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The Night Before Breakfast

     

     Caged on the edge of a forest without boundaries; wind chimes shivered in silence. Youth held its breath. The night squirrels feast and fly. The owls turn their heads judging distance from prey to ground against a midnight sky. I escape, I must make it through the night, I must make it, not just try.

     With empty pockets, abandoning the compass of my mind, I make haste with unforeseen insensibility up the path, as an invited house guest, for reflection and a warm breakfast before my morning flight, sorrow less and free.

A still reflection left on a spoon, sinks into a bowl of abandoned oatmeal.

 

Dark moss seeking sun

Birch bent with acknowledgement

Child runs to mother.

 

Grass rising in dew

Casts crushed footsteps aside

Seeks Father in child.

 

Never finding ether one.

 

1st. draft 1/14 Title Piece for vol.I of IV “The Night Before Breakfast”

revision:14 1/18

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12 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2019 in Children, Existential, Outlaw, Prose Poetry, Spiritual, Zen

 

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Ever-Changing Tide

       Under slow shrinking shadows of a receding August sun, squatting near a dribbling tidal pool, four children stare attentively to a small snail; as it furrows and squiggles through the sand, racing to meet the outgoing tide.  They were sent there to “think”. To work out the “argument” they had among themselves.

         They were told to go to the cove; “to seriously think about what each other had said and what they shouted to each other”.

          All four, ignoring each other, watched quietly as the small snail furrowed and scrunched up little piles of sand behind it. The trail squiggled slightly left, then slightly right. It was heading towards the trickling edge of an out-going tidal stream.

Like corrected mistakes,

Never straight with their curves and bends;

Listening to instinct, racing the tide, the snail

Made steady headway towards the sea.

          The children glanced up occasionally to see what the other was doing. They could see the tide ebbing away in a methodical hush. The sun sinking, shed its soft orange and crimson color glistening on the expanded beach sand.

          No one was talkin’. All of them, were still trying to remember what the stupid argument was all about anyway? It wasn’t a fight! Hey! None of us cried! We didn’t tell anybody to shut up! That’s for sure. we just had… an aah, aah, a disagreement!…as their minds ping-ponged in thoughts and rattled on.

With purpose, the snail inched on

Ignoring the circling birds and their potential grip

 For an eventual fatal drop to the flats;

Between shallow tidal pools

And, dry jagged rocks.

          It was getting cooler. They hardly took their eyes off the steady movement of the snail. Except of course, to sneak a peek; checking on each other. They began inching themselves closer together to keep warm and hoping the others “weren’t still mad at them” for whatever they said, or for  whatever they got wrong.

Never dawdling, clinging to its direction

Pushing the sand aside, racing to catch the tide,

The snail forged on.

          Tide water was slipping into drying sand with each forward push and receding splash. The children, realizing it was getting late, were looking up at each other more frequently. They could smell supper on the camp grill. They were ready to go back.

Approaching the last rolling ripple of retreating tide

The snail stopped, as if out of breath.

But, only for the moment.

          Suddenly, the ocean swelled and peaked into a fast rushing froth, it grabbed and pulled the snail. It slid, tumbled, snapped up in surf and foam, flipped, and swallowed into the bubbling, boiling sea.

          All four children, now on their feet watching, caught sight of the snail scooped up in retreating swirling sand and glittering pebbles of a retreating wave.  “There!” The children shouted to each other, pointing to a distant crescent wave pulling away from the shore, “There” on the surface, sitting tall, proud and smiling, was the snail. He looked back at them, waved and shouted an exhausted but jubilant, “Tally Ho!”

          They simultaneously faced each other, eye to eye. “Huh?” Then, pumping their fists, all exclaimed, “It made it! YES!” Then grabbed each other’s hands with a burst of laughter; apologies were unanimously accepted. They skipped and dragged their feet making their own squiggly trail, left then right  along the warm drying beach.

          Supper on the grill, chocolate milk, and stories of a “swooshed up snail they ‘FOREVER’ followed,” were animated in the evenings’ bright open fire light of flaming marshmallows, burning, blown out, and squished on chocolate squares between graham crackers and pushed into sticky lips with anticipated delight.

          I heard it all slide into the clapping sound of incoming waves announcing the tides transition from low to high. It was bedtime, clean up, and evening prayer. Kissing me on the cheek and with a blessing, they all took their day in stride, sharing in the applause of the snail’s completed race and an encore for the ever-changing tide.

  Listening to the tide, as we watched the children disappear into the tent, I on one knee poke the dying fire. Good thoughts were sent to the children; forgetting their disagreement without anger, melancholy, or disappointment. And, a mindful poke from Katie’s marshmallow stick, smiling at each other, as she spread the dimming embers, for a happy jubilant snail.

 

Draft 12: Pine Cone Diary… Hermit Island, Me.

 

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The Solstice Child

Oh shadow upon me as a steel gate
that keeps fountains frozen longing for spring;
in darkness with the light’s promise, I await
the rising sun, on Spring day’s wings.

Seeds beneath ice reject deaths history
in the mind’s aging place of well-tilled soil;
hands cold and crossed, holding joy’s poverty
in prayer, for passing summer’s last spoils.

Each day in lengthy dour to silver night, 
a child, my youth, an ember in my heart
awakens in warmth, beyond blackened light;
to await creation’s surprising spark.

I welcome the ‘morrow’s guest to arrive,
with gate left unlocked, for the solstice child.

 

Rev. 8: …2015/2018 RKG/ZQ

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 22, 2018 in Advent, Christmas, Love, Poetry, Poverty, Zen

 

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The Bell Without A Clangor

Note: clapper rings a bell while clangor is a continuous loud banging or ringing sound.

“Searching for the truth

through words and speech

is like sticking your head

in a bowl of glue.”

                                    Yuan-Wu

I left my house this morning in anger and confusion; about a life that has become greater in my mind than who I am.

Looming in illusions, I am unable to crack the barrier between the mirror of interior love and that of external desire.

I took a foggy path on wet dew grass, pushing dripping ferns on a dreary cloudy day, leading me into the dark forest green. Entering, I brushed aside pine branches, crushing small pinecones as I passed on a carpet of fallen pine needles. Unknowingly, I arrived in a small misty clearing.

I sat on a large old timbered oak stump. I put my head in my hands, placing my elbows on my knees, my mind and senses still frantic and frenzied in complete clamor, when in a moment of silence, I heard a distinct thud. Then I heard, a very pronounced, with authority, a very loud but distant thump!

I quickly looked north, south, east, and west. I found nothing but myself, placing my head back in my hands I spied a small clay bell rolling, settling between my feet. With one foot, I pushed it aside thoughtlessly, across the flat ground into a divot of soil.

As quickly as I had pushed it aside, it rolled back at my feet with a very pronounced upright thump. “Good morning, kind sir.” I heard in a hollow tone. Startled, I again looked around to see who was approaching me. There was no one to be found and now I was questioning if there was even a sound. “Excuse me, good sir!” I heard again. Was I losing my mind, hearing voices I could not see?  “Ahem, gracious sir, I am, at your feet!”

 I looked down to see a small white and bluish gray clay bell speak. I said a small prayer and blessed myself. I said good-bye to the mind I had, and hoped somewhere along the line, in time, this conscious brain and I would somehow meet again.

Mind gone blank, losing all common sense and scattering my gloomy personal burden, I spoke without thinking. “And a good morning to you too, and may I ask, what in heaven’s name are you doing here by yourself? In nowhere!”  She answered, “I have lost my clangor and without a sound, I have been disregarded. Now, I wait in silence for a sound, waiting to be found.

 I heard you coming, but, my first impression was disappointment. You are so much taller and bigger than I am. And you walk like a banger and a bonger and I am much too fragile for that tone asunder!”

         Suddenly my heart sank— swallowing my mind; I shrank to the size of nothing —when mystically we seemed to both hear a tone. I picked up the clay bell and walked back down the path I came. The sun began to shine and my path opened wide.

Ever since that morning, I seemed to have escaped the illusions of being bigger, or taller, or even smaller than I am. Smiling I walk without clangor and without confusion or anger; as my white and bluish gray clay bell sits on my dresser, dusted and ringing a silent tone together.

(Without the hearts sound of clamor,

humbled and silenced,

 I have learned to quiet my mind

and to speak with a voice

in the tone —of my own bell).

This clay bell was gifted to me by Judy Ann Kline, a very gifted potter. [Wilmington Vt.,/ N. Hampton NH.] And I re-gifted it to the parents of my sixth grand child, a grand-daughter due in January 2919

 

 

rev8:2018 ZQ/RKG

 
14 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2018 in Prose/Short Story, Zen

 

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Widow Johnson and “Old Man Whiskers” [rev 6]

Wearing clean well-worn clothes,

widow Johnson visits old man whiskers, on invite.

Her mischievous greeting smile and wrinkling forehead (burrows of time —burrows of life)

quickly disappear as she walks through the door

carrying a deck of cards and a cribbage board.

 

He could tell she played this game before.

 

They have coffee, chit and chat

while she shuffles the cards

and ask him to cut, if he preferred that.

He does several times and they play cribbage.

15-2, 15-4, and a pair is 6 and on and on it goes.

Up one side of the board and down the other

until he’s skunked. Twice in the best of three.

 

Still counting each hole with one finger,

checking the peg’s last hole and repeating the score,

she takes his hand, winking at him,

leads him up the stairs to the bedroom,

as she sing-songs quietly, but quite clearly,

hearing widow Johnson giggling,

“LoooZaaaaa.”

 

The Night Before Breakfast {vol I “Mill Street”]  2013-1018

 
16 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2018 in Erotica, Friendship, Life, Prose Poetry, Zen

 

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An Autumn’s Juxtaposition: The Spiders In The House Plant

My houseplants have been on the porch all summer.

The moon, white as vanilla, sends an evening chill

announcing a late October frost.

They must be carried inside, some hung

from my kitchen’s skylight windows.

 

Picking them up and carrying them through the porch, we welcomed each other.

As I open the storm door, I thought I heard a tiny critter voice chatter;

barely heard, but definitely noticed on the right side from my good ear,

inviting me to look closely at the plants. But, I chose

to quickly put them down on the porch floor.

 

I was a little concerned about my state of mind.

A worry, I must admit, since I was born.

 

Peering cautiously through the leaves of the one plant on the right side,

I spied a silver spider web laced between stems and leaves.

On closer inspection, I saw two critters with long skinny legs;

one in the center of the web and the other, on its furthest edge.

In the center, standing on six of his eight legs,

with one hand on his hip and another extended towards me,

I believe, to introduce himself with a hand or whatever I was supposed to shake.

Without hesitation, he began to speak, quite clearly, in my one good ear.

“Hey! Big Guy!

Bigger of biggest fellows!

I apologize for my intrusion your glorious immensity.

Speaking for the half of which I represent;

This of course, includes only me, for the other half has not yet agreed.

I am asking for your support in avoiding the outside tonight

and perhaps throughout the next two seasons.

For me, big guy, you show wisdom, compassion and a good taste in women.

I plead for you to save us, me and the little lady, where we could be killed

or die freezing outside. We are the third generation that has shared

 this house and we do wish to continue to abide.

 Love the light! Love the dark! Love what you have done inside.”

 

Startled as he spoke I felt dumbfounded,

out of breath, without words in the bellows.

 “Hey you! Snap out of it! Hey! Big Guy! Bigger of biggest fellows!

 I have just heard from the other half. The Mrs. has also agreed to plead

quietly to you. Asking for the joy to watch the early seasons go by…

 weaving harmlessly among the leaves”.

Aghast, with natural concern, I pushed the plant away from my face.

I picked them up, still a little suspicious of the others,

I hurriedly brought them all inside, two at a time.

 

 

I made a pot a coffee; setting a cup in a saucer with a spoon,

sugar, and next to them, a carton of cream.

 

 

In the dimming light of late autumn

I placed the spider plant on the kitchen table.

Facing the shiny silver web, we started talking away

with spinning yarns and silver threads of family and friends;

all of whom have lived here. Reminiscing, laughing, I, drinking fresh coffee

and they, drinking from teacups, with warm evenings dew.

 

(We spoke about our parents, grandparents,

children, and all the visiting inhabitants.

Some I never knew existed and some apparently they ate.

I have yet to meet the others that are staying here;

evidently, they have cousins from the fiddleheads estate,

having arrive earlier, deciding to winter in the cellar downstairs.)

 
 

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An October Morning

Leaves are dancing in rhythm with the wind.

Frost embraces its partner —holding Fall within.

Colorful chaos prances through woods and on soil.

 

I kick dust-up behind me —before it settles cold.

I go forward alone, remembering an old friend,

humming those ole “dirt road blues” again.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2018 in Existential, Friendship, Love, Poetry, Zen

 

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