Category Archives: Companionship
two mourning doves: (haibun)
relationships are being defined in the environment of the nest they live in.
–some in a tree with no leaves that once held dreams.— the true skeleton behind the feathers exposes its heart.
rattling off to a branch, bones tickling each other, they wait for another Love’s morning.
sunlight drying dew
summer’s warmth removes the sheet
pillow soft asleep
dawn flirts the tips of bare trees
sunlight fluttering through curtains
through a cracked open window’s —winter breeze
a million moon beams transcend from a prism above crinkled sheets
i lite a cigarette from across the room
watching her smile in morning’s sleep
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.
Years have passed:
when we were young, we could tolerate physical pain,
emotional blizzards, and blinding rain.
We sought recognition, fortune, and sometimes illusions fame.
We chased stars in glittering summer nights keeping sentry for sunrise,
celebrating each dawn with a brand new name.
We could even cry, winning or losing, without forcing a fight.
We could talk, discuss, and compromise.
We recognize the beauty in unsuspected surprise.
We were always able to light a candle in the wind
Finding our way back home on sad dark nights.
We often laughed at ourselves. Believing that pennies
we flipped, fluttering to the bottom of wishing wells
We’d became Peter Pan and Wendy
never growing old. And, totally ignoring Tinkerbell,
we watch our directions flow.
Following our hearts and the work of our hands
we traveled roadways, highways, and paths;
where distance seemed far and time immeasurably fast.
We floated above concrete, soft tar, and beaches with ankle deep sand.
Even paths that were crooked and twisted in shallow water or on solid land.
We were always on each other’s map!
We frolicked in spaces that love only knows
where time, never existed;
along with places, where sadness, was only a short visit.
Eventually, I suppose, age and Peter Pan eclipses
those days, when we are young.
There is only time now:
when we are old. We sit with aches and pain.
Our clothes begin to slip or are frayed or they just don’t fit;
along with our recognition, fortune, and the reality of expected fame.
We wear sweaters and warm cotton hats on cool summer nights,
seeing only darkness as a distant fading light.
We Sleep uneasily on worn, thin but forgiving linen.
We, sometimes, forget ourselves with mixed memories,
stuttering on birthdays, which have evaporated in wishing wells.
We try to avoid being stubborn— guilt ridden for actions mistaken,
poor mathematical intelligence, slips of jealously, pride,
and recognize that we, as we knew, is we that is forgotten.
From steel to rust, from rock to gravel,
from coal to diamond
and back to dust.
The sound of muted bells tick off the clock, like muffled thunder
under the hoofs of deaths’ mercenaries; some from heaven,
and maybe one or two from hell.
We may shed a warm small tear, becoming a prism, to glitter
In the sliver of a waning moon; signaling with joy—
tomorrow’s brand new day,
with its bright sun chasing
A weathered Sundial’s ever-moving shadow
~The Night Before Breakfast~ Vol. I Another Draft Revision
I was invited to an Art show that was painted
long before I was born—
Seven decades ago.
Its beauty was impressive.
Yet— I kept walking along
Smiling at each ornate frame, checking my watch,
flirting with my chaperone— waiting to go home.
History with all its beauty and faults
cannot survive without sharing its thoughts
—as they did on my evening’s drive home.
Drowsy with perception’s wine,
its indigestible sandwiches
sprinkled with beauty and awe
unable to personally imagine or to be explained.
I will see her again.
The house on Mason Road
is set in the woods with a dirt driveway.
—Mail box leaning
is the only indication of an entranceway.
Both for the snowplows and visitors.
—One, hopefully will miss—
The other, with blinker on
—will turn in
Around the wooded curve to a clearing
where there, sits a house on Mason Road.
King, Princes, and Queen of the peaceful
Open Fire Tribe, harmoniously reside;
surrounded by pines, hardwoods,
— and one apple tree.
Two Princes protect the entrance
With a bold plastic pink flamingo
—ready to pounce
On imaginary villains who mean to do “good” harm!
Prince Popo? First with a plastic hammer; if the shadow has a cast.
Prince Gavyn? Waits for introductions, ducking once or twice
in the invisible clash… eventually both smile with relief
as they are greeted with the sight of bright white teeth,
—giving the signal to continue,
to all walk towards the fire
with hugs and handshakes when possible
—Since most of them have their arms full.
Bringing food, twigs, beer, wine, whiskey, and wood
for an evening’s non-occasion meeting of the Fireside Tribe.
Conversation and laughter overtakes everything
as tradition prescribes,
—they put all things,
other than their ancestors,
And their continued fellowship
Stop the bus 2016
We played it well,
Stiff, bended, upright, and smooth,
We took our best shot
Between the legs of destiny
And missed it by an inch;
So sure, defending it was a penalty call.
Ha! Sometimes we can miss it by a mile;
But, personally, hecklers are customers.
So, we leave the game
Playing it well
With a winning smile.
Start the bus
We have another game
We are (all) personal care attendants
Attending to each other—
But, most of all,
In that relationship—
We become companions.
Perhaps that is what happens—
After love’s personal illusions
As we accept
Maybe we can just skip the step of love
And go right into companionship!
Ms. Holly complains after eating pizza,
Which, she thoroughly enjoys.
“Too much salt!
I can feel my legs swelling up,
And it hurts to walk.”
I tell her to put her feet up,
She does not have to talk—
I remind her,
That I, cannot remember
what I forgot.
–It takes awhile
Before we turn to each other
Returning discreet smile—
Accepting what we do
And what we do not.