Selected Photography, Art, and Poetry: Tomorrow Remembered

by David Thompson


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