Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

My future waits for me alone

June 1, 2017

Is it just sitting there waiting?
The future, that is
Or is it there at all?
Yet, whatever it is, it looms
Often dreaded
Occasionally filled with hope

Our present steps into that future
Or, perhaps, the future comes toward us
As our past is pulled away
Pulled away with its regrets and joys
Pulled away with its dreams
Fulfilled or deferred

Aren’t we left, really, with only today?
Today, the present, belongs to both
Past and future
Who I am is a remnant of my own past
My present is experienced by no other
My future waits for me alone

©2017 Thomas W. Cummins

A seamless series of nows

May 31, 2017

Slightly darker
On the pale carpet of the bunkhouse
My socks are located
In the dim light
I get dressed

It’s that point
Neither night nor day
Muted even further
By towering trees
In the woods

An eastern horizon
Gives no hint of daybreak
Nor any hint of what the day may hold
What a seamless series of nows
May present

©2017 Thomas W. Cummins

On this winter’s night

January 14, 2017

Tuft by tuft
Pulled by the cold night air
Like feathers, heat leaves our bedroom
On this winter’s night

Reaching down
A second blanket is found
Pulled up around the neck
Warmth enfolds, sleep returns

© 2017 Thomas W. Cummins

Another Season

September 21, 2016

I heard it fall
It was just a leaf
A tiny dried leaf
Yet when it fell
Alone on the wood porch
I stopped

On that warm, sunny, summer day
A slight chill
Fall foreshadowed
Another season
Suddenly present

© 2016 Thomas W. Cummins

Staying true to self

October 4, 2015

Turmoil and pain from events, even if separated by 30 years, can be reawakened by the words of a poem.

In Desert Run, Mitsuye Yamada reflects upon her family’s time in an internment camp during World War II. In the last stanza are these words:

I cannot stay in the desert
where you will have me nor
will I be brought back in a cage
to grace your need for exotica.
I write these words at night
for I am still a night creature
but I will not keep a discreet distance
If you must fit me to your needs
I will die
and so will you.

When I re-read those words a few months ago, moments of shunning and rejection came creeping back out of dark passages in my life. Most assuredly, there have been times when I couldn’t/wouldn’t, or can’t/won’t, dance to the tune of someone else. To have done so would have been sacrificial and destructive to my own sense of self and well-being. This isn’t about following instructions or performing job expectations. Rather there have been behavioral and performance expectations of the most unreasonable and servile nature.

What is most interesting to me has been the astonishment and rage, punishment and revenge, observed and experienced as a result. Not bending in order to conform to a misinformed and delusional notion of who I am, or who I should be, comes from my unwillingness to be an enabler. Been there, done that, the ‘walking-on-eggshells’ thing.

As you can see, Ms. Yamada’s poetic reflection struck a nerve with me. Much suffering has come from my resistance. But I must not create a false self to meet unreasonable expectations of others. Nor can I sit idly by and await the next page for me to recite from an unshared and unexplained script. I’ve never been very good at playing guessing games.

If you must fit me to your needs
I will die
and so will you.

A North-woods Walk

October 1, 2015

—∞—

If only words could let me share
But what can they do?
Re-imagining a morning walk
On an hilly dirt road
Through the woods
Past driveways leading down to the lake
To hidden cabins

Early morning rising sun
Leaves bursting with color
Light flirting with shadows among the trees
Aspens shimmering in an unnoticed breeze
It was very cool, if not cold
Hands taking turns
Between pocket and hiking stick

A deer’s follow-me white flag
Bounding, bounding, bounding … gone
At the bottom of a hill
A pair of ducks exploding from a small pond
Little flocks of tiny birds
Gathering something for breakfast
Amidst the weeds and lingering wildflowers

Unnoticed before
The breeze has picked up
And plays with the holes in my walking stick
A horrible flute
Producing a tone that is simply beautiful
Appearing then vanishing
With the rhythm of my gait

An hour later
Back at the cabin
Warm
Invigorated
Sitting by the window
Steaming cup of coffee
Sparking lake beyond the sheltering glass

© 2015 Thomas W. Cummins