Spring Has Sprung

And just how do I know when that blessed thing called spring

has finally sprung?

Simple!

Cat-hair drifting --

not unlike flower petals

shaken from trees by a last-minute

hiss of winter’s disbelief

Mother Nature is having her way!

Cat-hair, I say!

A wee bit here

and a wee bit there,

chased by the vacuum cleaner

with a roar and sucking air.

Or, consider the pollen --

gold flecks scattering hither and yon

to gently land on mist-covered surface

baked into permanence

and staking their claim

to impetuously

seed the next year’s spring.

More?

Cast your disbelieving eyes on

my swollen nose,

reddened

by constant application

of the softest Kleenex known to mankind.

Ah! In the final analysis,

spring’s promise is always heralded

by allergy-laden bliss.

I see you, too, are a believer.

Writing in the Rain

In early April, I submitted a short poem I wrote during the February NaHaiWriMo to Olympia’s Poet Laureate and the City of Olympia for Spring Arts Walk 2017. Selected poems would be ‘painted’ onto sidewalks around downtown Olympia using waterproof coating to make them appear when the pavement was wet. For those who know anything about the Pacific Northwest, that pretty much describes the state of the weather year-round.

Much to my delight, I received the following email on Thursday April 27:

Dear Shannon,

Thank you for submitting your poem to the Spring Arts Walk “Writing in the Rain” project. We received over 100 poems and are excited to install ten poems around Olympia for viewing this weekend.  

Your poem has been selected to appear at the NE corner of Legion and Adams, and will be installed for viewing starting April 28, 2017. Thank you for your contribution to the literary arts and for the curiosity your poem will inspire for all.

Deepest gratitude,  

Amy Solomon-Minarchi,  Poet Laureate of Olympia

Bird Cages

Some think they’re
Filthy
Incriminating
Restrictive
Unfair.
Some build them
Bar by bar
To hold lonely
Hope, lonely
Fear.
Some bow their head
In solemn acknowledgement
Of the caged life
Within.
Some pass on by
See not, nor 
Hear
The bird perched
Inside.

I Remember

 
I remember
when you finally emerged from between my thighs
And your eyes met mine
A long-awaited
Anxiously anticipated
Spark of new life.
I remember
Oh, how I remember
The whirring hum and clicks and beeps of
Life sustaining machines
That tied you firmly to this earth.
I remember
How your eyes struggled
Like
Trapped butterflies
Wings beating
Flutter on, little one.
I remember
Hours spent gazing
On the softness of your face;
Time stretching
Stilling
Slowing
Only your chest giving evidence
Of life
In repose –
Your tiny lips pursed,
Suckling, perhaps
On a dreamed-of breast?
I remember
As though it were just yesterday
Salted waves threaten to spill
Over cracking dams
To flood parched plains
And bring new life again.
I remember
Through all the years
Each little milestone of
First words
First steps
First Christmas presents
First tumbles from bicycles, from trees
First nights away
First baseball games
First communions
And overnight hikes
First broken hearts
And marching in parades
So many memories
So many days . . .
I remember
When we packed your bags
So close to an adult
So young yet
So filled with need and hope
And me
Regrets.
I remember.

Above the Clouds

Above the clouds,
and yet below
horizon is far away.
Where lingers hope?
Amidst the crags of grey-hued rocks
cling odd bits of lichen and moss.
Scrabbling for toeholds
in cracks and in folds
of timeless spires
piercing the sky.
In trees digging deep
underneath old stone
claiming a space of their own;
in turn granting shelter
to those with four-legs
and those winging mid-air.
In the smell of the pines
and the wind off the snow;
in the sound of the trees when they gently moan.
In the scurryings through shrubs
and the twittering cheeps
in the stillness
in the silence
in the surety life keeps.
Where lingers hope?
In you and in me.

Such a Short Time

Such a short time
To cradle new life —
A glimpse of tomorrow
Then, today speeds on by.
The new soul leaps free,
In one bounding surge —
The old still afire
With wondering fear.
Such a short time
To have and to hold —
A new life to bless
To set free the new soul.
With pinions spread wide
Embraces coming days —
With curiosity and courage
And gifts to be shared.
Such a short time
To love and let be –
Such a short time
Shared between you and me.