Bio Note: Wordsworth defined poetry as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. Some poets advise poets not to be sentimental. I don’t know where poetry about grandchildren falls in this spectrum, but September blessed my family with a second grandson. These poems grow out of my love of the first one. So, a time of great joy and also concern for the world both children inherit. For more poems (none of which are about grandchildren), visit triciaknoll.com.
The heat of summer settles like suffocation and smells dry-green and yeasty damp. The baby naps after waving good-by from the crib rails. Will this warmth that silences wrens full-throated at dawn hold him in a soft place as the day stretches into humidity, to dreams less urgent than night. That dapple of sunlight through the trees onto the lawn and his half-pulled curtains – like being on the bottom of the sea, waves a-slither. He’s well and he’s good, and his people protect him from hate smoking the streets – how we glance back over our shoulders to make sure we know what’s creeping up with stinky torches in shadows of white generals on stone pedestals who got rich in slave trades. Some day this baby may not sleep so easily. Blessed in being a tiny guy who laughs loud when his cup bumps down the ramp. Lift the cup up again, over and over, for his hand to knock down: my way of modeling tear-down what-needs-it in hot-town heat waves.
The Geometry of the Sacred
What? Boundaries of straight lines or snake curves? Some say triangles, top down. Wavelengths from oceans or sines with the blips of oscillations that sing lull-a-byes to open ears. Spheres: our influence on Land. The Sea. Solids of green, perhaps brown, some say gold, others the blood of red before and after life. The exact angle of the sun dog halo or the invisible that fills each starlight cup? Wind modeled as breath. I wrote a letter to my grandson about to be born and said, if he wanted to know what I held sacred include milkweed, horses, dogs, trees taller than houses, blue grass music, old stories, loons, the smell of heritage roses, a few people, the poetry and songs of those who tell the truth and humming under starlight. Whales. As if there are perimeters – when the touch of sacred rewinds like mobius strips or breathes at the vertices of the Reuleaux triangle, where unlike universes seek each other for comfort.
Mama served as designated prime picker. Gramma’s job – entertain the toddler under two who loves raspberries but had never picked before. Heavy fingered until he got the idea of gentle pull and leave the berry hats behind. Pick red, red, red, red not green or white. Put what you need straight away into tummy lesson learned and what a vantage point he had for jewels that hide low. Then off we go. Run lanes between rows. Pick dandelions. Crawl under the wires where the canes thin out. Learning is like that. Concentrate on immediate, make up the rest as opportunity offers.
©2021 Tricia Knoll
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