Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Following is a poem I wrote in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, while my dad was in the hospital with a terminal cancer but still offering guidance and beauty to our world. I'm grateful he was able to read this poem while he was still in the form of my dad, and that he heard between my lines of poetry all of the love and appreciation I hold for him.

Thank you flows between souls,
like a pact to see and be seen.
Grateful, graceful. You helped,
and I noticed. Your selflessness
met my openness and a moment
of shared intention synced us,
like a song, with a lovely line
of deep bass harmony
holding it up.

Thank you bubbles out
when a door is held,
a cookie is offered on a tray,
or a hand lifts a weary soul
from a sunken spot. My need
and your need meet.
A giver cannot exist
without an open hand, or a heart,
ready to receive.

The two sides of gratitude
can get complicated,
when a receiver doesn't see
the reason for the gift,
or doesn't think to like
the method of delivery.
The massive sneeze
that delivered the head cold,
that showed me rest.

No! thank you. I don't want
experiences that bite and sting.
I want sunshine, not a storm.
Yes! please. I'll take another
of that playful day when all was well.
Just the rainbow, pretty please,
I'd rather skip that thunder part.
What's that, you say?
There isn't this, without that?

Crap. Somewhere deep,
beneath desire, I see
that a song of glad falls flat,
without the deep, pulsing
harmony line of sad.
A lotus blooms in mud.
My happy is stuck
without the muck.
Contrast offers clarity.

Thanks for that. Ouch.
Louder, please? Yes,
thank you for the hurt!
Because of pain I know comfort.
Pinch me, I'm real.
Gain and loss are bookends
to my life. Breathe out
to make space for in.
Weary collapses, like compost.

The thanks that I'm giving
this year is deep, and dirty,
Thank you, world, for showing
me what it feels like
to be. In all of its complexity.
The raw, red-eyed reality
of love and loss.
I'm grateful for the opportunity
to feel. Grit/Great. Full. Real.

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