The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 90: Diurnal, Nocturnal

2

August 29, 2020, Alexandria, LA-

The good of the whole

sometimes

calls for the topsy turvy

to take hold.

So, a day of rest was prescribed

for yours truly,

both before and after

an overnight shift.

I sense the calm before the storm.

The day let me wash and dry clothes,

see a bit of the Red River’s banks,

and enjoy Mexican food, Louisiana-style.

It’s actually a pretty good fit, “LaMex”.

The night, as it happened,

was peaceful and went very, very slowly.

I was thus also prescribed whatever

sleep I needed.

The calm before the storm, indeed.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 47: Serendipity

4

July 17, 2020

I was raised to do what is right,

for the long view.

It doesn’t matter

what’s immediately in it

for me.

This afternoon,

I was looking for something

specific,

for my own health needs.

I didn’t find one of the items.

I did find something

more beneficial to

someone’s business.

After a flurry of texts,

the item was procured,

and said business will now

be able to move forward.

Serendipity abounds.

The Promise of Palms

8

April 5, 2020-

A nonet, if you will:

The murmur of the crowd gathered strength

The tall, gentle man walked gamely

His route was roofed by palms

Fronds touched His fair head

Joy was the crowd’s

He was there!

Teacher

Christ

A nonet begins with a line of nine syllables, losing a syllable in each subsequent line, and finishing with one syllable.  As today is Palm Sunday, this is a gift for my Christian family and friends

 

 

Winds and Tremors

7

March 30, 2020-

What has changed?

What has been blown away,

by the winds?

What has cracked and fallen,

in the tremors of this

lugubrious season?

Greed is blowing away,

though it is grasping

at branches,

and trying to

deflect our attention.

Pride is collapsing,

being confronted

by a chastening.

Lust is becoming

irrelevant,

in the stirred dust,

of a cosmic haboob.

The selfish cannot

ignore the cries of

babies,

of their grandparents,

of those who can’t move.

on their own.

Those who stand on

ceremony,

are finding

that ladder

is

toppling.

Bedrock, alone,

will keep us upright.

Flight

6

March 26, 2020-

The deathly ill man departed today,

leaving behind a world in chaos.

He’d done his share, though,

and it was high time for him

to move on.

There was nothing he was going to do,

to hinder Coronavirus Disease 2019.

He was ill,

long before the pandemic,

and it never got around to infecting him.

There wasn’t much more he could do,

to help his family.

Today was the day.

I’ve been around,

for another person’s departure.

Nine years and twenty-one days ago,

she was called home.

It’s been written,

that in the last days,

the living will envy the dead.

I don’t know as we’ve reached that point yet.

I know I haven’t.

Those who have transitioned,

have earned their flight.

I, like Robert Frost,

“have promises to keep

and miles to go,

before I sleep.”

 

Playing to Their Strengths

2

February 28, 2020-

Taking advantage of anyone is a sign of weakness.

Few have tried to take advantage of me, lately.

One, who did try, became furious with me,

for saying “No” to his pleas for money.

I do not see this as a loss, for me,

as putting all one’s eggs in a single basket,

is a recipe for disaster.

He’d have done better,

to ask for the help of a group.

I was not his only online friend.

Others in my life now,

are important,

in that my presence is solely

to  help them

build on their personal strengths.

Here, I see a steady progress.

This is always the key:

Help others make the most

of what is already inside them.

 

Places of Which I Don’t Speak Much

8

February 10, 2020-

I kept myself home today, for good measure.

Yesterday was touch and go,

and I made it to the two obligatory gatherings,

being careful not to get too close to anyone,

lest what I felt was coming on,

was transferable.

I don’t speak of illness, much.

This is because it rarely comes calling.

Oregano, and a day of rest,

have knocked it out of me.

Illness is a state of being,

of which I rarely need speak.

Mount Chocorua was the first real peak,

I ever climbed.

I was grateful to my father,

for taking me there,

a uniquely satisfying climb,

that was distorted by a few moments

of diffuse anger,

back at the tent site.

When I had to deal with the same,

as a father, years later,

I knew what to do,

and let the boy work out his feelings.

Long Binh,

the only place where I ever felt

my life was in danger,

was also where I had to stand up

for myself.

So I did, and no harm came.

I may very well return to Viet Nam,

in a couple of years,

but I will leave Long Binh alone.

Hannibal saw me when I was

in a very raw state.

I was not allowed to write freely.

I was refused use of a computer.

Hannibal did not seem kind,

but someday, I will give

Hannibal a second look.

There are many places,

of which I don’t speak much.

 

Inside and Out

0

February 1, 2020-

Everyone has roots in a community,

even if they don’t feel it.

Everyone is an insider,

somewhere.

Everyone is also an outsider,

somewhere.

Which role ends up

as someone’s life path,

destiny,

legacy,

is determined

by the choices

the person makes,

in the day-to-day,

in both light

and darkness.

(I wrote this, after watching several episodes of a procedural: “Sinner”, about a man who is both insider and outsider, in his own hometown.)

 

Before

10

January 29, 2020-

There is always a prerequisite.

Before the day gets going,

there is grooming.

Before there is a conversation,

there is greeting.

Before there is a journey,

there is time and money set aside.

Before there is a relationship,

there is mutual knowledge,

trust and commitment.

Before there is a life well-lived,

there is a moral compass.

Before a door can be closed,

it must first be opened,

and passed.

 

Coercion

6

January 12, 2020-

It’s easy to imagine

that one is on the right track,

and that everyone ought

follow suit.

The Jesuits and Dominicans

thought the use of force

would make the world Catholic.

The Umayyads felt the same

would work for Islam.

Conquerors of legend,

and of infamy,

swore they would

either rule the Earth

or scorch it.

Where are they now?

Remember,

when an idea of yours,

of ours,

sounds like an absolute must,

for all to follow:

What if it strikes some as

inappropriate,

irrelevant,

or just beyond their understanding?

Coercion,

pressure,

shaming

belong in the past.