There is still a pond there thirty-six years later.
The trees still exist – those I walked by, sat under
In the cold-gray days of childhood solitude.
The country-farmer land and red-ore dirt
still dominate that world like old sentries
standing guard between past and present.
Only the warm bodies, soft voices are gone.
Going back to the town – to the memories – I
visited with the ghosts of my beginnings.
Thought: So this is it.
This is my experience of coming home.
There were no parties, no Sunday picnics
to welcome me. There was only the land
and it’s trees and water, blue sky over mountains.
There was no blackberry cobbler, no strawberry cake.
Only the same roads I learned to drive on.
A new grandchild born in the same hospital
where my daughter was born,
where I first breathed in life. Origin.
The mountains haven’t changed.
They stand quietly watching the valley
filled with third-generation human drama.
Years ago, when I drove away to bigger cities,
some of the old folks were still living.
Time slipped by — years. They slipped away
into some dark unknown-other existence.
I searched for them in the water,
but could see only me clearly –
a shimmering reflection in the pond.
In the clear-white water of childhood
a little blonde-haired girl, green eyes shining,
fueled by curiosity, driven by a desperate need
to seek out Other.
To see and know the wider world –
to see and know myself. Leaving
the ghosts of other days
gently whispering in unison
goodbye again as I drove away.
~Photo Credit: Emerge by Mia Tavonatti
ego-separation from the letting-go
is the last phase of loss.
solemn-silence is declared.
it will not lift, it can not lift
until vision clarifies.
imagine the world as a new
place created and transformed by
the without, adjusted perception
looks for meaning
submerged in the pain,
seeks solace from a fragmented spirit
that clings to us in absence.
each lost thing claims
a part of our souls
unravels the lies we hide
bare and jaggedly grieved.
the creation of losses
evolves into shards of recovery.
stimulated by grieving
the mirrors reflection –
our souls love for others.
Photo Credit: On The Bridge by Joana Kruse
To write to you from
this dark place
where lights’ shadow
never rises and
full things don’t exist.
It was easier in
when my souls bounty,
like a garden at harvest,
burst to fullness,
needed emptying –
like a bowl overfilled.
Poems came then, like drops
of honey spilled across a table.
This empty time knows
nothing of words, lines, stanzas.
It cannot produce harvest
from a barren field.
Photo Credit: Light by Graham Dean
How do I tell you to a stranger?
Do I start with that goofy walk – yours alone
Or the quick smile, always with a slight laugh,
Tilting head and blue sparkling eyes?
Or, the truth when we met –
though I denied it then –
that you looked to young to be the GSM,
that you weren’t what I expected the GSM
of a large store to be.
Your steadfast declaration –
that you were worthy of the spot:
“I can handle it!”
As if convincing me of this in some way
mattered. To you
I was “your angel” come to help.
The proclamation over and over
again. NOW we could do what must
be done to turn it around, grow
your success. I remember that night
in the bar (your words still ringing
in my ear). Us. We. Laughing, agreeing
in unison with the crowd of people
that we would move forward, clean up
the debris, build a stronger better future
together. You – the age of my daughter –
twenty-eight and electric with youth,
hope, drive. But gray shadows circled
even then, ethereal smoke twirling
at the edges of a dream. I spent
ninety-four days by your side before
fate bade me leave, warned me
that the darkening skies
and nightmare abyss would
Seven hundred and thirty days later.
I look down At your face,
cradled by silk cushions in the coffin,
Gray and still like a deep, dark storm
blowing distant Over the ocean.
Your smile missing. I remember
a singular moment of time, mere weeks,
a few months on the calendar,
when kindred souls met, laughed,
and dreamed. Happily planning
a future that fate knew
would never come.
(RIP Matthew Sayers 2014)
Photo Credit: Man on Stairs by Joana Kruse
If I could hold
the gentle white dove
in my hands, keep it safe.
Hold that fragile innocence
at my chest, to my heart,
wipe away the ugliness
of the butchering world.
If I could quietly speak
of the similarity of spirit,
laugh with this precious child
dropped down from heaven.
No the day says. No!
These things are beyond
the power you hold.
Yours only — the choice
to push it from you,
throw it to the skies.
Pray flight comes
easily or do
nothing and watch
the future cruel death
at the hands
of psychic slaughter.
Yes the day says. Yes!
The smaller of cruelties
to stop the slow-burning pain,
that great shadow-darkness
of disillusionment —
let the child remain a dove
for a little while longer.
~Art Credit: Inner Peace by Jane Small at Fine Art America.
You are Water.
You come to me like the deep-running crystalline water
of cold mountain streams I once roamed beside in childhood hours.
Water flowing fast over polished rocks, the glint of Autumn sunlight
dancing across the gurgle and swish of currents, rolling
down, over, lower toward some eventual unknown ocean.
My soul captured by that bright sparkle was forever reaching
for the golden glimmer dancing beneath my hands, child-fingers
grasping in the icy water unable to capture the light illusive and fleeting.
You are Earth.
You open before me like the moss covered ridges and valleys
I strolled through as a girl in the tall pine forests of Carolina.
Your scent like the deep wet earth after a gentle Spring rain.
Your arms and hands and fingers the sinew of roots, your skin
the color of evening descending through the valleys at twilight.
My spirit captured by the deep-graying light of evening, sitting
still on the dark green moss – watching – until the last streaks
of light left the sky and dark descended like a curtain on the world.
You are Air.
You flow into me like a breeze moving through the giant oak trees
of my adolescence, twisting and turning each leaf to movement. A sudden
symphony of hushed tones, soft rustled sounds of possession as
the tree becomes one with the wind that invades it. Like God breathing
into Adam — a gentle whisper carrying the all-consuming power to Be.
My mind captured in the soft-voiced honeyed silk words sliding from your lips,
you become a foreign zephyr traveling through me, carry me skyward and
leave me adrift in the wordless place of amber-eyed heights that is you.
You are Fire.
You burn through my veins like liquid mercury. The white-hot presence of you
rages in the room stealing the air from my lungs, leaves me weak and yearning.
A bright silver fire flowing through all those secret places of memory and need
before the fire becomes all, the flames filling my body to bursting-glowing
like the face of Moses after standing before the burning bush of God.
My body captured by the curiosity of wanting to know, to experience
the most uncommon of things. How could I have known the Mercury —
so glittery-silver and liquid-beautiful in my hand — would be so deadly?
I dream of poets –
of their bright-broken bruised
Their plight of speaking tomes
to the dead, to the living trying
to find word-songs to sing.
These ghosts of witness, prophets
caged in a time where prophets are
un-believed, are mere myths residing
in the places of Jesus
and miracles, and antiquated belief
don’t exist beside
economic woes, and woe is
the would-be poet-prophet who
tries to sing songs, speak warnings and
create dirges in a world gone deaf to hearing
and too busy for reading
and, of course, wouldn’t read poems anyway, but
would be more inclined toward
something like an e-book on “How to
Make $10,000 a year from home,” or
”The True Story of Rock Star John,”
a serialized E-special in print. Poets
and their prophecies spoken
in silent voices of white paper and black
letters in books filled with screaming
voices that are silent
upon the unhearing ears
of the world.
I dream of poets —
of their bright-broken
I can remember
the way you walk –
a fluid movement
with erotic appeal.
The way your hair
falls a certain way
across your cheeks,
beside your eyes.
A slight lift to the right
whenever you smile –
the honey sweet taste
of your lips, of you
in a passionate kiss.
I can remember
the way your back
feels soft and muscled –
warm – as I roll closer,
snuggle into sleep.
Waking to feel
the length of your legs
entwined with mine,
the width of your chest,
the weight of you
shifting, above and within
me — your chest touching mine,
soft whisper of words
against the nape of my neck.
I can remember
the strength of you
holding me, taking me,
hot against my flesh –
filling me completely
all those long years ago.
~July, 2011 South Carolina
ARTWORK: Reverie by Richard Young. For artist information, other available works, and further details on this piece, please go here.
I work to weave
this bit of space
The folded clothes
stacked on the chair,
the last pair of
shoes I wore
near the bed.
A coat hanging
on the doorknob –
the entry door open
because the dogs
don’t understand –
my desk, my time,
these stories crafted
from nothingness – so
they still stop by to visit
every once in awhile,
in hope of a bone.
and there remains
a tension, friction
of what we
to each other.
More in common
now than then –
four grandchildren –
a silver chain of being
links us still –
as we talk
the children watch –
shocked by the lack of
Did we really hate
each other so much? Or,
was it more about
we hated ourselves?
Oil and water
from two different worlds –
our greatest commonality.
Married once, in love
with the idea of
each other — the cold reality,
that we were just children
haunts me still.
We’re growing older
and it is easier
to talk about
what we never were,
things we tried to be,
all we had to kill.
That mutual cold death
that set us free.
~written February 2011
Photo Credit: Broken Love by analil.deviantart.com