When Leaves Fall From the Trees

The Crepe Myrtle’s leaves

Turn golden

As they let go their branches

Fall to the ground

Lie close to each other

A carpet of gold

Then scatter in the night

When rains finally

Come

 

Sycamore begins dropping her

Leaves

Before Halloween

Such a large tree

Has more to drop

Then the Crepe Myrtle

And any of their neighbor’s

Sycamore leaves

Lie on the ground

Different shapes

Different sizes

I see them

As miniature sculptures

No two alike

 

I want to let go

Of bewilderment

Of despair I feel

From the chaos

Invading the life

Blood

In the government

Of my country

Stress I hear

In voices around me

Everywhere I go

I want to drop my worries

My heart’s concerns

Like leaves

Falling from the trees

To the welcoming

Ground

Not to resist

What is

And know with

Trust

This too must

Pass

A Different Light

Light from this day

Recedes

Into approaching dusk

I watch it clinging

Still

To green leaves of the

Crepe Myrtle

To scarlet blossoms

On the hibiscus

The far off hills

And as it darkens

Out my window

 

Inside my room

The bedside lamp is

Lit

Creating a different

Light

Mellow warmth

Caresses the walls

And a feeling of being

Cocooned    shielded

From political storms

Settles in me

As I greet the coming

Night

In grateful    Peace

 

 

 

A Silent Encounter

 

The day is overcast

Sunless

Not unusual for Arcata

A town in Northern California

Blessed with Redwood Trees

Twenty miles south

Of the Oregon border

Where we walk the path

Around the lagoon

Of the Arcata Marsh

Looking for herons

Ducks     egrets

And other birds

That come and go

With seasons of the

Year

 

Tall reeds wave in the breeze

From the water

Bushes     small trees

Grow everywhere we walk

Framing the gravel path

That now leads us

Almost full circle to where

We began

And there     in the middle

Of the path

Stands a giant white egret

Like a spotlight

Its brilliant white

Shines in our eyes

Still as a statue

It signals

Come no closer

We wait

Still as the egret

But take our fill of observation

Never before so close to

Perfection

 

The egret turns around

The giant wings reach out

Fold in again

Then making an obvious decision

It walks regally into the waiting

Water

 

We remain motionless

In wonder

With gratitude

Then walk the rest of the way

To our car

Drive home in the gray light

With the memory of a brilliant

White blessing

“Arcata Marsh” by Brian McQueen www.McQueenArt.com

 

 

 

Spring

My dear

Spring is come

The sycamore    the Crepe Myrtle

Both birthing their new leaves

Roses in their garden

Bloom again

Recovered from their pruning

 

I miss mating of the

Mockingbirds

Scolding squawks claiming

Territories

Music of their calls

Resounding down the canyon walls

Around us

They have disappeared from my

Life

 

My dear

Do you remember spring

In Illinois

The ancient lilac bush

We transplanted

From the farm

Across from us on McCree

Road

Its house torn down

Making way

For a crop of new houses

Remember

We let the hose drip water

Two whole days     two whole nights

Around her roots

Praying she’d survive

She did     bloomed so faithfully

Sending the delicious scent

Of her blooms

Into our bedroom window

 

Oh     I welcome spring

In California

But mourn the ancient

Lilac bush

No flowered fragrance

Will ever fill her place

 

 

 

Child

Child

I would hold you close

In my arms

As you grieve your loss

Mother     Father     Siblings

Your family     your home

Witnessing scenes

No child should have to see

No one should have to see

If I could     Child

I would erase these pictures

From your mind

Your mind’s hauntings

Spilling into your dreamworld

 

Child

You are every child

To me

Who has suffered cruelties

Of war

Cruelties from greed

Cruelties from those who use their power

To take what does not belong

To them

Child     if I could

I would explain such behavior

To help you understand

I cannot

For I do not understand

Never will     never will

Myself

But Child     this I do know

With certainty

Love is the Healer

And I Love you

 

Listen

… Listen    listen

To the children

Those who are like flower buds

Opening     as they are

Into their adulthood

Listen to them

You who close your minds

Your hearts

To give them safety

Safety through laws

That could prevent them

Ever having to witness

Death

In what was the cocoon

Of their school

 

It is time     it is past

Time

To ban weapons built

Only to kill     to destroy

Where does your intent

Lie

You who are labeled maker of

Laws

Do you use your powers

Of office

To bolster the existence of

Assault weapons

Or

Will you listen to the children

Will you listen

As you never listened to their elders

And act on what needs

Doing

Ban the assault guns

Ban them     ban them

 

NOW

                                   photo credit

 

Thus It Is So

Beethoven composes his majestic Ninth Symphony

Mozart the sacred Requiem

Handel his powerful Messiah

Poverty is alive all around them

And children go hungry

 

Every age     every millennium

Carries suffering

Gives birth to those who live

Impelled to help

Gives birth to those who choose

To turn away

Leaving their powers for change

Lost

Like a blade of sea grass

Pulled with the tide

Into the deepest depth

Of the ocean

Thus it is so

 

Why

Fishing

He runs down the sand dune

Slipping sliding down

Flings his fishing line over his head

A school of dolphin near the shore

Dive in and out of the water

I can’t believe it

Father wants to catch

One

 

He runs down the beach

Races with the dolphins

They play with him

Tease him

Never losing pace

His feet

Pound the shoreline

Keeping up

Until

Far down the beach

He loses breath

Falls back

And they swim

Away

 

—1981

(under)Painting by Brian McQueen

Night Owl

From early childhood

I am drawn to the night

A night owl

Drawn to the light from windows

Of houses

With no knowledge of who

Lives inside

Still     I imagine them

Surrounded with love

Feeling secure

Behind the warm glow

Of their lighted windows

That draw my attention

Like a moth to lamp light

 

I love the moon

I love each phase of her journey

Against a dark sky

Brightest when no clouds

Share the atmosphere

But when clouds

Do cover her face

Move around her    frame her

Light

All are moon magic for me

All are gifts of the night

 

And as day folds into the

Coming night

Never do I fear the dark

It is a blanket I wrap

Around myself

Freedom to be totally who

I am

Who I’ve always been

Who I will always be

-September 2017

Voices II

Many Voices

Many octaves     many chords

Many songs

Float in and through

My awareness

The ocean’s voice sings a different song

As each tide comes into shore

Rolling out to sea again     a different verse

A different melody

 

Wind hums softly     gently

Wind shouts     wind howls

Demands my recognition

I search the sky for reasonings

 

Crows have gatherings

Fly in circles     land on a distant pine

Take off again     circle the pine

Voices raucous     harsh

Their dialogue     their language

Fills the air around me

 

Crickets sing in summer

As the sun goes down behind a

Sandstone cliff

Their rhythm in unison

Voices on key

They soothe my mind

Calm the beat of my heart

Welcome the night     soon to arrive

 

And your voice     my own Love

For me the voice of

All That Is

My guide     my protection

My Life

I hear your voice

I listen to its timbre

Am at peace

–January 2018