And now, a poem (’cause it’s been a while and I am grumpy)

Most mornings it is a mound

A heaping pile of glistening pebbles

Pearly white or shining ebony

(depending on my mood)

I feel it brimful, topped up, an hourglass ready and full,

but often I awake and it’s already half-gone.

The sun moves across the sky

shadows shift and winds change

And each pebble drops noiselessly

Softly

Inexorably

Down.

It leaves not a vacuum, not empty space

Only pressure

An empty weight that presses down

pushing the next pebbles forcefully through

Their shaft opening greasily, yawning wide

until the bulk of the pebbles fall

and I am left with pressure alone

that bends my shoulders and curves my back

lowers my brow and grinds my teeth

furrows the lines from nose to mouth

picks at my cuticles and tears at my nails

exhaled in sharp breaths and paining my stomach

I take deep breaths

inhale

count to four

blow out slowly

count to seven

isolate the tension

be mindful of surroundings

one or two orbs pop gracefully back through

comforting ease like small hands on my skin

they wobble and fall as easily

tentative balance broken

I bend, cracking, creaking, groaning

counting the minutes until I can collapse

and let it build again.

It helps to be held at the end of the day

or in the middle.

Arms around me bring the pebbles up

patting them back into place.

Freeing my lungs

Lightening my feet

And I can take the load again

Answer the questions

Find the sought-after

Give the instructions

Laugh and enjoy

until the pebbles sink low

tide ebbing

temperature rising

edges sharper

tinged with red

gripped harder

breathe in

breathe out

have a cup of tea

read

rest

put the pebbles back

one

at

a

time.

Byron said “She walks in beauty” —

He mentions no worry

or guilt

or frowns

I wish I were she.

Relaxed and fulfilled

Accepting and ready to embrace . . .

I try to remember what it was to be small

To be young and new

Everything massive and frightening and free

If I can see light through their eyes

Remember the joys and heartbreaks

Confusion and revelation

Competition and pride

The pressure lessens as the hourglass refills

in defiance of physics.

Every year gravity gets stronger

though.

Harder to resist.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Rest

Read

Savour the small moments of peace

that allow the pebbles to surface again.

Find solitude

Find company

Tomorrow the struggle returns.

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On a rainy lunchtime walk to the store: a poem

Went for a walk in the lunchtime rain

No umbrella, went out just the same.

Cool drizzle quickly coated my hat, my jacket,

Coating my glasses, bathing my skin,

but though I feared aching hands and frozen feet,

the soft air between the raindrops soothed.

Rain on my face and birdsong in the air,

no music but the soft rhythm of tiny drops on the trees.

Their branches still bare, buds waiting to bloom,

slender fingers reaching receive the water

so long expected from the sky.

The mixed blessing of rain brings up the worms,

frees insect larvae and floods snow-melt streams.

The rain drips from my nose, soaks into my jeans

Wets my shoe-tops and I feel the damp,

but moving forward keeps me warm, my coat dry inside,

and my body embraces the clean air.

Another Poem: Song of the Cricket Wrangler

Poor little crickets,

in your box you sing;

You’re doomed to be eaten

Within a week, I think.

Poor little crickets,

I feel a little guilt

You only want to eat and mate

But you’re my dragon’s kill.

Hop, little crickets,

enjoy your life of ease.

You are Gladiators

But there’s nowhere you can flee.

Scramble, little crickets,

find a place to hide.

The dragon waits to find you

and crunch your tasty sides.

Life’s a circle, little crickets

And your place in it is clear.

You’ll nourish my little dragon,

who puffs up her beard.

You are bred for death, little crickets,

like rats and mice for snakes.

Sadly my pretty beardie

likes a raw insect steak.

I see you, saucy cricket,

crawling on her head.

Your insolence is noted,

in moments you’ll be dead.

But your song, little crickets,

it’s gentle and it’s sweet.

Sometimes it makes me sad

that you’re what my pet must eat.

And now, a poem: Contradictions of Spring in Northeastern Ontario

The rain pours steadily

along the worn-out eaves,

Drumming on the yet-barren soil,

calling forth the green.

Watery sunlight gave way

to chill dark in the night,

But the air tastes of life

and hints of warmth to come.

Along the bushes and under the trees,

snow remains

It crumbles and washes away,

joining brook and stream,

While buds grow bit by bit

on branches stretching upward

And the birds seek their daily meals

of fallen seeds and sleepy worms.

Spring is slow in April,

The Boreal clings to the cold

The world is barely awake

in the approach of May.

Frosty mornings give way

to coatless afternoons

While children ride bikes in mitts

And the hardy venture forth in sandals.

Forecasts tangle sunshine with snowfall

Rain confuses itself with flakes

Crocuses push stubbornly out of soil

Skunks raise their striped heads

shuffling around garbage cans.

Keeping up is exhausting;

Staying indoors plagues us with guilt.

The push-pull of spring migration

warring with instinct to keep warm.

The overwhelming tide: a poem

pulled by invisible cords

knotted and hooked

caught in the heart

fighting to choose which direction hurts least

but no choice leaves no damage

lists upon lists written in pain

ignore rest and suffer

rest and still suffer

clamouring voices invading peace

poking and scratching at well-being

committed and promised

too much

too much

but it is expected

time drains in darkness

light fades

push onward

work each hook free

—————————-

Just a silly / fun assumption poem

Billy walks casually down the street,

Cindy’s soft hand in his, perfectly fits.

He strides over puddles, avoiding wet feet,

And thawing lumps of slushy dog

“Mitts!”

Cries his true love, letting go his grip,

To blow on her hands and rub them fast.

“It’s too cold for the pool; not even a dip

in the hot tub will warm up my

“Pass

if you want,” Billy tells Cindy,

“I’m tired of being bored in this muck!

Too warm for a ski and too cold for my bike,

Unless we go back to your place and

“Tuck

your shirt in,” she laughs, “Not happening.

My parents are home and they’ll pick

on us both. How about instead I watch you swim,

whistling at the size of your

“Ticks

me off that you won’t come in the water,

you’ve already got your swimsuit and stuff.”

Billy shakes his head. “We’re almost there!

And you even went to the spa and waxed your

“Tough

cookies,” Cindy tosses. “I’ll swim when it’s hot,

Right now I’m just not feeling the best.”

They dodge a snow heap and Billy curses a lot,

mourning ’cause he won’t get to see her

“‘Fess

up,” Cindy warns him. “I know what you’re up to —

I can see your face getting red.

Swimsuits in springtime are just an excuse

to get me back into bed!”

—————

Addendum: I’ve never written one of these before! Much more challenging than I’d anticipated. Sonnets might be easier. Still, kind of fun and a nice stress-reliever. Happy Tuesday — hope you enjoyed!

A poem for Monday night: Somewhere and Here

Somewhere in the world a flower is blooming

Right now

Petals are opening, fresh and dewy

Fragrant

Colours bright and delicate against the green

leafy stems

And bees hover close by to gather precious

nectar.

Somewhere in the world an infant is nursing

Peacefully

Tiny fist curled against mother’s soft skin

Nestled

Fine hairs quivering with the rush of breath

from kisses

And strong hands wrap the soft blanket

closer.

Here the stars are erased by matted clouds ushered

by wind-gusts

Ridges of ice hang like jagged teeth along eaves

Rattling

Furry bodies snore in musty dens, stomachs gnawing

Hungry

And the boots are drying on the heating vent because

they leak.