The Star Watcher

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She crawled inside the night to wait

as the sun sunk low, all of her warm

colors followed her down to the sea.

Like music, she heard them go – sun

and her bright yellows and reds – drums,

full orchestra as she bowed her head.

The oranges, peaches, and pinks

danced across the stage, violins echoed

their softer song, and then dropped

with the wind. Only piano remained,

clear and blue, and indigo inked the sky

as day let go – and silence.

 

And, for so many nights, this is when

the stars would come. The keeper would

release them, one by one. He’d watch her eyes

as stars transformed the blue, and the blue

of her eyes drew the stars inside. And in her sky

he’d draw magical things, and that is what

her heart was made of. But one night, the keeper

never came, and stars began to disappear.

Others claimed to see them still, but her sky was dark.

Deep inside her the magic never returned –

a heart without a keeper, a sky without the stars

Two Times across the Tappan Zee Bridge

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The first time was at dusk.  The Hudson River stretched

like an invitation in the gentlest glow, both banks’

forest green arms holding me, as I rose with the bridge.

And at the top, nightfall’s vision sang, and I held,

floated there, watching the city catch the river.

Her skyscrapers gathered and huddled and whispered

of the night to come, and began to switch on spots

of bright into the fading light.  And beside, tiny, immense

Liberty stood, knowing the city and flowing the river,

and lifted us all across the bridge.

 

When I returned, it was morning.  The light was harsher,

less forgiving.  The climb to the top of the bridge seemed

steeper, somehow, for us all.  And I saw signs, along

the railings, read them.  “Don’t give up. There is hope.

Call the hotline.”  Street signs. Bridge signs. Signs.

At the top: “Do not jump.”  On this, the North side, only

the river, the fall.  And the ghosts that had put all the signs

on the bridge.  I could still see them jumping.  And my car

would not float but wanted to stop and fling its doors

open for me.  But the sign said, “Do not jump.”

 

 

 

Conversations (with Sylvia)

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(wake up) not asleep, but reading,

(write) she sits the edge of my bed,

tilts her head, waits. silence. (think it

to know). Sylvia, i am tired.

(the write will you), but how,

(ask the sky). and she stays,

to feel, asking cry (I know). pulls

what i push down (inside rain),

closing windows on day (tumble words),

and in sleep of dark, my name, cloud

whisper, pen gripped unwritten (Sylvia),

fly, write us both home (again). 

 

 

What the Sheep Know

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What the sheep know (but don’t say)

is not to stand alone (stay together),

and the square behind them (not a door),

marks the difference between dark and light.

Time is measured in greening grass,

the wait for rain, and the length of winter

(I wait for things that never happen).

They walk the day with new eyes (I cry).

Red and white, sun and water, and me –

they see (we are all this day).  I stand.

They stand. I wonder (the sheep know).

The Sea Still Cries

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Listen, hear, I am but a gull whose feathers

raise against offshore winds, but the sea,

the sea sent me with words for you.

I waited by the shore break, passed

many days, tides, and angry rain, for the sea

spoke, called forth the sun. As I rode

his rolling surf, he sung of his love for you,

the furious storms that frightened you away.

He knew you trembled in your sleep, dreamt

of being swept away under his dark waves.

He quieted, and waited for your sun to return.

“Gull,” he cried, “She will come back. Tell her

not to go. Look upon my gentle calm.”

And I was part of the sea, and believed.

You sat with the sea all that day, felt, heard,

listened his song of calm, until the clouds

pulled across the sun, though he fought them,

they were angry, and dark.  The sea tried,

and tried to hold his calm but the dark

clouds and wind were joined, and the waves

swelled, and louder, crashed, higher and soon,

you were trembling again, and left. I was sorry.

And the sea still cries for you.

 

 

pushed around by darkness

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been pushed around by darkness

for decades and for days,

nights go on for weeks,

stillness that sits like moss

on granite in the shade

days pass, slowly wait,

knowing no change, only

time dragging me to night

where waiting crashes and falls

and certain death takes me

every night, leaving a trembling

girl curled in the middle of the bed

to face more of what, that,

nothing, shattered windows and

boarded up doors, hope doesn’t

stop here anymore, shadows

chase, sharp numbness

overtakes, stripped bare

and broken by tidal waves.

 

Once/Always

Once,

before I knew

that angels listened,

I ran frightened through dark

forests and forgotten towns.  I was

invisible, and silent, and screaming, and

alone.  Closing my eyes to sounds of pain, trying

not to hear visions of people shattering. It chased me,

followed me, lived my life.  And I spun broken, until another

lost soul opened up the light.  And the spinning me settled.

And listened. And watched.  Light drifted in, covered

darkness.  I saw songs, heard the glow rise.

And floating, soaring, feeling it all

in its fullness.  And they said to

find the broken ones,

and fix them

with light.

Always.

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Broken (72/25)

Enter a place where nothing is as it seems.

Look around, listen, there are voices ~ everywhere,

whispering in the darkness.  Hear them, feel them,

they are broken and scarred, and you close your eyes,

feel that familiar ache in your chest. With your light,

you find crushed souls.  They find you, come to you,

drawn to your openness.  You collect them until your arms

overflow, shining light, filling in holes, whispering song,

but always more come, until they rain down

in an angry deluge over you.  Your light

begins to flicker.  There is broken

everywhere.  Darkness creeps

in.  A hand reaches out,

then pulls away. You

are alone with

all of the

broken.

Go.

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The Door

The door won’t close. You can’t walk through it

anyway. It’s dark in there, cobwebs in every weary

corner.  Secrets hang like fog on morning water, air thick,

creeping toward the open door, but staying.

Outside is bright and green and calls to you, but still

you stay, in gloom.  A hand grips you in darkness,

pulls you deeper, away from the door.  Cobwebs catch

your face.  I pass by and hear you weeping.  You can’t

reach the door.

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