Old Friends and Forgotten Friends, On Your Bookshelf

Poetry writing month, theme of Self-Care, Self-Calm as part of the collective whole.

Today’s thrive poem is to mine your bookshelf for treasures. You can loose yourself in your bookshelf. Don’t have a bookshelf, how about boxes of old photos or keepsakes in the attic.


Old Friends and Forgotten Friends
On Your Bookshelf

Oh that great bulging bookshelf
full of old friends
and friends yet to be read
like that history of dreams book
from the UofO bookstore sale table.

There are photo albums galore
to remember the old days
when the bigs ones were little
and the gone ones were hosting Easter dinner.

There are keepsakes landed here
for want of a good spot
an origami jumping frog and vampire teeth
when Kevin was experimenting with paper folding.

There’s my Lego lakeside cottage
where I can imagine the real thing
fishing and writing while the waves lap gently
and an antique landscape painting found at a chance flea market.

The memories flood back with travel books,
an English to French pocket dictionary.

Recipes spill out and stack on top of
a cookbook collection that never seems
to get smaller despite periodic culling.
America’s Test Kitchen and the 1961 Betty Crocker
are the stalwarts of that overflowing shelf.

There are how-to books for someday when-there-is-time
like the “Joy of Lettering,” knitting Barbie clothes,
and Hawaiian style quilting.

There are historical fictions, Viking histories and tales,
Western art books, spiritual books, old schoolbooks
and, of course,
lots of poetry books.
Hello old friends William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, and Mary Oliver.

All this on a bookshelf barely six feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Like a time machine, university, adventure cruise, art gallery, and retreat center
stacked in a small corner of the basement
just waiting to be mined.

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A contemplative poem I wrote yesterday while rocking and immersing in Spring. Interesting how much the idea of dying comes up in my writing during this COVID world health crisis as I worry about family members, friends, and myself. It’s the daily news of our mortality surely that weeds my thinking. To nature, it is merely the cycle of life. Nature does not mourn.


Rocking Chair
soothing motion
moves the belly
the windows are open
sun hatched flies
search for a way out
nature is always reclaiming
making dust and soil
making, growing, dying
never static
soothing motion
the windows are open
the out comes in
and the in flows out
even stone walls pipette the mist,
want for mold,
want to be reclaimed
born of frost
to return to the land
soothing motion
the windows are open
the owl echoes
through the bare forest
the sap is rising
dripping from the forester’s fresh kill
the saplings lean in
to fill the space
making, growing, dying
never static
moves the belly
the windows are open
nature is slowing reclaiming me too.

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Golden Day

You hear/read me go on about noticing especially in nature. This morning, I stepped out on the deck to get a moment of outside while doing housework. The following experience happened in those few minutes standing outside noticing. Look for golden moments. Enjoy the poem and this beautiful day.




Golden Day

Buzzed by an eagle
a golden eagle
this must be good luck
a golden day
an egg of a day.

He flew just overhead
air audibly passing through his flight feathers
he lifted higher
circling the golden field
when first one
then another golden friend
joined him
a convocation of eagles
crowning me
lifting my spirits with them
over the golden trees.

strange then a bald eagle joined them
as close as he would dare venture
his white head and tail like emblems
against the blue

four birds and I
enjoying the golden day
this little patch of golden earth.

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A Nap

Today I took the pleasure of a nap in my rocking chair by the fire with the breeze and the birdsong floating in. Good thing too, because I needed a self-care poem for my poetry writing month theme. Naps are a luxury of the weekend, a sweet luxury. I learned in a retreat years ago about the practice of LSD, “left side down” after meals. 20 minutes resting on your stomach-side apparently aids digestion and restfulness. Give it a try.

4 A Nap
A nap
by the fire
with a full belly,
lying on your left side,
pillow under-head,
a blanket over your feet
A little Mona Lisa smile draws across your face
then, complete slump
into sweet, sweet sleep.
This is the way to clean your house,
the house of your cluttered mind.
A nap closes the books,
puts them back on the shelf,
sweeps out the dust,
and takes out the trash.

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Walking in Sunshine

Poetry writing month, theme of Self-Care, Self-Calm as part of the collective whole.

This “thrive” during the COVID crisis idea comes from Ruth. She is crouched over a laptop working from home, so she treats herself to a walk in the sunshine in the morning and the evening. A healthy habit for all of us to take up. Enjoy the poem and a walk.

3 Walking in Sunshine

Walking in Sunshine

The spring breeze in your hair
The smell of drying fields
The hubbub of birds calling for lovemates
The sunshine
That easy sunshine of morning and evening
Light sliding in at comforting angles
Bringing the green
Tickling your youthful fancy
A spring in your step
Blood in your veins
Breath in your lungs
Singing your love-song to this glorious day.


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Postcards in the Mail

Poetry writing month series: Self-Care, Self-Calm as part of the collective whole.

I am privileged to lead a great team of great people at work. We have been sharing our daily “thrive” plans. Instead of just staying well during the COVID health crisis, we are doing little self-care and family care things to thrive. This poem was inspired by Melanie. She is enjoying walking to the mailbox in the spring weather and getting cards from friends in the mail. The picture below is a postcard from my friend Carol in Oregon. Send some cards with cool postage stamps to help friends thrive.

2 Postcard in the Mail

Postcards in the Mail

Send a little love
A tangible “thinking of you”
An instant imagination vacation
to a beautiful place.

Send a smile with your words
Messy scrawls or neat printed caps,
doodles or stickers,
it’s the thought that shares the joy.


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There is Love

Here is my National/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) series during the COVID19 world health crisis on the theme of:
Self-Care, Self-Calm
as a part of the Collective Whole.

Here is the first poem.


There is Love

In this time of attempted physical separation,
we realize that we are one body;
one body spread over a planet,
so interconnected that oceans and mountains
cannot stop the spread of plague, of COVID.

And, there is love.

In this time of physical separation,
we reach out
we connect by voice and text and vibration
we remember what is most important

there is love.

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