the sound of a thousand tomorrows

I.
The sand stretches
on and on.
From my umbrella's shade
to the toe lapping coolness
of waves sliding in,
I sprint across the wide expanse
crying Ouch! 
with every step.
Trapped heat scalds
my soles as
I tumble headlong
toward the water's
promise of relief,
sighing as saltwalter
takes the sting away.

II.
But the ocean reaches
farther still - 
a hundred miles -
even more -
to a horizon
so hazy
it seems like a
dream.
I close my eyes
and fly,
free,
to the edge of the sky.
Breathing in humid air,
filling my lungs
with the smell of
summers long gone
and starry skies,
I fly.

III.
I fly to the sound
of a thousand tomorrows.
Away from a beach
sharing decades of stories,
above an ocean
singing about an eternity
of the world
in motion.
As I cross the horizon,
for a split second
I'm suspended
between this world
and the next.
Our history sprawled behind me,
an infinite future ahead...
the beauty in all time and space.
I fly.

- ljh  6/24/17

the swing in my waist, and the joy in my feet

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 

     - Maya Angelou

 

Forever Family: voices, young and old

The Diner

a friend told me she saw a girl that could have been my sister
i rushed down to the diner but unfortunately missed her
so everyday after school i grabbed myself a table
and waited like a desperate fool as long as i was able
and after several weeks of that i've written off the place
for no one there or anywhere is serving up my face

author unknown
(source)

Continue reading

Sunday Snapshot: summer’s wild thing

"SCHOOL"

You're like a little wild thing
that was never sent to school.
Sit, I say, and you jump up.
Come, I say, and you go galloping down the sand
to the nearest dead fish
with which you perfume your sweet neck.
It is summer.
How many summers does a little dog have?

Run, run, Percy.
This is our school.

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver, ©2013 

into the morning sky – poems from the sunroom

Morning Birdsong

I close my eyes
and listen -
just listen -
stilling the noise
inside.
Geese honking past,
the woodpecker tapping,
even a rooster chimes in
once in a while.
A low rhythmic undertone -
    who - oo - woo woo woo
And on top the songs of
dozens of birds
run counterpoint -
    eee eee eee eee eee
    ee-ya ee-ya ee-ya eee
    chee chee chee chee chee
a trill scale, a short staccato,
a long low calling that carries
across the water.
Layer after layer
of birdsong
offered up
into the morning sky.

             - ljh 4/14/17

courage in its many forms

Courage - by Anne Sexton 
It is in the small things we see it. 
The child's first step, 
as awesome as an earthquake. 
The first time you rode a bike, 
wallowing up the sidewalk. 
The first spanking when your heart 
went on a journey all alone. 
When they called you crybaby 
or poor or fatty or crazy 
and made you into an alien, 
you drank their acid 
and concealed it.
Later, 
if you faced the death of bombs and bullets 
you did not do it with a banner, 
you did it with only a hat to 
cover your heart. 
You did not fondle the weakness inside you 
though it was there. 
Your courage was a small coal 
that you kept swallowing. 
If your buddy saved you 
and died himself in so doing, 
then his courage was not courage, 
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.
Later, 
if you have endured a great despair, 
then you did it alone, 
getting a transfusion from the fire, 
picking the scabs off your heart, 
then wringing it out like a sock. 
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, 
you gave it a back rub 
and then you covered it with a blanket 
and after it had slept a while 
it woke to the wings of the roses 
and was transformed.
Later, 
when you face old age and its natural conclusion 
your courage will still be shown in the little ways, 
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen, 
those you love will live in a fever of love, 
and you'll bargain with the calendar 
and at the last moment 
when death opens the back door 
you'll put on your carpet slippers 
and stride out.

wcw – a song of freedom

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps 
on the back of the wind 
and floats downstream 
till the current ends 
and dips his wings 
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks 
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through 
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and 
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings 
with a fearful trill
of the things unknown 
but longed for still
and his tune is heard 
on the distant hill for the caged bird 
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn 
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings 
with a fearful trill 
of things unknown
but longed for still 
and his tune is heard 
on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings 
of freedom. 

- Maya Angelou

Sunday Snapshot: you are the storm I am lost in

ocean&rocks

I came from the sea
from the arms of the waves
and the kiss of salt on my skin

I am the calm shade of green
before a terrible storm
The tempestuous wind
that laps at your cheeks

I am the cry of the lonesome gull
ringing in your ears
and the smell of the sea
on your freckled skin.

You are the quiet hand
that touches me so gently
You are the storm
I am lost in.

e.e. cummings