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A Blessing Poem

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Years ago, I bought or was given a lovely book titled The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano. Somehow it got shelved and forgotten, till recently when I found it and this prompt, “write a poem in the form of a blessing.” Here goes…

 

May you have the energy and hours for your long list of tasks
May you have paper and language for list-making
And a pen to check off each task as it’s done
May you finish the list so you can feel that small good feeling
Of accomplishing and checking off everything you wrote
Such a tiny, particular pleasure that you wouldn’t suggest
Anyone upend their life to experience it, wouldn’t suggest they
Buy a house, preferably an old and slightly unkempt house
To feel the thrill of checking off tile grouted, fieldstone wall repointed
Rooms plastered, windows replaced,
porch painted with one more coat before winter
Before, all before being closed snugly for the
Amazing cold of another winter.
So whether you own a house or not, let’s just say
May you be warm this winter and grateful
To whoever made such snug quarters possible.
When the first big snow arrives
May you have a mug and homemade Mexican cocoa
With cinnamon and chili spice to fill that mug
And a soft, warm cotton sweater
In a color you find delicious
And may you have a window to watch the storm through
While sipping from your mug in your sweater
And behind you may your favorite music be playing
And may there be waiting the person or animal or art
Or meal or book or craft you most want to be with
While the storm weathers along
And may all of this, all of this built towards and gathered
The sweater, the fieldstone, the painted rooms, the cocoa
All the days that gave you this
lover or child or friend or happy solitude
May all of this you’ve gathered
And called into your life
May it be the life of your dreams
And may you know it
And breathe it in
here and now

Mindful

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after years of this
you wake enough
to shut off the carefully
curated play list
open the door to night
and cricket song
nearly the last
concert of the season

The Clouds Taught Me This

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clouds taught me this
on my daughter’s birthday
one more lesson on
the nature of time

sunrise streak of orange clouds
across a bright blue sky

gone in minutes, clouds
and sky fade to grayblue

whether the clouds
remember
or not
I was here with those colors
as they formed and as they faded
and when time changes this sky, too
one of us remembers.
Whatever sky does next
doesn’t unspool the moment
when those colors
were real

Again Today, Time

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again today, time
and I meet
Again today, I try
to cajole time into
Meaningful Dialogue
about its peculiarities.
Today, in particular,
I’d like to discuss
Childhood. Yours,
specifically. Where,
I want to ask, did that
quirky crazy-curled
little girl go? And how can it be
that the beautiful young woman
sent in her stead
doesn’t remember that little girl
as clearly as I do? Time, being time,
lets me go on about this until
the coffee grows cold and I
am late for work.
Again.

If Leaves Dream, They Dream In Color

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Ghosts
of last year’s leaves
hide in the pavement—
sapped of past lives
dried beyond dust
almost gone but
quiet, busy
dreaming new colors
for seasons about to arrive

What Late August Said On Its Way Out The Door

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The title of my next poem may be
In Praise Of Dawdling
maybe
but I haven’t quite
gotten around
to writing it
just yet

Language Barrier

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Once, many years ago when money was tight, you found a five dollar bill in the street. Back then five dollars was a boon, an unexpected gift from a mysterious universe.

Yesterday, I found a grimy, rain-soaked twenty on the same block. Money’s not so tight these days. You? You are long gone.

What does this all mean? Oh, the question I often ask with no hope of a Definite Answer. Maybe it means nothing at all. A careless hand, a hole in a pocket.

Or maybe it’s a message from money. Maybe money has a sense of humor. Maybe money is trying to let us in on the joke by juxtaposing these two incidents, cash in the street, years apart, needed, not needed.

What, you might well ask, what is the punchline? Only money knows. And so far, it’s not telling.

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