after the rain,
I returned home
to this valley,
where the rivers race
with the wildfowl flying south
and words in the sateen night
cry of home and haven…
after the rain,
I remained in peace
as silence from the heart
Fallow are the fields
where tall corn flourished.
Death stroked like a clock
rousing light from the long night:
My Brother, my brother,
where have you gone?
Hesse is rewritten.
Narcissus falls to AIDS
and Goldmund lives on.
after the rain
this blue shimmer raises
within the patchwork
of this quilt,
I cuddle your warm memory
named in the block
sewn on my heart.
The calico needs a sunny sill,
Roses need their water,
And marl needs the skilfull hands
Of an artistic potter.
Children need a guiding hand,
Prophets hunt what’s true,
The faery needs an Irish glen
And darling, I need you.
The violet loves the morning dew,
Red clover loves the bees,
The Chinook loves a running stream
And darling, I love you!
A day without you casts shadows on my heart
The lack of you is loss of light
Drear spirits magnify when we’re apart
I ache to hold you through the night.
I ache to hold you through all the nights unborn
And laugh with you throughout the days
From the sunsets in the eves
To the sunrise in the morn.
I have two daughters, and like most fathers I am blind to their faults and think they are too good for any guy they meet. Luckily I actually like Dobie and Brian, their consorts, but that doesn’t mean either is actually worthy. When I had a heart attack and open heart surgery Aimee and Mandi were at my bedside throughout the thing, staying for hours on end even when I told them to go home. They are also blind to my faults, those legion, because that is the way fathers and daughters are. A wise man once said – “No other success can compensate for failure in the home”. In life my greatest success has been as a father. That’s not because of any great thing I did when they grew up, but, despite the fact it was their own choices that have made them into such terrific adults, I get the undeserved but welcome feeling “Hey, we did a pretty good job with them” whenever I’m around them. Plus, they made incredible grandchildren!
Short poems are like pop-up windows that just appear from nowhere while I’m “surfing” life. Things just hit me and I dash off a quick line or two under my breath. Sometimes I even write them down. This morning it was cold and a fog drifted in off the Missouri River while the moon tried hard to shine through. Then I went cemetery hunting, photographing graves for Find-A-Grave online and I thought how for everything we hold important and do to “raise” ourselves – in the end we’re all the same. Finally, I had lunch and discovered that its almost time for a new pair of jeans.
The grass is as green and the sod as bedewed
No matter whose bones are providing the food.
A Bowl Full of Jelly
Isn’t it funny that meat
Or anything else that I eat
Turns up on my belly
In a bowl full of Jelly
That disguises my eyes from my feet.
It is called a Missouri Moon,
A butterscotch disc
Melting in the mist of morning
A Piece of the Rose
A petal fluttered to the ground,
Sere and curled, faded brown:
A bit of rose, once brilliant red,
is lost – now found among the nettles.
Two hearts were sleeping,
dream-searching for a sign.
Two hearts were weeping
over love they couldn’t find.
If retrieved this hope, this pain,
another chance for heart to sing,
for mind to reel and ache to feel,
would I chance this agony again?
My beating heart cannot be stilled
in search for truth and love to share.
Bewildered? Yes, but also thrilled
at the audacious love I want to dare!
Forsaken once, and yet once more,
I bent and gathered up the petal:
more precious now than it was before
This faded bit of rose among the nettles.
I love the zoo. Now is a great time to go see the polar bears. I love the zoo in winter. No one else is there. That is because they have more sense than I do. Some exhibits are closed, of course, but lots are open. Polar bears, and penguins and wolves. Even reindeer. Really. Real live reindeer. I tried to talk to them but they pretend not to be able to. Sometimes you can find a Lion to Ride.
Sometimes its fun to give a glance to the giant funny elly-phance. They huff and puff and give great blows from their funny pachydermal nose. And even if the only thing you see is a marmet chirping happily…
Don’t Feed the Animoes!
At the zoo, I never feed the animoes
Afraid they might eat my feet or my noze
Striped Tigers are snacking behind too-tall fences
They bolt down their food until it’s past tenses
Lion’s are gnawers – I don’t want any closer
Being lunch for a lion isn’t good for composure
Hippos are hippy, and fatty, and huge
But the thought of us in the potamus doesn’t amuze
Those horny ol Rhinoze – how grandioze
Who’d want a nocerus to step on their toze?
After a while, we got to the ‘dile
A child for breakfast would make that croc smile!
Now speakin of lunch I can hear a low rumblin
All this walking and gawkin has my tummy a grumblin
So, lets take out a samwich and pull up our chairz…
But I’m keeping an eye out for those darn Grizzly Bearz!!
Day after Christmas and the trees’s coming down
There’s need for the room for the toys we found
when the presents were opened and scattered around.
The kiddies are happy, their parents are shot,
and toting their checkbooks and cryin’ a lot.
From my son in the desert to my son in New York
The whole family’s stuffed with turkey and pork.
Later we’ll argue and plead for the lack
of receipts that we need to take presents back.
Finally, it’s over. As much as I love the season and the culmination of the planning, budgeting, shopping, card sending, phone calling and traveling that is Christmas Day, I have to admit it’s a bit of a relief when it’s over. I’ll recharge within a few days, though and be ready for next year’s celebration. Mandi, my daughter, got a ring for Christmas! Seeing as how its the first boyfriend she’s had that I actually like I was pretty pleased. Niece Ezzie is riding her new bike around the dining room and up the hall threatening to upend anyone foolish enough to wander into her path. So what are a few dents in the walls compared to her laughter? My son Jay called from Arizona, my daughters Aimee and Mandi and their families showed up and somehow when they all left I had 2 granddaughters left over. They are 11. When they are together life is a gale of giggles, a storm of screeches. Ever notice how 2 children don’t double the trouble? They square the possibilities for mayhem. I think their mothers left them on purpose.
Its Christmas Eve and the stockings are flung through the air by the stairs,
and the dinner is burning and so are my heirs,
its another year past and they don’t get my stuff,
Like the gifts neath the tree aren’t really enough.
Its snowing outside so the scene is all set
For that one to show up that I’d knew I’d forget.
They’ll have a big package all trimmed with a bow
Can I re-gift real quick so they won’t ever know?
Here’s my wish that everyone who might read this has a Merry Christmas, a wonderful time with the people you most care about and a tummy full of ham or turkey or punkin pie….
Winter is here. It’s colder than the proverbial well digger’s heinie outside. Already had a radiator problem and a dead battery. Just when it seems too frustrating the sun goes down and its rays are reflected off the ice crystals encrusted like diamonds on every branch, twig and brave brown shred of grass in the field across the street. The Good Father is telling me to slow down and savor it all. It’s ironic that the greatest beauty in nature goes hand in hand with the harshest weather isn’t it? Truly Ice is…
The Jeweler of Winter
Ice is the anvil
Its hammer, the wind
As the smithy of winter
Gets busy again.
Ice sings on wires,
Makes rifles of limbs,
Rivers seem solid
But shiver within.
Frozen and flaring,
Reflecting the light,
Ice is the jeweler
Of cold winter nights.
© Chuck Elledge 2001