Author’s note: The first weekend in May is my usual time for a backpacking trip. It is usually the best time of the year for it. No bugs, few others around and reasonably good weather. However, this year it pains me to know it is best to stay home no matter how much the mountains and lakes call me. Instead, I wrote about past snapshots of experiences on this weekend. — Wade Bittle
Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’
Mom’s great grandkids
chatter like crickets
who sport human frames
busy-busy all day long
In the big tent now they
nap breathing deeply
as their dreams map out
who knows what trails?
My plane is not yet spirit,
I am in flux, always,
Fighting between body and soul.
The sultry air calms me,
Surely you can find your way,
Wind whispers in my ear.
Watch how birds traverse the wild sky,
Mind to mind, they are linked,
Butterflies speak in soft tongues,
Imparting lessons learned.
Though their breadth of life may be brief,
They live colors of hope,
And giving all
Mommy Is Always With You
Inspired by parents, healthcare workers and first responders, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in these hard times.
Easter bunnies and Easter chicks,
May peep from your pillow quite changed.
No Easter egg hunts will we see for awhile,
But, mommy is always with you, my child.
Bunny ears are hand-sewn and stitched,
Next year you will have them brand new.
Colored paper is grass in a home-made style,
And, mommy is always with you, my child.
Let me hold you so very close,
Let me keep you away from harm.
Together we’ll bake bread and play ‘till we smile,
Yes, mommy is always with you, my child.
At end of day, our prayers we pray,
As I put my baby to sleep
Though we both may never forget this hard trial,
Your mommy was always with you, my child.
Beyond This Moment
Over wires and wavelengths, searching for a spark…
Connecting…losing connection..Ground Control, we have a problem…
Cowering, grasping the frayed edges of a receding world,
Watching it flounder in an apocalyptic ebb-tide of grief, hubris, delusion…
The bitter cold of it gnawing our bones.
Brother, can you spare a word? Brother, can you spare a touch?
Not safe, not yet, nor knowing when that yet may be.
Building towers and moats that imprison insidiously,
Until precious thoughts cannot climb to an open window,
Grappling, we tether loved ones to our breathless bodies,
To float them, as the ark is filled with holes,
Pleading, “If we die, even though we die, let us die… Not. Alone.”
Tired hands break the water, submerge, then rise again to prove,
That hope lives.
We hold tightly to each other over airwaves, and in numbers, find strength.
Our hearts believe the promise of salvation, given to us in blood.
We are loved. We are forgiven. We are.. “Not. Alone”.
A dove flies above us, carrying a green branch in its mouth.
It sings a sweet song and its music gives purchase in the rising storm.
We are children of a higher grace. We are part of a divine plan.
We are stronger than this and We. Can. Survive…Beyond this moment.
Back at the Cabin
Breeze soughs among
uphill poplar stands
Newborn Rachel’s clothes
hang out to Sun-dry
drops her final note
whose loud lack haunts
consciousness all day
pattern recognition lost
For Marion Higley
Light-filled woman, she,
College-taught and Bishop’s wife,
Baptized on a worn, porcelain-metal table
In a plank house on the edge of pine woods.
Woman of tenderness, she,
Washing sand from the sun-warmed limbs of
Three fair daughters and a wheaten-haired baby son,
With hand-pumped well-water in a porcelain sink-basin,
While scented sun motes danced around their heads,
And laughter floated out across the rippling lake.
Broken by brief rain
dull heat disappears
tail between its clouds
I recall late-August
mornings as a child
dressing by the fire
Oatmeal bubbled thick
in big blackened pot
since we went to bed
Clouds now crest them
heavily like a toddler
riding your shoulders
A Child With You
at the moment I
needed to touch your
Rolling in the mud
by the oak trees
a child with you
overalls and eyelashes
at the one act of mercy,
we all know
the way it
is supposed to
Frayed old Army field
jacket keeps light rain
off my slim notebook
An aging vet, I’m like
a monk to desire with
only poems to show
Deerfly at 10 o’clock!
Mind pulls up to lose it
but instead the poem
veers off abruptly as
last winter’s ski crowd
beat their hasty retreat
Not So Long Ago
Half down the paved road
Husky sled dogs crackled
to chorus dinner time
Can openers slice
150 Alpo can tops
Secret snows lulled the latent landscape,
A hush of ice, like frosted silver quartz,
Grew gently over the lake, sealing it safely,
While silent evergreens watched, and waited,
Because they knew, and they believed.
In a longer minute, warming winds whispered
Across this virginal canvas, painting strokes of green,
Smidges and smudges of tender shoots and blades,
Into a laced latticework, upon its expectant shores.
Because they knew, and they also believed.
At once, molten, crystal rivulets began to weave and weft,
Down slumbering white-capped peaks,
Tumbling and crashing into the mighty, mother Hudson.
The North Country awakened to its living Spring, afresh,
Because it knew, and always believed.
Nature, the Other, the Big Outside
In Memory of Howard Zahniser
Okay, now don’t look me square in the eye
but watch my ears wiggle — you see him there,
my father, your grandfather, a wise guy
(who was also a wise-guy), taught me to stare
at nothing hard enough to make my ears move.
It’s a great skill if like me you can’t dance
but still feel the need to strut some and groove
dressed not in Nordstrum slacks but Goodwill pants.
Okay, open that window there — yes, wide.
What’s out there is everything that’s not you.
Sure, nature—the other, the big outside,
what redeems you, where you go to renew
yourself, learn to listen, maybe make vows.
Smell that? Not fire and brimstone — balsam boughs.
My three-year-old son
wondered where deer sleep,
so I walked him there. Stepping
into a realm that is not reserved
for fathers and sons, we found
a ritual that has nothing to do
with us. That lost part of the brain
where the Moon barely creeps in.
So many snows ago.
Deer-tracks marked a journey,
Tear-tracks marked a journey,
As train-tracks grew cold, collected rust, and families
Moved away, never to return.
Too hard to forage, for man and beast alike.
So came this fight for survival, dictated more and more
By the dollar, Almighty Dollar,
Killing life, killing jobs, killing hope,
Pandering for spoils, preying on the innocent,
Robbing the future.
How you still explode the sky to silhouette the beauty
Of these mountains,
With North Star guiding ever true.
We cry to see your light dimmed by such vast iniquity,
Illuminating once-fertile bowers, callously raided.
Helplessly, we stand in the rough-shod, abandoned tracks
Of our forbears,
To inherit an ominous fruition.