Friday, January 29, 2010

Wishful Dream

The fool and the beggar met one day
And shared a thought each in their way
And spoke of what they’d like to see
And longed for a brief fantasy
For burdens taken from their door
For comfort‘s gift they did implore
And knew that these they would not see
But pleasured in such company.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Wash

New Years Day
In the morning gray
I am doing a wash
Best to start out clean.

The rest are sleeping it seems
Keeping their thought to themselves in their dreams,

The birds come, chickadees,
And celebrate their luck
In a feast at the feeder.
The New Year comes for them
When they fly
Free to feed.
It falls to me the task of giving them thoughts.
As they keep their own
To themselves.

I drift in a moment,
Loosely contrived,
To the ledger of my year
And years,
And guilt-full,
Think about what has been
And yet might be.
I don’t revel in this thinking.
I’d rather keep my thoughts
From myself.
Yet I have been doing some house cleaning
Of late
Of a sort,
Throwing away
Giving away
Putting away
Which lead to inevitable ruminations.

And there I find things and places and people
Who are my favorites.
They brighten my days
And illuminate my dreams.
Each brings a tear.
And there too
Hidden in shadows and on front pages
Are things and places and people
Who darken my thoughts,
And cause me in public
And in private
To rail
And cringe.
They threaten.
Each brings a fear.
And I regret that I have not done more
Or at least done better…

Chickadee, I plea
Please explain your simplicity
And if you can
Reveal to me
Just one small thing
That makes you free.

And perhaps, instead
In days ahead
As a new point of view
A prayer, a plea
Drawn from these
The histories,
That I may not become awash
In painful doubt
And agonizing second thought,
But let it be
A wash
On this new day
And try the Chickadee way.
To celebrate
Without too much thought,
To be clean
And free,
And so self-taught.

Midnight Confessions

The door bell has been ringing since 1978. Not constantly, not consistently, but ringing, usually sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 AM. Late at night. It’s the ding-dong ring, so I know to check the front door. Usually, since I have been chimed out of my sleep, I rub my eyes, look at the clock, and then wait. If it really rang, the ringer will surely ring again. Right? So I wait and wonder. But it is a challenge, since my brain-state is at some wacky wave length that implores, “go back to sleep.” Sometimes, so I can eventually go back to sleep, I get up out of bed and prowl the house, peeking behind doors, looking in closets, checking in the tub. Hide and go seek. What would I do if someone was there?! And why would they ring the bell before they came inside? Hmm…There is little logic to all this…and fewer viable explanations… But I can’t sleep until I get the all clear signal. So far, so clear. And as I drift off, I wonder, why do I dream this? It’s my brain, so why the adolescent pranks?

Maybe this was some sort of practice, a warm-up to parenthood.
For some time I had teenage boys. They go out: When will they come in? There has been a designated time established to return, but we seem to only use it as a guideline, not a deadline. So I half-sleep, drifting restlessly, like an ancient ancestor, peering into the dark over the dying coals; waiting for the creatures of the night. I listen for the car turning off the main road. I listen for the turn of the knob. I don’t want to hear the doorbell; no, no, no! No neighbor, no officer, no, no, no! Those bell-ringers only appear to tell me to come get them (trouble) or where they are (bigger trouble.) Thinking back I wonder if I really slept at all…
Then there was a period of time when ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands would occasionally show up. (OK, I didn’t choose wisely…) Usually these sad-sacks, these beer goggled rear view mirror-ed looking late night lotharios wanted a do-over with their ex, my femme de soir. Not a pleasant moment at any time of day, but especially vexing in the wee hours. Rules of deportment, it seems, change after mid-night. After mid-night, we let it all hang out…

Speaking of wee hours…there is a dance that is done, in more recent years, only after midnight. The tinkle-dance dance (is that onomatopee-ah?), the shuffle little boys do when they have waited too long, might be the antecedent. This dance is done with eyes closed, goose-bumpy skin, and bare feet. The ruiner of reverie. It is a sliding shamble, running a gauntlet of dropped and abandoned items; shoes, belts, books, etc., the human detritus of the waking hours. Heaven forbid someone has altered the course, moved a chair.
Poor, poor, pinky toe!
Yes, gone are the days of sweet slumber.
Welcome sweat slumber,
Grinding teeth,
Thrashing in a bed with uncompromising pillows.
Dreams that jump-start anxiety,
PMs that come from a bottle.
Do not ring my midnight bell
I care not what you have to sell,
Please wake me only if you bear
The elixir that might take me there.