Those Decades Past…

I walk with her around the duck pond
I tell her I’m withdrawing my hand so she can steady her footsteps without my support
letting go her hand as she had done to mine when I had gone from crawling to walking
…all those decades ago
I warn her to negotiate the cracks in the road, the undulations in the asphalt, the stumbling blocks ahead
with as much paranoia and worry as she had always shown for me
…in those decades past
I demonstrate how to bend each knee and wring out each hand
knowing fully well that its the struggles on my behalf that has often brought her to her knees and worn them so
And it is her supplications for me that have repeatedly brought those hands together and stiffened them so
…in all our decades together
I point to the colors of the sunrise, the ducks in the pond and the trails through the woods
I’m naming ordinary things, revealing unhidden truths, drawing attention to wonders
paying back from a son to his mother
in exact exchange for her service which was dedicated to me, moth…

Choices in time

I  called him up to rant…
to rile him up with word and emotion
so we would revel in the power of our mutual disapproval
of people and events at our favorite mosque.
But …
he didn’t so much as hear me out
didn’t accept my bait
changed the topic…
That’s unusual, I thought
somewhat confused.
A few days later
an email explained…
he had been fighting for his life and now died.
it all made sense
he had been picking his battles
ones he wanted to fight, and
those he couldn’t, didn’t
There would be no more ranting and raving
he had decided
even before he spoke to me.
No more wasting his precious breath
his last few inhales were reserved for things
more important
more significant…

It’s time, 
I think to myself
to live like that
to focus on the grain, and
ignore the chaff
before they arrive
those declines and deadlines
of mortality and morality
and the minute-hand starts to scribe its last full circle.

Grey and Pink

The grey water colors runneth into the pink as the sky rearranges itself to settle in for the night Tumult in the grey clouds forcing rumbles and tumbles anger perhaps at their brethren who’ve borrowed from the palette of a retreating day joyous, flirty and rebellious in their veneers of fuchsia surrendering temporarily their dark identities for de-lightful ones! Light retreats slowly blazing in its reluctant a gunman looking over his shoulder after the deed is done I know not whether… We unveil the night to reveal the day Or darken the day to create the night No matter which… The intersection of each night and each day is an alchemy a show bigger than any on-broadway or off And we are called to witness with the eyes within our hearts!

Morning constraints

Four ravens tumbled within the young sky above
their Monday morning jousts a labor of love
Claw flipped over to glide on his back
his vision inverted, his sight out of whack
Shiny above him was diving in tandem
his unsynchronized wings beating with abandon
like a drowning man flailing in the water
screechin’,  drawing attention from every quarter
Big eyes and Handsome spiraled intertwined
so completely in love and so out of their mind
drawing exhilarating circles after triumphant loops
tearing up the sky with saxophone stoops
drivin’,  I watched them the heavens explore
in unison chorus-like they did implore
“What does it mean to be the smartest in the world?
if on this beautiful morning its your heart you can’t unfurl?”

A life's moment of measure

4:34am             (@ Conca di marini on the Amalfi coast)
I’m leaning forward on the metal railing of a terrace a balcony seemingly in suspense between heaven and earth The top of the cliff a thousand steps above my balcony The Adriatic Sea seven hundred below heaven and sea are connected here only by a winding string of stairs whose existence is contingent upon stray reflected lights of the night.
Here and now. this is a place of intimate grace like no other I have been …a stirring of the senses a purring within the soul like a gentle breeze that causes the chest to flare and the eyelids to close Not to see what they cannot see But to lend vision to an exploration Of being, cause, reason, soul, spirit and life.
…All is in good measure here there is no overload of the senses no urge to fight nor to flight emotions stretch toward introspection but gently No rush to determine or feel Only to bathe in the temerity of the moment and the solemnity of this grace A spiritual transaction more potent perhaps by t…

Why do i fear the sea?

I fear the sea…
my terrestrial heart is not in sync with it
unaccustomed to that fluidity
untrainable to its uncertainty
the instantly erased footholds
and constantly switching currents
of changing tides
and planetary pulls

My heart is borne of but one need
a desperate lust for stability
the knowledge of locus and direction
of latitude and longitude
to imagine trajectories
to chart courses…

The sea
my sight confronts it on the shoreline
ahead of me it appears
a single organism, massive
swelling, writhing, glittering
inviting, threatening, dark
all at once.
I am reminded of ships and airplanes
held within
of sailors and swimmers
pulled within
There is no oasis in this watery realm
to steady my step
or reassume my mind
It is unlike everything I know instinctively
the very antithesis of terra firma
a reality that denies comfort
an interaction that defies grasp.

And yet…
they say
I am three parts water
and one part clay
…so there is something of me in it
and something of it in me
By t…

Weeding 101

“Make sure you pull out the weed with its root”, my grandfather would instruct me lovingly, over the garden sounds of the water sprays emerging from hoses, whistling leaks at the garden faucets and the chirping of birds in dark trees silhouetted against the dawn.
I was but a teenager or younger, impatient to boot, loving our time together in his garden but unappreciative of his requirement for thoroughness.  Both, my years in boarding school and my demanding parents before and since then had appeared to care only about one metric, one measure of success… “Was the job you set out to do completed?” If the evidence suggested that it was, then it was proof enough. So without knowing it, and without anyone intending it, my reactions, even my instincts were honed to present successful, quick and efficient completions. It didn’t always matter that I didn’t pull every weed out by its root or wash every dirty dish with soap or clean the tires on the car at the end of the long carwash ritual.…