Bio Note: I know darkness and most everyone knows danger. As antidote I have a daily gratitude practice – to seek at least one thing each day I can say I am grateful for. For many years that one thing became a haiku. Sometimes poetry. For more of my poetry, visit triciaknoll.com.
flexes as if no one cares which way it breaks, crack-snaps on both sides, and we smirk as no-way wishes float into the dust as you start sweeping, dirt that encircles two shards of glass from a pantry where no one remembers any jar breaking. Then you mention the jawbone, probably cat, you found with spiny teeth in the winter-dead pasture grass across the country road. Tossing the pieces of turkey into the trash on top of the slivers of glass, I give thanks for waking up after burrowing in a warm bed, praise drifts of woodstove smoke that haze up the cliff of dawn even as icicles menace the kitchen doorway to the woods where red pine squirrels chitter-chatter oblivious to what breaks.
Running the High Tide Line One April Morning
Manzanita Beach, Oregon So thankful at low tide for hard-packed sand and raindrops sliding to turn-under waves. Sidestepping strangles of shredded kelp and half-moon sand dollar shards. Thankful for the crows that caw me down the beach, gulls that seek, V’s of geese pointed north to the mountain stippled with fog. How basalt stones roll in the tide to rest up-beach and mark a jagged path down the sleek-shine sand. Grateful for driftwood turned on the wave’s lathe. Toddlers build sand castles and moats. I tiptoe on traces of high-tide residue to the cliffs, rock where sea meets boulder at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain, the mountain where you sit uphill behind vast windows, see squalls scoot in, bored with the regimens of end-stage cancer, the ache of your belly’s plumbing. I halt. Call you to say Go to the window. A rainbow on the horizon, a three-minute prism, arc-color in the gray mist of morning, over the tumble of surf turning. Thankful that you can watch from the mountain this let-it-be-forever rumble of April morning.
How to Bless
In Old English etymology, the word blessing began with sprinkling blood on a pagan altar – a hint of messy demands. The heart requires lessons to learn the way of it. Quiet thankfulness floats by faster than a cloud of malaise. Ecstasy is not a call to action. Blessing is an act of volition.
Reliability and consistency are clues to how to invoke blessing. A second-hand station wagon with a dented door that drives fine. The seatbelts work. The sonnet that holds up to five readings. Friends who show up.
Watch for disguised blessings. The messiness of the magnolia. A robust woman with a veil over scars. The lemon smell of the gold rose. An extended wait for the diagnosis that nothing is wrong. Death offering escape.
Yesterday, browned-out moss on the labyrinth greened up after a shower — not a rain that ended drought — only drizzle that changed the color. That blood on the pagan altar.
©2020 Tricia Knoll
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