little fingers

little fingers
painting pouting petals
tickling timid toes

little hands
dripping ice cream
digging in the dirt

little mouths
whispering wonders
singing so sweetly

little eyes
reflecting such beauty
tendering honest tears

little hearts
offering the biggest
boldest love of all

God, how I miss you,
my little dears

My wee Cooper, Asena, and Leona Ellington

War

A towheaded tot, hands thrust in his pockets,
a nose full of snot, bright eyes in their sockets.

An elbow he thrusts, his friend giggles keenly
a word he entrusts, and smiles serenely.

Bold gestures embrace the lass with fine lashes,
fingers aloft trace her hem and her sashes.

So fondly they dance, these children at play,
how bravely they prance, adoring the day.

No wicked imposture as yet can delude,
no moment has lost her, no evil intrude.

Her peach colored cheeks do glow in the sun,
she in innocence seeks but a moment of fun.

Her bright cherry lips smirk at their folly
her plaid bedecked hips twist ever so jolly.

So gaily entranced, she beckons her friend,
who swift as a lance does the playground ascend.

Together they stand, quite spryly imploring,
at once hand-in-hand, their gazes exploring.

But forward are they, these boys in earnest
to conquer the day, with more than a jest.

For words are wasted on this field of war
where victory is tasted through oh so much more.

Where gibberish and liquorish and lace abound
where sneakers and Snickers and gumballs are found.

Where monkey bars, Hot Wheels cars reputations make
and Mountain Dew and Pepsi too one’s thirst can slake.

So silent and grave, their thoughts a bit gory
and longing to pave their futures with glory,

the boys give chase, pursuing their foes
with zeal-tainted face and light on their toes.

Down the hill and up, their hearts beating faster,
one girl gives up, facing imminent disaster.

Or so it had seemed, till one boy stumbled
and thus was deemed to have been truly humbled.

Still the hound howls ahead, as the hart seems to falter,
by fear she is led, and soon he must halt her.

At last, there’s no place left to run or to hide,
the dear soul’s bereft, with no hope to abide.

She falls to her knees, her hands in the air,
yet he ignores her pleas, grasps at her hair.

She has to submit, as his voice fills with glee,
shouts out, “Tag! You’re it! Now you chase me!”

this moment

These bones sag,
the craggy skin that loosely shrouds them
blistering with age
like pages of countless neglected tomes

I remember well
how my feet flew across the playground,
how these hands unlined
grasped eagerly at play and joyful mirth

I watch them play now
and lay my fear to rest for a time at least,
the beast of my pains
falling silent as songs fill my heart

Time is jealous—
time is a base and wrathful whore monger,
a money lender
preying upon the naive and hopeful

But for this moment,
for this graceful gracious laughing moment,
time means nothing
and love is everything that has ever been

Or ever will be

Building

But why do you need more?
I ask my son.
Don’t you have enough yet?
No. Not enough.
You can’t really play with them all, can you?
Yes, all of them.
What game are you playing anyway?
Not playing. Building.
What are you building, Coop?
A tower.

Because it may look like nothing more
than a pointless pile of discarded plush,
of Gonzo and Red Panda and Monkey
and so much more,
but that is only because I am not seeing
what he so cleverly spies
being young and determined and hopeful.
For what could be more fun
than building a tower?

A tower? I ask.

Then I can be sooo high.

But why?

Then I can see everything in the whole wide world.

Coop building a tower of plush

to laugh once more

such tiny toes tickling at my heart
her smile at once innocent and true
and affirming each moment of play
beside her mischievous big brother
who longs to discover one more thing
that will make her laugh yet again
and again

there is a dynamic in every we—
a means of managing the want and need
without bowing to the extraneous
voices that ever demand our skins
compelling a sit and a think and
a banal effort to clean this, fold that,
stand straight

to be again so very young and whole
reaching for each moment in time
with such passion, such adoration
such lack of petty prevarication
is to overthrow the reserved dynamic
and to laugh once more with the abandon
of a child

My weans–Leona and Cooper–at play.

the music they adore

my weans whisper hopeful sounds
playfully panting giggling
as the chanter croaks in response
and i love it

how could i not adore this
having longed for ages for the art
to breathe rhythmic wonder
into hollow wood

i have sat in awe time and again
while acquaintances of old
have performed for gatherings
of family, friends

nothing so formal as would call
one man a patron, another a star
but for me it was all so magical
a dream to trace

laya, asena, laura, mark, halil, tuǧcan
i have in silence admired you all
for so very long with sweet memories
of your own music

i would my children should grow
wise and bold and even foolish
taking chances others might refuse
to discover themselves

i would have them be happy
beyond all measure of joy
and always imbued with the generous
gift of love

but more than this and all, please
may my beautiful weans all thrive
with hands hearts voices expressing
the music they adore

a child’s laughter

precise patterns declare this life
founding institutional morbidity
determining individual consistency
dryly imparting spiritual conformity

beyond these walls these borders
beyond the refulgent adornments
of this overly stimulated sloth
there must be something more

a path that wanders aimlessly
into a garden of lushest dreams
a stream that laughing flows over
stones of sweetly shimmering hues

this world announces a mosaic
of song chanted by children who
recognize not the impossibilities
of time nor the rules of sound

gleefully constructing

their own

delicious

eager

yes

Salt Lake City 12 Nov 2012

Asena and George breakfasting at Oasis Cafe in Salt Lake City

breakfasting with my daughter at Oasis Cafe in Salt Lake City