The Past

There was once a place

Where the mountain breaks the softness of sunrise

Where fishermen sing while tending their nets

Where I grew up,

The narrow streets and old houses play in my sleep

People meander and talk at sunset

On Saturdays a farmer’s market

Filled with animated visitors.

I miss the place.

The past is part of the present

I will understand happiness 

Depends on differences of small things

Will make sense later

I am fit not from running

But from gardening

I want you to come with me

And visit this place

You are a good listener.

The future 

Can be full of chatter.

I become too familiar

With the world around 

There are possibilities

We can laugh together.

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.

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.

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds suddenly 

seem to be everywhere

Chasing each other

 or hovering over the lavender 

The morning fog rises gently

You are standing in the midst, smiling.

I look at you and start talking

to myself.

You ask why ?

My way of clearing my mind 

sometimes it gets crowded with thoughts.

Don’t you get frightened 

when it gets empty?

Maybe that happens 

when someone you love leaves, 

walks away.

The hummingbirds leave one by one

and my friend

I am alone again.

The fog returns

I feel cold

I linger awhile

before I return home.

note: Books I’m reading: War and Peace. I was persuated by an article about Yiyun Li reading War and Peace once a year. And reading it along with others-Tolstoy Together.

Also reading Inseparable by Simone de Beauvoir.

Lives of Others

An orphan she has 

Few stories to tell, few attachments

How could she show passion,

Or care for someone

But she knows where ripe plums are, 

Which mushrooms are edible

Where to find spring water, safe and crystal clear

How to be resourceful

Habit and prudence and street smart

She starts learning the constellations,

Learns how to be afraid and be calm

She looks at the flowering vines,

Sleeps like an owl and wakes up 

To her full height, realizes

Distances between trees, between her

And trees, her and others

She is a distance of her own.

Things she cherishes, go away

Teaches her gratitude.

Her beautiful eyes say, thank you.

note: The book I’m reading: Ten keys to Reality by Frank Wilczek.

I will have surgery on my right ear next week. The discomfort is tolerable at the present time.

Sometimes I have to take some analgesics.

LIFE TRAVELS

Traveling for so many days

435 bridges and 234 tunnels

Losing landmarks and diverting to side excursions

A lavish description of arriving somewhere

After getting lost

Like newlyweds entering their first house

Whatever the sizable differences are 

They can be traced to algorithms

Like sentences they have to learn because they are new

After awhile they can talk and understand

The end is an accomplishment

Carried by patience and time.

They are foreign to each other

Like a blinding snowstorm before beginning of summer

Afterwards seasons go uninterrupted, seem seamless

Though there are days of grief

Some days of longing, others of mirth

Ambiguity eases into familiar themes

They arrive to a place they understand

Life changes gradually into bliss

Remembering words of Aristotle

We yearn to reach the good at the end.

CHOICES

“Joy like a river in her soul”, words of a young boy

Sharing his mother’s state of being. 

A town nestled next to a river

How does one tear down and build anew?

River dredging begins Flood Control Master Plan.

Town awakens, sounds of bulldozers and cranes, 

People wearing helmets working

Design to demolish, preserve, develop, convert

Empty complexes, aging structures, dormant land 

Long deliberations in what the town needs:

Hotels, shops, restaurants, or something abstract

Community park in summer turns flood diversion space in winter.

Building a promenade on riverfront, 

Passageway along railroad tracks,

Connecting Vine Trail, continuity without impediments

Collaboration with artists and role of the arts,

A time for coffee and twisted cinnamon rolls.

One accent, the Passages, a segment of passageway 

Once a haven for graffiti’s passion and restlessness

Now a channel for artistic expressions,

Vivid, vibrant, living project

Come, look, linger, get involve.

Walking home I hum a Dave Brubeck’s tune

I prepare smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, 

A bowl of peach yogurt and blackberries for lunch.

I take my time. I do not eat with haste.

Like town dreamers, like my friends

I, too, have choices and concerns

Should I join the frenzy of high technology

Pulsing reminders of “constantly possible productive moments”

Or walk with artists and pilgrims in shared humanity

Learn value of life, bear the task, persevere?

In my solitary walk, my mind can’t remain still

How will the young boy paint the river?

Let image follow imagination like spells of delight

Art’s idea whispers, shouts, bends then leaps to clarity

A journey of praise of what one truly loves.

In art and life, one will leave one day, the other stays.

I will write my praise.

Musings on Sunday After Christmas

Hide in a shelter of trees in the woods and listen to avian conversations, sweet songs and chatter

Serenades in chants of love songs, birds flirting, time phrases

Simultaneous displays of affection

When evening comes, lie down on the meadow to ease you muscle aches and back discomfort

Watch the stars appear ten by ten until you can’t count them anymore

Your brain nudges the hammock of neural synapses connecting lifelines of attention and comfort

The fragrance of grass, beauty of flower garlands open your senses to a new chemistry

The body is intelligent in an unknown way and know what to subtract and add in wholesome well being before you yourself knows what’s happening.

Open space embrace with soothing air and mountain views like a sanctuary as if nature is speaking to you. And understand emotionally what the birds are singing. The secret is not what you imagine but what you feel.

You know you will need tremendous courage to follow your own rules.

Some songs and calls are fading

The birds are facing extinction

Encroachment in their habitats or human neglect

The birds chant offers a sense of place and time and peace

We are losing the outdoors richness when our winged friends leave or die.

Don’t abandon the birds, they are helpless pretty creatures and friends

If you don’t answer your questions you have to find one who can. Don’t presume you are the first one to ask.