Sunday, November 29, 2009

above silence

morning snow
a canyon wren singing
just above silence

southbound

skimming
the belly of a storm front
southbound geese

Thursday, November 19, 2009

brother's tear

The tear of a brother
who is slipping into, out of
confusion, oblivion,
dementia.
A tear of recognition,
of reassurance.
How to weigh this tear?
How to preserve it?
What value
this tear?
Priceless.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

tear of recognition

Bing as he is nicknamed is my older brother. Visiting him at the veterans home in Boise, Idaho, he appears a shadow of the man he was and seems far older. He's deteriorated since the death of his wife and doctors say he has dementia and is extremely weak. Having just survived pneumonia, his normally bright blue eyes are gray and appear distant, confused. He doesn't seem to blink. He watches other aging veterans move about the visitors area and doesn't speak unless asked a question, then replies with few words.

seasoned aspen
buffeted by a bitter wind
shuffle of old men

Although I am taller than him, I think of Bing as my bigger brother because he has always stuck up for me. Always. He has been a caring older brother and as children would allow me to tag along, pedaling me around on his rickety bike. Now I lament that there is nothing I can do for him. I doubt he will ever leave the veterans home. I was afraid he didn't recognize me until as I was about to leave. A single tear has appeared in the corner of his eye and is making its way down that pale, wrinkled face.

a leaf flutters
in an abandoned web
. . . these gray clouds
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Morning's color

The sleet
falls harsher,
colder than
I've experienced.
The morning's color is not
a color, only achromatic, and
my heart warms neither
to this canvas, nor the
brushes, nor to her
smile, not even
to the dog.

In neutral

Neutral seems
to be the sum of
all my colors - any color,
any combination - no matter
what I mix on this diminishing
palette called my remaining years,
all that emerges is futility
and grayness. Is
this what my life
has become?

--

Sunday, November 1, 2009

breeze in the lilies

The breeze comes in from the south, moving over the cornfield at the edge of the cemetery to lightly stir the lilies on Sarah's casket. Sarah's son Tom puts his head in his hands as the preacher says something about Sarah departing for a better life. Tom had just buried his wife the week before after she lost her battle with cancer. Now he's burying his mother.


a dandelion seed
gyrates on spider silk
then floats away

I don't know Tom that well, but well enough to know I like him and well enough to know he's a good man. I wonder what it must be like to lose the two most important women in your life, both within a week. Tom's leathery face holds little clue, except for the glistening streaks. He tells me it was a "double whammy" - his sunken eyes tell me it was far more.

darker today
this shadow across
her stone