She recreates the world
one breath at a time.
Silently I wonder
at its beauty.
Beneath the boughs
Each an archipelago
of sacred mystery.
I take in the magic:
slow sips of nectar
lift my heart,
fill me with her symphony.
I feel so happy I could explode. (Sleep is a miracle that works wonders).
The happiness I feel when I see Selina:
Her nose scrunched up in a smile.
The light in her eyes.
Her expression of delight mixed with a touch of roguishness.
One hand pointing: “MMMM” (Gimme that) she shouts.
Back-a, BaBa, DaDa.
A dialogue in many acts.
We nestle and snuggle in the morning, after the long night.
We play and explore in the afternoon.
She splashes in the tub in the evening.
A wave of love connects it all together.
Her heart to mine.
A conversation that spins tapestries of meaning.
Connections woven by her imagination.
She pretends she is drinking from a cup.
The cup on her head becomes a hat.
Her left brain naming, labeling, compiles information, sounds, shapes.
A bus pulling up and lumbering to a halt.
An ambulance wailing by.
A motorcycle puttering.
A plane flying overhead.
The bark of a dog in the distance.
Her right brain sings and wallops back to the left in exultation and recognition.
It layers longing, imagination, fondness, attachment, sense of self, and other.
She is beginning to speak. In English and Italian.
She says “No, no Numa, when our cat, Numa, scratches the couch.
“Adie” (for Grazie) when she hands me the cat’s bowl to wash.
Mama, Daddy, Bye, Bow, Ba(ll), (D)Ow (Ciao). Baby.
She sees a flower.
She smells the lavender and rosemary in our garden.
She is careful not to pull flowers off their stem.
She learns to climb the stairs in both directions.
She sucks the butter and jam off her tiny pieces of toast discarding the rest.
She devours salmon skin.
It’s her favorite thing it seems.
She follows and lopes after me whenever I come home.
She makes the milk sign and indicates her favorite chair to sit in.
When I see her my heart leaps.
When I Write
I write because it is part of me.
I write because it makes me happy.
I write, because when I do, I feel better. On those days it is as though a cloud lifts, and I see the world with brighter colors.
When I write, sometimes – most of the time – I write poetry. I feel images surfacing. I hear words in my head. I need to write them down. To give them a home in black on white. To see the undulating scribble of my handwriting. I hear the juxtapositions of sounds, the sometimes alliteration, the short and the long, the rhythm of waves crashing on the shore, the allegory, and the symbol.
When I write, I hear bells in my head. I watch raindrops fall on mushrooms. I glide under the lid of my own fantasy, hurled into a sky of rolling clouds. I ride a magic carpet on which I am truly me, more than me and also, at times, petulant me. I let the child me roam. She picks wildflowers . She smells them, and plucks petals pitilessly.
When I write, afterwards, I sometimes discover hidden secrets. I find thoughts that were seeking to be expressed, emotions that begged to be unleashed, feelings that hoped to be felt.
When I write, I oscillate between poetry and prose. I let my pen roll in its own ecstasy on the paper. I am transported to faraway lands; sunset in a dusty red desert, full moon in a mossy old growth forest, populated by elfin maidens.
When I write, I see with my ears, touch with my eyes, hear with my heart. I am called into the House of Language by an ancient muse named Synesthesia. I have been courting her since my teenage years. She is a rebel at heart, yet as old as the hills. She carries me to lavender shores, where monkeys drum, butterflies hum, and mostly everyone else dreams
When I write, I am saved by words. I am purified by the emptiness that follows. I let myself lay on the brink of uncertainty, even fear. I walk precariously on a tightrope that I tried to challenge many moons ago for the first time. Now I yearn to each day. It has taught me to take risks. Within it I see the river flowing. Through it I am shown that no moment is ever repeated. No context can be remembered so accurately that the imagination wouldn’t need to be beckoned in as an ally.
When I write, I write in the present. I write in the past. I write in the future. I write from the first person, from the second and third; I write for all the people. I write to pour myself into all my parts, to fill all my pores.
When I write, I feel my heart swell and get bigger.
When I write, I am me.
from the Russian Fairytale Snegurochka, The Snow Maiden
the snow came
in infinitesimal patterns
of the finest geometry
each its unique design
an imprint from the heavens
of sparkling light
as though faeries dancing
in twilight tremors
there is a muted softness
in the air I breathe
as though echoless and magical
in the distance the laughter
of children playing
perhaps I will make my own
snow-child come to life
with sapphire clarity
and the glow of life in her cheeks
only it is with care
and the caress of compassion
that my arms might bend
folding to enclose but
not to grasp
in that fine dance
that is selfless love
sending forth on the
seraphim wings of freedom
wild and longing
into the candor
of a wintry night