Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Archive for the ‘Observations from the soft chair’ Category

The River Dark And Deep

Life flows, and carries us as a river does. We set sail as all those before us. Most days we see sun and smooth waters. We fill our canoes and we raft them together, hand in hand through our brightest stretches. There are embraces and laughter, merriment and fellowship, achievement and adventure. Love buoys us.

Our flotilla numbered seven until the tempest of 1999. The year we learned the power and unpredictable nature of the river. It is an ancient power that follows timeless and undeniable laws. It flows without conscious will or reason. Without conscience or mercy.

It cannot be stopped by one man or ten men. We float away from all our upriver days despite or against our strongest will. The faces recede, yet their voices continue to dance on the surface, to eddy and gather all around us as new vistas approach.

For a few million years, the great Niagara River was triple the size it was when first viewed by man. A great seismic rift broke the very river bed with one world-changing upheaval known as The Niagara Escarpment. It’s orphan has been our neighbor all of our lives; The Mighty Mohawk River. The Saint Lawrence Seaway now takes the rest and bears it to the fertile ocean to begin its circle of life anew.

She heard the effervescent whisper of the falls before I did. But it’s so far down river, can’t we enjoy the ride for now? In denial, I had to see the mist to believe it. The night fell, and the haunting roar could not be ignored. And so we tumbled blindly and helplessly over the edge of that escarpment, just six tiny souls and their hangers-on, wide-eyed and white-knuckled beneath a million gallons of water, into the abyss.

My wife, the mother of our five grown children, left us quietly on December 14th, 2020, at the age of 64. She fought a brave battle against more than one formidable foe, and has laid her burden down after this final fight with lung disease. We had celebrated our thirty-ninth anniversary on September 11th.

And now a month hence the river continues to carry me. We band together now those closest and dearest, we fellow survivors. We will support and cherish one another through this deep and dark stretch of our river. We will reassure one another that our courses will again be calm and clear one day. We’ll laugh again.

Take care my friends, and I’ll see you soon.

Downriver.

Paz

Us, Niagara Falls, 1990

One of my favorite photos of my wife. That’s the Niagara River.

Slackwater

My vessel slows to creep along this smooth
and littered stretch, amid the gathering
flotsam and jetsam.

Things here and now
are standing still.
Long undulations belie the
kinetic energy beneath.

Deep down in the channel
the river flows as ever.

A hushed babbling ahead,
a mist,
the approaching falls.

Circling, swirling,
adrift,
we languish in
the slackwater.

Slainte,

Paz

Happy Halloween!

Bone White Moon


Little stir has the air,

Yet a great noise it makes

As it rattles – like  bones –

The dry leaves on skeleton trees.

A veil of vapor rises

From a bog not far away,

Like a specter drifting skyward,

Aloft on nightly haunts.

Underfoot the leaves crunch,

Arid and bleached,

Like the dry, taut skin

Of rigor mortis.

Alone in the sky flies a

Bone White Moon,

Peering out from behind

Passing shrouds.

Silent, and steadfast,

As The Reaper.

———————–

photo-supervisor

Boo from Chuy, too!

Happy Halloween!

Seek peace,

Paz

October Piece 1

A little change from tradition, as normally I would post “October Piece”, which is actually “October Piece 2”. These come from a 1996 project wherein I would compose a poem about each month, written within that month to truly capture the mood. This one was first, apparently, and met with less favor, but it has some good qualities.

October Piece 1

Patchwork hills, foggy mornings.
First frosts invigorate, fetch your coats!
Geese on the wing, their song denotes
The campaigns of Winter forming.

The dry and crisp smell of the air,
The rustling leaves, their songs they play,
Arid cornstalks in rank and file arrayed,
A cacophony of the Autumn Senses Fair.

Big Enough

Squirrels hurry, preparing winter stores.
Deer on the move seek to fatten their flanks.
The creeks become less creek, more banks.
Ash and Hickory litter forest floor.

The Open Wonder Woods

October traditions, goblins and ghosts,
Scarecrows and gourds in earthtone hues,
Pumpkins and apples bring the news,
“Welcome winter at every porch post.”

Geese at Bowmaker’s

Happy Autumn!

Paz

July Winds

Summer morning

 

The winds of July will find me,
For we have places to be.
She rustles leaves outside my window
‘Til I wake to the morning glow.
She calls for me to follow,
For we have places to go.

She brings with her the smell of rain,
And flowers sweet, and breath of life.
She tags along with thunderstorms,
Rides along their anvil tops.
She wraps herself around me,
“Hurry!” she calls, “Before it stops!”

She sways the growing sunflower
And fans the cottonwoods, tall and green.
Puffs skyward the dandelion seed
And waves the blackberry, bended low.
Then snows a storm of cottonwood down
Tossed gaily to and fro.

Whilst bumblebee and butterfly
Do not prefer to share the sky
There’s little we can do or say
When the summer wind flies our way.
She beckons me to join them, too,
For we have so much to do.

There are windsocks and weathervanes,
Sails of ships that she must fill.
She casts about the smell of campfires,
The plaintive call of the Whip-poor-will.
There are kites at beaches to be held aloft,
Summer rain to usher in, gentle and soft.

Into the mild evening she accompanies me
For we have so much yet to hear and see.
Nighttime clouds that pass the moon.
At the lake she carries the sound of the loon.
Not far from home, a pungent smell
Of the skunk who loves the wind as well.

As quiet night sinks dark and deep
The rustling leaves call me to sleep.
On silent wings she carries the owl
And brings to me the coyote howl.
Outside my window she tells again,
Of all the places we have been.

 

Slainte,

Paz

On The Passing Of Charlie Daniels

Why Can’t People

 

Why can’t people just be people,
And leave each other alone?
Then every child would have a home
In the sunshine.

Why can’t all my brothers and sisters
Reach out a helping hand?
Why can’t they try to understand
‘Cause we’re running out of time.
(People, we are running out of time.)

Why can’t people just be good neighbors,
Learn how to get along?
We gotta teach a newborn bird to fly.
All by itself, we gotta teach it how to fly.

If we could only realize
We’re all just God’s children anyway,
Maybe he won’t seem so far away.

 

Rest in peace, Charles Edward Daniels, 1936-2020
He leaves wife Hazel, and son Charlie Daniels, Jr.

Heaven’s chorus now enjoys another voice.

 

Seek peace,

“‘Cause we are running out of time.”

Paz

 

June Piece

 

Wild Tiger Lilies

 

It seems as though we’ve just watched
The last of the snow fade.
Now we cut the growing grass
Blade by blade.

We keep watch for hummingbirds
And the peony’s blooms.
We can open our windows (at least in the day),
In our sunny summer rooms.

Summer Solstice brings promise,
Today the day is long.
We turn to see the rose’s bloom…
And June is gone.

 

Slainte,

Paz

Feed The Cat

 

Doone The Cat

 

Just keep feeding the cat.

Sometimes our lives feel like whirlwinds.
Sometimes we question our very existence.
Our purpose.

It can be mind-boggling.

Meanwhile, we must keep feeding the cat.
It is a Known Good.

Duty and regimen.
Not-thinking.
All things must pass.

Some days it’s all we have.
Until things settle.
Until we sort things out.
Until things become clearer.

In the meantime, keep feeding the cat.
A Known Good for the cat, too.

 

 

Seek peace,

 

Paz

Wordless Wednesday: Away

Away

 

 

 

Seek peace,

Paz

Time Out

 

Tick Tock

 

Thinking of the

Great Cosmic Game Clock.

What 
Period
Is 
It?

 

Slainte,

Paz

 

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