August 19, 2017. Home from summer travels, I am finally able to connect a poem written right before departure with images I did not have along on the trip. This one’s been waiting for me to get home!
We lost our tabby Ziggy unexpectedly earlier this year. I painted the back porch rocker turquoise, all that sanding and painting a way to deal with grief. Since then, I keep seeing turquoise everywhere I turn. And every time, Ziggy comes softly to mind. One such encounter was an Eremos-sponsored day of Contemplative Poetry at St. Matthews Episcopal (in Austin) in June. I did not yet know about the turquoise table movement to encourage neighbors to sit together and get to know one another. The table pictured seemed just one more appearance of turquoise! So I sat down and communed with Ziggy about turquoise.
July 23, 2017. Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations. This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace! I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees. Research proves its value. My experience here bears witness.
July 19, 2017. Traveling, taking in (our first time!) the 20th annual Woody Fest in Okemah, Oklahoma; WONDERFUL music experience for anyone considering what to do in future Julys!
Research led us to Pine Trees RV about 2 miles out of town – w,here we were under pines, overlooking a beautiful pond, at the end of a gravel road. Blissful! Those trees were most welcome in Oklahoma July heat.
We discovered a female kildeer thought so too – her “nest” barely out of traffic’s path. Speaking gently, approaching slowly, it was easy to get close. But the moment I crossed her perceived boundary, she tripled in size and fierceness. And I apologized! (Right after snapping this image …)
July 8, 2017. Travelling again – had a wonderful evening in Hannibal Missouri under the influence of a local band in an outdoor setting … full moon rising … a time to ponder and savor. A time well worth a poem. If you ever stumble upon Bummer The Drummer and The Kansas City Street Band – by all means sit down awhile!
May 21, 2017. In the Texas hill country, massive live oaks spread their huge limbs at unusual angles. Over time the weight of continued growth lowers them toward the ground. Like gigantic vines, they swoop in strong winds. Hundreds of years old, survivors of many a storm. But not invincible. At Red Corral, a deck constructed less than 20 years ago rises alongside one of these live oaks. Initially, there was no contact between tree and fence along deck’s edge. But the tree kept growing, lowering. Now fence cuts into bark, a gash that gives pause. While wind blustered, I stood for a while listening to the tree moan, the fence creak – each stuck in their odd relationship. (Ahhh… some “fences” in my space are beginning to feel like supports.)
May 11, 2017. Reflecting on a day at Red Corral Ranch in the Texas hill country – I go every other month with a spiritual awareness group. Last week, right after group reflection on a Stanley Kunitz poem – we went out into the May sunshine to spend some quiet solo time reflecting and observing. Red Corral is home to a number of peacocks, noisy birds, calling back and forth to one another. Their squeals are intense, sounding like “HELP” – mixing in with Kunitz words, the birds helped this poem emerge. They reminded me who I am – poet.
May 6, 2017. Our Mexican Sunflowers began blooming early this year, bright spots, especially in a windy drizzle. I noticed one bloom whipped by the wind, its petals all gone except for one – tenacious, flapping wildly like a kite unsure whether to soar or crash. I went inside for the camera, expecting it to be blown away when I returned. But no, still hanging on to its familiar center in spite of prevailing forces – seeming a model for fidelity to my core principles in the midst of a turbulent world.