When I Rise

When I rise in the morning
the world is dark.
I fall, seeing the darkness,
thinking dark is the day.
When light edges in timid
in mist in the east
I fall timid to meet the day.
I fall timid, reaching for this to do
thinking, oh no, avoid, refrain--
do and refrain, gain this, lose that.
I fall into dark before the day rises
fall into the small confine of my body
and the day not begun.

When I rise in the morning
the floor cold on my feet
water cold in my mouth
and my mind still caught in the cool of dream
and the day glimmers through the blinds,
I turn from the room where I cannot see,
to the day that is turning to morning
to a junco on the wire of the feeder
to steam from the kettle under the stove lamp
and I do not say, this is what to do
this what I expect, what I expect of you.
Then the day rises with me and around me
and the sun appears over the hill.

—Sarah Webb

No Time to Spare

“How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn.
Billionaires, all of us.” - Ursula LeGuin

No Time to Spare

Each day hundreds of intersections
breached. Whether to stop, pause or
gun through are my pivotal choices.
More & more these bisections are
dissections of lives in debris.

Through layers of life lived, choices made,
paths never explored, diversions,
loss & pain devour the remains of this
and that person before my very eyes.

No time to spare. Where is the dollar tucked,
the bag of snacks, clean socks, and such to
share, to say I see you there? And, yet where
am I going, so urgently? How am I going
down the road to my inevitable demise?

Aren’t I and this beleaguered road side
guy on the same side of the time lane?

Sometimes delayed by factors of construction
or a jam, I come upon a scene of destruction
crash site, injured soul, chaos of crisis,
bodies to dispose. Here in thought, I pause
reckon with whatever cause to which I’m
rushing, and I give thanks to this person gone,
who likely took my place, as I move on,
with no time to spare

Martha Koock Ward



the Japanese art
of golden repair

“If the ice cracks
And no one is there
to hear it,
does it make
a sound?”

If a friend is having
a birthday
and you are sheltered
in at home
and the world is chaotic
and you can’t celebrate,
is it really a birthday?

If your husband
drops the coffee pot
into the sink to clean it
and breaks your
last little juice cup
of your favorite set,
then fusses at you
for leaving it
where it does not belong
after a million demands
not to do so,

If the gold glitter
glue you bought
months ago
and left sitting on
the kitchen counter
among vitamin bottles
seems to suddenly
call out with possibilities
and obviously there
is no coincidence
because a few
years ago
you read about Kintsugi
and thought you might try it
and that’s why the glue
was there in the first place

for accomplishing
the art of embracing flaws
and imperfections and
making everything
more beautiful

and really that
is what everyone
needs the most of right now—
more and more beauty

---the golden repair of
the essence of resilience,
something we all
can use as we age,
believe me I know——

So here, your own Kintsugi,
my personal expression
of gratitude
for you, my friend,
on this, your day--

Wabi Sabi,
the beauty of
the imperfect
made perfect
especially for you!

Happy Birthday!

Judy B. Myers

A Bag of Grateful Bones

Walking with Ollie

He stopped us at the park looking for the orange ball we played with two days ago,
the ball I picked up, carried home and left on the front porch,
the ball we stepped over to walk down the steps,
the ball that was ideal for his small mouth.
Maybe he thought another one would magically appear
just as the first one did.
It's hard to know the mind of a dog.

I met a neighbor and fellow teacher
who talked about her hair falling out in patches due to stress
And I talked about my gray roots.
What can you do during a pandemic?
Somehow hair just doesn't seem that important.
en if the beauty shops are starting to open.

We walked down Burnet Road, the road dividing the two jewelry stores
that were robbed last week.
Everything looks normal now, but it doesn't feel normal yet.
Random violence leaves its mark no matter if one is directly involved or not.
It reminds you that anything can happen at any time.
I guess that is not so bad a thing to remember.

At last we returned home to see two very sunny day lilies
Smiling, beckoning us to draw near as they swayed in the breeze.
As we approached, Ollie was oblivious
Or more likely, he was aware of something imperceptible to me
A smell intriguing only to a dog perhaps.

I, however, quickly narrowed in the motionless change in color: See both photos.

— Laurie Winnette

Turning Toward

I reach out to touch their hands,
my beloved grandchildren
I cannot reach their palms
or feel their touches now—

I am so near at times,
yet far away
we walk together
mindful not to

six feet away—the rule,
you are too close.
we want you to stay well.

days, now weeks
of distancing,
no touching

sometimes my mind
says, “do as you please,
you are 80,
no one can tell you
what to do,"

then I remember
what has taken
all these years to learn,
it’s not about me,
nothing is or ever was

now in the spaces
between us
moon lilies sprout
from the swamp of silence
with unexpected beauty.


Our Thread

— Kim Mosley (https://blog.kimmosley.com)

Copper & Glass Web

Proximity no longer connects us.
Six feet isn't very sociable.  Now
ductile copper and glass fiber
connects: sight & sound. Not touch,
not hugs in a time of plague.

Mikes muted we extend our thoughts,
pens, souls into a space hoping
to attach to something, reel it in,
bind it to paper with ink & pen.

Fling it forth into our space bound
together with copper wire, glass fiber.
Community of the distanced
only in space, not in time together.

—Jeffrey Taylor

The Order of Time

They are everywhere, following their own threads,
often thoughtless about whether their movements
will snarl, worry, pull or fray the thread of another
or others.
Tragedies happen people get hurt or die; yet these
“righteous rafflers” seem oblivious.

Today, I saw eight people in a neighborhood pocket park,
for whom 6ft physical distance & wearing of a mask
had no relevance. Their vulnerability blinded by the
sense of invincibility, menacing the larger community
with whom they will doubtlessly interact.

Nothing can stop time’s unfolding.

— Martha Koock Ward

A Reminder:

Beloved, why do you continue beating your head through walls that don’t matter? Don’t you see the stars?
Don’t miss those stars…
Orion, Andromeda, Cassiopeia… perpetually upside down as punishment for foolish behavior?

Don’t be foolish—that point you so desire making or that ego-driven fact—
is it necessary?
Will getting a few more trivialities in
change the color of the leaves?

Will it stall the tulips from falling after their triumphant surge up through the earth?
Or did you miss the tulips…
what with worrying yourself over the thoughts and opinions of others?

The quiet wisdom of the willow tree
proves how menial that emotional charge you carry is,
how shallow of a fall that let down really was.

Does water still somersault, laughing its way down stream?
Does the breeze still blow, twirling with it each leaf as it dances through the trees?
Do the mountains still breathe in stillness
and exhale a grounded calm as they elegantly ebb
from green… to blue… to purple, as day turns to dusk?

So you do, too.

— Jordan

gathering sun

gathering sun
not by looking at where it comes from
but where it lands

collecting rain
not by escaping from your umbrella
but by memorizing the sound it makes

hoarding candy
not by running around on Halloween
but by never forgetting the first time
chocolate melted in your mouth,
that unexpected delight

assembling a lifetime of memories
not by rushing through adventures
but by remembering the shape of the sun rays
the sound of rain drops
the taste of surprise

— Jesco Puluj