A Poet’s Words of Wondering About Now and Next

This Morning Glory, vining its way among Lavender, compels me. Beauty and vibrancy have a way of compelling.

Questions also compel me, for the way that they vine among people. Questions give us shared domain. And beauty. And vibrancy.

Questions that invite sense-making are never out of place. What is going on? What is happening?

It’s true that some layers of attention don’t change. In the most general terms, the sun rises each day — it’s the same.

Yet nuance is what many of us are learning again. The deep nuances that live within our changing selves, and among the people with whom we work, live, play, learn, love, and lose.

At many others layers of attention, everything changes and is in perpetual becoming. The sun rising today nuances to many many layers of uniqueness.

I am a human being that wonders. That might be one of my most defining qualities. I wonder about things connected. I wonder about attentiveness. I wonder about what evolves and what emerges. In this way, every life is a rich and thick garden. Every moment with a team is invitation to learn kindness with “what is” and with “what is changing.”

It is never out of place to live curious about what is happening. It is never out of place to reclaim ability to pay attention to what is obvious, what is murky, what is simple, and what is perplexing. It’s never out of place to pay attention to paying attention.

This morning I wrote these lines, in the spirt of such wonder, from my poetic heart.

For inspiration, and for invitation with others.

What now
in this great, great journey?

What now
that is slow, steady?

What now
that is quickened, changed?

What now
in this great, great unfurling?

Perhaps, just one now.
And then another.

Perhaps the journey
knows itself to unfurl.

There Are Times

There are times when the simple appears.
As blessing.
As clarity.

A pond, speckled with lily pads and scurrying frogs.
A reminder, from teachers near and far.
A shared home, nestled in woods.
A chair, invitation to commune with deeper self.
A path, that brings joy to steps ahead and behind.

There are times when the simple appears.
And beauty guides.
And joy is enough.

Splitting Wood — From Most Mornings

It is nearing the one year mark since I published Most Mornings. I find myself attentive today to how those poems from a year ago are now living in me. It’s one of the things that I love about poetry — it can evolve meaning and presence over time.

For this particular poem, Splitting Wood, I’m also attentive to the good work that men can do together, and need to do together over time. I’m headed to a men’s retreat this weekend, a version of which from a few years ago helped to create the content for Spitting Wood. It was such a beautiful thing to be with kind men in friendship and journey. It was the last line about “stacking friendship” that helped get the poem going in my imagination.

Most Mornings is available for purchase on Amazon. Thank you for purchases, shares, gifts to others.

Splitting Wood
Tenneson Woolf

They split the wood,
these five men working together.

One man, with long grayed beard and kind eyes,
operated the wood splitter.

Two men lifted large tree stumps,
to place just so under the chop of the modern axe.

Two men collected the split wood in wheelbarrow
to transport and stack neatly in covered shed.

This was not hard work, these five men splitting wood
that would warm many a winter morning.

This was good work, these five men helping each other,
stacking friendship, warmth, and memory.