Friday, May 30, 2008

Crossing the Tracks

--A short short story conceived in a few seconds on a drive back from Greek food at the Athens Cafe. Just by the gait and stride of a young mother in an evening walk, it unfolded...

Crossing the Tracks
by Ardi Keim

Left at the church on the corner. Past the playground of the school of The Holy Family. Recalling the laughter, shrill screams of girls and the most important demands of boys, while two teachers watch half-attentively in their conversation at the edge of the blacktopped confine. Will Robbie be there one day, demanding fairness his way? Another girl shrieks the ending quote of that cyclone fenced memory.

What is freedom?, she wonders now, and every time she passes the school yard--kids or no kids. When she was one of the shrieking girls there, her dreams didn't go much beyond the moment and the fence. But now, approaching the railroad crossing at the dog-leg bend of Orchard Street, she reflected on later thoughts. Was it the spider on the signal box that retreated around the edge as she got closer in this late spring evening? Still a chill in the air, but the sun's angle on the silver-painted metal box reflected the glare of a hot summer day. Though last week she brought the snow shovel from the porch to storage, now she looks southeast down the tracks to another world in August.

She and two girlfriends on one of their adventures mothers never know, in the year before she met Dale. Wild then -- and free. Her only job was assistant to the activity director at summer camp in Wisconsin. She couldn't wait to be out on her own then. Her own car and a good job. There were tracks past camp too--parallel to county road 121. She remembered the rumble in the evening after dinner in down-time on her bunk, or walking by the lake. And once her granddad told her and Tom some stories of his early days on the rails, riding the cars to Spokane and Portland, and once to a place called Lafayette down south somewhere. Adventure and Freedom! And summer day dreams. She could see forever down the tracks. Tom joined the Marines last year. His life seems exciting, even still in training. He says he might go to Pakistan in the fall.

Bump. Bump. The wheels of the stroller hobble across the second track. And her last look southeast, as she re-enters her neighborhood and the realization returns. Dale, Robbie and the news from the doctor earlier today.
(c) 2008 Ardi Keim

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Imagination Day: Spring At Last

This day

so far away from last month’s

last chance at winter

in its fits of tightening

and releasing its grip.

Finally, I relax. I soak. I see.

I hear the life in vibration of each pleasing bee

and ant—buzzing, crawling

—climbing to the heights of sky and tree.


How do they know?

Is it by memory or deduction?

Or is it by pure imagination

conceived on the dreams of ancient ancestors

and last year’s hive?

The colony survives by these dreams

and written in rote,

not even known till green leaves to light

the way through season.


I see the spectrum of new leaves emerging,

At first pale and cheerful in this becoming – and lacy.

Seems almost tentative in their approach.

But even without memory they invade

with the full force of summer color.

Bright and bold, jade and olive

and always multiplying

to fill each tree and yard and forest

in logarithmic advance to their natural abundance.


There is no lack in life and love.

In each twig and bud and leaf is the belief in the Divine.

And not by deduction, but by doing

the deed of each instant and dancing

to the song of now.


I too imagine,

my becoming is new

in the true sense of Spring.

How could it be any different

than each step and each breath

advancing, proceeding from previous green?


I am an ant on a bud, and the world is mine.

Sweet nectar. And Blessings

of Light and Love.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Good Tea

She was due home last night, but got bumped in Boston. (Phoenix, really. But I write by license of poetic dreaming.) So one more night. I wait. . . and awake this morning with this most natural thought. (Or was it "the man-on-the-spot"?) :

Good Tea

Good sleepy time teacups together.
Retire relaxed and intending,
but passing the chance
of one kind of bliss
when heads hit their pillows
they're off in a wisp to white willows
and sun of the sandy white shores
where warm breezes easy
asleep in their peace
of good sleepy tea
and dreaming
as one.

Both in their slumber
under the quilt of their drifting
blissful in journey somewhere
until chill of cool morning air
draws across errant hair
tickling brow or cheek.
Now from her sleep
still half in a dream
that's quite pleasing,
and hand in that natural spot.
Enjoying no care and pleasant the thought
of the one that's beside her still gliding
out in white clouds of somewhere.
Oh, could it be here at the spot?
And would this one dream
care to catch two?

She reaches across
to a world still receding
and finding the hand of her man
at the most natural spot in support.
Attention! Good Morning.
Good sleepy time treat.
Now awake by intent
or delay of effect.
What matters
comes naturally.
Yet question--priority:
Do we roll for the rocking?
Or first shall we pee?
Good morning.
Good sleepy.
Good tea.

Would Celestial Seasonings have it any other way?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Love the Feast

What is love, but an honoring of God in everyone?

Can it be for just one without being for all?

You and You, and It and Me

in a tree and on a hill.

We tell the same story

in connection with Source.

We are of a sacred station.

Not tethered in stanchion by thought,

unless we think a lot in circles

and forget who we are.

Are we worthy of a feast?

Reason only takes us so far.

And we’ve all been further than that.

There are seeds in my apple,

orchards in my future with pie

and cinnamon's right


Love the feast

we are.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Pink Bow

Spring forth green earth.

Lighten the mood with white buds and laughter.

What was last month, but a fading memory?

Dark clouds no longer shade my days,

but portend a rain of blessings.

Spruce from its laden posture

now lifts in anticipation

of each solar event.

Days of the quickening

lace limber saplings with Forsythia.

Pink is soon to join the daffodils by tulip,

blossom of apple wood,

prunus avium,

and a bow on your jumper.

Me too! Let’s go.

Spring forth in this love.

I remember our first kiss.

Was Spring in a fever.

Your jumper and pink bow.

So free, the memory.

And you in your laughter.

Oh yeah, the reliving

in every Spring.