Her Favorite Shoes

Her Favorite Shoes-- 16x20 Acrylic
Her Favorite Shoes– 16×20 Acrylic on Canvas 

Is there anything more uplifting to see than free-range kids still running around barefoot and playing with sticks and plants?

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Our Nearest Star

LagoonPoint-Gleason - 2Acrylic on Canvas 16×20– The light is getting so beautiful this time of year… there is less of it, but when it makes that low sweeping arc across the southern sky, sunrises go on for over an hour.   Did you know that the huge path the crescent moon will trace across the sky tonight is the same our sun will take six months from now? LagoonPoint-Gleason - 1

 

Breathtaking Mountains

(I haven't posted a poem in a while... 
This one came to me while backpacking 
in the Thousand Lakes basin over a year ago.)

These tall granite peaks
     (the ones sitting in a magnificent circle here
     with a basin of mirrored lakes at their toes.
           which are creating
           rock and pine tree Rorschach tests
           on their distant shorelines
     for the deer to contemplate)…
These immense castle walls
      (with the hollow bone-like echoes
      of the last of this years snowmelt
            channeling through their
            crevices and caverns
      and then springing to the surface
      to be filtered by spongy wildflower gardens)…
These eroding ancient pyramids
      (falling apart as boulders, pebbles, and sand
           slowly disassembling into the most
           complex jigsaw puzzle on the planet)…
Yes, these very mountains
      are breathing.
I heard them myself,
      inhaling a breeze up this warm moist valley
               up
                    up
                         up
      to their snowy tops, where they are exhaling it,
      right now
           as puffy white cumulonimbus outbreaths.
So strong, when the mountains breathe,
      that I can help but feel the wind
      sucked from my own lungs
 as it joins the flow to the peaks.

Guerrilla Gardening

Gardeners of the world unite!
Let’s slip out in the full moonlight
          with seeds in hands
          and watering cans
And garden spades stashed out of sight!
For our first organic plot,
lets sneak into a parking lot
          and plant fruit seeds
          so folks won’t need
To go indoors for apricots.
Street medians we will reclaim,
This public land won’t look the same,
          We’ll line each route
          with herbs and fruit
Overflowing into the lanes.
Three sisters: corn and squash and beans,
Are now sprouting outside Dairy Queen,
          They have no clue,
          that it was you,
And nice touch with those collard greens.
And if we have any luck,
Children will soon learn to pluck
          free string beens,
          climbing the swings,
And extend recess and save a buck.
Once we’ve pulled out all the stops,
Who’ll want those corporate monocrops?
          No genetics here,
          And we’ve got beer-
Once we harvest that creekside hops.
We’ll pry concrete with fig tree roots,
We’ll enlist scrubjays as recruits
          to plant an oak
          at every stroke,
And give new meaning to “grassroots.”
Let’s plant city parks and vacant land,
With a living, humming garden stand,
          Let’s teach the youth
          with food and truth,
That what sustains them is in their hands.
Let “Compost! Compost!” be our cry,
It’s a freedom none can be denied,
          To love the ground,
          and help it rebound,
Gardeners of the world, unite!


			

the point

You can’t daydream
     and sharpen a pencil on
     a rough, damp, streamside boulder
at the same time.
It takes too much concentration
     not to shatter the brittle graphite cone
     with a careless stroke.
But it is worth the effort!
You get a much different point:
     roughly worked wood,
     smelling of fresh cut cedar,
topped by a scratch black pyramid of carbon...
This is a point more appropriate for writing about
a natural canyon with spirits whispering through willow trees,
     the culinary uses of wild plants and ground squirrels, or
     for sketching the observed mating stance of a dragonfly
           than,
           say,
     doing geometry homework.
Conveniently, this rustic point feels quite at home out here
      in the woods where pencil sharpeners are seldom found-
           and okay, I admit it...
           I forgot mine at home.


Tracking

I can see your damp body print in silhouette on the bath towel,
and the tooth marks you left on the tight cap of the new 
toothpaste tube.
     A couple of loose hairs lie tangled in the hairbrush.
     Damp feet mopped up the light rain of last night’s dust 
     on the wood floors and apparently navigated 
     around littered baby toys 
     before turning left towards the what appears to be 
a nesting area...  

On hands and knees now, the light just right
     I see the subtle depressions of your feet on the carpet,
          the fibers slowly standing back 
          to their usual upright position.
Here, the tracks meet those of a much smaller creature.
I see ghosts of small lips and handprints 
     on the sliding glass mirror
     and in it’s reflection, 
          a stuffed white rabbit,
          over-loved and re-restitched, 
     wrapped in a blanket by small, uncoordinated fingers.

Drips of drying milk lead back to a feeding area 
and the scattered remains of finger-painted oatmeal...
          still luke-warm.
     I trail the crumbs of cold pumpkin pie on the counter
     to the well-worn “one minute” button on the microwave
     which begins your morning ritual 
     with a digital “beep.”
I smell fresh coffee on a breeze from the west.

Hot on the trail, 
     I follow my intuition through a slightly swaying side door. 
No less conspicuous than a stick snapped in the wilderness 
silencing sparrows,
     I hear the hum of a clothes dryer stop 
     with the creaking of its door.
Slowly I stalk,
          fox walking, 
          hawk-eyed, 
          ears perked up like a deer,
          into the garage and-
                 There I find you...
                 throwing a warm soft towel, 
                 hot and fluffy from the dryer 
                 over our daughter’s head... 
          our hysterically laughing coyote pup 
     with those five-toed muddy tracks that grow too quickly.  
Funny that you should think it’s time for us to clean the house.

Setting Traps

Setting Traps

What do the string around my finger,
     the note in permanent ink fading on my hand,
     the time-capsule buried in damp mulch 
          beneath the oak tree eight years ago,
     the post it on my steering wheel,
     and the alarm clock set to detonate at 5:30 am 
have in common?

Why did I hide my car keys again?
     ...and where?

There is a freedom in forgetting
     and a pirate thrill in digging up lost memories.
But most reminders tend to make me think,
                                   remember,
                                   plan,
     in the everbusy buzzing of my mind.
More than ever, I need DE-minders, for when I’m lost up here 
     replanning and premembering 
     in nowhere land.
Do they sell daydream alarm clocks or watches that lie?

Sometimes I can be nothing but grateful
                    for bee stings,
                    stubbed toes,
                    seagulls with good aim,
                    and cold shivers: 
things that wake me, unaware, from the cavern of routine.
Thank you, headache, for reminding me I have a head.

Tired of waiting for grace or luck 
     to bring me to the present,
     I’ve mapped out my Monday blind spots,
     hidden along my well-worn game trails
                     between the bathroom, 
                     the computer, 
                     the teapot...

And here I am setting traps for myself, 
     camouflaged in regularity and custom
     to catch me in oblivion.
     Won’t I be surprised 
     to find this bucket of ice water 
     suspended from the doorway 
as I come into work tomorrow morning?