For Jim

Oh, Jim,

When I close my eyes, I see your face,

I hear your voice, those words of wry wisdom and gentle humor.

For months I’ve known this day would come, still the news of your passing caught me off guard,

Hit me right in the heart.

Knocked me off my feet.

You were our leader. The one who made the exaggerated gesture—feet off the pegs, legs askew—while riding your motorcycle, making me laugh,

Even as I negotiated the curves on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

You never pushed me to ride over my head, simply let me ride my own pace.

Oh, how I’ll miss you.

Dear Jim,

I hope you’ll sing karaoke in heaven.

When I Feel Sad

When I feel sad I might curl up in a ball and sob

Or apply mascara and go out for lunch

I might dance around the room with abandon

Or sit by myself in a corner, when I feel sad.

There’s no telling what I’ll do when the self pity lands

And my thoughts go to dark places. But I won’t do that.

Don’t worry. I’m not sad.

Peace, people.

Light

If it’s always darkest before the dawn, then is the opposite true?

Before the dark sets in, is that when the light shines brightest?

Maybe we’d notice then, and make ready.

But then we’d always be wondering, is this it? Is this the brightest light? How could anything be brighter? We must be doomed.

Or maybe we’d just celebrate the light.

Peace, people.

Discover Prompts: Light

The Things We Touch

Door knobs and counter tops,

Paper money and coins,

Credit card scanners and screens,

Gas pump handles, a lover’s face,

Our phones, our eyes, our hair,

Children’s little noses, dogs’ ears,

Cats, when they’ll let us,

Faucets and tables,

Light switches and silverware,

Steering wheels and guitar strings,

The panic button, if we aren’t careful.

Sculpture in Venice tackles the topic of climate change

Peace, people.

A Different Drummer

When I march, it’s to a different beat, three quarter time, more a waltz than a Sousa piece

Oompah pah, oompah pah, the carousel goes ‘round and ‘round. One, two, three, again and again

White horses on poles, the occasional sleigh, me, trying to catch the brass ring on the downbeat

Hanging on for dear life, even though I’ll go ‘round more than once. It’s not at all like real life.

Loves Me; Loves Me Not

Petals plucked in time

He loves me; he loves me not

Anticipating

Seek daisy’s wisdom

But choose your flower wisely

Odd numbers suffice

A garden’s bounty

Yields answers; questions results

How dare blossoms lie?

(After I published this I looked back in my archives and discovered another poem I’d written with the same title. The original is better, I think, but it made me laugh. It was bound to happen sooner or later.)

Patience

After days in the desert

‘Neath a scorching sun

Failing to find sanctuary

Sporting a swollen tongue,

I fell to my knees

Intending to pray

Lord help me find water

Please show me the way.

A solemn committee

Plucked from the sky

Gathered together

As I lay to die

Black robed watchers huddled

‘Round my fading form

Whispering assurance

Yearning yet to mourn

Stoop shouldered graspers

Nodding their sage heads

Poised for the wake

Preparing to be fed

Through cracked lips I spoke

Syllables faint with dread

Fly away motherfeathers

I’m not yet dead.