Breathe

Breathe in the Open SkyNostrils flare in anticipation
as earthy caramel smells sift
past heady cavities, past
gates which open up to lift
eyeballs and ear tips tingly,
chilly red and awake. Brain
swoons soft by the glow
of fresh air flow, rushing in and down,
as chest and rib cage expand out,
extrude on an excursion to full balloon.
Neck, spine and cartilage joints gather
to allow room. Liquid xylophone bones
bloom as body soaks in tipsy
nourishing oxygen lessons,
rush of ancient, instinctive motions
learned, zillions of times churned,
practiced measures, yet new and vital
with each sumptuous breath.

Now exhale slow, soft thoughts as
your spine elongates toward the sky.

Breathe. Repeat.

Through the Alexander Technique, I’ve learned, again, how to breathe, to really breathe, without tension, without clenched neck, stressed chest or anxious eyes. Letting my body breathe as it has learned for millions of years, is like being reborn with each breath.

Night Flower

Night Blooming Cirrus Flower

The pale cirrus flower glows by night
under a platinum moon. It shines
as my sleepless sighs exhale anguished air
across its feathered wings, fluttering
grief over the evaporated dream of your love.
Briefly, the ghostly bloom grows a follicle
filled with fresh pomegranate juice,
whose ripe, succulent, mouthwatering
kisses fade in dawn’s cool light.

Airmail Love

vaca-en-we

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.

Another Year

This poem was written by my grandfather on my father’s side, the Welsh side. He was a coal miner in Wales until the age of 21, when he asked his beloved to marry him, then shipped off to the land of opportunity. The year was 1921.
grampop Thomas, 1921
He forged an impressive career in the US, working his way up the ranks of a fairly large shipping business in Philadelphia. He eventually became chief engineer. He was a wizard at building things. He often made toys for me and my sister. During the last decade of his life, he was king of the retirement community’s workshop; he had to instruct others in the use of the lathe, a complex and delicate wood cutting instrument. I still have numerous finely lathed lamps around my house.

His charming Welsh accent never left him. He always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell. I don’t know now many times he asked me “So, are you going to become a genius… (which he pronounced geniASS with emphasis on the Ass!)”

He sang in choirs all through his life. He is the reason my mother was able to continue her musical career after marrying my father. He is one of the reasons, indirectly, why I am a musician, along with my sister.

He often wrote beautiful, poem like notes to us. This poem was probably written in the early 1980’s. He was a gentle, upstanding American citizen. He died in 1985.

Another year has reached an end.
‘Tis Christmas time in gray December
With thoughts of giving, as we spend,
of bad times past we rare remember.

Throughout the world a spell is cast
And thoughts of love and peace takes hold.
As we hear again as in the the past
The greatest story ever told.

True, greed and hate will still abound.
In hardened hearts who have no creed.
They specialize the year around
Using God to state their greed.

But thanks to Him, a son was born,
And Father, son and Holy Ghost,
Though many laugh and many scorn
The spirit of God is worth the most.

The atom bomb, the power of man
To most of us, has caused much fear.
These threats of hate, since they began
Have plagued us all the year.

But bombs and threats have gone to pot.
The day of days is here again.
When the power of man is soon forgot
And the King of Kings, once more will reign.

The yearly log will close with cheer,
Another chapter in life’s great tome.
a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
I hope you have one in your home.

Memories

Conch/Bug shadow

Memories give us amnesia
about what we could know:
spooks telling truths
in cunningly coy
closed, secret sessions.

They wrap us in myths,
conjuring dreamy, alluring
vapid mirages
                         which may guide us-
                         beguiling as
                         stars in the distance
while receding further, further
as we approach.

Memories shatter moments
of fragile truth, (unwillingly)
drawing us
irresistibly, to their
tinseled cocoons.

They corrode love’s
fresh childish rapture with
sugar and rust
syrup and dust.

Memories lock us in
windowless rooms
as we stare longingly at
faded, curling photographs
of the way
we once wished
we once dreamed
we might have been,
but may never know-
for haunted oldness coats
new moments like thick, black grease.

Now forget all this
and peel open your heart.

I wasn’t too happy when I wrote this. I had been rejected by a long term lover. But it has a certain bitter truth to it about clinging to the past.