A repost from 1 year ago.*
This poem was inspired by the recent Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando, Florida, a town I grew up in and live near today. Like millions of others around the world I have so many emotions about the event. I felt compelled to write about it and started several different essays, eventually tearing each one up, feeling my words could never say enough to do justice to the 49 beautiful souls gunned down by hate. Days passed and then while sitting in my home office listening to the pulsing water as it hit my roof on a rainy afternoon, these words arrived. May they be of benefit. May they be heard. May we be love and do love.
Peace and Love
He had terra cotta skin with tattered straw atop his stringy blay (blonde/gray) hair. Given the boots perched beside his guitar case on the bench, the misshapen hat may or may not have been that of a rodeo cowboy in another life. In the past hour his leathery fingers have strummed an acoustic guitar in varying rhythms, yet only one key, G or C, although I’m too far away to see his finger work and tell. His voice teeters between a drunk Waylon Jennings and what I imagine Al Pacino would sound like if he sang. I think this because he also says “Whoo Ah” randomly and intermittently. Not deterred by having just broken a string, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” (in one key) echoes from the beach walkover. In between songs and cordially greeting every single person making their way to the beach, he yells jokingly at one buddy or another to join him or to quit complaining and go get wet. Laughter rings out frequently, and nuisance or not, I have to smile at his contagious euphoria. Of the 30-40 souls around us on this stretch of beach, his joy appears most palpable. If pressed to choose, I’d rank it second only to that of the two 4 year-old boys whose fathers yell for them to help reel in a big fish and who end up jumping up and down, exclaiming ecstatically as the 6-8 inch catch flaps around at their feet. As they help dehook it, I see the fish tales already growing in their preschool sportsmen minds. While I’m admiring two paddle boarders drifting serenely across the horizon, a pair of dolphins surface quite near, but all too quickly for my age delayed camera phone reflexes to digitally preserve them. In my efforts to zoom in, I end up capturing some extremely lovely sections of sky. I have to laugh at myself as I also revel in gratitude. For me there is rarely ever a “bad day at the beach”, and this one, full of simple joys, has been exceptional.
Please don’t judge, but I try to regift/reuse the gift bags I receive. As Emma was looking through my collection a few weeks ago for just the right one to put her Mother’s Day gift in, she picked one that had an old card inside. She said ” Oooh, maybe there’s money inside of it Mimi!” There was no money to be found but a high tide of memories washed through my mind as I read the card that was given to me by a dear coworker and friend 17 years ago, when I left Amelia Island to move to Palm Bay. It came with a framed photo of the NYC skyline at night, Twin Towers in the center. The “wild night” being referenced occurred during the American Montessori Society Conference, in New York City, in the year 2000, a year which would prove to be full of grand adventure and change for me, as evidenced by this story to share with/shock a granddaughter, many years from now, when she asks about my “younger days”. (I was 42.)
Peace and Love
Big Apple sky
Switzerland 2 tables to the east.
Drinks sent and accepted,
on blushing cheeks.
atop divorced dreams.
Wing women retire.
Risqué romance ensues
in a library bar,
a tale of desires
Sweet slumber of
bodies and souls
The mystery of such comfort
Morning whispers the end
or the beginning
Inspired by the following quote and my 3AM muse.
“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June?”
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island
Up early to meet the morning, the same one that’s already over on the other side of this big blue ball we populate. None of us having the slightest notion of what this rotation will bring. Oh, we have schedules and routines, plans and timelines, but as much as we are the authors of our days, they aren’t ours alone. The Lilliputian hummingbird flaps its wings 50-80 times a second, the force of which sets off an infinitesimal domino effect of atoms, elements and cells responding in their own unique ways. And I and you and him and her, they and them, all of us hopeful as we bring love to the table that the world will respond in kind. With kind words and kind smiles and tolerance for individual differences. This is what we must do for ourselves and each other, for the world we want, we must create, one little square foot at a time.
Missing her still.
My mother lost her physical battle with cancer on July 2, 2011 but her spirit remains in everything good and beautiful. When I need strength, I think of her. When I picture love, I picture her. I wrote this for her 3 months before she died.
untainted ribbon of unquestionable love,
thread through each window blind,
both illuminating and shielding me,
through the dawns and dusks of my life.
those days when the essence of my innocent spirit sugar-coated the sands of time,
those nights when the acidic tonic of my misspent youth sought to corrode all that was familiar,
those times when I steadfastly refused any sort of guidance and rejected the very values imposed,
those times when I chose to learn the hard way,
the stalwart champion of landmine decisions,
those when my selfishness should have created a chasm between us,
or at least riddled the…
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