Listening for the Sound

My granddaughter awakens in me a sensibility to the wonders of nature. When she was very young, she called me to stop on an afternoon walk in the neighborhood while she pulled up some stalks of timothy grass – to feed the sheep we might encounter around the corner. Our 1960’s neighborhood was tree lined with manicured lawns and a nearby greenway. We indeed encountered the occasional deer or fox; I have not yet seen the Easter lambs she wanted to feed. Yet just the wonder of it all, the anticipation, opens my heart.

She’s older now, nearly a teen, sharing with me what she learns in school. Speaking of a chorus class, she remarked that her teacher asked the question “What is your favorite sound?” Her answer, “Hi, Sam,” produced confusing stares among classmates. “And why?” “When I open the door to my mom’s house, I call “Hi, Sam”, and I hear the two cats, Sam and Dean, and two dogs, Malcolm and Hannah, running to greet me. I know I am home.”

I told her I wanted to write that question in my journal and think for awhile. What is my favorite sound? The rush of water, the splash of waves, the songbird, the humming in my heart when things are going right, coffee percolating in the early morning, the greeting of a friend or stranger that says I am not alone, the heartbeat of a drum, singing bowl, the sound of silence as the sun sets on the day?

An unavoidable cacophony of sounds creates the backdrop of any day – the flow of traffic, screech of tires, sirens, horns, hums of generators, clicking of keys. Without an intentional awareness, nature’s soothing intonations can be dismissed. Listen. Waves undulating all around with messages intended to alert, comfort, create anticipation, start a conversation or make a joy noise. What is your favorite sound?

sounds drum


Reminders of a Heart’s Delight


I watched love rise over the mountain,
sing from the branches of the aging maple,
course its way from mountain top to ocean.
I saw love sprouting in tights buds
and daffodil promises.
love will bloom on the hillside,
rain from the heavens with a gentle touch,
green winter’s lawn with clover leaves of three.
I wake and walk in circles of love,
cherished words, human embrace,
memories shared, heart-to

daffodil heart


Weaving a Spider’s Tale

Fall Showing: Yellow mums, scarecrows with smiles,
pumpkins positioned at the welcoming corner of my lawn.
Two identical spiders with silken thread, spun protein,
tensile strength greater than my bones and half the
strength of steel, strategically placed for the fall showing,
one hanging by the front steps, the other on the back deck,
identical twins as far  as I can tell. Uninvited guests.

From my memory template of scary spiders, Arachnids that catch
all the attention in the news, there’s the hobo, the wolf and its
oversized variant the tarantula, brown recluse, black widow,
and the orb with yellow stripes – the writing spider. Daddy said
that if this spider wrote a name on its web, the person was
doomed. Daddy also told me that Farmer McGreggor lived
across the railroad tracks near my house and if I ventured
in that direction I would suffer the same fate as Peter Rabbit,
I would be an unsuspecting fly caught in a spider’s web.

These rather ordinary house guests camping on my posts
wove their way into my days in an untidy, cob web fashion;
brown with a bit of a striped effect; in a species of 50,000
these are regarded simply as domestic house spiders.
Despite my love for E. B. White’s Charlotte Web and the itsy
bitsy spider who did not learn his lesson well, repeatedly
climbing the spout despite the warnings about rain,
I do have not a familial relationship with spiders.

Cool webs, threatening fangs and creepy legs.
My rocker becomes an observation post as the porch
dweller grows bolder with daytime appearance,
and bigger with the insect feasts. Much of the time
the acrobat curls into a ball, eight legs tucked tight,
swaying in mid-air, all head/mouthpiece, and abdomen,
until the invisible web quivers  and legs spread in every
direction; an unsuspecting prey is nabbed, stuck tight,
wrapped in silken thread. An occasional lucky wasp touches
the steely stickiness and escapes with a forceful thrust.
Then brown spider whispers dag nabit, – missed this time

Nights are growing colder, the food supply source diminishes
with the approach of  all-hallowed- eve. I grow faintly wistful
knowing that soon my house guests will complete their task,
leaving a nest-full of eggs, offspring to take over the world
when spring arrives once again, spiderlings instinctively
knowing how to survive the cold, finding crevices for shelter,
and warmth wrapped in their egg sacs. Not so scary then.

explore more at

spider guest

Summer Muddle

Days I arise when a night nymph or
disturbing dream muddies the rivers
of waking consciousness. My words become
woven into tangled taunts like green vines
silently spreading on my walking path;
a wet woolen heaviness keeps my spirit
from soaring. Only the dragonfly seems
unfettered by bold rays of the mid-August sun.

Summer knows about muddling moods;
the cicadas insistent wing flicks seem
to slow into a lulling rhythm; only leaves
hanging out on a limb shiver with delight
when an unseen giant releases a single
puff of satisfaction – or frustration.
I’ve learned a lot about silence and
patience in times of oppressive heat.

Rocking and remembering my childhood,
we knew no other kind of summer day.
A short drive from home to the beach
in Aunt Francis’ 1950’s Ford station wagon,
stuck in the single lane of traffic, steam rising
from under the hood, pavement shimmering
with puddles of rays; “hot enough to
fry an egg on”, that’s what we would say