Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Poetry of Kay Loftus

 
 
The other day I came across a bundle of poems written by a woman that I knew only for a brief time, her name was Kathlyn W. Loftus, or just Kay. I was living in Southern California at the time and we met through the Palomar Unitarian Universalist church in Vista, CA. It was a wonderful, compassionate fellowship and I belonged there for a couple of years before leaving the area. Kay was near 90 when I knew her and she was very encouraging of my writing. We had a chap book of poetry by our members and it was the first time that I had ever shared my poetry let alone read it aloud in front of the entire congregation! She was so supportive and kind, had a gleam in her eye.
 
I am sorry to say that I know little if anything of Kay's life save for the little information I could glean from the internet, she was born in 1909 and passed in October of 2003 at the age of 94. She lived in Escondido, CA. So I would like to share her poetry because they should be read and enjoyed and not just saved in a file. This is for you Kay.
 
Stillness
 
I will be still as stone upon the hillside,
accepting each season's natural offerings
of sun, of rain, of wearing away, as growth.
 
For I no longer move o seek firm answers
to the great questions. Rather,
I stay to ask the simple ones
that come from being:
"Am I in my place?"
"Do I feel sun, know warmth, and savor, too,
the cold which is its rigorous opposite?"
 
Being, then, is the rock that clings,
survives,
knows nothing as complete surprise,
accepts erosion as normality.
 
There will be those
who value stoniness;
who see the lessening of stony mass
merely as shaping of a finer form;
who will know grains that separate as sand
have value,
for they later slip away to play a part
in shaping other stones.
 
The process flows,
and stones, though still,
possess their potency.
 
May 1990 Kay Loftus
 
 
 
Spring Blossoming
 
I must have seen a hundred thousand trees
Bursting with blossoms...thrown into the air
Like kisses blown by children. Yet the sight
Of this first blooming tree on this Spring day
Has set some inner string in me alive
With trembling: such vibrations that I scarce
Tread ground, but float, and blossom-like, unfold,
Expand, until I am at one with that liqueur
Which floods each bud and forces it to bloom,
And which now flows through me and blooms me, too.
 
March 6, 1987 Kay Loftus
 
 
 
 
Night Thoughts III
 
Sometimes the night is meant for thought:
sleep flows away and I am caught
by waves from some deep inner sea
that break on shores unknown to me,
then ebb and leave their trace of foam;
and I have traveled far from home.
 
The poem I sought, like foam, may fail
and vanish, for a thought is frail
and fugitive in dark of night,
and hard to hold, until day's light
reveals the gift... or empty hand..
mere shreds of foam on shifting sand.
 
March 1986 Kay Loftus
 
 

 
Only on Thursday, Only on Thursday
 
This is the day I call my own:
Of course, I disconnect the phone.
The doorbell rings, and sure, I hear it,
but just as surely don't go near it.
My family knows I'm "in absentia",
they call it "dear old Mom's dementia".
Friends have learned to call on Tuesday,
knowing Thursday is my choose day.
God chose Sunday, deemed it holy:
I'll take Thursday, it's mine solely.
 
1987 Kay Loftus
 
 
 
 
Sweet Violets
or
The Gardner's Dilemma
 
Well...the violets grown in the lawn, now.
They crept there from under the tree,
Where they made such a splash in the Springtime;
They were blue as the blue of the sea.
And the fragrance! A perfume so heady
I nearly got drunk from the smell.
Now, I'll have to sit down there and pull them,
And I know that will take quite a spell.
 
It is possible that, while I'm working,
The violet plants will work too,
Spreading out in some other direction:
Then the pulling commences anew.
 
There must be some morals: it's likely
To be, "Just don't pull violets."
But my choice has been made; I'll stand by it,
Come the Springtime, I'll have no regrets.
 
March 1986 Kay Loftus
 
 
 
 
My Friend
 
She keeps a house that's super clean,
I'm satisfied with neat;
Her job is tension-filled,
while mine, I end to find a treat.
Her drawers, in strictest order,
make mine appear a mess;
Her frequent, "No!" includes a frown,
while I'm inclined toward, "Yes".
 
And yet, from these antipodes
we've reached across, and thrown
a bridge of love; on it we meet
in friendship both can own.
 
May 1986 Kay Loftus
 
 
I feel I know you through your words Kay and I wish we had had more time but I perhaps that is all that we needed. I am glad I knew you for even a little while and thank you for touching my life. We were kindred spirits and I'll think of you every time I see a violet push through the earth in the Spring.