Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Learning to Work with Metal

What will you learn from the metal?
Will you hear how the torch speaks to the cold iron
How the scars of weld heal broken pieces
And makes them new and stronger
Will you see the bend of new shapes
And wonder at their independence
As the metal moves and yields both
On its terms and yours?
Will you learn to temper
Making something new of something old
And will you gain from each?
And what language will you speak and smith?
Will you cut and braze
Temper and render
Weld and wonder.
Are there stories worked
When hard becomes soft
And soft becomes strong?
What will you learn from the metal;
What will it teach you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Self-made and Self-discovered Watershed

So when did it become so hard for you?
Looking back
Searching through the times and moments
Was there a moment or era that your heart came crashing down
When the snug secure facade of childhood broke loose and drifted
When it came clear.
Was it when you learned you had to “work”?
Was it when you realized that not all dreams come true?
That there are weakness and disappointments
Can you find it somewhere hidden? Or
Maybe it is right there where it always resides
Just below the surface
Where you abandoned it, left it unattended all these years.
And so have you found your watershed
That place in time, that self made reality
That haunts and taunts
That slips into your very workings and says to you most every day:
That there are things that you can do and things you can’t?
Moments of control and times of wild wild chaos
And the reality that reality is too big to touch and embrace?
And that there are limits both self-made and limits beyond our control?
Have you found a time
Have you given yourself that gift
Of peaceful self awareness
Where you stop the struggle that renders you impossible
And joyfully recognize and accept that
This is how it works?
And so gracefully, peacefully, without regret
And self-flagellation
Become just who you are and who you should be?
Have you found it?
Have you?
And do you know that it’s ok?

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Man's Body

Growing up as a boy and then as a man
In a world of men
I sometimes wondered
When will I get my
“Man’s” body?
The image of a broad chest
Large biceps
Thick neck
Perhaps a bit of a gut over the belt?
When would that happen
Like it did for many other peers?
Now, past sixty, I know that
What I see is what I got;
Leaning towards the lean
A functional phenotype
No complaints.
I am lucky enough, very in fact
That what I have works
Given the traffic
Given the warranty has long expired.
…old enough to repaint… several times over
So now I am wondering when will I get
My old man’s body?
Some clues:
Grey chin hair, oddly contoured skin
With puckers and spots
Creases like an old cherished love letter.
Character time lines
Pages of personal history.
So maybe this time
Maybe in each coming time
I will just be the boy, the man, the old man,
That I am.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One More

One more pineapple sunshine day
As gentle breezes flow this way,
One more day of puzzles solved
And hopeful futures that evolve,
One more wink of flashing eyes
And laughing smiles as my surprise,
One more stroll in the August rain
And a cheery sparrow’s soft refrain,
One more walk in windblown snow
It’s warm inside now don’t you know?
One more hand and loving touch
That simple gesture means so much,
One more day to spend with you
As each and every one’s so new.