Friday, December 23, 2016

The Spirits of the Season

The Spirits of the Season

Following stars, or are they red-noses?
Wise men and shepherds and red-clad, elfin,
Oversized saints deliver gifts and great news:
Love abides: resides among us: within!

Giving to give, giving to learn, giving 
To earn a seat in heaven or at hearth, 
Or at the front of the best myths, where history’s 
Lovely souls endure: share all without need.

Virgins and swaddled babes in inn’s mangers,
Sinners and lepers and miracle-healed,
Broadcasting the word about free salvation:
Revealing the hope of the universe.

Goodness, precedent in each of us since 
Birth, new at each human intersection, 
Commanded, like peace, at each wary sprinkling 
Of Holy water (or of humming mist).

Rejoice, rejoice, in this season of life,
Climbing boldly out from the shortest day, 
Reaching out toward a touch from eternity:
Baptized by the baptizers who follow.

Sparkle and shine, overflow with lovejoy,
Overcome lack with generosity, 
With one good eye toward humility and the
Other to the bounties of  poverty.

Love abides! Resides among us: within!
Call her Jesus or call him Mary: Claus, 
Or Machabeean, or Ravi al-Awwal, 
Or name it: give and love-proclaim enough:

In that spirit, enough.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Saturday, June 27, 2015. Tampa, FL

Saturday, June 27, 2015. Tampa, FL

Weekly, sometimes two times a week or more,
We make our way out, earnestly
In purpose, to our local grocery:
First world totem to our excess.

In our turbo coupe from our shoreside home.

We’d decided about four years ago,
We like Publix, a bit farther
Than we really need to go, nearer the 
Air Force base—Centcom—we travel. 

In our city, in our America. 

En route, we pass two other Publixes
And a Trader Joes, commenting
Along the way about cults and parking
And crowds and sales and new carts’ wheels.

Judge-cursing other distracted drivers.  

I poke him; I play with his ears and neck
‘Til he slaps my hand, then I hold
His until he crunch-squeezes my knuckles
So hard I squeal. We park badly. 

Us-absorbed, partners among long-strangers. 

In the bakery, we examine cakes,
Then produce—spinach and carrots—
Rotisserie chicken to share with cats,
Then onto beer and chips and milk.

Kale-stockers and can-stackers smile our way.

And we bicker about BOGOs, getting
Double those things not on the list.
Frozen pizza? Is Kim Crawford on sale?
Is that Fancy Feast two cents off?!

Sample ladies hand us cheese and crackers. 

He pretend-runs me over with the cart,
I feign pain and he fakes concern.
We play in the aisles, we help old ladies
Reach top shelves; we ponder toothpastes.

A child waves hello from his basket seat. 

He catches my purposeful eye scope him
And grins wryly. I beam with pride.
I whisper an off-color bagel joke.
I sneak a peck on his shoulder.

Another couple sees and copies us. 

I show him a Hallmark card with two he-
Felines paunched in front of a  heart. 
They love-stare at each other, captioned by, 
“We’re purr-fect together.” He growls.

Pig-Sonny and sheep-Cher: “I got ewe, babe.”

He sends me to surveil checkout lanes and
Darts over to grab some limes we’d 
Somehow forgotten, again as always. 
I examine Cosmo covers.

John Roberts approves from Tribune’s front page.
I choose sweet Faye, who always asks about 
Kitties and coupons. And Lucy,
The Down-syndromed girl who quite perfectly
Sets each item in its own bag.

Silent cheers of approval urge us on.

Cash back in pockets, we stop at the scale,
Re-balanced since the last visit
Knowing that the wait on justice has changed
And every ounce of us has changed.

We are weighed anew, now rights-heavier.

Our reception is regular again,
First time since we were regular.
Together we fill our trunk, sack by sack.
And make our way home: to our home.

Greeted by critters who know no difference.

Buoyed, we cross the same sweet threshold again.
The first time a different us. The
Same us, a little weightier:
Engaged, witnessed, re-stocked and blessed.

Pantries full, fridge packed: hearts overflowing.