Apr 19 2017

eulogy

i spent a year
listening

to grief and
revelation

hope and
degradation

i lost my voice
in the sound
of life
moving on

or death
pounding hooves
down fresh
black pavement

i’m here
now
on the
other side
of something

listening

again

to storm
and blossom

holding stories
in a heart

scarred from
blade

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Apr 3 2017

dancing on the horizon
of memory

the ladies gathered every evening
tap-tapping with canes and shuffling mules
to talk about the storm that was always coming
and the girl that walked to Seattle
pain always sitting on somebody’s lap
and death on a bench in the corner
pretending to be ignored

no one rose up to kiss away the chip
on a bony-cold squared-off shoulder
no one was afraid and
no one was falling
for the pout on the face of resistance

by this time they were all old friends
acceptance was the belt
holding the bathrobe closed
and besides, thelma told
the best stories

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Feb 25 2016

a frozen heart
at the center of expansion

She bent down to pick the cat up and tweaked her back again. Another reminder of age, or humanity, or carelessness. She’d never quite mastered the art of physicality, ever clumsy, always stumbling.

Bumbling through life.

Even so, her mind was always dancing, one minute tango and the next ballet, one day a waltz and at night, samba. But it all looked like shuffling to the world outside her body, and she heard the sky’s mocking whispers, even as she pretended ignorance.

Her mom had told her once she was a diamond in the rough, and she’d snorted at that one. She knew what rocks looked like, and what they felt like, too, hitting her body as she cowered in the schoolyard.

Trapped.

That’s the way she’d felt her whole life, and she laughed at the word as she stood at the counter, dishing cat food onto plates from gnarled fingers as she held herself steady on crooked hips. Her mind, flying free, knew it wasn’t true, but even so, her body went still for a moment, long enough to feel the cold seeping up through the floorboards, long enough to see her silhouette blocked out on the back wall, long enough to view the hole that bloomed in the center of her chest.

She talked to her shadow that morning. Sang to it, really. Songs about love and disappointment and remembering. She stood still as the sun shone through the window, through her body, through her music.

the grey cat melted
and stretched in light’s warm puddle
spreading claws and hours

In time.


Feb 9 2016

winter white

in a wedding dress frayed

by the rust of time and

the things

you could never give up

.

i offer you

a window

an ear

this year

but i know you want

cake

and the taste of

love’s sugar

.

and your body

keeps telling

your story

betraying your hunger

with the constant motion

of silent

antagonized

lips

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Feb 2 2016

this is the mirror

at the root of existence

we choose to grow and then

wither

bend and bow

curve and carry

reach and

reminisce

.

at night the bloom closes
protecting center from darkness
and fragile from star

.

days run together

with the laughter of sympathy

.

what we’ve learned

earned

burned

is eternally

shed

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Dec 31 2015

presents

The bows get harder to tie each year, wrapping life up into neat little packages is a gift of the young. But no matter, the new year comes just the same, wrapped or not, prettied up or painted over, parceled out or held close in hidden pockets.

We like our second chances, though. New year, new month, new week, new day. The chance to begin again, be better, live more, love more, give more.

We bring our scars and broken bits to the party, and after a while, no one notices. Because what matters is that we are there, standing testament to each other’s existence. My paint is peeling and your paper is torn. My corners are crooked and your ribbon is creased. Packaging, no matter how perfect or pretty, ruined or wrinkled, is not what we offer.

The gift is always inside.

And the bits that poke through, refusing to fit neatly into boxes or hide beneath brightly colored paper, those are always the very best parts.

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Here’s to another year of gifts and smiles, tears and scars, sunshine and puddles.

Here’s to you and to me and to us.

All of us.

Here’s to being here.

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xoxo

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Aug 6 2015

closer

Blooming is a matter of survival. You have to do it, no matter what. It doesn’t have to be big or bold or pretty or showy, it just has to be done.

Even if you’ve been trampled or blown over, even if you’re lying in the mud, even if you’re dying of thirst, even if no one will see.

You don’t do it for the sun or the praise or the perfume.

You don’t do it for the sky or the attention.

You don’t do it for the hummingbird.

You do it for the release.

Open.

Even when it hurts.

Let the world wrestle you to the ground.

Stand up and offer the beauty of resistance.

Find the light seeping in through all the cracks.

Silence is not the same as consent or cowardice or indifference. Silence is a sign of strength. Silence means you are listening.

Breathe in. Grow again, taller. Find a way. Take the path you need, or the one you can find. Keep going. Blooming is a matter of survival.

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May 2 2015

in the kitchen of my shadow

The crows and I have tea every morning, rain or shine, smile or sadness, awake or still mired in dreams. I am drawn to the world outside my tiny window, a world of birds painted bright on a backdrop of trees. The shape-shift of shadows as we pass through the seasons offers up a daily dose of impermanent art in one corner, the place where no one ever sits.

Soon, I will be out of doors as much as I am in, and these walls will talk to each other. I wonder, often, what they say behind my back. Sometimes I catch a whisper when I walk around the corner, or crash through the door with my arms full of groceries, and hush! becomes an echo of everything I’ve missed.

A house is always telling stories, but you never know which are fact and which are fiction, so you label them all tall tales and let them bob around up high, near the ceiling, and watch the spiders eat them for breakfast.

Late at night, sometimes, those same stories will drip down the walls like tears, and I’ll remember a day long past. I’ve lived in this house almost 30 years, more than half my life. There are words shoved deep into every crack and crevice, and all the dust is made of promises. It’s a tiny house, and someday I think it will burst with the memory of all the lives that have marched on through, in life and in books and in my imagination.

I never thought I’d spend all these years in one place. Never thought I’d still be staring out these same windows with the eyes of an almost-old woman.

We’ve grown up together, this house and these birds and this creaky laughing body of mine.

Beneath this sky that holds the sun that draws these ever-changing shadows.

It’s my job to sit here, to watch and to listen.

The crows and I have tea every morning.

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Apr 22 2014

scenic route #27

i drove to the mountains once
because i couldn’t leave you from here

i tied asphalt ribbons in my hair
and sang louder than 12-ton thunder

but everywhere i went had already been touched
by the same sky i’d left you holding

in a balloon the color of loneliness
tied to your wrist to mark you

as the strange lost child
i could never reclaim

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A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month.
This post is part of NaPoWriMo.
Also joining in with PAD (poem a day) over at Writer’s Digest.

 

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Also linking in over at dVersePoets for Poetics,
with the rhythm of the road.

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Dec 4 2013

reverb13: day 4
blessed

::

This post is part of Reverb 13:

Day 4: What have you lost, what are you grieving?

::

I sit in the dark of very early morning, pondering this question.

The truth is, I feel I have no right to answer.

The truth is, I feel blessed by the fact that I’ve lost so little. That I have so much.

Not material things, because the truth is, that is not at all where my wealth lies. When it comes to things, I have very little.

But when it comes to life, I am decidedly rich.

The truth is, I’ve yet to experience the kind of earth-shattering loss that will make me grieve for years. There have been a few bumps along the road, friends, and pets that I loved, truly. But all the people I am closest to, all the people I hold close in my heart are still here, in my life.

I could talk about other things I’ve lost, things like time and youth and innocence. But, no matter.

The truth is I am so glad to be here in this life, so happy to be alive, so in love with the beautiful mess that surrounds me, that I have no time to grieve small losses.

I know that someday, this will change. Someday my heart will be broken in ways I can only imagine. Someday there will be devastating losses. This is a truth I cannot escape.

But today, just now, I can only sit here in this chair, in front of this dark window facing east and wait for the sun to rise on another day, a perfectly boring ordinary day that I will do my best to cherish.

Today, just now, I’ve lost little. Regret almost nothing.

I am here.

And I will make that be enough.

In fact, it will be everything.