Today I saw a cow licking her newborn calf
as a kestrel killed and ate a pigeon in the tree.
Walkway cracks sport new grass
though drenched with killing spray.
The big moon rose followed by the sun
though I doubted either would shine again.
There was laughter and wings on water
though hungry guns combed the other side of the lake.
There was tenderness in the trees as I sat on stones in the creek
though the rocks felt cold and secretive.
An aging butterfly landed on my arm
harbinger of yet another metamorphosis
Her wings were hard used and frayed
but she stretched them out broadly,
if not grandly.
We sat dreaming of pollen and sweetness
until she wobbled into flight
daring me to follow
But now I am a fish in icy waters, frozen
and will only regain my wings
when the chill departs
and warmth returns to the land.
©photo and poem by caf
The rock – a wandering Taoist
follows the currents of space
without preset path
not caring where it travels
free of ambition
no home, no religion
enough courage to orbit no star
content to go where the stream takes it.
It borrows color from the sun
and trusts its direction from some unseen influence,
its only task to go where it is taken.
I see bravery
and a wish for my own heart’s path.
*Oumaumau is an asteroid recently discovered by a telescope in Hawaii as it skipped through our solar system – the first interstellar asteroid to be documented. What I find so fascinating about this asteroid is that it has no orbit – it just rides along through space unattached to anything. That caught my imagination, as most things in our universe are tied to something – but not Oumaumau. Its name means Wanderer.
©poem and photo by caf
Last Night’s Dream
Moon shines on her dreams
lighting up the open closet
dust bunnies, memories stored
in bags of old clothing.
Waking, she hauls everything out
giving space for the burnished air
to wash the vacant corners
with a breath of freshening air –
© poem and photo by carole fults
Sea gulls strut in rolling breakers
brilliant on sandy shore
uninformed of noisy war.
Here death occurs when it should, as it should.
She watches waving beach grasses
while arranging her response
to the anguished caught in wild fires and raging floods.
She says a prayer but can’t think on it for long.
The gulls are flying off
beach grass waves at clouds
crabs burrow in for the night,
Sunset flares as day travels on.
© photo and poem by caf
The Reluctant Cook
She cooks everything on high
no patience for process –
warming, browning, crisping.
must all happen at once
else time’s a-wastin’.
Toast cooked as intensely
as an egg is fried,
unfortunate vegetables whacked into bits
drowned in boiling olive oil.
She doesn’t mind the charred toast
soggy veggies or burnt garlic.
She just goes for it
and cooks everything on high
all the while savoring
the scent of a percolating poem
and moments sewn into life
by unexpected muses.
© photo and poem by carole fults
Darkness, you bring rich deepness
blessing and fear
stealing blankets of warmth
from our comfortable resting place.
You show us stars, planets and galaxies not visible
when you withdraw.
You clothe our world in a blanket of cold,
a womb sheltering seeds of dramatic sunrise.
You are our Mother as much as Earth.
When light appears over the curvature
bathing our faces with tender regard
you take only partial leave,
lingering in shadows and making a home
under our own hats,
hiding in our marrow
a kernel of corn in a field
awaiting the sun
to stir its birth.
You bring us dreams –
relief from ordinary life,
an existence outside of sometimes banal days.
I would not give you up
nor ask you to stop returning,
for you help me see the substance
gleaming daylight often hides
behind her skirts.
Truth hidden by the bright light of the sun.
©Photo and poem by caf
At 89 she still wears high heels
with skinny straps and rhinestones,
she clicks right along in them
while holding onto my arm for balance.
I’m gonna wear high heels and big earrings
until I die, she declares.
Noticing the oncoming traffic she asks
if I’ll help her write her obituary.
I know she sees her future and it hurts me,
but I agree, knowing that even when
the final road is crossed
things will not be finished between us,
for love doesn’t understand
red lights, stop signs, or death.
©photo and poem by carole fults
a star appeared.
glowing evidence of love
from eons ago,
though nothing indicated
I was worthy.
a hope appeared.
dazzlement of mercy
dispelling the dark night sky
though nothing indicated
I deserved such generosity.
I spoke my dreams
hoping you would hear
and when you did
my hope became faith
©poem and photo by carole fults
Honeysuckle in the Evening
The sweet scent of
and a gaggle of newborn geese
plodding back to their home in the pond.
Deep throated croaks.
others singing in my ears,
some blessing my nose
with sweet smells,
or tormenting my skin,
a dense thicket of mosquitoes.
A barking goose,
a carpet of red pine needles.
Forget me nots
things pulled too soon
or not soon enough.
I ask what makes the oak leaves red in the fall?
I see you standing on a hill
I call to you, “Put out the lights so I can see the stars”.
The sun out shown a little star until the clouds
eclipsed the sun,
and when the earth eclipsed the moon, the sun again
ascended until new moon darkness
when the little star again shown brightly.
I felt the sun stroking the earth
as he set behind the mountains
and the moon rose over the trees,
her touch the cooler and softer.
lover of day (sun)
mistress of night (moon)
exploring (finding) you on the hill.
© Poem and photo by caf
The Great Pumpkins
I think of you now
the farmer and the gardener
working in a field
heavily laden with bright orange melons,
loading them on wagons one by one
careful not to break the stems.
I heard the gardener say to no one in particular
Peter, Peter Pumpkin eater
had a wife and couldn’t keep her
She cleaned off a small pumpkin and continued
put her in a pumpkin shell
and there he kept her very well
Hundreds of people came to see
what you had grown
arranged small, medium, large
the farmer stood among the magical gourds
chatting and smiling
while the gardener helped children pick just the right one,
I watched – so proud to be there –
knowing everything in the world was good.
© photo and poem by caf