Naturalist

clouds

If you stay in one place

long enough

you will see change

and many things will

pass by you.

The endless kaleidoscope

of cloud and sky;

The once-infant tree

now stretches broad limbs to make

deep shade.

If you stay in one place

long enough

you will be surprised

at the passing parade.

Underwater, I once watched

tiny fish flitter,

followed by a shark

that was larger than me.

I saw the squirrel leap

the lizard bask

the deer lope

the bee hover and

the hummingbird careen.

If you stay in one place

the marriage that promised

forever may

fail to thrive and you  now

speak together in the polite way

of strangers.

Some of people that were your guides

died;

their wise words  and kind smiles

are  filed in the open

cabinet of your memory.

You  see the child grow

into the man.

The shiny stone

now is covered in velvety green moss.

If you stay in one place long enough

you will see a universe

journey past you.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

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Space


In the inky morning

wet with rain

I arrived at the airport

with bags stuffed full:

brimming with books,vitamins, snacks,

tiny balms for every anticipated ailment.

All for just a ten-days journey.

The emergency-tools were hidden

into every pocket and fold.

But when every empty space is full,

the question is–

Is there room left in the heart?

Is there a margin open for surprise?

Have I left room for delight

in the stranger?

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

Solitaire

How to explain the elation

felt after a long walk on the mist-shrouded

beach followed by the crackle of fire,

a homemade latte,

the music of JS Bach lilting and

winning at solitaire

with the very first hand?

No media. No work.

Breathe it in, slowly.

The day just gets better.

@Laurie Lynn Newman

Peace

Peace is about wholeness: the whole.

Every single leaf and stone,

each child,each woman, each man,

the burrowed rabbits,

the gleaming tiger, alone.

Peace.

Peace is about seeing: seeing beyond

the limits of my own

nation, my experience , my tribe.

Noticing who is missing,

seeing those who are failing to thrive.

Peace.

Peace is about reaching: my hand open

to the ones left behind

and toward those out front.

Whenever I turn toward another

with open life and mind

we are slowly building a peace

that will hold and bind.

Peace.

Peace is a choice we make

with every person we meet

and each step that we take.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

Early Morning

When you wake

before the first murmurs of human motion;

when the quilt of night still covers

the nocturnal scampers of invisible life;

when the chill of night air greets you

with a cool kiss;

That is the time to listen.

Listen for the voice

that hums a hymn of hope.

Listen to the wisdom that prompts joy

even in the uncertainty

because the day is fresh

and you can always discover someone

who will be glad for

what you can give: a warm smile,

patient listening,

gentle humor and

kindness.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

He Said, She Said: (Untold True Stories, of One Woman and Four Men)

She said:”It’s my seventeenth birthday!

I feel so happy!”

He said nothing, but he did: grab and kiss, passionately.

She said: “But wait, you are my high school teacher/professor.”

He said: “And you are a fresh package, waiting to be opened .”

She said ( to herself): “This can’t be right. What did I do to make him kiss me?”

***

He said: “My daughter brought you here to recuperate, because you are ill. I will make you soup or milk-toast.”

She said: “Thank-you.”

Later,

He said, walking into the bathroom while she showered: “Here are fresh towels.”

She said: “Umm!!”

( to herself: why did he invade my privacy? I am naked, vulnerable, sick).

He said: “I am stroking your young, soft skin.”

She said, nothing, terrified, and ashamed.

He said, “Don’t you feel better now?”

Now, her illness was soul-sickness.

***

He said:”Little you grew breasts over the summer! How did you get so sexy?”

She said, (to herself): “He is an administrator, and my boss. How can he do this? I must just ignore it.”

He said “Don’t you get lonely? Don’t you need me, until your prince comes along?”

She said nothing, but was hot with shame.

***

He said: “You are terrific! Let’s date!”

She said: Yes!”

He said: “Let’s kiss!”

She said, “Yes!”

He said, “Let’s explore!”

She said: “Yes!”

He stopped talking and pinned her with his heavy body on the dorm bed.

She said “Wait!”

He said nothing.

She said, scared: “Wait! Wait!!”

He said nothing.

No words.

No

words

He said:” Goodbye.”

She said nothing, but felt sick.

The next day, she whispered to no one:

“Date rape.”

Decades later, she said, to herself:

Why?

Why did these men in different places and ages think I was theirs to kiss, grope, ogle and take?

Why didn’t I slap or punch?

Why do I still feel guilty?

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

Seasons

We withered under the sun-glare

of summer, breathing in ash and dust,

as drought and inferno scorched.

And, quite suddenly, we lift our eyes

to see that the tree changed leaves,

overnight. Crimson and gold glimmer.

Daylight is shortened. The humming quiet

of night crescendoes

as we pull out quilts, sweaters and boots.

The squirrels and birds knew this

long before we saw it coming.

Food was gathered and stored,

and flights begun toward the haven.

We may have felt the summer as a blessing

or as a tumult, but no matter which

because this moment, this day

brings a new season.

Autumn’s colors will grow brighter,

trees will bare their branches.

What questions will rise in your heart?