This poem-on-demand was written for Richard, who asked for a poem on the topic of “Love”.
Radiating out in all directions
And piercing me
Entering me through every cell and pore in my body
And emanating out through all those same cells and pores
Love is so much bigger than a poem
But can be pointed to
If we can find a way to point in all directions at once.
Love is everywhere
And is ineffable
You can’t touch it, can’t feel it
Except through that oh-so-subtle
That knows that love is present
Tears can be the proof
That we are feeling its radiation into us
And/or out from us
It will never stop
Love will carry us forward|
And, finally, carry us across
To that next playground of love
About which we may know nothing
Except that it is there
It is real
Because love never dies.
(Write me a poem! customer Lisa for her 91 year-old mother.)
The artistic sentiment runs deep in you. You are creative to your bones . and you inspire creativity in me. That’s part of why i’m an inspired runner.
And you are youthful – you never age You make me confident that I will stay youthful for a long long time. I will run into my 70’s and beyond,.
We are a great team you and me. We bring out the best in each other. By nature you are quintessentially gentle, but I bring out your fiery spirit. I have some tendency to be impatient, but you bring out my sweetness.
We are not done with each other yet.
So what shall we do together in the many years we have left? Our work in this time is peace and trust. Trust that we have done enough, well enough – even me at my young age. Trust in what lies ahead – that it is all to our good.
And the peace that comes with knowing that we are good. We can reflect this back to each other on a continual basis, even when by chance we should ever get irritated with each other.
“You are good.” “You are good.” And so we are.
This poem was written for Sharon, a Write Me a Poem! customer, on 11/20.
If she could ride in on a white horse, she would
Super Kacie on the case!
She is not an ordinary dog
She is so full of spunk
She came from nowhere
Nothing in her genes prepared anybody for this dog
She has jumped ahead in the evolutionary chain
She is a handful
Sometimes she does not know her place in this family
She is the dog – she is supposed to mind
“Mind?!” she says
“Yes I mind
“I mind being relegated to a second class in this family
“I’m a first class dog and I’m going to travel first class
“I’m a full partner in this family.”
She violates our expectations of the role of a dog
And sometimes gets us confused
She is so young – and yet so big
A big presence, a big personality
What does it mean to be a dog?
She is so smart, so sophisticated
So personally strong
So full of herself
She is somewhere between a dog and a person
Or maybe we just have to clean the slate
Update our files
And admit that “dog” is sometimes
Something much bigger than we ever knew.
Mostly relevant still, except
1) events on the world stage – and especially in our beloved country – are even more heinous than in 2015
2) I had shots of artificial cartilage that totally fixed my knee
3) my bipolar cycles are unabated, but now more like three weeks up and three weeks down. Still painful and chaotic, but a bit more manageable than those more rapid cycles before.
Happy Thanksgiving 2018!
There are a lot of things that I’m not grateful for.
I’m not grateful for all the terrible things going on on the world stage
Although that makes me even more grateful for my life
And it makes me think about and care about
People in the world who I might never have thought about otherwise
Well I’m not grateful for the knee replacement they say I need.
It does make me even more appreciate some of the things I right now can’t do
Like Tae Kwon Do
And it’s making me think about what other kinds of work I might want to do.
That would not have me on my feet for eight hours in a shift
Well I’m not grateful for Lucille calling it off after 15 dates
Except that it’s got me appreciating her even more
And it’s big progress for me to have 15 dates with anybody
And we still see each other and there still seems to be a lot of chemistry
I’m not grateful for bipolar disorder
Every seven to ten days
Throwing me into the dark and cold
Where I can hold on to nothing
That the day before I loved
About myself and about life.
But my new meds seem to be helping some
And I am clearer all the time
That reaching out to my brothers and sisters
With this terrible disease
And writing and teaching about it
For those who love us or have to deal with us
Is my life’s work.
I’m not grateful about not seeing you people very often
Except it does make me appreciate you even more
And I’m actually probably as busy as you are – or more when I’m up
Busy and unavailable when I’m up
Flat on the floor and unavailable when I’m down
OK, us not seeing each other is not all your doing
And, in the here and now, here we are
So, I’m not grateful for er-r-r uh, a lot of things
I’m kind of good at not being grateful
So I have to learn how to love
All the players on the world stage
Even those who are doing heinous things
I’ve got to love my knee doctor and Lucille
And you people
And myself when I’m not being grateful
I’ve got to love myself no matter what
Gratitude will come in spurts
I will learn it over the whole course of my life
And I guess I can be grateful
That we have a day like now
A season like now
That encourages us to go to that place
So I’m going to be grateful for this present moment
Radiating out as best I can
In all directions
I’ll do it the best I can, for as long as I can
And ask some benevolent spirit
To give me a heads-up
When I return to whining.
This poem was written for Carolyn, a Write Me a Poem! customer, on 11/17.
Trouper trooped with me all over
She was my buddy. She looked out for me
as I looked out for her
she was strong-willed
but then what she wanted was usually good
good in her own unique way of looking at things
close as we got
I never fully understood her
because she was another species
it’s hard enough understanding people
but another species, ahhh!
they have their own language
they have their own way of being
they understand the world in a different way
but they do understand
as she understood me
better than I understood her
that species has been bred
for thousands of years
to understand people
to serve us in a way
they want our well-being
they want to protect us
it is terrible for them
when they can’t successfully protect us
If we get sick – when there is no invader to repel
she was yang, male energy
dogs don’t usually cross over
as humans do
it was a very positive sign, very complex
She was so complex
That she attracted to her an experience
that she did not understand or know how to process
when I hit her she didn’t know what to do
but in fact when she signed on for this life
she signed on for that experience too
I know that I will never do that again
to a canine partner
but I also signed on for that experience
the pain I felt over that infraction
burned my soul
woke me up and I have stayed awake ever since
I have integrated dogs
I have learned what dogs are meant to teach me in this life
if I marry another one
it will be for fun
Adorable Lover and Mighty Hunter (Majo John Madden, 8/20/18 – I wrote this for a pet sitting client)
Adorable is wild and woolly – she loves me in a joyous way. She jumps on me with her muddy paws and leaves muddy streaks down my helpless short pants. It would be worse in the late fall with long pants. I barely protest. It so sweet and funny – she loves with such abandon.
Mighty mopes in the corner of the yard – under the playground set, digging hard. In the bushes. She comes closer only to hide under the chaise lounge with the red cushions. She comes closer still to give her love/ask for love by rubbing her head against my legs (no jumping here), twisting her head to look at me upside down – do you love me now?
They are a perfect team, with all their difference. They run up to the gate next to the back door to bark furiously – though in no way menacingly – at some imaginary person or dog next door. Alternately, they race up on top of the boards at the other end of the yard to protect the perimeter from some other imaginary interloper.
They both resisted food the first three days I sat for them, just to test my confidence in them. They knew they would eat eventually, but I didn’t know it. Likewise, the only one occasion when they refused to come out of their crate, it was just to mess with me. Go ahead, put us in this crate – we’re not afraid of no crate. We’ll stay in this crate longer than you can tolerate – you’ll break before we do.
When they came around and acted healthy again – ate normal, came out of their crate like any healthy dog would do – it was not for me, though they later (only later) came to love me. It was because they love you, their people – Carol, Mike and Sarah. They love you with a passion. They love me only because I am a shadow of you.
They love you because dogs are bred to love people and because you represent for them the best that people have to offer. And part of the best that people have to offer is to love dogs the way you love them: Adorable and Mighty. Your wonderful dogs, who you loan briefly to me – the dog sitter – lucky dog that I am.