Monday, July 29, 2013

Pick a Posy

Pick a posy. Set the table
with mismatched china.
 Fold soft old napkins. 

Let wine leave stains
on white damask.
Let dropped petals 
lay until morning.

My five fingered acebia
latticed overhead
gives testimony -
you were here.

My favorite thing after a gathering is the morning after glow. Tears often fall at the memory from the evening before. I'm always grateful you actually came. Your essence stays. It is a gift. The reward.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Daisy Paths

Bev gave Tessa a bridal shower. We looked out the window to their back yard and saw Jon, her husband, placing daisies face up all over the grass in a path to the still empty wicker chairs waiting for guests.

To Tessa, daisies represent uncomplicated, unsophisticated joy and happiness.

The daisies grow wild everywhere around here. They are free. They did take some thought and planning, some noticing, some investment, some time, and some follow through.

I think gifts like this bless the giver, the receiver, and those of us watching. The shower was sweet. Yummy food was heaped on the table, and gorgeous decorations were draped everywhere.

The gifts were thoughtful. There was intimacy. There were tears between young women who have been friends a long time.

But the daisies. Daisies made a mama and her daughter feel beloved.

It brought tears to my eyes. Jon and Bev have known Tessa for many years. They know she likes wild flowers and especially daisies. Our girls always said if we died, they wanted Jon and Bev to be their guardians.

Over the last few months, Tess more than once has said, "Man, I love that Jon Hatfield." Or, "I just love Bev, mom."

I'm grateful for good neighbors and good friends. And long history that says, "You matter, we are going to believe the best about each other and see this thing through till the end. And by the way - may I borrow a cup of butter or your staple gun?" Or, "We have an extra melon, could you use it?" Or, "Here, let us help you with that." Or, "Could we go biking or swimming or camping this weekend?"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Crazy Neighbor Lady

The crazy neighbor lady
doesn't have twenty cats
but might as well have thirty
the way the carpet paths
between leaning book piles
look like they're shedding.

The crazy neighbor lady
doesn't keep her house
of chaos ordered well -
but she knows where
the sprinkles, paper
glue, and berry baskets are
for the neighbor girl
when she comes knocking
to play and do what she
calls ought which rhymes
with not, lot, and rot but is
really spelled a-r-t.
She goes, leaving glitter
behind, blessings left
to wink at me on the chair,
table, floor, and my hair.

The crazy neighbor lady
goes out early to
water flowers - and pick
a weed or two bottoms up -
with her uncombed
gray tresses flowing and
her loose breasts flapping
under a coffee stained
robe worn to shreds.

The crazy neighbor lady
garden walks in the golden,
guilt framed morning light
and lingers for a drunken
tete-a-tete with the blossoms
drinking dew straight from
the Master's still.

The crazy neighbor lady
scoops both cats off the
front porch swing, brings
a blanket and some tea - so
you may rest awhile
and beloved be.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

First Day of the Week

I don't need a greeter
obligated by duty
handing me a bulletin -
proof positive
that visitors are
welcomed to this
business institution.

The microphoned
message is recorded, then 
podcast to the masses 
who don't listen. They
already know more about 
what's being taught
 than they know
 what to do with.
 It hurts my ears.

 I can't hear the voices
singing next to me 
because the music
 coming through speakers
drowns them out. It's like
a staged concert that
leaves the participants
stymied, mere spectators 
 confused about when
to repeat and repeat
words supposed to get
 the spirit roused enough 
to do some mighty work like
redecorate the sanctuary
or trade the empty pews
for comfy chairs. I don't
want forced to stand and
raise my hands by a worship 
minister who thinks that what
he's suggesting is the
best way to usher
our hearts into sacred

I want to break bread
at my own table and pass
it to you - so you and the
person sitting next to you
have the chance to give and
receive from each other - 
maybe touch hands, 
whisper, smile, or
graze shoulders -
until it comes back
around to rest
 waiting empty
in the quiet middle.

I want to fill your glass
more than once
with sweet wine - 
tilting the sharp,
flat world
soft and round again.
I want to hear
why the tears fell last week
and listen while you share
 the blessings 
that rained down upon you 
in spite of them.

Let's gather round the piano
with the poet's smoldering pipe
smoke curling us together
as we sing four part harmony
into each other's lives.

Let's hold each other's
aching, full hearts tenderly -
and laugh at how futile it is 
to try to do anything
other than
be the beloved. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Do It Outside

- plein air

- plein air

- plein air

- plein air

- plein air

- plein air

- plein air

- plein air

Yes, I confess, a new french word just took my fancy.