Thursday, October 31, 2013

The steady solace of poetry


I wonder sometimes about the beginning,
how a river makes do with what it has,
persevering with time and place,
steadfast in its claim to send new water downstream.

I try to understand why the house-finch
has a few harsh notes amid her fluid song
then I remember about injustice
and her song becomes a rallying cry.

I once saw a man who crawled on hands and knees
propelling his small frame forward
believing that what lay ahead held promise
and was worth the perilous journey.

I envision a place where river, man and finches 
can sing their proclamation with one voice raised
forever eloquent and clear,
a mother tongue, echoing 
in one long rivulet of song. 

J. Sinanan, September 2005

Monday, October 14, 2013

What a child knows, he knows

In her element, mud splattered and running
like the wind,
Bowen Island, BC 2013
Child, about 6: Can I pet your dogs?
Jenny: Sure, if you'd like to.
C: Will they bite?
J: No, but they might kiss you, so be ready.  This is Eli; he's 11.  This is Maude; she'll be 13 soon.  Maude is deaf.  She can see and smell but she can't hear.
C: Can she hear herself think?
J: Wow!  What a great question.  I don't know; what do you think?
C: I think she can hear what's going on inside her body.
J: That's brilliant.

Friday, October 11, 2013


True to the Laws of Childbirthing, this one arrived under the cover of darkness.  I was present for it all, including this: I remember being aware of sights, smells, sensation and emotions, but my sense of hearing was turned off at his birth.  Was it a complete absence of sound, or did I just not hear any words being spoken by those present?  No matter.  

What I want to say is this: this child, now a man, is in my heart today, his 25th birthday.  Allow me to wax a tad---to list for my own delight (and perhaps yours too)---a handful of things that make him who he is.

Equitable.  Self aware.  Generous.  Considerate.  Unconventional.  Spontaneous.  Organized.  Playful.  Authentic.  Wise.  Steady, yet flexible.  Loyal, truly.

Handsome!  Open-hearted.  Creative, inspired, inspiring.  Colorful.  Coordinated (though also occasionally color-coordinated).

He came bearing a message, at 7 months gestation: "I am going to bring light, playfulness and joy to the family; get ready!"

Savoring the nourishment of body, mind
 and spirit, summer 1989. 
Indeed, Reilly; indeed!  Birthday love to you! 

Taking time along the Shenandoah, October 2013.