Open Your Eyes

 Open your eyes, wipe the night away.
Open your eyes. It is morning,
the eastern sky awash with the sun and its many colors of light.
Slowly the world arises to do its daily dance.
The lonely and the loved gather themselves up for the new day.
Some waltz easily through the early hours;
for some, it is a difficult march
to be walked only after several cups of coffee.
Early runners dash onto city streets
where they run their morning runs.
Their sneakers pound a steady beat.
From the houses, from the homes that the runners pass,
breakfast aromas seep out to them,
voices rise and fall in a chorus of conversations.
“Up and at ‘em,” they chant,
some with a slight tone of the resignation that is Monday,
many accompanied by the sound of running water
as they shower, they shave, they brush their teeth and comb their hair.
In a suburban backyard,
butterflies flitter from roses to wisteria to crape myrtle.
A squirrel scampers from tree to ground and goes foraging for breakfast.
Two robins touch down on the birdbath, scoop the water into their beaks and drink.
Blue jays chatter while the bluebirds come singing,
their best songs sung for they who give an ear.
With its air cooling the skin, a breeze
eases through the oak, the mimosa, the loquat tree,
all standing near the tall metal fence at the property’s edge.
Leaves rustle. Wind chimes tinkle. Occasionally a dog barks.
A clarinet and piano jazz duet drifts in from two neighbors away.
Three cats appear at the kitchen door, a gray, a tabby, a black-and-white
meowing, scratching the wood, hungry from a night of out-and-about.
The door opens. The cats rush inside,
each heading for a bowl of Purina,
each chomping the dry brown pebbles of chow.
The black-and-white looks up. His big round eyes whisper,
“The day is such a joy, such a wonder,
if you open your eyes. Just open your eyes.
See and taste this day. Chew it well
and let its season pass in God’s good time. Soon
the butterflies will be gone.”

George

An average American George
in an average American town
census bureau-wise
slips through the kitchen door
out into a sixty-degree morning air
and the day ahead.
George swipes the night from his eyes
and settles into a back porch chair
for a prayer or two.
At driveway’s end a garbage truck
scoops up the trash bin,
dumping its ingredients into a hungry mouth
with an empty stomach, ingredients
from the previous week:
arguments with Grace
over this-that-and-the-other,
disappointment over hopes
to escape a stuck-in-a-rut job,
anger at a son who never calls
and a daughter who fails,
distrust of a brother
who takes and keeps taking,
fear of an accumulating debt
that continues accumulating,
loss of a god
who is always somewhere else,
and more junk
from an average American life.
George crosses himself
in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost
after a quick Hail Mary
just in case.
Inside Grace pours water for morning coffee.
George pulls himself from his chair.
Down the long walk to the street, George
passes a squirrel picking his teeth
and just about catches a shoe
in a sidewalk crack, then reaches
the empty bin.

Sun, yellow sun

Sun, yellow Sun
Chase the dark away
Open the morning curtains
Give us another day

Sun, yellow Sun
Part the sea of clouds
Flowers bend hello
The oak stands unbowed

Sun, yellow Sun
Bright above our heads
Your children, the robins
Their songs sunlight fed

Sun, yellow Sun
Pass the noonday line
Shadows on your trail
Done with morning’s climb

Sun, yellow Sun
Sinking into bed
Day closed behind you
Your footprints orange and red

Sun, yellow Sun
Asleep for a time
Slip off into dreamland
Let Moon complete the rhyme.

micropoem for the day: undecided

It’s Monday morning. There are so many decisions to be made. Decisions that can make a whole day go well. Or seem off-kilter. And here I am, trying to make them with one eye half open and the other half shut. The first great decision to make is should I get out of bed right now. Or sleep for another fifteen minutes. Sleep usually wins. Next decision, what’s for breakfast? Then there is this.

button my shirt
tie my tie
and not that one

poem for the day: the house

This is not one of my micropoems. What can I say. It came to me whole like this. Sure, I could have broken the lines up. Three lines today and three tomorrow and that would have fit my criteria for a micropoem. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was one poem and not two. Anyway, the thought came to me that houses, haunted or otherwise, are like people. They have their own personalities.

I throw the bed covers
off my sleepy body,
feed the cat her morning grub,
setting the house in motion.
The house resists. Like me,
it wants one last doze.