Only Love

Only Love

Enfolds this memory

Nothing else needed

Just the fields

With the rows of ripened

Wheat

Fields of gold

 

It is early afternoon

We are on a drive

Into what we call

The county

My little boy

Sits next to me

In his car seat

Looking out the

Window

I see fields

With rows of ripened

Wheat

Fields of gold

I look at my little boy’s

Head

His hair

The same color gold

As the gold of ripened

Wheat

I take the sight

Into my heart

To keep

As the years will

Surely pass

 

Yes

Only Love     only Love

Enfolds this memory

Nothing else

Nothing

Museum Hill

Do you remember

The night

We drove up Museum

Hill

To gaze into the night

Sky

Crowded with stars

An overwhelmed feeling

Of absolute awe

In our hearts

Starlight still so much

Brighter

Than light from the city

Below

City lights that would

Multiply

In years still to come

Dimming starry brilliance

From the night sky

 

Museum Hill

The Museum of Indian Arts

And Culture

The Lab of Anthropology

The Folk Art Museum

As tho asleep

Their doors locked

The silence of night

Wrapped around them

We know them well

Each with its own

Unique reason for

Existing

 

How many hours

Over twenty-seven years

Did we spend in one

Or the other

 

I don’t remember     now

How long we stayed

Looking up into that

Infinite world of stars

Maybe until our necks

Began to ache

I only remember

It was hard to leave

Ignorant astronomers

Were we

Excited to spot

Numerous shooting stars

The Big and Little Dippers

Then red Mars

And a satellite

Streaming across the sky

Amazed with the stars

Slow move of their

Positions

As the night

Moved

On

 

We left as we came

Driving down and around

The winding road

That led us around

And up

Museum Hill

Do you remember

Do you remember

I do

*starry night photo credit: Cliford Mervil

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

 

 

 

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

mdove7

Mourning dove     I hear you calling

You call     you call     call again

But no utterance of sound     of words

From me in answer to you

Could fill the silence of your solitude

 

An unseen woodpecker

Sends a rapid staccato

Of tap tap tapping

From some nearby tree

My ears try to direct

My eyes

To discover its location

I listen     look listen look

Finally give up my anticipation

That ends in disappointment

Pure frustration

 

My children’s childhood

Rebounds in remembering

Snippets of scenes

Tho the sound of their childhood

Voices

Have faded

Like shadows from a forgotten

Dream

 

I imagine myriad

Sounds    voices

That enter the portal of my

Consciousness

Year unto year

Some leave     many remain

Becoming part of me

Of who I am

But if I have a choice

I will carry into forever

The sound I love most

Your voice     your voice

 

*photo credit

Numbers

th

Fifty odd years ago

I find

Six dining room chairs

Made from humble oak

In the crowded basement

Of a secondhand store

In Kenosha Wisconsin

They accompany me

To five different houses

A sixth chair left behind

When it cracks in half

In house number three

 

Four children of my heart

Sit on these chairs

All through their childhoods

And even today

Now their own children

Sit on them too

 

They are not new

These six oak dining room

Chairs

When I pick them out

From myriad others

I wonder

Where    when

Were they created

And by whom

They deserve noble stories

Of grand houses     mansions

But no     they are only

Humble oak

I envision them in a home

Where there is love

Where they surround

A beautifully dressed table

Laden with favorite dishes

Prepared by loving hands

But how to explain

The crowded basement

Of a secondhand store

In Kenosha Wisconsin

 

The chairs come with a

Table

It too from humble oak

With five extension leaves

That make me feel ecstatic

I stuff everything into the back of

Big Blue

My loyal station wagon

Carry them home

All for the price of

Twenty-five dollars

 

Holiday     birthday

Ordinary day dinners

Are eaten off the table

Homework cried over

Papers scattered across its

Top

My children travel the years

Sitting on these chairs

Around the table

Legs grown longer     appetites stronger

Until they leave     come back

Leave again

While he and I

The chairs     the table

Remain

photo credit

 

Daughter Mine

IMG_0263

Daughter mine

I would walk with you

Again

Hand in hand

Down a Carlsbad Village street

On our way for coffee

And buttermilk biscuits

Stopping to window shop

If there was time

I would walk with you

Again

Daughter mine

 

I would walk with you

Again

My daughter

Along the San Clemente shore

At low tide

Our foot prints following us

In wet sand

The smell of salty sea

Air

Filling our lungs

No words needed

There is beach music

To hear

The sound of the gulls’

High pitched cries

The ocean’s own voice

Its waves rolling in

Rolling out

Rhythms of its

Beating heart

I would walk with you

There

Daughter mine

Again

 

It has come with the years

As you know

Daughter mine

I no longer walk

Down a village street

No longer walk on wet sand

At low tide

For me

There is no pain

In the remembering

The scenes are images imprinted

In my soul

 

Come     daughter mine

Let us gather time

To sit together

Let us drink myriad

Cups of tea

There is so much

We have to share

You and I

The past is gone     gone

My daughter

This is now

Now is our today

 

I love you

 

Thanksgiving Dinner in the 60s

T-DayMemory

above: Ronny enjoying his delicious & fancy meal; below: Wendy’s family, a delightful bunch

We were still living in Waukegan, Illinois, Steve and I and our four young children. This particular Thanksgiving, we packed ourselves up and drove to Chicago, where we would enjoy the meal at our beloved “Nanny Wolbach’s” house. (This is the what my children called their great-grandmother.)

I was the proud preparer of Thanksgiving dinner this year, having taken over from Grandmother and two aunts. Mama and Grandma were with me in the kitchen as I was transferring Mrs. Turkey (we always bought hens) onto the platter, ready to march into the dining room to present her to my step-father who was an expert carver, much to the relief of husband Steve. Already waiting on the sideboard were creamed spinach, a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, green beans almandine, a tossed salad, Parker House rolls, and cranberry sauce (as I have to admit, my favorite Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce).

Our four children were seated at the table that was decorated with small unlit candles of pilgrims and turkeys. I began the procession of Mrs. Turkey on her platter, with Mother and Grandma walking behind me. Before I reached the closed, swinging kitchen door, Mrs. Turkey slid off her platter, smack onto the kitchen floor.

Mama, Grandma and I gasped. But quickly, as if by some hidden signal, they both said, “Pick it up, Dear, put it back on the platter, no one will know.”

So I did.

By some miracle, Mrs. Turkey remained mostly without injury from her fall onto the floor. I walked through the open swinging kitchen door into the dining room and set the platter down in front of my step-father, who (being a dear man, but almost obsessive over germs and cleanliness) would never know where Mrs. Turkey had been before coming to him.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! With love and gratitude … Wendy