Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine in a Dragon Year

I know

I'm no simple valentine,
pearls don't grow in mud,
still thick and thin binds me with you
heart to heart – so clear our love.

How insolent rises this shadow self –
stretching wide as Saskatchewan,
full of wild flax and brambles -
I tried to press under glass.

Still you hold me like open prairie
kinder than any velvet glove.
Even orchids take a dormant year,
resting tightly in a bud.

So what makes our congress anyway,
tantric dances for the rain?
Love flows like that - fresh and fast,
changing tempo on a dime.

Can we soften like a spreading fog
rising up to fill a sky - satisfied,
still full of stars, even
Venus and Mars watch us now.

It's valentine in a dragon year
and the affection I treasure most
rests in an easy smile, thank you.
I'll savor the simple and the small.

I know

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pickett's Charge 2012

“Courage is grace under pressure.” - Ernest Hemmingway

My mother needs replumbing.

Its her heart - it wrestles with globs of
klondike bars, angry daughters,
medium rare marbled beef,
dusty secrets, tired grief.
Clutter collected for decades in discreet passages -
those dark catacombs, out of sight.

Tough love doesn’t work for her.

With kid gloves she escorts everything through the front door.
Here’s a warm hearth,
air of cinnamon and raisins,
comfort of paisley pillows .

It’s no wonder a generous heart struggles.

If seven liters were all her heart must push from head to heart to hand.
she’d be dancing up
the gentle rise of Johnson Street
even at eighty three.
But a heart can only bear so much.

Perhaps she will live to one hundred.

If only she screws up the courage to say yes to a split sternum,
yes to fresh pipes stitched around the tired ones,
yes to certain pain,
possible departure.

She’ll tell you no courage required, only grace -

She wants what carried soldiers into Pickett’s Charge,
what led Amelia across the south Pacific.
And make sure it’s in the surgeons’ hands
there's stories still to share.

--rm mist 2012