I [heart] you lovely husband
curled up together in our stretched out recliner
cheek to breastbone
loving the sound of your labored breathing
as we both struggle to stay awake
watching Saturday Night Live
all cozy and such
knowing we should untangle our wayward limbs
and hobble down the hallway to the waiting warmth of bed
but this feels too good
to let go of it just yet.

Daily Prompt: Cozy

Confession may be good for the soul
but there are things I cannot tell you
secrets that might shatter your heart
atrocities that occurred a lifetime ago
opinions that are mine alone
things that today matter not in the least.

And besides: whose soul are we talking about here?

Yours
or mine?

Yours doesn’t need the pain
and mine needs only my own absolution.

And that, my love, I’m working on in my own sweet time.

Daily Prompt: Confess

Steve placed the King James, opened face-down, on a three-legged stool, not far from the searing heat of the roaring fire. Revelations had nothing to reveal to him. It made no sense, no matter which way he sliced and diced the thing. He felt as if he’d lost his way over the years, finally unshackled from the orthodoxy of indoctrination that had gripped him at an early, impressionable age and that was, he thought, fine by him.

Religion had lost its luster. The hold it had on him had become looser and flimsier in this, his eighth decade on the planet. Nature was his god now. His mind was sound, his 75-year-old body still fit and trim. Daily walks on the beach, gathering driftwood, sifting through tidal wrack to unearth man’s middle finger of careless disregard for the beauty and awe of the world, had taught him many things, not the least of which was the propensity of humans to look outside themselves for solace, for answers, for comfort. All that was required was within. Steve understood this now.

Majestic nature, the silence of being, the grandeur of it all inspired his devotion: oceans, mountains, streams and fields and hills, lakes, creeks, ponds and marshes. The diversity of plants and animals, the glorious and changing seasons, the powerfully awesome forces of the skies – these were no trifles. They were his all. These spiritual elements comprised the core of who he was and what he believed in. More importantly, they inspired him to live in the moment and to be grateful for every morsel of this beautiful cocoon that enveloped him in its tender, ferocious arms.

At one time, he felt torn about his evolving views. No more. This was Life and he would cherish and nurture and enjoy it for as long as he was fortunate enough to do so.

Daily Prompt: Torn

rain and a northwesterly wind of near monsoon proportions rattling the windows
yet another addictive Netflix series to (happily) consume our evening hours
two heaping bowls of air-popped popcorn, with just enough salt & butter
colorful throws pulled up tight to ward off winter’s chill
the only source of light emanating from the big screen: The Crown, Narcos or Peaky Blinders.
i steal a peek across the room at my handsome husband, munching popcorn, his eyes intent on Pablo Escabar,
his beautiful profile nearly taking my breath away.

you ask me what is bliss? it is just this.

Daily Prompt: Bliss

We were doing rope work at Dutton Cave in northeast Iowa, almost thirty years ago, when my son was not quite yet in his teens. He was, I think, about ten or eleven years old.

The maw of this cozy cavern is perfect for rappelling as the top of the opening is accessible via a short climb through brush and bramble on either side of the cave proper. At the crown of the vertical granite face, overlooking the drop, is where the ropes were set in place. Playtime prep work was done by the (far) more experienced members of our merry band of adventurers. My son and I, neophytes to the world of spelunking, were simply along for the ride.

Prior to the free-fall exhilaration of gliding down a nylon rope – climbers dutifully attached to said rope wearing only an awkwardly cumbersome but oh-so-necessary corded harness to aid in their ascent or descent – the group elders decreed that one must first successfully climb from the relatively flat, rock-strewn bottom to the sloping, rock-strewn top of the cave wall – an upward span of forty agonizing feet. Doing so, peering into the darkness of the cave or looking out at the tops of the trees in the park, relative to one’s orientation while suspended from the rope at various height intervals, climbers rise slowly up the rope via a stepping motion using a mechanical device known as an ascender.

My time with the group was short-lived and I don’t claim to possess even a modicum of expertise or the skillful ability to correctly employ the appropriate jargon of the sport. So I ask more diligent readers to please bear with me. I will tell you, however, that rope climbing using these ascenders is both a difficult and a most satisfying endeavor.

Once a climber cleared the cave opening, all that stood in the way of reaching terra firma was the delicately demanding act of pushing the ascender up the rope while maneuvering it up and over and then past the rock-lip of the surface where the rope lies. This is not an easy task given the weight of the climber enhanced by the pull of gravity, which makes for a very tight surface connection of rope to rock. However, once achieved, this climber – and this climber’s son who was not at all happy with his mother for insisting he do this! – were both rewarded with instant euphoria. That satisfying bite of the rope as the ascender cleared the rock and slid its way up the track of the rope allowing first me and then my son to summit the top of the cave entrance made the physical and mental challenges of completing the task entirely worth the effort.

Now, at last, we were able to enjoy rappelling back down to the spot where we began our incredible little climbing adventure. And it was all good.

Daily Prompt: Bite