A Poem I Didn’t Write.

I spent this weekend at the Grand Canyon. With three dear friends, I hiked from the South Rim down to the Colorado River, camped one night, and then hiked back up.

It’s going to take me more than a few days to process what we saw and did. For now, I offer this poem written by my wonderful and talented friend, Maria Rivera. It sums up the joy of this trip just beautifully.  She calls it, “You’re Not a Monkey.”

You’re not a monkey.
But sometimes,
when you’ve
finished all you have to do,
Words like “wheee” and “free” and “sway” and “play”
Reach out,
telling you it’s time
To find the nearest tree.

To pick out a branch
Around which to wrap your tail
and swing
like there’s no
tomorrow.

A Poem from Bentlily.

Recently, my friend Maria introduced me to a pretty cool art/life website called Bentlily: The Art of Noticing Your Life.  I joined the email list, so I get regular emails of poems. Today’s poem made me laugh, partly because it reminded me of of something I wrote after not being able to find a parking spot one day when I desperately needed yoga.

Here is today’s poem from Bentlily:

The irony of losing it over a missed yoga class

I arrive at the yoga studio
so early the air is still chalky with night
I am sparkly with advance satisfaction
imagining how I will glow
how I will unbraid the ropes in my back

my brain is unable to process
that the locked door
means there will be no yoga class
that I have mixed up the schedules
that I have gotten up early for nothing

I abandon my happiness
like a rotten thing

I consider yelling
but a small part of me worries
how I would explain the deranged sound
if a client walked by
or an old boyfriend
walking his dog
with his serene wife

I drive home
planning how much butter I will eat
to get back at the yogis
for their confusing website

my son offers me cereal
and my husband suggests Christmas music
but all I can think of is the coyote we saw last night
on his own in the park
standing quietly
in his right to pounce.

If you enjoyed it, go back to the website and read more. One of my favorites, from November 22, is called Young Love.

Thank you, Maria, for many things, including introducing me to this site.

A Poem.

This past weekend, I had intended to travel to Maryland to see Mary Oliver and Billy Collins, but work and forecasts of Sandy altered those plans. I ended up having a quiet weekend at home. On Saturday, I didn’t leave the house except to go to the grocery store, and on Sunday, I worked and spent a couple of quality hours in the company of friends. I’m sad to have missed two of my favorite poets in what felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I’m thankful for my safety and the opportunity to just be this weekend.

After this much needed weekend of rest, I’m feeling like a poem. Maybe I should offer one by Mary Oliver or Billy Collins, but as luck would have it, I came across a new poem – new to me anyhow – on Facebook this morning.  A friend posted this one by Veronica Shoffstall, and I thought I’d borrow it. I looked it up online to see where the breaks are and how really this was intended to be formatted, but every version I found was different, so I don’t know.  So forgive me, Ms. Shoffstall, if I’ve lost the structure. But thank you for the words. I know at least one dear friend who might benefit from them today.

After A While
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning, and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses are not contracts, and presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today.
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden, and decorate your own soul
 Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, you really are strong, you really do have worth.
And you learn, and you learn
With every goodbye, you learn.