Joy and Suffering

on top of a flower

                                             Joy and Suffering
In the afternoon butterflies gather on purple flowers for a meal.
Do they ponder death and the suffering of torn wings?
Maybe sometime they will know of painful things,
but not in this moment.
Right now they know only of the blissful sucking of nectar
from warm blossoms.

There are scores of tiny frogs joyfully jumping through the grass.
Do they understand about getting chopped up in a lawn mower or
stepped on by clumsy feet?
Maybe sometime they will know about cut off limbs and ensuing death,
but not in this moment.
Right now they know only the delight of sunshine, the wetness of leaves
and the safety of rocks.

The old woman sits among the flowers where her son’s ashes are strewn.
Does she think of death as she sits, back broken and bent?
Maybe sometimes she considers her mortality,
but not in this moment.
Right now she savors the fragrance and colors of the blooms, the whistling finches,
the softness of the afternoon sun and says she feels like Eve in Paradise.

Breezes blow, cease, and blow again.
Rivers flow, tides move in and out.
Coming and going, movement and stillness, breathing in and out, birth and death,
each is marked by a pause, a moment when the motion turns.
Maybe sometime I will consider all this,
but not in this moment.
Right now I am enjoying the clouds that partially cover the sun
and the unspoken love caressing my heart.

©photo and poem by caf

 

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Works of Clay

clay potWorks of Clay

She bends the clay around emptiness
creating a vacancy for utility,
defining function,
vesting it in vitality.

The coolness of moist mud
sticks to her hands as she coaxes shape
from a formless heap of thickened slip,
while the wheel turns the pot,

and heaven spins the earth
and morning and evening
caress the shape of a day.

©photo and poem by Carole Fults

 

The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

wood duck pond

The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

One day hiking we came to Wood Duck Pond
and there we saw an older gentleman
sitting in a chair
eating his lunch and watching
just looking ….. and looking

He might have been a Buddha
He sat so still
But there were no ducks
on the pond
or in the air or on the shore.

He was gazing at the stumps and logs
and surface scum
unbothered by mosquitoes
or deer flies
or gnats.

Froth on the water
reeds growing by the edges
stumps rotting in the lagoon
and not a duck to be seen….
Didn’t bother him.

I asked him why he sat there.
He said he watched for ducks
and whatever else might come by
maybe a heron, “it doesn’t matter”.
He just sat and watched, looking.

Not wanting to disturb him further
we whispered good wishes for his watching
and walked quietly onto the wood’s path
where we saw butterflies and snake skins –
but still no ducks –
although I found myself also watching.

by caf
Photo and poem © carole fults

Mountain Lake With Crows

White Birch Lake

A lake on a mountain
open to the sky
………        (the lake has given calmness to the crater)
receiving what comes
rejecting nothing
………              (it is deep enough to hold all)
A feather falls in front
of the full moon
………    (a gift from the crows who call between the peaks)
Still waters receive its touch
and quiver
………       (a lover’s touch on quiet skin)
Clouds touch earth
as she lies next to the face of spirit.
………  (in the mist, the lover’s breath)

©photo and poem by caf

Standing Twist

Standing Twist

Intentions for a Yoga Practice

May what softens my body
Also soften my anger
May the difficulties of my practice
Melt the hardness of my heart
May stumbles and failures
Dissolve my arrogance
And the bondage of perfectionism be undone
May truth be allowed its say
And may I release whatever I have hoarded
May light heal all souls forever.

by caf

©photo and poem by caf

Morning on Pyramid Lake

mist on the lake
What good is a day?
What kind of day is it?
When loons on the lake wake you
calling your name in the early morn
after the Screech Owl kept you awake
all the long night before?

What good is a day?
What kind of day is it?
When the forest breeze
avoids disturbing the mist
gathered at the shore
and when you look closely
at the tree’s breath you see Beings
looking back at you
from milky air?

You want to follow them
but you also want breakfast
and – whispering – the visions tell you
that they have food
that will feed you
forever.

by caf

Photo and Poem © Carole Fults

The Closet

closet

The Magic Closet

She emptied her closet
the shirts and the pants
the blues and greens
the browns, blacks, reds and greens
She dusted the shelves
swept the floor
closed the door on emptiness

But then when later she passed by the door
she saw it open and bulging
with more things
stories in clothing
shoes filled with poetry
coats billowing
filled with memories

Life keeps her closet full
and may it be so while she lives
a bottomless source of fables, tales and metaphor
waiting to be heard.

by caf

Photo and Poem © Carole Fults