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).
September 9, 2016. The crinum patch next to the driveway has been a source of wonder the past few weeks – profuse with blooms and small living creatures that demand my attention when I would otherwise hop in or out of the car and continue with ordinary plans. I’m grateful for the distractions! I’m tuning in to the synchronicity of these appearances with various inner puzzles also giving me pause.
Again, the camera at hand was the iPhone, so the image is less spectacular than the butterfly posing. Oh, for a strong back willing to stay saddled at all hours with full camera bag!
June 19, 2016. We’re traveling – currently in Asheville NC camped very near an entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Yesterday we did a lot of driving and a bit of walking at various stops along the Parkway. I encountered these steps, camera in hand, and wanted to capture both perspectives – looking up and looking down the steps. My legs balked, as they frequently do of late. Luckily, my imagination gets younger as my body gets older – a needed balance.
I wrote the poem while Gary was off on a hike this morning, not knowing until he returned that he would go up these very steps onto a trail across the mountain. He brought back pics that are now melding into my imagined views for an eclectic virtual experience.