shelter

Once a field, now a park,
once a sapling. Now a tree we only notice
when we want to.

Through years and decades; centuries
this city has grown around it, sucking up
its precious oxygen.

Burly limbs stretch out to shelter
in rains, shade from a sun growing
hotter each day .

Through years, decades, and centuries.
We notice only when
we want to.

© 2020 j.g.l.

Meaning Comes With Age

   Summer doesn’t speak;
it whispers a conscious melody
to high-heeled fashionistas with open toes,
sunburnt brats with runny noses, and
old men who know
evening air is sweeter
when dusk has had its way.     Humidity.
Sweat of the glass,
                               Tanqueray and tonic
will take away the pain,
Mosquito bites, lonely nights
sitting on an ever- creaky veranda,
Dinah Washington crackles from the speaker.

Suddenly you appear. . .

   Any other day
flowers stand taller, like
the younger women strolling by,
getting younger by the day.
Watch them
                       and wipe
the perspiration from your brow;
the once-crisp handkerchief has
soaked up many nights of lustful thoughts.
Old men just grow older,
the meaning comes with age.     Humility.
Summer lasts as long
as a savings account wastefully spent.

Then you are gone. . .

   Over time
most of the flowers will perish
well before first frost,
mostly from neglect.     Naturally.
We will all grow tired
of looking at them,
                                or forget the beauty.
Our minds go to other places.
Yet summer, in its capricious wisdom,
will breathe again
to those of us who will listen.
To young women
and older men.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

*selected lyrics from Invitation.
Written by Bronislaw Kaper/Paul Francis Webster,
the jazz standard was memorably recorded
by Dinah Washington in 1962. Has desire ever
been captured more sensually in a musical state?

Can We Wonder?

We are, right now, captive in a moment where we are questioning everything we have known.
   All of us want answers.
   Too many of us have been isolated for too long. We now doubt everything from our faith to our practices, our governments, science, and each other; even those we are closest to.
   More so, we question ourselves and will continue to do so as long as this pandemic threat continues.
   We are tired of the distance. There is a gulf between what we used to know and all we can’t understand.
   We no longer trust. We can’t.
   We haven’t bottomed out (not yet), financially, morally, or spiritually but we don’t even know how close we are. We cannot know how deep this well runs, nor can we feel how empty it is.
   We have lost touch.
   We lack human contact. We are tired of looking at everything from a distance.   We have lost perspective.
   We have grown tired of waiting. We are tired of wanting.
Each of us is questioning where we are, what we have, and when we will get out of this mess.
   There is no answer. Sadly, we wouldn’t believe it if there were.
   Nothing is normal.
   When will this end?
   Will we go back to the way things once were?
   Do we go back to what we were doing (can we go back) or will we allow our thoughts to wander. Can we wonder?
   Can we still dream?
   Are our dreams relevant? Are there some dreams we’ve held onto which can no longer be salvaged?
   I have no answers.
   I have no more questions than the next human. My voice is restricted to what I know, and I’m not even sure if there is value in knowing any more.
   I no longer understand.