An Alternate Reality

Archive for August, 2012

Extinction

(This one was inspired by a picture my friend Katie took of a ragged dinosaur sculpture left in the ruins of an old amusement park.)

The last of his breed
alone and in need
hiding in the bushes.

Remembering his prime
noble, sublime,
going where he wishes.

But the ravages of time
have stolen his pride
leaving him cowering.

And the progress of men
which locked him in a pen
above him are towering.

Oh, if only once more
to hear his deep roar,
thundering loudly,

And to have him roam free
so that heaven can see
him again living proudly!

More or Less

We are constantly asked
            to give more
            to do more
            to have more
            to be more

 But I long for less
            less urgency
            less demand
            less burden
            less need

 And when you stop to think about it,
            isn’t less
            actually more?

Inevitability

Change comes to shake my world apart
            settle in my heart
            give my soul a start
Change comes to shake my world apart
            I go down, but not without a fight.

 Age comes to stare me in the face
            rob me of my grace
            lay my soul to waste
Age comes to stare me in the face
            I resist, but it’s hard to stop its flight.

 Death comes a knocking at my door
            til I can take no more
            I don’t know what’s in store
Death comes a knocking at my door
            I can but shrug, and step into the light.

My Treasure

My sister, Lynn, made me a marvelous quilt,
a gift that she gave from her heart,
and it hangs on the wall next to my office chair
where it looks like a fine piece of art.

It depicts lots of books in a bookcase
with some other things thrown in for fun
but it wasn’t ’til today that it struck me
just where all of the images were from.

There’s a tea cup, and cookie books and authors
of the books that we all like to read.
There’s a cat and a dragon and a bunny,
spools of thread, catfish, chocolate, and beads.

She put all of our family on there-
representing the things they hold dear.
Now I think of them each time I see it,
and I feel them all close to me here.

My big sister made me a marvelous quilt,
something so much more precious than art.
So it hangs on the wall where I see it each day,
and I treasure it all in my heart.

Star Gazing

     Gazing at the stars in awe
          I realize again,
     That what I see is not what is
          but what’s already been.

      The light that’s coming to my eyes
          is traveling so fast,
     Yet even as I see it come
          I’m looking at the Past.

      It is incomprehensible
          to think that what I see
     Was there a thousand years ago
          but may no longer be.

      The stranger thing to wonder is –
          out on some planet far,
     What does that other life-form think
          while gazing at our star?

Inheritance and Another Road Not Taken

I wrote these back in 1993, but they as true today, entering my second half of life, as they were back then.

Inheritance

I heard my mother’s voice the other day,
     Looked into my father’s eyes,
ran a comb through my grandma’s graying hair
     and knew a truth I could not disguise.

 I gazed upon my inheritance
     not measured in silver and gold,
but gauged by my life, manifested so well
     in the make of my body and soul. 

I have my father’s odd wit, my mother’s soft heart,
     where my poetry’s from, I don’t know,
but I carry the hopes and the dreams and the life
     of all those who have passed here before.

 I am never alone, they are all here with me
     in my wrinkles, the shape of my hands.
I take comfort in knowing whatever I do
     they have helped to make me what I am.

 So, I’ve made some hard choices here in this life
     some worthy and some not worthwhile,
but perhaps there is one I’ll regret most of all-
     not to live in the eyes of a child.

 

Another Road Not Taken

Upon a path, not of our choosing
we are set to find the way.
But the steps upon the journey
     thus are ours alone to bear.

We stop and gaze at each divergence.
We measure each, the pros and cons.
We can, but one, the path decided,
     can, but one, the road to dare.

Yet as we venture, ever questing,
toward our destiny unknown,
We look back on the road not taken
     and wonder, had we chosen there.

The Encounter

A wasp buzzed by my window,
seeking shelter from the wind,
or maybe wanting food or a mate. 

Or, perhaps, it came to look at me,
wondering what that crazy human was doing
chained to a computer instead of flying free. 

Regardless, it peeked in and flew off again,
going on to do whatever it is that wasps do
when they aren’t watching us through the windows.