Jul 31 2014

in the shade of the shadow

The sky is angry again this morning and the dog tries to climb onto my chest as I lie in bed listening to hail hit the windows.

I know the back entryway will flood for the second time this week, just as I knew when I went to bed last night that I wouldn’t sleep for the third night in a row.

Everything in my house feels damp, including the sheets that wind themselves ’round my legs. It’s been one of those summers, but it seems they are all either too dry or too wet or too hot or too chilly. We want perfection from Mother Nature, and she simply refuses to live up to our standards. I love that about her.

Naughty Kitten went outside early, still-dark early, before the storm hit, and I don’t know where he found shelter. He has a secret life when he walks out the door, I don’t think he travels all that far, but he has hiding places I know nothing about, and I will let him keep it that way. He doesn’t mind getting wet in the rain, and he’s not really afraid of thunderstorms. I love that about him.

It’s the end of another July, a memorable one marked by marriage. That day the weather was perfect, and for that I am grateful.

Water runs and there is never any stopping it. If you try, it finds a new path, around you or over you or under you or through you. Just like life.

My garden keeps growing, my face keeps aging, my fingers keep typing.

The sky is black to the east, but I know the sun can’t hide forever. It’s always out there, shining, burning itself up and out with no concern for those requiring its warmth. I kind of love that, too.

Between the trees, the clouds have formed their own horizon, just beneath a mirage of ocean.

If I liked the water better, I’d pretend to find a boat. But my feet travel best on land, gripping stone and root and hard-packed soil, always climbing.

Today, I thirst for nothing.

Water drips off leaves, and just in that moment before letting go, I see the world I live in.

I see it again in the puddle at my feet, smiling back up at me.

In the distance, I hear more thunder.




Jul 29 2014

what i hold to be true

is that truth is most beautiful when it’s honest

and it almost never is


we bury the hard parts, hands scrabbling in hard rock soil

digging a space to place all the real bits

because we can’t bear to smell their lack of perfume


my yard is littered with these mounds disguised as anthills

and sometimes when i go outside, i kick them

just to make ants scurry


how dare they make food of my truths

feeling so at home amongst the words

i have buried?


i tunnel through these thoughts and recognize the folly


everything i hold sits in my heart

beneath a layer of crimson glaze


i prick my finger on the thorn of a flower

grown past its own revision


i let go

i let go

i let go


and ten drops of blood stain the thirsty dustbin soil


i cover my tracks with the swipe of a heel

sucking sweets through my teeth

remembering the rhythm of unbroken


the sun finds my face and claims me

with the scorch

of yet






Jul 26 2014

the language
of flowers {6}



holds all the bones




Jul 24 2014

beneath the tree of tomorrow

I am listening to silence (which is never quiet), I am listening to summer (pretending to be fall), I am listening to flowers bloom (a whispered symphony).

The sound of bare feet on wood floors, old floors, the kind that have enough character to creak.

Bird song that creeps beneath closed windows, a tea kettle whistling loudly, the hushed rush of clouds rolling by.

Everyone has all the answers.

I cover my ears, preferring my unwisdom, my empty bowl of questions. There are things I enjoy not knowing.

Where the tree frog sleeps at night. If dew is enough to quench a flower’s thirst. Why a book can break my heart, and still, I’ll keep reading.

The truth is, none of it matters. The truth is, my truth is always going to be different than yours, because universal doesn’t mean we have the same eyes. There are no perfect gardens. The all have bugs, unless you kill them with chemicals, and then that’s just a synthetic version of paradise.

By this time of year, it’s hard to find a plant in my garden that has no evidence of damage. Holes chewed by slugs, or grasshoppers, blooms made small and weak by pests that suck the life from their stems, leaves yellowed by lack of nutrient. This is life and we call it less than perfect, not-so-pretty.

We look away.

I use scissors to cut out the worst of the leaves, the dried brown blooms gone to seed.

Afterwards, I think the plants look awkward, fake, lopsided. They were happy to show us their bounty, their scars, their proof of life. Happy to be riddled with this evidence of time.

Life always makes its mark on you. If perfect is the only beauty you can see, you’ll always miss the map of scars leading you back to your heart.

I am listening to silence (which is never quiet). I hold out my wrinkled hand and brush dirt from yesterday’s cheek.

I am dirty, I am tattered, I am smiling.

And my lips are stained by berries.






Jul 22 2014

time will tell

and all you can do is listen

the sound of petals opening is a whisper of countenance

growth is always louder than stasis

rushing headlong into the light can leave you blind

all the answers lie

in the space between seconds

where the song of eternity echoes

two hands one heart

weaving songs of forever

left to dance on the wind

of intention




Jul 19 2014

the language of flowers {5}


something old

something new

something borrowed

something blue


all to say

that i love you


Jul 17 2014

a cinderella story

she wore crinoline and ruffles
tacked on with sap and honey

earrings made from dewdrops
and a necklace of morning glory vine

(each leaf a green heart of forgiveness)

she danced with the whirl and the twirl
of a long lost travelling gypsy

(which is to say she was barefoot)

and the music called forth
by the bells on her ankles
echoed throughout the hall

and the prince
(oh, the prince!)
how he carried a shoe
on a satin-faced
sleep-wrinkled pillow

offered up with a bow
and a deeply felt flourish
and (of course)
the perfect fit

but she’d already chosen

the sky as her lover

the moon as her (k)night

and so,
in the end

she sipped champagne
from the toe
of a willow bark slipper

raised her arms
with a smile

and invited
each and every
singing soldier
painted lady
purple wallflower

to tango
a path to the door

and her dance card
left behind

(with gratitude)

became a blank-faced

of possibility





Jul 15 2014

purple hearts and
pregnant pauses

the ripe ones are always waiting

closed up holed up sewn up
biding time like the best of new mothers

and you think you know how to birth them

“sounds like so and so” i hear you snort
as you rustle past with your wrinkled paper
on your way to tea and toast

all posh and proper
confessional only on bitter days

the rest of the time you’re sure to rhyme
though you much prefer to couple

and i always listen

ears pressed to the floor with fingers tapping

waiting for more

there’s always more

cadence calls and you’re off to supper
swilling syllable and savory refrain

waving your fork in the air mid-rant

even as the knife continues sawing
through the vein

i serve cold soup and sorry sentence
in a too-tight apron laced with stain

and hope that later
once you’ve finished

we’ll invent a new word
for dessert




An ode to poets, both here and gone,
and all of my friends over at Dverse Poets Pub,
celebrating their third anniversary this week!
Come on over and join the fun!




Jul 12 2014

the language
of flowers {4}



that fragile thing

called hope

lives everywhere

your heart









Jul 10 2014

daisy chain

i remember when romance and hope were the same thing
he loves me, he loves me not
tattooed in a circle round my ankle

an ink drawn fresh dried forever shackle
offered in exchange for the customary key

but a young girl’s heart is always moving forward
ready to burst into star-struck song and
a brief exchange of whiskey serenade

until she learns with a crone’s bold eye
love is not the flower, but the root

Linking in over at
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads for July’s Word List prompt.
Join us!