Condor

Standing on Navajo Bridge

I see two condors

on the cliff face they look small

great wings tucked and resting

Colorado River moves below

takes rafters through the Grand Canyon

hoping to see a condor

maybe a peregrine falcon

Our guide tells of the time

high on the rock ledge

temperatures so hot

fledglings died in their nest

Still I want to see a condor take flight

I want to watch it soar

_______________________

Nesting condors have been observed at Zion National Park and I am hoping that global warming doesn’t push them out of their nests too early. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9814501/amp/Two-critically-endangered-California-condors-spotted-near-Zion-National-Park.html

Condor

Staying Alive

Licking the batter bowl

mother didn’t know that it could kill us

sweet sugar egg flour

on our tongues

now verboten

she didn’t know those little pet turtles

(the ones in their plastic island paradise)

with salmonella all over their tiny prickly feet

could kill us

now verboten

mother didn’t know that our cotton pajamas

could kill us

when we fell into the fire

now verboten

———————-

Dutch word verboten has such a nice sound to it. Verboten is German, verbose Afrikaans

Staying Alive

When life is a question does anybody have an answer?

(When life is a question does anybody have an answer?)

What am I going to do with my life? he asks

Can you really answer that? she responds

Why can’t I just get on with my life?

What kind of a life do you want to get on with?

Can we take this in another direction?

What direction do you want to go?

Can I consider space?

Is space what you want to do with your life?

Can I be buried in space?

To be jettisoned into the universe?

Why not?

Do you want your body to expand twice its size?

That’s what would happen?

Can you see yourself frozen in space for millions of years?

What if I’m close to a star?

Do you want to burn to a crisp?

Why are you asking all these questions?

Do you really want an answer?

_________________

NaPoWriMo Day 28 prompt to write a poem of questions.

When life is a question does anybody have an answer?

On Carmel Point

To My Dear Robinson Jeffers,

When the fog rolls and the horn sounds

I will think of the stones you carried

up the hill on Carmel Point

to set a foundation for Tor House

You kept going higher and higher

until you met the hawk

the world expanding around you

your small window with a view of the Pacific

I want life and death to come as naturally

I want to thank you for placing stone

upon stone in such a way it formed

narrow pathway to the highest point

__________________________________________

Yes, my dear,

“Against the outcrop boulders of a

raised beach

We built our house when I and my

love were young.

Here long ago . . .

. . . all that we saw or heard

was beautiful.” Robinson Jeffers

___________________

NaPoWriMo prompt on letter to a favorite historical figure and response by that person. One of my favorite poets. I visited his house and Tor House in Carmel one day while road tripping. Original take on this experience written in 2016.

On Carmel Point

Burial

  

Although I am gone I see you there

so nice how you gathered flowers while I

(below in my coffin)

smiled the mortician’s smile

and watched as each of you

placed a rose upon the lid

before I was lowered into the earth

Now I would rather be placed

in a tree pod

my decomposition 

feeding a fig tree

(remember the one 

on the south side of the house)

you can eat my figs

There is sorrow in that

I would have to die twice

_________________

NaPoWriMo Day 8 — writing from the POV of a dead person.  Photo of an ancient burial urn taken at Muséo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi in Syracuse, Sicily

Burial

A Stone for Peace

Tramway granite from near Aioi Bridge

target of first atomic bomb

on Hiroshima City

6 August 1945 8:15am

stone stayed

silk burned

odor of charred meat or burning hair

I took note of this at the Vatican Museum

A Stone for Peace

from Hiroshima

displayed on the wall

carved into stone is Kannon

Goddess of Mercy

who prays for eternal peace

_______________

dVerse prompt on war— in 1991, 188 slabs were individually hand carved to be distributed by Stone for Peace Association of Hiroshima.

A Stone for Peace

Bound

“The clear vowels rise like balloons.” Sylvia Plath

Deeper are the diphthongs

So bound

Neither the o or the u can rise

In their own sound

———————-

dVerse prompt taking the end of a poem (in this case Plath’s last line of her poem Morning Song) and using it to make a beginning. My mind went to diphthongs and how the vowels no longer make their own sound. Sylvia Plath was such a great writer but so bound. This poem makes me want to cry.

Bound

Wings

It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.

How could I make sense of death at such a young age?

When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.

life is a flicker

mind what is more beautiful

pathway to the rest

____________________

dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.

Wings