charlottesville

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inside the house
all of the screens
stream by with
fear-filled news
emboldened kkk in charlottesville
leave behind the injured and deceased
and here it is august 2017
such sadness and suffering
information can bring

a step or two
from beneath the sheltering roof
is the entire infinite sky and
a delicious lingering touch
of sweet cool air
this bright summer morning in independence
honey locust, towering catalpa, black locust
and kentucky coffee tree hang heavy
swollen by recent unusual rains
laden with full brown seed pods

my brothers and sisters
the perfect place to fall in love
is already offering its bounty
the fragrance of life
wafts from the ground
with a scent of harvest time
the dead are made fertile
in the luscious earth
i tell you plainly
there is only birth to be seen
in any direction i look

there comes a time when we too
must stand in the way and when we do
we look to the strong ancestral trees
for our example patiently reverent
in the black ground bending in a surging sky

matter transformed to light cascades
to us through the quivering leaves
is reflected within receiving minds

wind that has swept across
vast oceans of water and grass
slows and sighs along our limbs
eddies at our fingertips

wind chimes beneath our porch
bump lovingly against one another
a low mellow reverberating contralto

earlier on the lake trail
some humans pressed by gaze averted
absorbed in the screen
they come and they go
voiceless and lost in the depths
of the endless scroll

do not fear my dear
for we will remain
rooted here forever
and a day as long
as it takes
knowing
the fear carried
in those furtive eyes
of separation and despair
yet wherever we are together
we invoke peace and love invite all
to participate in this flowering field
where life still flows unimpeded
straight from the center transmuted
into earth wind fire and water

nothing is the matter
and the ground of all being
is in every locale
accepting all that is
without label or illusion

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 8/17/17

life

i wheel my bicycle
from the dark garage
and am struck by it again
stretching infinitely above the roof
we so carefully maintain
is a planet sized sphere
of soft blue atmosphere
then space and stars and stuff
not visible beyond busy refracted light
bouncing around in azure bliss up there

we spend so much time
cooped up with our thoughts.
one emerging physics theory
posits everything is made of photons
wave and particle cascading
somehow into things we see
measure touch and assess

is it not already apparent
when we pedal into a widening sky
or fall within it to where you and i
shine with a shared remembrance
that without self all life is this?

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 8/2/17

queued

an old looking dude with a long white beard
waits in line at the drugstore check-out
crows feet around his dark brown eyes
that are lost in some interior distance
of remembrance or forgetfulness i have to
wonder if he knows his whereabouts

and then it comes back to me
that i have seen this body before
in fact have worn it all my life
or so the one believes
who patiently waits

looks about and smiles then again departs
into spaciousness where commerce transpires
and fluorescent light, bright advertising, aisles of gleaming goods are holy accolades
everything arranged not as it should be,
but as it is, simply this

he seems rather blissfully mystified,
the old guy waiting for his turn,
like he woke up today to a whole new world
full of glittering brand new and spontaneous
like he is shopping in the very same store also another somewhat like it somewhere else

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 7/25/17

arising

i’m grateful for what propels this bicycle
along the stark white scratch of trail
that snakes alongside Little Blue Trace
heavy with sweat this body is thankful
for the morning prairie air that is rushing
into the breathing wide blue opening sky

more of me is wicked away streaming behind
a bluish mist i can see concentrating
into distance a steaming upward of the earth
and here in the heat-hazed midst of time
the delicious shadowy flow of all is given birth

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 7/20/17

zeal


given water, the pansies,
begonias and day lilies thrive
steaming day after day they glow
in the shimmering prairie air

they are rooted in exuberance,
ecstatic in the searing sunlight,
enthralled by howling thunderstorms
that knock them flat to earth

until the light again draws them up
as the life pulsing in every cell
sings hymns of praise in riotous colors
all the blazing brilliant day long

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and photo 7/17/17