Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Glimpses of Glory

—Poems by Claire J. Baker, Pinole, CA
—Anonymous Photos


Nuns power-hose a tall
Madonna and Child
blasting off street dust
and bird droppings

Smiling, they work
nonchalantly in front
of their chapel
in this small town

give "habits" a workout
just as I pass by
for anything Holy.


At entrance to church
a mother dove claims
an outside rafter
of bonded twigs & straw.

We gaze in awe at the
lofty feathered ring—
a mother dove cooing
who cannot sing.
Some, now entering

the sanctuary, pause
to wish the birdlings well
who know nothing of faith,
sacred space, the sky

yet one day they will fly.


Born not immaculately
but messily & miraculously
the earth transcended
that fiery start, finally
cooled, coalesced
into a slightly tipsy
orbit around the sun.

Planet earth
a curious sphere
in an airy atmosphere
a universal hurrah
a heavenly ha-cha-cha!


Adam's       and
God's          index
fingers        extended
nearly         touch

The             finite
and             infinite
space          left
between      those

two             fingers.

 Common Ground Dove

(for my American Indian ancestors)
Place the drum on a pedestal
turn it toward the sun
watch as leafy patterns
slide across the leather

Move flat hands slowly
over drum's looseness, feel
the skin tighten with warmth
toward fuller tones

Rub palm and finger oils
into the grain
Stroke with thanks whatever
anchors the leather

Bless the pedestal, tree stump
or sky backdropping the drum
And bless the animal 
which gave the drum its heartbeat.

(from author's collection, Trails of Naming)

 Rock Dove


Through all the ease-ons after work,
on raw-nerve weekends when teens
had harshly teased and tears welled;
on nights of mother's dying,
and on trips to strange places
where I didn't fit in,
these mellow-grooved slippers
befriended like loving pets.

Now my helpmates are a wreck—
stains, run-over sides. If laundered
the blotches would remain
but the seams would split.
Last week, I kicked them aside
and swallowed hard.

Today I drop
the embattled pair
in a trash can. Surely
there's a slipper heaven.

(from Poets of the Vineyard
Contest Anthology, 1995)

 Mourning Dove

ROBBY, 2016

Lost son,
we keep glancing
into the garden as if you
returned from war
as a gritty robin...

Or you might stroll
the cornfield rows, stand
among tassels, fair
like Julie Anne's
flaxen hair...?

The orchards of apple
and peach miss you.
Robby, are you the breeze
when blossoms flutter-fall
like pink and white snow?
True, the seasons get mixed.

We envision you waking
in the smaller haystack when
"collie boy" nudges you to
take him off leash
for a long long walk.

(for Tomye)

Friend, can you come out and play—
surely we are not too old
and it is not too late.
I've complicated things to say,
so please come out again and play,
bring your pictures, photos, stay
to share a hot spaghetti plate.
Surely we are not too old
and it is not too late.


love remains all
after all we go through
or within our own story

as heaven's curtain rises
just high enough
to offer
a glimpse of glory.

(from Street Spirit,
Dec. 2018)


Today’s LittleNip:


a falcon
we train
for years
to fly back
to our hands
& flex wings

—Claire J. Baker


Thanks to Claire Baker for her comforting poems today!—and for giving me a chance to post photos of the dove of peace, who comes in many forms and shapes and sizes. . .

Tonight, 6pm, you can either head over to Sac. Poetry Center for the MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop, facilitated this week by Patricia Wentzel; or you can attend Cal. Lawyers for the Arts' “Relax w/Tax for Artists & the Self-Employed”, 2015 J St., Sac. (Be sure to register at Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.



Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.