leaf in transit, only the fireflies momentarily dotting the darkness silently leaving their slow motion, crisscrossing phosphorescent trails.

It is quiet enough to hear my own breathing sitting on the small steps to the 130 year old farm house, white and wood framed that sits on 3 tidy acres, an almost square parcel, a postage stamp carved into a 100 acre plot, surrounded, fort like by an impenetrable closely planted wall of crops on all four sides.

From these well worn concrete steps through the densely planted century old trees you can spy the gravel road, a quarter mile long canal like passage through a double sided wall of corn plants standing sentry to the county road, our entry is unmarked except for the house directly across the road.

There is one landline phone, no internet service
and an old t.v. and all of us consider this place
our private slice of the universe.
.
.
the farm 016
.
.
.
There is a quiet and humble history on this property, in the trees that were climbed by the children who grew up on this farm, in the still visible foundation outline of the once huge barn, in every dented and gouged pine door casing, the ancestry of Scout’s family is explained in these details and always further illuminated in our post dinner conversations. Country folk love telling stories and with very little fanfare and a matter of fact manner that belies the profound humanity, the empathy like a ribbon that runs through this family, tales were told tonight too.

Scout and her younger brother spent their summers on this farm, it was a working farm then with a huge pasture for the steer that her granpa Pap butchered, chickens and horses, the crops were soybeans, corn, hay and peony plants. The multistory post and beam constructed barn was enormous by all accounts, the heart of any farm and this barn served as the center of activity and endless hours of discovery for the kids too.

The horses and ponies were a favorite, Sccout spent her time learning to care, feed, walk and eventually ride these horses so much so that Gram ordered Pap to build her a racetrack behind the barn. This was no small affair, the size of this track would take out a significant portion of the pasture and there were conversations between Gram and Pap about the wisdom of this idea but as so many of the stories are indicative of the strength and conviction of the women in this family, Gram prevailed.

She always did.

Gram and Pap grew up during the Great Depression and talked often about being ‘dirt poor’, their families barely survived, scratching out a living however they could in this farming town in southern Indiana just outside Evansville and it’s doubtful that they would have described this same piece of land as a slice of the universe then, as we do now. She learned to cook at a very early age, her scribbled recipes, a shaky penciled script written on stained and wrinkled, blue lined loose leaf pages are coveted by the women in this family, every family had but a few until Scout compiled them into a book and each family then received their own copy one Christmas.

Gram set aside her Avon side business in 1970, took her cooking talents and became the head lunchroom cook at the local elementary school, always adding an extra helping of whatever was on the menu that day to the plates of the very poor among the students. There were four kids in particular, 2 brothers and 2 sisters whose family was considered ‘poorer than dirt poor’ even then, lunch was their only nutritious meal of the day.

Gram invited these children to the farm every day on the pretense of playing in the barn with my wife and her brother and play they did. The boys built an enclosed fort from the hay bales behind the barn and when they all felt very adventurous and were sure no adults were looking, climbed to the second story rafters of the barn and jumped, one by one into the huge 12’ high pile of shelled feed corn below.

Actually, this story was just revealed to Scout’s parents tonight, to their rolled eyes and ‘Oh, no you didn’ts!’, and we all had a great big laugh at the secrets kids can keep.

But the real reason Gram brought those 4 hungry kids to their farm after school was to feed them, they all shared dinner together and whenever she could, unbeknownst to Pap or anyone else, she would slip them each a silver dollar and send them back home.

Decades later when Gram died, the 4 grown adults who all still lived in the area, all successful now, came to Gram’s funeral and told the whole family this story, the story the they were all learning about as they listened, the tale of a woman quietly sharing what she had with those less fortunate. The 2 sisters and 2 brothers then asked if they could place a small suede pouch they had brought with them, into Grams casket to honor her memory.

The small, hand stitched suede pouch cinched
tight with thin leather roping the family learned,
was filled with silver dollars.
.
.
the farm 012

.

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)

everyday……….Bucket of Glads

everyday will be a random
posting of daily events or
memories of my daily life
that don’t translate
well into poetry
.
.
.
.
.
‘How are you feeling, Cbear?’

‘Not so well, I’m just getting so tired.’

“Hhmm…..yeah, you feel a little warm. Why don’t you put your homework aside for now and we’ll hang out and watch some ‘Office?’

And as I suspected this suggestion was accepted like a person in water much too deep, reaching with outstretched hands for a life preserver. Relieved, she gathered all her papers and textbooks and set them in a perfectly aligned pile on the coffee table, (she’s neat that way) and in a quick second had the remote in her hand sliding through The Office episodes on Netflix.

She was getting sick, I could see it in the drawn, grey look on her face; after 13 years I can recognize her signs immediately

‘Ya Know, that usually happens to me when the seasons change, I end up getting sick too.

‘Really?’

‘Yup…I’m not sick now but I am sleeping an awful lot lately, so which episode are we watching?’

The Office, along with Sherlock are Cbear’s current viewing obsession. She’s seen and can recite in remarkable recall and minute detail the what, why and who in each show of all the eight seasons she’s watched. So I assumed my comfy horizontal position on my favorite couch and she curled up on hers, and we did what we’ve always done, we just hung out together.

When she was much younger and when this habit of ours began, it was Spongebob that was the must see show for both of us. I realized then, that she was like me in so many ways, that she needed alone time to recharge and lots of it.

She arrives Wednesday’s and every other Friday for her weekend sleepovers and in this second home of hers, Saturday quickly became our designated ‘go away world we need to be alone now’ day. It still is.

And in my second home, enscosed on my couch which is placed at the far end of our huge apartment, beneath a gently curved wall of three enormous, west facing windows, I can see clear through the long narrow hallway, to the back end of this third floor condo. That last bedroom became Scout’s office and the door to the rear deck and parking lot is almost visible, from where my head is.

I’ll admit to dozing off occasionaly, especially during the late afternoon hour of 4pm, and it’s through this sleepy haze that I heard the commotion the dogs make before Scout even opens the door, before she trundles up the the three flights of stairs, before she’s even closed the door to our Honda Element, there they are at attention, yelping at the door.

So I turned my head to look down the hall, to eventually say hi and in the dimly lit, shadowy hallway I heard the dogs both jumping up and down, flanking Scout and I expected to see her small framed silhouette as i usually would.

But I didn’t.

All I could see was the shadowy outline of an enormous bunch of stems, so tall they were almost brushing against the low hallway ceiling. And then through and from behind this almost dense hedge of flowers came the multi syllabic bullet word train moving at speeds so fast, I’m not able to decipher her words in real time,

‘syytbg jgjjg ghg ghdffweii stelcbg fhg fyksmdb gjguu!!! ggfm ghh
sdelvbt htsk fgopnj fhhfhjkd vf erhrlsjs!!! tylklkch gfnh tysgvcaw ng ftakdbg!!! bxkirytf bnjg fgwllfg gkk kuoioko gsrtkm gjj gjjhkuihj!!!…..

and if I’ve learned anything in the almost 12 years Scout and I have been together, it’s not to try and halt this train midstream. This is her speaking in, ‘I’m so happy and excited I did something new and I brought you something and I have so many stories to tell you!’ voice, it’s better to just let it whooshwhiz!!! by, like a commuter standing on the platform and ask questions later.

So I get up and meet her in the kitchen, just as she gets there,

‘ddgfonnvj gjh ryydvhmmebbnh htyf nsrrdf gfjhj
ghysk nghf iiyhhfgwl mbjg ghakkrnvb ghgdr hjly
Well…Doyoulikethem!!!????

014
click to enlarge
.
.
‘Well yes, of course.
I love them but wha….’

‘You need to arrange them
in a vase, like you always do’

And as she was saying this, she lifted two reusable shopping bags I didn’t realize she was holding, onto the counter and let them down with a thud, a very heavy thud. All I could do is shake my head in disbelief and be reminded why her second nickname is Ant.

‘Uh… Scout, I think you’re looking at the vase, we don’t have anything close to the size of that bucket.’

Now…you need to realize that Scout is a shade over 5’3, the gladiolas were almost 3′ tall, and there were almost 2 dozen of these dense heavy stems in a plastic bucket filled 3/4 of the way to the top, with water.

‘I stopped at T’s and gave her a dozen, V downstairs got a dozen too. There’s all kinds of fruit for Cbear, Cbear come and eat some of this fruit!’

She began unloading the bags, and piled onto the counter was an enormous variety of fresh fruit from Michigan and a cardboard flat of homemade jams in glass mason jars (keep thinking heavy) from a booth at the Farmer’s Market she visited that morning. All of this stuff was carried up 3 flights of stairs, by herself! ( ant ) finally arriving in the kitchen with a smile and breathless, ready with stories to recite.

Hearing fresh fruit being mentioned, Cbear came in to the kitchen and assembled herself a healthy snack, perfect food for the cold she was coming down with.

‘Yum!, why didn’t you call us to help?’

So as it turns out, the booth that Scout visited wss manned by a parent who, over the many years Scout taught her son violin, had become a good friend. She sold Scout the flowers and fruits, at an end of the day discount. She is also an influential member on a board of directors, that founded and runs an artist’s retreat. Some time ago Scout gave her the link to this blog and I guess they talked about me applying for one of their grants to stay there, free, and do nothing but write.

The residencies begin at 2 weeks up to a few months, and the only requirement beyond a serious commitment to create, is joining in the communal dinner every night.

‘You need to do this, you need to apply right away!’

‘It sounds unbelievable, but how are we…’

‘Just apply, I don’t know. You just need to apply!’

Now…please understand, this is the same person who help put the pieces of my broken life back together, the same person who told me years ago that I should be writing and did not let up, until I began. And at every obstacle we’ve encountered, and we’ve had some significant one’s, her response has always the same,

‘I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out!….’

About.com
Ants are capable of carrying objects 50 times their own body weight with their mandibles. Ants use their diminutive size to their advantage. Relative to their size, their muscles are thicker than those of larger animals or even humans. This ratio enables them to produce more force and carry larger objects. If we had muscles in the proportions of ants, we’d be able to heave a Hyundai over our heads!

Or Honda Elements or a bucket of Glads or the one’s they love.