Memories

Opening your school yearbook after so many years

memory are like high places we cling to

revelations can pain your heart

you want to resist but rawness is hard to hide

like a cry of a sparrow

eyes and face can reveal so easily

what is to inhabit bleakness of a future

or emotional existence when tethering from ordinary

but youthful exploits can ripen into awareness

mistakes can be forgiven

contradictions can come to resolutions

you can rise again after a wicked plunge

new leaf, new lines of relationships 

can bloom in extraordinary clarity

you are a survivor.

New Ambition

Clattering sound of falling kitchen pans brushes aside her reverie 

Her eyes fix on the sea

Fog distorts perception of distance, silence ushers thinking confidently 

She adjusts herself in the writing table

With a new  ambition

She writes, her fingers trembling with words.

Evening crickets will summon her to sleep

The rooster will wake her before dawn

Seldom she considers to stray outside these boundaries

Her stories wanting to be heard

Like mute feelings suddenly freed from captivity

How to express the river’s yearnings

The delicate exposure of what is hidden

Abundant play before learning the alphabets

The forest changes, weather comes with seasons

She feels fresh facing open spaces, the deep and simple questions, enhancement and pruning

The mysteries of truth and moments of need

Finding her way in intricacies of language

If she has nothing to say, she stays silent.

She may play her violin in front of the llamas

Or she may hold the cat close to her chest

Hum a melody to its ear

Don’t let desire turn to dreaming and fades

Even when distance dims

She has to consider the end

What is meaningful to her

To flourish the goodness life

And encourage herself to cultivate 

Habits of the heart.

Ancient Habit

A thought 

awaken you from velleity

a summon to bear fruit

you lace your shoes

you start walking, an ancient habit

fresh persuasion of open air,

feelings of space and seeing

the outdoors, vast and hospitable, 

slopping hills 

you bravely ascend steps, 

carefully accelerate descent

blistered heels and suffering knees,

and muscle burns

temporary distractions,

hesitation gradually fades

one step at a time, the trodden way

strength prospers and optimism lifts

exhilaration and healthy elements

you huddle a new circle, your kindred:

sway of stride, unhurried banter, 

their voices twinkle in greetings

you don’t have to

but you keep a journal 

the notches, tiny achievements

nourishing pastoral scenes, 

joy of jotting experiences

the long walks

you observe the olympians, 

their constancy

you wonder how they do it

the focus, the intensity

the magnitude of sacrifices

you weigh yours in gratitude

you try to understand, 

is there time to exult or console

you are in your eighties

you dare to disturb life expectancy

in full measure.

Flirtations

Should I haiku

my way to you

light bends

The apple falls

flowers attract butterflies

bees circle around

Mothers wonder

children run to sounds of  a waterfall

does enthusiasm measure distances

The kite laughs with the wind

free and unafraid

a boy watches

Inquisitive, often in motion

a bird moves from from to branch

to opening spaces

I decide to be better

procrastination flirts

catches my curiosity

The splendor of order

my thoughts and a nightingale singing

a pebble and thunder

The swan’s wings sweep the air

clouds coalesce like a quilt

the pond and I mirror the scene

The swan, lovely and silent

unruffled by wakes of passing boats

somewhere, a monk in contemplation.

Unafraid, swelling with confidence, she prays 

the snow falls on top of trees

first week of December

My strength begins

paddles breaks the water

the ducks glide

The bell’s sounds of angelus

a moment of remembrance

farmers stand silent on the field

With darkening sky

poetic storm enters her vision

sharp and exhausting

Bowls and fields catch raindrops

seasons of need

umbrellas cover workers’ heads

note: The photos were taken during my walk to the river. Books I am reading. Our Book Club decided to read Moby Dick.

Begins With A Question

Life is not a simple flow of time

 A lived experience

a taste of beauty

then taken away

Is there enjoyment in being immortal

though everything you touch is not permanent

a statue, a stone, unlike a snowflake

everyone will pass away

and you remain

immortal, you,alone

with all your elaborate memories.

Can we still ask

and live life’s hard question

or remain submerged in modern angst?

Or are we waiting like a jar

to fall into fragments on the floor?

Or do we bloom for each other on virtual reality?

In the reddening sun

we should not be content

just to be alive.

note: I finished reading the book, Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin. About time, art and life and love.

Insight

Wet clothes hang on a line suspended  on two poles

On windy days wave like captive souls

A passerby pauses as if trying to recall a forgotten task

A boy walking the opposite way

Tries to understand between fascination and true insight

He remembers he should get home before Angelus 

Clouds darkening hurriedly in the horizon.

Seeking OThers

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that I need to leave the familiar, but I don’t want to do it entirely alone-I want to seek others who can offer perspective into my predicament, who can help guide my passage.”

-Suleika Jaouad, Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted

Sunny Day

63 degrees, sunny, the tide is going upstream

Maybe 

the scope of your vision is narrow,

the field is wide, memory may falter,

movement, persistence, diminishes

distance between remembering,

words will come in baskets

no barren day or empty life

even dreams have voices

do not cease 

to take care of yourself

Rise, go, where nature lives.