When the Familiar Dies

Image courtesy of TheSpruce.com

She walks to the end

of dark uncurling days

at the edge of the earth,

witnesses the new day

split open–

petals soft,

beautiful.

She’d give it to herself

could it be contained,

arranged within some vase,

held within her hands,

that cannot hold

such flowering strength.

She breathes in hope,

taking it deep into her lungs

where oxygen mingles

with blood and becomes one—

a seed took root in the moment

as all things familiar to her die.

 


Dying Magnolia Tree

Image is my own
The magnolia tree is dead or dying
Said the experts at the nursery
Which planted it.
No green leaves hang upon it,
Only these brittle, brown things
Cling to its limbs still.

The experts give me two things,
Free of charge of course,
To try to resuscitate my magnolia.
The experts tell me everything to do
Over the next eight weeks,
But not to worry, if it all doesn’t work,
The tree will be replaced.  It’s guaranteed.

A guarantee I never thought I’d need.
I did everything right:
Watering and fertilizing,
Watering and fertilizing,
Factoring in all the rain—
Yet here it stands dead or dying
In this place you never knew.

Like with you, in the place you knew,
I did everything I knew to do—
Replace the cooking pots and pans with stainless,
Only organic foods, red wine the only alcohol,
Broke all the cigarettes in two,
Quit my job to care for you—
Until—

Until the fourth time it returned,
Spread to the lungs and liver,
You wanted your cigarettes and alcohol back.
How could I argue?  Say no to that?
Yet even then—
I found you cigarettes with no additives, organic tobacco too.

Until January, our magnolia bloomed as you lay dying,
When at midnight a storm blew through,
Minutes later, you died 
And the magnolia shed its blooms.	

So here now, in this new place,
I planted a magnolia in memory
     Of what was, what was not,
     Of what could have been, should have been,
     Of what would have been
If I possessed the magic to shape shift
Into the one you most wanted.

And now, this tree in this new place
Stands dead or dying.

But I will do as the experts say:
     Spray from top to bottom for disease,
     Shock the roots every other week
Until mid- November, hoping to bring it back,
Bring it back from the edge of death.

If I can’t, the nursery will replace it
With another magnolia tree.

Yet I must think on that.
In this place, in this soil, perhaps
A magnolia is not meant to be.

I may ask them to replace it
With a different tree.
For it could be,
That here and now,
Magnolias are no longer meant for me.


An Autumnal Baptism

Image is my own

Caught in the evening downpour,
I am washed clean of summer.
Summer’s red rock, red dirt dreams
Sluiced from me with this autumnal drenching.

Morning greets me with a cool hand
Of sunshine upon my brow.
Autumn whispers of a harvest
Under skies of bluest topaz.

A clear, clean, honest reaping
In days yet to be had.

Freedom of Wings

Image is my own





Haunting seen
In darkening clouds
Of chrysalis dreams
Where wanting,
Where desiring,
Haunt seen
Cease existing--
In this capturing
No ring 
pierced through
Butterfly wings
Dripping still
From newly emerging
Dreams not tended.

Walking

Image courtesy of nationalgeographic.com




Walking through days---
There are too many left
And not enough 
To let me forget.

I walk into sunrises
Into sunsets--
There are not enough
Sunrises or sunsets left
In life to let me forget
And too many yet to live
To live in remembering.

I walk to gain forgetfulness.
There are not enough miles,
Not enough steps,
Not enough earth
To walk
To bring 
About forgetfulness.

I walk, seeking shelter
From thunderstorms
Yet they remind me.
I walk, seeking exhaustion
In the mountains
Yet they remind me.
I walk, seeking the healing of salt
From ocean waters
Yet they remind me.
All speaking
In whispers 
Of the earth’s remembrance.

It all reminds me—
The brilliant azure sky,
The verdant green of forests,
The primal roar of oceans,
The Rorschach shape of clouds,
The roil gray of storms—
It all reminds me,
Brings me back

Nothing allows me to forget.

The Great Heron

Image is my own

I greeted the Great Heron

With a hello.

Then asked for some wisdom

Or some secrets of the earth.

 

But the Great Heron

Didn’t bother with a no.

Just a fluff of feathers

Before turning away

Without being troubled

To even look at me.

The red wing black birds

Chittered away in laughter

As the gentle doves

Cooed soothingly.

 

The crows cawed,

Rather obnoxiously,

About time running down.

I said I knew

And was aware of the beauty

In lessons along the way.

Even in the lessons so painful

You thought they might

Break your soul in two

Held a beauty in the end.

 

The crows disliked what I said,

And they couldn’t disagree,

So, screaming out a caw,

Flew away.

 

Turning his eyes to me,

The Great Heron shifted on his log,

Before opening his wings

And flying away,

Letting me know

He had nothing to say.

 

 

	

All Things New

Image courtesy of Dreamtime

Storm clouds rode in

Upon a sky soaked in sunset red.

Wildflowers bowed their heads

Down on either side

As I drove by

Smiling, thinking of all things new.

Once home, I stood in the yard,

Arms akimbo, welcoming the new—

What the storm, the wind, the rains

Would bring—

As gently as their nature could—

All things new, clean, green

With spring.

First Day of May

Image courtesy of Givingcompass.org

 

Winds and rains came today.

I tried to follow the trail

They made.

But on this first day of May,

I was not strong enough–

To let the wind take me,

To allow pelting rain to abrade away

All my accumulated grime.

No freedom could I find

Within this day of winds and rains.

The Struggle

Image courtesy of Flickr

Weekend Writing Prompt #206 – Restless | Sammi Cox (wordpress.com)

Restless roses

climb skyward

toward the eternal

their grace defeated

as winds thrust

them downward

toward dirt

they escape.

The Work of Spring

image courtesy of anoregoncottage.com

I clipped away dead branches

From the living shrubs today.

Not an easy thing,

But a thing that must be done.

Strange it is how dead things

Will cling so tightly to the living

As if to squeeze

The last remaining bits of life away

And thus, have company in death and dying.

There is yet more to do

So only the living things are left

To flourish in the spring sun.