Beyond Our Identity Masks

So much, we associate with our lives
More than we imagine
Things, people, thoughts, feelings, experiences
So much more
All markers, definers, identifiers
Yes, identity builders

Each of us
in our own way, seeks
to be somebody, something
Almost always, it’s about being
something other than what we are
Often, mistaking our shadow for the one
coming before casting the shadow

Yes, ambition, aspiration, goals
can hinder us, if
they steer us away
from the simple joy of being
without anywhere to go
or anyone to be

We work so hard
to define our likes, dislikes in life
All because that’s why we think we’re here
Beyond our judgments there is more
Undefinable, ineffiable, ever changing
Something we feel
Something we know
because we are that

Old Dolls

Not old women who still look great
Literally, old toy dolls
Handed down to you from your Mom
An original Shirley Temple Doll
Flowing golden locks, rosy pink cheeks
A tiny flower on her off-white satin dress

A Patsy Doll, the rage in the 30’s
Chubby cheeks, sky blue eyes
Her pink dress a little tattered, but
still suitable for playing hopscotch
in the red brick alley
where your Mom twice skinned her knees

Others, even older, maybe a hundred or more
Smiling youthful faces fixed for eternity
Eyes gazing beyond where we can see, and
beyond all memories

They sit together in the antique chair
in the back bedroom, where
you keep your Dad’s ashes
In the memory room, where
we slip away and remember, and
where tears seem to come from nowhere

North Chagrin Reservation Photo Shoot

Click here to see a few of the many photographs taken during our recent hike through the North Chagrin Reservation near our home. The reservation is part of the Metroparks District. It is a wonderful woodland forest filled with birds, deer, wild turkeys, coyotes, raccoon, squirrels, chipmunks, and once in awhile a black bear. The shots of the Great Blue Heron were great fun.

Erie Street Cemetery

Erie Street Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Note: Click picture to enlarge it.

Old, faded, worn
In so many ways, forgotten
But so alive with spring
A reminder, life after death

One of Cleveland’s first real cemeteries
For so long
overtaken by the growing city
Now engulfed by the dying city

One hundred and fifty years ago
green fields, wildflowers all about
Now boarded up buildings
and pot-holed streets on its perimeter

Pink magnolias, flowering white dogwoods in full bloom
Even the dead weep at their sight
The elms, nearly gone, but stately oaks and sycamores stand tall
in the sweet mid-afternoon breeze

Death seems so temporary on such a spring day
Like the thin disappearing clouds
streaming across the bright blue sky
Like the faded names on the grave stones