Dead Beauty

Dead Leaf Beauty: Photo by Noelle

Dead Leaf Beauty: Photo by Noelle

Crumbled, even moldy
Long dead
Yet delicately beautiful
As an old woman’s hands
Rubbing a rosary
At morning mass

Dry with crackles
At the grace of a finger
No more than paper
Of Earth stories
Telling now of last season

Take to hand
And it vanishes into
Pieces caught on the wind
And gone
Springs robust leaf
Now Winter’s palsied hand

Yet the scent of leaf lingers
Fecundity remembered
And growth to come
All born of this life’s passing

Doors open, green
Then to another closing, dark
The sprout and the
Discarded shell at once
Infuse a molasses mulch

Fertile is the soil of my life
And my passing
Is neither ending
Nor beginning
Just the leaf transforming
On a winter’s wind
Calling the land to Spring

For Juan

Melt II: Photo by Noelle

Melt II: Photo by Noelle

Melt: Photo by Noelle

Melt: Photo by Noelle

Did you know that when you take a photograph you can be in no other moment than ‘Now’. I learned this from my friend Juan. Our conversation began in a very dark time of grief. I could not find a haven from my sorrow and anger and I certainly could not stop my mind racing in an endless search for answers. He suggested I take pictures with my cell phone as I hiked the foothills near the Rockies. That it would help settle my heart and mind, if only for a moment. I did not own a camera, had not taken a photo in more than twenty years and had, in fact, jettisoned most of my personal photos in the previous year. But I had no where else to go. My rage was so great I couldn’t engage in much of the art that had filled my spirit until then.

So I began to take photos of grass and summer flowers. Most of it not very good. He’d coach me and give me ideas and my work grew. Yesterday, as I looked at these two pictures on my iPad and saw the moment caught so perfectly in this “Now”, I thought of my friend. Stay in the now and you will heal, he said. And I did.

Those drops floating in mid air, Juan, are you.