Climate (a Nonet)

Now I am friends with a hummingbird
who sits outside my room daily.
I bring feeders of nectar
but the heat is endless.
How can I help him?
Or is it me
who needs help

Forest Ranger (prompt: provided words)

Let me be a forest ranger and
I will thread my way like a needle through the woods
in search of the elusive periwinkle plant or
a white-tailed deer.

At break time, I will spread
my cotton blanket across the forest floor and
take off my gumboots and
dine on Swiss cheese on sourdough bread and
drink ice water from a silver canteen.

Being a forest ranger would beat my current job.
I’d sure rather spend time in a cloud than a skyscraper and
I’d rather float in a lake than visit a storefront any day.

So let me be a forest ranger, please?

Orbs (image prompt)

I first saw an orb
in Wales,
dancing along a vine-covered wall
on the side of the gravel road.

Now I see them often,
floating amid the darkening skies
or scooting across the flagstones
at home in California.

Some say they are spirits
of departed loved ones
and it’s tempting to believe
this is true.

Who are you, orb?
Can you tell me?
Which of my missing loved ones
do you represent?
And can I reach out to you now
and touch you?

To thine own self be true (prompt from common saying)

One thing about the pandemic was
that I spent a lot of time with myself.
Too often over the decades, I realized,
I tried to fit in and
it didn’t work,
I didn’t fit,
and I felt I had failed.
Now I’m embracing the weird.
OK, I don’t fit!
I like animals more than people
I’d rather be on a nature trail than in the office
I don’t like parties and small talk and fashion.
I like writers and artists, art and writing.
And that’s OK.
I’ve decided to keep me.

Work in Progress (plot description)

Her name is Jayne and she has fled Chicago
to hide away in the high desert
It is temporary (or so she thinks)
to heal from a bad marriage and rocky career
but then her aunt who is helping her
is murdered
and her colleague, Gareth, is arrested (even though he is innocent)
so of course Jayne has to help Gareth and solve the murder and, in the meantime,
very very slowly…
she begins to fall in love
with her new community (Roadrunner Ridge)
and her new life and
question everything she has ever known…

Why normal?

The animals flourished as the humans shrank away.
Maybe some of the comebacks were exaggerated
– dolphins didn’t really swim in the Venice canals, did they? –
but the bears were free to roam in Yosemite,
species that had been declared extinct suddenly emerged again,
whales and dolphins could hear each other’s ocean songs.

At night the stars emerged brightly in a clear dark sky.

After all the sadness and sacrifice of the pandemic,
why do we hustle back to cruise lines and long commutes
when instead we ourselves could flourish
in a New Normal where
birds sing loudly with great joy and
we are there
to hear them.

Meditation (walking prompt)

In this meditation,
you simply take slow steps,
one foot in front of another
and, if you want,
you can think words
with each step.
One step: love.
Another step: peace.
Or… .
One step: hope.
Another step: joy.
Or you can think of names.
One step: Patti.
Another step: Becky.
Sending out energy —
healing loving hopeful energy –
into the universe
for the people you love.

Time capsule

I wish for a time capsule –
something I could open and see
you and you and you and you
— and you! –
All those I have lost.

I would gather you all around me
in some sort of Celestial pub
and we would raise glasses,
shout out cheers,
sing songs and tell tales
of the days and the loves
of long, long ago.

We shall see each other again* (a poem in memory of Patti)

We shall see each other again, she said,
but don’t come now.
The truth is, she said,
I don’t want you to remember me this way:
frail and sad, slipping away.
Instead, how about this?
How about you go to the ocean and
walk through the waves crying
while beautiful black shells wash up at your feet and
sea gulls scream into the winds
above you.
You can take carnations and fling them into the surf
and you can sing a song of your making
that will float
all the way from California to Indiana
to my waiting ears and
I will send you snowflakes and baby robins and oak leaves
and everything wonderful
that I can offer from my world
and you can send me
coyote songs and sun rises and mountains
and everything wonderful
from your world and
all these infinite joys will mix together
into a jeweled labyrinth
of our friendship and
then of course
one day
we shall see each other again
but not now, not now.
Just not now.

*title is from the last line of the book, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh




Her world

On one of our last visits,
I pointed to the sky and said,
“oh, mom, look! —
look at that bird flying above us!”
and she said, “what I see is
a long, long line of energy.”
And her world was different and good.

She was a realist:
she often said she was demented. She said one time,
“if we sound scattered,
it is because we are.”
And her world was different and good.

She only forgot me once.
Riding in the car, she asked my name.
A moment of shock and then I said, “Dee. My name is Dee.”
And she said, “oh, that’s my daughter’s name.”
Cheerful, happy.
And then she remembered I was her daughter and she
rejoiced. And we both celebrated.
And her world was different and good.

Sometimes I miss my time in that world —
all present tense, joyful,
loving, uncomplicated.
Birds, roses, the sounds of tambourines and piano,
voices lifted in song drifting to the memory care patio.
The water splashing in the fountain next to us.
Her world: different and good.

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