gratitude #1/10

This morning, on this first day of gratitude, I am grateful for my breath.
In and out and up she rises.
And falls.
For a moment loving and nourishing me alone
and then leaving,
just for a moment
before returning replenished.
My breath, connecting me to all things.
My breath connects me to the earth and the rich warm smell of the earth, to rain and to the possibility of rain, to my neighbour’s bonfire, and to the other neighbours’ dogs. To little birds, to people everywhere, to the mighty old trees crowding the sky down by the river.
In and out, here now and gone again and here, now and now and now,
my breath, your breath,
here now.

Orange cardigan

Dear Caroline, I often think of the things we did and said together, remember leaping out at the traffic passing by your home and flashing at the traffic in retaliation for being flashed at ourselves by a random in the park. Snort. Remember calling Radio 10 (!) and requesting stuff using silly accents or totally mispronouncing the band names. Remember you trying to get a discount at Oktoberfest for getting a sausage without the bun. God you were embarrassing. Logical, but embarrassing. And you had that foul almost-neon-orange cardigan that washed the colour entirely from your face – did your mother buy it for you to match your orange hair?

Well, last year I saw a cardigan very similar (though not neon) in a shop and I had to walk in and grab it by the end of the arm and give it a little squeeze – and then I found myself buying the bloody thing.

Orange!

And I wear it though it zaps all the colour from my face except the broken capillaries on my nose and the dark spots under my chin.

It really is very unattractive.

And yet I cling to it like
I should have clung to you.

misplaced objects

misplaced objects
– your clothes lying on the bathroom floor
I have not seen you in an age.
I have not felt the warmth of your hand.

your crumpled clothes on the floor
the tv on in the far room
I’m missing the warmth of you
– my foot explores your body’s imprint in our mattress

the glow and hum of the tv
your footsteps passing down the hall
and I wonder how we might reconnect
misplaced objects

to Emily Dickinson – almost!

Beyond your reach!
You might have touched!
Had you but chanced this way!
‘Stead sauntered through the village,
Sauntered so soft away.
A meadowfull of violets
Host bees in morning’s glow,
Not for unknowing fingers
That passed, so long ago.

I wrote this in response to Emily Dickinson’s poem that was (probably posthumously) titled Almost! You can see the original in many places including here

The pressure to perfect this was too intense. I thought about every sound and syllable, read so many of her poems and about her life, and the poem seems to have hardly changed from the original. That’s why no post for a month! But there – it’s done, it’s the best I could do.

On the back step

The sun is gently rising and I’m sitting on the back step,
watching the paint peel, and
the grass overgrow the side fence, and
Old Limpy hobble after her fat, clucky sisters.

And my hands are warmed by a mug of hot tea.

And all is well in my world.
And all is well in my world.