As if she was trying
to show off all her colors
at once, to let her last day
sing with every note
of her song, August
kissed the trees with hints
of crimson and opened
a deep rainbow of wildflowers
along the lake. It didn’t matter
that clouds hid the sun,
her glory was bright and rich,
and the lake rippled
with joyous applause.
I suppose when people look back
on August of 2017, they will think
of the way the skies opened
to pour trillions of gallons of rain
on once-bright towns and cities.
I suppose that I will be one of them.
But I will remember, too, how August
shimmered with green, and how
she spread her gracious meadows
with a kaleidoscope of flowers
that drew to them hummingbirds
and butterflies and children
of all ages, pointing in delight
at the colorful sights that sang
of light and heaven.
In days of sunshine and those
of trial, whether by happenstance
or choice, life sends us the gift
of companions for our journey,
spirits to walk beside us, to share
our laughter and our tears,
our stories and our silences.
Some stay only for moments.
Some come, then go, then reappear.
Some walk beside us for long miles,
for lifetimes, and maybe more.
Love, after all, never dies.
And it is love that sends them,
these companions, that each of us
may know that we are truly
From out of the darkness
the gold bursts forth,
fiery, rayed blossoms
that sing of the power
of the sun. Blazing life,
brimming with joy,
dancing to the song
of the ever-burgeoning
You never know when you set out
what your journey will bring.
Anything you can imagine
is possible, and then some.
It’s all a gift, you know,
a chance for you to explore
your choices, to decide who
you will be, and to discover
what you’re made of.
Hold onto your hope and
keep your faith, remembering
that, regardless, light shines
at the end of the road.
For All in the Path of Hurricane Harvey
On this day, when rains
are washing away homes
and towns, I give you
as a sign of hope,
as a love note, to remind
you that life goes on
despite its storms
and holds goodness,
even in the face
of great loss.
Deep in the woods, the vines
turn crimson. But the river
still holds summer’s green
with its pungent scent
and its emerald flowing
and its warm and peaceful
song. Here, flowers still blossom
along the banks, the bees still
float from bloom to bloom.
And we pull it all inside us,
to keep, forever, this sweet
She mixes up some pails of color
and hands them to the elves.
Let’s give the red and the yellow a whirl
and see how they look in the sun.
Let’s see how they mix, how they blend.
Don’t go crazy now; just do
this one tree—this one, where few
will notice. Try a few patterns,
some speckles, some stripes.
Leave a touch of green here and there.
That’s it. Good job. What do you think?
Are we ready to go? Let’s start
with the sumac and vines, okay?
The creek is still today.
Its transparent surface mirroring
The lush growth along its banks,
Capturing the clouds and the sky
as if to reflect back to them
their beauty. And they, in their turn,
shade the light so that when
you stand on its edges, you can see
brown fishes lazing among the rocks.
Some scenes are almost too perfect
to be real. And to stand in their midst,
breathing their fragrance, feeling
the breath of them on your skin,
is to feel humbled, and honored,
What was that? You wanted butterflies?
Let me whisper a secret: So did I.
Little wafers of color to dart through
the flowers, turning happy somersaults
in the summer air. Yes. How delightful!
And let’s imagine that each flower
is sweeter for them than the last
and that each moment of their lives
is filled with absolute joy.