Monthly Archives: June 2013

THE FIRST DEATH


gerdoll

Corunna, MI.  1951.

Living just outside of town, surrounded by fields and big sky, an old barn, and the vast green in front of this old farm house that made me feel small, smaller than the 3 years of my life.

Worries seem wasted on the very young, dismissed as impossibility.

Me and my brother had the days to waste in that summer, when school let out and my yearning for a playmate was scorned by his bold 9 years of living.  Mother insisted he watch me, thwarting any opportunity for the mischief he was prone to find himself in.  It was deeper into the heat of summer, corn tall as my reach to heaven and Jere wanting to chase butterflies.  I wanted to chase them too.  More than anything in the whole world I wanted one.  With our little home made nets, I chased him out into the wide green of our yard, to edge of the corn, with the silk thread flicking in the wind, nearly ready for shucking. We chased the yellow swallowtails that flittered and fluttered everywhere in those days.  I watched the swoop of my brothers net capture one, I screamed with glee, barely able to contain myself, running to him to see his catch.  I followed him like a happy puppy into the house, as he gently carried is prize, begging him to let me hold it, begging him to take me back to the edge of the field so I could catch one too. He kept to his brooding guttural sounds, as I followed him to his room.  I had no idea I was his greatest annoyance, the bane of his boyhood and I wanted his butterfly.

I followed him into his room.  I remember pausing before entering because his room was taboo to all of us.  In that pause, I felt that at last he must really like me.  He must want me to play with him to let me into is inner sanctum. It was my first time.  It was a wild mess of clothes and sheets, things I had no interest in.  I could only focus my trembling on the net and the beautiful fluttering yellowtail.    He cleared a table off,  setting my butterfly on it.  It seemed to flutter madly, in fits and starts.  I didn’t understand.  With a cotton ball and something that was very stinky, my brother brought it to the net.  The butterfly stop struggling, stopped moving; I was confused. I wondered what magic happened to tame this beautiful being.  He gently opened the net and took the lifeless butterfly out. With one quick stab of a pin that magically appeared in his hand, he impaled my butterfly.  He stabbed it right through the back of it’s fragile little body.  It gave a the littlest shutter and moved no more.  He stuck it on a board that seemed to appear from no where with other butterflies and beetles,  and bugs, all pinned to it.  I stopped breathing.  I screamed. I screamed again, calling for my mother.  I sobbed beyond control, horrified.  I begged for him to bring it back to life.  He smiled a smile that gave me a shiver down my spine. I was scared.  I ran out his room, down the stairs to back of the house and into the kitchen.  “Mommy, Mommy.”  She scooped me up and pet my head, asking me what was wrong.   I was inconsolable; I was beside myself with pain. I hated my brother.  It was my first death.

 

 

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Filed under BE HERE NOW, BIRTH. LIFE. DEATH, DEATH, EYES WIDE OPEN

LIFE AT THE CLEARING


First full day of writer’s retreat.  Words bubble and spill and some will find there way here.

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9 June 2013

There’s no forgetting

Why sky blooms on forest floor

Earth and sky are One

LIPS WITH BUTTERFLY

10 June 2013

My eyes wide open in the dark

I saw nothing

My eyes closed in the dark

I saw everything

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Filed under BIRTH. LIFE. DEATH, door county, EYES WIDE OPEN, HAIKU, NATURE

head in the clouds


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I lay in the deep grass with my head in the clouds.

Filling on the smell of green, swimming in a sea of blue

The way from here gathers first in the roots

Drinking deep of dirt and moist

In the push through earth in the up and out

With the Sun a blaze in his Siren’s call

Willing the green, and branch to reach

past the surface to the wild world relentless

Fed on the light and rain, with clouds that

look like the face of the Creator smiling

That smile that only the Creator has

As I lay here body deep in green

blue sky high figuring how grounded

I really am and when I can give myself

completely to the Light that brought me here

in the first place and catch the next

magic carpet cloud ride straight to Heaven

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Filed under BIRTH. LIFE. DEATH, MAGICAL THINKING, NATURE, SPIRITUAL, SPRING

DIVE


2013-06-06 21.10.46-3

Make way into the loss

of what has been and gone

of what was and now isn’t.

Chapter’s written next

to the seams of life hemmed

to the short and long of

a story given

When In is the only way out

In the dive deep in this

sea of emotions that could

pull a drown down on a

single inhale.

Of stories told of a life

well lived and sometimes not

It’s the ‘not’ that captures

the interest of the observer.

For the griever, none of that

makes a difference.

The whole is the sum of

all those damn parts and

what was or what wasn’t

takes no account to the

chapter’s written of a life

lived and the love of that

life when loss takes it

all away.

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Filed under BE HERE NOW, DEATH

THE BLUE CANVAS


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I remember a lot and forget everything

Remember again and sieve through

the necessary.

Decades of gathering life in my cells

in my body, my brain, heaps of stories

real and made up.

What is made up becomes real and the

real, if painful, or edged with bizarre

can not be so.

And so it goes, in the roll of life’s gathering

in all the season’s, sunny and light

grim and gloomy

Held to this moment for how the blue sky

is canvas to the wild green of Spring

to the chirp and chatter of morning

The bitter hot of my favorite coffee

and the quiet surrender to morning

rising with me

I remember a lot and forget some

Remember again, and let it settle

breathing deep.

Letting go of what I remember

for the fresh smells that rise around me

on the blue canvas

 

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Filed under ANN ARBOR, BE HERE NOW, MAGICAL THINKING, MEMORY, NATURE, SPRING

SHE FLIES IN A NEW SKY


bird

She trembled in her broken Chickadee body

The expanse of the grass an other worldly terrain

Alien to the blue and branch, nest of twigs in green

of the high above and mother’s wings in flight.

 

There was no more flight in this little bird

in her faulty flutter of wings and shiver

A trickle of blood from her beak with eyes closed

with a squawk to my touch and wings protest

 

Picking up her sweetness to tuck her close

to her tree where twigs and leaves, branch and night

might give protection to her final flutter.

In loving prayer for her safe flight home

 

I wondered of what to feed her, to protect her

to save her from this certainty, tearful.

Do I take her life quickly?  Do I leave her to

the nature of the journey? I leave her to tremble.

 

Morning rises to a mother’s winged explore

My heart rises in hope that night gave her back

to the living, to the wide sky, and branch, and

Spring leaves caught to wind and rain.

 

I gather her body in the nest of leaves

to give her sky back to the earth tucked

beneath the tangled bushes near my house

She flies a new sky today and I release my heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under BIRTH. LIFE. DEATH, michigan, NATURE

A life lived has so much breath to it.


I dedicate this poem to Norb and Jude.

norb and jude

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A life lived has so much breath to it

Millions of gasps of surprise

The pants of  anxiety

The hold on of disbelief

The hunger heave of desire

The whisper of holding silence

Bellows of breath for cheer

Moans of air between sobs

A life lived has so much breathing

with out much notice to how

the inhales and exhales are

moved by our moments crowded

by another moment of joy of

sorrow, of silence, of love, in the

unexpected expanse of engaging life

as it comes and goes like breathing

in and out. Breathing in and out.

Till the last breath struggles out

and lays it wisp on the bare shoulder

of the one you love, a kiss good bye.

A life lived has so much breath to it.

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Filed under LOVE, NATURE, PEACE