The whole place we built by hand
not just paper and paint.
We hung rafters from the sky
a chimney and bright metal roof
which sang in every rain.
We walked blank land and invented
life anew in the Blue Ridge
as if anyone ever starts again.
Years later a blind date remarked
“You’ve spent your life on houses.”
True. Like a nest-obsessed bird, I’ve
painted my way from town to town
designing space for friends and music,
tables to sit at and chairs to read in.
I envisioned a family unlike
my scattered patchwork
which rarely gathers where I live.
All that time and work
for a life dreamed of
a love desired – perhaps that’s
why birds have not just nests
A blue jay struts across the porch
to forage in our planters.
The red streak at eye level's a cardinal.
White “ribbons” wrap the trees - plastic prayer flags
to a God, gnome or Goddess unknown.
A cuban lizard pulls one off
the live oak on the corner.
As I leave Johnnie’s Bakery,
an Agama, his head and tail stripe
the color of children’s aspirin,
races ahead of me.
Johnnie’s bread has the taste of hope
hand-made, crusty, fresh.
So too does the air, laced with scent of
gardenia, magnolia and surf.
Beauty confounds the thought of so many dead.
Mourners bereft of goodbye are blind
with grief while fear heightens others'senses.
How can such extremes of bliss and horror
cohabit this planet?
The return of wildlife, clean air and
quiet seas make it clear
this earth can shrug us off