Into the Sunset

Still bright dusk
As we drive away
Into a sumptuous sunset

The quiet road curves
And curves again
Sinuous through naked trees
Fast fading into tall ghosts

Quietness fills the car
Not stunned awe
Certainly not simmering anger
Simple quiet
That rare miraculous quiet
Of two old people
Lucky enough
To take love for granted
Driving easily
No hurry
Together
Down a winding road
Through guardian trees
Past hurried homes
Towards a gentling sky
Fast fading from strong afternoon blue
To soft evening gray
With yet one brilliant streak
Of sun-caught cloud leaking
Between earth and sky

Between here and now
Between now and then
Between then and yet
Between yet and never
Between never and ever
Between ever and enough
Between enough and us

Seesaw

I wrote a poem
Celebrating spring
And dolphins in Venetian canals

An Italian friend wrote, “The canals of Venice are clean, but I have ambulance sirens in my ears night and day reminding me of all those people dying alone. I can’t stand all this. I’m sorry.”

I love quiet days
Quarantined
With my husband

I miss eating dinner with my mother, playing bridge with friends, wandering slowly through grocery store aisles, babysitting our grandson.

I am grateful
The President
Is listening
To medical scientists

I worry that he did not listen soon enough and will not listen long enough.

I rejoice in spring
Lenten roses, primroses
Daffodils, violets, vinca
Buds and blossoms

I mourn for a world on pause, with sickness, anxiety and death the common denominator.

I pray
Because
I believe

I doubt in my own belief, knowing the shape of it to be culturally determined.

I seesaw
Always

But now I see it, feel it, experience it, live with it, every hour of every day.

Seesaw sickness

Veracity vertigo

The Good Samaritan, Pandemic Version

… a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, “A lonely man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho…Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he tried to grab his hands to bless him, but the man backed away. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, tried to kiss him on each cheek, but the man backed away. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him but not too near; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity, so he kept his distance but talked with him for awhile. He walked with him and gave him his email address and phone number and wrote down the man’s contact information so they could keep in touch. When he left the man, he smiled and wished him well and promised to call or email him regularly, but he kept his distance.”

And Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the lonely man?” The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy and kept his distance.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Almost Luke 10:25-37

Les Eydins

I see the bottle
White Wine
on the bookcase
under my kitchen window

In France
the village is old
spilling down the hillside
for centuries

Golden stone
creates the buildings
towering close
unbroken lines
over narrow streets

From the ancient church at the top
to the merely old church at the bottom

Through the village
to the turn off
dirt road into the small
grandly named
Chateau Les Eydins

I remember the dogs
two of them
Invisibly tethered to the farmhouse
or is it the chateau
stopping in the bushes
at the edge of the winery
the vignoble

I remember envying Wendy’s beautiful
to my ears
French

And my stumbling attempts

But that village
all of life’s security
in that narrow street
winding down
between those golden buildings

Some people would feel claustrophobic
I tell Wendy
I feel only safe
on our way to the winery

We each bought two bottles

One sits
now
on the bookcase
under my kitchen window

March Evening

The day darkens.
The breeze breezes.
The clothes sway on the line.

I hung them out late and left them out through the light rain sprinkles. Tomorrow will bring sun. I pretend that sun and rain and more sun will ensure they are germ free.

I sip the last of my white wine.
I hear night sounds
and traffic sounds –
A back garden in the city.
Life in the time of quarantine –
how lucky I am.

Viridity

I am not sure
if swallows have returned to Capistrano
but dolphins have returned to Venice

We walk our back garden
alone together

The weeping cherry
drops white tearlets
onto purple Solomon’s seal
surging up from winter rest

Bolder peonies
in deep red
are already knee high

Daffodils and Lenten roses
nod their greetings
while shy vinca tries to hide
their blue in green skirts

Radishes arise
as we bury potatoes

Bloodroot’s pure white flowers
beneath budding trees
belie its name

Our constructed world slows
as God’s world grows

And dolphins swim past
quiet Venetian streets

Paraphrase of today’s first reading: Dn 3:25, 34-43

She stood up in the emptiness and prayed aloud:

“For your name’s sake, O God, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Sarah, your beloved,
Rebekah your servant,
Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah
your holy ones,
to whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O God,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our arrogance.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to gather, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received in our aloneness,
as though it were burnt offerings of our pride,
or pile upon pile of our greed.
So let our sacrifice be in your presence alone today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now, now that we are brought low,
now that we are isolated, each with our own thoughts,
now let us follow you with our whole heart,
let us worship you and pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your loving kindness,
and bring glory to your name, O God.”