Some Thoughts on Magic

Sometimes we mistake magic for ordinary.
An egg is magic.
So are a seed, a blossom, a child.

Why is it that the religious fear magic
but believe the unbelievable?

Science and magic are not mutually exclusive.
That spark of electricity is both
real and magical.
So is the atom you cannot see,
only its manifestations,
its aggregates.

The universe is unexplainable, but
scientists keep looking for explanations
and finding them.

Putting magic into a story is one way
to get many middle schoolers to read.

To share magic, read to a child.
To share magic, laugh with a friend.

Wait! Magic is magic!

On An Ordinary Day

I get up and fight
for autonomy,
for a quiet space that’s mine,
where nothing but words and ideas
can visit.

No television.
No demands.
Not going to happen.

So, I fight daily battles
for moments of my own,
include thinking time on my too-long to-do list,
shut myself in the room of my mind
where the door never quit latches,
where the outside world always sneaks in
and waits at my feet.

In those precious snatches,
I lay my sword on the table,
breathe in the almost silence,
gather my skittish thoughts in a pen
or a Word file.

Some days I win, knowing
tomorrow I’ll get up
and do battle again.

I Am?

Yes, you are.
You’re a poet.
Oh, I know I am.
I’ve been that since the first time Mama smiled
at my scribbles,
my rhymes,
my seven-year-old genius
that only she could see.

Yes, you are.
You are a cook.
Oh, I know I am.
I’ve been one since I realized
no one else is going to feed me.
After a few decades,
and more than a few disasters,
I am a fine cook,
but today is leftovers day.

Yes, you are.
You are a friend.
I try to be, but sometimes I am needy,
sometimes I am distant,
sometimes wrapped up in a story,
but sometimes I am there
when you need me.

Year 3

Poetry and writing are essential to my wellbeing. I’ve been writing and publishing for almost half a century, so I write almost daily, but the half marathon gives me a day just to celebrate poetry. My schedule is crazy, but I find a way to make time for this.

Looking forward to Saturday!

Play Is Holy

Playing with rhymes and word lists just because it’s hour twelve:

Take a picnic to the lake.
You can spare the time.
Don’t take
your money job so seriously.

Drive your old Jeep
into the woods. Witness
the glory and the moods
of trees and trails. Responsibility

is overrated. Rest yourself
beneath the canopy of trees.
Breathe fresh air, release
resentments. Gather peace.

The Freedom of Nothing

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
-Kris Kristofferson

Preacher’s kid.
No freedom at all.
Every minute accounted for.
Every action observed and judged.

You don’t think about it too much
when you’re ten
and a boy. But somewhere along the way
to adulthood,
everything changes.

You resent the prying eyes,
the sinners who expect you to be a saint.
It was worse for my sisters,
but girls are strong as steel.
They each found different paths out.
One married a preacher
(out of the frying pan into the fire).
One finds solace in wine.
One broke the shackles of organized religion,
and found god in her garden.

Me, I still believe,
but prayer is an open road.
I can sleep in an alley
as easily as I can a bed. Find a willing lover
when it gets too hot or too cold.
Leave when spring warms the ground,
when fall cools the air.

Work when I can.
Find free stuff when I can’t.
Nothing to lose but my freedom,
and when the turn comes, I’ll consider heaven
if the rules aren’t too tight.

Ode to the Barnyard Artist

So, you don’t lay eggs,
those golden things,
food of the gods;

you don’t bow at my feet,
cackling joyfully,
like my speckled brown beauties;

but you sing the new day,
and keep singing until dusk,
my farmyard musician;
you flaunt your golden tail feathers,
barnyard couture;
and flap your wings and rise
in an avian ballet.

Hour Nine: Recognizing the Mountebank

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” -George Sand

It’s easy to be generous
when you have enough.
It’s easy to love
when you were raised with unconditional love.

The real kindness comes from the widow
who gives her last mite.
But what of the mountebank, that con man
selling snake oil so many are buying?

How can he be so greedy
when he always had everything—
private schools, private jets,
gold plated urinals?

What makes the person who was given the world
so unkind? What makes him so afraid?
What makes him need to steal
the widow’s mite?

Maybe he was given gold instead of kindness.
Maybe loss was a punishable offense.
We can’t judge. Something made him. But for the sake of the Constitution,
we don’t have to vote for him.

Farm Girl Pantoum

How did I end up here on a farm
when I’ve always felt at home in the city?
How did I become so domestic,
so unsophisticated, so middle class?

I’ve always felt at home in the city,
but now I look at city lawns in wonder.
So unsophisticated, so middle class.
Wouldn’t chickens and garden make your life better?

I look at those small city lawns. No wonder
I ended up here on a farm.
Chickens and garden make anyone’s life better.
Dirt is sophistication. Chicken shit is real class.