Poem: Wheee! (Happy birthday to my daughter)

Wheee!

By Michelle Garren Flye

You test the top of the slide

And yell, “It’s slippery, Mommy!”

At first I think you’re scared to try,

But next thing I hear is “Wheee!”

I know how right you are.

Time is slippery, too, I think.

Each second echoes in my heart

But they pass within a wink.

My child, you’re growing too fast—

I know soon you’ll need to be free.

I feel I’m watching you slip past

And all I hear is “Wheee!”

Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem: Wisdom of the Baby Bird

Wisdom of the Baby Bird

By Michelle Garren Flye

Like an eagle or hawk soaring

We want to leap into the sky!

We don’t know what waits;

We just know we want to fly.

Hawks dive onto their prey,

Seagulls wheel above the sea,

Eagles may drift along drafts

Our senses cannot perceive.

Maybe turn our eyes instead

To the baby bird in the nest.

Standing precariously on the edge—

He’s waiting, not taking a rest.

Take a leap of faith—oh yes, let’s do!

But only when the time is right.

Stretch the wings out first—

Take a short practice flight.

Only then will we grow stronger,

Only then will we avoid a plunge

Headfirst into a maelstrom

Of dangers we cannot dodge.

Juvenile owl waiting the right moment to fly. Photo by Michelle Garren Flye
Pissed Mama Osprey. Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem 24 (National Poetry Month): When We Return to “Normal”

Everything feels wrong now, and it seems that everyone is trying to quantify it and box it up and make it what they’ve always known. “Don’t judge people if you see them not wearing a mask or taking their kids out or trying to go back to work—you don’t know what they’re going through,” say some. This is true. But it does not escape my sense of fairness that some of these people are the same ones who are quick to judge those who take their families and flee from death and poverty in other countries. Don’t judge them, either. You don’t know what they’ve gone through.

We all want to go back to “normal”, but I don’t think we’re ever going to get back there from here. We’ll go back to some semblance of day-to-day life, but I believe what scifi writers have been warning us about—that some event would come along eventually that would change us forever—has finally happened. Where we go from here is really up to us. We can remain politically divided with half of us in denial about our doom and the other half constantly lecturing about it—or we can unite and fight for survival. I pray we opt to find the best in all of us when we declare victory over this virus…and return to “normal”.

When We Return to “Normal:

By Michelle Garren Flye

“I like that lady’s mask, Mommy.”

The little boy doesn’t wear a mask.

His face bare, he points at me.

Why is he here, I’d love to ask?

But life now is far from easy;

You can’t judge or take to task

Those whose differences you see.

Maybe we will remember this lesson

When we can declare our battle won.

When the world returns to “normal”

And we look each other in the face again

We may remember we are all mortal

And not judge each other by colors of skin.

Maybe we will recall we’re all one world

And where we come from is not our sin.

Maybe this can be done because it’s natural

When we survive a crisis with our fellow man.

Yes, let’s look at each other and see only “us”

When we stand on the battlefield victorious.

Like a flower conquering concrete, we will survive. It’s where we go from there that matters. Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem 23 (National Poetry Month): Stay

Inspired by the juvenile owl I saw perched next to his nest in my backyard while his parents chased away the hawks that saw him as prey. As well as my own experiences letting go

Stay

By Michelle Garren Flye

I know the wild world calls—

You want to spread your wings;

But, stay, a little longer, dear.

Put off your springtime flings.

Trust me when I say to you

I remember feeling that way—

Like I’d burst if I didn’t leave

To dance on the wind and play.

But stay, a little longer, dear;

There’s no need for you to rush.

There are dangers you don’t know

That all your dreams may crush.

Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem 21 (National Poetry Month): Waiting in the Wings

This morning it occurred to me that the whole world is really “waiting in the wings” if, as Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” Of course, that made me realize how much I miss the theater. “My” theater, one of my happy places, is being renovated during this unscheduled downtime, and I’m thrilled for the possibilities. I’m also a bit worried because I don’t know when we’ll be able to get another production on the stage, even though we do plan to. But plans don’t mean much right now, do they? Will our cue ever come? While we wait, though…

Waiting in the Wings

By Michelle Garren Flye

We’re waiting in the wings,

Listening for our cue.

It’s dark while the lead sings—

Only one spotlight will do.

The scene goes on forever…

It’ll never be our turn!

The ensemble is just extra,

Of little to no concern.

Oh but when the time comes

We’ll burst upon the stage

With light and color and costumes

The audience to engage!

We’ll flit about the floor,

Dance steps we memorize.

No one will dare snore

When our chorus arrives.

But now we wait in silence

Hoping we’re in tune.

We give each other guidance:

Our cue will come soon.

Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem 20 (National Poetry Month): Soul Snakes

Soul Snakes

By Michelle Garren Flye

There’s a barrel of snakes in the corner.

I’ve given each one a different name.

Take a look but do not get much warmer!

They are poison, this is not a game.

This one for instance, he is black and white.

I call him Prejudice for he can’t believe

Anything a bit different or unlike

Could be okay—he just can’t conceive.

His best bud is Racism, you can guess why.

Look there at the green ones, that’s Envy and Greed.

Wrath is a slippery one, he’s really too sly!

Indifference is this one, he ignores when you plead.

They’re all mixed up in my big melting pot,

Writhing and twisting, living in your heart.

(They usually find they can pick their spot.)

Decaying the human soul is their only art.

But look I have an experiment to show!

If I add this big one to the pot here

The others will ever more poison grow—

And that’s what you can expect from Fear.

Not a poisonous soul snake. Just a pretty little racer I saw this morning. Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem 19 (National Poetry Month): Haiku Poem

Haiku Poem

By Michelle Garren Flye

Wildflowers grow fast

Where the lawnmower neglects

To stop their progress

Pink, white, violet

Mix it up on the roadside

Bumblebees’ delight

Forget a bit more

Let nature’s course continue

Color eases thoughts

Photo by Michelle Garren Flye