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This poem was written in a van travelling from Bonampak to Palenque in the Spring of 2005.

Bonampak, Chiapas

Larry and I were in a group of 7 people from different parts of North America. It dawned on me that we were all of similar ages, doing what many others only dream of doing – travelling the world after long careers, families, etc. Some are held back in life, but only by their self-imposed limitations. Since that time we have come to meet hundreds of folks in mid-essence who dared to dream…

Mid-essence

For some unknown reason,

We approach the mid-point

In our lives,

And come late to the realization

That the goals of youth, however modest,

Were never attained – dreams unfulfilled.

The years just slipped by,

Children grew and left ‘the nest’.

Careers faded; eyesight dimmed;

The colour of our hair changed to white.

Not too late, nor yet too old,

We set out in search of our real selves,

Unmasked,

And discovered a world of others,

Not unlike ourselves –

In mid-essence.

On top of mountains,

Sailing the seven seas,

Traversing deserts,

Climbing ancient ruins,

Reflecting.

They are all us –

Taking one last journey,

And perhaps another, and another,

With new dreams

Of what can yet be.

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Faith

Faith…

Is resident,

When you allow your heart

To ascend to the highest cliff,

At which point it looks out

Over the vast panorama of life.

It can only wonder

What is beyond,

For it perceives

Only the moment.

There is no going back

To the past.

The future is yet to be written.

Tentatively it places one foot

In front of the other.

One false step,

Can result in a loss of footing,

Setting in motion,

A long fall to the valley below.

But in that fall, that trajectory, that spiral,

Hopefully,

Someone will reach out and grab it,

Enabling it once again

To climb upwards

And onwards,

And, that is faith.

This is a test! Does this verse look familiar? It was an attempt to translate one of my earliest poems into Spanish. Okay friends, help me make the corrections please…and get back to me…thanks.

Alegría

En la oscuridad de mi vida,

Tuvo firmemente la duda en mi corazón

Y  mi mente.

No había la luz, ninguna baliza.

Mi alma percibió la puesta del sol  –

Sola.

Inesperadamente

La puesta del sol llegó a ser el alba –

Y en la niebla de la mañana

Usted apareció.

Primero una luz trémula,

Y entonces un toque.

Mi cuerpo, mi mente, mi corazón –

Esforzó para entender.

Algunos me tendrían creo

Demasiado pronto. No correcto.

La persona injusta para mí.

Alcancé para la mano

Usted agarró el corazón.

Conocemos y desfrutamos el amor

No por la primera vez !

Nosotros ambos llevaron

El equipaje de nuestra guía.

Divina pasada?

¿El amor pecador?

Desnudo

Miramos en uno al otro las almas

Y alcanzamos fuera manos, nuestras mentes, los corazones

Y miramos en los espejos de ojos

Para aceptar el amor de Dios.

Y yo encontré la evasiva

Alegría.

This one is rather obvious, written in the early stages of life in Mexico…

Two

Two men traveled

Down two different roads,

In two different places,

But at the same time in their lives,

Paths never crossing.

Each was on his own journey,

Neither knew his destination,

But in their hearts and minds,

They thought they knew –

The path….societal maps in mind.

Similar careers, marriage,

Two children each,

Somewhere along the way,

Destiny took hold – fate? Spirit?

On a darkened road,

Careers ended; marriages dissolved;

Children grew independent,

As they each approached a crossroads in their respective lives.

Two men met –

As their Spirits intended,

And started down a new road,

Full of love and promise,

But not without trepidation.

Societal maps now discarded,

They set out together on a new journey

This time, at the same time,

Destination still unknown,

Yet comforted in the knowledge,

That they had found the right road

Into the sunset of their lives.

I wrote this poem dedicated to Larry for Valentine’s Day 2005. It was only after I had written it that he told me he had no idea what the significance of a brass ring was, as he had never heard of that before…que sera…

Carousel

The Brass Ring

Young boys

Catch glimpses of an approaching carnival caravan,

And their minds come alive

To all the wonders anticipated

In the seasonal ritual.

The sounds and lights of the Ferris Wheel,

The smell of fresh made candy  apples,

The taste of cloudy, pink cotton candy,

The barkers’ calls on the midway.

Hypnotically, they are drawn into the feast

For their heightened senses.

As time marches on,

And senses diminish, but not dreams,

One ride still enchants –

The carrousel,

With its proud and painted horses,

Shiny poles and calliope music,

Various animals bobbing up and down to the rhythms,

Childhood memories come alive

Once again – sounds of laughter,

Smiling faces.

They reach out to grab the brass ring,

Unable to catch it now,

Reflexes slowed by age.

In the ensuing moments

They come to realize, as do I –

It has been in their possession all along

Residing in their hearts as love,

It cannot be tarnished by time.

This day, Valentine’s Day,

I hold you tightly in my grasp –

My brass ring,

As we continue on the carrousel of our lives,

Endless love, laughter and joy,

Creating new memories

Together.

This particular poem was written on the floor of a hotel in Palenque, Chiapas in 2005. Larry and I had friends visiting from Windsor, Ontario who were staying in our house in Progreso for a month. We had left them and gone off to see the ruins at Palenque. This was just around the time of Carnaval in Merida. When we arrived in Palenque we got a message on our cell phone that our friend’s husband had had a major heart attack back in Progreso. We stayed the night but left early the next morning without ever seeing the ruins at that time. I wrote this poem as a tribute to Richard…

The Call

We like to think

We travel through life

With our eyes wide open,

Awake to all that God offers us,

Thankful for each moment, each day,

Each year.

For some unknown reason,

At some unknown time,

In some unknown place,

God sends us a message

Not to be ignored.

In our complacency,

We may have overlooked or dismissed

Warning signs along the way.

A loud clap of thunder,

Lightning bolts.

On an otherwise starlit night.

And He awakens us once again

To the glory of love around us,

So that we may once again see,

That which we may have missed,

Those who we may have missed,

Had we not been awakened by

His call.

This night, this time,

In this place.

FYI…Richard survived the attack with the great care he received at the hospital in Progreso and was flown back to Canada on an air ambulance. He is alive and well today…almost 6 years later!

Today’s second poem reflects on the beauty of nature that surrounds us. Outside my window is a beautiful hibiscus tree over ten feet tall, dripping with brilliant red blossoms. From time to time a lone hummingbird flits in and out. At night I watch small geckos skimmering up and down the branches as the sun sets. I am lulled into tranquility…

The Awakening

Daylight wanes

Nightfall wafts gently

Across the lush Mexican hillside.

The full moon

Emblazons the azure Caribbean waters.

Voices are silenced.

By no mere coincidence

The glorious and brilliant hibiscus

Enfold their memories

Of the daylight hours

And find inner peace

To carry them through the tranquil night.

As the sun begins to rise, a new tomorrow,

A rooster crows on the distant hillside.

Cautiously, the hibiscus senses

The daylight again.

The warmth of the sun

Stirs their inner being.

Slowly, hesitantly,

They are caressed into consciousness.

Their leaves rustle

Shaking off the morning dew.

The combination of warmth and wind

Arouses their memories of the previous day,

And they once again bloom brilliantly

In the light and promise

Of a new day.

Red Hibiscus

This verse was written just after New Year’s in January 2005.  Pondering resolutions for the New Year, I realized that making such resolutions is not important. What is important is today and now. What has past is past  The future is unpredictable. Where we are at any given moment is where we are supposed to be and we must make the best of each day, each new sunrise. As the song goes “Let’s stop thinking about tomorrow!” Guess that truly was Bill Clinton’s anthem…LOL.

Today is a gift…that is why we call it the present!

Tomorrow

Too many of us worry

What tomorrow will bring.

Too late we learn,

That tomorrow never came.

Had we stopped –

“To smell the roses”,

We would not have worried about tomorrow.

In the now,

In the moment,

We could have watched –

Sunrises and sunsets,

Heard the laughter of children at the beach,

Watched a hummingbird flutter

From flower to flower,

Heard the mournful sound

Of a loon on the lake at nightfall.

In the now,

In the moment,

We could have opened our minds and our hearts

To new places, new experiences,

New friends,

Sharing a smile, a laugh, a story,

And in those moments

There would have been

No thought of tomorrow,

For today would have been enough!