Monday, July 12, 2010

Pinks of the Universe

No camera for the next few days! How could I leave anywhere without it? I must have been intoxicated by creative juices and terrific company.
Caroline's recent watercolor reds and pinks inspired me to take a second look at this poem. I wrote it while standing in the quicksand of hope. It's one of my favorites.
We planned that stolen trip
to Kansas City when the dogwoods
readied to open wide,
the pinks of the universe
reassuring that some things deliver.
I thought about strolling in that promenade,
reaching for the wild roots--
trusted jubilant hands
washing secrets clean
and steadying those fickle fears.
I thought along the streets
we’d find some stones,
lying there like easy promises,
different in pattern and size
but rock solid, like the sound
Of running water at midnight.
I wanted to hear you turn the faucets--
your impulsive hand guiding
the steady flow
of this surprising outcome.
I didn’t dare tell you
about the questions
lying at the curb
tucked under hidden trash,
safely protected by petrified answers--
not the kind that cause rigor mortis
but the kind that strengthen
even when they bend.
I wanted to tell you I felt safe
that day In Kansas City.
I told myself that I could
let the roots and water and questions
wash over me
until I was soaked in my own security.
I wanted you to know
about foundations built on sand
but fortified through grace and gravity--
strengthened when muscle and movement form,
and skin that protects—
and even glistens—
from the August place where we began.
I wanted to tell you we are both safe here,
that whatever happens hope will float around us.
I wanted you to know this.
I thought we should both know.
So when the itinerary changed
I was not prepared.
I wondered how long it will take
for the obvious to settle,
until Kansas City is Chicago
and Chicago is Newark
and the curbside trash
Is worth every stretch and every risk.
I didn’t know this then, I didn’t:
I thought the things that matter
were formed strictly in the place
where roots and unspoken hope
converge in one cemented spot.
I thought we could walk on this one promenade
and resolve our differences in only this one way. .
I didn’t know until the very moment
when you changed the plan
and the opportunity was gone
That even in the years ahead—
even through disappointments
too quickly frozen in place
we will still be here and there,
slip sliding straight into
the destiny of a sunny day,
looking down, and then around,
comfortable in our common ground.
I didn’t know
that we can walk through any promenade—
the ones in little cities and the ones in the Arizona desert--
and we will still find every missing piece
safely, solemnly, soulfully tucked beneath
our best intentions.


  1. your words are enchanting and thought provoking.

  2. Well, shoot I had a comment to the missing post!

    Very interesting poem - I like it.

  3. Beautiful poem, kj. I love the rhythm of it, while I read it, like waves. :)
    It's nice to be able to post here! I guess Blogger likes me again. :) Dear Blogger, you are so good to me (this is me buttering him up, so just go about your business).

    Beautiful poem, beautiful pink.

  4. So Beautiful kj. I loved the ending where best intentions were kept safely. Because i think our intentions do count, for a lot.
    But i believe too that hope is the thing with feathers... (quicksand is scary! remember the old movies? was it Tarzan? I think my Africa obsession started as a little girl watching those...but hey, i am way off subject now!)
    Thank you for sharing this lovely poem and photo.

  5. joss, i left you a comment and ms. blogger heartlessly gobbled it. so once again, thank you for two very fine words. as in your enchanting colors. ♥

    cs, ah, i have to go look! i pulled it because i thought it was too long for a monday workday! i have some distance on this poem now, and i can see my own sincerity in believing the best. i'm glad of that. xoxo

    pam, thank you. rhythm is a good word for a poem so thank you again. when things quiet down, we'll talk. i wonder when that will be! :)

    lori, this is an adorable comment. it spins and turns! 'hope is the thing with feathers' : i love that! ♥

  6. Beautiful intriguing poem!


  7. Quicksand of hope? interesting image. Do we drown in hope? Should we try to escape from that quicksand?'re making me think!!

  8. Ther are presented images of insecurity but tensed with hope. Hope in finding answers in stone (written in perhaps)and clutching at trees limbs (temporal) and foundations of what? built on sand yet an ability to strengthen it to something lasting.

    Interesting piece kj. Not quite lightning and thunder but interesting none the less for the abundance of imagery.

  9. My how your grandsons have grown! Has it been that long since I've visited? It has been great to catch up on your lovely images and words again, dear KJ!

  10. This is my favorite verse...

    I didn’t dare tell you
    about the questions
    lying at the curb
    tucked under hidden trash,
    safely protected by petrified answers--
    not the kind that cause rigor mortis
    but the kind that strengthen
    even when they bend.

    Is that P'town in the photo?

    Now only are you getting skinnier, you're getting stronger. Do you know that ?

    I do ;)


  11. Ooooo, I love this! Hope - it's always been one of my favorite emotions. I've always been filled with it no matter what.... TSUP! Silke

  12. Yes, KJ, I don't know about you and figs... Even when I heard about the fig wasps it didn't spoil my love for them... I even like their texture. Mmmm, off to the kitchen to eat just one more! TSUP! Silke

  13. marianne, TSUP! MWAH! & SMOOCH!

    mim, no, no, hope is good. just sometimes it's quicksand. this was one of them, unknown until it was otherwise. sigh....

    mark, i just love you! it;s damn nice to have you back. i so benefit from your critiques xo

    hello kay! how are you???? i'm heading over soon to see what you've been up to!

    thank you lo. ♥ yes that is ptown but you have to pretend it's kansas city. i'm presently strong enough to push a full up wheelbarrel. :)

    silke, triple TSUP! do you remember the sandra bullock movie called 'hope floats'. i like to think of hope that way.
    as for figs, i need an attitude shift. i might try them again just because of you. xoxo

  14. Hi kj,i feel lacking in the verbal brain department today, to give proper response to you hope filled, heart opening, love poem. I'll let it speak and thank you for allowing me to read and take it in.
    sending love, karin

  15. "safely, solemnly, soulfully tucked beneath
    our best intentions"
    I think this is a brilliant turn of phrase.
    Pinks of the universe?
    "Childrens cheeks"

  16. Ah - you have such a way with words kj! Lovely photo too!

  17. Everything, tinged with hope, that's what keeps us going. Very intimate poem...