Thanksgiving for All

For Walt and Marie’s Poetic Bloomings using all the words: Thanksgiving for all the words: cranberries, feast, eat, grateful, Pilgrims, sweet potatoes, Plymouth, stuffing, gravy, food, ham, gobble, natives, pumpkin pie, gobble, blessings, turkey, family, thankful, friends, leaves, tradition, football, parades, nap. In Richmond every year, there is a Thanksgiving for all who want to come and join in the feast. all food and labor is volunteered. I volunteer in the kitchen every year to help cook.

Thanksgiving for All
The huge space is filled with tables
Covered with hand drawn plate mats
Drawn by children of the school system:
Pilgrims, turkeys drawn from hands,
Rocks with the world “Plymouth” written on them.
Pictures of Native Americans, autumn leaves.
Some of the pictures are scraggly,
Others well drawn, even some Santas
With Happy Holidays coming from their mouths.
It is a tradition, thirty years old.
All are welcome here:
Friends, family, strangers, rich, poor,
Those without homes and those who live in mansions.
All gather here to eat this feast.
People – men, women, children
Are seated at tables. Some people you don’t know
Some you do but they all become family
By the end of the meal.
When all are seated,
A rabbi, a priest, a minister
Someone representing those without beliefs
And others representing the Buddhists,
The Muslims, Shinto
All speak to their God and thank them
For the blessings of this meal and friendship.
We are truly thankful for this meal, this food,
This friendship.
People wearing aprons circulate among the tables
Bearing plates of turkey, stuffing, cranberries,
Gravy, rolls, green beans and greens, candied sweet potatoes
Slices of ham, glasses of milk or iced tea.
All volunteers grateful to have cooked and now serving
These many people.
Children laugh, make turkey sounds:
Gooble gobble gobble!!
Then pumpkin pie is served
While full diners talk about football and past parades,
Babies nodding, taking naps.
In the kitchen the crew clean up
And snatch mouthfuls of leftovers
And then stand at the doors shaking hands
Of those leaving.
Peace to you. Blessings upon you.
We will see you next year!

Richmond Center Thanksgiving meal for all

 

Peaceful Leonids

For Sherry’s Prompt at Real Toads, Wordy Saturday, places of healing.

 

Peaceful Leonids
Lying in the darkness in the cold night
Wrapped in my grandmother’s quilt,
I watch the Leonids weaving light in the black sky
singing their way to earth.
Peace coming up from the earth
And down from the sky.
I watch the meteors bursting into light
And I am healed.

leonids November 2018

The Atlantic in November

For Sanaa’s prompt at Real Toads and dVerse Poets Pub, using as a point of reference Neruda’s poem, If You Forget. Posting on Poets United Poetry Pantry as well.

The Atlantic in November
“If you are not too long, I will wait here for you.” Oscar Wilde

Remember that day by the grey-green Atlantic,
Standing there in the rain riddled with snow,
You pulled me close to you and kissed me.
We stood there lost in each other
Until the waves began to splash our boots.

Remember that day by the grey-green Atlantic
We walked in the fog
That misted our seeing, that misted our hair
With damp that made us shiver
As we wandered in the rain riddled with snow.

I remember that day by the grey-green Atlantic
Even if you do not remember.
I remember the gulls reeling overhead
crying like lost souls  in the fog.
I remember as the waves splash my boots.

 

 

Haibun: aki fukashi

For Toads Tuesday Platform.

秋深し (あきふかし Autumn Deepens
Meigetsu: the harvest moon is fading. Bright gold coin in the black sky dims and wanes to a partial dish of cream. Hatsu grashi – the first storm of autumn has washed the sky clean. Aki simu – autumn is clearing – a brilliant blue sky with luminous white clouds drifting, silent, peace. Aki no koe – the voice of autumn whispers – a breeze across dry leaves on the grass, wind in the reeds at the creek, the little priest cricket delicately moves his legs, a small voice among the pine and bell crickets, alto to the larger cicada and their metallic thrum.

Shinryoo – a new coolness in the air. The coming of autumn is somnolent today – no rise or fall, a steady tone of almost silence. Morning glory twines lovingly around my plum tree and shows her blue face reflecting her sister the brilliant autumn sky – aki no sora. The small grey tabby across the way sits beneath an oak tree watching the occasional slow falling leaf. Her mad eyes stay upward and she does not move for she wants to see the leaves as they float and fall around her. An early leaf burning: smoke wanders and its incense drifts to heaven. I sit entranced in the midst of the haiku I wish I could write.
voice of cicadas
silent now in the stand of
pine trees on the hill.

tani bucho 1817

The Feral Cats

For Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

The Feral Cats
“My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully declawed cat with a mean nature.” Anthony Bourdain

Rain is falling knocking leaves off the trees.
The ground is littered with a chow-chow of them –
Red, brown, orange, gold –
It is a cold day.
The feral cats I feed are hunkered under the garage
patiently waiting for me to feed them.
I walk out with bowls of food and they meow
but don’t touch me,
shying away from my fingers as I reach out to them.
Their numbers have grown from Nobody’s Cat
to a mother, the daughter of Nobody’s Cat and her three grown kittens.
I have been able to trap and spay three of them,
two more to go.
I make beds for them in the corner farthest
from the back steps.
I talk to them while I feed them.
then go inside so they will eat.
I watch them through the windows
and weep for them in pity and love
that they need but are afraid to give or take –
Like so many people who need love
but are afraid, so afraid.

Garden of White Flowers Part II Duncan

Part II of a series of six poems in the form of a cherita.

II. Duncan

You were a scared and skinny cocker, afraid of your own shadow.

You were rescued and given much love and gentleness.
You were the apple of your daddy’s eye saving him from being alone.

Seasons passed and you grew old, feeble and blind.
One day he discovered you curled in your bed, stiff with death.
He buried you in his garden and planted white irises on your grave.

Garden of White Flowers

The Notes:  A triple Cherita. A cherita tells a story and is written thusly: one line, then two lines, then three lines for a total of six lines. There is no line length, no rhyme, no syllable requirement. This first Cherita is the beginning of a series of poems in my Garden of White Flower Series.  This first section is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Jeff, a sweet and gentle soul. He committed suicide this past June 18, 2018.  I miss him dreadfully.  I seem to be on a roll here with poems about suicide. I am working on clearing my system of three deaths this past June: my mother and two friends by suicide, all within two weeks of each other.

Garden of White Flowers
“If you are not too long, I will wait here for you, all of my life.” Oscar Wilde

I. Jeff
He loved white flowers in his garden especially bathed in moonlight.

He began his white garden when he interred the ashes of the love of his life,
His lover who died from AIDS thirty five years ago and cremated.

He dug the corner of his yard by hand putting in much sweat equity.
He planted a scented white rose that climbed and then iris bulbs,
Paperwhite narcissus, and wisteria, in the corner with the magnolia tree.

He watered the flowers with his tears and sweat.

Next into the garden he buried his precious Cocker, Duncan –
Rescued from a dog hoarder, abused and starved.

He sat out here often talking to Gabe and Duncan.
He planted more white flowers to breathe their life into him,
He whose loves had all died leaving him alone.

He was sitting in his white garden in the moonlight

When he decided there were enough white lowers, enough memories.
He stroked the petals of the white iris and the white rose

Then went into the house on that beautiful June night.
The next morning he took his cat to the vet to board her for a few days.
He returned home and hung himself, the scents of his garden wafting through the windows.

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