A Thousand Hands Have Passed By Here

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A Thousand Hands Have Passed By Here

Maybe hundreds more
But
There was no one there to count

A well-worn wooden handrail
Documents for us

But she will not give up secrets
Of all the living that has come by here
The hurried ones
Tiny pink bare feet
Scampering off to bed
To dream under a mountain quilt, tucked
Under
Crisp cool sheets
As trains go up and down
The mountain tracks
Singing them to sleep

The tired ones who will wake
Before the sun and putter down
The stairs, running wrinkled fingers
Along the smooth and weary rail
Worn by love and life and time
Holding up the aged, the weak and frail

Guardian of more than
One Hundred years of living
Well-traveled
Quiet story-keeper 
Stairwell of this
Old home

Perhaps the next hand, left
Or right from generations
Coming up and down 
Traveling through this  place
Will be a hand of healing
Offering
Sacred grace

Pray blessing and forgiveness
Over those who’ll come here too

Perhaps
There will be a thousand more
Hands traveling down the rail
Bearing witness to 
Humility and redeeming love
For generations still to come

For scores and scores of lifetimes
More
May scamper up to bed
Up, then down, down then up
Living, loving,
In this family place

A thousand hands have passed by here

So
Walk quiet now
Soft and slow and reverently
So
You may hear the tales
Echo in the halls
Wisdom from sojourners
Who came by here before
Pass on stories of
Their living
Loving strong and hard
For years and years

Within these pine-board walls

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Joining Sandra Heska King for Still Saturday

When Art Imitates Art Imitating Life

When Art Imitates Art Imitating Life

 

Will you hide is sometimes code for will you be writing today
Creativity fueled by art, cinematic in this case
She can’t shake the storyline
Don’t be fooled the she is thinly veiled

And the film breathed new life into her own
Art
Somehow the story of salvaging it
Saving it
Calling it valuable
Stirred her soul

Somehow the cinematic fueled the
Poetic
The visual, the literary

And the chicken and the egg argument
Raises its ugly head
Well it’s not ugly
Just a little cliche

And with all the pain providing a Crimson backdrop
To the day
Art does wash
Poetry does restore
Words do renew

His code for hiding
Is her code for making sense of it all

Even if it is just last night’s movie about
Europe, old men and a war

And it all comes round again
Europe, men and war

She thought
Hiding sounded like a form of
Surviving
Buried deep inside her words
Making sense of senseless acts
Carving beauty from the ash

She decides to answer yes
I will be hiding out today
Pen in hand, armed and ready for
A chance to write a line of
Healing
In a world of pain
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Reading Poetry With Mother

 

Reading Poetry To Mother

You may say it is akin to shop talk
Poetry on poetry
But stay with me and think again
Of playfulness and rhyme
For I say, oh the things we learn
From poetry
Carved into
Yellowed, aging lines
Meant for
All of us
Though hidden in the open
in children’s
Poetic verse
Prose
And rhyme

Penned for children

Such as Christopher Robin
And Pooh
The silly old worn bear

Try reading
Yes aloud
To those who
Hold it buried
in the wrinkled folds of
Youth
Fertilizer for the soul
The where they went to run
And play
To hide
To laugh
The words that they grew up with
Those that
Comforted, provided calm
A place to run away
To laugh
When life was not so
Gay

No, not at all
No, not all all

You may say you silly goose
Sitting round in broad daylight
Uncovering a mother’s past
Through words of poetry
And prose

But  have you seen
The cover, stained
By water marks
Made from rings of iced cold tea
Or glasses
Of sweet fresh milk, or
Is it a more
A ring of tears, perhaps

And  have you seen the belly jiggle
Born witness to a head cocked laugh
Pausing to catch one’s breath
Choking on the silliness
The
Dawdling on the page
Savoring the humor
Of simple, ordinary rhyme

Lingering on every word
Of boys, and woods
And bears
And of
Dragging off
Sleepily to bed

Poetry with mother
Reveals
As poetry is known to do
It is
Nothing short of healing
As poetry is known to do
Too
Especially when it’s Pooh

Yet in our stale and stoic state
Of almighty grownup-hood
We find no time for rhyme
And lines of boyhood
Ramblings
Written from the hand of
Such a tender man

We muse and wonder
How did he
Crawl into the chidhood soul
How could he know so much of
Loneliness and hiding
And making up new friends
Pretending this pretending that
He is all of us
When we were oh so very young

You may say its akin to shop talk
Poets writing poetry on reading poetry
Aloud
But I can say
Quite humbly
I met and made
Some friends along the way
Milne and Pooh and all of his
Friends and relations
Are now mine

But so much more than that
I grew to love my mother
As a child
Once again
For we both became children
In one poetic moment
At the exact same place in time
Reading Milne’s most
Cleverest of rhymes
Sitting there together
Soaking
In the wit
Making memories
As we laughed and lingered
On the page
Without so much as a worry
Or a care
Lingering over life
And rhymes
About a boy and his bear

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Healing


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Healing

Bend into the silence
Let it
Tell you much

Guard your heart
From bitterness 
While you journey
Into
A quiet, sacred place

Just as 
Blind men read
The world in
Bumpy Risen Braille
Cup your hand
Against your ears
Bend into peace
Again

Welcome each
Soft syllable
Let it sing
And heal

Inside the inner
Chambers
Quieting the fear

Gentleness
Speaks to you
In a holy hush
Peace
Amid the 
News
Noise wrapped around
The spinning world

Quite
Deafening

With
Tenderness
It appears
Cloaked in gentleness
Precision in each move

Now
Lift the bumpy, broken language
From a 3-D page
Read it through a
Grace-filled lens
Come heal our 
Brokenness

Awash in crimson stained
Mercy
Robed in
Hope 
As you slowly
Turn the page

Now
Listen
To
The quiet, what it  has to say
The poet
Introvert
The timid one
Afraid to add
Another voice 
To join
The
Popular debates

Lean in close
While
Silence adds a
Voice
Somehow, in some
Cryptic
And poetic way
Remain 
Hushed
To hear
No,
Really listen

Listen to the whispers
Decode unspoken words
That never make it
From their frightened
Lips

The words, the cries
Stuck
immobilzed

A blend of sadness
&
Pure joy 
Her world within a hurting world
Lies in
Layered silence
Buried in the dark

As ruins in Pompeii

Archivist
Unburies and unearths
Beauty from the ash

Cries
Whispered
Asking for
Sweet
Release
Remind us of the joy
Recall for us the beauty

Hidden in the ash

Weak, wounded
The message will break through

Listen to the silent ones
The meek
The mild
The child-like
The songstress, artist
Friend

Bend into the silence
Oh, learn from it 
Again

Silent night
Holy night
All was calm
All was bright
And will be once again

Silence bears
Breathes anew
Silence redeems
Have mercy
Teach us to do the same

Healing 
Come
Healing
Calm

Healing ride on sacred wings 
Born in humble beds of hay
And on a silent night
Oh
Healing come again

With Laura today at Playdates at The Wellspring