ROBERT E LEE STATUES COMING DOWN

 

gettyimages-3096788-e1502983781147

 

When a mob starts rolling, be it from the right or left, best to stay out of the way. Meanwhile the sun is finally shining here. Quail, rabbit, squirrel, wood dove, chipmunks galore. I feed them and they feed me. Anyone who respects me, I respect. Say hello and wave to anyone, armed or without arms. Sad about the Robert E Lee statues, my old hero, noble, no traitor,  brilliant and arrogant, with the blood of 100,000 men and boys on his hands, but humbled and quiet in old age.  Himself no friend of Confederate statues, no friend of slavery, no friend of war. There is no body without sin and we all have IT coming. I hope to be ready when it comes. Let it tear down every idol I have made to honor myself and let it take what is left of me where every drop of water goes.

 

 

THE HOBO

112

 

1971, I met a hobo in far North Texas. I was living in a Christian commune and we were giving food to anyone who came knocking. This was not a young man. He had long ago accepted gravity. Had fallen and kept falling and kept falling and kept falling. Everything about him was the color of road dust, except his eyes that were slivers of meteorites which long ago hit the ground but still were burning.

His shoes were beaten dogs. Insulated with newspaper, the soles tied on with twine.  And the ball cap he wore had a bill replaced with a curve of cardboard tied on with the same twine that secured his shoes.

I offered him what we had, a kind of chicken feed cooked up as cereal. That and stale doughnuts, always a favorite. And after he had eaten I tried to do my duty, talk to him about the love of God but the man interrupted me and said, “I’m neutral about that.” Pointing to the world outside the window, he said, “I’m neutral about everything. I’m neutral about that rock.”

Forty-eight years passed and I am able now to take his meaning as my own.

.

THE INTRUSION

Frozen Waterfall Icicles Closeup

 

by Carol Hopkins

 

There is a cold in winter that gets into the bone
telling us time is short, dust to dust.
Between two piles of ashes we build a castle,
a mirage in the desert that disappears with a blink.

But when the spear pierces the heart and the veil is torn
we see clearly we are the lucky one.

A fire comes to the heart that is heard as Sound and seen as Sight.
Then we remember the forgetting.
In the marrow of the bone we remember
that while time is short, forever remains
forever.

FROZEN FIELDS

FROZEN FIELDS



by Carol Hopkins

 

.

We live here as individuals painfully locked

in frozen fields of private dreams, opinions and self-righteousness. 

If we are lucky, the separation becomes so unbearable we are pierced through the heart.

When the heart is torn open, we step out of time into the open arms

of the ever present Beloved One.

 

Beyond this, all words fail.

 

.

  •  

 

LETTER TO MY OLD FRIEND, JANE RYALS

IMG_4345

It’s snowing today
but the flowers in our rock wall are still blooming.
Even the geranium you left with us is outside and alive.
So little snow this winter, local pre-teen Republicans
have bolted antlers to their football helmets. I saw them
running through a clear cut yesterday, above the drainage.
They were chanting in a language nobody taught them
that boils up inside them from another life.
It’s that kind of neighborhood.

You say the cottage Carol and I built from one April to the next
is beautiful and you hope we can stay living here.
Yes, it is built of April and of May and of the first two weeks of June.
I know I should be proud of it but I am not much.
There is no home for us anywhere on earth, no matter how badly
we want it.

Your husband, Mitch, has grown his hair long and tied it in a pony tail!
He has a new respect for women, you say.
I got a new respect for women in 1983 when my first wife left me
alone with two children to raise.
Not for her so much, but for the rest of you.
Mitch strikes me as someone who has always respected women
but maybe I am wrong.
I was raised to be that way, without an example as to how.
Certainly I loved my mother for a long time, though that time is now
long gone.
Still, at 97, God bless and keep her sleeping. Let her be pleased with herself
until the day she dies.

You tell me you don’t know my friend Freddy well.
Me either, although he is a nice fellow, artistic and erudite.
I am a mostly a nice fellow too, unless you cross me. My sword
hangs always ready in the old magnolia tree, a rusted sliver of moon.

“I have my third cold of the season… not a good sign. I think it is dust causing me problems… I can’t see house dust any more… so it doesn’t get removed. achooo!”

This made me laugh.
I remember well when my mother stopped keeping her house spotless.
I was 29 or 30, which means she was in her middle 50’s.
Starting to loose her mind, I thought.
Carol still keeps hers perfectly clean and coherent, except under the kitchen sink
and one closet, which are like Venezuela.

The snow has stopped. Guess I’ll have to take a walk in the rain.
Hope your day today is a happy one, Jane, and that you see
something beautiful out there in Kansas.

Poem For My Son On The Eve Of Surgery To Repair A Shattered Bone

22

By Carol Hopkins

Awake at 5 in the morning, the angels come and say,
“Look at the liquid light in this dark room.”
I stare into molecules dancing and rejoicing in the eternally unfolding
Love of God.

There is no difference between
chair, book, aging body, slipper with a tear in its sole,
and the stained  glass art my son made as a little boy.
None of this can ever be anything other than what it is,
liquid light.

How can I explain this to the child in us who wants Santa
to bring the latest game,
unaware that we are eternally resting motionless in the Mother’s lap?

Still, regularly I bend my knee and ask for Grace.
It’s the way of this world.

SHIMMERING

IMG_4287

By Carol Hopkins

There is shimmering between terror and bliss like the leaves of a birch tree before a powerful storm.   Is it terror, is it bliss, is it dark or light, heaven or hell? Who wants to know and why does it matter?  Shimmering doesn’t need to know to shimmer.  Content to shimmer.

YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WAITS FOR ME

IMG_4151

written by Carol Hopkins

You are the One who waits for me.
You have waited for eons – before I was never born.
When I cry or feel pain or despair of my lot,
it’s you whispering my name and knowing I’ll hear
when I’m weary of the dream.

How long you have patiently stood by
while I turned my head and looked away into the galaxies of my mind.
The pain that is on me now is turning my head and
I glimpse you out of the corner of my eye.

Dusk is falling on this world so I can’t quite see yet,
but I know in the morning when the Sun rises
you’ll be there as you have always been.
How fortunate and blessed to finally know
unwavering loyalty and true love.