Buddha Knows Best

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waiting for first coat to dry

pegging out clothes on the line

ivory tint in ponytailed hair

clotted cream scones tasting fine

 

pen and a coffee at hand

doodling flowers in the sun

soda and lime and ink on a page

ecstatic that summer has come

 

music chosen by kids

buddha sat under tree

lotused repose in semi-closed eyes

replete and contented like me

 

windows of soul opened wide

faint breeze to filter on through

leaves of green gratitude canopies all

wishing the same for all you

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The Grandmother

she doesn’t know what happened to the life she planned and hoped for

but somewhere on the route she lost her way

somewhere, over time, years voided girlhood and her reasons

while she watched and waited for those better days

those halcyon of yore that she was promised

by the fairy tales she’d heard and read, imbibed

where the prince is true and saves deserving maiden

and the perfect ending meets the perfect bride

instead she is the tarnished, disillusioned

more imprisoned now than then and saviours few

passed her way or loitered with intention

she was trapped inside and still the briars grew

confined inside a castle of contention

sojourner in a land that sees unveiled

every yarn that once began with once upon

nullifying happy ever after tales

a cinderella always, now grandmother

no fairy guardian to relieve the mess

pumpkins flourished, rats were rats and lizards reclined

there was no transformation, no new dress

surrogate to another willing victim

still the stories spun like threaded silk to bind

while she wondered what had happened, where salvation

where relief for careworn, worried mind

she fretted now and quite forgot to hope for

a future since her past had cast its spell

as she meditated where had all that time gone

then promises no more fables will she tell

she’ll let the child run ragged, even barefoot

oblivious to vows and promises that fail

she’s the mother of the son of errant daughter

and the child, though wild, is carefree, this tale tells

Wounded Knees

he deserved better

though no one ever said so

his lot by choices made and birth decreed

in another age he might have been a hero

living to a code that he believed

he deserved better

although he rarely argued

accepting that in life we pay a price

so he just got on with doing what he had to

a slave to circumstance

he played it nice

except for once or twice

when folks harangued him

bedevilled him to choose a different path

castigated choices, rules he lived by

then another side was seen

and no one laughed   

courageous then to ethics and behaviours

a knight of old who’d sworn to do his best

an explorer extraordinaire

a real man

tackling each and every challenge

daily tests

he deserved better

one or two of us knew that that was true

and we cheered silently on the sidelines

urging his success in what he felt he had to do

 

she deserves better

I saw her on the street just yesterday

her coat hung heavy on her shoulders

her face resigned to to all she had to pay

she might have travelled once in covered wagons

tilled at soil cemented on some plot

sewed seeds of future, harvested, lamented

a stoic that the caravan forgot

 

they deserve better

perhaps we all do

cast in roles

few choices

birth decreed

unsung heroes

terrain and times denying

that courage stands

on work-worn wounded knees

No Mere Cipher

the west wind blows in

nothing, not a trace

zeroes in at nadir

holds place there

and everywhere

beyond, between

counterbalancing

scale, equalising

positives and negatives

ending function

promoting its position

reproducing to infinity

power of significance

regenerating, regulating

zero impacting, this zephyr

no mere cipher, knowing

the value of nothing and

everything, it computes

The Salt Force

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we skate across the surface of the salt flats

hexagonals imprinted mind and feet

puzzling horizons boundless buoyant

at altitude where earth and heavens meet

we skate for love for countries for our children

olympian with gods encountered there

wreaths of crystal flavoured tessellations  

our crowns with cubic thorns atop frail hair

bonded to the brittle dessicated

in parched seas that mirror clouds and question why

perception plays its mind games at all tangents

while we skate and build the pillars merchants buy

steel-capped toes with buckled belts and braces

dungaree’d to toil and till to max

salaried in coarse and fine thrown pinches

cellars stocked elsewhere evading tax

a pocketful of salt o’er willing shoulders

a world within a world forced to believe

a conundrum geometric in equation

gliding on salt plains we must perceive

beneath the surface tension ionising

cellular components energy

minds must mine mutations magnifying

scale of operations ill-conceived

miners of the salt flats query skylines

skate for country, kids, to flavour fare

but be wary of illusions, thin-iced mirrors

turn and look, the salt force, be aware

Not Nearly Ready

you’re ready

I’m not ready

and I don’t know

when or if I’ll ever be

the seconds

they are racing

I can’t stop them

and they’re squeezing

all the lifeblood

out of me

you’re ready

and you’re willing

I’m not either

but the time

keeps ticking on

till I can’t see

ready, steady

please don’t go

just stay here

while I practise

letting go

to set you free

You’re Younger Yet

you’re younger yet and life holds full its promise

and I would not deny you all its claims

nor ever harness hopes or all that they hold

nor ever seek to squash the fire that calls your name

 

and I would not withhold from you each wishbone

that comes your way, upon which you may dream

nor burden you with harsher truths that years taught

I’d never blot the landscape of young life or all it seems

 

I have no aspirations to encumber the joy you know

for I, too, once believed the dreams you cherish and you hold

I once believed that all I sought was there for ripest taking

if I were, like you, courageous and so bold

 

I’d never take away your youth nor hope diminish 

by word or deed, the dreams we share, though altered, still unchanged

I cannot be the one who says the no to

life’s expansion, growth, by any name

 

life takes on a new form and I’d never challenge spirit

younger years, exuberance that dares

I’d only caution prudence, observation

as you climb the unknown, always have a care

 

as you go along the ridges, meet the strangers

hold within some doubt, please think of this

that somewhere, on the dark of all horizons

is the love that once betrayed with tender kiss

 

you’re younger yet and, out there, there are traitors

beware but still believe that life is fine

I’m older, always here if you’re discouraged

one flight away, one thought to keep in mind