The Pumpkins

the-great-pumpkin

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
backs bending
many hands
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

The Visit

tub

                              The Visit

I imagine you to have perfect vision
that sees dirt in the grout,
on the floor,
cobwebs in corners,
spider web in the lampshade,
dust balls under sofas,
the disorderly garage,
cluttered studio.

I clean all day
yet intractable unacceptability
bends to no cleanser
no duster
no mop.

Finally I stop and sit
looking at my home.

I see no matter what I’ve cleaned, polished,
dusted or waxed
I’m here in the midst
of still more flaws,
my eyes eager to see you
voice ready to greet you
heart anxious to love you
arms impatient to hug you.

When you arrive in your road grimed car
I see lunch on your shirt,
nubby sweater,
lipstick smeared,
smiles stretched large around aging teeth,
saggy arms spread wide as you can get them,
and we laugh and say
how happy we are to be together

and how perfect it all is.

© photo and poem by caf

Dell’s Dandelion Wine

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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
to stagger
she recalls that far gone day
when, wobbling home across the across the pasture
she laughed
and stopped to pick more Dandelions.

© poem and photo by caf

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

 

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

 

4 Ponds and a Bog

4 Ponds

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.
But no.
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.
by caf

©photo and poem by caf