Variegated Digressions

by brian francis

The garden has been blooming
Flowers of every hue unfolding
The verdant stalks and leaves
Jostling for an embrace of the sun
My glory in full display; its regalia

The soil was once stony lifeless
Amendments, turning and raking
Creating a loam — a gardens foundation
Casting the stones to the margins
Lovingly kneading it into condition

This too speaks truth of life itself
The mix is lacking bland at first
Amendments added in the learning
The lessons cast off from those around
Settle on the innocent minds implanted

Weeds too, grow well in unbalanced soil
Lessons that lack integrity root fast
Tapping deep into a being’s very soul
Without the lessons of virtue’s worth
The Ph can run out of control: too acidic

Love an additive to sweeten any soil
Brings balance and soothes the soul
Strengthening the defense’s crenulations
A cleanse to any taint’s warp and stain
Can yet offer a thorny embrace

We each tend our garden’s many rows
Choosing the plant and its location
Learning as seasons come and go
The soul’s continuous edification
We become what we nurture

I’ve seen gardens rife with thorny weeds
The gardeners lost in life’s many woes
Addiction a test of lines one will cross
To attain that which hidden kills
The daily sacrifice on one’s soul

I’ve seen gardens of splendorous beauty
Yet found to be hiding a poisonous taint
Hidden among the green vegetation
Suffering those who visit leave infected
To carry their welts and wounds away

There are gardens too without any flowers
A green expanse of the herb and leaf
The season coming for blossoms and buds
Fruit for the birds, nectar for the bees
Built upon these sun catching leaves

No matter the gardening theory you follow
No matter the time spent on your knees
Pleading for rain, to then fear the torrent
Howling to fall upon this creation of love
Dancing to the wind’s whining measure


Copyright © 2020 brian francis

Chasing Inspiration

by brian francis

Pages, windows open to the world
I send them out to tease and tickle
A message or an observation
Casting them into the winds to
distant eyes

they dance on the tongues
and spill into minds,
nudging, provoking
inspiring an internal response
annoying, persisting, affecting.

“you’ve made me cry” they write
their tears my happy reward
let them cry great rivers for compassion

Rhymes – sometimes I can’t find them
so I walk on the other side of the street
a different rhythm becomes my strut
a feeling of freedom
freedom from form and confinement
stanzas become strophes
meter becomes flow
as the garments of creation are changed
to the colorful aspects of language
painted in poetic prose.

It feels like magic to wield the pen
to cast the lines in black and white
knowing readers will chant them aloud
to find, their, deeper meaning
in the words cast upon the page.


Copyright ©2020 brian francis 

A Ring of Chairs

By brian francis

Sitting in a circle strumming on a six-string
All of my friends making music there with me
Grandpa with his fiddle stomping and dancing
Playing hallelujah while his soul is flying free

Johnny has a banjo playing out the challenge
Six of us strummers reply in answering
Smiles paint the faces of the generations
Sharing this tradition of the music ring

Billie took his chair and sat it in the center
Standing there beside it, his guitar on his knee
He started to play an old church house standard
Everyone in the ring joining to accompany

Missy and her mama sang the words of praising
While working in the kitchen preparing all the food
Jim and Sammy Daniels joined in harmony singing
All about their constant and sorrowful mood

Woody Guthrie came in spirit to join with us
As we sang about the plenty of this land
And how Tom Joad just wanted some too
So, he could place it in a hungry child’s hand

All through the day remembering in song
The building of this republic, the journey shared
The troubles suffered all along the way
The joys and sorrows of how we’ve faired

Late in the evening before we broke and parted
We played some favorites of friends, passed away
We closed with Roy’s farewell song of happy trails
With embraces and kind words we finished our day

Copyright © 2020 brian francis

Dandelion Dreams

By brian francis

Sometimes in silence
I remember corn-cob summer days
And pig roasts: smoke and fire
and the ever spinning carcass
Grass grown by a blazing summer sun
nurtured with sweating sky drops
Family – the laughing voices,
and comfortable rhythm and tones
Flag day or the 4th or just a family gathering
because there was love
Softball
where generations laughed
and fumbled to play a semi-sober game
Baked beans and salads galore, sodas, cousins, cars
Sometimes I wish I could live in my dreams
Forever laughing surrounded by love
Sometimes I think I can

Copyright ©2020 brian francis

National Path

By brian francis

Our national path can seem always up hill
Brightly we climb our progress a thrill
But then we find on the other side of it all
A much steeper hill and down it we fall
And down in the valleys where shadows play
Licking our wounds, we sit and we stay
Regretting the effort, we’d expended before
We sulk in sorrow, feeling weak and sore

Deception might fool us lies leading us astray
Challenge the union in hopes it might fray
Whispers and secrets and deceptions and lies
We question our progress, tear at our ties
When we are inspired by our just looking back
Seeing the progress, we have made in our track
And remembering what has bound us ‘til now
The Declaration, Constitution, our societal vow

We await the sound the siren cry of our cause
Excited we rally together without pause
The giant gets restless in its slumbering rest
As the nation is challenged put to the test
Liberty cries loud that great banshee scream
As again together we climb and we dream
The banner waves high its light shining bright
The bald eagles fly talons ready to fight


Copyright © 2020 brian francis

Observations on a (m)useless day

by Brian Francis

The cardinals sing and bathe below
The window to my little studio
Where dreams are chased
And sometimes caught
To the tune of natures bards

Romping and playing in the street nearby
The echoes, screams and cries of fun
Careen through the window
And into my mind
Instantly clearing my thoughts

Dinner is cooking and the bread is made
And the cats and the dog are asleep
And the gentle chirping
In the nest outside
Speaks of comfort and warmth


Copyright ©2020 brian francis

 

 

Thunder Mountain

by brian francis

They gathered around the mountain;
the skies, roiling, stirred by the gods.
Cold the wind descended and blew,
the medicine teachers studied the skies.
Drums chanted their rhythmic beat.
Cries from dancers embracing the might,
called out to the skies to reach down
to touch with the hand of god light;
To bless them in their seasons to come.
Darkness fell upon the valley with rumbles.

Unabated, the call to the gods continued.
Glowing reflections dancing in the storm,
drops came in waves riding the winds,
touching upon those gathered in worship.

The light broke through the clouds streaking –
fingers reaching out, the power rising, sizzling.
The storm gathered its muster and roared.
Wind, racing, leaned into the crowds – blustering.
The drums held their rhythm, each beat sharp
as the dancers stuttered their steps and leaps.
Their souls revealed in the trance of their eyes.
Flashes strobe the night, stopping all motion.
It came in a sizzling crash onto the mountain’s dome.
Light, blindingly bright, lit the valley like day.

Everything changed in that moment, cheers rose
unheard beneath the clamor of the strike.
The blessing granted the celebration a success.
The season will be bright, with harvest and hunt.

Copyright ©2020 brian francis

Author’s Note: This was inspired by a Photo by, Stacey Le Clair. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-strike-on-thunder-mountain-stacy-leclair.html

But Upon Deep Dark Hues Alight

by Brian Francis

The ocean waves are tossing the foam down on the beach,
as they have for eons and yet to come.
The clouds are held suspended across a gilded sky,
a copper haze blossoms from the sun.
Shadows, growing longer, drawing in the night,
darkness flows as daylight ebbs away.
Nighttime comes upon me and darkness swallows all,
colors fade from pastels to shades of gray.

Deep in meditation to bless all sentient beings
a light burns bright alone, in nothingness.
Enlightened, seeking solace in the true reality,
like a spark, realize the truth and disappear.
An ocean of yet becoming, almost but not quite,
ebb and flow within, and all around.
Blessings ever flapping or spinning round and round
cast out upon the whole of that what is.
In circles without beginning lives repeat the course-
in ignorance and forever they will spin.

The ocean waves are tossing the foam down on the beach,
as they have for eons and yet to come.
The clouds are held suspended across a gilded sky,
a copper haze blossoms from the sun….

 

Author’s Note: Also called – Buddha

Copyright © 2020 Brian Francis