Falling Water

Another poem from my trip to Norway. There were so many waterfalls. The one pictured here is called Feigefossen in Urnes.  It falls  218 meters/715 feet is the second highest uninterrupted waterfall in Norway. Enjoy the poem.
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Falling Water

so much water
the ever changing glaciers
hanging in every cranny
of this country’s mountains.
So many mountains
so many glaciers
giving up their rivers of water
falling down the mountains
into fjord after fjord.
Spectacular plunging water
taking an inhale of air
turning, churning white
after centuries of the airless crush.

Snowfall on top of snowfall
pressed into ice
pressed into crystal blue
of the glacier
then released like hounds after a rabbit
the falling water gathers
into rushing rivers
tumbling downhill
to the inland
liquid fingers of fjords,
fjords like spider veins
filling the carved valleys.
Here the water is placid
blue-green light reflected
off the remaining suspended silt
a fine, silk silt
sandpapered from the mountain rocks.
But water does not rest.
It ebbs and rises
connected to ocean
yet is not salty
fed fresh from the waterfalls.
The cycle of water is big and showy here
in the land of the Vikings,
the land of the hardy, beautiful people.
From blue behemoths
hanging in the mountains
to the rush to sea
only to evaporate
back to snow falling
in the mountains.

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Glacier

On a recent trip to Norway, I got the opportunity to hike to and touch a glacier, to feel it’s energy and ponder “who” they are. Here is the poem that resulted. Enjoy!
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Glacier

old
ragged
dirty
a floating creature
sanding down the mountains
spilling fine gray silt
and ancient water
released from the blue crush.
Glacier feels at once
patient and active,
melting, shifting, retreating.
There are long crevasses like
claw marks
on its rotting top coat.
A snow filled hole
pots the tongue
extending far enough
that we can touch it.
Glacier
a force of nature
cutting diamond facets
into mountains
making pearl valleys
and colored rivers.
The time of the glacier
is coming to an end
but they will return
in a colder time
to once again
reshape the landscape.
These giant tamers,
rock carvers,
blue gems,
marvels made from old snow
will come again
to creep down from the high places.

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Viking Ship

I wrote this poem after a week in Norway, a visit to the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, and reading William Sullivan’s book  “The Ship in the Hill.” Being of Norwegian and Swedish decent, this was a very connecting trip for me. The people of Norway are beautiful, blonde, fit, friendly, and hard working.  Whether you’re a Scandinavian, a wood worker, engineer, or historian, I hope you’ll enjoy the poem.
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Viking ship

Dragon
Chin down
Cutting through the fog
Silently gliding into harbor
The element of surprise
Sails down
Oarsmen quietly pull
guiding the beast
to shore

The pregnant ship
Its curves wade through the placid water
Able to navigate open sea, rivers and fjords.
Boat design
and seamanship
The Viking advantage

Where art meets a boat
Where function meets craftsman meets engineer
Willing wood
grown straight grained and tall
to bend as if in the wind
Bend into voluptuous curves
light enough to clear shallow water
Strong enough to spring back after each gust and wave
A mast tall enough to hold a hungry sail
yet not too tall to swamp the boat when lowered

Two powers – wind and man
30 sturdy Vikings grunting round and round
their slim oars in unison
shield and sword at their side
at the ready
to fight the lawless fight
for plunder

Pagan, Oden fearing, Norsemen
made Viking
by Charlemagne’s cruel methods to convert them.
Cruelty spawned cruelty
delivered by these beautiful ships

Yet Viking raids fueled exploration.
as all was not plundering
these sleek ships
reached strange and distant lands
trading, colonizing, and soldering for hire.

Viking ships
A legacy
A testament
To the ingenuity and fierceness
of a great Northern people
thriving in a beautiful, harsh land
Mountain, rock and sea.

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Swallows

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Swallows

Every night at dusk
the swallows come.
They swoop and stall and dive
weaving in a random play,
their white bellies and forked tails flashing.

If I sit quietly,
they curiously buzz me
swinging out and swooping back into the fray
chirping their chewing chip, chip, chip call.
They never collide despite their speed.
Their chip, chip, chip like a sonar warning
“make way.”

They’re not organized like chimney swifts
or schooling fish or a swarm of bees
yet are somehow choreographed like a crazy quilt
in the softening light.

As dusk deepens,
they begin to disperse
flying higher and further afield.
Fewer and fewer their numbers
until they are gone,
gone back to their barn roosts
with bellies full of bugs.

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As eyesight fades

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As eyesight fades

As eyesight fades
insight heightens.
We can see more clearly
the things worth seeing.

Does not your wife’s beauty
at 60
far outshine her beauty
at 20?
You see her,
not through your eyes,
but through love,
through trials and triumphs,
through her talents,
her uniqueness,
through her wisdom,
through your wisdom.

Is not the sunset more brilliant
when we know
we are merely a witness,
when we know
this is one fewer sunset
we will ever experience?

Mourn not the loss of eyesight.
Celebrate the growth of insight,
of character,
of gratitude,
of appreciation of the finite.

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“Get back on the mat”

I have several soul cards that I made years ago by choosing magazine images and words that spoke to me and arranging them on a card using my intuition. These cards continue have meaning for me and help me focus on the work I do on myself and my life.  I just finished the “Today is the Day I Write my own story” phase where I downsized my job and up-sized my writing/publishing time.  Now I am entering my “Get back on the mat” time when I use self-care and connection as an approach to aging.  Hopefully this journey inspires you as well. Here is the poem:
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Get Back on the Mat

Chose a soul card
for entering a new time.
Increased self-care.
A call to “get back on the mat.”
The mat of yogic principles
A practice of nightly
“legs up the wall”
and breath
(and dark chocolate).

Visualizing my skin and other organs renewing,
getting younger, healthier,
fresh, more blood and movement,
pulsing.

Exercise my mind.
Work on understanding annoyances, frustrations.
Choosing not to go to hurt places
when sharp words present
but using compassion to send out healing
rather than pull in hurt.

More veggies, herbs, green.
Grow things and notice, feel
the weather rawly
as does my garden
and stretch,
stretch body, mind, and
set spirit to soar.
Look at the tree tops.

Back on the mat.
The mat a lotus flower
Opening,
purposefully opening.
Reaching out through poetry,
sharing,
moving into teaching.

Self-care is connection
being part of humanity.
Fostering my compassion.
Noticing my judgements
for they are judgements of myself
which do not serve me.

Get back on the mat.
Ripples in the sand
inward ripples for me
and outward ripples
of connection.

This is how I will embrace aging.
Aging as growth, awakening, renewing
and being part of nature.

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It is a good day

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It is a good day

Poured myself a stemmed glass of lime sparkling water,
turned on the ceiling fans,
and opened the windows to let the pollen come in
And the bird song
squawks, twerbles and melodic little tunes
and the breeze
and the green
all came in.

The potted avocado trees,
relegated to house plant
here in zone four,
sway in the breeze
looking eye to eye
with the birches and poplars
leaning in from the yard.

It is the edge between spring and summer.
Dandelions have puffed to seed,
the grass is tall enough to wave,
and the bugs have sprouted
to birds’ delight for sure.

It is a good day
to hang out clothes
and make brownies.
A good day to soak up being a live
and being loved.

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