after Ongoing by Jenny Xie
So what…the heartaches and headaches she collected like paper cuts over the years? Her early twenties—the twin beds of naiveté and wanderlust lay between book covers, on movie screens and in ballads along with all the angst of tragic heroism. Mood swings hitched-hiked in her Volkswagen Beetle over potholed backroads and the Parkway bound for revolutions on salty ferris wheels tottering on piers along the Jersey shore. Still, there was hope. Inside poems and under the canopy of trees. Work championed her thirties and forties until the prefixes of peri- and meno- attached themselves to the huge pause that followed many false starts and ambivalences. Books no longer satisfied and workmanship dulled into duty. Paint brushes and solvents hued the corners of her fifties and sixties. Self-Doubt trashed canvasses and shrink-wrapped perspective and poetry offering proposals of a loveless marriage or spinsterhood—what difference anyway? Until composition and compassion, juxtaposition and abstraction and other -itions emerged. New frames started to replace stale views of filtered servitude. With charcoal under her fingertips, she labored hard for beyond the so-whats and the for-whats, graying ever-so-lightly lightly into just this.
almost forsythia a little rain a little snow
imagine simmering pots of fragrant words
cabbage and beans
a garden celebration
of rustic stars
letting go letting g letting lettin lett let
The garden is glorious. More so as
early clouds pearl the earthy color.
Hummingbirds, butterflies and all sorts
of winged and waddling critters
are hard at work on the Sage, Snapdragon and Angelica
that gently ripple and titter in conversation.
Such a poppy of delight! I do my best to savor
what we shared in the garden, and it helps to remember
that your hands and fairy blue eyes
also loved to caress the Calendula, Cleome, Rue
and sweet September mornings
such as this.
cold hard rain
time to let go of what
I only dream is mine
the comfort of tea
pets and scarves
a poem day
I warm my cup before
steeping the tea
Yesterday around dusk, two women bundled against the damp and cold showed up and knocked at my door. It was Super Bowl Sunday, and I wasn’t expecting anyone especially as daylight dwindled. They introduced themselves and explained that they were looking for a very small lost dog missing for eight days. They thought that she might be hiding or hurt on the adjoining nursery property. These two women volunteer for a rescue kennel that is probably only half a mile from here but through dense woodland. I do hear the dogs bark from that distance on quiet summer days. It would not be too unusual for a dog to escape and run in our direction. However in this case, the dog is only fifteen pounds and the snow is still about 12″ high. We also have a nine foot deer fence around the twenty acres of nursery fields and forest. It is highly unlikely but possible that a very small dog could actually burrow under the wire fence through the existing foxholes. My heart went out to these two women who probably had so many other things to do that day but spent the whole time looking for a mongrel that they just brought up from the south to find an adopted home. “Please could I help look for this dog?” But of course, how could I say no? So off we went with flashlights in hand on hard-pack snow with hope in our hearts. They were actually in touch with a psychic who helps locate lost animals. She very accurately described details about the land here without seeing it in-person. This also gave us hope. After about forty-five minutes or so and dark descending – we gave up. There was no sight or sound of the dog. We sadly said goodbye, and I went up into my room to cry. Suffering and/or lost animals breaks my empathetic heart. I wondered why I was called into this search knowing this land and nature here so well and ahead of time that the search under these circumstances would inevitably only lead to deep disappointment and sorrow. Once again, I asked the Universe for some clarity and healing.
I wish I could report a happy ending, and that we all returned home to watch the Super Bowl with peace and popcorn. But it was not to be despite the two women returning with three more people to try once again even more exhaustively in the dark backlit by a cloudy waxing moon on snow. We spent close to another hour attempting to locate this animal. But without any sound coming from the dog, it was impossible. They were all cold and had been searching from the morning. Then I began to understand! The dog was lost and most likely passed through heaven’s gate, but still here were these heroic individuals (angels in human form) who give more than just their time to helping heal animals otherwise abandoned, hurt or neglected. How powerful is their energy and love? It (their love and devotion) asks nothing more in return but grace. Likewise all the people who work for domestic abuse, hospice, recovery etc. What would we do without our everyday heroes who despite working with the consistent pain of loss and abuse stick it out to help others including our four-legged and winged friends.
The Universe answered my questions – the dog brought us all together to share in an act of hope and love. In the end – there is only love.
To all the people who take on life’s hard work – in the words of a beloved friend: I am forever grateful.
looking for tracks on fresh snow we yield to the waxing moon
ag ~ 2015
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