Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

I Am

I am the creature crying at 4am.

I am the sleeper who responds with grace.

I am the relief that comes with the release of waste.

I am the grateful lick I taste.

I am the watcher in the chair far away.

I am the room in a healing place.

I am the father who waits for the phone call.

I am he with hands for a face.

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

The Nectar of Tears

When
the pain
of life
fills
your eyes
and
the bees
arrive
to taste
the salt
of your
tears,
know that
when
they
depart,
they fly
to flowers
and then
to that
dark
humming
place where
bitterness
is made
into
something
sweet.

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

Bottles of Tears

perhaps it seems that
they are wasted
this sad rain
that has fallen
from the gray clouds
of your eyes

but know this
child of heaven
each precious drop
has been captured
held close to the heart
of the One who has
cried with you

and on that day
when every tear
is wiped away
and joy is a
forever thing
these vessels
will be emptied
into that glorious
golden stream
that is for the
healing of the
nations

Posted in Stories and Fiction

The woman with the sad eyes

He cannot remember when he first noticed her.

Perhaps it was a glint of the morning sunshine on her auburn hair as she walked past the house that caused him to look up from the desk where he was writing. He would often glance out the window to gather his thoughts, knowing from experience that the brief respite could alleviate a particularly bad case of writer’s block. That morning he happened to look up and there she was.

After a while he began to realize that she made this journey every morning at the same time and so he began to look for her. He noticed other things as well. She walked in a slow, methodical way, head down, thinking hard. She was young, but walked bent over like someone much older as if weighed down by a great burden, stepping forward up the hill as if to leave something behind.

Later he made it a habit to take his morning coffee out to the bench in the front garden so he could be there when she would pass by. The solitary life had made him awkward around others but his heart remained soft. Like the bees beginning to gather around the crocuses, she drew him.

She began to notice him sitting there and though her intial glance was brief, in her eyes, he glimpsed a deep sadness. He had never been a courageous sort, preferring to explore the emotions of others within the confines of pen and paper. The pain he saw within her almost drove him back inside where he could safely leave her to her mourning. Yet he remained.

As spring came, the front garden began to bloom and so he would leave his coffee on the bench, move closer to where she walked on the sidewalk, and begin to tend the garden. He would prune the roses or weed or mulch or plant bulbs. He had always preferred perennials over annuals. His memory being what it was, he could never remember what he had planted or where. So each spring brought him a host of lovely surprises.

His favorites were the daylilies even though they seemed to have begun to take over all of the other flowers in his garden. He was constantly thinning them out. Which kept him in the garden near where she would walk.

Their interactions had changed now so that they would give each other a brief nod and say good morning. Some days he wondered if there was something he could say or do to ease the sadness that seemed to hover around her. Somehow he knew these walks held a meaning for her that he would never completely understand and so he tried to be content with their simple interactions and his small part in her morning routine.

There was one daylily that he was particularly fond of. Every spring he looked forward to its blooming, the flowers’ bright mix of gold and white with a splash of scarlet. This season it seemed to be more beautiful than usual. The dew of the morning lay like soft diamonds upon its surface and he marveled again at how such beauty could break forth from the frozen ground of winter in the continuing cycle of renewal and life.

Bending low in the garden one morning, he heard her footsteps upon the walk and glanced up to give her his typical good morning. She replied in turn, softly as she always did, the sadness still residing there within her dark eyes. Then she was past him and heading up the hill.

Suddenly, he was grasping his shears, clipping a bloom of the daylily, calling to her as he rushed after her.

She stopped, her back to him, waiting, and then slowly she turned. He stood before her somewhat awkwardly, the lily in his hand, holding it out to her.

Here, he said, this is for you.

Her eyes became bright with unshed tears and a light he had not seen before began to shine from their depths. Then with a shy smile, the first he had seen upon her face, she reached out her hand and took the flower from him. She turned without a word and continued up the hill, leaving him standing alone, the shears trembling in his hand.

The next morning she did not come by. Or the next. Or the day after that. After a week with no sighting of her, he began to wonder if he had offended her, if somehow his offering of the flower to her had crossed a line, that he should not have let her know he knew that she was in pain.

The next morning, he took his coffee out to the bench to find a small hand bound journal sitting there, the daylily pressed and beautifully woven into the cover. Opening the journal to the first page, he saw two words; Thank you.

He held the journal in his hands, relieved that even in his awkward attempts at kindness she had understood.

Then as he turned to go back inside, he paused at the sound of her footsteps coming up the hill.

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

RIP Max

Last night it snowed.

This morning as I swept the snow from the sidewalk, I watched your paw prints disappear, knowing that today was your last day with us.

I was overwhelmed with sadness. And anger at those who had you before, wondering what they did to you to make you lash out for no reason even after a year of love.

You were my shadow, waiting under the saw to help take care of any wood l dropped. The chewed up bits scattered all over the yard are reminders of your life here.

I know it was the right thing to do, but seeing you watching me leave from your cage nearly broke my heart.

Rest in peace, my dear Max.

As your paw prints disappear beneath my broom, I know they will remain forever in my heart along the paths we walked together.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Mourning Sun

outside my window the sun is shining
filtered by fabric
casting shadows of flickering trees upon the wall
this night has been so long
I awake from deep sleep
but I have not rested
it is as if something has visited me in the night and sucked my energy away

I could throw back the curtains and let the light more fully in
but my arms are so heavy
logs lying frozen on a winter lake
waiting for the thaw

returning home from another silent drive in crowded streets
I find the curtains have been cast aside
The room is bathed in morning light

I lay my cold body down against the carress of the warm sun

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Heiwa Haiku 77

Wake from mental storm ~
Scratch of ice on the window ~
Cold thoughts on my heart

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

The Dove of Mourning

sometimes the mourning dove calls outside the window like a comforting angel in the moment of grief and despair

eventually the tears cease their falling and fitful slumber comes
a greater love surrounds us like a quilt
the dove takes wing into the air

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

For Creatures Great and Small

image

This hole is not meant to be filled, except by memories and love.

These creatures gifted to us for a little while dig their way into our hearts and take up residence there, a glimpse perhaps of the peaceable kingdom.

They are here it seems for a moment and then are gone. Our days are spent looking at photographs, crying through smiles of remembrance, comforting each other and other furry companions.

We awake to a rainy morning, longing for the warmth of the sun.