Still, Tamales

2021-09-11.  Today is notable as 20th anniversary of the terror of 9/11/01 attacks.  The aftermath has changed perspectives worldwide.  So solemn seems appropriate, in spite of a sunny Saturday with no commitments. 

The poem I sponsored in support of Brick Street Poetry is up on Robert Okaji blog:  https://robertokaji.com/2021/09/11/day-four-poem-pondering-perpetuity/

(You, too, can sponsor some Okaji magic – details here: https://robertokaji.com/ )

I’d offered “Perpetuity” thinking of global concerns about humanity, planet, etc.; when Bob scheduled my sponsored poem for today, I anticipated something related to 9/11.  What a lovely surprise to read his applicable-any-day poem concluding with Wisdom/Owl hugging with feathered wings our deepest dreams. 

I got lost, immersed in online imagery of owls, especially wings.  If you too need to get lost, try this — the abundant variety is startling.  And if that doesn’t break a solemn mood, send someone out to bring back home-made tamales! 

This post is a thank-you to Robert Okaji and a miss-you to my son, gone just over a year now.  (I talked myself out of ordering an owl-wing-print shawl though I sensed my son giving a thumbs-up as I perused options.)

Symbol Synchronicity

August 31, 2021. I gave myself the month of August “off” from blogging, though not from writing. Journaling and writing poems are essential no matter what else is swirling around me. I chose this poem to share as descriptive of this August’s outer adventures (New Mexico) and inner reflections. Last August my son Tom died the day after his 46th birthday. It happened rapidly, and I was with him his last two months. This past year hence, I’ve had countless questions arise that I wish I’d asked! Stirred together in my thoughts were the questions along with comments from others missing him – when a blue speck sparked a numerology review.

The John Dunn Bridge outside Taos NM is a beautiful spot to get into the Rio Grande River for a swim (or let your dogs do that while you watch!) We went back earlier this month while visiting Taos. First splash in the Rio Grande for our young Labrador Ramble. And a photo opportunity for me. What caught my eye as a pink bloom proves with research to be the seed head of a white bloom on the xeric shrub Apache Plume.

That plant had drawn another closer in days prior. My find near plant base was almost buried in the sand, only one surface visible.

Good Grief

September 9, 2020. Two weeks now since my son’s death. He was here the seven weeks prior, seldom leaving the house except for a daily walk around the block. The Labrador and two cats blinked at furniture rearrangements and accepted my son’s desire to be left unlicked, unrubbed. That said, he spent hours observing the canine/feline maneuvers and interactions. It was soon clear they were meditative entertainment through long hours of “just sitting” in the living room. I’d peek at him from behind my computer screen … or gaze at him from my rocking chair … grateful for the nonverbal companionship he enjoyed. Pets don’t ask questions.

Labrador and calico have acclimated, but I keep finding the ginger cat prowling the now-empty room we turned into his bedroom and sitting on the doorstep – signs of searching: where’d he go? For seven weeks his energy filled these rooms, and that remains. I sense a smile of sorts penetrating the space, his pleasure that this cat is seeking him. Perhaps he speaks to her in ways I cannot hear – perhaps they’re engaged in an adventure game. So much I cannot understand.

Turquoise

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.

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Layered Grief

March 28, 2017.  I’m wrestling with the loss of our tabby a couple weeks back – just when I think I’ve gotten over it, I find myself in tears again.  Yesterday I watched the calico sitting in dappled shadows – I drifted deep into meditating on her focus in the moment, pondering her intuitive feline ways of adapting to this loss of companion.   I found more questions than answers, but also acceptance that I don’t get to choose when grief resolves.

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Release

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.

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Guaging Heart Capacity

December 7, 2016.   The world swirls with opinions, oppositions, petitions, all manner of unpleasant realities.  I wrote this poem the morning after the November US election and set it aside till I could think more clearly.   I keep humming to myself the last line of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “The Messenger” – I just want to see what’s next.  Then and still, the view is murky.

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