March 28, 2019. Spring has announced herself with an abundance of green coming up through dried leftovers of prior green frozen to the ground. Lots to clean up in the yard! I tackled the crinum bed alongside driveway a bit at a time to avoid arthritic reaction to the necessary bending, stooping at unusual angles. This poem emerged from the meditative nature of putting face repeatedly near earth … plus it was Mother’s birthday. The following day, my email brought me the poem Earth Song – including:
Those who are dead are never gone;
The dead are not down in the earth:
They are in the trembling of the trees
Indeed, Mother was right there with me in the crinums’ upward thrust.
Crinums produce large lily-like blooms – mine are a vivid pink, prolific come June.
I’m unable to find a direct link to Earth Song, Traditional from Senegal. I received it via Panhala – to subscribe, send a blank email to:
September 27, 2018. This poem emerged from a diverse spirituality group that meets every other month. We each share something responding to the session’s focus – then we sit in silence. Silence can be relative. Certainly sounds normally unnoticed take on new significance when human clatter subsides.
Last week I took in red yucca seeds and a quote from Florida Scott-Maxwell in response to the challenge: What can you see when you are able to look past all your comfortable assumptions, judgments, prejudices, and fears? There were several seed-related responses, and the various seeds/interpretations were swirling in my head as we began what would’ve been silence … but for the old fan directly above me.
June 1, 2017. The last half of May was a bombardment of encounters – a piling on of understanding my own impermanence, connectedness, and choices. This poem has been finished multiple times, only to reopen given the next day’s encounter. Not all-inclusive, some pieces were trimmed to make space for others. I’m calling this complete now. (Though there could be a sequel!)
This began with breaking open during Jimmy LaFave’s final performance three days before his death – witnessing his choice to live his last year on his own terms, embracing life rather than fighting death. The wrap-up arrived as a scientific article on lichens.
References:  Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Dear Christie”: https://ahundredfallingveils.com/2017/05/22/dear-christie/  Scientific American June 2017 issue, “The Meaning of Lichen”
Collage: Raven from Bryce Canyon, UT. Lichen from Red Corral Ranch, TX.
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.)
December 28, 2016. The year 2016 is just about spent – a year to be remembered for many losses. On the numerology front, 2016 is a “9” – the completing year in recurring 9-year cycles; 2017 starts us off on a new “1”. Perhaps losses are obscure completions we must reluctantly release.
The image is a mesquite seed pod, aglow at sunset in the Rio Grande Valley. Hanging on with tenacity, intrigue, beauty. But not for long.
October 14, 2016. I’ve been immersed in another poetry class with Lorraine Mejia @ http://www.lorrainemejia.com/ – this one working with Latin American Poets. Wonderful exposures to poems I otherwise might not encounter, plus stimulus to write poems I otherwise might not. The poem below is indirectly in response to reading Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Song Of The Barren Orange Tree” – and in gratitude for the live oak tree in my front yard. I offer this in explanation:
of years together
September 12, 2016. What are the odds a native redbud tree would follow its most prolific blooming spree three months later with sudden death? The blooms had been replaced with lush green leaves when we left on summer travels. Six weeks later, return was saddened by the lifeless brown of those leaves and the crisp snap of limbs tested. Research suggested possibilities, but the suddenness really confuses!
Saturday we got out the chainsaw and did what had to be done. Depressing. One bit of beauty remained – rings in the sliced trunk. Out came the camera and my gears began turning on a collage to commemorate the tree. Shots of the rings, of the stump, of St. Francis standing alone (no more posing beneath the redbud).