(Written in 2011)
I'm no ascetic.
I like malls and well-dressed shoppers marching their halls.
I like crystals and the way light dances in them, then falls.
I like a carpeted hall, or a marble one for a crisp footfall.
I like for a song to reach for the sky, then plunge down long.
I like a rosebush to look very much like a pink overdose.
I like my tulips to bloom in waves,
And I like waves to foam like clouds,
And I like clouds to look like fairyland at Christmastime,
I'm no ascetic: that would be pathetic.
(Written in 2017)
At midnight, driving home,
The pungent sweetness of drying hay
On nearby fields, filling the night air,
Pulls me back to childhood:
Now I'm scrambling into a faded hay loft,
Dust like glitter drifting into sunbeams.
I'm wiping stray straw off my arm
As scruffy barn cats judge my glad exuberance
From their dim and quiet corners.
This night is dark and quiet too.
I breathe the sweetness deeply,
Its hints of distant days lingering
Like glowing summer warmth that loiters
Late into the evening.
(Written in 2017)
Upon the forlorn steps, surveying
An old estate in deepening gloom,
I listless stood, among the silent, towering,
Lonely pillars—graceful remnants of some doom.
The place was dark (I wanted day),
And yet I also wished to wander,
For in the dim descending twilight lay
What seemed to be a ruin or a garden.
A path led down—so long untaken--
The inky sky was starless and half-hid by looming trees;
But fresh night breezes, like the rain and roses shaken,
Blew, so softly scented with the humid earth and leaves.
Descending there, I held aloft a lantern to illumine
Full foliage that greenly hedged my way,
Their varied tones and patterns gently hinting
Of ancient gardeners pruning for today.
My smooth-stoned path seemed not to wander,
But curved intently toward a further place,
But I, uncertain, stopped instead to ponder,
And found the night had filled my heart with peace.
So long wrapped up in stillness that I too
Had finally been stilled, with lightened eyes,
I turned to search the shadows for the flowers
That silently perfumed my paradise.
(Written in 2010)
It's a lonely, quiet world;
It's a silent, empty place.
Most days so far have been to me
Soft rain upon my face.
Like the silence just before the dawn,
Like winter waits for spring,
You know it comes, but oh so long
You wait, just listening.
It's a lonely quiet world,
But I am full of peace.
The soft grey rain feels sad, and yet,
Refreshing on my face.
Sometimes the greyest place is best
To learn to live in joy.
I wouldn't bother singing
If my world were full of noise.
So I'll let this silence be my space
To wander for a season,
And if, in such an empty place,
I find compelling reason
For joy and strength and peace of mind,
Such joie de vivre will render
This silent time a gentle spring
For sowing later splendour.
(Written October 2, 2007)
I pouted through the problem;
I dragged my feet and whined.
And now, the river forded,
I stand and look behind.
I don't know why I didn't face
The challenge with a grin;
I should have just been cheerful
Since I always meant to win.
So here, a little wiser,
I hand you my advice:
If you are served a challenge,
Eat heartily each slice.
(written Sept 8, 2004)
The new dawn climbed the heights of blue
And golden sunshine warmed the world;
A thousand birdsongs greeted me
And streaks of crimson clouds unfurled;
"Come," I heard the morning say,
"I'll introduce you to the day."
(Written March, 14, 2005; I later discovered the term synaesthesia, which describes the mental function of involuntarily merging sensory experiences.)
Listen to the rainbow: the dainty notes are flung
And scattered high upon the air - refracted - bent among,
Until a thrilling misty bow upon cloud turrets hung
Comes streaming down in liquid throng one clear cascading song.
The stirring tones of poetry, luxurious and grand,
Resounded like the thunder's growl that rolled across the land,
And the blossoms of the apple trees, each faintly blushing spray,
I felt again upon my cheeks as winds that softly play.