Friday, October 30, 2015

Imagine That!

Last week I went to a retreat at Rolling Ridge on "The Poetry of Prayer" led by Steve Garnaas-Holmes. It was a great fall day full of nature's glory, inspiring words, and new and old friends. This poem came out of that retreat.

Imagine That!

Imagine you are loved
really loved
as much as you love your old dog
who poops on the carpet
who pees reliably not on the pee pads
who turns up his nose
at the expensive single serving filet mignon.

Remember how you forgive him
time after time
even after he does it again
and again.
that there is no end
no condition
no restriction
no contingency
on you love for him
on  your forgiveness of him.

Imagine that you,
yes you,
your flawed, shitty self
is loved and forgiven
that much
over and over
and over again.

Imagine that!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Feeding or Fooling the Birds

I bought a gallon of shelled sunflower seeds at the Bird Store on the Cape thinking I should dust off the old bird feeder and hang it from the shepherd's crook where the summer basket of flowers had hung. Then I could watch the birds from the window. This is also the same shepherd’s crook where I had hung the hummingbird feeder that attracted no hummingbirds, but in my experience, the winter birds aren't as picky.

So I put the bird feeder back together--the three pieces of plastic column inside the cage to keep out the squirrels, (Ha!) filled it with the sunflower seed, and hung it on the hook. 

For several days the level of seed seemed unchanged. Then on Monday I noticed the level had gone down some, but when I looked at the plastic column, I saw that I had put it in upside-down so that now that the seed was below the tiny spouts where the seed spilled out, there was no way for the birds to get at the seed. So last night I brought the feeder inside intending to correct my error today.

It was on my to-do list as I sat eating my breakfast when I saw a tiny chickadee fly from the hydrangea to the hook where yesterday there was a feeder, then back to the hydrangea, then back to the hook, and then fly off. I felt as if I had tricked it into thinking this was a good place to look for sustenance, then taken away the food.

I immediately fixed the feeder, filled it with seed and returned it to its rightful place. I can only hope that the birds will find this again. I suspect they will.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Autumnal Equinox

When and how
the earth turns or twists
to create this moment of balance
is beyond my control.

Exactly when the planet
leans into darkening hours
shorter and shorter days--
all this is out of my hands.

I may protest
every minute of disappearing sun
the packing up of porch furniture
the pulling out of extra blankets,

yet there is a sort of comfort
in knowing that the universe decides
when to replace a second of sun
with a second of night.

But it is I
who must make
the decisions
about my old dog,

I who must decide
what path to take for todays walk
whether through the rose garden
or around the lily ponds.

I who must choose
between the chopped chicken
or beef in gravy
for his dinner.

On this day of transition
I look at the basket of unused toys
hind legs that cross or collapse
cloudy cataracts,

and I wish I were not
entrusted with
decisions about 
his universe.