nothing but ripe apples

my garden is on this side of Eden,
neighbor
to the tree and angels and such
 
we nod as we go about our daily chores
weeding and mulching and limbing up
the stragglers growing against the fence
 
I wonder what all the fuss is about,
reading the news.
when we live this side of paradise
 
and there is nothing but ripe apples
and bittersweet vine
separating us
from each other

A Farewell

HPIM0832
In one week, I am leaving the house on the cove in the center of the Ozarks.

We have lived in this home for over 18 years and in the Ozarks for over 30. This land is one of the great loves of my life.

But now we leave.

Moving one thousand miles to the east. To the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and a new life.

I will miss this land of steep ridges and deep fern green hollows. And I don’t know how my writing will change. This beloved land has been my muse for now much of my adult life.

sunset

I am excited for this new adventure. And it has all happened with such suddenness and energy that I have no doubt it is exactly what and where we are supposed to be.

And with that certainty, I have little grief over leaving. I know I am being given another great love of my life in our new home. A home very much like my beloved shack in Arkansas, but this time tucked into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in a small village in western North Carolina.

My husband is going home to the state of his birth and home to his family.

We are both going home to a place we never dreamed of until a few months ago.

I will keep in touch, Dear Reader, and I will find a voice in that new place and my writing will follow its course – The Course of Our Seasons – a new and beautiful adventure.

Kathleen

early afternoon in july

last summers evening 3

the fragility of the day holds fast
in the light of early afternoon
in a year heavy
with veiled feelings
in the eyes of passers by

wands of dried grasses
tasseled in gold
and magic
seem to wave over our worries

look how sparrows glean the field
how lilies gild the meadow
rain falls on us all,
the just and unjust,
criminal and saint

we are all alive
under this fragile light
of early afternoon
in july

hot july afternoon

July morning sun

sun is unfolding across my face
freckled and lined
by all those
ancient summers worn
by dust and seared green pines
fragrant sap sticky as preserved
amber of peaches
warm from the stove
stirred in the ancient black pot
of fore-mothers
and from their hands
this tongue
their song, sung in wordless
voice
murmuring incantations above
pots and babies and lovers bodies
asleep in the shade
of a hot July afternoon

summer night in the Ozarks

sweet water from the well
casts the evenings magic spell
as the fiddlers resin up their bows

mandolins court and spark
in early summers dark
lighting fireflies to twinkle and glow

its not every night but now
we sing and tell stories how
we lived and dreamed and truly loved

its not every night but when
we gather up to dance again
and music rises
to the summer moon above

so grab your partner
coo and dove
hug your friends and swing your love
cause all we have is the music
and the stars

its not every night but now
we are here and this is how
we celebrate the music
of our lives

sam and aly c
bo and the rebel hounds
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bob on his bday

I am longing for my friends and our summer nights filled with music and laughter.
This was written a few years ago and some of us have moved away and some have died. But this will always be my memory of our friendships and our love in a very specail place and time.

translation

I read translations of poetry, books
written in a language I do not understand
which become books of poetry
in my language, I do not understand

I wish I spoke another language.
All I have is this cursive inked stained
language, spoken to my dead parents
and brother when I read prayers and psalms
of a dead king in translation.

I do speak a bit of wildness, river song
and maybe old catfish dialect that no longer
is in fashion or wanted or needed.
But there are times when we sit together,
the small brown sparrows and I

and we can communicate in sign language,
no feeding the birds or stop
look and listen

tick

it is quiet
not quiet like completely silent
there are sounds of finches, a robin,
cooing doves, the rain

but quiet
away from cities and busyness and traffic
where I can hear my soul ticking like a tiny
alarm clock

the kind you used to see
sitting on the desk of your favorite aunt
or teacher
or your grandmothers vanity

I listen to that faint tick
and wonder if I have done enough
in my time
to bring peace
before the mechanism justs runs down

there are 36 righteous men in the world
holding our places to heaven
their foot in the door
keeping it wedged open
so we can slide in
no matter whether we listened to the
ticking
and did our best
to find quiet
and peace in this fraught world

panting at the door

Night of the Cold Moon

the door was ajar
open to the night
and its calls
and untraceable
sounds, rustling in the wind
wildness panting at the door

the masks they wear
loud mouths painted
and eyes covered
shielded from glare of sun
and moon
unselfconscious in their fury
wildness panting at the door

more than anything
wandering in the dark
they are what I fear