Nov 19 2015

Garden Umbrella

Original Publish Date: 9.1.00

Tall, solitary, unhindered
It stands with its arms down
Its white canvas draped around it
Like a devotee in his robe
Head down in solemn discourse
Pleats shuffle around in the breeze
Looking like a schoolgirl’s skirt
Churned back and forth listlessly
During a scolding
Shamed eyes looking at the ground

The whispering cloth seems almost impatient,
But impatience has a destination.
It is the moving wind
That is impatient
A world of water rushing by a smooth stone

The closed umbrella seems
T to take on the forms
Of all the fragile and weary

A gaunt elderly woman, chin buried in her chest,
Cloak pulled tight around bent shoulders
Trying to keep the cold out

A motionless sentry
Overdue for relief on a second shift
Fighting off the intruder, sleep

A Klansman
Donning his old uniform in the attic
Wondering that he could have been so happy
With something to believe in.

The umbrella is closed
Guarded and tender,
Like a woman betrayed
Where is its splendor and beauty?
Where is the Master to come
And loving lift its arms wide?

There hasn’t been a Master in a long time
Maybe there never was
Maybe the Master has forgotten, or doesn’t care
It seems like those memories
Could have been real,
Or maybe the fantasies
Of a hopeful mind.

And what of the delicate, verdant shoots below?
Who will protect them from the sun?
How can a garden persist if the zealous heat
Is not warded off?

Is it the umbrella’s job to hold out its arms?
Where is that Master?
Why does no one care for the garden?
How did the garden and umbrella even get here?

It is hard to know such things.

The umbrella knows nothing
Except to stand in the wind
And hope for a Master.

Nov 12 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

Job and his Wife (c. 1504)
Albrecht Dürer

Please do not ask me
Where I have been –
I am ashamed.

Please do not tell me right now
What I need to do –
I am not ready to hear it.

Please do not brag to me
About your recent successes –
I can not appreciate them
Or enjoy them with you

Sit with me.

Be in the moment with me.
Your presence alone
Adds the missing ingredient
To the silence around me

And words would be unwelcome.

All my sorrows and sins
Simmer withing me
Down to a thin resin of painful experience
That coats my insides.
All the poison evaporates
And I can start again.

Please tell me that I am loved
And that my failures
Will pass,
And I can be OK to start again.

But please, say all these things
By being here for a while, silently,
And smile when you go.

When I can again return a smile
From the the heart,
We will both know
That the work is complete.