Welcome to Shirley’s website & blog

Dear God #1

IMG_0227Hello? God? Oh my! I didn’t think You were really there! Well, I have a problem. Not a big one, but still, I thought I might catch You-do You ever have down time? Um, it’s my zipper. Zipper, You know the thing that holds your jeans up or pulls your dress together. The point is, mine is stuck and I have somewhere to go, very important and the thing won’t budge. I have nothing else to wear.

The thing is, I have faith that You could fix it, probably in an instant but even five minutes would get me there. What do You mean I should bypass the faith and look for a pair of pliers? read more…

Snap Dragon Ladies

IMG_1978In New Orleans, in the Garden District, where the warm air lay on your shoulders like a cat, lived the widow Madam Gardner. Her house was a pale pink color with great white pillars. A black iron fence surrounded the velvet lawns, ancient twisting oaks lined the boulevard, dappling the house in the late afternoon sun.

Madam was a sweet tempered woman, yet not afraid to speak up for justice, always offering a kind word to all she encountered and she had the greenest thumb in the parish.

Her garden was a source of envy for many. Even Madeleine Riboult, Madams oldest and dearest friend went as far as to hint, “One might think Madam’s garden to be enchanted if one didn’t know better.” Little did she know how close to the truth were her suspicions. read more…

Little Black Hen

IMG_1794You might think chickens are creatures that go around pecking at the ground, looking for bugs and now and again laying an egg, as though it were a surprise to her and to you. They fluff their feathers, squawk for unknown reasons, jump at shadows that appear out of nowhere and run screaming with indignation if you happen to turn on the hose to water the lavender while they are busy scratching up a nest beneath the fragrant plant. Listen, you can be standing near one as though you were made out of stone, not a muscle moving, and all of a sudden you wiggle your baby finger and Miss Hen will stretch her neck, eyes popping out, wings flapping and screech like a woman who just stepped on a snake. You feel sorry for the chicken, you really do. On the other hand, if you don’t know any better, you might look down on her with a touch of superiority. I used to, before I knew how sophisticated and complex they really are. You won’t find them getting out rose painted teacups for mid-morning snack, but they definitely know who they are. read more…

A New Day

img124A new day,

one that’s never been used before!

I will grab it by the tail

and wrestle it to the ground.

Or I might softly listen,

while looking with brown eyes,

uncovering mysteries

beneath pine trees.

The Lake Dance

The Great Lake, rolling ice-chunks
In white-capped little curls
Morning creeping meekly
A beach strewn with tiny pearls

Her night of  joy now over
Though echoes still remain
Of a party like no other
Where all things took the blame

Peeking out through rattling glass
The wind beat to come on in
I saw a thing of  unleashed joy
A dancing, crashing din

White stallions rose up on high
Their manes and tails unfurled
Mouths open to screeching pitch
Then back in the lake they hurled

The wind, no timid thing
It pushed and howled and blew
With teeth a sharp as razor blades
She bit and gnawed and chewed

The lake, herself, cast off her poise
She shimmied, rumbaed and sang
She heaved her breast and threw her hips
Her song like cymbals rang

I heard lions, with mangy roars
And drums that held no beat
I saw mermaids riding bareback
On horses with no feet
The night spit ice, with fury and fun

It held nothing quiet or calm
It clamped the moon in a great headlock
Till all the light and was gone
The party was had all through the night

A riotous, clashing fray
Now morning has come, with a hung over light
And the wild things have gone to pray

COME BE MY LOVER

img018It’s not that I don’t need you
It’s just I have found myself
I have filled up all the wanting
With pearls of my own wealth

The gift of love I give you
Is not the love of youth
It is fire mixed with wisdom
And passion mixed with truth

Come and be my lover
Neath the sheets of diamond skies
Let your kisses linger
Till the sun begins to rise

Dance with me in moonlight
While the wheat fields wave in time
We’ll listen to the night birds
And drink the sacred wine

I can’t pledge or promise
I havre no tie that binds
Just be mine forever
We’ll walk the road that winds

BIRTHDAY BLESSING

img059May you have
Mysterious surprises
Rose streaked sunrises
Friendly encounters
Wind swept strolls
Snowfalls from heaven
With tiny little secrets

May you have
Fragrant coffee
Behind old glass windows
Phone calls from loved ones
On a cold winter day

Evenings with bare branches
Silhouetted against pink skies
And stunning red wine in the moonlight

CROSSROADS

IMG_0947I’m at a crossroads
after all those miles
I find my heart breaking
beneath false smiles

I pray for a sign
that is right and true
but silence the answer
when the storm is through

bring back my babies
when they needed my touch
when holding and rocking
could answer so much

bring back my confidence
in having meals on time
and show me where our lives go
and all I thought was mine

MESSAGE TO THE UNIVERSE

IMG_0239I want to play and sing and dance
I want to be excited at the beginning of each day
And gratefully satisfied at the end
I want to find mystery and otherworldliness in my observations
Communicate with the wind
the trees, the lake, things under my feet and above my head
I want to drop all pretense, becoming my wild Godly self
When the night storms unleash over the seas
I want to ride the crest of the waves

When the forest creatures mourn
I want to shed tears against their fur
When spring flowers bloom
I want  to wear their fragrance on my skin
When the eagle flies, I want to ride his back
As he dips and swirls on the crystal morning breeze

This is my prayer to the universe

HUNGER

IMG_0049

The coyote was hungry. It had been a long winter. The snow had fallen, sometimes in soft blankets, other times in angry swirls. It had been mad to cover the earth. It had been pulled down from heaven and lay like diamonds, like cold ice queens, like angels with silver wings. But the snow had not known that it had covered up all the food, the food of creatures that had relied upon the earth’s abundance throughout the summer and autumn. Now, all was beautiful, all was bleak. One day Mother Coyote said to Father Coyote, “You are the wild call of my heart. You have given me the song of my child and yet we are hungry. I know you feel the need, the ancient call of survival. I will give up my need but, Dearest, not the need of our pup.” The coyote looked across the frozen field. Maybe, a desperate, white rabbit, looking for food for his family, will stumble and sacrifice, for us. Is it a game? Is it life? It doesn’t matter when it’s food one needs. So Father Coyote stood in the cold, the ice wind blowing his silver, brown fur. He sniffed, his eyes looking upward. He smelled something. It was life, blood coursing through another father’s veins. Father Coyote stood as though all things had ceased. “I must try.” He pounced through the snow, first smelling, then seeing Father Rabbit, as well, Father Rabbit seeing Father Coyote. Life was the only heartbeat. The snow swirled; the rabbit was gone. Father Coyote’s back haunches eased. His chest softened. His despair was great. He moved to go, but something held him. Later, in the warmth of his cave, he pondered. Was it a knowing, a silent voice, a gift of providence? But, there as the wind blew it’s message, uncovering the frozen body of a turkey, Father Coyote know his family was safe.