Sliding into Contemplation

This afternoon after snack-time

as I take a moment

to put up my feet and read,

my toddler arrives–

attracted to the anomaly

of his mother being silent and still.

As I read about art and contemplation

and the creative necessity

of perceiving reality

without a mind cluttered by distractions,

he discovers the delightful idea

of using my legs as a slide.


So I stop to observe him

and weave him into my prayer–

his mischievous face crowned

by a golden mullet of impetuous curls

as he climbs up and down, up and down

to do it again and again–

seeking even in this interruption

to find “a deeper and more receptive vision […]

a more patient openness to all things […]

the abundant wealth of all visible reality.”*

 

 

*snippets from page 36 of philosopher Josef Pieper’s beautiful little book on art and contemplation, “Only the Lover Sings.”

 

 

 

Pale Sky Breakfast Blues

It is early.

The sky stretches above the mountains

–pale, white, untouched–

a question unanswered:

What will we make of today?

It is too early for thoughts.

The sun itself has barely opened its eyes.

Only the toddler is noisy and cheerful

as he munches the insisted-upon breakfast:

peanut butter sandwiches at the break of dawn.

“Num!”

Smoky City


Every day

time stands still

stupefied by heat and smog–

this strange oppressive greyness 

that crouches over the city 

obscuring the view.

Every morning the sun sends ruddy orange beams

through my glass porch door

like a joke played by someone

with a giant coloured flashlight

pretending we’ve woken up on Mars.

The mountains have disappeared in smoke,

the interior forest fires making 

an imaginary conquest of the coast.

Even the rooftops three blocks away

have been engulfed by this grey Nothing.

My kids don’t care.

They play outside oblivious to all change

except the burning orb of the sun in the evening–

a giant fireball glowing red

a perfect sphere glaring at us

like the eye of Mordor.

“Take a picture, take a picture!” they cry,

but for once my iPad mini camera doesn’t do it justice 

and we are forced to just stare long enough

to imprint the image in our memories 

next to distant recollections of clear blue sky.