Be here now, Ram Das said.
My license plate holder reads: “I’d Rather Be Here Now.”
John Muir said to saunter.
Sometimes when I am so in that moment, in the now-ness of it all, that there is only a slash of sunshine and deep woods, I forget to take pictures, photo potential in my pocket, the convenience of a cell phone and not the heavy long lens that hung around my neck for years.
Thus today, a stellar day, a collection of now, as I walked a kinko through Whatcom Falls Park as part of the Haiku Society of America Northwest Regional gathering. The joy of seeing old friends, of being with poets with nutmeg cookies in the sky words, leaving me wordless and smiling. I am so blessed by those I know.
Thank you all.
Mingled Phrases of Friends
The hodge-podge hurdy-gurdy man
with ropey muscles
raised free roaming chickens
in his pocket garden.
He was a firecracker
but could not live on expectations.
He curled up at the Bodhi Tree,
read a bowl of creation,
eyes glowing like light bulb
He blew smoke rings.
Jesus jumpin’ jiminy, bring
me a beer, he yelled.
No one heard him
as he grasped the iron
gate, an ice box of writer’s
Hated, berated, anticipated.
She sent him air kisses
in a bone china cup,
the expectations torn
Underneath the covers,
he pondered the departure
of his mortal coil.
A daydream, a sanctification
of the fruit of the universe.
On the red eye, he hit his head,
excused himself, no longer
trapped but unwrapped
He would dance
with a Himalayan gourd
Iambic Smash: If you would put the key inside the lock
Hello, my friend. What are you doing here?
I see the wrinkles in your suntanned brow.
Excess in drinking could be bad for you.
Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
’tis not so sweet now as it was before.
I see the wings of eagles flying by.
It crossed the gloaming skies above the roofs.
You watched the aging people gently rock.
I saw you yesterday, your features grinned.
So tell me, what is life if not for this?
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
Now is the winter of our discontent.
This myth reflected what would happen if
the rain began with striking thunder noise.
NaPoWri urges us on…just as the energy might lag, we get another prompt. This takes me where I might not go and I am grateful.
And now our (totally optional) prompt! Early on in the month, I asked you to write a valediction — a poem of farewell. Today, let’s try the opposite, and write poems of greeting. There’s lots of things you could greet. The spring? Your new stapler? A favorite classmate? An addition to the menu at your local cafe? The subject’s up to you — now get out there and say “hello!”
For Jackie de Maya
Your air mail letter sits atop my journal
on the dining table.
I was seventeen when we met.
Did you burn your bra?
I just forgot to wear mine one day.
Rebellion ran to deeper issues
then when I picketed with the ACLU,
studied Russian and Chaucer.
I smoked my first joint with you.
We’ve walked Missouri woods,
that cove in Santa Barbara,
For over forty years
we’ve written letters.
I send yours back in batches
waiting for your memoir.
Now I walk the rocky shore
at Squalicum Harbor,
gaze acros the bay
as wind whips my red and white hair.
My job today is not to freak out.
An annoying little tune erupts from my Android, waking me. Drat. I usually silence all sounds except the alarm when I go to bed.
The tinny jingle indicates an email. I unplug my cell, touch the email app and peer at 4 point font. Squinting does not help. I rummage in my nightstand for a pair of glasses. Immediately I am wide awake and sitting up.
My friend was in the Aurora, Colorado, theatre last night when a gunman killed twelve people. She and her boyfriend crawled to safety.
I call her family member, remind her to take homeopathic Aconite for shock and seeing the unacceptable.
I remember Columbine. I was in Safeway when someone told me about the tragedy. My grandsons’ school district. I was anxious until I found out all the surrounding schools had been closed and “my” kids were safe at home.
I remember 9/11. My son had been in Manhattan the day before. He would go the day after.
I feel sad.
I go to an Al-Anon meeting where I remember I have no control over nouns: persons , places, things. I certainly have no control over the horrific atrocities that occur. What do I have control over? My perceptions of reality.
I am reminded to connect to my own Higher Power, to stay in the moment, to be aware, to take nothing for granted, to be filled with gratitude for every precious day on t he planet.
Still, I am sad. I own the feeling and celebrate having it. For many decades I masked my emotions so even now when I’m feeling them, and it is not pleasant, I’m glad to be in touch.
Peaceful music plays now as soft rain falls on my garden. Once I was told when I’m upset to help others. Tonight I will serve wine for a family night at an Alzheimer’s facility.
What do you do when Mercury is retrograde and Pluto is exhaling a hurricane of ancient blockages?
For now, to you, Dear Reader, I send blessings and gratitude.