the sweetest smile

the sweetest smile
from this tiniest face
paints playful palettes
of gold and green
across my quiet soul

one look is all
appalling stealth and
wealth and leaving
artless deceptions dangling
in petulant wonder

for this, my lords and
ever torporous ladies
is what life really looks like
when languid you decry
the brightness of day

Me and my baby girl, Leona Mae

whispering wonder

The whispering wonder
of your so eager smile
completely dazzles
the old worn soul of me.

I never knew such truth
could dwell in eyes
so small yet tremendous,
innocently reflecting stars.

For every dark moment
the angry cracking joints
of this cantankerous fool
grumble for needed peace,

there are a thousand more
when my spirit soars
at the merest sight of your
honestly shining face.

– for my daughter, Leona Mae Ellington

the tiniest fingers

tiny fingers fidget expectantly
cultivating flowers from mist,
teasing timid white to blossom
into eager green and petals
proudly, your petulant pink

eyes laughing, determined
to spy what others do not
the bright panorama of fairies
flitting and ponies prancing
richly across your open heart

untainted yet by mortal fears
how true your colors flow
engendered in a fertile stream
of sweetest unmade sincerity
dancing daisies and dewdrops

My wee princess Leona Mae playing in Nature (October 2020)

My Wee Sprite

my wee sprite speaks to the trees
and dances their sylvan singing
bringing vibrant hope to my soul,
bark growing stronger at her touch
roots stretching deeper and deeper
below her feet

my wee sprite chases away spectres
securing trust and eternal song
that pardons even the most egregious
envies that have broken bound me
to pursue such petty pleasures
in this life

my wee sprite promises me a day
when the Shellycoat herself bows
and allows me to ascend and ride
the very seas from shore to shore
only to see my wee sprite smile
once more

around and around

around and around she flew
over the well-trodden snow
giggling with such perfect zeal
such unrefined, unrestricted joy
that I found myself trembling inside
so very fortunate to be standing here
watching a child of mine experience
the finest truth of this being:
that to touch the world at its core—
to strive without pretence
to play without avarice
simply to live in this moment—
is to smile the biggest loveliest
smile that one is capable of

My beautiful baby girl playing in the first snowfall of this coming winter

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