I want to tell you about my little brother

20180902_110906 (2).jpg

I want to tell you about my little brother.

I remember the day he was born. Its one of my earliest memories – I was three years old.
You see I was an infant when my brother Johnny was born, so there is no memory before him. But Frank – I remember.
My Daddy came to pick us up at the neighbors. I still remember the deep sunset colors in the sky and the smell of carnations that were growing along the walk. And Daddy told me I had a baby brother. It was like he was giving me a gift, a complete surprise. I fell in love with him from the moment I saw him. And he is still the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.

He was a funny little fellow. Johnny and I learned pretty quickly that when we were all in trouble to kind of push Frank forward because he would make a silly face or do something goofy and Mom and Dad couldn’t help but laugh.

He was a rough and tumble kid. Mom would tell the story that she would have us all shiny and clean and ready to go to church. And somehow from the door of the house to the car, Frank’s shirt tail would be out, his socks fallen down, shoes were untied and he would have dirt on his face.

He struggled in school. This was before we knew what dyslexia was and it was especially hard because his brother was brilliant and his sister smart and we loved to read and learn. But he was cute and athletic and always good for a laugh or an adventure.

He could be a pain in the ass too like all little brothers. I remember one car trip from our home in Lubbock Texas to our grandparents in Crossett Arkansas – Frank had somehow learned all the words to Que Sera Sera by Doris Day (don’t ask me how or why) And he sang it all the way across Texas and Arkansas. We were all close to tossing him out the car window.

He was handsome and fun and played sports in school. He was very popular and one spring was asked to 6 proms. Dad said he was going to have to take out a loan for tux rentals and florists.

After high school, he tried to figure out his way. Ended up with different jobs and then started doing carpentry work.

After his first marriage ended, he went thru a dark time and we thought we had lost him.

Then, he gave his life to Jesus and his heart to Janet at about the same time. Mom always said that Jesus and Janet gave her son back to her and she was pretty sure it was mostly Janet.
This began his journey that changed his life.

All his life he wanted to become a good man – He wanted to be those things he loved best about his dad. A family man, a man that loved his wife, a man that adored his children. A man that had a sparkle in his eye and could command the room with his laugh.

These past 6 years, he became deeper and wiser and more loving.
He was a good man.

And I am so proud of him and love him and will miss him the rest of my life.

And there is one thing I know – love is everything – love is what we are called to do and love is the beginning with no end.

He was my baby brother. He was a good man.
scan0035

paper cranes

The path folds into itself,
an origami of leaf mold and gravel.
Its edges drift into stiff hedges of
deep dried grass,
shifting ever so slightly in the spring breeze-
fluttering like paper,
paper cranes
that fold their wings
and unfurl to fly.

Someone once folded a thousand cranes,
a symbol of peace or redemption or grace,
I forget which.
These cranes took flight
and flew with ibis and stork,
heron and egret,
until the fragile paper wings drifted slowly,
silently
into the flame,
consumed.

All that was left
was an origami of ash
for me to shovel into the garden
and work into the soil
to feed the roots
and nourish our souls,
with peace or redemption
or grace.

*** For Hiroshima Day of Remembrance, a poem written several years ago.

yours as always

Sweet peas

dear one
the lane is swept clean of the sweet pears petals
now the small dog and I will rest
the angels will arrive soon
all is well and as it should be
yours
as always

dear one
clouds billow and jostle across the brow of the ridge
the baker had only the sweetest loaves on the counter
tea will be ready soon
all is well and as it should be
yours
as always

dear one
this morning, the cat knock over the cream
lapping it from the sunbeam pooled on the kitchen floor
all is well and as it should be
yours
as always

dear one
the angels came and rested awhile
the sweet peas are in bloom again this year
all is well and as it should be
yours
as always
with love

Words that rhyme with waning – a poem that started as one thing and ended up another

Golden moonlight  Jan 2014

The feigning moon
Hiding behind the hedge
Cocks her head as though to run down the alley
Suddenly
Leaping to the top of the old oak
She winks and smiles

The seining moon
Scoops up fistfuls of stars
Letting the waters flow through her fingertips
And into the ocean sky

The reigning moon
Crowned with comets
And sparkling diadem
Deigns look down from her sapphire throne
To our upturned faces
Where we are held rapt
And moondrunk

words that rhyme with waning part 2

I decided to write a silly poem about the moon
But your name kept coming up in conversation and with it
the way the moon looked that night
And the way the air moved with the trees
As though they had secrets to keep
There is nothing really that rhymes with the waning moon
Nothing that I can think of except that it sometimes rhymes with the snow
And sometimes with the way your blues eyes capture the moment like a polaroid camera
How is it that I have lived all these years and didn’t know
that shaking those pictures didn’t make the image appear any quicker
My impatience to see what I had just seen
To record it somehow so that it will be clearer
that waxing and waning are still metaphors
And my hair is still silver in the soft white light of the April Egg moon

most times

spring ridge 2

I don’t believe in ghosts
though sometimes I wish I did-
to see her face and maybe sit for a while together.

Yes, I would be willing to believe
just to hold her hand again
and laugh through my tears.

Grief leaves stains-
a little like sweet tea
on an old linen cloth-
most times
its hardly noticeable.