MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh


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walking stick

every place is within walking distance
if you have enough time
my time on earth
have i done enough?
could i have done more? done better?
of course
can i forgive myself the waste of precious sand
as my time eddies into the whirlpool leaving
the upper globe of that unyielding timer?
the grains now are so white and fine
most of the sand i have lived
has been gritty, rough, abrasive
and yet the joys!
my daughters finally connecting
to share supper last night
hugged one another in deep joy and love
knowing either would come
in the case of dificulties
what more could i ever ask?
what else do i need on this journey
i walk so humbly?
despite my own shortcomings
i am blessed to know
that the next generation – and the next
love and cherish themselves and each other

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miniature leopard

stalking, eyes east, left front paw
raised, poised to set down in haste
or deliberate, stealthy approach
graceful juvenile bobcat
dotted from beneath perky ears
to four, splayed, furry feet
and onto dark, stubbed tail
with vivid rosettes
of dark fur spots arranged
in artistic threesomes
intent on tiny prey
quick move, unexpected
then gently depressed waves
of tall grass as proof
of continuing on down our hill
on into the wild


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sun drawing water

grandma told me
the slanted beams
were the sun
drawing water
diagonal shafts
of particle-laden light
filtered by clouds
partial bridges to the sky
and, for those carrying down
sleet, snow or rain
that were lost
before reaching earth
men have given names
virga
named, or unnamed
bright ramps between
heaven and earth
that lift upward
my eyes and my
thirsty soul


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Uncle Bob

Bob had a smile
that made friends of passers-by
A huge part of the joy
of my childhood
he, and his slightly
older brother Bill
taught me and my sister
Carolyn to swim by tossing us
off the barrel raft
into Lake Eire
and poling away as we
doggy-paddled back
but they knew – and snatched
us up out of the water –
when the game was done
poled us back to Kelly
Island shore and taught us
to make golden melted s’mores
over the rocky beach night fire
Himself snatched from high school
into WWII and out of college into
the Korean War, Bob taught me
patience and loving-kindness
despite personal tragedy
that has sustained me
time and again, but
i’ve never quite learned
to smile just like
Bob


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little racket man

(a pantoum)

sweaty little racket man
tow-head bright in the sun
kicking down others’ castles in the sand
calling names meant to hurt

tow-head bright in the sun
you listen, but do not hear
calling names meant to hurt
sleep now, please, little destroyer

you listen, but do not hear
kicking down others’ castles in the sand
sleep now, please, little destroyer
sweaty little racket man