From Where?

The women bustle in the kitchen,
Children crying underfoot,
Loving them, asking for holding,
Being held and loved.

We sit and wonder what it's about,
All the sounds and moving,
All the smells that thrive
And grow in the oven.

We watch mothers tending,
Holding, carrying, caring,
And we yearn for what we see,
Here in our old hearts young.

There is no way to be there again,
In mother's arms holding,
Being loved as we cry and writhe,
Being hers, just hers alone.

But we write and wonder,
Here in our chair by the window,
With the light shining in,
Bringing loving wonder - from where?

Tim Beckham
March 7, 2017

Happy Birthday, Daughter!

Daughter, friend, growing wonder of my life,
You spring into my days with bouncing joy,
And bring your mighty soul to bear on this aging frame,
Enlivening and enlightening my days,
With the sight, sound, smells of bounteous you.

There is no person who can take your place in my heart.
You have carved a singular home where my mind rests,
In both steady confidence and peaceful ease.
I bask in your sunlight, praying that your bright energy will bring to you,
In all your deserving grace and beauty and mystery,
Friends and lovers who reflect your strength and power and fervent passions.

You are your own. You belong only to you. You are your own destiny.
You bound through wooded, meadowed and flowered life,
Forward looking, tenderly caring, thoughtfully understanding
The tender souls who dwell near you,
Within the arms of your soul, within your heart’s embrace.

I look upon you and see with pride what your mother and I sowed,
But more than that, I see a woman grown and magnificent,
Singing Life at the top of her lungs,
A praising spirit who will fly and crawl and fight and struggle,
Over whatever distance, at whatever price, to find her truest home,

But who, still, will always be found within the circle of my love.

Happy Birthday.


I Am a Grandfather?

I am a grandfather?
What is that?
Who am I - to me, to them?
Who are they - those strange people I call family?

Are they who I am, extended,
Or are they who I hoped to be?
Or are they who they are -
(The definition of the word "is")?

I think we are all together one,
None defined alone,
All defined together,
Each wondering what next to do, to be.

I hope we solve it,
But I also hope we don't,
For the mystery is adventure,
And adventure is growing life.

Tim Beckham

I Saw Her Once, Long Ago

I saw her once, long ago,
Sitting with her young son,
Smiling, loving,
Giving him that moment after moment
Presence in his life.

I felt very old.

I know that when time returns,
And the universe shrinks to a point,
Where all are one in a great dissolving,
She will be somewhere there,
Loving her young son.

Tim Beckham

I Had Lunch With My Son Today

I had lunch with my son today,
In a corner restaurant
Sitting near the window, folks passing by,
Our tiny world of two, beside the great outside,
Huge and embracing of us together.

We spoke of family and work,
And of politics - of all things,
And we ate in the shared humanity,
That keeps us aware of the other,
That keeps us from ever drifting away.

We ate sandwiches and drank water,
Filling ourselves with connection,
Sharing the friendship that grew,
Out of the caring I gave to him,
And out of the love he returned.

We had lunch together, a brief moment,
Yet not slight at all,
Full in the bounty of our lives,
Grounded in struggle and work and family,
And in having lunch together today.

Tim Beckham