Hard to make Beginnings
Takes courage and falterings
A hundred times.
Flickering flashing floundering
The muse flatlines
From too much zigzagging and reading
Between the lines.
Pleading, bleeding, conceding
How many sometimes
Read the sign.
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
the stubborn old stump
at the roadside
has resisted removal.
It must have been
a fine, towering tree,
three feet through,
touching the sky…
i thought it
until it bloomed.
Beauty in old age cheers my heart.