Some Things Are Special, by Catherine M. Harris

A boy and a dog
A boy and a dog
Some Things Are Special

Memories are made
Of little things
A touch, a word
Something left unsaid.

Some things in life
I wish could go on forever:
The smell of a new baby’s hair
Their first word,
First step.
So many memories.

Those are the big small things.

Other things,
Much more important
So soon forgotten,
Are the times between words
When we are who we are
And we do what we do
Because we do.

And somebody loves you for it.
Believe me.
They do.

It’s what you do in small things
That matters more than anything.

So long Wizard, we love you.
March, 2009.

Winter Birds

I heard the cry of birds – chickadees
Calling chickadee dee dee
From a tree branch near my back door.

It mattered not to them that every other limb
Wore thick white tufts of snow and ice;
That the air outside was minus ten degrees celcius
Or that the weather forecasters had proclaimed
A major chance of freezing rain to shelter from
Coming within a matter of hours.

What, it seemed to me, the birds did care about
Was that the sun in the sky seemed just a little warmer
Than it had been, and that somewhere in their avian brains
They knew that snow or not, the sap was beginning to run
And that meant old seeds to pick and leaf buds to nibble
Or maybe small insects were beginning to stir in otherwise cold
Tree branches.

I stood and stared in that cold open door
While I waited for our nonchalant puppy
To finish bounding in snow banks,
A huge lump of black sinking into not so pristine white
My toes turning cold and just listening to
The sweet sounds of these first harbingers of spring.

When the winter’s snow fell and the ground froze
And these little birds went wherever they go at that time
The world was a rather different place.
They wouldn’t know that banks collapsed next door
And jobs were being lost in the thousands
And that interest rates and gas prices fell
Or that seniors saw their retirement funds vanish
And others their entire fortunes disappear
Seemingly overnight.

And I don’t think they’d really understand
The importance of a Democrat, the first black man
Becoming President of our neighboring country
Or know that the busses in our neighboring city went on strike
For 52 days. People walked, or drove, and would have envied them
Their ability to fly had they been around then.
Not that little wild birds care about such things.

No, they care about the length of the daylight and
The strength of the sun’s rays on feathered wings
They care about seeds hanging from branches
And twigs and bits of string with which to build a nest
And what would be the safest spot to construct
Away from the prying paws of squirrels and dare I say it
Cats, my own sweet housecats fearsome
Feline hunters when faced by something small.

Regardless, I watch these two wee birds hopping gently from
Branch to branch and marvel at their agility
And ability to remind me
That no matter what
The cold will pass, the sun will warm the earth
Flowers will bloom and grass will grow
Laughter and the sounds of life will soon enough
Fill the once frozen air
Irrespective of portfolios and General Motors
Uninhibited by reluctant bankers and layoff notices.

As it should be.

Catherine M. Harris
(c) February 16, 2009

This also appears on Helium at:

To Dad

Dad, you and I

Were partners in crime

Never quite what others expected

Even as daughter and father

But that was fine with me.

You were that handsome

Witty and cavalier man

How the world loved you for that

So did I

And yet such wanton ways

Lead to your leaving us

Too soon.

I told you once

Just be my friend

Don’t try to be my father

This meant the world to me

You being you and me as I was

I knew you better, I think

Than people who

Shook their heads in disbelief

Who chose to believe other things

But us, we were the best of friends

At a time when it mattered most

And now that all is said and done

What matters most to me

Is how very much you loved me

Daughter, friend, whatever

I could confide in you

And you in me

As time passes on dad

I miss you

In ways more than words can ever say.

I Believe

I believe in curled up cats
And black dogs dusted white by
Fresh fallen snow.
I believe that if I listen hard enough
You will hear me in your heart
And if the wind blows cold
Memory burns hot.
I believe that there is hope
And tomorrow will be better
And if it’s difficult right now
The tide will turn our way, someday.
I believe some words are
Best forgotten
And unspoken sentiments
Are often the loudest sounds of all.
I believe in the the best of people
That beauty lies within
And souls shine brightest
In the dark of night.
But most of all,
In spite of it all,
I believe
In you.

Platform horses

I dream of horses standing eyes blinkered

Standing on platforms and looking bewildered

I don’t know what it means

I know how it feels

I do

I am standing on precarious platforms

Blinded for finding the answers

The drivers are missing

Who would have thought

My answers would turn into problems

Not of my doing

I’m not a little bit scared

I don’t want to look

At what just might happen

If those who took my helping hand

Don’t realize soon

They are dragging us with them

Down a very dry well

We don’t deserve it

Doesn’t the universe

Reward those who help others?

I don’t want to be angry

But I am

I don’t want to worry my love

But I do

Cause it’s so hard to find the solutions

To problems that shouldn’t be mine

The horse is biting at the bit

To race beyond the gate

If only I could take these

Blinkers off

Step off the platform

And run free.

(c) Catherine M. Harris, June 16, 2008

All That Should Have Been

Tell me softly what you mean

I don’t know I heard you

Through all the words spoken

The ones unspoken thundered

It isn’t right to be remembering

Stuff I’d long thought buried


There’s times (at my age)

Looking back I can’t believe

I can’t see my long ago friend smile anymore

Or hear his voice –

I can’t believe that those rocking chair hours

Are over and

Baby drinks vodka

Though I’m not supposed to know it.

I can’t believe I’m not

That beautiful girl who was too

What?  Shy? Insecure? To realise

How goddamn good I had it

I laugh now thinking back

I realize the missed chances

And wonder do they wonder

Or am I just fanciful

Stupid, doesn’t matter

I’m not that anymore

That was just what

Could have been.

I think of things that

Let me down, so so many

And when I thought oh I can do this

Wait no I can’t I can’t I can’t

And do you ever wish

You’d done something differently

Not done something?

Do you ever dream of

All that should have been?

Ah hell, who knows

The cliche is at my time

I need a red sports car

I’m not old enough for the

Purple hat and thanks for that

I feel like I did when I was 17

The world was just too large

I couldn’t decide there were

Constraints and experts

Quick to tell me all I couldn’t do

I just wish that someone would say

Oh yes you can

And you can

I believe in you.

I’m tired of tears

And goodbyes and just fading away

And trying to forget while

Trying to remember

I’m just tired.

So make me laugh

There’s more than enough to

Make me cry

Make me sing

Make me look forward to everything

Cause damn, there’s so much more

I need to remember

All that can be,

There’s so much more to come.

(c) Catherine M. Harris 13/5/2008