Poems for Real Spring

POEMS FOR REAL SPRING,   from the “I Would Like to Be” series
    Spring Beauty,
most delicate of all spring flowers,
early to appear,
how lovely to be her!
Small and sweet and dear,
my white five-petalled face with pink mint stripes
will smile up like a shy girl-child
at the awesome world around.
Simple, friendly,
I will open to the sun.
My thin stem will dance with the smallest breeze.
Never alone, I’ll live in a world of gentle friends
like me,
all of us playing
in the sweet spring sun and wind and rain.
O beauty protected,
O tenderness extreme,
I will speak to all the world
of the great sensitivity
of The Source of All Life.
***
       White Anemone
I would love to be a white Anemone,
Daughter of the Wind.
Thin and graceful, dancing open,
never shy.
Taller than my little sisters,
leaves much greener, fuller,
bigger face,
my sunny yellow center begging to be pollinated:
“I am ready,
I am beautiful!
O come to me now, Life,”
I’ll say with guileless joy.
Free maiden of the forest,
I want to be seen,
not hidden.
I know my beauty,
O tell me how beautiful I am!
Notice me,
my white loveliness up from the rich green floor.
Notice my readiness,
my aliveness.
Love me now in the springtime of my life.
***
     Fly
Daring raider from the sky,
I’d really like to be a fly.
I’d affirm the worth of all decay –
feces, refuse, garbage.
Rebel, pest,
I’d freely choose,
what others hate.
I’d rescue rot,
deconstructing rigid forms,
forcing change.
But here’s the rub:
the pristine, pure,
build fears and walls against invasion
of their sheltered world.
I will risk my life
to keep the world fecund.
Decay must come – the breaking down
of all that’s done and useless:
I’d aid decay
to keep new life agrowing.
I’ll even carry death when needed.
Death,
the change that all of earth accepts
but humans
who close their eyes to their return.
I’ll keep the great wheel moving…
I, the fly, will live a daring life.
Champion of the rejected,
Force for change,
I, the Hero,
Trickster,
Tease.
         ***
   Skunk
Such fun to be a little skunk!
Wherever I’d meander
all would let me pass.
Though small and shy and quiet,
what power I’d have!
It’s fun to see how silly people handle fear.
I’d give them all a chance to practice calm:
control in their panic,
attitude of care.
Friendly in my spirit,
I’d sense the open heart
through eyes and nose,
then pause and greet each neighbor,
passing on.
Curious and careful
I’d wander here and there
through woods and towns,
knowing I’m respected,
and safe,
in clever self-defense.
  ***
       Trillium
Perhaps I’d learn to more free
as a brilliant Trillium.
Tallest flower of spring,
beautiful in balance,
unafraid to be
who I am.
Bold among the delicate,
I would not hide my light.
I’d hold my three white petals
above my three green leaves –
centered, rooted, unafraid,
shining bright above the dusky forest floor,
a lighthouse to the world.
I’d say
“Aplomb!”
Stay poised,
while reaching up and out.
Integrity, Yes! There’s joy in honesty.
Be simple! Brilliant, shining clear.
True beauty shines from inside out.”
I would not know humility
or pride.
I’d simply be
exactly as I am.
A bold and quiet Quaker
I would speak my truth
serenely,
with respect for self and others.
I would love to be a Trillium –
open,
peaceful with myself,
Aplomb.

“Early Spring”

 

The “I Would Like to Be” Read-Aloud Poems 
four of twenty poems
 
“Early Spring”

 

                    The Frog

 

It would do me good to be a frog

 

sitting still

 

and still

 

and still.

 

Waiting,

 

trusting,

 

that Life will bring by a fly

 

or a mosquito,

 

that what I need to live, Life will offer.

 

I’ll sit alert

 

and confident;

 

I’ll practice trusting

 

in Whatever created me.

 

I’ll take time

 

to feel the warm sunlight,

 

the softness of water,

 

to hear the sounds of Life:

 

the hum of dragonflies,

 

waves lapping on the shore,

 

wind rustling through reeds,

 

a splashing fish.

 

I’ll sit so quiet and alert

 

That I won’t miss a single moment

 

of my beautiful life.

 

I want to be a frog

 

learning to be quiet

 

and alert

 

and trusting.
                    
       ***
 
 

          Skunk Cabbage

What fun to be a skunk cabbage!

 

Smells are one of Life’s delights.

 

Out in the bog

 

I could be a big, big leaf

 

unfolding from the smallest center,

 

reeking through with greenness,

 

ever bigger,

 

richer,

 

smellier.

 

Life makes many dainty whispers through the woods;

 

but bursting through decay,

 

I’d boldly say that winter’s done!

 

I’d call to all the hibernating woods:

 

“Wake up! Wake up, you sleeping ones.

 

Come alive and feel and smell and play again.”

 

As a skunk cabbage

 

I’d chase away the doldrums

 

and wake the woods from trance.

 

                         ***

 

                                 Buttercup

 

Oh, I want to be a buttercup! A buttercup! A buttercup!

 

O warm richness!

 

O passionate color!

 

O enthusiasm for Life!

 

I’ll plant myself by a watery place

 

and laugh for joy.

 

I’ll glory in the singing birds,

 

the humming bees, the busy pesky flies,

 

the dancing breeze.

 

And the sun’s salvation,

 

“Relish in the warmth of sun!”

 

my shining saffron face will sing.

 

“And don’t forget enthusiasm, passion.

 

Dance, swim, listen, sing, love,

 

feel and sense.

 

Celebrate like me,”

 

I’ll laugh, the cheerful buttercup!

                   ***

 
                        Jack-In-The Pulpit

 

It would be an honor to be a jack-in-the-pulpit,

 

oracle of the woods.

 

With my tri-leaf behind,

 

erect, serene,

 

I’ll wait.

 

From rich roots

 

through my straight stem

 

into my waiting cup

 

will flow wisdom from the Earth-Mother.

 

Whoever has the calm to sit before me,

 

to ask a question,

 

waiting,

 

to them I’ll speak,

 

and tell the truth.

 

Truth is solid ground,

 

fecund.

 

Standing straight and quiet I will speak.

 

Who sits up straight and calm and opens their own cup

 

will hear my thoughts.

 

We’ll nod to each respectfully,

 

and they’ll pass on,

 

while I will wait

 

to be again an oracle for Wisdom.

 

                  ***

Poems by Dr. Dorene Wiese

Two Poems
by Dr. Dorene Wiese
(White Wing Woman)
   (from another friend)

Cree Medicine Man
They say you were a Cree Medicine Man
So long ago, as a young woman, I remember you
I remember you watching me,
Following me on your crutches, telling me ancient stories, as your
Magnificent long black braids shown in the sun.
Gifts you gave me of muskrat, eagle feathers, and a bear claw
medallion. Gifts that have carried me through
The decades to this grey-haired present.
I know you tried to keep me from that peyote tipi
But the desert medicine called
To an Indian journey of love, hate, resistance,
Battles won and defeats endured.
Cree elder, did you sway me that night with your love medicine?
Did you make me fall in love with that Ojibwe warrior
Because you could not have me.
Thirty years later, I cannot look his way
Without thinking about that star filled Stoney night.
And that glorious morning, when life and love filled my spirit.
It is too late to bury that bear claw now.
O Typekey Divider
Our Beautiful Chicago Indian Elders
They led the way
Our beautiful Chicago Indian elders.
Back from hundreds of years of
Fear, destruction, death, obliteration.
They led the way
Using the tools of thousands of years of knowledge.
Observation, truth, perseverance, prayer,
Made the way for us.
They led the way
Through caring, laughter, song and dance.
Carrying our burdens, our tears, our weak spirits
When we could no longer stand.
They lead us today
With a smile, a reminder of days before.
While they hold us up
Spirits united in the joy of the gift of life.

Beach Poems

      Pentwater State Park, MI 8/13/12

A dull day at the beach.

Sprinkling on and off and now and then,

overcast with clouds and chill,

and still we came.

Evening and a-sudden

children, kites, and ice cream –

the rangers’ class was done.

Big folks ran with wee ones,

the sky and ground were full of yellow kites!

The sleeping flock of gulls awoke.

Fisherpeople walked the pier,

and I, to watch them cast.

Large swells rolled slowly toward us,

boats crept silent through the channel.

And then the break!

A glaring shiny circle on the waves.

Had an alien ship landed near our shores?

No, the clouds had deigned to let a little sun shine through.

Slowly oh so slowly, more light flowed out.

Then crowds appeared from nowhere.

Chatter, hush, excitement.

It was happ’ning quickly.

A hundred strangers found their seats together,

as if in church.

Children still were children in the sand,

gulls just circled for their food,

all not knowing what the grown-ups knew –

     we would see the sun set!

And those whose lives had tested them enough

would sit and soak in awe

a time of passing perfect peace,

a promise, glimpse,

that life is glorious.

               -marti matthews

                                  ************

         Pentwater State Park MI 8/14/12

I set my little tent

beneath the large old pine,

then crawled inside and tried to sleep.

The sweet cool breeze that brushed my cheeks

turned chill. My nose was cold.

Wrapped tight in twisty cloaks and folds

I tossed and turned and thought and pondered

on into a fitful sleep.

I woke,

aware that “Nature calls.” Oh no.

Must I rise and find my shoes

and shuffle off in dark to find relief?

A peek through netted windows

up through pine

revealed a star! “Aha!

For that I’ll rise in dark and cold,”

I said to self.

I fumbled for my shoes,

tumbled out the zippered door

and sitting on the ground looked up.

There across the quiet campround

just above the treeline

a crescent moon

was smiling at a brilliant planet!

The two so glad to look upon

the sleeping earth.

I rose and stumbled to the road.

All there! The tiny Little Sisters in the sky,

Cassiopea sitting upside down,

Orion almost set,

and a bridge of milky mist

gentling up the darkness

Here to There.

I found my way with care and quiet steps.

Relieved,

returned to sit and be

with Universe, always there,

Which shows itself when conscious mind takes rest.

        -marti matthews

                              
                                      ********************

           Pentwater State Park, MI 8/14/12

Oh, to always be with you!

A part of me is always here,

listening to your whisp’rings back and forth,

the farther shrieking call of gulls,

the rolling sound of waves

moving in and kneeling on the shore.

My body will remember warmth of sun,

and cold of water on my knees.

And soft of sand on feet,

and little bugs in other worlds

skipping over legs.

I and all the other unnamed friends on earth

who shared these dunes and sands today:

the boat-sailers,

   ball-players,

     dune climbers,

        sandcastle makers,

the sun soakers,

   wave riders,

     pretend fishermen,

       bike peddlers back and forth along the walks.

Little wispy children

spinning worlds from nowhere,

young men and women seeking mates,

old mates enjoying rest together.

But more than all,

A part of me will stay here on this dune ridge

with you, grandmother cottonwoods,

who knew me as a child.

Now I and you are so far on in years.

I say ’twill be myself goes first into return

to Source, but you are coming, too,

I see.   And when the dune has

gently buried you

I’ll be one to welcome you

to spirit, Source,

Who dreamed us all together

here this day.

                   -marti matthews

The Last Fly of Summer

     The Last Fly of Summer (a short poem)

The last fly of summer –
I almost killed her!
Then realized how lonely I will feel
when every living thing
is fled or dead or buried down in front of winter.
I let her be.
Eight days she’s kept me company.
“Not on cups!” I say,
so she sits here on my knee,
small and light and quiet,
but alive like me.
A living, moving creature-friend
with me
in the growing lonely inwardness
of winter.