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

Rainy with a Chance of Hope

Rain poured all night long. Thunderstorms make for sound sleep, but not this kind of rain. Sounded more like a flood.

I woke up several times during the night. Yep, it’s still raining. Made me feel restless.

When I finally decided to crawl out of bed and get my coffee, the sky was dark and gray. Still raining.

No lazing around. My husband and I had appointments for COVID tests this morning. Not exactly how I would have chosen to start the day, but necessary. (Feeling fine. 🙂 I will update later.)

About the time I was dressed, he said, “Look outside. It’s snowing!” Heavy white flakes were beginning to mix with the pouring rain. By the time we reached our test site, the precipitation had changed. No more rain. Just beautiful fluffy snowflakes!

I watched in awe of this lovely gift! I could feel a change in my spirit as the rain changed to snow- a perfect picture of this year that is about to end.

Yes, there has been much heartache. But there is still hope. And today, it comes in the form of countless snowflakes, each an original, falling from the sky to blanket the world outside.

Time Passes

Time is a funny thing. Looking at the clock, I see the seconds ticking away. Always the same, steady beat.

And yet, I foolishly think I have some control over its passing. Certain moments I try my hardest to slow down as if they will last longer. Others I try to push ahead, wanting them to be over already.

Here’s to taking each moment as it comes-all steady, sixty-seconds of it.

Stopping Time

What if I lie
Perfectly still
In the dark
Breaths shallow
Muscles relaxed
Surely time will
Stop for a moment
Allowing me a
Space to hold
One single note
Ringing in the air
A reminder of
Joy that sings
Even when
Days are hard
A simple request
One moment
Frozen in time
Melting away only
As your hand reaches
Through the darkness
To take hold of mine

Fast-Forward

Looking for the
Fast-forward button
Feeling like life
Is busy taking
Seldom giving
Desire to connect
Difficult to maintain
When physical touch
Is discouraged-
But time passes
No faster than
On the days
We can walk
Hand in hand
Arm in arm
Whispering in
One another’s ears
No-there is no
Fast-forward button
To be found
So, I wait
Ready for
Winter to pass
Flowers to bloom
Friends to embrace

Season of Joy and Grief

Yesterday, I had the joy of watching adult children give gifts. Each gift was purchased with that one person or couple in mind, considering interests, wants, and/or needs. Cooking/kitchen, video games, music, and coffee were some of the themes.

We laughed, ate a delicious meal prepared by my husband, Gart, and enjoyed each other’s company. Yet, even in our joy, there were hints of sadness.

We missed my father-in-law, Bob, gone for five years now. Other family members, we could not invite because of Covid concerns. Not being able to go to the hospital and visit my friend who just had her baby. Not being able to travel and visit my parents.

While acknowledging our grief, I realize others are in much more difficult circumstances. Many have lost loved ones this season. Many are isolated and alone right now.

I need to hold on to our moments of joy in hopes they will grow. Not only grow but overflow. ❤

Vastness

The vastness
Of this world
Lies beyond my
Understanding-
Both above and
Below the waters
Lives a state of
Continuous motion
Where all move
From life into
Death and
Joy must exist
Alongside grief-
Many are left
In need of rescue-
If love is held back
What happens to
Those searching
Staggering
Feeling only sorrow-
Will they fall into
A pit of despair
Or will joyful
Hearts reach out
Their hands into
The vastness
Ready to raise up
Those who grieve
Into the light of
A hopeful embrace

Part of the Harmony

I have not spent enough time at my piano in recent weeks. So this week, I decided to remedy that. With it being Christmas time, what to play was an easy choice.

As I played through several old Christmas hymns, the word balance kept coming to mind. No matter the context, there are always notes, voices, instruments, rhythms that need to be heard above the rest. And quite often, that spotlight is shared, giving others a chance to be heard.

Even though one voice might not be the momentary focus, it remains essential to the music. Where would that melody be without harmony? Or that jazz riff without the brushes of the drum floating behind it?

When I sat down to play this morning, I began by playing the hymns as written. Though tempting, I did not add any embellishments. My goal was to play so that the melody rang out clearly, while the harmony provided support.

After reading the music as written, I went back and added new rhythms, patterns, harmonies while keeping the melody clear. Both versions required the same thing-balance.

I have said this before, but the only time my brain is calm is while I am playing the piano. Somehow, it provides an inner balance. There is that word again. Outside voices are quieted. Worries of the day temporarily disappear.

Music reminds me that I do not need to raise my voice above the crowds. Although I may have something important to say, unless it is balanced with love for those in hearing range, I should probably remain part of the harmony.

Harmony-that is my prayer for this Christmas. For there to be less shouting and more listening. That we may experience joy amid our sadness. And hope that outweighs our fears. Merry Christmas!

Please enjoy a few Christmas carols! ❤ Kelley Morris, piano

What Child is This?
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Dat
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Hark the Herald Angels Sing