Wishing you love, joy, peace, and hope this Christmas.
i don’t want a narrow view of love:
you love me and i’ll love you
— no —
don’t want just my needs, wants, don’t needs, don’t wants.
You give love unconditionally
not caring if i love you back right
or if i slip back into that
blind sight of loving you wrong.
there are countless languages that speak love
and i want to know them all
give them all
i want to fly right over the chasm
freefalls and plummets;
instead you get my imperfect botched love
tainted by pride and selfish fears
while you give me
every day —
of those lost thirty years.
Remember that rainy September day?
The cloud-filled sky and the freedom
from the sun’s tyranny?
No need to finish up summer today.
You gave yourself permission
to bake bread and make
a long slow simmering stew,
pore over knitting patterns
and write a poem to the future you.
You wanted to write in longhand
(not that there’s anything wrong with Pages or Word
or an online thesaurus)
but a letter deserves a pen.
There was that old found notebook and
There was your old found self in the pages.
Gardens you have planted — elsewhere.
Prayers that have been answered — somewhere.
Wisps of words you loved — written there.
Lists of books to read that now,
here in the present future,
were read in the long ago past.
And there was that quote from Chesterton
about the best book he never wrote…
You’ve written yours.
Begun in one life, finished in another.
It changed and grew with you
as you changed and grew.
Mais plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.
Have you been grateful for your two lives—
three or four, really if it comes to that—
Have you been grateful for the sameness of those lives—
the sky, the stars, the seasons, the circles, the cycles?
for that sameness enables us to see
the unpredictable unexpecteds
the extraordinary exquisiteness
the glorious graces
of those ordinary days
that make unordinary lives.
Like every book I never wrote, it is by far the best book I have ever written.
–G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
Everywhere i look i see a poem waiting:
the muddy garden shoes by the door waiting
for my feet
to deliver me to a place of peace and solitude
where peppers bow and dance on heavy laden stalks.
Arugula sings as it grows — Taste me Taste me —
and beans swing through their jungle playing
hide and seek with the leaves;
the two flannel shirts shrugged off in haphazard heaps
on the chair in the mudroom
— his and hers — sleeves entangled, plaids clashing,
waiting for him to say (In the cool of the evening)
Have you seen my flannel shirt?
and she will know exactly where it is;
the okra on the counter, cut into symmetrical flowers,
waiting to be made into thick aromatic okra stew.
A friend brought it —
His wife said Don’t bring me any more okra.
I love okra, he grinned.
Maybe i won’t plant so much next year;
the glossy green peppers piled precariously
in the wicker basket — waiting their turn to be
sliced diced and frozen for winter’s
friday night fiestas;
the dark brown just-plowed garden dirt
drinking up the rain
waiting for the creamy garlic cloves
in their smooth purply skins
to spend the winter buried
in the snow-covered earth;
the lime green clock on the kitchen wall
bought at Walmart for $3.99
ticking away the seconds minutes hours
ticking away summer into fall
ticking away seasons into years — waiting
for someone to notice minute and hour hands
colliding with dizzying disorienting