Around the Bend

AROUND THE BEND, acrylic on canvas, 16×20


A two-step login
and peanut butter toast
smother the morning headlines.

There are a million ways to make coffee,
but not enough until I brew a single cup
and toss away the detritus, sheathed in newsprint, 
bobbing on turtle waves, message in a bottle.

From there, a brisk walk on idyll dunes
to warm the heart and lungs; a million synapses firing 
until slowly tiring of things to be done
and things that can’t be done
that make me worry.

Who am I to wake in such sacred space
admiring the river and trees
while plump blueberries dot my cornflakes 
and news of babies continents away 
satiate my winter mornings?

I did not choose this time or place
yet here I am, upright on the same hallowed earth
as those who bend and break and needlessly expire.

Another cup of coffee, please,
as I return online, decipher
messages from worlds unknown 
and solve the daily crossword;

re-read the news a second time
then start my ritual suffering  
of bureaucrats and help desks, 
ignorant of their arcana,
waiting, waiting, to know what to do.

TARN, acrylic on canvas, 8×10

4 Replies to “Around the Bend”

  1. A beautiful poem. For some reason it brought me to tears. Your writing is moving and also so full of feeling and humanness.

    1. Kind words indeed, and much appreciated. I know what you mean: I feel like crying a lot these days, unsure of what to do. Like watercolors, still working my way back into poetry after a gap of many years. The encouragement helps.

  2. Thank you for the powerfully written and received poem. No answers here. We are between a rock and a hard place..watching and waiting and planning a trip to help rebuild the land our grandparents came from.

    1. It’s hard to escape the knowledge of unearned privilege, especially in the face of current events. I’d love to hear more about your plans, and I appreciate the kind words.

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