Old Dell’s Dandelion Wine
The neighbor lady came to Dell’s door
on summer’s hottest day.
Old Dell greeted her –
Come on inside and cool off.
He led her to the cellar
showed her the barrel of Dandelion Wine
gave her a glass.
It was the coldest, sweetest tasting thing
she’d ever had on her tongue
and as they sat in the parlor and talked –
Old Dell, his wife, and this neighbor lady –
that cold stuff in the cellar
kept calling them
to retrieve more tasty nectar
until, unable to stand without staggering,
the neighbor lady said she had to get home,
her husband would be expecting dinner.
Old Dell offered to drive her the half mile
but she declined
saying she needed the air.
Sixty years later
when she no longer requires Dandelion Wine
she recalls that far gone day
when, wobbling home across the across the pasture
and stopped to pick more Dandelions.
© poem and photo by caf
The Gardener Talks about the Gardener
“My young gardener comes weekly
to spread mulch,
clean up winter’s mess.
He bends easily, shoveling, filling,
the large wheel barrow.
The dirt flies when he comes to work, I tell you.
Time was, I could shovel all day
and go to bed at night
thinking about digging some more in the morning.
(Now my back rebels when I pick up a trowel,
and I rejoice when I can stop
to sit after weeding a bit.)
I listen to his stories,
trying to keep up with his
quick, graceful movements
but, really, I’m hoping it’s close to lunch
or even quitting time.
One more load of weeds and you’ll
have to wheel me back to the shed.
But we do have a commonality this young gardener and me.
We both have grubby hands and fingernails,
our pants are stained with earth and grass,
and we have a deep love for what we have accomplished,
for how peaceful the shade garden is,
how the mulch adds a coolness to the rock garden,
and how we work so well together as a team
the young gardener and me, an aging woman.”
Works of Clay
She bends the clay around emptiness
creating a vacancy for utility,
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
4 Ponds and a Bog
One day the hiker came to kneel
by the bog
bury her face in the muck
and inhale the mud from which she had been created
to feel the spirit of the stuff
from which she had been distilled.
She smelled the gathering fragrance
of congregating beings
a scent elemental and familiar
like the smell of family and tribe.
Are there dragons in the forest?
Or monsters in the ponds? She wonders.
Only bugs kissing the waters for a drink.
She feels the earth recognize her as its own child
as she dissolves into her true home
where bees hum the song of the universe
and dragonflies are angels.
And she asks that when she lies down
for the last time –
when she comes to the end of herself
like the dead frog lying in the road –
may it be on the peace of home
by 4 ponds and a bog.
©photo and poem by caf
To All Those Who Love Terror
Did you think we would give up because you were scary,
because you have guns, bombs and can kill us?
There is something worse than losing a life –
losing a soul to fear,
a heart to suspicion,
a love to dreams of revenge.
You will not massacre my peace.
You will not exterminate my hope.
You will not eradicate my joy.
I have this whole earth as my love,
my defense and my strength,
and you have only guns
while I have a pen and camera.
©photo and poem by carole fults
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
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.
Photo and poem © carole fults
A lake on a mountain
open to the sky
……… (the lake has given calmness to the crater)
receiving what comes
……… (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
……… (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
One summer’s solstice
the blue heron
dropped from the sky
to stand in wakeful stillness
in the green scummed pond
by which I watched from the shore.
Her twiggy legs and intent stare
alert to burbles source below the surface
she moved only once sparingly
darted, speared her dinner
flash of silver
returned to watchful silence.
Finally, weary of my unrequested presence
she casually withdrew to the air
and in full self-possession of her strong winged strokes
she flew freely
to fish in waters
of greater solitude.
© photo and poem carole fults
Some believe that when a soul passes
it’s leaving arouses the air
dragging the clouds to new places
and the snow to unknown meadows and forests.
We can’t catch the wind
nor can we follow it closely
or even discern it’s path.
But we can feel it’s movement on our cheeks
and in our hair
as it glides around us and rouses our skin.
We can’t see the breeze that shakes the house
or rattles the chimes
But I like to think it is the movement of Spirit
dancing in the world.
And we can know that it is this windy frolic of Spirit
that brings Life to the Earth
and Breath to our days.
~ CAF ~
© photo and poem by caf
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
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.
Photo and Poem © Carole Fults