Lingering at the breakfast table, an hour or two of chores already completed, he folds away the newspaper before turning to smile at the small, barefoot disturbance running into his kitchen.
“Are you done, Grandpa?” Glancing toward the over-sized cup resting on the table next to its deep, broad saucer he says, “No, not quite. Do you want a turn?” Not waiting for a reply, he pushes back his chair as I hop from one foot to the other, filled to the brim with impatience.
Carrying his cup to the stove, he fills it with coffee from the dented aluminum pot that’s been keeping on the back burner, then turns to ease into his chair. Carefully, he pours some of the dark, fragrant liquid into the saucer and hands it to me.
Gently at first, then more confidently, I ripple the muddy, steaming pond with my breath. Daring to take a sip, I find the coffee still too hot for drinking so I continue on, breathing across the bowl until a second sip or a third no longer burns my lips. Only then do I hand the saucer to my grandfather. “Perfect,” he says with another smile, sipping the cooled coffee from the saucer. Refilling it from the cup he drinks again, pouring and filling and drinking until the last of the coffee is gone. (more…)
of sunlit life
skip, scoot and scatter
along the meadow’s edge,
tracing paths of nascent spring,
nudging lush, emerging blossoms,
swirling away on rising breezes
’til seized and held by summer’s verdant hand. (more…)
prowling heaven’s alleyways
with unexpected grace
you take your ease on Saturn’s stoop
then roam again the darkness,
an elegant, celestial stray hungry for attention.
Prone beneath your pathway,
curbstone-pillowed, concrete bound,
I squint and ponder
tracing your silent route through time
until I feel a tug
and hear the tiny, worried voice.
An earthbound stray has found her friend,
her source of food
no longer rising tall against the sky but flattened to the ground,
eyes turned upward,
head bent back as though the victim of a fall.
Green eyes wide,
she nudges hard against my pillowed head,
pushes back dismissive hands.
she bites and tugs my hair as though to pull me upright,
rescuing her realm
from a universe gone mad.
I leave the comet to its flight
and offer consolation to this nearer, living world.
“Look up,” I murmur,
running hands through fur that sparks
and shines like starlight in her eyes.
“A thousand years are passing.
A thousand years have passed.”
This older poem was substantially re-written after I became intrigued by A Milkweed Comet on Steve Schwartzman’s “Portraits of Wildflowers” blog. Comments always are welcome. To leave a comment or respond, please click below.
The sky lowers and the land disappears. A turning wind blankets the moon with sea-born fog, shrouding the contours of its glittering face. Harsh and brilliant above the fog, riding high behind fast-scudding clouds, it lights the transition between old and new, between one year and the next.
As the hours pass toward midnight, a lingering few stand silent, shrouded in a fog of thought, tangled in life’s web, caught between the Land-of-No-Longer and the Land-of-Yet-to-Be. Perhaps they glimpse a moonlit shard of truth hidden to revelers in the street – this is the way of life. What has been passes away into forgetfulness, even as the yet-to-be stirs toward vitality. Armies rise. Nations fall. Children squall into existence, wailing for the grandparents who sigh away into death. Across the farthest reaches of the galaxies, even the least star explodes with pulsating light while on our own shy, spinning globe, rotting leaves and the stench of mud evoke a season’s final turn. (more…)