In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Poetry: Leaf Tattoo




LEAF TATTOO

Can you feel it
In my city
The changing air
as wind folds in 
 fall’s cool weather.

Orange leaves land on
the sidewalks of Holly Street.
No worms to dance them back to soil.

Cement laden, laid upon 
the roadside in random patterns
leave a tattoo, imprint to the stone.
Five pointed star, a Tree Hand 
pressed by feet and rain
bleed the orange ink for all to see. 

By winter the marks wash away
By spring a bright green baby waves
at us from its mothers arm
born back into our memory.










Monday, May 20, 2013

Poetry: Whispers





My ears itched the other day
voices caught up with me
traveling the speed of wind
words skip across 
time like stones
sidarmed into ripples
a beach full of onlookers
feet crunch atop the pebbles

casting a stone
planting a seed
growing a flower
pulling a weed

karma may be as gardens
tended by the faithful
producing understanding
catching up to us all 
gifts in hand


***





Friday, May 17, 2013

Poetry: Honey Jar

HONEY JAR


He still calls me honey
that jar is long empty
few amber crystals 
cling to the inside

How long 'till the pet names stop
'till a new sweetener is found

Perhaps a Sweet n' Low will find him
Maybe an Equal will catch his eye
He'll bless the day High Fructose Corn Syrup
tap dances into his heart!

Honey he may call it
but honey it will never be
his appetite for sweets
sends him on consuming safaris
like a lion that roars in the streets

All are given a portion of true love
 how quickly he consumed his
cursing the empty jar
 redirecting the blame

Artificial sweeteners only bring 
to mind memories you can't return
hunger pains for what cannot spoil
honey kisses that always satisfied


johnmannophoto.com




Monday, May 13, 2013

Ladybugs Day Out



For the past two months or so I have been doing what I can to support a friend whose husband is very ill.  I'm not too good in these situations, but I am pretty skilled at just sitting there and providing company.  Went to visit them both at the hospital the other week.  It was a long day.

At lunch my friend and I went to the hospital cafeteria, then took a walk through the gardens located in an open air space in the center of the hospital.  This slender green "room" with a koi pond, mature trees and benches for meditation, surrounded by four stories of hospital windows was more comfortable than a waiting room.

The two of us sat and talked; well I should say she talked and I sat.  While she spoke I looked at the sky, I watched the tree branches, new with spring leaves, blow in the wind, I stared at my feet...

After an hour of sitting in this lush rectangular room, I noticed a ladybug walking across the cement path.  The cement had squared grid of groves, at the appropriate places, formed when it was first poured.  Straight lines, that in my mind, would make a quicker path for the bug to get to the safe haven of hedges that lined each side.

The ladybug just walked, randomly, as if lost.  Wobble. Wobble.  Meandering about as best those little legs could maneuver.  It was relaxing to watch.

"What am I going to do?" said my friend, "I am so worried, and stressed, haven't slept in two days."

Wobble. Wobble.

We both sat in silence, watching the ladybug negotiate the crossing of a straight line ravine, missing the turn towards a quicker route along the canyon wall.  Somehow it seemed to talk to me.  I know my friend was also watching it.  What was it saying?

Perhaps, something like "Its the journey in life that is valuable, not speed" or the opposite, "Simplify your life by taking the proven straight paths, so you don't get lost like -a ladybug on a sidewalk."

How simple life's journey seems when viewed from above.

Before we left I picked up the ladybug with a twig and placed it onto the hedge. Why didn't the bug fly here?



This was just one of those days, one of those moments I couldn't shake.  The image of that afternoon has stayed with me.

Assumptions? I made many.  I assumed the ladybug was lost, unable to fly, lonely, hungry looking for food, a friend or a mate.

Well, maybe, just maybe, the ladybug was out for a walk...





Friday, May 3, 2013

Poetry: Moon Dial

MOON DIAL

The moon speaks to me through my window slit,
curtain and blinds open just enough for fresh air
to relieve me in the night

     The moon speaks to me announcing it is 3 o'clock
     it chatters away for 20 minutes about plans, loves, problems, recipes
     Please be quiet and let me sleep, I say in moon-speak
     Wake up and love me, it replies

Meanwhile, car headlights in the drive below
mark the return of my car-pooling bar tending neighbor
she is tired at the end of her shift, dinner and bed will come quickly

She tossed drinks and mixed spirits all night 
for others, now the stars put her to sleep

     I toss and turn awaken by the commotion of conversation
     between heavenly bodies and earthly

Please do me a favor moon, put me to bed, send me to sleep
till the sun rises, tuck me up in sheets of silver beams, warm 
me in your glow, watch over my spirit when it jumps out 
to dream, be my Guardian tonight and...
just shut your mouth!


Moonlight Through Window,
watercolor by Vinderburger
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