To my beloved husband with great love and affection on our eighteenth anniversary: you continue to surprise me, all of these years after your initial unexpected appearance as the love of my life!

Digital illustration from a photo: The Base of the WallSnowing Amethysts

At evening, summertime holds breathless sway

When even crickets wait before they’ll sing,

And birds to roost go silent; everything

Takes pause because the lengthy heat of day

Has drawn a shawl of stillness down to lawn

And flowerbed and hedges, ’til a breath—

So shallow it could scarcely ward off death—

Is difficult to breathe ’til the break’s gone,

Until the night resumes its stealthy crawl,

Exhaling with a stirring wind that flies

Up, stirring blossoms upward to the skies,

Their petals dropping, ash-like, down the wall,

Crape-myrtle petals drifting down below

In waves of amethyst, a summer snow.Digital illustration from a photo: Amethyst Snow

Phriendly Phantasms

digital artwork + textGhost Images

Grey misty days, indigo nights and wind that whips up suddenly
without a seeming cause, are frights only to those who’d turn and flee
at provocations slim, and slightest hints of something shadowy

But I am not afraid of these faint shades and palely passing things,
instead, I wonder if they freeze in fear at me, these souls whose wings
are clipped, and on whose quaking knees are bent, to hide from mortal stings

We are, it seems, all fearfullest of that unlike what we know most,
what is familiar and best, no matter if it is a ghost
or is a friend at whose behest we once raised up our happy toast

Yet have forgot, when he is dead, and think we ought to fear him now
as though he were a cause for dread whom we once loved and would allow
was more than harmless, bless his head, and still should seek him anyhow

For company, remembered, gone, or living still, or even sheer,
transparent spirit of someone who longs enough to reappear
among us present ought to own our welcome without needless fear

The world we see and what we know are far from all that there can be,
and far from all that’s good, and so we ought to revel joyfully
when spirit friends or living, should seek out our simple company

So as the night begins to fall, or wind kick up, or day grow cold,
and chill our souls, hark to the call of friends quite new or ancient-old;
embrace their spirits one and all, and only happy tales be told

Both of those living or long fled, whether of days in blazing bright
sunshine, or seeming dark as dread, or else the middle of the night,
for all companions should be led to know they fill our hearts with light . . .