Darrell Petska

Kitchen Meditation My philodendron is a calculated thinkerappraising each facet of sunlight.In a clay pot's darkness richly moistit knows deep intimacies. My philodendron takes the Middle Path.True to itself, it needs no acclaim.Grounded to the moment, untroubledby death, it thrives on selflessness. Touring my kitchen, befriending spiders,my philodendron stays well connected.It communes with my cat sitting guard below.It is Mecca to the leaf mites. My philodendron is a model citizenliving peaceably with begonia and fern.It accepts my cuttings, abiding bylaws of this house, whose air it purifies. Time-traveler on a guide-string,alchemist with darkness and light,my philodendron aspires to the heavensyet plants its roots firmly below. Moonlight and Metta Our cabin snugs against a mountainhigh beneath the moon. Here I tell storiesto my grandchildren, who are kind and listen.My dearie bakes cookies, treating the childrenas I tell my stories. She is also kind to me.Even the storekeepers in town hear me out. I am lavished with kindness, and when I saythe stories endlessly spill from the moon,gaining luster as they sift through the mountain'shigh trees and flow down the slopes to my feet,the children laugh in kindness and say "Oh, Grandpa!" I built our cabin thinking I'd chosen the mountainwith its steady moon as home, when all alongthey were waiting for me. The stories come,the children thrive. Thanks be to kindness.In moonlight. Pine scent. Cookies made of love. Darrell Petska retired recently as editor for the College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His spouse of more than 40 years and their five adult children have always been the focal point of his life. His poetry appears in Modern Haiku, Red River Review, San Pedro River Review, Shot Glass Journal and elsewhere.