May 29 2012

blame it on the heat

you have your chair and i
have mine and sometimes
at night after you’ve
gone to bed and i finally
get around to pulling on
my night owl
i move over and sit
in your chair
to view the world
through your eyes

every so often
i see myself sitting
there
in that other chair
a book of poems
or a baby
in my hands

and remember that
these chairs
have seen the best
and the worst of us
at times merely innocent
bystanders and at others
the only thing keeping
us from tearing holes
in the walls

and then
i put my feet up
and pretend to be you
watching baseball through
half closed lids and
i never get there really
never quite transition
into a sports fan
but who would have thought
a jock

and a poet could share
these two chairs
side by side all these years
worn and tired though
they are still strong and
mostly sturdy
always silent
about those nights
when neither one of
us could tell
the difference

.
.
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Linking up with the fabulous dVerse poets for Open Link Night, join us!

Feb 9 2012

she dreams of spring

Last year’s growth still clings to its supports, having yet to be cleared away for the fresh new shoots this year has promised to bring.

Soon it will be time to start seeds indoors, the waiting and the watching and then the nursing of baby plants along towards Spring.

This isn’t my garden, it’s a garden I pass on the trail where I run, a huge vegetable garden that someone tends very lovingly. It’s a garden I covet. Or quite possibly, what I actually covet is the time it takes to tend such a garden.

When I am old I shall grow flowers.

Okay, I already grow flowers. And I’m creeping up on old, but you know what I mean.

Some days, weeks, months, years, it feels like I’m running out of time. Time to do the things I always wanted to do, said I would do, planned to do. So what to do?

I feel my priorities shifting. I suppose everyone does as they creep towards another milestone birthday, marking the passing of another decade.

I’m going to be 50 this year, and it feels a bit like a rite of passage. It will be time to draw the slanted line through the other four hash marks, and these five decades will stand together as a unit. The next decade starts a whole new set of hash marks, and only if I’m very lucky will I complete the set.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with it, no regrets and all that, and every day I breathe in the air of gratitude that I am here to even contemplate such things.

But I feel like this year, this well-rounded marker, means it’s time to clear away those old, clingy vines, time to pull up all the weeds, time to focus on standing with my face to the sun.

Mature growth. The bits of bark that have been weathered by time. The base of the tree that supports all the fresh, green leaves.

Old growth.

Yes, that’s it. Exactly.

Already, I feel new roots taking hold.

 


Dec 14 2011

home{more or}less
{reverb11 – day 14}

::

When did you feel most at home this year:
in your life, in your space, in your career, in your skin?

::

Since I already wrote about where I feel most at home this year (here), I’m going to flip this prompt on its side and write about where I feel LEAST at home.

Apparently, it’s in my own skin.

I hate photos of myself, even all doctored-up and prettified ones like the one above.  Really, I’ve always been that way, but it has definitely gotten worse as I’ve gotten… ahem, older.

I no longer feel at home in this body that is breaking down much more quickly than my mind.

Inside, I still feel 25. I think this is Mother Nature’s sense of humor. We get the wisdom of age with a body that is too tired to act on it. Just when we start to feel comfortable with who we are, finally, our bodies turn on us, slapping us in the face for getting fresh and thinking we could do all the things we did when we were young.

I want to run, every day. Even every other day is a struggle now, knees and hips and muscles stay sore, need rest, complain loudly.

Parts start to wear out, those knees and hips, teeth and eyes. And I won’t even go into the sagging. Or the money I’ve spent on face creams and their promises, promises. Photoshop helps, managing to hide the flaws and wrinkles and extra skin. At least a little. And that’s a good thing.

The problem is, my mind hasn’t caught up to my body. This body that is home to my soul. A soul that is still working to stay airborne. A body keeps me tethered to the ground, calling me home with shouts and exhaustion, aches and admonishment.

Often, I find myself looking at my body with derision. Scorn. Anger.

Asking, why can’t you keep up?

And so it is.

I suppose I will get over it eventually. Settle in to this skin that is more wrinkled than smooth, more loose than firm, more dry than elastic.

But I have a feeling that by the time I reach that point, it will be time for my soul to fly on its own.

So for now, I will simply call a truce with those wrinkles, those weary bones, those aching muscles. We will agree to disagree and move on. We will be roommates out of necessity, sharing days and weeks and years.

But I’m keeping my face cream all to myself.

Take that, Mother Nature.

 

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{reverb11} check it out here  {resound11} check it out here

Jul 16 2011

reverie (not regret)

What I miss:

Summer as a child, days spent reading. I mean entire days.

My son at three, chasing butterflies across the grass,
giggling with the joy of it.

Camping in an old canvas army tent that leaked,
but having fun, just the same.

Being able to eat whatever I wanted and not gaining weight.

Staying up until the wee hours of the morning,
listening to Billie Holiday in the dark.

Almost always being barefoot.

Sharing a bedroom with my sister.

Eating popcorn and drinking Pepsi
while watching Carol Burnett.

Walking to the store to buy a 50-cent-piece-size Sweetart.

Orange coolers. (A milkshake made from Creamsicles.)

Spending days in the cemetery a block from my house, alone.
(I know, I’m weird.)

Still believing that the glass slipper would fit.

First times.

Going shopping for school clothes.

A tiny black kitten named Panther.

The tree outside my bedroom window, swaying in the breeze.

Playing jail (hide and seek) in the street at dusk.

Having breakfast for dinner.

A dog named Coby.

Time.


Aug 6 2010

we have a lot in common…

{august break no. 6}

tons of freckles and a couple of wrinkles.


Jul 2 2010

what lies before me

When I run, I break everything into thirds. If I am planning to go six miles, I focus only on the first two. Once I have made it that far, I focus on the next two. I know that once I cover those, I will be two-thirds of the way to my destination, I will have already gone twice as far as I have left to go, and then the last two seem easy.

On days when I struggle, I split just the segment of path directly before me into thirds. If I make it to that first tree, then I can make it to the next one, and then the distance to the last tree will feel like nothing. I have covered more miles than I ever thought possible by breaking them into thirds.

And if my life ends up covering a fairly standard number of years,
I am now in my middle third.

The first third was a bit of a struggle, there was so much to learn, to figure out, so many mistakes to make that caused sore muscles, injuries, time waiting to repair. Sometimes I just wanted to stop. Sit down. Give up. I hadn’t learned discipline. Or tenacity. Or patience. I hadn’t settled in for the long haul.

I am past that phase now, and glad of it. I am warmed up, I have my stride, there is a rhythm to my days and I move along at an even pace most of the time. I am on the straightaway and can take time to gaze around me. I am no longer worried about whether I can make it. I’m moving close to the halfway point.

And as I move on, further down this path, this path we call life
that we live and breathe and burn through so quickly, I wonder if the last third will be the easiest one, not downhill because that hurts my knees worse than anything, but leisurely, graceful, steady. The one where I feel that I could go on forever.

Well, okay, maybe not quite forever.

But at least just to that next tree.


Jun 10 2010

stretching my legs

Today I am over at the lovely Liz Lamoreux’s place,

be present be here,

with some reflections on aging, stretch marks,

and living in the moment.

I would love it if you popped over to say hello…

: : :

And while you’re there, be sure to scroll down and see the photo

of her gorgeous newborn daughter, Ellie Jane.

Isn’t that just the sweetest name?


Jun 6 2010

time out of mind*

My hair is a mess. I see myself in the reflection of my monitor and I laugh. You think I don’t, but I do, I laugh out loud because I am always forgetting what I look like, somehow I expect to see the 20-year-old me when I look in the mirror, but that girl is gone, out galavanting somewhere, she has better things to do.

It isn’t a matter of time, the years have passed, I remember them. It is a matter of mirrors. I have always wondered if you feel the same on the inside when you are eighty. I feel the same, in the core, the kernel of my being, as I always have, but I look in the mirror and someone older stands before me. I know I am in there, I know that if I strip away the mercury that lies beneath the glass, I will see all the way to my center.

I am not inert, I change each day, time moves through me, and I am not afraid. I am not chained to the notion of youth, I understand, I accept, but I do not cheer time’s passing. I don’t regret it, either. Minutes tick away on the clock whether we watch them or not. They pass us by or embrace us. We get to choose.

I can think of time as the enemy, it is easy to make time the bad guy. But time has no emotion, it cannot be cruel. It just stands there, a pillar of salt. It is just time.

It forgives but never forgets and moves forward but never returns and we stand on the sidelines and cheer or watch or turn our backs, but it keeps on playing. It is just time.

We are on time, we are out of time, we need more time, we take the time, we take a time out, time is on our side, time waits for no man, we try to put time in a bottle.

It is just time.

Time bursts all our bubbles, time stops us short,
time thinks a mirror is envy.

It is all that there is and all that there isn’t.

It is just time.

* title from Bob Dylan’s album