The Invitation

The Invitation

I love it when
the wind strolls in
and my meadow friends
dance and bow.

Love it when
waves rush to crash across
my ocean
where
the wide beach smiles up
where the eagles rest silent on the wind above
etch greetings sky to horizon down to me
all the way home: carried and strong.

I love it when
ears find old playground laughter between
the creaks
of empty swing sways
find playground teasing within
little sister crow’s nagging cries
following big sister eagle
back and forth
back and forth
boat house to nest
nest to boat house
boat house to nest.
Ah, little sisters.

Love it when
eyes cherish the faded flap-flapping flag
forgotten by neighbors rushing back to the city.
Cherish wind: an absent spacious presence
Cherish sand: a shattered toe-hugging
perfect imperfection.
Cherish the polished-cream beauty of driftwood.

Here books, stones, deer, and gentle evening light
invite themselves to play:
sated, triumphant, wildly creative
complete within themselves and completely inappropriate.
All silent and awkward at just the right moments.

Humans arriving here
are few
and far between.
We arrive like children
gleefully joining the chorus
certain our tiny voice is heard
among books, stones, deer, dancing warm light
heard within silence.

Or, we arrive here like grownups: certain of nothing at all.

Either way, those invited here
come to play
pulled by the sea
or some other place
where they grow quiet enough to hear the invitation.

I love that we hear the call
so everywhere, so often now

More than anything else in this world
I love dropping every last big plan I had

just to respond, in kind
to the invitation

The Apple Tree Who Brought Enough

The Apple Tree Who Brought Enough

Dancing in the breeze the tree
is quiet and self-contained.

Well, self-contained
except for the sun
the soil, the birds
butterflies and bees
rain and wind
Daniel and me
pruning away dead and crossing branches
inviting more sun in to her center
lending her our shoulders and driftwood
to prop her up
after November’s storm pulled up some of her roots.

Ok, so not exactly self-contained.
What I mean is self-assured
happy with where and who she is
not fliting about like we humans do.
You know, worried, questioning everything,
wandering some days, angry, distrusting
lost…

Although, some years she is lost too:
like the two years that she was covered with
tent caterpillars
she had to have been a little worried
made almost no apples, and dropped those she did, quickly.
Her world was dark then. She hunkered down, moved within
sent no new branches toward the sun.

Anyway
my point about this apple tree is that
she’s perfect.
Beautiful, strong leaves.
Graceful, arching branches
and more than a few that prove trees get bed head too
with limbs nestled all askew against the sky at night.
Amazing, delicious apples
beyond generous in her season
(to the point that we have run out of ideas again
for things to do with all these apples
and so have our neighbors
even the deer here are drunk).

The apple tree is pure delight.
To play a small part in her full and shining life is enough.

In Saying Goodbye

In Saying Goodbye

I found a perfect dead bird
on the deck, outside the window
victim of violence
a deceptive white light through too-big windows

his perfectly groomed feathers
grew darker as they moved
from his pale yellow-gray head to his almost black tail

I spent yesterday willing him, rise
please open your beak again, open your eyes
shake precious soft belly, hop to perfect black feet
dance again, go!

but he was gone

This morning I carried him deep into beauty
laid him to rest
in the tall grass of a clearing
beside the cabin
in woods and in sunshine

his family around me
we told him he’d be missed
that he was, is, loved, by everything around him

In saying goodbye
I fell to my knees
wept like a baby
for beautiful Orlando
I vowed to slow down and notice
to listen more closely
to love louder and better and more.

Then we all did.

 

Somewhere Near La Conner

Somewhere Near La Conner

Dull reeds and mud-gray grass
winter’s cattails dirt-sprayed root to tip
hints of breezes dance between the strands and
dew drops race sunshine
down bended blades to end
within evaporation.

Driftwood graveyard here at low tide’s end
trickling water settles in to chill
in spa-pack salt-smooth mud
all’s peaceful here and still
on a Washington coast
in home Swinomish
warm to the bone
at 61 degrees.

To fall backwards
down deep
into love with a place
is to notice yourself
aboriginal
is to lose yourself
into home, into space
with no where to go
no time to lose
just shoeless feet
blanket grass and
mother earth
to hold us when we fall.

Here beyond
lives the one
just now
just one
just me.
My lungs are fog
my heart is mirth
Skagit bay? he is my buddy
I’m gilled
and breathing it
all in.
How lovely to be
this Salish sea.
How delightful
to be
muddy.

Well Rested

Well Rested

I am tired
of this world

I’m tired of violence
rabid intolerance
greed rewarded
trodden humans
hidden, outright thwarted
young lives mangled, ended
weapons preferred to soft human flesh

I’m tired of being told what to think
how to think
why I’m wrong
every time I speak
I’m tired of politics. period.
I’m tired of extremes in memes
pointless contextless debate
distant argument and hate
short attention spans…

I’m going to clean this house
release the mouse
let go some old friends too
and start again with you…

I’m choosing artists and their art
kids helping parents re-find heart
I’m choosing nature walks
poets gathering in old schoolhouses
caregivers helping one another out 

I’m choosing animals
trees and perennials
bird migration routes
helping sisters out
solidarity
with butterflies and bees
quirky humans laughing
stretch selves, without crushing us
I’ve been thrown beneath my final bus
by these hands that forgot how to trust

I’m choosing garden plots
homemade neighbor gifts
shared with refugees
who feel like home to me
I’m choosing
books
that bend my mind
and those who let me play with it

I’m cleaning out my house
giving most away
loving those I’m with
helping exactly how I am

I’m filling all my time
showing up as gift
for those who need me as me
more deeply curious

And when I find myself
among the curious
among kind silly weird
among the generous
the unpredictable
the humbled, awed, and wow’d
the come and play with mes
the sit and stay a spells
Why don’t you rest with me?

then I will recognize
the home I’m longing for
is the space we’re sitting in
right now

we will find ourselves
at play on solid ground
soaring with dragon friends
among the clouds we make

at home
right here on earth

well rested

 

This Stone

This Stone

This stone

was a gift from Wyoming
she longed to travel
so a friend pulled her from her field
brought her here to me
to live beside the sea

she found herself in a house of rocks
here from every nation
imagined herself at first
in train station

here she was appreciated
not just for her beauty
but for her considerable size and weight
found her calling
holding open a gate

she mentioned that she loves it here
the sea air
friends everywhere
she made just one request

turn me over, she said
you’ve set me on my face
and I’d like to enjoy the view

mortified
I apologized, though that was not her intent

I lifted her up
we toured the whole place
she met her brethren
sister rocks
met yard and window views
met the cats and dog
all of whom bowed to her, I noticed
when properly introduced

she touched the other gate holder
in our bedroom
her best buddy
face to face

then she sat back down by her gate
to hold it secure against the sea breeze
for Joe the cat
Joey Big Pause, her favorite cat
and I heard her sigh as she took in her view of the sea

or maybe that was me