The Right Word

Today was our last day of quarantine. It’s back to work tomorrow! Three of us have been together in this house for three weeks. All of us sick, but all of us together. And quite often, we were sitting in front of a warm fireplace.

As I sat down to write, I couldn’t seem to find the right words. So, I decided to read this precious book my daughter gave me for my birthday. I had read some of it before, but this time I read cover to cover. And there was only one word that would do.

Inglenook

Discovered a
New word today
Whose quirky
Appearance
Caught
My eye
Attempting
Pronunciation
Brought a chuckle
I read it fast
Inglenook…inglenook
I repeated it slowly-
In-gle-nook
As quickly as
Articulation
Made me laugh
Meaning
Made me smile-
Picture a bench
Nestled by a cozy fire
Imagine yourself
Sitting there
But not alone
A beautiful space
Happily shared
Your very own
Inglenook-
I like the way that sounds!

Shifting

Didn’t take long
A few minutes
Maybe five
My face turned
Toward the sun
Soaking up its
Light and warmth
Shifting my
Response
To this day
Cold air was
Not a deterrent
Favorite blue sweater
And soft grey slippers
Made certain of that
Back inside
Warm and cozy
Still wearing my
Favorite blue sweater
I continue to feel
The sun on my face
Though no longer
Standing in the
Path of its rays-
Didn’t take long
A few minutes
Maybe five

My friend, Marina, keeps telling me to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Today, I finally decided to listen! 😉
Sunshine On My Shoulders~~Kelley Morris, piano

Measuring Life

We try and try to
Measure our lives
Days, weeks, months, years
The number of seasons
We travel can never
Accurately measure
Our existence
What matters most
Is often invisible
Harder to quantify-
The full impact realized,
After physical days
Have long passed
If only our hearts
Could be weighed
An appraisal revealing
The constant flow
Of life-giving air
Transformed into
Actions of love-
Actions of love
Breathing
Life-giving air-
Leaving the heart full
But never heavy
Always overflowing
Impossible to measure

I suppose there is something about being in quarantine that makes me think more about time. Particularly being quarantined as a new year begins. But it is ok. As my Mom recently said, “Looking forward to better days!” 🙂 ❤

Time in a Bottle ~ Kelley Morris, piano

Bittersweet

I guess it’s my word of the day. I can’t seem to get it out of my head. The thought of it first came with my morning coffee…

I love coffee in all forms. My day usually starts with a simple cup of hot, black coffee. Yes, there are hints of bitterness, but a taste for them has developed over time.

Thanks to COVID-19, my taste and smell are almost zero. It is a strange sensation, obviously making it impossible to enjoy any food or drink.

In my current state, bitterness was the only taste in my morning coffee. No hints of anything else. Kind of like drinking hot water with an aftertaste of cough syrup.

Yesterday, I noticed a slight recognition of sweet. It was subdued but present. That gave me an idea. Coffee creamer to the rescue? It was worth a shot!

I filled the bottom of my cup with vanilla creamer. And then poured in the hot, steaming coffee. The result? Bittersweet. And that is not a bad thing. Today, it counts as an improvement!

FYI-It has been a tough week. No need for a symptom list. I’ll just say I am beginning to feel better. This virus is no joke, and it is so important to remain vigilant. Protect yourself and the ones you love by wearing a mask and taking precautions. ❤

Motive

What is the motive
Behind my words?
To cover ugliness
Buried deep
Inside my core
Or reflect light
Bright enough
To blind hatred

Deceitful smiles
Worked tirelessly
To transform those
Once-searching into
Icy, cold stones
Harboring lies
Spewing hatred
Difficult to erase

Will kind sincerity
With no motive for self
Thaw angry hearts?
Is love strong enough?
Can it push thru the cracks?
My hope remains
Even though today
My heart is broken

Arkansas Honey

My parents have been buying honey from the same man for years. There was always a jar sitting on our kitchen counter. Drizzling it over vanilla ice cream was a treat!

As an adult, these beautiful golden jars of goodness became treasured gifts, usually at Christmastime. My parents made sure we were well-stocked. Whether used to sweeten hot tea or drizzled on toast, the taste was unmistakable-rich, pure, and unfiltered.

In more recent years, I experienced the process of purchasing this honey for myself. The last time was in September when I was visiting my Mom and Dad. It occurred to me we were almost out at home. So, my parents and I went for a drive.

At the top of the driveway sat a quaint house with a simple stand. An empty jar with a slit in the lid placed there to accept my payment-the honor system. I deposited my money and picked up my honey.

Actually, on this trip, I bought two jars-one for a friend. 🙂

The beauty and innocence of this sweet experience gave me a whole new appreciation for the honey I’d been enjoying my entire life. My most recent jar, now over half-empty, sits on my kitchen counter. Every day it sweetens my hot tea and provides comfort thru its connection to home.

BUZZING BEE

Buzzing bee flits
From flower to flower
Briefly alighting on a petal.
But not to rest
To scope out tiny
Grains of pollen
Gather them up
And fly back to its nest.
Not its own singular nest
As is the kind belonging
To the bluebird and her babies
No, a communal nest
Endless golden hexagons
Connected to hold the future
While providing sweet gain-
Healing golden drippings-
Suddenly the spoonful
Of honey that sweetened
My cup of tea this morning
Does not seem so simple

Homesick

The mountain comes into view,
As I drive across the river bridge.
A drive I’d love to take today.
To me, a majestic outline, though
Small in comparison to other mountains
Barely high enough to garner the name

Hiking to its peak as a child was
Like standing on top of the world
Peering out over tops of trees
Roads, cars, and houses below
Appearing as toys in a tiny
Land of make-believe

Was home really as small as it appeared?

Time for exploring always
Ended too quickly-never enough
Time to stand on the edge.
But laughter followed as we
Made our way down the steep trail
Into the green valley below

The world again at eye-level
My head forever in the clouds

Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Never too old to feel homesick. ❤

Breathing Life

I hear it first in my memory
Although the words escape me
The tune is clear
One note leading to the next
And the next and on and on
A flawless string of sounds
Floating thru the air
Seamless as a priceless
String of pearls
Made perfectly complete as
The notes in my head move
From my thoughts thru
My eyes, my ears
Traveling the path to
My tired, aching fingers
Breathing life back into
These tired, weary bones

Childhood Memories Kelley Morris, piano

Deciding

Rain fell all night long.
Very little ebb and flow
A steady downpour
Almost angry at times
Or maybe that was me.
Awakened once again
From restless sleep
Thinking how the rain
Must be trying to
Wash away the year
Ridding the landscape
Of any remaining
Seeds of hatred
Before they can
Take root in the soil.
Or perhaps the rain is
Offering to carry away
The sorrows of the year
At least for a moment
A comforting thought
As I finally decide to
Give up on sleep
And listen closely
Its anger seems to
Have disappeared
Mine as well
Ready to welcome
The new year
With an open heart

No Magic Wand

When the clock strikes midnight tonight, I know there will be no magic wand to wave away all the hurt and loss of this past year. Although it may provide a fresh perspective, a reminder that time continues on.

This year has brought new experiences. Some were not good, not pleasant, not on a list of wishful repeats. Others are most certainly worth remembering and repeating.

Early in my quarantine experience, I began participating in poetry circles. I had no idea what to expect. The first time I clicked that zoom link, I was nervous. But those butterflies quickly disappeared as I was welcomed by unfamiliar yet friendly faces on my computer screen.

This process of listening, writing, and reflecting through poetry has brought so much joy during this challenging time. It also brought the gift of friendship, even across great distances.

Thank you, Ali Grimshaw http://flashlightbatteries.blog/, for sharing your kind heart and making these circles possible.

I wrote the following poem during our most recent circle. ❤

Woven Strong

Small sticks and twigs
Soft pieces of lint
Maybe a leaf or two
Not a particularly strong
Sounding description for
A safe dwelling

Yet, the tiny bird gathers
Its building materials
Carefully lacing
Each item with the next-
Until a soft bed is ready
To hold precious cargo

A little like the heart
Don’t you think?
Small in comparison
To its host
Precisely as the nest
Is to the tree

Likewise held together
With strands of love
Woven strong
Yet, soft enough
To hold close
Those I love