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Our Garden by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By The Garden

/ Stories

Our Garden

You, the ruthless pruner,

who fears not the bend of limb and tearing of tissue

Somehow reflect a greater faith in the Divine plan

and the blooming of Life.

 

Me, the timid intruder,

who observes and reveres

the struggle to survive-

Ever too aware of the pain and trials

of growth and death.

 

We, the pair of gardeners

of internal and external motion,

Coming from such distant points

to join our endeavors.

 

You, the total acceptor of what is,

Expectation unfolds at turns and corners

Me, the dreamer of what could be

Surrenders not to the current vision

 

We, the polar ends in this magnet,

pull toward each other’s infinite truth

And repel each other’s wounded, flawed illusions

 

You, the receiver of given,

the demander of focus,

Sees that stability

is not a symptom of health

Me, the treasurer of wonder,

the follower of intuition,

Hears the forever yearning

in all things,

living and not

 

We, the learners of Now,

the rememberers of Then,

the discoverers of Yet,

Can sometimes see and hear

beyond our bodies,

and other times become blind and deaf.

 

You, the model of detachment,

allowing no energy to be drained by other

Except the piercing my soul

does through your heart’s wall.

Me, the model of compassion,

give wisps of myself to earth

in endless thought,

Except where the strength of your soul

holds me still.

 

We, in the green of our peaceful garden,

nurture miracles

and grow tender sustenance

And in joining our separateness,

create vulnerability to the human part

that must fail

In order to learn,

must let go

in order to move on,

must die

in order to be reborn.

 

 

2020 in 3 acts by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Summer

/ Stories

 

                               1

Somehow I landed pet sitting/housesitting gig

On my river

Sweetest of elder dogs

A month of easy income

And re-focus on my own

Life essence in the body

Then the world shook

With tremors at first

Then waves of fear

Terror turning toward

Both the best and worst

In us as humans

In a model of civilization

That insists on 

Too much

While ignoring

The only things that

Truly matter

The month turned to 3,

And as people struggle 

To survive

I was

Binge watching on various

Streaming bandwidths 

Of human imagination

Story telling

And avoiding the pain

I feel in the world

 

Now the woman is not

Returning

She is staying on in

Costa Rica

With her daughter

And letting all this go

Sort of

Mostly

I will stay with her adored

Dog until the 

Visiting Vet comes to 

Put her down

I know she is ill and 

Waits for her mama

It brings up all my 

Past griefs

From leaving my river before

To holding various critters

While we ease their 

Transition

To witnessing enough

Last breaths in

The end of the human

Struggle for incarnation

To know it won’t be 

A hard death

I still spent 3 days 

Aching and trying to stifle

The ache

The knot in my chest 

Would constrict

All the way up to my throat

And I would sigh deep

Breaths

And try to distract myself 

With no where to go

And only masked faces

And virtual connection

To be had

Each of those 3 long days

The ravens I give 

Peanuts to

Left me a perfect

Black feather

And this strange comfort 

In a strange time

Helped me turn back

To allow my grief

Its voice

To honor the heart

Of love that

Gave rise to such

Sorrow

To sense into

The tumult of 

Uncertainty

Tonight, 

A cricket got 

Stuck in the house

As I have felt

And he sang away

In a soothing

Natural way

A pulse of 

Understanding that 

It is where I am

With what is happening 

More keenly awake

Even as the future

Has grown quite foggy

2

And now the underpinnings

Of our spinning culture

Have come undone under

The knee of a bad cop

The death of ignorance

As cell phones capture

What we have denied for so

Long-

The slavery upon which our

Country was founded continues

To rape and pillage the

Lives of black people

Onto the streets, finally finally

More and more across

The globe we feel 

Ready to stop the greed

And fear that only functions

With a very few 

Tightening their grip

On the power they

Think they and only

They, are entitled to, 

Never reflecting past

The gut of seething

Anger

Misplaced on the vulnerable

In hope that the knowledge 

Of death 

And the insistence of 

Padding our pathways 

With comfort and indulgence

While others starve

And suffer

No, the contagion continues

And now we know its ugly

Name

And now we ask the racists

To try to squelch the fear

They use to block their 

Hearts

And if nothing else

Push back against

Those who use hate 

As the blunt instrument

To guard their shaky

Foundations of hierarchal

Blocks

Feeding their illusions

Of certainty and security,

Which have long

Been denied to others. 

So instead of the trip

To the south of France

That was to celebrate 

My 60th year, 

We did a 3 day

Stay-cay

First day was spa day

With sticky home 

Concoctions of 

Oatmeal, honey,

Yogurt, cinnamons

And coconut oil

And a clay wrap

That reminded me how 

My body now always 

Craves moisture

2nd day was a magic

Mushroom trip to 

Find my consciousness again

And seek the answers within

By shifting perceptions

And the soft sweet journey

Finds me facing god/goddess

Consciousness, 

Which asks me:

“Do you trust me?”

Yes

No

sometimes

Yes

Not all the way

Occasionally 

Yes

Yes 

Yes

Day 3 is creativity day

Open and inviting

Write?

Organize my jewelry box

Write?

Go through my email

Facebook

Twitter

Write?

I am here

Now 

3

Now all of our

Pretense toward normal

Has exposed our

Misunderstandings, 

Raw wounds,

And unnamed avoidances

My daughter invites me

To get tested to feel

Clear, clean and able to help

With the fall of home schooling

The grands I have only 

Hugged through the facetime

Screens 

For months and months,

Family zoom

Wedding zoom

Baby shower zoom

Birthday zoom

And we are joyous

At feeling what we miss

Yet without presence

In the person 

It keeps slipping away

Like all grief I observe 

My own responses on 

Any given day, and 

The responses of such 

A huge variety to this 

Sense of having the world

Moving under our feet

At times I can only

Keep my own breath going

The mad king gets

More desperate as the arrogant

Lick-spittles around him

Cling to his facade of strength

Without much care to the suffering

That builds as the economy crumbles

The hungry have nothing to lose

And the shame I feel at our country’s

Flailing failures

Small successes

And,

Right here

In front 

Of me-

Proof of the corruption

Of the world

 

And yet

YET

Unending love

Quietly waiting-

our only true gift 

We can offer 

Each

Other. 

Dream time by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Dreams

/ Stories

Awaken to the Dream

Long before we are

birthed to this life,

to these bodies, 

someone dreams us

into existence.

These ethereal threads

that are woven

throughout our life

hold the patterns, 

warp and weave

of the holy meaning to

our days and nights.

When the sacred spinning,

the endless calling that 

finally finds voice

in these magical

colorful carpets 

of past and future,

finally find’s our 

ear’s silent and still heart,

the awakening to the dream

brings full moments 

of fulfillment.

Heavy beats of the clock

then encompass the no time

of standing in the shining role

we are born to:

to be completely, 

entirely,

wholly, 

ourselves.

 

 

 

 

Speak My Dreams

I speak my dreams and in

The saying of them

While still groggy with sleep

I often know

What each symbol 

Relates to in my waking mind

He reminds me that it 

Is OK to stay in process

To not seek to analyze

Or wrap up the mystery

In a package of “I know”

As it is in the “unknowing”

That the space abides

For the deepest living

Of the 

Delicious

Often achingly

Beautiful

Incredibly powerful

unfolding moment

 

 

My Dreaming Babe

Now that you’re sleeping…

An angelic glow surrounds your tiny face

All traces of mischief and orneriness vanish

The tiny creases of concentration and anxiety relax

Into mere memories of lines

Your eyelashes lengthen to an almost absurd length

And the pout of your tiny mouth is irresistible,

A dream smile tugging at the corners

The sweetness of this small respite in your abundant energy,

Your push to learn, observe, touch, taste, and try,

Temporarily put on hold for such a short time

As your body dictates

Oh God, what beauty on your face-

I almost wake you as I bend to kiss 

My dreamin’ babe

 

 

Armageddon

I dreamed about Armageddon last night.

It started as a bad storm, 

like the movies

the sky was dark,

the wind and water grew 

to a terrifying velocity

electricity filled the air with sharp cracks of thunder

pierced by sharped-tounged lightning 

that exploded blindingly on the ground

in the dream I could smell

an acute acrid odor 

that burned the nostrils and

informed those still alive–

                   there was no escape.

I wound up in a dark shelter with people I didn’t know

from all different cultures, languages and viewpoints

I tried to comfort in that mom-forehead-stroking way

but one bedraggled man I was reaching toward 

had lost everything, 

                                      everyone

and his eyes reflected no desire for life.

Then a small boy was pounding at the portal to the humid room

where we all huddled.

He simply crawled up next to the man,

the man’s arms wrapped around the boy without words

and tears streamed down

the man’s haunted, shadowed face

for his loss, 

and the boy’s.

I moved on to tend others who feared

                     what might come next.

 

 

 

Dream of Awakening

I dreamed last night

that I was attempting

to explain 

to a young teacher

how a child

begins to put the world together 

We were standing by a bush

I asked her to sense

the outer boundaries

of leaf,

branch

root 

spaces between

fragrance

warmth

relationship

to insect

air

sun

earth

us

This led to

the miracle

of sight

and how it blinds us

the miracle of sound

and how it can keep us from

hearing the heart of 

what is being communicated

the miracle of breath

and how we exchange

it,

the miracle of touch

and how we must 

screen out

and focus attention

in order to go 

beyond perception

to understanding

over and over again

as we expand

and contract

taking in 

what feels new

and sorting, 

comparing,

sifting, 

and finding a place for the new to fit,

or more, 

to fill the spaces 

where losing understanding

may leave giant gaping holes

It was beyond beautiful.

I awoke to this wondrous world,

watching, smelling, tasting, hearing

touching, sensing

cold air on my face

birds in trees,

ocean waves crashing,

people in cars,

the hunger in my belly,

the tears in my eyes

the joyful yearning

I remembered,

once again, 

how our unique 

existence in our own 

perceptions of  the planet

is a rare and precious thing

I am trying to hold onto that

in these words-

trying to offer that 

to those who want to

remember too.

Springtime Blossoming by
25
(27 Stories)

/ Stories

Blossoming

                  

What are you doing, now? He asked me peering

up with my line of sight.

I am giving the wisteria a standing ovation!

As he shakes his head

my heart pulls toward admiring

the purple tresses of the vine-

so stunning, arresting in their 

delicate beauty-

sweetly fragrant, vibrant

I want, I yearn

to be such exquisite

authenticity,

and by sheer being

unfold into a radiant 

beacon of such-ness

as to inspire

pause and

peace without

notice

Retiring Expectations by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

/ Stories

I’m a planner. 

Like to have all 

Potentialities acknowledged,

Surveyed, and appropriate

Responses in hand and heart.

 

So growing up I 

Knew I was a teacher.

The evolution of 

Who I was teaching all 

Neatly corralled in the

Pen of possibility I 

Keep stocked with vigilance

 

My storybook love

With a soul mate,

And how our relationship

Matured as we did,

My plans always held us

Aging together as we 

Journeyed this ocean of uncertainty 

That is life in partnership.

 

I knew I was to be a mom

And prided myself for not

Only staying on track

Most of the time,

But even rolling with the 

Quirks, circumstance and dynamics

Of family life-

embracing the challenges,

Because playing whack a mole

Is just part of the deal.

And the richness was the

Delicacy I craved.

 

I envisioned a remarkable senior hood

Of service and passion

Continuing my spiritual exploration

Amidst more spare time to 

Art

To Love

To Connect

To Revel.

To savor and enjoy

The pieces of life that didn’t

Quite fit in my daily plans

While in my years of prime energy.

 

However, life knows

Goodness knows, 

Love knows, 

That the universe has a wry sense of

Irony.

The sweet carpet of my ordered life

got swept out from under me

I spiraled through 

Illness

Divorce

More illness

My Daddy dying

My mama dying

Disabling illness

Grandparenthood without

The abundance I had foreseen.

 

So, I am here now with 

Tattered plans in hand

Realizing that I can either 

Keep kicking and paddling

Upstream toward

What feels like was

my life

Or pick up my feet and

Float toward a closer

Identity

And personal painful pushes

To see beyond 

The limited vision

Of my expectations

Anne by
25
(27 Stories)

/ Stories

Anne

She was a quiet girl, soft of face

soft of movement,

and her long brown hair

often curtained her eyes

so as to be soft of broadcasting feelings.

Both of us were novitiates to the 

buzzing tech-worshipping work world

where we met.

We hit it off, mostly 

because at age 18,  

we knew everything, and

we both needed to escape

the cubicle-filled 

fluorescent space to go 

outside at lunchtime

even in the rain, 

even when our co-workers

shook their heads 

when we would come back to the

sluggish, dull-office afternoon in wet clothes

and muddy shoes and 

secrets shared.

We would buy goldfish crackers

and bottled Pepsis-  munching

crappy calories and anti-health food 

as we shared our histories,

sitting on the carefully edged, mowed and 

greenly-fragrant lawns spotted

with islands of rebel daisies making a stand,

or striding through the suburban

neighborhoods, or using louder voices

as the rain pounded on the roof of her

adored mustang convertible.

She slowly revealed,

one story at a time

that her father drank a lot

that he beat her mama 

pretty regularly 

and worse for her mother

he had flaunted

on-going affairs, with trampy-looking women

who wore bright red lipstick, just a bit smeared,

and painted their eye-brows on in

a way that left them always looking

just a little surprised.

Then her mother would melt into

one of her paralyzed puddle times 

when she forgot

to eat, or bathe or dress., until she 

could remember her children.

One day Anne gently moved

the hair from her face to say

she had given a baby up for adoption

when she was 16, and since then

she finds herself compulsively 

staring at any child

who was female and the age of the

vacuum left in her heart.

Then she almost whispered

her boyfriend also beat her sometimes,

only when he was drunk,

only when she forgot to keep her mouth shut,

only because he has so much stress. 

Years later I found out that

in her mind she felt that it 

was my incredulity at her staying

that helped her leave, though

my memory of her flight was different.

She has moved back and forth 

across the country, trying to outrun

the darkness that would close 

round her throat each month

with the bright red blood

flowing from her, the hormonal

shadows coloring every

contentment with grief

She called me sometimes,

often it had been months

since she surfaced to tell me:

I have just checked my son

into an institution to keep him alive

or

I couldn’t make my marriage work

or

both my brother and sister are battling addictions

or

I have found my long lost daughter!

But mostly

and that the storms of her childhood

refused to give her sunshine.

She was crumbling into herself in the blackness. 

Today, as the rain finally

pours its treasure on

this drought- parched land,

that  finally-found

daughter worriedly 

wrote to tell me

it has been 2 years 

since she has heard

from her mother, 

hopeful that I may know how/where she is.

My mind

flashed on crunching 

dry fish-shaped

wrongly- orange 

crackers

looking through a silver- dropped curtain

on the window

while this sweet gentle voice explained 

in her quiet, softly sad

way, how she deserved what 

love gave her.

A Moving Poem by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Get Organized

/ Stories

So I am thinking…

I need to look at everything

in this house that

holds 31 years of marriage

and two grown children’s

archives,

and ask this

51 year old

almost single

self

what do you need?

Which books of 5 full book cases

do you have to have near you?

Which wall hanging/photos

are touchstones of your

equilibrium and peace?

How to condense

whole phrases

into power words…

OH…

A poem.

The apartment is lovely

but a 4th of what a house holds.

And I know it is good

I know my closets

and shelves and dressers

are brim full of

Yes, but-clothes

Yes, but its missing a button

Yes, but its too tight around here

Yes but I have no shoes to go with it.

As I survey for

the essential

I realize how over-stuffed

my existence is

with things

and photos

and art

and momentos

and on the other side

of this somewhat

painful, slicing

process

is

truer, crisper

Freedom.

General Store by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Shopping Local

/ Stories

General Store

Sears and Roebuck

The original Amazon

The circles of 

time-periscoping

Evolution

Of the landmarks of our

Consumerist commitment—

Beacons that guided

Our travels

Before GPS

 

White Front 

To Gemco

To Target

 

Rexall

To Longs

To CVS

To Cannabis dispensary

 

Mr. Jordan’s corner tobacco/liquor 

To 7-11

To million dollar condos

 

Joey Franco’s

To PW

To Safeway

 

Frye’s

To radio shack 

To best buy

 

Dave’s hardware

To Orchard Supply

To Home Depot

 

Costco & IKEA 

Go Big or 

Go wireless….

 

My mom made us go to

Imahara’s farm stand store

In the 70s

Before posh

farmer’s markets

Were the rage,

Carrying our embarrassingly

re-folded paper bags 

she insisted

We reuse

Before anyone 

Recycled,

To support our neighbors,

To have long 

(Very long to my child’s eye/experience)

Conversations with those who 

Grew and brought us our food

Or to “pick your own” fruits/berries

We also had Peninsula Creamery

deliver our raw milk and cheese each week, 

And mom’s big treat was to Call

Chicken Delight (Don’t cook tonight)

Also delivered to door, before Colonel Sanders

Came to town 

 

I-pad Magnet or My prayer for Millennials by
25
(27 Stories)

/ Stories

My small screen

Is a black hole

That sucks me into

The miasmic plasma

Of hidden light,

That both connects

And separates me

To and from others

I sense the forever

Yearning

The existential hole

Where we plug in

Hoping to feel 

An integrity 

That constantly falls

Apart, on its way

To wholeness

My tether to this world

Can grow thin and despairing

When the fear/hatred 

Comes winding out of 

The electronic web

Of connections

Or it can grow thick and full

Of sweet passion for

A planet of exquisite beauty

And courage

I need skin to skin

Eye to eye

Voice to voice 

Touch

To remember we

Are one, 

Even without the artificial

External constructs

To re-connect,

We are one.

Mother by
25
(27 Stories)

Prompted By Earth Day

/ Stories

Mother

Once a Native American man

told me that if you

lie face down 

with head pointed north

and feet pointed south

the earth mother

would accept any grief 

in your heart

                      cleansing you, freeing 

                                                    you

                                                

So at a point

when grief was

a tight fist 

in my chest

and every sigh

only seemed to deepen 

the grasp of sorrow

and force the arrow

of suffering,

further and further

                         into my withering

                                                soul

I lay down with 

my face in the summer-dry

redwood duff, 

let the fragrance seep past my 

nose stuffed with the tears

that dripped from my chin,

                               felt my heart

                                              open 

to the silent hum of

the world

while birds and insects

added their 

unique voices to a choir

of liquid staccato forest noises;

the ground both received 

and rejected

                   my bones and body’s

                                              weight

And sure enough,

she opened her womb

accepted seeds of

fear, shame, weariness, sadness

                the pressure eased- 

                                          enough

Guiltily, 

I offered an exchange, some

of my sufferings for hers

only suddenly knowing that

her pain was too great for 

me to hold;

her suffering was not

understandable

                  by the little ones

                                she holds.

                                                                                                 

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