One Poet's PerspectiveFebruary 2012
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A Few Faces of Love

by Jane Elsdon

Bishop Stream          


For Jacob, our first great-grandson

You weren't so sure about crawling into my arms again
after that terrible dizzied fall we took on the fireplace, even
though I twisted so I would meet the hearth first, when I
knew I couldn't prevent falling without dropping you.

My heart has sung a song of gratitude to the Cosmos
ever since. I couldn't live with the consequences
had you been hurt. I celebrate the broken rib and the bent one
because they mean you were spared and I adore you.

And today, what a joyous mood you arrived in, calling
Hi, hi, the grin on your face echoing in your voice.
Little copper-capped elf, we played ball to your delight
built swaying primary-colored towers that evoked

an innocent oh-oh when they fell clattering at your feet.
Counting games garnered your applause for a time.
Then you pulled your little chair up close to mine,
stood upon it with a smile big as a runner's mile,

reeling for a moment before you fell into my lap
in a fit of irrepressible laughter. Then again and again
you clamored up into the chair and free-fell into my arms
Oh, how I celebrate the return of your trust.

Bishop Desert

Girl's Night

With excitement
joy and laughter
her granddaughters
decreed the evening
Girls Night
dedicated it
to fun and frivolity
for girls of all ages

Before the first fire
of autumn
they gathered together
insisted grandmother
be served first
their mother second
They deferred themselves
‘til last

With selfless grace
and tender love
they ministered
With gentle, mindful hands
they soaked their elders' feet
patted them dry
clipped toenails
buffed and polished
lotioned, massaged,
until the women felt
totally indulged and
swathed in blessings

There are so many simple
yet sacred ways
to sit at
one another's feet

Bishop View     

One More Nature Poem

Your nature is quiet as high desert at dawn,
quiet as a wilderness trail twisting upward
to the remote sculpture of a Sierra summit.

Quiet is the air you breathe, the quality
of love in the room you inhabit.
It is the luxurious warmth and security

indivisible from your tall, lanky frame,
and your beloved peaceful presence.
Our home is silent without you.

Your recliner is overstuffed with silence,
an overpowering, raucous silence
rowdier than a Lakers game or ESPN.

It fills and permeates every room,
seeps into every crack and crevice.
It molds my moods, before it sweeps me up

into the welcome realization
how blessed I am, for your absence
is only temporary. Any moment now

you will walk through the door.


Bishop Road

Yoga of Marriage

Life has a way of shortening,
twisting, beguiling, bewitching.
Sometimes we don't know where
one leaves off, the other begins.

What exertion it requires,
this bone-deep endeavor,
feeling our way into the poses,
seeking the eternal in the everyday.

What laser-like awareness we must focus
without strain or pushing,
to achieve gain with a minimum of pain.
Don't forget.

What courage it demands, this dance
of balancing and merging, yet maintaining
individuality, personal integrity.
Don't forget to breathe.

What full attention they exact, these
stretches for becoming weightless,
dropping masks, seeing anew.
Don't forget to breathe slow.

What commitment it asks, this
spiritual practice urging us into union
to celebrate each other, yet find
our own length, free ourselves.
Don't forget to breathe deep.

Holding these postures isn't easy.
They can injure or enlighten.
They can bond or place in bondage.
Don't forget to breathe, slow and deep.

"Yoga of Marriage" was first published in The Living Dream, Poems by Jane Elsdon,
Artwork by Beverly Young
Photographs by Gene Elsdon
Monarch Butterfly Banner Image by Mike Baird
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