Swallowtails in Autumn

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In Autumn

She builds her cocoon
from internal secretions,
winds herself tightly
within sustaining swaddling,
confined to the interior,
sheltered from curious surveillance
for a season,
there to dream her future,
await the freedom of wings
and the warming of the world.

© 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

 

Beautiful Soul

cattailBeautiful Soul

Long ago the heart of God
like a cattail beside a pond or river
cracked and split
spreading its life over all that was.

The womb of God
like a milkweed in the meadow
burst open
bursting followed by birthing
as the silken spirits fell and grew
in the fertile fields of creation
recreating love
sending sprouts of joy
throughout the universe.

The sun discovered daffodils and sumac
as a Mourning Dove hunkered down
in the snow under a pine.
The icy snow that could destroy her is – for now –
her protector.
Her beautiful soul finds shelter within the breast
of the beast that threatens.

Isn’t that the path of a fearless heart?

Angelo’s 1967

coney island

 

Angelo’s 1967

It’s noon in Flint.
Somewhere within a black hole
known as a factory
choking workers listen for the shrill whistle
that releases them from the pit.

Someone wakes a sleeping worker
who lies drunk among pallets in the corner.
Someone else grabs a deck of cards
and heads for the lunchroom
where white bread, liverwurst and mayo sandwiches
are swallowed between puffs of cigarette smoke
and slurps of pop.

A few of the laborers go outside,crossing the crazed six lane highway
to douse themselves in lunch at the bar.
Or …….
they go to Angelo’s Coney Island
where food is served in cardboard baskets
atop plastic plates.
Large jars of ketchup and mustard slide in their spillings
on dirty tables dressed with vinyl
and stains from coffee cups.

If you keep your eyes straight in the street
you won’t see the garbage wrapping itself around light poles
or clogging the drains in the gutters.
When it rains, the smoky dust turns to sludge
that sticks to your glasses, to your car, to your clothing,
slathering everything with a dull, sunless, stinky slate ash
that defies the most potent laundry soap,
that eventually smothers the trees, bushes
and your will to get up in the morning.

This town feels foul, like an unclean bathroom,
and sticky, like you’re trying to ice skate on flypaper.

But – if you go to Angelo’s and top your dog with enough chili and onions
you’ll maybe never notice the smelly afterbirth
of four wheeled motors
rolling off an assembly line.

poem © 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