FEBRUARY 2022 = ADORATION
“how do i get him to love me?”
asked the little girl
to her mother.
who looked just like her…
but all grown up,
sat on the chair as she did each morn’
to put shimmer on her eyes.
the girl liked to watch the morning makeup
before clamboring up the lap
and waiting for her hair to be brushed
and to ask the latest question
that came to her mind.
last night, the little girl read
a book talking about love
and so she asked.
“how do i get him to love me?”
the mother smiled
not missing a beat in her
of the tangled hair
on the little head in front of her.
“oh dear. the question is not
‘how do i get him to love me?’
how do i find one who loves me
for who i really am.
once you find that, you will know love.”
their eyes met in the mirror.
one pair wise and shimmered
one pair full of dreams.
and they both sighed
with their own contentment.
One day we’ll look back with regret,
The expectations that were set.
That age and progress had a link,
So, every year group worked in sync.
And those who had ‘fallen behind,’
Must have a problem with their mind.
But some excel at faster rates,
And other’s we just need to wait.
Not pile on pressure and stress,
To ensure that they make such progress.
But give them the time they need to bloom,
Let belief and love fill the room.
We’ll build resilience, patience and more,
And have the time for strong rapport.
Because it’s not just what they know,
It’s how they act that makes them grow.
Plants have different conditions to survive,
And so do children to allow them to thrive.
Let’s hope that change is increasingly near,
So to damaging goals we don’t have to adhere.
WALKING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS
Walk through the entrance
and wherever you go you
will walk in his footsteps.
Look at a plant, shrub, or tree
and he will have planted it,
staked it, pruned it, and nurtured it.
Talk to a garden volunteer and
he will have recruited them,
encouraged them and supported them.
Admire the garden’s features
and he will have created a project
for them and raised money for them.
In this place you will find peace,
relaxation and refreshment. Walk
in his footsteps and enjoy his legacy.
James Croal Jackson
Pennsylvania, United States
The bowtie light switch has a mustache.
What does that say about me? I’ve spent
too much time seeing whatever I want
in office objects. Tape gun forklift.
Soap giraffe. All I want is to love
what I have however diminutive
the love, however diminutive
the day stretches out in consuming
all other days. My endless
imagination boards me
on its paper airplane,
the rock slungshot the first
time I read a book and never
arrived at my destination.
MOZART AND THE RAVENS
Alaska, United States
My radio played Ave Verum Corpus as I hiked. Then, darting through the trees, two ravens in pursuit, their true, their massive bodies driven by those stern and feathered blades. All bodies – the birds, the forest, mine -- fused. It was over in a flash, of course, that charged vision -- cosmos above my head, under my feet -- electrifying the forest, and gone, a foretaste, say the yearning lyrics, of the coming banquet. But this was feast enough.
THE FIRST KISS
the trembling warmth
that shivered my heart from beneath
the lips like rosey petals
that touched my untouched lips
the sign that was kept on my eyes
indelible immortal eternal forever
that was in favour of all the lovers
who bade their partner goodbye
and never came to touch
and loiter the whole world to search
for him or her
my first kiss that was the last one
i lost everything and you everly won.
Woman In Red With Head
(A poem about the painting The Feast Of Herod by Rubens)
Connecticut, United States
She danced and was adored
tiny touches make all the difference white highlights horror while yellow draws the eye down and under the table a shadowy afterthought drawn by the blood
a little finger cocked as she pierces the tongue a subtle sort of violence seen in the burning reflections of lobsters and bread
and little volcanoes erupt in shame or anger or just curiosity and always in the margins on the edge of the canvas a black servant carrying a brimming bowl
there is a strange fascination—a test of sorts—in an unreliable man
so you look
but you must choose to see
Judge Santiago Burdon
I'm sitting here thinking about my folks
It feels like years since I've been home
I've got a feeling like I'm homesick
But it's something more
My thoughts are running wild
In this warm desert air
Imagining that I'm there
I hear those old dogs barking
As I walk up the road
It's sad because I never seem to find the time
To even write them a couple of lines
It's always phone calls home
For the Holidays
When I was young, they found time for me
They worked so hard to raise a family
Now all the kids have grown
And they've grown old
Nothing more to show except for growing old
Somehow it doesn't seem right
My parents raised me then almost overnight
I heard the wind call my name
I was gone
Now I wonder what they get in return
For all the years of love and concern
I guess the person I've become is their only reward
Whenever I was down on my luck
My ole man he'd slip me a couple of bucks
And never made me feel like any less of a man
Now I've found it's not money or gifts they give
I've been a taker all these years I've lived
I never realized the true worth of their lives
The gift they give comes from their souls deep inside
That's something you can't buy
I've put so many miles between me and them
It's gotten so easy to pretend
There's no debt owed
I've got a life of my own
After all these years I hope it's not too late
To let them know I'm proud of my name
And a chance to thank them
For everything they've done
Now I'm haunted by memories
Of the way things used to be
I can hear them both calling me home
Please take me back to my younger days
I was cheated by yesterday
I was never told
I'd have to watch them grow old
I didn't know they'd get so old
When did they grow so old
I'm sitting here thinking about my folks
DOXOLOGY TO MY MOTHER’S MANNERS
My Mother’s manners are an apology for her Ozark roots; thank you notes nibbed
on monogrammed cards, swift and gift specific, serious as a Vanderbilt gilding
her audience, but home-spun too, penning barefoot as she yarns you about her
one room school, windows rattling from the train to St Louie, the kids waving
like crazy to a hazy face, counting boxcars. Her manners are a ruse. She never says
stupid unless delivered as a catechism; Stupid is as stupid does, each time
you back into the same mailbox. My mother’s manners are as steadfast as her
Aqua-Net hair, more resolute than her starched sheets. Even when you’re
grown, move from home, she will lay your coat on her bed with the guests’, after
sherry send you off with the rest saying, Don’t be a stranger. They are a lasso
of truth; how she hands you punch in a crystal cup, lulls you into spilling
your guts. What do you think of your father’s new wife? My Mother’s manners
are a bribe; a German Chocolate cake baked from scratch, coconut and fingertip
grated into icing, delivered in my Pinto to Lenten Luncheons when she
campaigned for Senior Warden. Her manners are a Trojan horse sporting
a periwinkle beret down K Street to Vestry meeting, me in red Keds,
us scheming to upend the church’s creeds on ordaining women
priests. They are a sucker punch in black leather gloves from October
through March, not one day later, pinching my arm when I half-kneel in church. Before
she takes the takes the dais she puts herself down Good-Old-Wishy-Washy-Mom
and you think she’s eating from the palm of everyone’s hand. She’s a battering ram, clears
her throat, raps her gavel: the Distinguished Deputy from Delaware
is Out of Order. Please sit down. Her manners are trotlines set for the vote with silver
butter press on the left, salt cellar, right: her bait, pounds of shrimp Thermador (lemon
removes the stench on your hands) swallowed hook, line and dogma by her guests.
My mother’s manners are a psalm, a call to action. I end her battle hymn
in benediction. The last train from St. Louie echoes up the tracks. A distant whistle.
Three-short. One- long. Unanswered calls.
THE WORLD LOOKS SMALL FROM HERE
Let them whisper
that you’re too old for me
and that I’m just a supple mid-life crisis.
They don’t know how long you’ve thirsted
to taste the ocean between my thighs
or how unapologetically we fill each other’s negative space.
They don’t know that I fetishize your hands:
two firm miracles, the hands of Eros sculpting me
into an intrepid comet, hurtling
through your most obscene darkness. They don’t know
how tenderly you reached inside my chest
when we first met, pulling out a mottled blue
song thrush egg. Or how many eons you waited for my heart
peck its way out, hatching
the indecently virtuous woman who featured in all the centrefolds
you hid from your wife. They don’t know you have the stamina to fly me to Jupiter
but instead taught me to spread my own wings so I could soar on my terms.
So darling, let them whisper. I promise we’ll never hear them
from this high up.
I LOOK AT YOU AND I LOVE DREAMY EYES
The river of love for me is an inexhaustible paradise
you are the source of my life and sincere happiness
I can't be the same man without you
because every day I dream that we are still together
although perhaps worship is not a one-way street
because I believe I may have become a sinful man
because of what I said to you a long time ago
and I know that maybe time is not on my side
but I believe that behind every impartial trouble
he must find a source of continuous happiness
to realize that we may be compact
but still inconsistent as in the old days
where that little attention was sincerely loved and appreciated
I really gave my best
you never wanted to see it with those eyes of love
which are an impartial walk on slippery ground
the strength of my soul in the cold winter days
it made me always push myself
because who cares how I feel today
and I just want you to be a happy person
i know i'm not the perfect guy in the world
but I also believe there is some miracle
which can save me from all trouble
which I set for myself in the time of indicators
and it is understandable that perhaps worshiping you is a sin
but I can't do it any other way
love makes me be what I am not
considering you as something more than a friendship
and how to get on with my life
because without you I do not see the meaning of my existence
you are an angel and a devil at the same time
when I look away; my matter is dying out
the brain cell no longer exists
she is dead because of the terrible terror over my emotions
adoration is just synonymous with my concealment of the condition
where the mind wants to play with me so skillfully
what a life I deserve after all again
because love made me do something bad
while dreaming, I still imagine you in all this
what a period of my life I would be without you if I didn't know
and I am grateful no matter the sad moments
that I always have you whenever needed
for that is the meaning of sincere love
to have someone for everyone, to love carefree
while I observe worship in all directions!
I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU
Colorado, United States
Yet I know my name is not the
last on your mind when you
drift into a land unexplored
My eyes are not the ones you
think of when you are alone,
my hands you are not
itching to grasp or longing to touch
Yet I know you would rather
be lonely than be alone with me
You would rather hate everything
than to love the piece of my heart
I gave you and asked you to watch
Yet I know mine is a brokenness
you never try to understand
Your hands are strong enough to hold
a thousand hurts, but you do not listen
to the simple cry of my breaking heart
asking you to hold me close
Yet I know I am not loved
at least we made memories
at least our friendship wasn't dark and dull
at least we smiled at each other for once,
and got a chance to hold hands
we enjoyed each other's company
it was like we were made for each other from the sands
we got a chance to tell each other we're pretty
got a chance to see each others' eyes
but now we're cold as ice
smell each other's scent from miles
but now all i can smell is sadness and tears
your voice running through my head
at least we made memories
we told each other stories
you opened your chest to me
because you had trust in me
i don't think it still exists anymore
you can't even stand in front of me,
for even a minute
it's more like our love is fading away
wait no! it is fading away
but at least we made memories...
CHASING THE BLUES
Blue is the colour
The colour I am chasing
Blue is the beauty
The hue of tranquility
Blue is the ocean, into the depths
Blue is the sky, into the night
Blue is the planet, enriched with life
Blue is the sea, rivers, rain and sky
But blue is the colour
Natural world seldom maketh
A true incarnation
Peacock feather and butterfly wing
Their blues just tricks of reflection
Yes, blue is the colour
The colour I am searching
History of man steeped
In pursuit of blue
Azure, its exotic name
Captured to paint the sky
Blue light enters in short wavelength
Rayleigh Scattering from solar radiation
True blue lies beyond
In the expanse of creation
Looking further is blue
To the Earth and heavens
Blue is the question
Blue is the answer
Indeed, blue is the clue
The colour I am searching for is You
Purport: This poem describes the search for blueness, which is rare in the biological and natural world – a peacock feather and the famous blue butterflies do not actually have blue pigment but instead rely on trickery of the light. This search for blue is ultimately observed in distant areas of creation (namely the sea, sky and stars).
WHEN A WIFE FLIES HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD
When my wife flew halfway round the world
to see her father in Asia,
I thought, well, only for two weeks --
piece of cake.
Then something strange happened--
the house got twice as big,
and felt empty, oh, so empty,
as though abandoned by life….
Then time itself slowed, sooo slow
that days passed leaden, like
boring speeches that went on and on,
sooo slow I could hear
old man Time dragging his feet
and I wanted to scream….
I hadn’t realized-- after 40 years
she is a part of me, not, repeat,
not figuratively, not a metaphor,
but a part of me, if not body,
then certainly soul….
And when she returned,
after 15 hours in the belly of a big bird,
my house shrunk back to its normal size,
and old man Time began
marching briskly, and my soul?
My soul was whole once again….
New York, United States
a night ago…
half real-but not
a sip into a life
felt right to my right
a friendship stitched across
this dream settling into my life
older on the other side of living
she in late autumn me nearer spring
her habits familiar her face not
there was nourishment of spirit
a persistence of compassion that
closes down dying
making me stronger going on.
she a mother, a grandmother,
treasured mentor for one dream
This morning, I miss her -really miss her.
I told her I loved her 100.
WERE IT TO AMUSE YOU
If you need or if it were to amuse you
to hear paeans of your glories, just nod
Nod to me and I can and shall sing
praises of your beauty, of your wit,
of your softest kiss, heaven’s breath
of the orange blossom cent of your skin…
We have both worked with your once
and inexplicably former, lovers.
I adore you and would quickly say so.
Were it not for lives before we met,
I would pull you in with my tractor beam
and never release you.
I cannot understand how one or any one
of your lovers let you get away.
In beauty and wit, in logic and
kindness, no other woman compares.
Did they imagine a better offering?
Square pacing with you around the base
of Kitson’s The Hiker, ever closer
yet never quite pressed together,
while the bronze soldier guards us.
You love being loved yet stand back
I would rush forward yet I dare not
What a pair we are and how I am left
singing of you and to you, untouching.
FROM YOUR WINDOW
Set to an angle,
a worldwide awning,
you are sharing,
a world into your window.
Not sure which of us,
is meant to be Rapunzel.
Steady the contact cables,
a way to climb into,
something else entirely.
in between wall cracks.
Sighing behind curtain rails.
Borne of a digital age,
Something so much older than that.
In the morning haze,
we might be falling,
into some sort of adoration.
Started by a windowpane.
The reflection of a possible history.
R.S. Thomas thought television was from
the devil. I can see him at a lectern
in a clapboard church in Wales, railing
at a small congregation not to trifle
with automatic washers and machine-
driven plows. They’re from the devil!
Yet R.S. Thomas’ poems were questions.
In “In Church” he asks Is this where God
hides from my seeking? In church.
I look at the tiers of stone steps, wide
and light. Behind thick wood doors
the vestibule with a baptismal font.
I enter the church proper. Right above
me, the choir loft, and to my right a fount
of holy water. A vast sea of wood pews.
Up front, on both sides' confessionals
with purple velour curtains. Stained glass
depictions of lambs, men in robes, halos.
To the left and right shrines of the Blessed
Virgin. Rows of candles. An altar rail,
more steps, an altar and above it the thick
wood crucifix, Christ crowned in thorns,
a swaddling cloth covers his nakedness.
his palms bloodstained; his eyes look up
toward heaven, I suppose. I liked the smell
of incense from the chalice the priest
used for funerals and mass on holy days.
Isn’t everyday holy, every virgin blessed?
Two little children kneel in a pew, the church
big and dark, nothing bad happens here.
On a Saturday afternoon a short man
with a bald spot in the crown of his head
parts the velour curtain. The priest pulls
back a slat. The man sees, behind a screen,
a shadow of the priest’s face. Bless me..
He confesses to the priest his sins.
An early Wednesday morning two Sisters
of Charity, in long black gowns, their faces
framed in white squared boarders, so not
even one strand of hair is showing, kneel
in a pew. Sister John, whose face is long
and thin, with a Roman nose, puts her hand
over Sister Gerard’s. Both are young.
Sister Gerard, her chin stubbled with acne,
kisses Sister John’s long smooth hand.
They are the only ones there, hanging
from the waists of both nuns, long strings
of black beads, with small silver crosses,
Christ on the Cross, who, like the Christ
above the altar, sees everything. Is this
the place where God hides? Is He there
behind the confessional’s screen. What are
your sins? Or around a vestibule corner,
or in the halo of the bearded brown robe,
St. Francis with a lamb on his shoulder?
His eyes look upward. Is this the place
where I hide from God? In church. One
of those two children, the boy Clifford,
sobbed when Sister Margaret asked him
Where is your father? My father’s dead.
That wasn’t in church. Church is where God
hides, maybe up in the choir loft. I wish
I were like R.S. Thomas, pure poetry.
Connecticut, United States
Years removed from when you
first entered my life and wanting
to somehow make things stop,
what I remember are the many
times your embrace served as a
source of comfort, fevered with
mercy and grace and a willingness
to always give without restraint,
and how, later on, I came to recognize
how much of you took hold in my
wife – the surprise being it remained
unalloyed and endless, and wanting
such tender bearing to live on, we
gave our only daughter your name.
MEMORIES OF MY CHILD
No memory from that far has come this far
just the one, of touching you first time,
of feeling that tender, downy scalp,
your translucent petal skin
flushed bright at birth
lit angry, rosy pink
Little do I carry from that forgettable past
just snippets of your roundish face,
despite my listless fugue,
the weak whimpering,
asking for me
As your limbs grew firm and held the earth
I held you inside my frightened heart,
every day, I wish you knew
what insane fear it was
a little funny as well
And now you are a somewhat taller than me
I hold your face and pull it down to me
As you leave for school mornings
Teenaged, teethy, smile
once again etched, baby,
a forever memory
GLADYS LOVE PRESLEY TAKES HER BOY TO HEAR BROTHER CLAUDE ELY
California, United States
Flies trapped in the tent
and Gladys Love's got a certain dampness about her face and neck
waiting for what that bullhorn out the window promised:
she liked that: Please
Come for the Fire and the Holy Ghost
It's late enough for crickets
her daddy’d told her long ago that was the sound of stars twinkling.
She's almost sorry for the truth. But no quiet here, she's heard.
Me and my boy, she turns to say — we drove all the way from—
Here he come ma'am here he come, Look: Brother Claude, here he come
Whoooowheeeeee he's a big man.
She wonders if she was heard—hopes imagining's not a sin.
Swatting away the flies, she remembers she was told:
Twelve, he was twelve when he began.
Standing up there before them all—white suit, hat pushed back.
Tooth, is that gold? Hard to see. Yes, I caught that glint: I bet real gold
Reitzel / Gladys / 2
Let's have a good time Brother Claude shouts,
a preacher like he means it. Praise God we're alive
And here come the moon despite the scrim of canvas between them.
The moon as if a blessing, and she brings up her fan, listens to the preacher fevering up his pitch on Moses wanting greener pastures for his sheep.
Who doesn't want that for loved ones—her hand on her shy boy's shoulder
Now Moses got to look around him
and kinda got scared
been scared— that first twin boy coming out all still,
and staying still with nary a breath
and then this one. She fingers his hair but he's just listening—
This one come out right after— just waiting to sing.
Thank the Lord. Moses he's sees there was a fire and he hear the Lord begin to speak
Nothing to be done for it, Claude's doctor said Tuberculosis in that child.
He's going to die.
But the family gathered 'round and prayed
I am not going to die
that boy sat up and declared
I am not going to die
Now that boy all grown. Listen to him
Take your shoes off Moses why this is holy ground You take that sky blue devil he hated Salvation— Something the world couldn't give to me and the world can't take it
I am a man without sin today and the Lord to thank for it
Praise Jesus Children come gather come gather once more
Make this old house shake
Strumming the guitar as if he needed it to breathe.
His voice a holy rasp against the wood of sin
I'm crying holy unto the Lord. Holy, Holy unto the Lord
Clapping, everybody clapping
Off the beat—we Pentecostals like it off the beat
Ain't no grave
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
In the spaces, between the beat
where no one expects the heat
They say when he picked up his guitar and hit a key
it was like the heavens would just open up
And Gladys Love and her boy
soon forget the earth.
New York, United States
Oh, how this boy would run.
The smell of Grandma’s kitchen—
her Italian cooking always tracked
an invitation and a welcome.
I knew which house was mine.
One afternoon, mid-week
grandpa said she was dead.
How could that be?
She was Grandma!
She was always here.
For me, at 10, death was unreal,
where every room still held her sound.
And over time, nothing was the same;
as her spirit moved on.
For Giovannina Bellucci DeCroce
TENDER SILKEN STRANDS
Amidst bejeweled brilliance
A glance may lead to love
And seen through fairy dust
a moment may just lead to life
Yet the vines, sunbeams, flowers
Are mere fragrant, gilded cages
stretching into eternity built
by sly, bewitching mages.
As, in love’s bosom dwells
the depth of beauty
and compassion that I seek.
In blankets of stars
and not in sheafs of books
much wisdom I see.
In my heart, I finally find
the meaning I roamed
here and thither for.
And with a jolt I
all that's in my heart
Summer shall marry her children
To the fine Autumn King
And adored they shall be
By the fine blowing winds
Dressed in magic land colours
In couplettes of free
All these jewelly gifts
That now rain down on me
So that I too now feel
So desired to sing
And rejoice evermore
Summer ere married Spring
A VESSEL HEART
Bound by time,
Touch the sublime,
Touch the void,
Blossoms that resonate in full bloom,
Each tender moment fills the room,
Like tulips in spring,
Clustered hearts full of emotion,
A vessel heart full of devotion.
RAWNESS OF FLUIDITY
There is a powerful connection between our existence and the spiritual awakening of the soul. In its rawness of fluidity, love like a river into our countenance flows. The abundance of stimulating and riveting imagery of our validity is a great poetic expression of love in its infancy. With proper care and detail to attention to its success, maturity and fullness of its strength and purpose. Daily, together, we will jointly find ways to express our devotion.
MY LOVE FOR YOU IS…
My love for you is....
My love for you is....
My love for you is....
My love for you....
My beautiful baby.....
NO CUPID’S ARROW
Julie A. Dickson
New Hampshire, United States
So many heart and flowers,
enough candy to make a person sick;
reading sappy cards by the hour
until I decided to write my own quip.
How might I say that I love you,
in a tasteful, yet loving way,
sans Pepto-Bismol pink in view
that tends to cover the day?
No cupid’s arrow shot in the air,
a dozen roses? I could go broke!
Recite mushy verses until I despair,
another chocolate, I might choke!
I’m left with a simple I love you;
in my eyes you’ll always my mine.
The love we share always feels so new
and you’re my favorite Valentine.
From sunrise to sunset
you breast fed me in the rice field
Under our bamboo-stilt home,
laying nested in your arms in our handmade hammock
you lulled me to sleep singing songs of beauty
You sat under our tamarind tree in your lotus sarong
on your hands and knees
making porridge soup
ADORATION WITHOUT THE BULL
Definition: Aleatory refers to an agreement where profit or loss depend upon uncertain events, such as with an insurance contract. It is also used to describe luck, particularly bad luck.
A famous bullfighter of yore
took a chance on a local amor,
but Carmen, though charmin’,
was always alarmin’
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT HOW I ADORE YOU
(after the Rolling Stones, Standing in the Shadows)
to Elaine, a double fibonacci*
to share joys
and even sorrows?
We live in both light and shadows.
from her silver flute
bring peace and make our space sacred.
* A fibonacci poem is based on the numerical sequence computed by Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in which the first two numbers are 0 and 1. Each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two. This form uses those numbers for syllable count per line; ergo, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ad infinitum. Think of the 0 as the pause before starting to read the poem.
A GUERDON IN WORDS
If love were words, I would ink them here
A guerdon in words for your love, my dear
Faithful and candid in its content manifold
As classic as that for ages has been told
Love, the four letters glow on the white
Encompass your love in all its height
Sometimes golden, sometime a bolder hue
Unfold the color of the beauty that is you
As I look at them blinking each time
It is as if your winks in their prime
Beckoning me to their looks, to behold--
Those eyes of yours and reach your fold
Your song, a melody it rings in my heart sublime
As timeless and full as an ageless rhyme
The song immortal, your love the same
I shall woo thee to ever-enduring fame