Talking to the Big Bear

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Talking to the Bg Bear

Outside at night
admiring the seven stars of the Dipper as it floats over her house
she asks
how do you stay together in your constellation
and not drift apart, leave each other, find new stars to align with?

The Dipper answers:

Bear sings to crow
crow talks to others.

Seeds ride the butterfly’s wings
Butterflies flap their wings and worlds collide
Stars move around the galaxy
but never leave home.
There is a sun in everyone’s life –
a mooring to oppose the random
flight of wild freedom.

Evolving through plankton, amoeba, dinosaurs,
bears, lobsters, butterflies, mountains and trees
you own their DNA and you know them.
Through them you are anchored to earth
and through earth to the universe.

There is no family if not these tribes
of nomads,
these clans of non-relations,
an expanding, elaborate
lineage of dissimilars
that hold the bloodline for all of us.

And you are part of a dynasty and royal house,
knotted together by interlacing
webs and snarls of lacework,
fastened to the destiny of the universe,
like the stars of the bear that sail over your house.

© photo and poem caf

A Mother Tree

You attended my first breath,
I sat by you for your last
and everything in between
was how we were
in the world together.

How I miss you now.
I think I see your feet sticking
of my jeans, but it’s only me
wearing your shoes.

In the forest
a Mother Tree …
her spirit flies
as her sapling cries.

©poem and photo by caf

Moon Flower

full moon

Moon Flower

I sat under the flower as she grew upon a vine of stars
in the night sky
her glistening white stamens
and yellow pistils
nestled among pink, purple, yellow and white softness of bloom.

Fragile
and calm in her unfolding
she offered her light to the world,
shyly, then boldly
then fully.

This blossom of the night
begins as a seed in darkness
and grows to full splendor under the sun,
a  morning glory blooming at midnight in winter,
whispers hope of spring.

©photo and poem by caf

She is not Gone, i said

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The Poet

Someone said the poet is dead
she was old and sick and died

But, I said, I went out
and saw her in the forest
among the trees.

No, they said,
she passed away
it’s in all the papers.

But that cannot be, I replied.
I saw her in the meadow
admiring the grasshoppers
and feeding them sugar water.

You’re wrong, they insisted.
She is no longer here.

She is not dead, I retorted
I heard her this morning
she wakened early and went to fly with the geese

Can you not hear her calling to the world
how we all belong
and live forever?

She is not gone while we remember to notice the fields
and the swans on the black river,
while we wake early to sing to the day.

She is not gone.

© poem and photo by caf

A Morning Blessing

P1090624A Morning Blessing

In morning sunlight
in early winter
when hills are browning,
with mindful breath she breathes the wind
with sacred song she woos the waters
and begs the trees and the Spirit within

bless the beasts, she whispers
the possums, porcupines, woodchucks,
the birds and bugs and worms,
bears and bobcats
gorillas and fish,
and also, humans.

Bless the plants
who in winter store holy life
in their roots
and bring it forth as
new growth in the spring.

May all beings live their lives
free from turmoil
may the Earth be always blessed
Amen.

©photo and poem by caf

Her Hands

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Her Hands

Her hands are red, chapped, cold
big fingers, short nails.
She’s been hanging clothes on the line
in coldest winter again.

The sheets come in dried and frozen
stiff, fresh and breezy.
When they warm
everyone wants them on their bed.

Her hands are red, peeling, hot
big fingers, short nails.
She’s been rinsing the dishes
in boiling water again.

She’s stacked the foggy plates
into the dish drainer
where they dry instantly,
no germ stands a chance of survival.

Later, she takes up her crocheting
chapped, raw hands, no longer red
big fingers, short nails.
How delicately she maneuvers the threads.

Her wedding band wore through long ago
from too much floor scrubbing her daughter said.
A delicate diamond would look silly on
those wide fingers that never saw a manicure.

Hands that plant purple petunias, pull weeds
big fingers, short nails dirty and torn.
She scrubs them clean until they’re red.
They smooth my hair and say I love you.

© photo and poem caf

Death of a Hummingbird

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The Hummingbird’s Death

The hummingbird on the stone walk
outside my door
lay so still

I picked him up tentatively
thinking he was dreaming
but his eyes remained closed
and my eyes found tears.

What happened to you?
I whispered to his softness…
No answer

I buried him in my garden
near some sage
and placed a stone
to mark the spot.

By way of eulogy
I wished him joyous flight
and offered prayers of awe
that in my hand
I had held Magic wrapped in feathers.

©photo and poem by caf