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the smell of water

November 25th, 2016

IMG_4966there is no sidewalk, so i walk in the street.
the hills are steep for my old knees
but my legs are strong now

i love that i can smell the water
and almost taste the green of the cool space
near the top of the longest hill.
there are always birds here
and small critters i can hear, but not see

the drought has choked the life out of many of our trees.
grass is stiff and yellow, what there is of it.
there are fewer flowers and their perfume no longer lingers on the air
so this oasis on the side of the road is welcome
like an old friend

I still reach out to low hanging branches
touching their tender leaves
with my fingertips
and my breath.
it feels like a kiss.
and it hold it softly to me
as i walk past

i walk this hill to touch my world
to admire the flowers
and whisper to the trees,
and to watch the birds float across the sky
and into my heart

I walk this hill for me
for my soul more than for my body.
I know that i belong right here,
in this little bit of the world

old

August 9th, 2016

IMG_4517becoming older is simple
it sneaks up on you,
until it doesn’t

realizing my limitations,
aching for bones that don’t ache,
watching bruises bloom from simple bumps,
such an adventure

happily, i can still walk.
if i could not,
i would have missed this beauty

she will also grow old,
crumple in on herself
and lose her amazing petals,
which feel wooden to my careful touch

it is my joy to have witnessed her life
even as my aging body requires me to walk slowly enough to notice

thank goodness

do not allow your old age to be stolen from you
run
get out
your stuff isn’t worth it
don’t wait to leave until the day after he kills you

old news

June 15th, 2016

IMG_4545I remember a time
when people had no need for guns
when dogs slept in the streets, and children played there

doors were never locked,
and neighbors came and went like family
news did not travel quite so quickly then, and it was not so bad it seems

I wish that my children
and their children
could have known the world as it was then

but time moves always forward
old, and bent, and troubled
with bullets and bombs
and terror
breaking what it can not bend

dying on the vine

June 14th, 2016

IMG_4470the flower is old
dying
but the bush lives,
there will be another flower

i wonder
does she struggle to breathe?
is she fearful of the end?

growing older changes me
i feel dried out
less self-reliant
colorless

i do not want to be replaceable,
gone from my own life,
but, i am vain

before and after

May 11th, 2016

IMG_4335it seems that we keep time
in before and after.
not so much in days or years,
but in moments that stop everything.

some moments create deep fissures
in the skin of our souls,
as though splintering the heart,
penetrating even our deepest being.

each soul is marked by scars
by tears not shed
by pain too great
by fires gone out
by before,
and after.

sparkle

April 2nd, 2016

walkThis is my walk

Nearly every day
I say hello to flowers and trees and tall grass
as they sparkle in the late afternoon sun

My heart records their incredible beauty and sad decay.

I focus on the shapes and colors of the leaves,
the twisted limbs of ancient trees.
every flower is delicate, unique.
some are faded, some vibrant
some reaching around others for a glimpse of the sun

The scent on the wind
infuses unspeakable joy
into my heart and my bones.

My sister walks with me
almost every day,
but not today, and I am feeling alone
until I notice
that today feels magical
the late spring sunset has cast a golden glow on everything around me

I touch the low branches and caress the leaves
and I realize that I, too, am part what happens here
I am not just an observer

I belong here
with them

my patchwork quilt

March 18th, 2016

IMG_4578no sooner does my head touch the pillow
than the patchwork quilt of my memories and regrets
pulls itself up around me
and snuggles in for the night.

every remembrance,
whether lovely or sad, has its own patch in the quilt.

the beautiful faces of my children and grandchildren,
my poor little mother, dying before she was even my age,
chasing fireflies on soft summer nights,
priorities and pride
surrendered
to temporary needs and desire.

each patch is stitched to the next with the dark threads of regret.
i can find no forgiveness for myself.
time and age have not softened my sorrows,
nor the pain of regret
for the sorrows I have caused.

if it weren’t for the big yellow mutt
who demands his space on the bed each night
I don’t think I would ever sleep.


begin again

February 19th, 2016

Mtry Purple Flowersit doesn’t matter how many times I start over,
only that I do.

hypnosis is my love,
my power.
I can do this.
I am good at this.

life interfered
but the time is now
to return to what I love and what I can do well.

I will begin again.

exposure

January 11th, 2016

brittletonight, i feel like a bird’s nest covered with skin.
broken, twisted little branches
held together with bits of string and sticks and stems
wound up tighter than necessary
 to protect the pieces of me
that have yet to shatter


screaming at the sun

December 5th, 2015

starfire-detail-7_2-e1447220986161walking slowly through the white walls of the museum
among brilliant works of masterful color
suddenly i was face to face with the crying woman
she screamed and screamed at me
trapped in canvas forever
there was no way i could help her
but i understood completely