Saturday, November 22, 2008

A January Poem

Children sled in the park
on a no-school day;
a white, winter, jewel day.

Perched on a branch
a squirrel gnaws a chestnut;
scampering down again and again
she’ll burrow in the snow
for another, scattered by autumn raking.

A trellis, her ladder
her paws, mittened hands –
like school girls lifting crudely made snow balls
to their frozen faces
she cups the nut, gnashing her sharp teeth
into the meat,
shell bits descending

Her tail, now a scarf
flutters fringe around tiny ears;
Nut-nougat full,
her golden-orange fleece belly
blazes against the winter backdrop

Later, peeling a tangerine at the sink
Juice runs down my sleeve
Splashing squirrel-gold-orange
On snow-white porcelain.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Green Chair

Beside the green chair, where she sits in solitude overlooking the garden that calls for her presence, is a bookshelf which holds her collection of sacred texts: her Girl Scout Handbook; an autographed copy of Where the Red Fern Grows; a collection of Anne Sexton’s poetry – a graduation gift from her favorite English teacher in high school. This bookshelf holds a collection for recovery, Shakespeare’s Complete Works and a photo album from a previous life.

Intentionally small, when she gets around to dusting and re-shelving, she’ll sort through her titles and part with one or two: generally to make room for new editions that better feed her soul. “Should someone write my eulogy based on the titles on these shelves,” she thought, “it might reflect an interesting course.”

What was she reading at the time of her departure? What was the first book she ever read? What title had the most influence on her life as an adolescent? As a mom; a daughter; a friend? What title made her laugh? Made her stretch? Pissed her off?

What if, when we die, our friends and family gather at our bookshelves as a way of celebrating our efforts at navigating this lifetime and select one as a token of their loved one? Which books would we will to each other and why?

She knew that the words of others were the balms and salves that helped her heal and traverse a common journey. Perhaps some of her own writing should be archived here. The rest, she would take with her. Her ashes mixed with the ashes of her journals - scattered somewhere she loved to be - on a favorite river, probably.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I gave brief consideration to naming this cyber adventure Spongeblog, but that clever idea has been abandoned. Greenchair is more fitting - particularly as we enter the dark months of the year. My chair sits in a cozy nook in my bedroom, overlooking the garden which remains fallow while I read and write and snooze away the long, rainy, winter days. Here in the Pacific Northwest, winter is dark and wet and we wonder if Spring will ever return. While we long to be in our gardens, some of us do our finest cultivating while all curled up and snuggled in with good books and our journals.