Black & White

I arrived at the Grill for lunch with a just-returned friend – two girls about to dish on food & lovers. I made a u-turn for a great parking place, trying to avoid the black dog & her white-spotted friend, obviously just escaped from their yard. The pair lolloped up the street, stopping to sniff the dirt-rain-laden air. I honked my little clown-horn to get their attention. I emerged from the car calling to Blackie, thinking to get a collar address. White ran on, into the town’s main drag, as Black paused & turned towards my call. Relieved, I reached out a hand & then heard the loud, solid crunch. White never got across Date Street.

My hand rose to my mouth, trying to hold back my screams, “No!” echoing across the pausing traffic. Cars scattered, pulled over. A girl ran up the near side – I thought her a jogger until I saw her little red car pulled over a block away. I staggered to the street, still bent over in horrified grief, still screaming, still holding the raw shock & horror back, as if one hand over my face could overcome the suddenness of a life ending. I stopped to hold onto a railing. People gathered, leaned over the dog, spoke together only a moment as the girl & a man picked up the sagging body & hurried to the red car. I walked into the street with hands up, holding the traffic for the moment they needed to cross, to carry White past me. I hollered “Did  you get an address from the collar?” A man yelled back “Yes.” Justin pulled up in the Animal Control van right in front of me, blocking my view. The black & white police car stopped across the street, conferred with Justin & left.

My friend emerged from the restaurant, “Carol! What happened?!” I stood a little straighter, turned to her, “A dog,” I said. She covered her face said, “No, I can’t,” as she walked to me, searching my eyes.

We touched arms & she (a dog owner herself) walked back into the restaurant head down. I thought, “Lunch? Now?” And yet…

We ordered wonton soup & salad, a rice n chicken bowl. We portioned out the food. We talked about her lover leaving & mine arriving, about the echoes & throughways of life & quick, merciful death. The death of her relationship, the life about to arrive with this spring rain.

I didn’t feel the angels so close until I sat to write this. But their wings hold me in hover. Whispers surround me. I am calm, eyes liquid. I was there to Witness only. I was there to scream so loudly that Black spun on her tail & winged home, ears flying. From the window, over our soup, I saw Justin turn up 8th, heading toward the house where death had flown over, following the dogs. Where two of my gentle friends had started walking immediately upon finding the address on the collar, to offer awful news & dear comfort in person.

There is a first nations tradition that holds when an animal is taken from life, his spirit continues on while the body remains. I understood that White was still headed for that inviting, open street across Date, that he had been caught up by angels running suddenly alongside, calling his name in joy & familiarity; that the rain for him had stopped & a bridge opened before him, so he ran faster, straight up & over into the loving Light awaiting.

After Love


As good as love

When nothing else matters

My legs still trembling

Bringing a lover to being a King

Before departures

Sweetly

Feeling deeply

All that love has to say

Said

I am smiling, through & through

Touched inside out

Where nothing else matters.

——

The outside world

Taken in

Taken apart

The house echoing cold

The only warmth in the bed

Where we made love.

While only in the totality of gift

May I receive.

——

Your center matching mine

The doors locked

Even as you unlocked me

A hundred days of love

A lifetime lived

Before & after

Your kiss.

—–

Tonight my dreams

Will be you

Being here with me

The others see me as they will

Sum me up, total me & dismiss

It all to mist

Yet if I am a thousand times

Shattered by love

Regathering,

Resting in the knowledge

No one gets out alive.

And all that matters is how you love

When love comes to hand a heart,

Shaken out like a worn rug

Clean & free of dusty relationships,

Singing one clear note

So that I take you by your ears

Offering my mouth

My lips

All I am

To your greedy, grasping hands

So even the world stops to listen.

——

I watch you gather yourself

As I still am dancing to the hum of your voice

And lift into how you see me

A perception of a moment

The hope of a lifetime.

Liquid at its center.

——

He leaves & I lock the seventh lock

With all of me wide open.

——

From faithlessness restored to love

Resurrected & empowered, peerless & deadly

With I glance, I am pierced

I glide into your energy field

Comfortable as fire burning

The cold day ended

In your warm arms

Faithless as the ocean returning ashore,

You are the beach of my white salt

I chuckle along you

A scamper of lovelife

Holy & heartful

Your hands set me free to my life

With arms wide open, all enchanted

Your words sunlight over shoals

Teeming with life, I kiss

Tasting mint & ginger,

Peppermint & ash,

Lemon & love.

I restore you to who you really are

Basking in the mirror you provide.

——

The words won’t wait

They capture, they caption

They classify what is become

My air to breathe

All songs unsung form into

What I hear on listening.

Never too late to love

The night folds me into its arms

A final unfurling

This kingdom unknown

So many years

Unknown

May we begin again?

For I may be renewed

In the reparation of your touch.

Tell me it’s over

I still love you the same.

——

Only words remain.

Safe home, my love

Satiated, sane once more

Choices packed into a suitcase

Truth as well

Replete with lavender & myrrh.

You hear my heartbeat every mile

You separate us with, heading to your forever,

While I will be immortal

After making you feel so.

Baby Me

Verily I say to you, if ye may not be turned and become as the children, ye may not enter into the reign of the heavens’ Matthew 18:3

I am brought to this thought of a light gray morning. As the photos used to be: light gray. I have been wandering around in my heart, picking up the shards, visible in the receding tides of time, This one is a relationship I had with another, that one a relationship I had with myself. All are fragments blown apart by emotions too powerful to maintain solidity.

Now I have a different take on emotions – now I can keep them at a bit of distance like that old cartoon of holding off the fighter, one hand on her forehead, other hand lifted to cover a yawn. It’s much more comfortable here than it was being that warrior, sweating, bleeding, grunting with effort. I have less of my heart to protect. It is more visible, viable, vibrant, vagrant… That other heart? The one I kept cutting myself on the sharp edges of? Yeh, it’s pieced out on the desert floor by size & color, by name & emotion. I finger these one by one. I remember.

When I was a child, I was still of more than one mind. There was the me responding to the nuns in school, the me wearing the face I only showed to my Mother, the me riding headlong, free, grinning, straight into the ocean breeze, bumping along the boardwalk on my bicycle “Blue Boy.”

That me features most in aspect of who I am today, I’m happy to say!

There was the me in my mirrors, the face framed in braids, the me reflected back from the pages of whatever book I was reading; whatever copybook I was writing in. Perhaps these are not so different from the me reflected in today’s computer screen.

Of course the adults to whom Matthew delivered his message were confounded, looking at one another, judging him crazy for these verbal impossibilities delivered in the name of a Savior already dim in experiential memory (unless you met Him up close & personal.) I’ll bet you the children understood only too well what Matthew meant. Childhood is a “oh me! oh my!” special place where many experiences are new & shiny, bearing no fingerprints save those the child herself puts upon them.

I think she woke up with me this morning. Last night I went to bed, stiff as a piece of wood, my low back sending up a dirge of refusal to bend; I walked up the stairs from one heating pad to another, wondering if I’d be functional in the a.m. But there is this of the miraculous about me: I wake whole every morning. Wherever I travel in the night in my lightbody, my physical body is back on patrol upon waking.

I love the experiences which stay totally new. I love when a layer of my life-built cocoon is stripped away by an experience & I am returned to another me…when I’ve been able to sift through those edged remnants to find one shard fitting into another perfectly. It is a restoration of me I never expect – the eternal surprise of discovery which reduces me to that wide-eyed innocence I once so readily (& so easily) manifested.

From this place, I can grow again & in the manner in which I wish to do so. I need not adopt the comfortable patterns of well-traveled reactions. I can see once again that I am at the beginning of an event. I choose to participate wholly, in a way I’ve never done before, or at least not in my recent history.

Which leads me to ask aloud; “Is history ever recent?”

But here I am, born again of a gray morning, sitting between mountain ranges unacquainted with oceans for uncounted years. Once this desert was the ocean floor. Once I lived beside the sea & begged the ocean to be my mother, Now I peer out the window & beg the mountain to be my father.

Who can love this ragged, paunchy, punchy me? Who would ever be tender with this old bird, treating her like the perpatetic little chick she once was, dashing from seed to seed, colliding with life yellow as a yolk? I may have found someone who regards me so. My sense of wonder is renewed & fulfilled. It matters little if anything will come to fruition from the relationship. It isn’t yet history. In this now, I can be safe as the child protected only by her own senses, living in the most present of moments, dreaming, dreaming. Nothing matters but the dream; the rest will care for itself upon emerging.

Right now is that edge to surf & I can’t pull my attention away,

I am returning to blessing by virtue of being blessed by another; returning to wholeness just as I am. I take one last look at the pieces all about; I understand deeply that this very dream may also join them at some time.

Right now, I am forgiven of being an adult in the childhood of being in love. Right now I can be in my Kingdom of Heaven; surrendered to a King.

My Life Is A Flashmob Event


The crow flew overhead as I ran over her shadow.

Not a word passed between the old couple at lunch

They ate, efficiently & neatly

Not meeting eyes, not exclaiming tastes

She murmured nothing

As he zipped his jacket,

Heading outside for a smoke.

I feel you remembering me

The square plate fitted among the rounds

The fried dumpling

Dropped in the asparagus at the China King buffet

We are no more each other, though we are.

I eat left-handed as I write

(A skill I learned from a broken elbow)

The words won’t wait, the impressions pour over me

Like water overspilling glasses

Piled-high food

The take-out guy tucks green beans into foam-lip corners

I’ve driven a hundred miles to eat here

But in New Mexico, this is not far…

And I will eat no more today

Replete with Crab Rangoon

In the light of a desert day.

No dragons hang from the walls here

Tho I dreamed of dragons ‘pon waking

A carved-wood, sinuous length I put on the roof of my car

Meeting the eyes of others driving towards me.

I finger your memory

Like a piece of fine china

Remembered in a thrift shop

Transported for an only moment

Into the life when/after I loved you.

So, where do you go, when you leave me?

When your lips no longer touch mine, your tongue searching, tasting?

Your hands reaching to glide secret spaces.

When all it takes is a little attention to stoke

The fires I flame into

You disappear so well

I cannot find you

And choose myself to love

For only I am real.

Want Ads

#1

Mature woman seeks grown-up man

Who remembers to hold doors & push in chairs

One who looks at me & sees True Love

His heart must be open, but not needy

His shirts free of stains

Tho wrinkled & that thrift-shop smell are okay

He must be ready to have me blanket him with love

Tuck myself around his edges

With comfort, with not a little heat of passion

If interested, please reply.

Think if a bright melody – a Carol!

Then stand by for all the love you’ve ever wanted!

#2

I cried in my sleep for passion

My body woke & went seeking

Every pore alert

Oh, I found men whose antennae turned to my passing

Who were sweaty with need

But could not rise to any occasion.

I found some who drowned in my big brown eyes

But came up sputtering, shaking like wet dogs

Tucking tails to whimper away the prospect.

The men my age suspect wide-eyed innocence

No matter how sincere its aspect

How grounded, not in loveliness

But in that ravenous desire to offer another all I have become

#3

Dear Sir,

I write in application

To the position you once took

On dreams coming true.

On hands that know their way around

On (excuse me here) a mouth made for kissing

I heard you were seeking

A heart made from Joy

A holy will to step into harness with wisdom

With that understanding that goes without words

I am bold to say I am she.

I am an invitation to love

Ever-ready, not mother, nor sister, but blessing

A match waiting to be made of heaven.

I am a story written by a child

#4

Before I knew words, but only sound

Despite my years, there is that of me untouched

Calling life in, for I am greatly hungered

One day I will be set as a feast

For the man that is my wave rushing to shore

The one I shall never whisper back from

I am the hook & anchor for your love…

That last swallow of honeyed tea where all the sweet resides.

I Wish I Had Learned To Spit

Caught in Corners…

I wish I had learned to spit.

Sometimes, it’s the only way to express myself adequately.

I’m in a saber-rattling mood this morning. The day is gray as a nun, but I am smoldering. Breathing fire. I am of the idea that people should do their work, when it is their perception they are too important to do so & they are too aligned with that perception to accomplish much. Yet, am I not among them in my own way? So what is my job? For now, let me just vent here. Lie low, readers for I am in “take no prisoners” mode. I need either a vacation (coming soon) or more flower essences for noncombatant status than I can afford or have on hand.

I think I can & do make a difference. But yesterday was a revelation. I am newly involved in a Board for a local service organization. I found out my training did not include essential duties – actually, did not even incorporate training to do a proper job. Deadlines are missed which will cost our 501(c)3 money better used to help our clientele. Who passes over a title with a quick underhand, without informing the trainee of essential responsibilities? Well, the folks who elected me to the position. They were far more interested in the sale at Hobby Lobby for the fairy garden gnomes available this spring than in making me effective for what I will be doing. So I’m playing catch up but cannot do so until they have finished their sewing project, so just hang on here, Carol.  Curb your enthusiasm, okay?

I am becoming adamantine when I need to be malleable. Is this what age is about? Entrenchment? So it would seem. I arrive on the scene, cloaked in dragon mode, all teeth arranged in a ripping row, only to find those departing have waved over their shoulders, leaving me nothing to chew. All kinds of words rise to the surface: inefficiency, drawn to detail without a glimpse of the bigger picture, going to war armed with paper clips & rearranging the magnets on the fridge as the IRS ticks us off on the box saying “no response from them, time to set the penalty fee.”

I take flower essences for being haughty, for being pushy, for being bossy. These are needed qualities to get tasks organized & completed, especially in leadership. However, I’ve enjoined a flaw along the way: thinking others wanted to me to succeed when they were more interested in finishing up the latest pièce de résistance craftwork for the mantel than in the efficiencies of the organization they are fading back from. Is this what public service has become?

People show up at meetings with clothing on inside out, with papers disorganized & without the simple knowledge that to get these in order beforehand might work. The Treasurer is opening bills at the meeting, trying to pull together a report offhand & full of “um, it’s in here somewhere, hang on”. He turns to me saying, “You need to run a tape of your expenses before submitting them” (I point to the totals list) “What’s your last name, anyway?” (I point to the address label on the report.) “What’s the name of the play this is for?” (Not only is he in this play, but the name is at the top of my paperwork.) The President has no Minutes from the last meeting – the first item up on the agenda. Oh wait, did I even see an agenda for this one? Actually, no. But it will be all right – the ten-minutes’- late-arrival of another Chair to the meeting (entering as we dial her number) will furnish the Minutes, handwritten & out of sequence, to be squinted at & read to the group. The entire meeting is conducted in the spirit of passive-aggressive counting coup. Few stay to topic – a specific question leads to discussion around recipes. I sit & simmer, pen in hand, waiting for a conclusion to write down. If none appears, I make one up…my contribution to next month’s confusion.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one with a point to it all. But it isn’t up to me & my point is lost in all the trying to be nice when underneath nice is where everyone lives because no one understands how to hold a real meeting. It’s a cabal of amateurs with the impression they know what they are doing. And why is the group less than successful? And why do they settle for this when they should take leadership in the community & serve as they ought?

Another volunteer gig sees me wrong in the eyes of the client – who thinks no one should be talking out loud in the room. As I prepare to ask the talkers to tone it down or leave, I am accused of not doing my job, “this only happens on your shift! Even YOU talk out loud in here.” “We’re not the public library,” I mildly protest, only to have a set of headphones flung at me as she screams “you’re a white shit” & flounces out. The client’s last name is “Mello” and she comes into the computer lab to listen to Indian Chant…guess she was having a Kali Ma day. My laugh-out-loud at these antics does not calm the situation. So I write “bipolar” next to her name in dismissive retaliation. Am I any better at handling the situation?

To say yesterday was frustrating is to say stupid is not abroad in the land. When people with beards & wearing fatigues are screeching, “You didn’t call me Ma’am! Watch your ** pronouns!” I am a bit lost in it. Is everyone in town off their meds – or should I be taking some?

Most of the time I’m a nice gal. But my slide into satire, cynicism & sarcasm is down a very short slope. My descriptions are apt, to the point, painful. I can leave people bloody & it takes awhile to scrub the entrails from under my nails & many toothpicks to dislodge these bits from my teeth. I try to remain patient, kind, loving – but I can be overbalanced by raw stupidity, discourtesy, unprofitable idiocy…just to name a few.

I like volunteering. But it makes me low on the totems. It is a false “in-charge” position against which demands are made to enforce the rights of others in a place where they um, actually? do not possess “rights.” Or perhaps these are better described as “entitlements.” They are availing a public service offering, unpaid & disrespected as it doesn’t live up to what they consider their standards. However, their life is not my fault. If one goes to a library, it doesn’t pay to throw the books around while hollering at the help. Or at least it never did before. I guess it does now.

I won’t go off into “whatever happened to” here. That would take pages to write. But I do have a realization that everyone is in their own space of right & wrong & it is one I may never have visited or conceived.

Among these experiences – being shoddily trained & left unprepared – seeing the underbelly of how irresponsibility can slow down the results of any process…I recognize I need to be more patient & forgiving, more forbearing overall.

I will smile when Ms. Mello next returns & asks for a set of headphones. I will show up to take minutes at the next Board Meeting of our town’s best hope at theatre. I will find a way to tame the fires of wanting so fiercely for all to be “right” as my way in the understanding that all is right just as it exists in now-time. I will turn it into laughter, as I do most of the silly adversity by which others use to prove they exist. I am both larger & smaller on the scales than I like to think.

It’s far more fun being the MGM lion though! Love that big, snarly roar!

Letter to a Lover

Feeling more coherent this morning, after sorting through all my thoughts & writing Gina our daily email exchange. I remember significant dreams, tho the details are sifted thru the dreamcatcher & gone. I feel like the untethered astronaut sailing thru space, limited on oxygen, but involved in the grandest experiment & rendition of All Time, my observations birthing stars of only nascent power, tentative glow. “Even a star doesn’t shine on its first day.”

I feel like a poem, short on words, long on powerful yet truncated description & all the more intense for this, fingers dextrous, pen tapping the paper…restless yet settled with the warm, charging computer on my lap.

There are so many things I wonder & will to happen. Yet I must needs stand in the hallways of love, never settling into the pink room, the green room, the red room, the beige room. I am ready to settle somewhere. Part-time love is not what I’m about right now in my life. I need & want to give myself fully into a relationship – Bring It On, Damnit! Yet this is not available. Future is nebulous on this. I am unsettled about the need to settle for what is.

Barking Mary next door is trying to clear her throat. I am trying to clear my heart. Noise & silence, the story-facts of living life.

I appreciate well that you tell me loving things; I am hard-put to respond since I cannot grasp the air they ride on into my lungs, nor take solid nourishment from them. I am ineligible to ask for anything more, only able to settle for less. And I am not a lesser woman withal. My conundrum, yeh?

So, I’ll say it for now: I love you. I’ve no idea where that beach ball will blow to. I do not go gently into any lightening morning. I track bees who are about being furry, winged, hungry for sweetness. Bees who want me to accompany them into dark hives where the honey is hard, compartmentalized, both execresence & food – the gold of life made palpable. Bees who ride stingers & who can tag the unattentive most severely – sometimes even with death.

For want of an epi pen…

I do not know where anything is going anymore. I think I know what I want but the paths I take keep shifting with my dreams, kalaidescopic & tantalizingly incomplete. I dwell in the present of you & hold that at arm’s length since I don’t even quite know what to do with it: put it down? put it away? set it on the bureau to glow under a lamp?

Physical need in the space of psychic want is unbalanced & I am a Libra.

This is the thin line poets have always examined minutely. One side of the hand holds on while the other is only capable of letting go. This duality of life frisks me with cold hands, searching for emotions & wallets both…neither of which are to be found with any level purchase.

I will take what you offer, but I am a dragon sitting on a lake of wealth, licking out tongues of flame, hatching eggs that promise far too much of greed & endeavor without true bonding. My wild nature may overtake the short blonde sitting in front of you at any time, like some celluloid morphing characterization. I cannot guarantee you either flight or burning…most likely both.

Love,
Carol