We were walking – a poem for Advent

Angels of Childhood

We were walking with friends
behind their Minnesota farmhouse,
fields of cornstubble stretching to the winter gray horizon.

Suddenly from under our feet-
a heart stopping flash –
all feathers and noise and wings,
a vision of gold calling in alarm.
With our pulses pounding,
we watched the pheasant disappear.

We laughed at our fear
and marveled at the beauty and wonder
of what we had seen.

This must be what the shepherds felt
in a field a long time ago,
when they flushed
a covey of angels.

***This is a poem written many years ago but still one of my favorites. May you be surprised by joy and wonder during this Christmas season – K

Sycamores

winters sunset 2 2015

Sycamores

The sycamores at sunset,
orange in their reflection,
torched with an incandescence glow.

(thoughtful trees,
pale white bark
taking on the sepia hue,
winter souls
of their spring greening,
patient of January,
April a hope away)

Listen to the earth
turn toward night
and soon,
a parliament of owls
convening in the moonlight.

the angel of the longest night

Angel 2

our breath mingles
creating tiny snowflakes
that rise in the north wind
delicate ice crystals
float with sparks
from the solstice fire
bright little boats on a celestial sea
rising embers sailing across the deep blue
ocean of stars
sparkling bright in the first winter night

*** Twelve Days of Angels, Day Eight

benedícimus te

Victorian Angels

benedícimus te
maybe she’s like any
body
walking the sidewalks
or dusty roads
or the narrow places
pushing a baby carriage
filled with
dreams
or broken dolls
or aluminum cans
she picked up on busy streets
where no one saw her
as they pushed
past the rushing wings
of sparrows
and angels
as she made her way
to the manger

*** This was written to remind myself to be aware of those around me and to always look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.

smudged ashes

176

Soot colored snow
drifts along the frozen roads,
ice covered and tangled
with asphalt and salt.
Smudged ashes
from the Lenten service
seep deep into my forehead,
gaining traction on the slick roads
that lie ahead –
self control and penance,
penitence and prayer.
Monk-like, I long for the cave
of solitude and singular thought.
Life fills in all the edges of my mind,
rolling the stone over the tomb,
guarding from reflection
in ice covered waters
or the certainty of resurrection
in the blooming of Christ’s wounds
on the hillsides of spring.

the cries of gulls

seagulls

The scent of sun is in your hair
with the salt smell from the waves
crashing onto the shore.

Waters sparkles in sunglints
and bursts into flame in the clear blue
sky of your eyes.
Heat rises with the day
light and sun glow on your skin.
Above us, the gulls call to the sea
and the wild sound of surf pounds
in my breast.

Startled, I wake from a dream of the ocean
to cries of gulls wheeling in the icy air
and the chill of winter in your eyes.

Snowy Morning on the Cove

feb cove with snow

snowy morning with cardinals

feb morning - dove in snow

feb morning - card in snow

We woke to the sound of sleet on the roof and wild geese flying over the house on the way to the cove.
Then the big gorgeous flakes began to fly too.

Now the cedar trees are filled with cardinals, finches and juncos. We have dove, blue jays, titmice and chickadees too. And a brown thrasher showed up at the suet feeder as well as a little downy woodpecker to share a morning treat.

It is still snowing and we will end up with 6-8 inches by the end of today. And I know everyone in the eastern US is ready to see the snow go away, but this is our first snowfall of the season and it is BEAUTIFUL!

sleet colored sky
streaked with wings
of wild geese
and clouds of bird song

Iconography

winters sunset 2 2015

The afternoon light was in its January slant,
deepening its intentions
of gilding the winter hours.
As I walked the dog down the lane,
a glare of light struck my eyes.
Glancing to the source-
the storm door in the carport down the road-
a golden shimmering vision was beginning to form-
what appeared to be an icon
leaning against the faded vinyl siding
of the empty house.
Long narrow face with hooded eyes,
long narrow fingers
making the sign of the cross,
halo glowing,
surrounded by that bright gold leaf background
one sees in all those photos of icons-
Byzantine – that is how I would describe it.
So what does one do when one sees a saint
leaning against the siding of a neighbors carport?
Well, I looked away
like any other reasonable person walking her dog on a cold January day would do.
Then I looked back.
And he waved at me.
The sun bouncing off the storm door,
reflecting that golden light,
his face,
all byzantine and gold leafed.
Waving in return,
I turned back into the lengthening shadows,
and, after the dog
had finished all he intended,
walked back home.