Old Westbury Gardens

clouds of rhododendron, close to our Earthly surface
distant enough to consume oneself in visionary pleasure
close enough to invite each visitor for a fleeting, delicate touch
we feel today colorful hope, these gardens
lined with planned pathways of artistic design
the moments a performance of colorful surprises
this visage an open door to hypnotic scents.

imagine these fields in their infancy, divided for an entitled few
the fruits of labor from numerous, unrecognized hands
oh lonely garden—now open to the eyes of the world
to those who continue to grant us these gifts of uncompromising beauty
you are the clearest mirror of majesty and bloom.

The joy of doing nothing

dusk and dawn and
the pages in between
the perfect ambience
of a quiet day
I resolve to write you to sleep
wake these weary eyes
after the guilt
of clumsy fingers subsides
ah, what sensual guilt
to rest in indecision
the horizontal body
against the star-filled sky
I fear these eyes will not wake.
together. we may weigh more than the morning sun.

Choosing Tomorrow

Today the colors lit up the sky at dusk
stubborn trees refusing to give up the day
the sun from the ground in yellow hues
a proclamation to fight a bit longer.

I wonder who noticed among the darkness impending
that the Earth was fighting for its name “Life”
and for its soul “Light”, for its breath “Water”.

I walked away like the others
beacons falling at our feet.
Will there be another Spring?
Will there be another choice?

Voiceless

The past few days, I have been at a loss. The sight of fall turning towards winter accompanied by an increasing chill in the air. The world, our neighbors seemingly devoid in many places of humanity. Personally, I received news of an indefinite separation from my voice teacher due to a personal crisis in her life.

How quickly what we know as routine comforts can be lost. The feelings of warmth and the brightness of color. A friendly voice in conversation or in song that plays on repeat in our minds now contemplated only through small empty spaces.

I seek to find a patient resolve that there is undiscovered wisdom in change, that there is no weakness in questioning the present journey and its destination. Tonight, I revisited the beginning of my journey “finding voice” via an old poem of mine, and through these words of the past am reminded of the many ways to seek out completeness, as the teacher and as the student.

Voice Lessons (written September 24, 2014)

In pictures I teach the students about
the apple tree and what it learns
about its own life
that blossoms will
come upon spring and the lush green
bursts of foliage will cover its upper
body in summer
and that soon—at now
the fruits of summer life will step forth
in memories as round and as crisp as orbs
that lie loose on the lines of its branches.
How proper that on these days I
become that tree. I become the fall
and its memories. Its pages that when dropped
can be scattered in words
and propelled from the mouths of babes
their flavorful sweet songs
the melodies and their company
which serve to warm us on the coming winter days.

Below is what incompleteness sounds like. I grieve the loss of my teacher. Her echoes are now empty spaces in this verse of the classic, Natural Woman.

Tomorrow we have no choice but to accept the change we cannot control. Standing erect with the fullness of that apple tree. Harvest time.