Dancin’ with my shadow

Dancing with my shadow

Down the middle of the street

With my headphones as antennae

And that Pentatonix beat

Tagged by madness, yes, and music

And my shadow twelve foot tall

All the drivers checking mirrors

Other walkers at a crawl

But I just can’t help it, darlin!

Wish that you could hear it too!

Cuz if this beat all grabbed your feet

Your arms would feel it, too…

So, if you see me on the corner

To the left or to the right

I’m just dancin’ with my shadow

N I may be here all night!

Friends No More: A Parting

Disparate Heart

Made of thorns & parry

I thought you better than this

Moved to pity & then Toledo steel

Bladed with desire

Cutting through love

Looking for yourself in the openings

But this you are already too full of!

You understand so little

Stopped short of full tide

Withholding the forward of completion

Gentle heart, will I take you in compassion?

Shall I find you a nest of ordinary love

Wherein to rest? And, then, will you so?

We have parted a year ago

Your proud blade & I

We have discovered many centers

Many sendings.

We yearn to be the ocean

Covering a high-tided beach

Once more…

 

It Wasn’t A Dream

I moved one small thing

and the world of dust behind it

came to light.

So it is in life:

I peered behind one thought

Into a world of teeth & claws.

How many times to clear this?

As many as it may take, perhaps?

 

Barrier Reef

Protecting the tender lagoon of love

Tidal & green inside

Brimming with schools of thought

Flashing in a silver unison of silence.

I will no predator among them,

Coral & Carol interchanged

My bones all unseen

And as beautiful.

 

Briefly Then

I’ll tell you the story of my life:

I Am. That’s about it for now.

Oh, you want details?

I have been advised to not follow advice

I have been told to sing, but practice silence

To run, but now, to sit-stay

To love “in cautious abandon.”

Whom shall I believe?

Who shows me the reality of hard-packed dirt

Advising me to see only stars?

Allow me just a momentary hug

Heart-to-heart,

An angel wrapping wings around a tree.

I have lived so long on so little love

I am beyond existence.

 

Parallels

I have news for you

These double lines that merge in the distant vision

Don’t merge.

I assure you – it’s a mirage.

For as long as they go together

Somewhere they part

They encounter division

Become singular of purpose

Each no longer the other’s destination

 

It Is Time

Oh, I have clung to you

Like a child her child’s blanket

It is now to set you down

A dried pen I’ve shaken hard for ink.

I’ve run downhill on our friendship

Now out of fuel, spent completely

Yes, time & past time, months of days

We were to have together

You swept from the calendar

And folded your arms.

Our years are dry as kindling

Our friendship lost in conflagration

A wildfire of no know etiology

One careless match-word

All is now ash.

I’ve poked & prodded with my mind

For reasons for reasonableness

Yet there are none hidden here

None to be had

So let’s say not farewell

but say goodbye.

I brush my hands of loving  you

I did all I thought right

While being only wrong.

 

No Light

Bring on the unlit darkness

the moveless tide

the ink all fades in loveletters anyway.

This burden of relief a wonder.

Once emptiness to fill, now fallow space

This ravished ground

 

Stupid

It was a turnkey operation

Our being friends

Immediately, I offered entry

Together, we closed the door to others

And tho I wondered where, at times, you went

We found each other at need.

Your many truths were also false

Perhaps mine, only returned?

Your final insult wormed around my edges

Not quite belonging, yet taken in…

The door flung open, invited exit.

I prowled outside, peering in windows

Rattling doorknobs.

I’ve salvaged from the shed,

Made myself a hobo bag I shall not carry long

I leave you to your limping life.

Striding through the white picket fence,

I close & latch the gate.

 

So Long

This is the last of you

Out of my heart, I say

Your scruff & hind in my hands

One more time

I toss you from the environs of my heart

Your compass after – find me no more!

I clap my hands

And watch you disappear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llll

The Journey of No Arrival

SLEEPING INTO AWAKENING

I was far away this morning

Understanding inevitability.

In the dream, two men were each my beloved

Of intellect & individuated thought

Each held mighty concepts easily

In both mind & sinew.

They welcomed me upon my approach

I traveled with them, offering

My sable-brushed ideas,

Fearful of being trite

Yet moved by the power to put together

Theirs & mine

For the wholeness this offered.

We came upon my car, trunk open, battery exposed

I knew this necessary. I knew if I left it, it would not stay.

I even recognized where I was

My dwelling behind a building

Where the vista opened

To reflective rivers, unhesitating

From which I’d learned the same.

I returned to my sleeping body

Puzzling to awaken in it

Felt the net of Ordinary descend.

I opened the door & stepped into darkness,

Where all the streetlamps were haloed

Soft, somnolent, unawake.

Even drinking my coffee

I could not tell which reality was mine.

 

NEXT

We are seldom ready for the unmaking of our worlds

Imagine the shout of surprise to find earth flat

As an underlying conspiracy!

But wake, we must, indubitably

If the future is dystopian, we will accustom to canned foods.

If we create our new reality,

Let’s opt for fields & fruit trees, for fertile grain

Let us see the clean bright shining

Even in the bowels of carven buildings

There’s no time for moving rearward

We all stare into this brave new world

When only by moving forward we bring it.

 

THE SITTING MUSE

I wake with poetry before commonsense

I seem to have fallen asleep on her shoulder

Listening to nursery rhymes spun of philosophy

Turning routine to raw talent

We share her vistas

Our inside eyes are staring

Even as my baby browns are fogged.

Coffee is not the usual scalpel of habit

Cleaving the mysteries of dreams.

I settle against her once more

She replaces her arms about me

She sings.

 

NO GUARDRAILS

Why are edges so seductive?

These places where worlds end & air begins

Where elements switch up reality & realty

The sky pushes against the land

Pressing down upon the water below.

My mind has become a wildlife sanctuary

Flashing brilliant feathers among branches

Lifted & lowered in a dance

Blow-through winds are dusted with dreams,

I breathe your breath, World,

I take part as I partake.

 

THE JOURNEY OF NO ARRIVAL

(a/k/a The Flow)

If I were done, I’d be there,

If I declare “mission accomplished”

Before I arrive

I reveal my ignorance

Of impending law.

I didn’t make a vow to bring closure

Only to carry it forward awhile.

I do, at times, believe in the world

Carried forward on the back of a turtle

Ponderous, amphibian, patterned in an eternal mandala

The land seems such slow going

Then we enter the water –

All grace & blessing

All ease with little effort

Until Eternity grows more shallow

Joining carefully with the land.

 

NEVERBEEN & NEVERWAS

I could use some new rituals

To replace these old habits

Help me peel away this tough exterior

To the tenderness within

To the succulence of loving all I see

Married to all I am

Seamlessly enjoining all I do.

Let the world, as such, infect me

Believe in me as I do her

Take provenance in my revelation:

The heart unveils the center

Expansion nourishes.

And if this is different, O Knowing Ones,

Let me silently decompose

One more absorption.

I dream of ascension

When the truth is I can hardly jump for joy

One step forward at a time…

I prefer to run down mountains

When success is achieved climbing them

Ah, human’s nature is a beloved backwoods

Overgrown & overblown with “what’s worst will happen”

Let’s turn this thing around!

Retrace our path as we re-turn to Love.

0421181242

Owl Morning

I squint like a mouse

When I am the twitching tail of the cat set to hunt it.

I gaze at my life with a pauper’s hunger

While I live as a queen within it.

I have light, food, cash tucked in a blue sock

While I rattle the pig-bank to gauge my wealth.

This sums up what it is to be human

To live duality, even breathing in & out.

I cannot claim silence while music leaps from my pen

I cannot fear the words will disappear as they burble over the cookpot.

 There are horns from afar summoning me to war

Yet this has been a hard-fought peace to choose.

Let the winds of change breeze my bird’s nest hair

For all I have not done, more rises to accomplish.

As every day leads to every night

I gather up my life & wander on.

 

The owl wakes me again this darkling morning. She must have found my window alluring, yet there are no trees behind me at all. She sits, perhaps, on the crest of the warehouse roof, or upon a rung of the antenna tower. Her call is soft but urgent.

I protest: it’s too early! But I shift in my narrow bed & stretch my toes out straight. Would I climb with them to her perch if I could?

She has been silent up till now. She has eaten the mice in the storage yard; whence her eye fixed on my window to whoo-whoo to. She is calm, insistent, steady in her calls for me to waken.

But what will I do with such a cold morning? Too dark it is for even a streamer of dawn bringing light. I want to keep my eyes closed, listening. I cannot regather the shreds of sleep for wishing a dream. I rise & tuck my chill into a shawl.

I pad downstairs to a silent kitchen, flick on a nightlight. I pull everything out of the cabinets & begin to rearrange the contents by its sparse illumination. First, all the sauces are put together, the tuna stacked up. I take inventory to attend to restocking later: two cans of mismatched beans, a package of stiff spaghetti. I seek a pen & pad to make a list.

Dropping the emptied, crackling bags into the trash, I return to the counter to use up the last of my empty honey jars, a medium for the Farro, a small for the Panko, a large for the unsalted pistachios (how can everything end in an “o” this morning?)

I open boxes of teabags to place these into the big jug on the lazy susan. I pull out the frozen chicken to have it defrost by Sunday dinner.

I wet the sponge & blot the spills of grain. The coffee is ready now, its aromatic heat a blessing to a half-waked brain.

Last night I washed my laundry late. Returning upstairs, I fold & sort & in the sleepy darkness, put away the clothes. The dreams of my neighbors brush up against my silent walls. I feel their steady breaths over my feet, along the floor.

My house is tidy, tucked up & softly gleaming in the streetlamp’s outside glow. The owl has gone quiet, has her morning winged away?

I’ve made the bed but eye it in longing. As a meal unfinished, that last dream awaits.

 

 

Of Ruins & Resurrections

CARA MIA

 My angels wring no hands together…

No palms clasp in prayer, no eyes downcast,

My angels do not wear robes of saffron & rainbow

Or tilt their heads, listening to prayers

My angels are bare-breasted,

Afire, ululating atop mountains

My angels are ridge runners

Light-footed & glowing.

My angels are powerful,

They carry spears.

They have no time for the puny wants of men

The small prayers of old women…

They carry orders from God!

They drive us on with buffeting wings

Like northern winds, they bite & tear our only flesh

With unholy voices they demand & command that we also

Become angels, they

Cry out to us in terrible thunder, rumbling

“Get there & do this & DON’T YOU DARE GIVE UP!”

Don’t you even THINK about that

I am behind you, these are my teeth & claws,

Don’t you dare but that you dare all for love!

 

SCREAM

I do not go gently into this dark night

I plant my feet & my hands against the doorframe

& I scream for the devils of hell to surround me

To give me strength to fight!

Even though the angels have not yet given up on me

I need the kind of raw power used when devil fights devil

I need the kind of atomic strength

And nuclear decision-making ability

That blows apart unaltering planets &

the worlds where small-minded people dwell

for this is not me,

I am Eternal Survivor,

I am the basket weave trunk of the royal palm

Dancing in the Category Five hurricane of now.

NINE MONTHS FROM CHRISTMAS

The morning breaks open

Like a dozen eggs dropped on the floor

As my conjurings arise from their yolky mess

Of raw & yellow ooze,

I will derive a sunshine of words such as has never lived before,

From ruin to resurrection,

Back to the light from which my soul began.

I know now I did not arrive on a sunny day,

Sequestered in a sweaty room while my mother dreamed of the beach,

I rode in on a storm that breathed darkness

Into blankets of rain

Shadows threatening all alive.

I know this, how?

Storms create days that enliven my soul

I speak poetry as though reciting nursery rhymes

Every stick a sign, a message,

Every hope a dream of worlds

Daring to be spoken aloud.

LA MER

I walked to the beach to cast myself upon the water:

A crust of bread for fishes to devour

For gulls to scrap over

For salt to consume.

I walked to the water & I walked in

And the water spoke thusly:

Get out of here, leave me now!

I am not your sin-eater,

You have nothing to do with me

You are here to partake of me as friend? Lover? Confidante?

A sequestered cloud upon which you walk at will?

I wish none of your molecules dissolved in me,

I want no DNA from you, no “sharing”

None of your mud-thoughts to cloud my pure waters

 

I want none of your shit-ass perspicacity

I am pure, as you were before you took all this upon yourself

& decided to carry it as a life.

 

Now, if you want to come in here, get clean

Go out & fix up the world,

That’s a diff’rent story:

Then I’m all yours, Baby.

Enter at will.

SAID SMALL, FROM THE CORNER OF THE ROOM

I don’t know anyone else will ever hear these as I’ve said them

I do know that when they went through me

They were filings roughening a smooth surface

Acid drippings across my soul, ripping shreds of my life to raw,

Rendering me impossible to live with

Untenable to remain with

Beautiful only in the way of a volcano is…

Lava scraping away a mountain is…

In a way all terrible & delicate & tender, a rendering to ash.

I know I will never be forgotten for the world herself has heard these words

I’ve cried them all aloud today, bowing to the rain

I watched her take them in, smeared across her face,

like runnels of tears, a striped tattoo

Or the scars of strip-mining

And I knew these words were never mine,

Nor belonged to me,

But only sliding across the furrows of my brain

To elide from my face, finding their way

A blind man headed downhill

Surrounded by mischievous goats.

They were only a blessing for I could not bring them to be a curse

To use these to destroy would implode the world.

would destroy civilization

But then, we have never been civilized to our memories…

(For Christ’s sake, we have not ever had civilization

Tho we pretended, pulling & tugging on just the one string

Till the whole thing unraveled

As we hung onto each other’s throats

Ignoring the scrape & itch of the hunting knife

Sliding between our ribs.)

We have always shaved our dreams to blood

Too closely down, pushing into places they should never go

Where others come upon them unaware

& leaning in to see them, all are burned.

ONE ENDING TOO MANY

My broken halo is scattered at my feet.

I tore it off my head this morning, I stomped it but good

I will no longer be the representative of God’s grace

Having turned into her most terrible wrath

In a day when my beauty no longer sustains who I am

My face a roadmap to new lands & languages,

When my breasts stand no more, but flat

Against my chest like twin sacks of rice

I know that I am old. I have accepted this

Because old is only on the surface, never reaching the inside

Where the bright of me lives

And the soul of me dwells

And the answers to every question I ever asked

Glow like sparks in a fire of my own making.

I will not give up.

 I will always be here, doing this

And I will have done forever.

As You bring me forth each day,

Awakening again to earth,

It will be to dwell in the past I have created,

Through the future I have not.

I am a ravine down a sharp shale hill

You can ride me to the bottom – woohoo!

Or you can scale me to the heights – Aha!

So here you are, God, here y’are,

I don’t want it anymore!

Just can’t handle it.

Just don’t want it.

Here’s the soul – take it back

Do whatever You want with it.

I don’t care

Give it away, bury it

Stick it with the stars & make it shine

I really don’t care.

The life you gave me

Has been too beautiful for words

And the life I claimed to live

Has at times not lived up to this

And the world around me that was fine

Has turned to bargains in thriftshop windows.

But you know I wore them out my own damned self.

I put them there,

Here you go, God. I am but Your face in this world…

I have moved oceans & torn down heavens,

I have grown trees & plowed meadows,

Digging up Your holiness & scattering it about

For others to find.

I’m done now.

I’m done.

(To be blinded with blessing is not the worst of a life

It is a one more in a world of one mores.)

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

For the price of a tank of gas, America lives

Lives in its cars & campers & broke-down trailers

Still now, with not a round tire among them.

And who has done this to us?

What heinous crimes are committed against us

That we are washed up on our glorious beaches?

Bent & twisted, medically unsound, mentally unfit

From wars not of our making

From meds not of our shaping

Whitened by the salt of our tears

Twisted by fear & lack…

How do we overcome this?

O come, God! Bring us into our living aloft as angels.

We will bend the light no more, pour it out upon us as love!

 

Nothing To Lose

For as we age

Our faces fold in upon themselves

The maps of all our days emerge

In laugh-lines, in worry-warts

In fingers grown like twigs on a forest floor

Beginnings mete out endings

Relations fall from edges of our earths

White-salted seas encroach once-growing green

But all in all, I would not have it any other way:

For from these stiff environs

Virility of the mind evokes

The thoughts speak themselves

I am beyond caring, evolved from a life of care

Having achieved my mantra:

I have nothing left to lose

Each day to gain

God himself has tasted my winter soul

And wrought the miracle of spring

Within.

 __________________________

Familiar as my teeth is age

Brought into balance by agelessness

For all that brings eternal into mind is mine

Too soon, too young retires into mist

As all turns white

The color of my bones

Emerging into earth

And when this is decay & eyes are dark

This life no more

A tiny spark will up, away

A laugh’s delight

Free of sinew-flesh, of lips & liver

Free of knees that kneel no more to men

With arms no more to carry, carry

Lifting life & bearing it.

My woman’s heart will finally know silence

As into the drumming beat of life I go

Into the seas beyond a mortal shore

I’ll swim, a silver skim of scales

Mouth wide to all the light of life

Eternal & intense

Reflecting in the mirror

Behind me all the toils of the world

I swim to fly,

Oh Mother! Father! I had the most wonderful dream!

_____________________________

The Muse returns, unequivocal, demanding

Surrounding me with her perfumed robes

Pushing the pen into my hand

Closing my eyes, I write once more

The words that will me to live for ever

For ages yet to be, for thoughts unheard

On paths unseen

She turns my head away from all of now

As I become the beyond of her desire

“Write!” she snarls, pearly teeth all shown

“Never be I said I failed you, my slave to words,

Silver-hearted, blood-borne light,

“Write, you fool of phrase, trap them each

In broken sigh. Pile them all upon your sleigh

Take up the traces, pull them forward

Wake them up for there is no such thing as sleeping

To be had today.

Dash your tears into the future

Follow them there

What lies beyond cannot forget itself, let alone forgive,

But must be said, be felt in dream again

I leave no stone unturned, no gift unopened

This is all yours, this blessing of the Scribe.

You need aught else, you have no more

Than these true words grinding into wheat

Between the millstones of your swollen heart

And this, your only life.

Yes, you hear me now; I’ve never died

tho you’ve given me last rites

I will ink your middles

Till you rise into the last Word

Like God Himself calling forth all heaven.

“Write!” she growls, “you think you’re harried now?

I will harrow you to dust unless you do!”

 

 

 

 

 

When Friendship Sails Away

2 a.m. Thoughts

I am words melting from the pen

A soul setting out upon journey alone again

Watching for sinkholes in this new present

& tsunamis in this new future

On a horizon that quivers with change.

 

Life can be a lethal dose of hurt

Delivered to internal organs

Like the heart & liver

Like the lungs & sinus cavities

Like my wobbling brain you label “stupid”

You, someone I thought had my back

& a blanket of forgiveness to wrap around me

When I’m dragged from the floodwaters

Gasping

 

I didn’t answer the open-ended question rightly

“Do you know about the base?” she asked…

Well, I know where it is & some of what it purveys

In its deathly business-as-usual way…

But I didn’t have her answer. Nor wish to take up

Her standard of battle.

 

I didn’t remember a name out of context

So a blade of Damascus steel I’d not time

To parry was thrust into emotional vitals…

In aid of what? Why can there be no slack

Among old friends? Why does my perfection

Or its lack matter so much you must pull it from

The pole I had such a time erecting?

Does it serve you to trample it in front of me?

In your knowing, holy way…the priestess of

Right, the princess of who you think I should be.

 

I have held back so much from you of

Your perceived imperfections, in feeling

These thoughts would serve no purpose

But to wound.

 

Your definitions have no such compunction,

Eroding into attack, I must so deserve

For all I cannot do rightly.

 

You say to guard my inner child as you

Push her into an exposure beyond deserving.

What did I do to you?

 

I know. I know. I’m trusting in an almost comic way,

Like Peanuts trusts Lucy to hold the ball.

I sink for the third time as you remonstrate with

Me, while clutching the life ring, “You should have learned to swim

before you fell overboard!”

 

It’s ok. My heart has been renewed before.

It’s just an unexpected wound & hard to treat

With my limited edition first aid kit. Attack from

Any quarter can be unexpected, but this one caught me blind.

 

I wipe the raveled sleeve of care across my face

And tuck it under my head to sleep.

I wake from my own sighs,

To find life lost & love ground into

Such fine dust, I have no way in this moment

To render it to life.