Jewels in the Sky

Autumn LeavesGlistening jewels coat
the tips of trees
which light the skies
with lofty ease.
Priceless Rubies, Topaz stones,
and Mandarin Garnets
in orange tones.

Each will be sold in silent bidding
with votes harnessed
from a passing crowd
of wide, uplifted eyes
whose currency, only fitting,
is to be pleased-
sometimes out loud!

Later these gems
whose fiery flames
burned without heat
and singed none but their stems,
these dazzling comets
will fade and fall
down to earthly feet
whose toes will curl
deep into the ground
and stoke the coals
for next years round.

Mandarin Garnet
A Mardarin Garnet.

No Borders Here


Each word defines
a distance
between us-
but also
a bridge
spanning that gulf

am just
another side
another word
to mean you

My country
is my soul,
but in my land
and sky
you and I
have no borders

Photo taken in Hocking Hills, OH- near Old Man’s Cave

Airmail Love


Sometimes before sleep late at night, I lie in bed
listening to my cats purr as they lick themselves clean
before curling up in a furball as close as possible to me.
I hear the distant roar of the highway, thousands
of cars swishing in a hurry to get somewhere,
perhaps the moon. Maybe they are lonely,
and sad love follows them as fast as they can drive.
Or maybe they’re rushing for an emergency,
a serious accident, or worse. Or maybe they were
working late, and long to get home
to a warm bed, and peace, if nothing else.
I think of my friends all over the world,
living lives with direction, going forward, or not,
friends past, whom I’ve lost touch with,
friends present but distant, thousands of miles away.
I think of all the sad or happy or tragic people
spinning around the planet as it spins across time,
laughing, crying, or lonely, dying,
or perhaps wondering and grateful, as I am.
And I think of you, with your quiet burning
of life with it’s myriad questions.
And I send you a little message. I open my heart
and give you my nurturing thoughts, my hope, my love.
I wish you well, I wish you peace.
By sending an airmail full of good wishes,
I feel lighter as I prepare for sleep under
a fluffy down comforter and two warm furballs.

Digiart by Veach. I think they’re pretty cool. I hope you do too. If you want to see the original piece, click on the image and there you are.

Ode to a Quilt

I’ve collected quilts for about 5 years. My dear friend Joe is my dealer. Sometimes I playfully refer to him as my drug dealer, because quilts are so addictive.

All the quilts I own are antiques, dating from 1830’s to the 1950’s. Most of them date from the end of the 19th century. Think about it; Unique folk art over a hundred years old with amazing artistic design hangs all over my house. To boot, they were made by women who lived during times when women got little credit for anything but baby making and housework.

The utilitarian nature of quilts adds to their richness. They are made to be used. Their makers didn’t need to trouble themselves with design. But they did. So the artistic inspiration embodied in these quilts is pure. These are noncommercial works of folk art. Their beauty was purely for the pleasure of the maker. Although pleasure is not the best word to describe this labor.

I am quite sure these women did not have time to spare for pleasure. Life in the late 1800’s was not luxurious for most people. I can image a women with a house full of children, working long hours cooking, cleaning, making clothes, washing clothes by hand, tending to a kitchen garden, perhaps tending to farm animals, and many other tasks, before having some time to hand stitch parts of a quilt.

Yet they did it. Each quilt contains that history, that labor, and those women’s hard-won “flights of fancy” in its cloth. The result is more than folkart. An unmistakable spiritual quality resonates in many of them.

1890's logcabin, light and dark

Ode to a Quilt

Textile Bach-
stitched counterpoint
structured freedom.
Alert before you
rising up to your call,
yet yielding supplely
with a ripple.

Nexus of particulars:
a culture
a function
a person
A “herstory”
carved out of scraps, recycled
moments sewn together
with devotion and care
by chapped, aching hands
under dull candle’s sight.

Subtle joyous rapture
corralled by tradition.
As much a mirror
(reflection of a world within)
as a style of one.
(you with no sin)
Gravitas of conviction.
Swirling with
primal weight, hypnotic concision.
She recedes silently
with days fading light
then, later
twinkles nocturnally
with comfort and warmth.
See her yarn?
Familiar, now new.

such rich modesty
such crystalline grace
a percolating prism of possibility.

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