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My garden benefactor, Sh'mal

Sh'mal asked me to post this for him. Some of you know him as a social worker, others for his help with the homeless in Gainesville, FL. He managed the McRorie Community Garden for some time. I met him there. I wound up with my patch because he gave his to me. He was moving to Seattle to be closer to his grandson. I hope this doesn't sound like a eulogy! It's more like an awakening. Batina is Linda Solomon, here on Zoobird. This is a song of joy, as Sh'mal shares with us his happiness in the northwest. He also misses his friends in the Swamp. Be sure and drop him a note here to say hi. He's published lots of short stories on Zoobird. Some are published here for the first time. I'm an avid reader and his stuff is among my favorites. Just do a search for "shmal". Enjoy.


SOMETHINGS ARE HAPPENING HERE


 


 


 


 


Clear Seattle Day.


We’re on a roll here;


Three days in a row.


Warmish too: 70s.


But to be honest, I must be a bit crazed, but,


I do long for the long, hot, humid, summer days in Gainesville.


Getting dirty and sweaty in


the


McRorie Community Garden.


 


Love of life comes in different ways.


Listen.


 


Puget Sound


Golden Gardens Park


Far apart, white cumulus clouds,


Floating lazily suspended by the unseen.


 


Evaporating water particles unseen


From the Sound,


Rise up before me.


That is majestic.


 


Gentle winds; an unseen energy.


 


So much is unseen.


There is, it’s true,


More around us unseen than seen. 


 


The beauty of this day is felt so peacefully.


Batina paints on 5 x 7 cards,


I write,


The same view


Different Way. 


 


We sit 30 feet from the waters edge,


A large boulder barrier between the water and comfort for humans….and dogs. Every other person walks
with at least one dog on the asphalt path between the water and us.


 


Seattle with a high level of dog love.


And coffee.


More coffee and dogs per capita than where, what?


 


Those boulders, larger than man can move,


Moved into place by machines?


Pyramids, A Great Wall, built by humans;


With unseen help? Did they have help?


All slaves?


Mega-creations


Does anyone volunteer this work?


 


Batina and I enjoying this day.


I declared it a vacation day.


A stress reduction process.


 


To the beach we go,


But we can’t just be.


We doodle our crafts.


Eyes take in what fills the space.


Something moves something else. Inside.


All Muse. Not us.


Allow for creative energies to flow.


A love of life.


 


Two days ago there were hundreds of teens here.


Gathering in groups.


That was the first of this three day


Run of sun.


Must have been a school is over event.


 


On that day I sat in my van with a man not much older than me,


Stroked to be a partially disabled man.


A 24 hour shift, for me, 9 a.m. to 9 a.m.


Getting paid for sleep.


Hmmm, not like moving boulders.


 


Only my third time with him. Getting to know him. He me. But still, “a stranger in my apartment.”


How would anyone think or feel about this when


A someone just shows up?


Sent by an agency? 


 


Just to be clear here:


He was informed by his power of attorney.


But still, cognition impaired by a stroke.


Language, movement will never be


As it was.


 


He seemed to love just being by the water


Responded immediately


To my suggestion.


 


He doesn’t communicate well.


May not want to.


Uses a walker easily.


But didn’t need or want to get out of my van.


90 minutes comfortably watching the water, boats and those many passing by


Our van window view.


He talked a bit, to my questions: Today told me he was a mountain climber,


Electrical engineer a photographer,


Had a motor boat.


No children.


 


Batina and I:Words and paint expressing something


That inhabits our beings.


 


Is there credit due someplace?


To Whom? To What?


 


A hand holds a brush.


A hand a pen.


From where?


To our hands.


Miracles of time, space,


Industrial transportation.


 


We’ve no clue, no inquiry,


Except where we buy,


What we need.


 


Water ripples, breath flows.


Slow and easy


As we


Absorb the natural world,


Become it


As feet move on asphalt.


 


 


Her fingers hold a brush.


What are the bristles made of?


Where did they come from?


 


Everything is in place.


Some sails down, engines on,


Some sails filled with that


Unseen energy, engines off.


 


She here, me here.


She who? Me who?


For how long???


 


Any, anytime,


It will change. I know and


We won’t be here or anyplace.


Then, just being.


Or


Still doing. A higher work.


Perhaps.


We will abide in Love. A Gift to cherish to,


Take with us.


 


The brush squiggles


Held in deft, delicate, God Fingers.


Paint from some where,


Onto paper from another where,


Re-Creating water, sky, grass, sail boats,


On paper that


Was a tree.


Imagine that.


 


(Now a few days later, still working on this piece peace and I have to interject,
that I just picked cherries from our backyard tree. Fuckin cherries.


A total first.


Three cherrie, cherry, trees in this rented space.


The largest, 30 feet, maybe more,


They are ripening, the other two, ten feet, still a way to go for ripening.


Maybe another variety.


 


Amazing.


Cherries.


It makes me happy to have this.


And be alive to it.


 


I thought there would be a tug of war between me


And the black birds, that nested in this tree and birthed chickies.


Maybe they’re getting the higher ones.


A fair trade.


 


For me.


From tree to mouth.)


 


For an eye-sense. That


Sends a message,


Deep inside being, to a place,


Unseen, but knowable,


Becoming a Soul Experience.


 


Her hand


A Hand


Dips the paint,


Moves the brush.


What is that Force behind the action?


Samples, samples, of the beauty seen.


 


Where does pride enter as we do and be?


What we do and be, but  


Soon we won’t be or do.


 


Time moves faster than our blinking eye


And we don’t know.


When or How.


 


She holds the brush,


I a pen


Paper lent


Love lent


Body lent


 


All a Souls mission to experience,


To know.


 


Memories of parents. 


Forgotten how they held us


When we were their gift from


Who knows?


 


Two day later another near Seattle beach.


My 13 month old granddaughter,


Our first excursion out of their house,


My son Gabriel, girl friend, Megan, their son, Vaden,


Into my van, she enjoying,


Understands what I am preparing for us.


But not my struggle with the car seat straps.


Cries, is uncomfortable. Me too.


But all settled, now smiling, knowing Grandpa Bob’s words about


Car, go, good time.


I’m impressed with this babe,


How cool she is.


We are getting to know each other.


 


I’m came here 2 years ago, for


Grandson Vaden, and then


God blesses us with a female angel too.


 


We meet Batina at the beach, she was attending a


Art meeting as her reputation is slowly expanding


Having a show here and there.


 


Baby girl Clover, a smiling angel,


No discernable words, no stand up walking,


A good crawler.


 


Love — Love brings us into


Being in Life together.


A Passage to Eternity.


Could not have imagined that,


But I see who I see.


Yes this is real.


 


I point out the boats, a train goes by,


The water the sand the grass.


 


A stroller. Thanks Megan for remembering.


My first stroll with a stroller in many decades.


On the asphalt, onto a peer, Clover keeps a well balanced demeanor.


We drive home.


I reach over and touch her feet as I did going. We smile at each other in the rear view mirror.


A charge of love emotion fills me.


She dozes.


We arrive at Gabe’s house. I wonder


If Clover coming out of a soft sleep will


Do a crying bit —


Ah, perfect equanimity. 


I love so many aspects of life. Thankful. Gracious.


HashemAllah Hu 


 


Not a vacation day today,


Even better: a blessed day with


Clover.


 


OTHER SACRED MOMENTS


 


The love of life manifesting in so many ways,


As I thin small lettuces from my


Seattle front Yard garden,


Propagated from seeds saved two years ago from lettuces in the


McRorie Community Garden Gainesville plot I helped attend.


 


These tiny, some tiny, tiny, baby lettuces,


Thin-ed from between two inch high Romaine.


That hopefully will grow full size,


Allowing two or three to “go to seed,”


So I can again save seeds.


 


I couldn’t throw the leaves aside.


I know they contain energies I don’t understand.


 


Cut their thin rootlets, 


Rest the rootlets near the larger plants,


To again become earth.


 


Gather the lettuces leaves,


So carefully in my palm.


Into the kitchen,


Many rinses


To get off


Tiny soil particles,


Lightly clinging to tender leaves.


That soil 


Helped bring forth.


So close to the ground they were.


 


I include these leaves in the salad


Of the day


Appreciating their young energies.


Never knowing what is eaten from the


Organic gardens will have


Special Energies that will do for our beings what


We need to be


Physically whole.


 


After all,


What is eaten from ones garden, that is carefully nurtured,


Sweated upon, personally energized, honored and prayed upon,


Is in return a taste of ones own self. 












Super Zuccini's


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