Places I’ve never been
Paris, England, Reykjavik
In my dreams I see the
Towers, Eiffel and London
And the stony crags of Iceland
Chances are I’ll never have the
Opportunity to cruise the
Seine or cross the Thames
Or ford the fjords
But they call to me
Just the same.
I’ve known some witches in my time
Not the cloistered crones of legends; although, they, too exist
Cackling over crackling cauldrons
Working at wickedness for fun and profit
No, those I’ve encountered don’t give a newt’s eye for sinister stews.
They are the progeny of those who could not be burned, who steadfastly refused to drown.
Is it any wonder, then, that men fear witches?
Happy Halloween, people.
The squirrels showed up first,
Chittering and bushy tailed
Scrambling for acorns they’d hide
But never find again.
A flash of red announced a cardinal
Who watched warily as one
Determined squirrel chose to dig
Too close for his comfort.
Another cardinal followed,
Then a blue jay asserted himself
Into the mix, loudly searching for tidbits
Among the oak leaves littering the yard.
Even a lizard crept along the red bricks
Hoping to go unnoticed,
But I spied him, as did the cat.
All while gentle ripples stirred the lake
Dry leaves rustled in the wind, and
An unseen songbird trilled an apology.
He must’ve been late to the party.
A glimpse of a smile
That same old familiar face
Fine lines, deep wrinkles
Spare the excuses
Hours of sunbathing glory
Long nights of excess
This map of the world
And all of her adventures
Plainly written here
Who am I to question the way a door is opened?
Push. Pull. Lift latch. Turn knob. “Abracadabra”
So what if I choose incorrectly at least half of the time?
Enter. Exit. Round and round.
When last we talked I caught a glimmer of remorse. Maybe you would choose a different door this time, or maybe find a new way to open it.
We were friends once. Invisible doors were slammed. I lost a figurative finger.
All I’m saying, is I’ll help you open that door again. We can lean against it together.
I spliced the scenes together
The early days of flickering frames in shades of black and white,
Three channels and Walter Cronkite’s signature sign-off, “And that’s the way it is.”
We begged for a color tv, if only for the Rose Bowl parade broadcast, but
I’d outgrown the delight of floats bedecked with hundreds of thousands of flowers by the time
The old RCA was replaced by a bigger, shinier new Zenith. Bonanza in color and Little Joe in
My dreams. Yeehaw.
(I owe the idea for this one, in part, to my friend LA at Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50.:
I want to be happier than I was yesterday, but not quite as happy as I’ll be tomorrow
Like that old saying I heard somewhere when I was much younger and had better retention
Only, it had more to do with love than happiness, and while the two are closely related
They can be mutually exclusive. I’ve been happy without being in love and in love without being happy
Damn. Is that as deep as I think it is, or is that just the Cabernet Sauvignon talking?
There’s an 80-something woman I know, dyes her hair magenta, wears Chanel No. 5 and purple blouses
My banker is a young, Black man with perfect teeth, and the soul of a poet. He performs at open mic nights
I’ve heard of a child who isn’t. Born on the wrong side of an imaginary line, she huddles with others in a cage
The woman next to me in the grocery store marks her territory with an angry stance and sad, old eyes
Death claims a friend, robbing all who loved her of her sweet spirit. She comes around in my dreams
Me? I’m a watcher, hoisting a glass to those who’ve touched my life, for better and sometimes for worse
Who are you? Add a verse.
Found the photo of the sculpture on Pinterest.
Winds have bowed him awkwardly,
Casting him askew to the others.
Maybe, though, he’s just leavesdropping,
Inserting himself into the discussion between
The sweet magnolia and the mighty oak
Across the way, shaking boughs and
Whispering poetry, listening for the owl.
Maybe he’s yearning for the lake,
Hoping for a cool breeze and a sip of water,
Or perhaps, like you, he’s just weary and
Seeks the loving arms of a companion.
Who am I to judge this leaning tree?
I’ve leaned too, in my day, and
Will again in the days to come.
I will take the time to linger by the lake,
To touch my toe tips to its cool surface and watch the flash of fish
Slip beneath the weeds.
Tomorrow I will pluck a daisy, counting off the petals,
Each one a vindication or a soft rejection, who needs that kind of
Fickle love anyway?
Tomorrow I will bake the bread, rolling and kneading and
Watching it rise, the smell of warm yeasty goodness almost making me
Swoon with giddiness.
Tomorrow I will honor the friends whose days were cut short,
I’ll wear patchouli on my wrists and dress in a gypsy skirt, maybe with bells
Announcing my arrival.