Poems From The Porch
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Morning at Lake Conroe
Two ducks skim in for a landing
while two more, feather booties up, are fishing.
Across the sky, other wings flap into the sunrise.
The water is lapping a gentle rhythm on the shore
as a streak of pink clouds hangs motionless above the horizon.
Mars is still visible,
juxtaposed somewhere between one and two o’clock to the sliver-smile moon.
Now the buzzards fly in to observe the morning’s activity.
One lands heavily on the roof with a "clud."
Every once in a while an eager duck calls out to another.
Something has stirred the water,
for the waves momentarily become more insistent.
The waterfowl are starting to congregate now.
I hear them inquiring about how each passed the night.
Some are elegant black with white beaks,
some are mixed shades of brown with a splash of blue,
and others have radiant, iridescent heads.
There is only one white one,
and she is the loudest,
the commander-in-chief of the group,
keeping everyone in an organized cohesion.
Here they come, hoping I will feed them,
but I only have my presence to offer.
They float along gracefully and seemingly without effort,
while just beneath the water’s surface are two webbed feet faithfully pumping.
It reminds me of the view of my beating heart,
to which I was once privy,
and how the realization came to me that it was always beating,
for all the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds of my life
—all of them,
working behind the scenes,
like the hidden ducky propellers.
Now the brilliant orb of the sun has peaked over the trees
reminding me that it is always there too,
even working, like my heart,
necessary to my survival.
How intricate, interdependent, and complex is this beautiful world!
I don’t want to sleep through it.
I want to be awake to the mysterious loveliness of it all.
I also want to find meaning in simply existing, yes, in this moment.
The yearn for meaning outside of right now occurs when humans think about reality
rather than directly experiencing it.
You see, right here, right now,
the light of this dawn is shimmering on the mercury water,
and a porous grey cloud mass has entered from the south.
The tree line has not yet revealed its color,
but borders the horizon with black.
Right now, right here, there are reflections dancing on the lake
making psychedelic patterns that may only be observed at this time of the day.
When the light changes, they will disappear.
That is why we take pictures. We want the moment to last.
But life is a process to be savored,
not a product to be bought and stored away.
I go inside to get a second cup of coffee
because it seems like the next right thing to do.
I am chilled and its warm richness will soothe me.
I encounter a dragonfly resting in front of the sliding glass door on my way in.
He generously allows me to observe his green and blue fluorescence more closely
and his big bubble eye.
He moves his body only slightly,
and I thrill at the majesty of him.
Returning to the balcony, I see the bright white, lead duck swimming solo,
continuously quacking for reinforcements.
A drake arrives, and off they glide, side by side.
The air falls silent.
No more quacking seems necessary.