Saturday, March 16, 2024

Waiting for the Peace Dove

 —Poetry by Claire J. Baker, Pinole, CA
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain
     in one’s nineties

After sipping tea or coffee,
grip your kite string nonchalantly.

Loosen fingers, stretch your hand,
make small shadows on the sand.

Envision eagles flying high,
just missing trees, they climb the sky.                            

Your kite wins Nobel Prize for skies,
symbolically slicing truth from lies.

You say you had this dream before
‘mid driftwood by a windy shore?

This kite that flies to far and bold
is childhood for all who held and hold.

              Hercules, Ca.

In this crowded local park,
I share a long picnic table
with a sign-language instructor,
her pages of paper hand positions
diagram words, the alphabet
spread across our dark green surface.

She is teaching two deaf children,
now playing nearby,
to read her hands and to reply;

A blind child, who joins her friends,
sits at table’s end. She reads Grimm’s
Fairy Tales
in Braille, one by one
fingering tiny paper-scrambled-eggs,
smiling as if she’s unearthing pure gold
coins. Sensing my admiration,
Maria smiles, moves to sit beside me.

Here’s hoping the teacher’s charges
learn to read today’s signed message:
You are loved, study well, be proud.

Blind Maria has progressed at close range—
all hands and their gestures
meaningful, marvelously moving.


You, Robbie, warm
& real as you were,
became a scrap
of address, come upon
one cold day while looking  
in a catch-all drawer
for matches.

Did you slip or soar away?
What is your story,
your name for or claim
to glory--
you, Robbie,
   warm & real
      as you were.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 9/7/22; 8/12/23)



We remember when
songbirds kept
circling our doubts.

We might have caged
them for clarity.
Instead, we let

the flock circle,
as we listened
intently to their song.

(prev. pub. in Brevities, revised) 

POET WITH  DOVES                 

If the dove
you released a week ago
has not yet circled back
to your shoulder,
hold out
your writing hand
palm pitched up and watch

a peace dove land
on your lifeline
which long ago  
a fortune teller’s story
enlivened when
unveiled she read
your lifeline into glory.

Again the clouds ask
while draping the hills
of home: must war keep
speaking, sickening
this water planet?
While framing the hills,
again the clouds ask:
where is healing rain,
clean air for forests       
and river willows?

Regal in white robes
celestially clean,
again the clouds ask,
will industry go   
solar/wind full-bore,

resist resistance?
May clean inner skies
bring cosmic colors?

Again sky-clouds ask,
though mostly are mute:

when will more windmill
birds top hills, reap wind,
solar fields humming
power for people?

Again the clouds ask.


        A house of cobwebs
    is not
for me and you
since we need golden rooms
of flowers and sun.
In finding ourselves,
we’ve sipped to the dregs
a bittersweet brew:
have neither lost nor won.
Still and evermore
no house of cobwebs will do,
though sometimes our steps
run shadowy and blue
and we grow misty
from walls pulsating gloom.
No house of cobwebs
   ever dare loom,
       only golden rooms
           of flowers and sun.


Today’s LittleNip:


through every
mild and harsh
life experience
of our spirit

add another
growth ring
until we stand tall
like Sequoias
leaned on by ferns?

—Claire J. Baker


—Medusa, with thanks to Claire J. Baker for her fine poetry today!
 Claire Baker at work while she waits
for the peace dove

A reminder that
Sacramento Poetry Alliance
Danny Romero and Nancy Gonzalez St. Clair
today in Sacramento, 4pm;
Beers Books presents Authors in Conversation
with Josh Fernandez and Jamil Jan Kochai,
also in Sacramento, 6pm; and
Out the Way on J features 
poets and music tonight,
also in Sacramento, 7pm.
For info about these and other
future poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
the daily Kitchen for happenings
that might pop up
—or get changed!—
 during the week.

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