He Walked His words

RIP Father Daniel J. Berrigan

I just read about his passing on the front page of The New York Times Sunday paper. It brings back a lot of old rather painful yet poetic times of protesting the Vietnam war and injustice altogether.

He was one of the leaders in the movement for change back in the day. That he and his brother Philip were clergymen did not matter, except to keep alive the hope that there were still some souls in the Catholic church hierarchy who responded to their core values.

He was jailed, dismissed by peers and loved by many. He was his own man to the end.

an icon of the 60’s protests
a priest with a poet’s soul
a visionary with integrity
fallible with feet of clay
he walked his words

IMG_1495

 

 

 

January 17…

I just searched an old, old love-interest on-line and discovered to my surprise that he has passed. He was my first true love for eight years in grammar school, and ours was a torrid love affair of cut-out valentines and stolen kisses from at least first to fourth grade. He was my first real crush – that point where the heart knows no bounds. I don’t think he ever realized how totally smitten and breathless I felt in his presence (especially at that tender age). And he was my first heartbreak (sigh) – when in seventh grade he fell for an older woman – “a cougar” – in today’s lingo. I still remember her name, Stephanie, the hussy in eighth grade. My how times have changed and not (that for another post). We never kept in touch after he moved and went on to a different high school and life. Funny how things turn out – unbeknownst to me, he became a fairly prolific songwriter and poet. I would have loved to share poetry and maybe a laugh or two about the old days. You just never know… RIP Artie C.

the finality of goodbye beyond belief

ag ~ 2015

Infinite Shades of Gray

No Other Song

Now that you passed
never to walk your beloved beach
again in this lifetime
I wish I could say that gulls
cried out for you
or that the waves ebbed
longer than usual.

Or even that a storm brewed
on the day you decided to leave
but I cannot –
that would do you an injustice
in fact it would negate
the real beauty that you
were able to poet so well.

You knew that the gulls
could be a nuisance now and again
that weathered beach pilings 
smell of creosote 
the tide obeys no one
and the receding sea 
fades to infinite shades of gray.

It does not matter
now that you have gone
the gulls still raucously stake their turf
or silently glide over waves
a rise and fall in measure
to the beat of no other song
than that of another day.

ag ~ 2014

Deep Within Our Knowing

IMG_9866

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud high

on a canyon rim

a raven sails

the sea of sky

carrying the blue silence.

 

Round and round

deep within wrinkled walls

stillness

drifts along

the slow breath of stone.

 

Timelessness

and the unknowable

mingle with our prayers

and salted tears

we simply offer as gifts.

 

In this moment

of grace-filled presence

we watch you fly

between the worlds

along with the Ancient Ones.

~

ag ~ for Robin

 

IMG_9877

Mindful Writing ~ 2014:18

Yesterday our haiku circle on Facebook received the abrupt news that one of our fellow poets passed suddenly of natural causes.  It was as incredible as it was very sad.  She was a friendly, supportive and welcome voice in our haiku community that is close despite worldwide presence.  What was once a far-flung network now becomes implausibly narrow and closer with each loss of a distinct poet’s voice.  It’s happened before, albeit not as unexpected as this one, and will happen again and again.  When it does, despite life’s fragility, we can choose to remember all the beauty that poetry and a poet’s voice add to all our lives.

Rest in peace Kat.

winter shore
every once in a while
the tide tosses
the poet
a real keeper

ag ~ 2014

This Time of Year

It’s here.
It’s finally now.
The very time of year
for our annual sojourn.

I watch the clock
and imagine all the people at the airport
chatting on cell phones while running
to catch an early flight.

I would blissfully lollygag
at the book stalls reading titles
and gaze longingly at magazines that offer flight
into wondrous worlds of food and wilderness.

My window seat always afforded a view
of the Manhattan skyline,
Ms Liberty herself and Yankee Stadium
before rising above Joni Mitchell’s “ice cream castle clouds”.

I know exactly when
my flight would be arriving
and the slow walk through many gates opening
to your much anticipated smile and hugs.

I always cherished the ride
from the plane to your door
through urban sprawl slowly loosening
into marshland and sea.

Stories and laughter
competed for my attention
as the coastal beauty deepened
and took my breath away.

It’s here.
It’s finally now.
The very first time of ~ this time of year
that you passed on.

The season of a forever blue sky
and crickets that hum all day long.
Sugar Maple leaves with burnished edges
and dusk that claims an earlier helping of daylight.

We made a pact that you
would journey ahead of me
and scout for new adventures
while I look for your signs.

Sail on dear friend
through tidal marshes and beyond the sea.
I am not far behind and rejoice with you
into blue forever sky.

ag ~ Early September 2013

At the Farmer’s Market

At The Farmer’s Market

On most weekends
are women who farm
wearing a look of dusty denim 
and tired smiles.

You exchange pleasantries
with most everyone
as you bag and bundle 
the week’s harvest.

There is no time for makeup
and your hair is cropped short 
or haphazardly pulled back
without a second glance.

Dirt under your fingernails
accent strong fingers and hands
while on your feet 
only water and mud-proof shoes will do.

Tee shirts or faded flannel
with rolled-up sleeves
cannot hide your muscled arms 
or disguise an earthy beauty.

Musky scents that ripen
with the nurture of birth, 
growth, harvest, death and decay
mix into your sweat and laughter.

At the farmer’s market
are women who farm
and walk home after long days
wearing their fields in dusty denim.

With gratitude.

ag ~ 2013