Tide Lines

red tide a

You visit me when the rains come.
Sliding in through the rising torrents
beating my windows, in the water
swirling around my ankles.

You can’t help yourself.
There’s something about crushing
waves that are a part of you which make
her eat sand
another’s eyes red from stinging salt water
one more her heart aching from being crashed into again and again.

Your wake leaves behind brown tide
lines with dirty foam, crushed shells,
sand dollars in pieces.

~Pamela

Gardening

Without encountering manure and decay, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate a beautiful garden. We could plant seeds without preparing the soil. We could randomly drop them onto the ground without creating tiny holes and covering them up. We could forget to water them and pray for rain. We could wish that the sun wouldn’t bake them before they take root.

We could hope the seedlings that do sprout will survive without fertilizer. We could, because of convenience, make a pathway through them and believe that, despite our trampling, they will live. We could think that we will enjoy a great harvest if we just let them be. We could let our rakes, shovels and spades collect rust in the shed because gardens don’t really need muscle. We could let the weeds grow so tall and become so invasive that they begin to choke our plants.

Or we could get on our knees. We could get dirty. We could till the ground. We could carefully place them one by one in furrows and pat the soil on top of them. We could drag the watering can over again and again–no matter how cumbersome–and soak them.

We could plant them in a location where they will get just the right amount of sun. We could create a compost heap, be patient, try to ignore the smell and shovel black gold over them so they could thrive. We could go out of our way to take the longer path and walk around them. 

 

We could hope for a brilliant harvest but not expect perfection without any damage from pests or fungus. We could put our backs into it and use the tools we have to assist our baby shoots. We could repeatedly grab, pull and tug at those invasive weeds that threaten to overwhelm our plants. We could do all of these things if our garden is meaningful to us.

If we have even a speck of faith that the sun will come up each day, that falling waters quench thirst, that dirt–while making us feel unclean–can be washed off, our gardens will appear beautiful to us. We will see the loveliness and color as others see it.

 

And when we are too tired to plant, nurture, dig, pull, water, we will remember that all gardeners have periods when they get stuck on their knees in the mud or fall face down.  We could lay there for a while. Get a little strength back. Then we could try to stand or we could reach out for strong hands to pull us up.

We could begin to plant again–until we figure it out how it all works and how many seasons it takes to get it right. Eventually, we will harvest blossoms of success.


Deluge

Lately, I haven’t written much here. Not because words have eluded me but because life has been a deluge.  I have been umbrella-less, soaked, face upturned, eyes closed, experiencing a light drizzle matting down my hair, and, other moments, being subjected to stinging, pelting torrents.  In between the tumultuous extremes, I have felt warmth breaking through the lumpy, gray clouds.  The sensation of sunlight on my eyelids that have caused them to fly open.  When I have looked up through dampened lashes, I have glimpsed rainbows.  Day after day after day.  Not one or two or three, more like five or six.  Extravagant jewels in the skies.  At times, only a fragment of multi-colored hues, but rainbows just the same.  I have savored them, letting my gaze remain fixed on their transparent beauty.  My emotions have soared amidst the slowly moving skyscape, flitting here and there, bathed in flecks of violet and indigo.  A sense of hope has permeated my spirit.  There is no shaking it off, no angry skies that can blanket it, no lightening zig zags that can electrocute it.  Anticipation remains, expectant, receptive to whatever it is that is now concealed by a watery, dribbling mist.

Gray Day Musings & Neruda

 I am sitting at my desk taking a break from working. My heavy, thick glass window to the world is open. Life filters in. Jays screech about their dampened feathers, a male cardinal calls his absent mate, the wind blusters about, enters my room, restlessly rustles my papers, chills me. The sky is steel. An overt warning of hair raising, electric flashes and deep, shuddering anger that booms and bellows while raging torrents pummel.

I am swept up in the emotions of this gray afternoon. Poetry fills deep voids, gaping hollows with substance, meat, food. Then, I receive bad news. Perfect day for those pained, hurting. Falling tears may be disguised as precipitation.

Poetry is needed, read, to shake the shadows of the Grim Reaper, so close, so near my friend’s family. Attempts at poetic therapy, self-medication.  The following distracts me, a selection from one of my favorite poets filled with such passion his words often drip with seduction.

It’s good to feel you are close to me

It’s good to feel you are close to me in the night, love,
invisible in your sleep, intently nocturnal,
while I untangle my worries
as if they weretwisted nets. Withdrawn, your heart sails through dream,
but your body, relinquished so, breathes
seeking me without seeing me perfecting my dream
like a plant that seeds itself in the dark.Rising, you will be that other, alive in the dawn,
but from the frontiers lost in the night,
from the presence and the absence where we meet ourselves,something remains, drawing us into the light of life
as if the sign of the shadows had sealed
its secret creatures with flame.~Pablo Neruda

 

To Wear Rainbows Again

she longed to be
clothed in rainbows
stained in perfect
hues of red orange
indigo yellow blue
green violet soaked
in dripping shades of
fulfilled promises and
unwavering trust
she yearned to be
drenched in joy
illuminated in perfect
light of glass mosaics
emerald amber violet
Egyptian blue ruby glowing
in incense colors of
answered prayers and
unshakeable faith
she needed to be
held in love
clasped in perfect
arms of the one with
fire water wind
soothed
in the embrace of
eternal solace and
re-kindled hope

Pamela A. Rossow

Gray Mist

This morning was a foggy one.  Not too common for South Florida.  I still get caught up in the emotions of the mist just as I did when I was a child.  I used to be enthralled with the ghostly weather and would scurry to a quiet place to create, pencil in hand, scratching a mysterious story into existence.  As an adult, I still feel a connection with that young girl.  Only now, in addition to the dash to my quiet place, I acknowledge the uncanny sensation of ties to those who passed.  Who are now caught in a misty limbo of sorts, misconceived as haunters, who are the ones haunted.  I can relate to their restlessness, their shadows.  Memories, donned in disguise, creep in and stir up latent emotions that persist under the conscious radar.  I am left, like a viewer seated on a cold, padded folding chair, in a darkened room.  An old projector flashes images in black and white on the bare wall in front of me:  wet children in soggy socks smiling, laughing their way down a slip and slide,  mockingbirds shrilly calling, waiting, fluttering to land in my cupped palms, greedily gobbling crimson cranberries, a butterfly garden bathed in moonlight, the intoxicating, overwhelming perfume of  night- blooming jasmine, being cradled, feeling safe, protected for the first time in more than a decade, by someone who was my home, although I had been displaced,  whose frame wasn’t four walls and a roof, rather a soul enveloping embrace. The fog has lifted, somewhat, but the pregnant, gray clouds overtly hint at imminent, cleansing precipitation. . .