Saturday, April 22, 2017

One More for the Islands


    In this open-air space, the mixed-chorus of birds and frogs serenade, day and night, background music to Palm trees that curve skyward and lift their arms against blue sky, mountains, the blue and white sea.  Windows are glass-slatted here and beaded with the moisture which hangs thick in the air, thick as summer dust on the prairie. Sidewalks and stone walls grow every kind of moss imaginable
     A bird sings the Cardinal's familiar song and small speckle-necked doves coo in the Hibiscus.  Each morning shrill voices of wild roosters awaken us to the new day.
   Today I am taking breakfast alone, on the patio. In the morning breeze, Palm branches are wriggling their top-most fronds at me, as if to get my attention. They have it, oh yes they most definitely have it as I sit in the island air, sipping my tea. My God, such beauty everywhere I turn my eyes.
     Hawaii, I have heard it said, is the one place that is the farthest from everywhere else in all directions. It feels like that, like being in another world whose time has stretched and slowed. Big Island rests softly upon my spirit, and look, past the tops of those darker trees, the ocean continues to send its waves against the shore, as it has for millions of years, saying: Take a breath; let your eyes take the long focus; relax your shoulders; there is no rush. There may be a plane leaving the island today, but you won't be on it.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Poem: Hawai'i

The Sea-
    Seven distinct shades of blue in
the sunlight and clear to the bottom,
deep, glowing green edged with white,
 and slate gray beneath cloudy skies.

     Green to the top of a ragged skyline,
a horizon drawn by a happy child,
sides bent into sharp, origami folds,
they rise to make the island center.

Palm Trees-
    Tall and elegant, they lean seaward,
their branches flying in the breeze.
Macadamia groves, tall narrow pines,
papayas hanging heavy in a bunch, and
coconuts lying asymmetrical on the sand.

   Bright, fragrant blooms in neon colors,
yellow flared petals, bright pinks on pink,
beautiful Plumeria, tucked behind ears.
Geckos, quick as light, scale a wall
and disappear into the garden beyond.

Lava rock-
   Heavy blackness, swirled and pooled
in a think mass, field after field ,
solid as stone and sharp as glass,
it allows no trespass without payment,
its silence and its power understood.

The Sand-
    Rushing inside an oncoming wave,
climbing the beach and racing to return,
pulling away from my heels, my toes,
covering my feet and holding me fast.

    Everywhere water, in the air you breathe,
dripping off roofs, windows, leaves, my arms,
mildew and mustiness inside open-windowed
houses with glass blinds, and the smell of
salt, the sea and sunshine, as time slows.

      Dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes that
open to welcome and help, big smiles
and strong generous hands and hearts. 
Since they are so far from everywhere,
there seems no reason to rush through life.

Friday, April 14, 2017


While looking through some things from my recent trip to Hawaii, I happened upon a few writings from those days on the islands. If you don't mind my taking your time, I will share some of them with you.

Treasures Wrapped In Time

Out for my morning walk, with a book tucked under my arm, I pass by an old man sitting alone on a park bench; his eyes are closed, his face lifted to the warmth of morning sun. He sits perfectly still, looking like a wood carving dressed in loose clothes. 
   His neck and shoulders are thinned with age and he has a slight hunch, but I recognize the breadth of back as from a man who has done physical work for many years.  His forearms are still strongly muscled and ridged with veins; his hands, think and scarred, rest upon his legs and bear no rings.    
     I am entranced by this silent stranger and, in my mind, I turn back the years from his frame, gifting him, in my imagination, with the beauty and strength of a young man. Caught up in this exercise, I have allowed myself to stand and openly gaze, thinking he was asleep, when suddenly he chuckles, softly, and my eyes fly to his, embarrassed to have been caught staring.
     I find that his eyes are a lovely sea green and full of laughter.  Meeting my gaze with a slow smile that shifts all the lines on his dark face, he asks if I need some help.  I shake my head and, walking to the bench, I set down my book and lean in with my request: Please, sir,....would you tell me a true story?  His smile broadens and he takes a deep breath,--
Where to begin?


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring Rain

Beginning again...again,

shoots pushing up from
dark soil on delicate stems,
spreading solar panel leaves,
opening their designer faces.
New leaves unfurl on every tree,
and Lilacs breath a welcome.
The winds build, bluster and batter.
Waiting, we endure, knowing what
comes after, yearning for the magic.

At last, distant thunder teases,
the air cools and petrichor rises
like a blessing from the earth;
rain, soft as mother's touch, sings
us awake, as from a dream.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring News At The Farm

I love that I have friends who call me on the phone to say :
        Go outside and look at the moon!  or Step outside and look at the stars; wow!
Now those are people who understand my heart. Marsh and I took a blanket out to do some stargazing the other night and came to the quick conclusion that what I really need are a some chaise lounge chairs...with cushions no less. That ground was hard as a rock and I'm too old for that. It takes all the fun out of star-gazing.
        Spring is definitely here now; I plan on setting out a tomato plant or two this week-end in celebration of the fact. Perhaps I'll hand each of my grand-kids a big bell and have them parade around the gardens, ringing to their hearts content; to wake the frogs and toads, don't ya know.  As long as I'm having people out to the farm, I might as well put them to work. 
      I'm thinking squash, beets, carrots, green and yellow wax beans, and tomatoes for the plantings. We missed the peas and broccoli window and it may be pushing things for the beets and carrots but I'm going to give it the old college try.   I actually have one little scraggly cherry tomato up already ( yours, Annie) but I need to plant at least one plant of the larger size. I have saved a curving section of the front landscaping for vegetables this year and think it should work fine because it is on the lower section where the soil is good.
    All the little scraggly Iris plants plants they sent me in November (!) are greening up and looking good, much to my surprise. We'll mulch those a little bit this week-end as well, and reapply mulch to the prayer garden plots; I Preened them yesterday, to help control the 'volunteers'.  Maggie's wood is beautiful during this time of the year; the spring grasses and flowers are soft and just beginning to grow and the Johnson Grass hasn't yet started its climb skyward.

     I'm trying very hard to stay out of Atwoods so we don't end up with Chickens again. I talk a good game but I know how much the grandkids love chickens.  I just hate them tearing my gardens to pieces all summer and pooping all over my porch...the chickens, not the grandkids. Maybe I just had too many last year, ending up with 10 instead of 4, which is a much more reasonable number.  We'll see. I realize that kids only love chickens for a very few years and I hate to be the Bah Humbug type in refusing them some innocent fun.
    This day feels kind of...what I call 'frothy', meaning it feels like the weather is swirling toward some thunderstorms again soon. I hope so. I haven't yet had the chance to sit on the porch and watch/feel a thunderstorm blowing and crashing across the fields.  Speaking of high winds, push has come to shove on calling that Arborist to trim the big Elm tree south of the porch.  There is so much dead wood in there now that I'm afraid limbs will start to fall on people or on the porch roof soon.
   What? You want to see pictures of the remodeled kitchen? Not. Yet. (To quote G.W.)
Everything is done and cleaned up and put into its proper place but we have no counter-tops due to a family emergency of the lady who makes and installs them and the back-splash. I'm thinking May...early May. I don't want to send you pics with my current plywood counter-tops because it ruins the effect.


Monday, April 10, 2017

A Charge To Keep We Have

      Would you look at these two? What a pair of cuties. Cousins born two months apart, they will become playmates and friends, we hope.  They have some DNA in common, they share some people who love them and people who love their parents. Yes, sometimes the world may appear to be a swirling soup of greed, pettiness, hatred, intolerance and cruelty, but....these dears, and others like them, just as beautiful, equally precious, need us to keep our hands on the wheel, keep doing our level best to right the ship so we don't all go down with the storms. 
     For the sake of these little lights of hope, we will remain focused and beat our back our fury and despair so that we are able to think clearly and work hard for better days, better laws, better and more compassionate governance and more tolerant social behavior. For the Innocents of every land and of every color we will do this.