THANK YOU LORD THANK YOU, a poet’s prayer

2014-01-28-17-29-31For the consideration of rain, and, too, thank you for trees, and too, to have thought of dew on a just-mown lawn under evergreens next to just so-placed midwestern lakes, dolloped blue, and too for sending us the thunder last night, for putting the internet on the ‘fritz’ on one of the last of summer’s eves, everyone of a sudden  without their screens, and, by George happy to ‘hang,’ play board games, like the old days — before screens — because You had solved the puzzle of what to do, what to have for dinner – had divined already the idea of dinners — delivered — had made clean-up a snap with Your thought of dishes made of paper — how kind of You to have made life easy. Too, the sheer brilliance of You to have thought ahead into forever, to have filled my car’s gas tank into perpetuity to “full.” Best, yet of all Your inventions, to have created the blessed angel in charge of sound. The air lock one, the closed airplane doors sound, and me, on the inside, by celestial surprise a gift.  Me, bumped up to first class, alone, the charming ‘bing-bing-bing,’ the ‘no going back bell chiming’ — a wry touch by You.  Oh, You.  And me — your ever-humble servant — leaving in minutes on an all expense paid trip won at the grocery checkout.  The millioneth customer.  My reward from a scratch and sniff game card at Ralph’s as I paid for chicken parts – organic — oh, what delight I had won a trip away for the next few weeks — or more — should You so desire – from all this domestic bliss.  That, when and if, You should think to send me back home to ‘chaos central’ from my trip of a lifetime, say, around the world, that You might allow me one teensy weensy request, that I may fit into my jeans — my old Jordache jeans from college – and, that then — when, and if — my dear Lord – upon my return — after Paris, after London, after Carpi — that, going forward you might find me ample parking infinitum mid-Wilshire — at high noon – henceforth, maybe too, please find me someone to file my god-damned taxes forthwith – maybe with a more substantial refund in the mail — a six-digit-sum multiplied by twenty — from the last twenty years – so I may once and for all redo this hovel and that You might see to it that the tree trimmers up the street in the neighbor’s trees for the last six weeks might bust a saw — or two — or, better yet be sent on permanent hiatus for the rest of the year.  Signing off for now, so help me God, your friend on earth, me.  Amen.

Quixote and Me

images-1Image by Elizabeth Kelman, 2012

By the time you read this the caballeros of Altadena will long be done. Done leaning back on their homeward mounts, done clip-clop climbing the too narrow sidewalks north of Lincoln near the stables toward Castillo, done stomping code of crisp days coming.  Clip clop, clip clop, the sound of clocks, clip clop, a knock-knock joke, clip clop, a slow castanets, hoofs on concrete, quarter horses, half-bloods, the chestnut mare with wild eyes, clip clop, dusk dropping into chaparral baskets, under cover of crimson sky.  Mexican wedding cookies, crusted bread, churros, callouses, chores, tradition, pair of tan hands caressing trust, squeak of shifting leather, dungarees, chaps, changing directions.  A “Chk-chk” kiss catching back of cowboy cheek and chops, smooch between amigos, chums, confidantes.  Quixote, time you and me headed home.

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Don’t Text and Hike-u

Like, what was I thinking this morning on my clear out of the blue get with it hike. One cliffhanging thought before the other on the side of a mountain no less. One smartie word wising up the other. A look mom no hands no helmet moment, stepping back so the trail bikes coming downhill don’t hit me. My knees shaking a finger at me at this brand new ‘new start day,’ saying, “let’s start tomorrow, let’s sit and have a listen up to the birds.” So I listen, sitting on a niche carved with the perfect shape of my imperfect, I’m thinking, this is perfect, time to wonder, time to enjoy. All the time in the world wondering, wondering deep and wide, wondering how’s it gonna turn out. Wondering God, are you out there, are we gonna be okay? No one answering me, me talking all the talking just the same, wondering should I maybe take some extra underwear in the great beyond? Will there be somewhere to wash out a few things? Maybe an electric outlet no one’s using, so I can keep up with Mad Men, tabs on my kids, up with my was-tow-head one, Mr. precious all 18 all grown up already, my second chance at pretty good, Mr. I’m not so sure about, he not so sure either, Mr. Between bi-moodals, Mr. So so, so afraid of being six.

Like who’s gonna put up with this set of petunia kids I got going on if and when I check out? This kid racket double sink full life, who gonna teach them to call home, separate the shouldas from the couldas, the whites from darks? From the do it now’s cuz I said so. Like who’s gonna remind them these are the good old days? So welcome home, shut up and eat your organic kale before it gets all commingled, cold, alpha omega 3s don’t grow on trees, and pass me the milk while you’re at it, and, thank God while your at it, thank God us being so lucky, us being us, thank God us being so well shod standing on gods green warming, us standing on someone else’s dime being so alive on the peeling back I’ve wanted to change all my granite years, thank God and bless Him, bless my own mom and dad while He’s at it, me, myself and I while He’s at it, and bless the mister, the mister kids, bless this head, this heart, these hands, until forever, until the 10th of forever, until the 10th of forever wondering.

Are the kids brushing right? Are they flossing and whining between meals?
Today, like all the rest, I quit it. Quit it about being lost in the lost in found, say ‘I love you,’ first and tell my kids there’s no more, no more better than this, no more there there, never was anyway, all smoke mirrors, no thing as lost, no thing as found, unless you decide, (no Oz, no Auntie Em, no clicking heels, TV for you.) I tell my kids, this would be a good time to write something down so I can remember I had half a brain once, somebody got a pen? I’m telling you what I knew too late to save you the google of it later. Mom, Dad, if you can see my face I love you, if you got one, I’m ready for it, I’ll take one, give one, I’ll take a hug for the road. 🙂

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Someday Trees

The chaparral ugly as sin.  Scratch hills, undergrowth, roots falling down cliffs, into the ebb flow stream – some trees almost airborne — knifing the air.

I, say, gimme the dirt, gimme the trees.

Some trees, half planted, half not.  Tree beast, they claw the sky.   The freak of nature trees with hallowed out trunks.  One tree, a mean protester over there minds an old offense still underway.  Another in the throes of surprise death — black as Stonehenge.  Some trees I do not approach.  I do not want to know what killed beauty.

And, what about the old oak tree growing behind the green house next door.  The tree grows through a granite boulder the size of Jupiter.  A big black scar on one side of the tree caused by a potted staghorn fern a prior owner hung for pretty’s sake — the water system withering the bark for years.  Eleven years forward, the tree, mends like a zippered scuba suit on its way to good health.

Crazy old tree I’ve got to run my hand over now and then.  To marvel at it — at the massive base, wonder how it still stands.

Nearby, a monument of tree.  A seven-hundred-year old beaut that sold us on buying our house.  A grand dame of a tree, a giantess, goddess tree.  Her dark trunk playing “tip the cow” with our house, limbs stretching over our roofline and drive, the span of which, a baseball diamond, holds up the patch of sky over the place.

This tree matriarch making no secret how she hates our sprawling house. Each of her ten trunks possess the girth of a well-fed carnival strongman, pulling at the house’s foundation and insides.  The charm of which the rooms a fun house slant in those rooms built around the tree over the last century.  Doorways unsquared, now complete with pass-through letterbox openings at their tops where door meets frame.  Hairline fissures crumbling plaster avenues where the frames meet walls.  The sock drawer sock sliding open all night and day makes for easier grab despite my husband’s country fixes at leveling furniture, sanding the cupboards.  For now at least we know in which corner to pick up our young son’s wheel toys.

This mature oak, majestic, could land us dead when it decides its time’s up.  And, me being Irish, long a believer in things invisible have taken the Hippocratic (Tree) Oath.  The “First Do No Harm to Trees” one, having gone so far as to have every passerbys kiss, hug, and climb this tree.  Earning, yielding us all fair measure of wee folk-channeled earthen blessings.

A full throttle treehug’s best.  What’s good for the soil, good for the soul.  Man, some days, beauty can be such a distraction.

Hold On World

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Hold on, don’t jump, slow down world, let me brush your wild hair, let me brush your teeth, let me gag you so I can skid the house, the world quiet.

A knot of candy hair hit, and off he soars, reeling.

What was between hands now all run away.

The whole world foaming at the mouth, unkempt, unclean, half-dressed, half-naked, in knots.

My own tiny world too dammed up, too damned behind thin skin, thin heart membranes, too thin protections.

Ahhhh, I sigh, I weep, for him, for her, for Boston, for the ache within, for the lost souls, for our innocence ebbing,

Ahhhh, I breath, ohmming for the unfeeling, ohmming for the feeling too much, ohmming for the breaking inside, for the too much that got’s a hold of the world at the minute, a hold on me.

Wait for me world, wait one minute more,

hold me world, hold on lover world, hold on lover boy, lover world, hold on and wait, wait, wait, hold on with me,

and I will hold you too.

It gets better, got to get better, wait with me world, and let’s just breathe.

Breathe an I’m-not-done-yet-breath, a-neither-are-you-breath, neither of us licked,

holding on together breathing, each of us warming the air between us,

holding on, lighting candles, breathing, holding, waiting.

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