Selected Photography, Art, and Poetry: Tomorrow Remembered

by David Thompson

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    The Kestrel

    Through my spyglass
    I see a bird
    Resting on a
    Gray snag finger.
    A cool breeze sifts
    Through colored feathers
    As I watch—and linger.
    Silently, I breathe a
    Smile and lower
    The glass.
    I wonder if he
    Knows I’m watching.
    A rustle in the bushes,
    And he embraces
    The breeze and soars.
    Soon he is gone
    From sight.
    I wonder if he
    Knows I’m watching.

    Daydreaming

    Aaaaaah!
    Oh, no, no
    you didn’t startle me—
    very much.
    Thank you,
    yes, I’m fine.
    Good-bye.
    With shaky hands
    I pick up the pieces
    of my daydream
    from the floor,
    chuckle to myself,
    then begin again
    drifting
    into daydreams.

    The Answering of a Prayer

    I knelt by my bed
    Listening,
    Waiting for a summer storm to strike
    With lightning fast answers and a
    Quick downpour of wisdom.
    But instead, I received a
    Comforting sunny day
    Full of warmth.

    Summer Hail

    The frozen water droplets bounce like hundreds of
    free-spirited Ping-Pong balls,
    The lush grass forming its own kind of popcorn popper.
    They seem to come in straight white lines from heaven,
    Demolishing pansy heads in one fell swoop, unlike the
    gentler rain an hour before.
    The sound is as a hundred prancing feet on the roof,
    Or children pounding the table with spoons insisting
    they are hungry.
    The few minute triumph cannot last long in the soon
    returned warmth of summer.
    Just as quickly as it started, the ones caught on the
    roof liquefy in the gutter curb.
    Rain may have the best smell, but summer hail …

    Six of One

    Here I am with truth
    My friend,
    There you are
    Without.
    Whispers
    You refuse to hear,
    And I
    Afraid to shout.

    King of Night

    The field is a swarm
    Of purple
    As the gray moon
    Rises.
    My nostrils touch
    The sighs
    Of the
    Sleeping earth.
    Sound falls away
    As I
    Wait calmly
    In shadow.
    Watching from my throne
    Of grass
    I smile and know—
    Night is my realm;
    For I am
    Cat

    [photo] Photo by John R. Foster

    [photo] Photo by Glen R. Hanneman

    Temples

    The stones and lines
    Are almost harshly perpendicular in daylight.
    But nights, a gently indefinite glow
    Blurs and bends and molds them.
    This temple is like the soul behind my grandmother’s trembling hands—
    Gentle, and so strong!—
    Whose parents built this holy place.
    The tender light
    Rests gently on white stone
    Against the black night sky
    Like a halo.

    Seventh Day

    Five days’ water
    Gone downstream
    Sixth day weak
    And so weary
    Seem drought worn
    So ready to fall
    Into Sabbath’s sea
    And by the strength
    Of many
    Tired drops like me
    On one great wave
    Reborn

    [photo] Photo by Donna Ripley

    [photo] Photo by Stacy Holiday

    A Season’s Rising

    Lord, I woke up slowly today
    And rose, resentful,
    Wished to stay
    And pass my labor, hard and long.
    I tired, sore and far from strong
    But Lord, you tired, as I recall
    When those around you could easily see
    And yet you stood for a child as I
    And said, “Suffer [them] to come unto me.”
    And once you were a child yourself
    Searching for a place to sleep
    And so, Lord, I will rise today
    To fill the mangers in my keep.

    Upon Seeing Him

    The butterflies in my stomach
    Wanted to fly out and
    Begin a colorful conversation,
    Flitting from one flowery subject to another.
    But instead, the frog in my throat
    Just croaked “Hi.”

    [photo] Photo by Jeri Jeppson

    Vacations

    I sit here on the beach
    And watch the waves roll in.
    The clouds silently scoot across the sky
    As the sea gulls use them in a game of hide-and-seek.
    A radio plays my favorite song,
    While a group of children on down the beach
    Cover themselves in sand.
    The sun climbs to its high point in the sky,
    And I feel the first tingle of sunburn.
    Suddenly I remember—
    A world of ringing telephones,
    Bellowing teachers and taking exams,
    Rushing and hurrying everywhere.
    A world of heavy coats
    And mufflers,
    Sniffles and ice.
    I shake my head a little
    And shudder to myself trying to forget
    What seems like a nightmare.
    As the sun heads downward,
    I walk along the water letting
    The waves tickle my toes,
    Content to remain
    Here in reality.

    [photo] Photo by Rex Strother

    [illustration] Illustrated by Lisa Standing

    Lamentations of a Poet

    Suddenly,
    my pen was skimming across the paper
    spouting gibberish about
    rosy sunsets,
    gossamer spiderwebs,
    and beautiful young love.
    Abruptly it stopped and added a comma,
    so I could catch my breath.
    Then,
    it was off across the paper again.
    Blue ink flowing faster than
    a raging flood,
    or a wild stallion,
    or even my thoughts.
    Just as quickly it stopped
    and my deepest feelings
    were laid bare so I could see them.

    [photo] Photo by J. Todd Anderson

    [photo] Photo by Karen Rookhuyzen

    Tube Trauma

    I’m worried;
    for one day I will be getting married
    and I squeeze the toothpaste
    in the middle of the tube.

    [photo] Photo by Rex Strother

    [illustration] Illustrated by Michelle Henrie

    The Rhyme

    Standing here alone
    This time
    In the moments that you’re gone
    I look and find the rhyme
    Is lost
    Completely from my song.
    It seems I’ve been
    Leaning
    On you so long
    I’m just a stanza
    By myself
    Alone and sounding wrong.

    [photo] Photo by Gina Georgianna

    [photo] Photo by Eric Gillett

    [illustration] Illustrated by Michelle Stacey

    [photo] Photo by Tuulikki Veijola

    Lecture

    He tells us about the swans,
    but we don’t listen.
    He tells us about their wings
    beating white against the sky,
    ranged in formation,
    etched on blue.
    We seem to listen,
    as we sit in rows,
    but our minds are flown away
    on wings beating white against the sky.

    Shadow Game

    Images blur as
    The white spinning ball
    Makes its high arc
    In space.
    An instant earlier
    A loud crack
    Set the path.
    Bat met ball.
    Up and up to a
    Stand still, then—
    Down and down.
    An instant after,
    A scolding hiss
    And ragged hole.
    Ball met glass.
    On the lawn below
    A lonely bat
    Lies accused
    In the grass.

    Go Ye into All the World

    Yesterday
    My professor immensely shocked me
    By detrimentally comparing
    My personal Zion
    To a snug salt mine
    Where all are already seasoned
    And, consequently, tend to feel comfortable
    Just sitting idle
    (Like after a Thanksgiving dinner)
    Thinking, “All is well.”
    While my face turned crimson with anger,
    He continued by comparing it to
    A cozy candle shop
    Where all already shine bright
    And, therefore, become increasingly content
    Just staying inside,
    Not realizing that beyond lies a
    Light-thirsting darkness.
    I pridefully retorted,
    “But kind brother,
    History has proven that there
    Is great strength in numbers!
    Haven’t you heard the saying,
    ‘United we stand; divided we fall’?”
    “Yes,” he replied,
    “But remember this my young sister;
    Too much salt kills once productive soil,
    And too much light blinds once receptive eyes.
    “But sprinkle that same salt throughout the world
    And it preserves the rotting meat,
    And where deathly darkness dwells
    One small light—even a child’s—
    Can lead wandering lambs to everlasting life.”

    Balance

    The answer seldom lies
    At either end of extremes,
    As much as the pattern
    Of weave
    Can be known
    By only seeing the seams.
    And the land is not best
    For the tilling
    On the steep cliffs on either side,
    But rather down near the river
    Where the valley
    Lies rich and wide.

    [photo] Photo by Eric Van Orman

    [photo] Photo by Gregory Bohnstedt

    [photo] Photo by John R. Foster

    [illustrations] Computer generated graphics by Reuel’s Photo Blue