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

 

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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?

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

To All Terrorists

 

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.

by caf

©photo and poem by carole fults

The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

wood duck pond

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
or gnats.

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.

by caf
Photo and poem © carole fults

Mountain Lake With Crows

White Birch Lake

A lake on a mountain
open to the sky
………        (the lake has given calmness to the crater)
receiving what comes
rejecting nothing
………              (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
and quiver
………       (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

Fishing

heron

Fishing
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.

by caf

© photo and poem carole fults