Tag Archives: Love

Worthy

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“I am worthless,” my friend sighed to me.  “Oh, no,” I urged, “you are so worthy, so deserving.”  My friend wanted to believe, but could not.  “You are worthy,” I insisted again.  This poem declares your worthiness:

WORTHY

I AM:

rocks and ice in frozen space:

I AM:

dazzling beacons of pulsing proton beams:

I AM:

rainbow clouds, glowing, brilliant, birthing billions of bright suns:

I AM:

gold dust, iron dust, plutonium dust, the stuff of supernova stars:

I AM:

volcanoes bursting liquid stone to the skies, hot and hissing:

I AM:

waters of life, boiling and crystalline, flowing, flowing:

I AM:

the breath of God:

I AM.

Yes

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Driving alone toward Zion National Park in southern Utah one night, the full moon appeared above the redrock cliffs, shining large and bright and white.  I found myself suddenly flooded with tender emotions, wanting desperately to hold and be held.  I wrote this poem to help me remember the image of the immaculate moon, and my emotions upon spying her.  Please do me the honor of understanding that this is not a sex poem.  Rather, this is a poem about the powerful and wonderful feelings that can accompany intimate romantic love, even across great geographic distance.

YES

I want to make love to the moon.

I want to caress her creamy, naked curves.

I want to whisper grateful sobs for withholding nothing but judgment.

Would she deign, I would make gentle, generous love to the moon.

A Perfect Match

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“Such a cute couple!”  “They are so good together!”  I have heard these and other phrases so often about couples, young and old.  But what does it take to make a perfect match?  “Opposites attract,” says the cliche, though I’m not sure I believe it.  It is that we admire in our partners what we lack, or do we feel more comfortable with someone similar to us in personality and demeanor?  In this poem I explore two sides of a relationship that differ and yet complement.  I admit to tending more toward the second half of each couplet, though the poem is not (necessarily) autobiographical.  What are your opinions about what makes the perfect match?  Let me know by leaving your comment!

A PERFECT MATCH

impulsive
deliberate

spontaneous
self-conscious

hopeful
fearful

self-possessed
over-shoulder-watching

free-thinking
conforming

curious
contemplative

ebullient
restrained

giggling
steady now

disciplined
falling off the wagon

fun-loving
nose to the grindstone

inclined toward cheerfulness
tending to be sad

star-gazing
spot-scrubbing

bibber
tee-totaler

go to hell
I’m sorry

let’s go!
we’re late

bratwurst
sauerkraut

pedal to the floor
foot on the break

effusive
reserved:

beautifully broken

secretly afraid:

a perfect match

Monday Night

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Family gathering together is what makes the holidays special.  Family, in all its forms.  We arrive, ring the doorbell, and are welcomed with hugs (or grunts.)  We eat and laugh and tell stories, catching up.  We play out the human drama in the family microcosm.  Older family members display what they have learned for younger generations to see, if they will.  Funerals, though enormously sad, have been some of my most meaningful family experiences.  We grieve together, share the family lore, and partake unquestionably in love.  Weddings, while hopefully more joyous occasions, strike me as similar.  Baptisms.  Bar-mitzvahs.  Holiday celebrations. Sunday dinners.  Even the mundane moment, however, gives families powerful moments to bond, to contemplate, to rejoice, to mourn, and to hope.  The poem “Monday Night,” below, describes one such moment from my family’s past, and relates to Chapter 16: Around the Fire Pit post of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.

MONDAY NIGHT

Monday night,
and we gather again,
a family:
sitting on cinderblocks
around the fire pit;
holding long applewood sticks,
like fishing rods,
with points in the flames,
connecting
with the warmth, the glow,
the power and mystery of fire.
A family:
singing songs about
head, shoulders, knees, and toes,
and the beauty of God’s creations;
reading poems about kitties and calves,
and forks in the forest path;
telling stories of inspiration and faith;
munching popcorn and brownies;
keeping the cats away from our cups of milk.
Children
toss sticks into the flames,
poke smoking sticks into the ground,
carve their special sticks
with knives that are somehow always dull.
Sun sets behind towering pink and orange
Cumulous that dwarf the snow-capped mountains.
Fire settles into a ringed bed of shimmering coals.
Children quiet themselves
and stare into the ebbing heat and color.
Mom and Dad look to each other
and share an unspoken gratitude that,
for this moment,
life is good.

Cupcake and Olive

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While I was away attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia in July 2013 with my teenage sons, my wife and younger children brought home two little precocious pygmy goats.  They named the black-and-white kid Olive, and the light-brown kid Cupcake.  Oh, they were adorable, running and jumping and calling to their human friends non-stop.  They loved the attention of being petted and bottle-fed, and followed Hyrum and Hannah around everywhere.  “My babies,” Angie called them.  This poem is about her love for the new kids.

CUPCAKE AND OLIVE

Olive is a pygmy goat,
white with black splotches,
or black with white,
two months old, almost.
You brought her, two days old,
home, with little cousin Cupcake,
and bottle fed her
four times a day.
She doesn’t bleat like Cupcake
(oh, my goodness),
even when hungry,
but cocks her head to one side,
just so, as if to say,
And where, Mama, have you been?
Olive will only suck
from a bottle held by you,
having jumped and flopped
onto your mother’s lap.
You stroke her neck
with a free hand.

Across the Day

Each morning as I leave for work I cross paths with my children.  They each require a hug (or two or three) as I run out the door.  I am often late and anxious to get away.  Sometimes I protest, “Just let me go, guys” or “You already hugged me once” or “I’m just going to work.”  When I slow down and live more mindfully, I stop and put my briefcase on the floor to give them a genuine embrace and a smile and a kind word, perhaps “I love you” or “Have a great day”.  If I really pay attention to these moments of connection, I notice a subtle but distinct feeling of goodness and happiness, a sense that something in life has changed for the better.  This poem is about one of those moments when I suppressed my natural tendency to hurry on to the next task and allowed myself to slow down and see what really needing doing.  See the related Chapter 12: Worm Sign post of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.

ACROSS THE DAY

Down the stairs he stepped,
pulling up a pant leg
to expose to me
yesterday’s skinned knee
and today’s unabashed want
for tenderness.
“It still hurts,” he whimpered
as I flew toward the door
with my briefcase and bagel.
“And you forgot.”
With guilty remembrance, I stopped
and lifted him to a counter top.
With guilty haste I rummaged through a drawer
for a bandage and soothing ointment.
“It feels better already,” he sighed,
his smile following me
out the door, down the highway,
and across the day.

Generations

So many times I have caught myself reflecting on the fact that I am as old in a given moment, involved with one of my children, as my father was when involved in the same way with me: camping, throwing a baseball, swimming and sailing at scout camp, choosing not to spank a stubborn child, asking about girlfriends, counseling through challenges, on bent knees begging for a child’s welfare.  I often sense a melding and shifting of the generations, from me being the child to being the father of a child, and yet I remain the child.  I muse on this time-defying phenomenon in this poem, Generations, and on the Chapter 11: Austin post listed in the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.

GENERATIONS

I am the center and the circumference,
the present and the past.
The generations are one before me,
the memories of years
a single infinite scene,
shifting and stirring within me,
slowly moving to embrace the future
even as it becomes the past.

I am at once a boy and a man,
a son and a father,
my child: my father: myself.
I gaze at my child
and see
my father gazing at me
and feel
a father’s agony,
as I look to my father,
and my child looks to me.