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

stormy weather

in this sodden night
lightning and thunder
are so right but the
dripping trees agree
sudden destruction
is painful to watch

rain sustains all
nonetheless a
searing pain
must pass randomly
through some
one or other
or so it seems

gutters gurgle
towering clouds
are brilliantly
showcased from within
electric badminton
dances to blue jazz
between them

a plasma shuttlecock
hurtles to earth
giving birth
to the thundering
ground shuddering
of this melancholy storm
passing through us tonight

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 7/13/17

stroke of insight

there is an area of the brain that keeps us sorted out
from the rest of all that is floating about like the
osage orange tree stretching to the window near me
in the absence of a bit of brain i would see how it
merges with my particles, appearing as seamless energy

which raises the question of how much less indifferently
might we live if we directly perceived how truly we are one
indivisible in appearance but for the little filter we apply
to create edges and outlines where none exist, and why i ask
do we do this in such a permanent seeming way, why not switch
when there is no danger of walking into a wall and if we could
see the entangled skin of every hue it seems we would not worry once
about illusory boundaries we draw around things with our neurons

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 7/13/17

the brief lives of wrens

they seem like home these nests where wrens
and robins pause rest long enough to raise
a brood and then flit off live briefly
perhaps another season or three at best
always they accompany us but individuals are
lost so quickly we scarcely get to know them

it has an out of balance feel a ferris wheel
spinning too fast to be further amusing
the countless lives that drop silently away
a receding scene of fireside music played
is it not better to live than be memorialized?
we must see and love them all immediately

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 7/12/17

fireflies by dinner

rising all around the screen porch
fireflies blink in a secret language flash
inflections and nuances unknown to us

earlier the air seemed heavy humid
an old tire beneath a gravel pit lake
that held my foot until i nearly drowned

now comes a freshening breeze and
a floating holodeck where we manifest
all that we dearly love and most appreciate

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 7/8/17