Teacher Brain

I know that face
It’s a year older
But, still, the face
Of a child
The smile
A bit more
Confident
You were one of my favorites that year
Yes
I remember
Kind
Hard-working
Friendly
Artistic
Your face
Why could I not remember your name?
Hours later
And miles away
My mind clears
A name appears
That’s it!
Remembering
Makes me smile

Last night was meet the teacher time at school. Former students often return with their younger siblings to say hello. One stopped by my table. I was so glad to see him. We talked about the previous school year. I asked if he was taking an art class. Yes! He smiled.

Tomorrow is the first day of this school year. There will be so many faces, old and new. And though it may take a while to remember their names, connections will begin with their smiles.

Simply Sunday

Burn Ban

Seeds of hate
Sown, hidden
Left behind
To grow in
Angry souls
Like dry foliage
In the forest
During a drought
One spark
An ugly word
Or unkind act
Threatens to
Ignite an inferno
Rapidly spreading
Across the landscape
Placing those
Already in pain
In fear of completely
Disappearing
Behind the flames
But what about
A single light
One kind word
Or an act of kindness
Wouldn’t the opposite be true?
Love spreading
Across the landscape
Extinguishing hate
Quenching thirst
Easing the pain

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…Galatians 5:22

Brushstrokes

Morning rises
Night falls
A continuous cycle
Framing daily
Comings
And goings
I trust it to happen
Sometimes, even
Press pause to
Catch a glimpse
And though
It takes place
Right in front
Of my eyes
I don’t actually
Know it’s happening
A transformation
So gradual
Never to be
Repeated
Brushstrokes
And colors
Forever new
Always ending
With light or dark
Visual changes
Left behind
In the heavens
Spiritual changes
Rested deep
Within the soul

Inviting Light

Days when
Words try to
Stay hidden
In the deep
Crevices
Of my mind
No one else
May enter
Unless invited
I attempt to
Pry them out
Giving voice
To the feelings
Held behind
The words
While knowing
That sharing
The positives
Will prove easier
Than sharing
The negatives
Days when
Words try to
Stay hidden
I am learning
And re-learning
To write them down
Inviting light
To gently restore
The fractures
While easing my fears

Simply Sunday

Morning Streets

On our way
To a coffee shop
Little girl
Laughing
Running
Down the sidewalk
Her little dog
Running alongside
Dad and brother
Close behind
Their destination
An interactive
Statue standing
On the corner
An airplane
With a propellor
Inviting them to spin
Pick us up, Daddy!
Each had their turn
That was so much fun!
They kept walking
I noticed dad’s shirt
It was torn and tattered
They were smiling
I wonder what will be
Their next destination

Driving past
A group of people
Who have no home-
Only make-shift
Shelters made
From cardboard
And blankets
All their belongings
Carefully placed
In large trash bags
Or worn out
Duffle bags
A few smiled
Most looked tired
A kind of tired
I do not know
One crawled
Helplessly
Along the sidewalk-
What are their stories?
I can only guess
And guessing
Is not sufficient-
Who will share their narratives?

I wrote these two poems during our summer trip to Colorado. Our overnight stop was in a typical city, like many other cities in this country. Good restaurants and coffee shops, local charm. Also, like in other cities, many individuals are homeless.

I do not pretend to understand or have answers, but I could not look away. Nor keep from sharing.

Lights Off

Driving at night
Noticing lights
Shining inside
And outside
All the houses
In a variety of
Shapes and sizes
Perfectly lining
All the streets
Helping me
Find my way-
The Moon
Dimly shines
In the corner of my eye
A star or two, as well

Is there ever such thing as too much light?

Driving at night
Wishing on
Veiled stars
Too numerous
For my mind to hold
I know they are there
I’ve seen them before
Long to see them again
From my speck of Earth
For all the lights
To be turned off
To walk outside
Lay down on the grass
Look up, and marvel
As darkness disappears

Living Kindness

Thirst quenched
With a cup
Of cool water
Hunger eased
With a tasty
Morsel of food
Fears calmed
Within the warmth
Of safe shelter
Hands in
Desperation
Seeking
To survive
Hands in
Kindness
Seeking
To share
Hand to hand
Heart to heart
Opening
Doorways
Fostering
Pathways
Linking living souls

The most recent episode of the podcast, Revisionist History, is powerful. It really made me think about the space between talking and taking action. Tugged at my heart. Glad my daughter recommended it. Take a listen. ❤️

https://www.pushkin.fm/podcasts/revisionist-history/i-was-a-stranger-and-you-welcomed-me

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:35-36

Simply Sunday

Baby Steps

Your tiny forehead
Tilted to one side
Quizzically
Looking my way

I think I like you?

Tiny strategic moves
On my part
Required
To bring us closer

Do you want to play?

Magic of sunglasses
Tiny red flowers
Silly iridescent mirrors
Yours vs. mine

I see your eyes quietly smiling…

Your tiny forehead
Leaning toward mine
Briefly touching
Before leaning back

Oh yes, I think I like you!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Fred Rogers Kelley Morris, piano

So Much More…

So much
Talk
Of rights
Not yours
In companion
With mine
No, mine or yours
Exclaimed
Over and over
IN ALL CAPS
Making certain
Everyone knows
And no one
Disagrees

How lonely
It must be
Concerned only
With oneself
Not interested
In truly loving
Another
Or in understanding
That our hearts
Are Capable
Of beating
The same rhythm
At any given
Moment in time

Another poem from a recent writing circle with Ali Grimshaw. https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. You never know what’s going to show up on the page. And the critical voice is not invited. Love this process! ❤️

Bird Watching

Looks as if
You strayed
Too far from
Your nest
Frantic chirps
Both yours
And your mothers
Served as a clue
Hard to spot
In the leaves
Of the shrub
Outside my window
But there you were
And mom not
Too far away
She brought you
A worm, twice
Full Stomach
Left you quiet
Slowly blinking
Sleepy eyes-
When I checked later
You were gone

Yesterday, I heard chirping outside my window. A female cardinal flew in and out of our front bed. But the chirping remained even when mom was gone. After some quiet watching, I noticed a baby in one of the bushes.

I’m not sure if birds get sweaty, but this baby looked ruffled. The small tuft on top of the head was like a toddler waking up from a nap. The temperature was above one hundred at the time.

Later in the afternoon, the baby bird was gone.

Early in the evening, we had a surprise thunderstorm. A welcomed relief from the heat. But there were strong winds and hail. I wondered about the little family of cardinals, especially the baby.

Walking into the kitchen this morning, I noticed a male cardinal sitting on a feeder. Hmmm…a quick investigation revealed that sweet baby. Now sitting on a low tree branch.

Looks like I might just be a bird watcher for the day.