Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Call to One

Stretched

in every

conceivable

direction

silence

both carries

and dissolves me.

I am a way

of hearing

and am lost.

I don’t travel

but am everywhere.

In this vastness,

love, I recognize

you. You were

the beautiful

teardrop

falling from

our mother’s

other eye.

You were

the song

across the mountain

curing

my loneliness.

You were the

sea captain

always, always

returning

to my shore.

From all outer reaches

love

spirals us in

to nestle

still

in oneness

before we begin

again

to dance.

 

for Z

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To Be the Sun

It’s true, what moms warn their kids: “Don’t make that face. It’ll freeze that way.” Flesh isn’t stone but it holds the shape that is most familiar, most practiced. There’s a woman who lives in the nursing home I visit – let’s call her Myrna – with a face like a big, loud NO. Myrna’s face is sculpted into deeply creased, frowning unrest. Surely, it’s a picture of how she has felt for most of her life. It’s hard to look at her face without feeling sad for her.

But the funny thing is how quickly Myrna’s face changes when someone smiles or speaks to her kindly. There’s a startling, wonderful transformation. She completely lights up. She grins wide, like a little kid. It’s as if she’s just waiting for a good word or soft touch. Like she’s a tight-petaled flower that instantly relaxes at the kiss of the sun. So, I love smiling at her. I feel an immediate reward: her happiness lights up my own.

Maybe that’s what it feels like to be the sun – never picking and choosing, just shining, even into the darkest places, grinning to everything, everyone, amplifying one’s own radiant joy by setting it alight everywhere.

I wrote this poem for Myrna:

 

Smile

Obstacles

appear to be

everywhere.

Your son

turns away

visitors

at the door.

Your mother

refuses

medicine.

The company

cuts you off

for following

your heart.

And then

you notice even

your own face

over the decades

has dried into

a twisted

buckled

shield of fear.

Seeing it

in the mirror

deflates you.

But this morning

something

out of the blue––

a memory of

Buster the dog,

belly up, wagging

and grinning––

sparks a sudden

little smile

then a big one

shining out

from the mirror.

The frightened squint

melts into

wonder.

You grin

into your own eyes

with the

warm, prideful love

only your grandmother

ever gave you.

Your eyes become

her eyes

in the mirror

and she transforms

the shield

into a flower

opening

and opening.

Your eyes are

beautiful after all,

you think,

surprised at first,

then admitting you

knew that all along.

Here, with

nobody watching,

beyond all

obstacles, you are

childishly happy

to find yourself

an invincible

smile.