OCTOBER JOYFUL

Autumn Leaves signed

OCTOBER JOYFUL

As Summer takes a final breath
and sunbeams flirt with golden trees,
the days grow shorter
and leaves begin to fall,
autumn butterflies
dancing upon the breeze.

My heart joining in
their playful pirouette,
leaves of crimson and gold,
their hues at once
so delicate and bold,
I gather them one by one
in the waning afternoon sun.

And holding each one
in my hand and my heart,
I give thanks once more
for the joy they bring
as evening approaches
and day begins to slip away.

(c) barbara kausteklis 10-2-15

DANCING ACROSS THE PAGES

Colored pens signed

DANCING ACROSS THE PAGES

She always was
a rather quiet child —
“a penny for your thoughts,”
they would always say —
and not many pennies
coming her way,
for not many thoughts shared,
if any,
preferring even then
to keep them
(and herself)
very much
to herself.

What it was
that unlocked the door
of her heart and soul
and unleashed those thoughts
and random musings
she can’t quite
put her finger on
(even now),
but once it happened,
there was no stopping the flood,
a persistent tugging each day,
thoughts aching for release,
words dancing about
in the cool breeze;
eyes opened
to what had been there
all the time,
so very obvious
one would have thought.

But the words began
to tumble out
very
slowly
and
little
by little,
one
by
one
onto that page left blank
for so long.

They tumbled out
and happily danced across pages
and pages of her heart and soul,
until the pages were no longer blank,
but filled with tears of sadness
and joy and hope and images
and visions of how things were
and how things might be.

Those words that were
so tightly locked away
finally found release
within the notebook
of her life.
And as they continue
to tumble out
at rather random and odd times,
she tries very hard
to capture them
before they evaporate.

(c) barbara kausteklis 9-19-15

(Based on a piece I wrote in 2010 and still true today.)

THE DREAMERS OF FALL

Frigate bird signed 2

THE DREAMERS OF FALL

A simple kite on a string,
a key and terrible storm;
a random apple
falling out of a tree
onto the ground;
a boy who didn’t listen
to wisdom’s words
and flew too close
to the sun —
they were dreamers
with big plans
who never gave up
on even one.

And this morning
in about an hour,
give or take a moment
or two,
I’ll be on the sidelines
just cheering them on,
some of today’s dreamers
with big plans —
Saturday soccer players
of September racing up
and down the field
and having fun after all.

And with no thoughts just yet
of international stardom,
fame or big accolades,
they’ll be just trying
so very hard
to pay attention
and keep their eyes
on the ball
as they race toward the goal
and learn to play as a team,
down the field,
up the field,
back and forth
toward the goal.

Striker,
stopper,
midfielder,
forward,
defender,
in the zone all,
champions all,
no matter the points,
no matter the score
on a super soccer
day in the sun.

And as I watch them
having fun as I cheer
from the stands
on this first soccer Saturday
along with all their fans,
I can only hope
that whatever dreams
they might have
they hold on very tight
and never give up.

(c) barbara kausteklis 9-12-15

LOVING EVERY MINUTE

Byways Soaring - 11

LOVING EVERY MINUTE

“Every day is a Saturday,”
a good friend said to me
on the day she retired,
“You just wait and see.”

And I couldn’t imagine
just what it would be like
as I listened to her words
on that day not so long ago.

And I began thinking,
as she continued along:
“Every day is a Saturday
when I get out of bed.
So many things
I had put on the shelf.
I just never had
any time to myself.”

And the more
I thought about it,
the more sense it made,
so many things
on my own shelf as well.

And on that very day
that I walked out the door
and left the job that I loved
but searching for more,
I rediscovered all of
those things on my shelf,
and dusted them off
and looked at each one.

The books and the writing
and the cameras and such
and the music and travel,
just so very much.
So much to see
and so much to do,
my eyes were certainly
opened anew.

And now I can say,
with a smile in my heart,
that every day’s a Saturday,
just as she had said.
And I’m loving every minute
of each and every day.

(c) barbara kausteklis 7-21-10

Words written five years ago
and still holding true today —
And while much has transpired
over these past five years
since I wrote them
and the five or so years
before that when
I changed the course
of my daily life
(and it would certainly be
a stretch to say that each
and every day
is fun and games,
because life just isn’t like that),
I can truthfully say
I loved what I did
before I didn’t do it anymore
and have so very much enjoyed
pursuing those many areas
I had put on hold.

barbara kausteklis 9-8-15

AUTUMN REVERIE

Autumn leaves on ground

AUTUMN REVERIE

Leaves are beginning
to blanket the ground
and I kick them up
with my feet and recall
that still-familiar sound
of days long past,
treasures still kept
safe and secure
as the trees shed
their rainbowed mantle
of gold, orange and red.

Those crisp autumn days
of football
and the home team,
the cheerleaders,
the hot dogs
and piles of leaves
still make my heart smile
as I recall them now.

And I’ll always remember
the endless fall fun
of those days in between
the brutal heat of summer sun
and the first flakes of snow,
days that seemed then
to last forever
when I was ten.

(c) barbara kausteklis 9-5-15

UPON THE BRINK OF TODAY

Butterfly yellow and signed

UPON THE BRINK OF TODAY

Standing upon the brink
of a future looking beyond
(and more than I can even begin to think)
as morning fills my heart
with love, laughter, and song,
the music sweeter with time’s passing,
the melody delicate though strong.
And I rejoice within the breezes
of the dawn and first light,
my spirits lifted
as they began to falter;
my dreams rekindled
as I begin to dance across
the stage of today
with no regrets,
no second thoughts,
no looking back
And with the rising sun
I look forward
toward a new day
and beyond,
stepping away from what was
and into the bright light
of what will be.

(c) barbara kausteklis

(Originally written 5-26-11

and revised 8-31-15)

SUMMERTIME GOLDEN

Summer Sunflower signed

SUMMERTIME GOLDEN

Golden petals of sunshine
swaying in the breeze
reach to the sky
and invite sweet honeybees
and me,
to their afternoon dance
as they infuse the day with happiness
almost before it has begun.

And it simply wouldn’t be summer
without their sunshine glow
dancing upon the breezes
of a summer afternoon
as they put on
their golden show.

(c) barbara kausteklis 8-29-15

PRECISELY AT NINE

Katikati NZ coffee signed 2

PRECISELY AT NINE

We meet at nine,
precisely at nine,
my friend and me,
to catch up
over coffee
on the week we’ve had
up ’til then,
or didn’t
or wish we had had —
you know.

There are weeks like that,
we agree,
steam rising
into the cool
evening air,
weeks when things
just aren’t the way
we want them to be.

And back and forth
our words go
as we chat over coffee,
my friend and me,
and wonder
what kind of week
the painter in the corner,
watercolor brushstrokes
across his sketchbook,
has had;
or the student
over there
with the earphones,
feverishly typing
tap, tap, tap
on the keyboard
at the next table;
or the two over
on the other side,
holding hands
as they sip their tea.

And we agree
that the week we’ve had
wasn’t all that bad,
in fact,
pretty good,
we conclude,
as weeks come
and weeks go.

So we’ll meet again
next week
over coffee and chat,
precisely at nine,
and catch up
once again
on the week
that we’ve had.

(c) barbara kausteklis

(originally written 10-20-11
and lightly edited 8-24-15)