POETRY

SELECTION OF POEMS

note the breaks on mobile are not the original format, they have been altered due to the small screen size.

After a Child's Nap

Oh, to wake up after an afternoon nap

as a young child, 

something I am witnessing from my 18 month old grandson.

I pull him from his crib,

after he has cried a bit

into my arms and warm, he lets me know he is now ready

to hold court, 

to administer and say all the things that need saying,

none of which I can understand…

First, from my arms, he points to a window and begins,

I think he is describing a tree across the street,

in colors, and describes the sky by it’s weight,

in such an artistic way, he expounds, 

with voice inflection and tone.

The whimsical and melodic tone is infectious

in a way that no one could describe or copy.

I don’t understand yet I believe.

I believe as if my life depended upon it. 

I don’t want him to stop … ever

He sounds like manna, a voice echoing from Eden,

Adams voice or Eve’s or a blend of the first voices.

A voice so soft yet knowing, 

with a believability of mountains.

Oh, to understand what he is saying.

It all makes perfect sense to him, as he continues

an almost whispered voice

mouth and words bubbling out,

between lips that speak his truth.

His creativity bubbling as a fountain,

his tone like tiny awakened bells 

splashed with rose water, and delicate

like a love song sung by lovers.

Like angels speaking a forgotten language,

more gesturing and pointing, pouring from his lips.

An experience of Art, or Jesus speaking his foreign language

and understanding there will be enough fishes and loaves.

All that beauty tumbling out of this child,

bringing my deafened ear to a place of reverence for innocence.

I want for those moments after he has risen,

remembering something the elders have forgotten.

His eyes opened to the world, his babbling brook of conversation,

spellbindingly beautiful,

understood by a feeling of being new again.

His voice singing his new life.

 

Bushmen Follow Lightning

The Bushmen, of the Kalahari, follow lightning.

They follow thunder and rain

knowing water is life

they mimic electricity with their speech.

Their electric clicking of speech follows the lightning,

attracts lightning, connects them with lightning

the announcer of things to come,

moving the tribe onward, in faith

in the search for water, for life.

Lightning, electricity, their god of survival

brings rain for their thirst.

The excitement for light in clouds

dark ominous clouds of wetness

their constant search for life

for sustenance and food.

They follow lightning because of the electricity

 

Carrying water in ostrich eggs

they adapt like plants their bodies holding water

their ability to walk and exist for long periods of waiting

and searching, waiting for lightning.

Not separate from nature, they thrive on acceptance

allowing Nature to happen, the Bushmen

make magic with all the plants and animals,

make magic to tell their stories

blending their lives through the stories with nature

Their babies baptized to the stars,

mothers holding them to the sky, praying,

feeling their sacred connection with the stars,

announcing each baby blessed with stardust,

at home in the open.

 

This Stone Age tribe spoiled by the white man,

the gods of everything

the white man doesn’t depend, he takes and makes,

nothing left to chance.

The white man takes nature for his own,

not in relationship with nature.

The white man spoils the Bushman relationship with nature.

The Bushmen witness the abundance of food and water

in the land rover, these sailing ships of the desert,

holding all they need without asking nature,

without a thought of thanks.

Bushmen see the easy abundance and

the hole in the body of men where there is loss of soul.

They fold their huts to pressure from the white man

live in government housing away from their lightning and stars.

Blessed be the Bushmen who have their stories,

that are sweeter than honey,

that connects them, forever,

to the beginning of time.

 

Condor, Mountains, and the Girl

Flying in the Kinsa Cocha Mountains

with condor eyes and wings.

Hiking with eyes a glow

of wonder and beauty.

A young Quechan girl seeing me

hiking alone

approaches, we share water.

She drinks lightly, I gulp

She tells me her name is Flora

she is delicate as a new flower

and as hearty as the mountain sheep grazing nearby.

A life in these mountains being with them, a part of them,

being the same as them.

The condor, mountain, and this girl, named Flora.

This flying, these solid mountains, and this soft and hearty girl.

Condor, what can you tell me about these three feathers,

you dropped from the sky for me to find?

Kinsa Cocha, What can you tell me about the echoing sounds of weather

between your peaks?

Flora, what can you tell me about

your soft eyes that look at me.

All the while my heart is breaking

for all the beauty in your smile.

That day I saw the world for what it is and always,

a miracle of magic

only a breath away

to relive that place, that day

as a holy day of bliss

remembered in me

with the spirit of condor

the mountains

and the young girl.

 

Pond Farm

Arriving at the cabin midday

I unload and put away, thinking

of where I am, never staying overnight

flooded with thoughts as I settle in

the constant pattering and pelting rain

mixing with voices I hear.

Being in a new environment

the senses heightened

no familiar sounds to attach

listening for the propane truck, visitors

human and animal, I’m settling in

The voices will fade after a few days

of incessant chatter.

They will mix with the surroundings and be gone.

Now, there is a din of activity between

what I think is rain and what I think is wind

the spinning of pottery wheels

is a background for voices, speaking clay and design.

Asking questions, even a random sound of laughter.

Where is this all coming from

Do the trees hold these conversations?

the wise ones standing tall.

Do the held conversations percolate up from the wet soil?

Released by the rain and time,

or is all of this inside me

a memory released within

being here now.

The sun breaks open the room now with new light

nature wants to say something

I open the window to fresh air

To see and listen to the pottery barn speaking

It stands quietly now, breathing in and out as I do

waiting for a story

a communal story started by Marguerite

attended by many and refreshed season after season.

A shared space of exploration, creativity.

Today now the voices have subsided

my attention aroused, listens

for the next voice, the next peel of laughter

the next question about the pot sitting in front of me

now asking for completion.

I have arrived in this place to listen.

The birds are sending messages

they rarely repeat themselves

the engaged mind has a watchful heart.

 

Vision Wind

Oh, spirit of the wind,

blow away all my chaff.

Leave only the seed of my knowing.

Let this seed grow in my heart,

that is full, open, clear, and strong with possibilities.

 

Oh, spirit of the wind,

Blow away the critical voices from my speech.

Become the breath for my new voice,

Speaking wisdom without right or wrong.

 

Oh, spirit of the wind,

blow away the weakness in my legs,

so I can stand strong in the force of adversity

and strengthen my leadership, step by step.

 

Oh, spirit of the wind,

Blow away the grey clouds in my vision.

Allow me to perceive with the eyes of Eagle,

to bring focus and clarity into my thoughts and actions.

 

Oh, spirit of the wind,

blow away my separateness from all things,

let me understand the mystery

and the secrets of each day.

 
 

 

 

Captain, oh Captain,

The ship left port early morning

with a bright sky, few clouds,

Gulls anxious for adventure.

 

This first day belonging to all aboard,

a passage to believing in more

resurrection for the decade.

 

The sails filling with new air

full of strength, purpose, and resolve

leaving patterns of the old world.

 

The new world ahead

a new crew of ideas, passions, and possibilities,

no longer an anchor to the past

trusting the winds of movement

to explore another shore.

 

Captain, oh Captain

I trust the sea-worthy ship 

countless years of experience

navigating treacherous waters of a restless mind.

 

There must be calm waters ahead.

There must be an island, a harbor

of serenity.

 

Captain, oh Captain

tell me there is such a place.

with quiet and solitude.

that will accept and hold

a weary anchor.

January First - For 2020

© 2019 BRIAN R MARTENS

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