Count the Beautiful Things, Part 1

It’s just a list, really, an off the cuff exercise from a few days ago.   Seemed like a good thing to share on a Thanksgiving Day.   May there be too many beautiful things (read “moments”) in your day to count…

And I should say…this girl is the first of my list, always… (I know the writing below doesn’t start with her, but still…)



Count the beautiful things…

The wings of gulls in sea light on ferry mornings,
Your fresh eyes hovering there, seeing his horizons.
Your lover at lunch caught in an afternoon bounce of high key glare,
That teen smile still there, all for you, thirty years later.
The banter of friends over fraying theologies,
A old eye’s jumping stopped for a few minutes,
A letting go of old obsessions,
A day in the mountains, crisped aired climbing.
Candles lit in a theatre,
And a unexpected friend welcoming you,
The invitation to “sit with us,” and enjoy.
An actor with an audience, though no one applauds,
And the eyes of listeners softening, hearts open.
Old battles left off, and wide faces safe to speak.
Glass colored red and yellow, meant for flowers.
Silence at midnight, moon high.
Baptism, wet forgiveness, body slam embraces,
Droplets with worlds reflected there.
Blonde toddlers wrapping arms round legs,
Or scuffling toward us, cozy smiles effervescent.
The inside of a beat, to sit a groove,
To rest there, playing, the pulse a morning’s heartbeat.
Praising, wrapped in a thought of God, joyful.
Lenten bells at seven, and the swish of robes.
Sweet scents of bakeries, breads dawning from ovens.
Sins forgotten, nowhere in mind, laughter chasing them.
Count the beautiful things, holding close touches of divinity.
Glancing rainbows off beveled glass in windows,
Colors tracing arcs on red leather couches.
A black face, smile miles wide, through tears.
Comfort of strangers allowing you in.
Forbidden lace, guitar strings, the open mouth of ecstacy,
Single dark hairs on a woman’s forehead,
The first stirrings of arousal,
The wings of birds, the redness of Cardinals, The blues of Bluejays,
The hovering hummingbird, wings abuzz,
The loft of bees in nectared daffodils,
Fields of tulips, children playing there.
New voices discovered, singing powerhouse anthems,
Poets heard for perhaps the only time,
Justice done when false accusations shame,
Shame dropped like a rag from old shoulders.
Enemies turning into friends.
Anxieties set to rest, enough money for bills,
Quiet evenings with books and teas,
A near hand that grasps yours.
Conversations with soul shorthands,
Where each nuance is a easy pitch and catch,
And delight makes hours fly.
A son’s long bear hug after his marriage ceremony,
The one you got to preside over.
Playing guitar for the daughter’s third grade talent show,
Her small frame etched in spotlight as you pluck a song,
Holding back tears as you realize what you’re doing.
Decisions not to betray,
Decisions to walk away from the betrayals made.
Decisions to give lifetimes for lifetimes to come.
Old church chapels where faith lives,
Classes of aged believers crazy with beliefs.
Last breaths of saints, the ones who see the door,
And the saints on the other side.
Hands held on other continents,
And the dancing worship of children unfazed by death.
Pumpkins in fields, soccer in fields,
And small boys and girls running, kicking, searing joy.
Did I say guitar strings?
Christmas lights, hunting for trees, the old tradition,
The good dishes of great cooks,
Tuscan light on gray September hillsides,
Small stone chapels with dusky evening light,
And vespers sung by a dozen monks.
Poetry of women who don’t care how they look,
And cancer beaten, remission of years.
The sex of good marriage, no worries.
Lovers in slow motion, careful pleasure.
Crab and butter, live jazz with low dresses,
The good voice of Psalms on consecutive mornings,
Milosz’s poems, the spirit’s wooing of moments caught.
Hawaii’s winds, Idaho snows,
Footballs arcing through November nights,
Cashmere sweaters with holes, and comfy blankets.
The clear tones of ten-year-old voices
Singing songs you wrote of longing.
The conviction that what you’re doing matters,
And the good feel of doing it.
The turning of addiction, fierce grit streaming down faces,
And each beautiful step toward freedom.
Slavery killed is a beautiful execution,
A just ending of brutality.

And with that last thought, I came to a screeching halt.  Don’t know why, but the searing beauty of that crushing injustice ended…just a place to stop.   There are more beautiful things.   So many more.    This was just an opening rush…

Are you counting yet?  

2 Replies to “Count the Beautiful Things, Part 1”

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