Lively Fires

Life burns vigorously
until retiring,
slowing down to glowering embers
reflecting on all consumed since birth.

Flaming gratitude feels not yet fulfilled,
heatedly completed,
but hanging on for what calming
cooling purpose?
Embalming remnants of fueled meaning
with smug self-satisfaction
and feckless remorse.

Family relationships burn out
turn in toward former flames
risen higher
fueled deeper in memory
than capacity for renewed heat images
now questionable
in life’s resilient potential.

Fires nurture risk and opportunity,
but old fires grow risk of cold and acrid ashes,
fading active hope for new winds
smoking in renewed fuel opportunities.

This strong-fired life
of dried out climate difference,
strong inflaming protest,
oft questioned dignity,
smolders in wrinkling
shrinking maturity
over ripe with risk
of fading opportunity to yet see Earth
with new peaceful eyes,
with impassioned fires of understanding
what this human conflagration was all about.

Smoldering embers
dimly hope for new winds,
new unbillowing eyes
to recall that initial committed moment
of inspiration,
of spark and wind and fueled experience
inviting fires from first spark
til last light spent.

like life,
like love,
builds its own waiting sanctuary.


Retirement Planning

Retirement planning
may feel like civilian planning
as military ballistics continue incoming
so persuasively my objective is not to win
but to get home again,
although I sadly know
home will never be that home of memory sustained
as comparative peaceful compass.

What is my therapeutic vocational problem
retiring from front-line maddening trenches?

How much remaining spacetime do I have,
does Earth have, for living rather than dying,
and why does this feel so spare time
often mere despairing,
and why “spare”
and why “mere”?

Despite books and perhaps entire libraries on human purpose,
ethology of nature,
callings for proper industry,
organic integrity of humane function,
whether blessed by divine inspiration
or mere humane perspiration
(and, again, why “mere”?)
I find too precious
this my footnote of non-historic proportion
that my vocation may not truly ever self-optimize
through individual ongoing autonomous discernment,

But also through healthier, more robust, fabric
democratically woven
of loving WinWin future society

CoDefining culture having let go of Win/Lose
evolutionary violence investment theories
in favor of overwhelming healthy
regenerative retiring revolutions
of Earth’s slower-grown therapies.

This is not Weber’s mechanical society;
Retiring histories are more mysteriously woven
like an organic beehive
ornamenting a strong-rooted universal tree,
or an ant colony
preparing for winter
within an ancient-grounded sanctuary
society for future multiculturing
WinWin enchanted colonies.

What happens when we retire
into a newly autonomous vocational choice?
When all prior spacetime investments
appear to have been apprenticeships
toward what?
Living with more freedom
for integrity
and WiseElder slow-grown discernment?

We are so hard-pressed to say
and do
and be wise discerners for internal and external peace
when all our training has been for Win/Lose battles

I struggle to prepare for extending family love
in ever more isolating autonomy
from new life invitations.

What does my environment,
our climate,
my experience,
our story about communal health development
still respect
and hope for loving, yet active, peace?

How do we call and gather elders together
to restore this profoundly interactive peace
inside as outside as inside
Earth’s justice
re-uniting integrity
toward universal love
and away from nationalistic violent hate?

Where do secular models
and sacred maps
together tipping point
toward personal
and political
and economic
and ecological
and theological healthy meaning
rooted in all our civilian yesterdays
with hope for this next regeneration
already waiting within these ancient bones
and eyes for climate healing
as without,
as above,
inhaling old impoverished retributions
exhaling new health restorations
peaceful home

Retiring developments of active hope,
remaining positive energy,
non-violent doing,
living to continue breathing in
dying to breath enrichment out once more.


Historic Traces

Embracing my retiring place
includes not only green and granite geographic dimensions
in space
But also extending back experienced roots
of 264 seasons past
having co-evolved this matriarchal wombing 2020 present

As if co-gravitation of historic time
with current place
were a creative pre-visioned design of space
dipolar co-arising deja-vu choice
to embrace, with coincidental love revivals,
or disgrace, with even more bipolar fear-mongering,

And usually something merely mortal
yet immortally cooperative
in-between what has been competitive Win/Lose explained
and what could become WinWin integrity
of exclaiming dance and song

Embracing my ego place,
How could that go wrong?
While not ignoring ecosystemic health
of this historic evolving space,
sacred integrity of revolving incarnations,
romantic race
toward multiculturing grace,

Withour fear’s least merely secular


Saturday Night

It’s another Saturday night
ending this week
as started
alone again.

I came here
almost two years ago
to my retirement hermitage
but oddly,
and often uncomfortably,
shared with my hurt kids,
mental and physical illness
adopted and then adapted;
an asylum for the perpetually incontinent.

Cars pass by.
Sometimes a loud motorcycle
or two or three or four
or even more
here on the southern boundary
of a county seat
in a State
where rural counties
have been disenfranchised
of political purpose.

Our largest employers
are two tribally owned casinos.
One across the Thames River
flowing past our backyard retreat.

Our second largest income producer
may be the County Courthouse
where attorneys and police
collude to extort voluntary donations
from poor young adults
red and yellow,
black and white,
guilty of speeding
and texting
and smoking medicine
without a license
in Great White Father’s sight.

I have been listening and watching
for what this half acre is.
We are not as rural as I had hoped,
with State highway 12 too near my front yard,
but this place is also not urban
or suburban.

What it is not,
whom we are not,
seems more clearly articulated
than any positive definition,
refining our becoming quiet place,
alone together,
shunned by healthier neighbors.

It’s another lonely ending
anticipating yet another not new beginning
tomorrows stretching out alone
long retiring shadows
on this southern edge
of a Connecticut County Seat
without apparent purpose
or co-defining meaning.


Grazing the Garden

I retired a couple years ago
and decided to take a gardening class
because otherwise I probably would starve
even with food stamps,
given my retirement plan
was mainly to live off my still-freeloading adult perpetual-children.

This gardening class cost more than it was worth,
so just about exactly what a reasonable person would expect to invest,
except it was taught by a shaman
who called herself not a witch, but a Permacultural Designer,
and said she was even officially Certified as such.

She actually admitted up front
that we too would be certifiable if, along life’s way,
we applied her PermaCulture Principles
of nutritional arts and sciences.

So I planted my first garden
on my new retirement home
about half wooded,
or maybe a third,
actually I have no idea
but I can speak to the prodigious poison ivy.

A few of my seeds actually did not die prematurely
but, due to a series of unfortunate prior pollination events,
overall, the weeds won out
with few exceptions
to the natural law of might makes right evolution.

I thought for a couple of painful minutes
about pulling weeds,
with childhood memories of hoeing the weeds out of my 4-H garden,
but, heh,
I never did better than a red ribbon even with the hoe,
and, in my recently completed gardening class
I had learned the Principle of Greatest Nutritional Effect
with Least Gardening and Landscaping Effort.

I had already efforted the damned seeds into the ground,
so perhaps doing more would be unnecessary,
and besides,
who can kill all that kale anyway,
much less actually eat it.

Well, a couple days later I was mowing the lawn
with my electric quasi-powered push mower
and noticed how festively green and lush the garden looked over that way
so I probably didn’t need to worry so much about watering.

A few days,
or maybe weeks, later,
I went out to see if there were peas or string beans to harvest yet.
I had considerable difficulty finding them.
The surprisingly anemic-looking lines and patches of kale were visible.
As I had suspected,
that stuff will grow where even a self-respecting weed would not root.

Next week I’m gonna try to seed it down the middle of my gravel driveway
to see if I can create an edible boulevard.
Although, not sure what that diesel school bus exhaust will do for the kale.
Probably the kale will suck it all in
and save it for me later.
After all, that’s greatest effect with least effort, right?

Well now it’s late July and I finally see the wisdom of Greatest Nutritional Effect
with Least Gardening Effort,
I got hungry enough to start eating the weeds.

I mean, not indiscriminately,
I’m not quite that dim,
although now that I think on it,
it would be easier to just graze on handfuls
while standing
or even sitting
in my new weed garden.

I could set the wicker chairs
and the swing out there.
The family that grazes together
stays and shits and starts to stick together,
I would suppose,
avoiding all unnecessary excesses
of hunting and gathering their next meal.

That would probably scare off my freeloading adult perpetual-kids too.
That’s called the Principle of Positive Emergent Systemic Effect,
kind of another version of getting extra stuff done without actually doing anything extra.


CoArising Transitions

Who do we invite this me to be today,
here and now planning for our next re-arising era
toward death’s patient resolution,
graceful resonance?

Is there some supermagical meaning
in more recent unfortunate events
capable of reading mystical tea leaves,
the web of palms rooted in life’s soul of Time,
in some way that would tip us toward discarding
memories of subsistence economies,
shortages of value,
insufficient wealth of health,
to transform some new place into nirvana,
a WinWin home for all
with sensory full-consciousness challenges,
over-fueled wilting?

What is distinct about your vocation,
embedded in our co-operating mission?