Murmuration – her small voice rising like a brand new day

her small voice rising -
18 months old, beginning to find her voice, arising spontaneously from space
her innate wisdom, a flock of freshly hatched words, rising

Murmuration

her small voice rising

in the dark above the bars

of the crib, a morning

murmuration

beginning, spinning, rising

a flock of freshly hatched words

still translucent and damp

where did she come from?

this spontaneous consciousness

this ascending double helix

of intelligence – pulsating, spiraling

wave upon brilliant wave

of innate wisdom, elaborating

her sweet song, a spark

radiating across the unending space

of possibility, coming now

to crack open the darkness

like a star

like the first soft light

of a brand new day

© 2021 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

Wordless Love – the Sweet Experience of Loving an Old Dog

Sweet Jackson, the old black dog, asleep by the fire

Wordless Love

in this light-shortened night

I draw near the fire

with my old black dog.

neither of us

can keep our feet warm

anymore.

I place my hand on his ribs

and watch them rise and fall,

feel the beating

of his precious heart,

and know then the sharp dread

of the beginning of ending

of dissolution, of the warm

moist breath of emptiness,

of loss, of the exquisite fragility

of this simple, bottomless

wordless love

© 2021 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

Steps – this exquisite girl, rising on her tiny toes…

will rise again on tiny toes
rising on her tiny toes

Steps

our son called this morning

to let us know she’s okay

that it was only a passing fever

a bit of a rash, the hours in the ER

notwithstanding

we kept our cool throughout

my wife and I – seasoned baby vets

unflappable

despite the fact

that the medical folks don’t know a thing

just that the fever has finally

broken

so soon

this exquisite girl

will rise again on tiny toes

and resume her accelerating steps

into tomorrow

while we

will resume our shuffling steps

toward our destined places

at last

as vaguely comic characters

from her dimly remembered

past

© 2021 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

one sunday morning

my granddaughter

is not permitted to get sick

I forbid it. her smile

is too crooked and too beautiful

to rest in a fevered face

she’s highly likely, of course

to be just fine

in a day or two, a random

pediatric bug. of course

she will be fine.

so I’ll look to care for my old dog

who isn’t eating this morning

“off his feed”  they say

as happens to us oldsters

every now and again

so I’ll boil up some rice

mix in a little chicken stock

and give us each a bowl.

we can eat together

ever so carefully

in silence

while we wait for the phone to ring.

pray for rain

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pray for rain

 

we had no rain

 

for the month of May, weeks on end

of the warming winds of spring

drying the trees, the grasses, the earth

into tinder just waiting for a spark

 

these mountains

rounded by time, looming

over the cities, each one burning

scattered across the darkened land

like dying stars

 

the poets are overmatched –

so many viruses sweeping the world

 

at once

 

the breadth and scale of human stupidity

cruelty, burning and burning

 

we look to the eyes of the children

and see the depth of our failures

all of our fine words turning to ash

on our tongues – how

will it ever end?

 

listen deeply

 

beg forgiveness

 

lift a shovel

 

pray for rain

 

 

© 2020 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

 

it means we made promises

I embraced her as we left the church forty years ago today, and she has not released my heart ever since…

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it means we made promises

 

it means we made promises

on the last day of may

both still clean still possible.

 

it means we made plans and babies

and sent them both

to bang against the world.

 

it means we learned to cut

and leave no trace

no blood trail for evidence.

 

it means we gave up on wonderful

and wove a nest

out of ordinary.

 

it means we rattle now toward evening

in our dark compartment

as the engine enters the tunnel’s mouth.

 

it means I can still catch your breath

between my fingers.

 

it means you

can still close my eyes with your lips.

 

it means the fire burns

until the last dry wood is gone.

 

 

 

© 2020 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rising

Jafamfjaf

 

rising

 

either there are no angels

or we are all of us angels, rising

by degree. when I left you,

 

you were supported by pillows

billowing like clouds. now,

sitting on the plane

 

watching rain glaze the runway,

I wonder if you’re awake, your eyes

searching for familiar faces

you can no longer see; I wonder

 

if I will ever see you again.

 

gathering speed, we begin to climb,

both of us passengers, rising

alone, separately, together,

 

rising

on differently feathered wings,

rising

into radically different heavens.

 

© 2020 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

 

 

Caught

IMG_4866 Sunrays

 

if fishing is what lifts up your heart, then fishing is your prayer

            — Brother David Steindl-Rast

 

caught

 

between these mountains

we are held by the sky

the way fish are held by the river

 

this morning, the sun

broke the surface of the clouds

casting extravagant rainbows into space

 

it was all I could do to keep from leaping

for the simple joy of it, tail-dancing

across the valley floor, gills flapping

 

striking up and out toward heaven

taking the bait completely, caught

by this implausibly beautiful world

 

hook, line and sinker

 

 

© 2020 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

 

 

beyond reason

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beyond reason

 

the arthritic fingers of winter are relentless,

crushing into ice in the dark

all that had dared to soften

in the light of lengthening day.

 

pain and release, punishment

and care — each

are necessary.

 

we could never have designed this,

these alternating forces shaping the hands

that sculpt this world

 

into a beauty beyond intellect

 

into a heaven beyond reason.

 

 

© 2020 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

alone in the dark

DSCF5100-Edit

 

alone in the dark

 

alone in the dark, waiting for the moon.

tonight, she leans in close

carefully parting the clouds, and says here,

hold this, I’ve brought you a small piece

of the sun as comfort against the night.

 

trust the light, she says, trust this moon

and these transcendent stars.

trust the return of the sun and the coming of dawn.

trust in the eventual dissolution of despair,

and the inevitable reawakening

of your own vast and radiant human heart.

 

© 2020 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com