Uncover the Sun

Buddha’s Footprints

 

Follow Buddha’s footprints,

each heel to toe

pressed into stone

 

They will take you

further than mind allows

and body knows

 

They will last longer

than a life,

and no less than a heartbeat

 

Others have walked this way,

barely touching the earth

yet leaving deep impressions

 

Follow Buddha’s footprints

far enough

and there will only be your own

 

barely lingering

like dusty sand gently swept

into the wind

 

Uncover the Sun

Gotta

 

Gotta hand it to you mothers

you can clean up poop

and pee and barf and still smile

and love your kid like

forever,

like a miraculous flower

never knowing how it will bloom

 

You don’t feel like you’re “babysitting,”

or having to “watch the kid,”

no, no trying on a role for you

it’s the real deal

until death and even after,

that small body full

of every hope you ever had for the future

 

Your mothering hands soothe the heart,

your gaze sees every bit of kid,

every fault and crack line

and loves right into the abyss

and beyond,

you mothers

gotta hand it to you

 

Uncover the Sun

Autumn

 

You’ve been hiding

under the cat’s paws

and been stepped upon by many feet

yet no harm has come to you behind glass-

nothing touches your hummingbird hope

 

you can pretend that autumn leaves

are new spring green

but then they crackle and cackle

like old geese and the jig’s up

you really are older than you look

 

and time presses itself between book pages

into past stories you no longer have time for

and young people want you

to wait for them

to grow up enough to care

 

but you don’t have time

to wait by their water,

you have to jump

into yours and be splashed by life

with the best possible passion

 

because it really is autumn,

the long summer has fallen

away, far away

and winter comes

on tiger feet roaring

 

Uncover the Sun

Used To

 

I’ve heard people say

you can get used to anything

if you wait long enough

 

like the hole in the place

where a mind once

thought like yours

 

or the bare spot

where a tree used to stand

smiling its fruit up

 

or the cold empty

where warmth once pulsed

between two friends

 

or the exciting ideas

that have fallen down

and can’t get up

 

I don’t know if it’s worse

to never get used to anything

that hurts

 

or to get used to the missing

when someone or something

no longer is

Uncover the Sun

Sea Lions

Among the waves, sea lions glide

diving, swimming side by side

on pier and rock and windy beach

they pile together each on each,

positively thigmotactic

and never needing chiropractic

 

Sleek of skin and loud of bark

they avoid the Great White Shark,

but never contemplate creation

or humanity’s predation,

they indulge their every whim

to fish and snooze, snooze and swim

 

When the world has made its final run

completing revolutions round the sun

sea lions will not stress at all

at the dismal fate of this earth ball,

they’ll fish and swim, swim and snooze

not concerned about what they’ll lose

 

No need to watch their blubbery weight,

any size to them is great,

diving to depths of 900 feet

raw fish to them is quite a treat,

the sea for them is like a gym

where they bark and snort, snort and swim

 

They sleep 12 hours, just barely tryin’

-I wouldn’t mind being a sea lion.

 

Uncover the Sun

This week we have a guest blog from Olive Evangeline, an advice columnist from Catmopolitan Magazine, the go-to read for the urban feline.  Her “Just Ask Olive” column has become highly popular over the years. She welcomes questions from her readers and will answer any inquiries in the next edition. Thank you, Olive!

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to present you with “Just Ask Olive,” my advice column for anyone who ever wondered about the relationship between humans and the animal kingdom. I don’t say kingdom lightly. As every cat knows, we are here to be served. Feel free to send comments, questions, and concerns to me via this blog, and I will try to answer them as I find time between daily bathing, eating, and snoozing. Enjoy!

 

Dear Olive, I would like to show my human some appreciation for her years of service. What do you recommend? -Grateful in Idaho

Dear Grateful,

So, you want to gift your human with a token of your appreciation? It is often difficult to choose between a bird, rodent, or snake. For anniversary or birthday presents, nothing says I adore you like a tasty mouse carcass! To motivate your human to keep up good service, choose a small bird, since cleaning up the feathers will keep her tidying skills tip top. For service beyond the norm, a snake adds a bit of excitement to any household. And for superlative behavior, there’s nothing like bringing in a bat for high entertainment.

Dear Olive, I love my humans, but they are often uncomfortable bedmates at night. Do you have suggestions for a more restful sleep? -Restless in Montreal

Dear Restless,

It is difficult, though not impossible, to get a good night’s rest with humans sharing your bed. Although they are subject to tossing and turning, wrenching the covers, and generally dislodging your perch, there are ways to keep the interference to a minimum. Sleep on your humans’ feet, wedge your body next to theirs and go limp so they are unable to turn over, or snooze on their head to keep them immobilized. Now you can catnap stress-free!

Dear Olive, I am gaining a bit of weight on my kibble, but it tastes better than the canned stuff they keep serving me. How do I maintain my fine furry figure? -Portly in Portland

Dear Portly,

Ah yes, canned food or kibble? While it is not impossible to lose weight eating kibble, it is a slow process. Canned food, though it smells like metal, will definitely shrink those belly bulges. You could also try eating less or chasing other cats around the yard more to reduce pudge poundage. But the real question is, do you care? Luckily, being a cat allows you to love yourself completely, no matter the size of your girth.

Dear Olive, what do you do when your humans are too lazy to clean the litter box properly? -Disgusted in Arizona

Dear Disgusted,

You can always defecate or pee on the bed to get their attention, or barf in their shoes. Other ways to show your displeasure include biting them on the hand when they try to pet you, stomping on their belly in the middle of the night to wake them up, or breaking objects they like. Then there is the death glare, a fierce eye gaze so powerful that you will know you are doing it correctly when your human jumps to do your bidding. (Note the death glare in photo above.) Continue reading

Uncover the Sun

Pause

 

let us take

a brief pause

in our regularly scheduled

human mayhem

 

to hold a pine cone

and notice the seeds spiraling

in orderly splendor

of reproduction

 

and how the fern knows,

without complex calculations,

which way to reach

for the sun

 

and how flowers,

making no distinctions,

blossom sweetly

among the weeds

 

and how stones come to rest quietly

where they are placed,

and even earthquakes

open in a line we call fault

 

and how humans

in their civilized fashion

may be

the wildest things here

 

Uncover the Sun

Transition

 

Catch hope

as only a cat can,

with a smile, a purr,

and a pounce

 

Count the gifts

of imagination

no longer buried

under too many rules

 

Carry petroglyphs

of possibility

carved

into new walls

 

Hold your heart

carefully open

and run dance

passionately forward

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Remember

 

After you’re born

remember

to polish that trusty gold heart of yours,

keep it shiny enough

to see your own reflection

in love, but not hate

 

After you’ve grown

remember

to polish that warm copper heart of yours,

make sure the patina

of the cold hard world

doesn’t tarnish your luster

 

After you’re older

remember

to polish that bright diamond heart of yours

keen enough to cut through any glass

half empty or half full

of wisdom

 

Uncover the Sun

Leaps and Boundaries

Sometimes we simply have to shore up our boundaries and say “no” to people, places, and situations that bring us pain. Though seemingly insignificant, the appropriate use of that tiny, two letter word of negation can completely change our lives. If we decline to spend time with people who harm us, or with whom we are not at all compatible, or in jobs or living situations that diminish us, then we have more energy for experiences that bring us creative inspiration and joy.

And many of us, particularly women, believe that we must constantly change ourselves rather than quitting abusive relationships or jobs, because according to current pop psychology, “everything around us is a reflection of ourselves.” (That phrase has always struck me as particularly egocentric and an example of poor boundaries.)

An awful lot of women stay in abusive relationships and jobs where they are undervalued, simply because they believe it is their responsibility to fix everything, or to work on themselves so that they can handle abuse more effectively. And ironically, for many there seems to be a schism between work and home life. Many women tolerate behavior from spouses that they would never tolerate on the job, and vice versa.

For many of us, removing ourselves from relationships, jobs, or places that don’t work for us may bring feelings of guilt and failure along with relief. We may think we should have tried harder as if relationships are a goal to be achieved, rather than an on-going process of connection between people who may have differing motivations and values. We may have tried everything we can think of to handle a job we loathe or a boss who doesn’t care, or a family member who does not respond to attempts to resolve issues.

While it is a sign of emotional maturity to ask what we may have contributed to a dysfunctional relationship or work environment, it is also mature to recognize when it is not our responsibility to fix something. Sometimes, that little word “no” can move mountains, relieve the weight of trying to fix someone else’s behavior, and lighten our life considerably. And if saying “no” seems too abrupt, phrases like,”that doesn’t work for me,” are fine too. And if we do feel guilty for having clear boundaries and taking care of ourselves, perhaps we need to think about messages we were taught about our own worth.  There is a lot of power in saying no.