Chapter 6: LOVE
“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” Edith Wharton
A dull day opaque
the world a field of seeds sown
me wandering room to room in
tedious acts of nothing.
Dusk falls, night settles.
The warm day lingers in scents of spring.
I crush, unaware, a grape between my fingers -
its acrid scent pinches me awake
a whiff of rawness pulls me
heaves me out of brackish self.
Love, we see light fall
from sky to grass
a monumental fountain
serene, soundless as light
beyond all light.
We have come here
for no particular reason
and for every season
of peace already within us
or about to begin...
What more can we offer
the sky but our stanza
on this gleaming grass.
Claire J. Baker
Andrena Zawinski, This Way Love, Photograph
there is no alcohol
no holy herb
that can negate your importance.
I remember your wild scent
that wild sea flower perfume
A wash of light clears morning
and lifts mist.
soft against skies
of Chinese blues
cool blues, March hues
shades of all things new
Elaine Drew, Seeds of Change, Monoprint
Buckwheat honey light of an October afternoon
opens the floodgates of my heart,
drowns me in memory’s appreciation.
Tiny pliées of colour flicker
on the afternoon breeze.
The sky is a turquoise, all its tears squeezed out,
clear and deep as longing.
If I knew which corner of the garden to peer in,
I would find the architect of the universe,
snoozing over his drawings.
Love in Spring
I saw you in that café on a spring day
With music in the scene, love in the air
Your good look and charm dazzled me away
And you became the one and only fair
So worry and despair came to my heart
That I thought that I lost all of your love
Then the day came that you called me your art
I thought that I could fly like a bold dove
When it was time for us to leave, I’d plead
To see you soon, that would make me so gay
My hour of ecstasy came true, indeed
When you arrived with flowers on the Bay
Since I met you on that warm afternoon
I see the shadow of love in the moon
Susan Black, Heart, Chalk pastel over watercolor
Half Moon Bay
When we walked
hand in hand along
the tideline, I wanted
to draw a heart five feet tall
in the sand and carve
our names inside like the best
of childhood fantasies
but feared giving relentless
tides the power to
erase what we might become
I know now tide could only
join us to endless rhythms
of the sea that we
already are: I hear it in
tidal washes of your pulse
echoing like the inside of a shell
when I press my ear against
warm, soft hairs on your chest
I hear it in the way you breathe
gentle as late autumn fog
against my neck while you
are sleeping, so next time
I will not be afraid
to draw in the sand what
cannot be erased
Karen Elizabeth Huff
Salma Arastu, Particle I, Acrylics and mixed media
For almost an hour
the cow’s call like a swinging towel
scours the canyon,
as the toyon blood
berries hide her calves
the boughs like sated maggots,
and the gray-haired mother
arranging the meat and cheese
with scrubbed and sour hands,
finds her own breath becoming
hoarse with longing.
Force, lament, rope
of heritage, maternal echo houses
in the flesh and bone
and breast, what the singing birds
and owls know like the hot clout of fox
for in the beginning was the word
that spewed out
over the void, a woven
fireball of sound, a hewn
intimacy, spurn and turn and twist
of helix planted
in the unborn, brother to thought,
ghost among the damp thistles
and stones, this dark-voweled vision
of insoluble love.
What’s Alive Today in My Garden
native five finger ferns happy to be
where they have been for thousands of years
behind my back pride of place pink wisteria
pendants softly chanting prayers of peace
a raucous Stellar Jay pair taking a bath
in a basin that was once Buddha’s pedestal
centipedes and millipedes and zillipedes
making Fred Astaire look like a clod
conifers taking poses that defy gravity
and inspire the fine art of T’ai Chi
a single mourning dove whistles in: lost
her mate, years alone, she knows I love her
Marvin R. Hiemstra
Elizabeth Hack, Wave Rise, Acrylic on wood panel
It is time now
to turn our attention
to the Pacific Rim of Fire
not to the earthquakes
and volcanic eruptions
but to the ocean
and its powerful persistence
of steady tides
that slowly, peacefully
win over all its
monumentally defiant shores.
Hiking the Grand Canyon
was the hardest
physical and mental thing
I’ve ever done
aside from writing a Ph.D. dissertation,
and I won’t do either again.
It wasn’t just the stamina it took
to hike down into the canyon,
but the smallness I felt in its interior.
I hiked out alone
from Indian Gardens,
half way down, to a plateau of rock.
Giant red walls surrounded me
and I felt
I am nothing—
a small speck in the universe
with no other living creature aware of me
but that small wren
who is minding his own business.
The sky was immense.
The clouds were immense.
The layers of the past
imbedded in rock were immense.
I could have been
a small seed
blown from the plateau
into the universe.
I walked back
to my then boyfriend—
a tall man
made even taller
by a large grey cowboy hat
he had bought in a tourist trap.
Together we had
a little more mass
but not enough
to satisfy God.
When there are no words
to say the things you long to say
tangled in desire, in ‘come to me’ and ‘go away’
All the nets are drifting,
all the fish have gone
In the deepest ocean
Borne beneath a drumbeat,
swimming in an inner sea,
once we, too, were fishes, pulsing possibility
Dreaming we remember
a language without words.
We cast our nets again
Everything is waiting.
There between the two blues,
where the sky and water meet,
finding all we need
in silence we surrender.
a quiet vessel
stands on holy ground.
with lightning cracks,
lost shards of being
have left broken doorways behind.
On this morning, misted and still,
mothering air breathes luminous
over lightning pathways, broken openings,
until each one breathes free.
The vessel fills with radiance.
J. Ruth Gendler, Bowls and Beings V, monoprint ©