Tiptoes and Leaps

Life rarely falls into a steady gait

On a linear sidewalk, narrow and straight

But is a whimsical series of tiptoes and leaps

Along precarious tightropes, down hair-raising steeps

Across the fast-flowing rapids of water below

Springing onto a jagged line of slippery stones

Sometimes in this overwhelming, Olympian feat

We overlook those brief moments so tranquil and sweet

When we rest for a moment beneath a shade tree

Or pause on a mountain peak to breathe and to see

All the beauty that exists in this world far and near

All the reasons for living that we hold so dear.

Stepping Out on Ice

Quietly stepping out on ice

Whispering pleas for a safe crossing

Feet slipping, arms extended, palms ready

For a swift and sudden fall,

Taking deep but shaky breaths

In a Herculean attempt to stay balanced.

Isn’t life an unexpected skating adventure

On a patch of thin, splintering ice?

Prepared for a plunge into freezing water

Stunned when you make it to the other side?

The Quiet Beauty of Christmas

There is a quiet beauty of Christmas

Lingering in our hopeful hearts

Reverence toward our fragile existence

Counting our blessings that we are alive

To watch these younger, innocent ones

Tiptoe toward a glowing evergreen tree

Their eyes lit up in the joy of the season

Contagious excitement to give and receive.

Christmas reminds us that the greatest gifts

Cannot be contained in gold paper and bows

Or sold behind counters, purchased on screens,

But are found within familiar walls

Or in the eyes and smiles and caring hands

Of people who feel exactly like home,

Priceless offerings of goodwill and friendship

The security of a roof overhead, food to eat

Our most basic human needs, met in full

These are the things that matter the most

On this quiet, beautiful, Christmas day.

Savor Time

I am learning to savor time

Instead of dreading its quick escape

Or trying to travel backwards

Into experiences I cannot change.

I am coming to terms with aging

Of the growing chasm of my youth

Surrendering the need to look forever younger

Learning that beauty reflects the truth.

In this world where we pretend to be invincible

Ignoring our obvious mortal decline

We forget that to live is a precious gift

Only reverenced by the passage of time.

The Awkward

Awkward follows me into social places

Hovering over each heartfelt exchange

Taking over the weighted pauses

Transforming normal into painfully strange,

Mutating into my soft-spoken speech

Flashing “INTROVERT” in neon signs

Tumbling around on my stammering tongue

Fashioning a socially anxious shrine.

What a paradox the awkward creates

To one who attempts to be warm and kind

Making it necessary to socially isolate

Lest I frighten you with my blubbering mind.