Cow tails go up when
sirens hug the road’s curves
my heart fish hooked above the channel
all peering up as a helicopter chop, chops.
Cow tails lift, sirens hug
The road’s curve, my heart fish hooked
With copter’s chop-chop!
Birds down in the creek dive and chatter
the cells in my ears twitch in acknowledgement
tomatoes ripened to a mirror shine
my bones stretch to grasp flown over,
common doves arc my synapses alert,
sucking in moisture another Sunday,
another tromp humble pie and humble be
for now that’s what I get:
another moment piled into all that live
cell into cell, above, below.
Snow spitting down like a demented inmate
she kept the car steered just beyond the ditch
rosary beads well tucked
potatoes cooked, ready to be warmed
whirling of wheels and whirling of snow
not Catholics but congregants aching to live
the three of us breathed a little deeper
when the driveway hove into view
the burro just down from us sighing into his whiskers.
Down spitting, a patient too angry to be pilled
dampening coats and gloves and groceries
the wooden deck reached we bid adieu
the Grand Old Man shaking his fist outside our walls
we sat to table, steaming food,
our hush now a shout in the absence of blinding white spillage.
Guest post by Rohvannyn Shaw of Mindflight
When my parents and I no longer lived near each other, we still had a desire for closeness, particularly around the holidays. We started a tradition where my mother would write a story and email it to me, I would create illustrations for it then send the finished pages back over to them, then my father would help bind and ship the story. They would go out to all the friends and relatives as their Christmas present.
There were so many advantages to this. The extended family would start calling each other and discussing the story. I got plenty of chance to illustrate things. We all three had the feeling of continuing a holiday tradition that drew us together.
Now, for this year, my dad is the one who wrote the story. I had the idea to publish the last twelve or so stories into one big volume. I also would re-illustrate the stories that needed it. So “Yuletide Lights” was born. It’s fifteen stories, each one born of personal experience, and filled with the central themes of the holiday season. They stories are in general heartwarming and filled with generosity but in some truly touching ways. Each story is a slice of life, a pair of magic glasses with which you can peep into another life, another way. The story I wrote is about a lost cat in Japan, but even it happens around the Holidays. The little girl in the book my dad wrote might as well have been me, and I remember versions of many of events in these and other stories. Many times I’ve been moved to tears, working on this project.
I had fun preparing, editing and illustrating these stories, as much fun as I hope you have in reading them.
Warmth out of season, a stubborn petunia bloomed purple
a man in Home Depot stared up into an artificial tree
I scooted by, wondering what artificial thoughts matched
Joni Mitchell’s If I had skates to skate on,
words printed on a page siding with daughter’s illustration
pups demanding I toss the new ball
I run into a friend I barely know from Facebook,
I smack into her account of holding a pitbull
holding and crying as it died there in the road
and cherishing what was leaking out.
“Cry me a river!” as another sun sets
and a soon to be president ignores and ignores
the sight of that dog prostrate
a bit of Jesus there, hard,
that fake tree a treasure or a bill to the hardware man.