Weathering Me

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when the sun was still early in the sky

and the waves broke easy near the shore

I waded past knee high white caps into the Atlantic

early summer smiled and so did I

floating through what the sea rolled my way

                                      

hours like minutes, until the clock faced sky

began to fill with cloudy hands

the water churned mixing salt and sand

the roll pulled me down the shore, but still I rode

swam harder to keep time with the sea

 

the sun sank lower, watching me

clouds spread darker, angering the sea

I grew smaller and more tired, floating out the waves

still I stayed in that day

where else would I be?

 

the tide began to rip and pull at me

drew me out further, where the surf broke high and loud

I dove beneath, let it swirl above

but it all came faster and faster

trying to keep up with the sea

 

my breath was short and salty

what I had left was low as the falling sun

watching as a breaker swept over me

tossed beneath its turbulent green

I washed up on shore, a piece of driftwood

 

next wave hit me square, spun me under

pulled me back, so I stayed at the edge and didn’t leave

sun still watching, still waiting, still listening

I was salt and sand and part of the sea

wave after wave weathering me

 

Roots

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what once floated on lost

grew roots from the sky, and they

wrapped around clouds, painting them

luminous and full of harmony,

and the roots of found rained down

in gentle hold, showed the trees

how to stay the seasons, how to last

they spread and deepened, wove

through time, centuries of roots,

paths that crossed and crossed again

until it became one path that grew

and led us home

For the Man I Saw Die Yesterday

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I’m sorry sending the angels was all I could do

as I knelt in the glass and mud.

Spring won’t come this year.

I didn’t see you until you almost

hit the back corner of my car, almost

took me with you, rolling, scraping, across concrete,

flipping, air dirt air dirt, glass, metal, tree –

almost –

I already knew before my car came to rest on the edge.

Smoke began to rise from your truck, and it was all

so close

so close you were to me, to the tree, to right side up and upside down,

to where you were going,

so close.  I asked them to be with you,

the angels,

when the other voices yelled, “Step back!”

And today what’s left of your almost –

a tire with a white cross and flowers,

but still,

an angel,

so close.

Dishonorable

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Use all your tools

To crush her, to grind

her unrecognizable.

Show her what happens

when someone leaves

you, leaves YOU.

She’ll be sorry when

there’s nothing left

of her but

pieces

of

broken

Watch her crumble,

stomp on her, kick

what’s left, and then

call her a breakdown,

a total loss, a waste,

watch her fall

trying to save

the children,

holding them

up, keeping

their heads

just above

your angry

tide, while

you, you

laugh at

her struggle,

watch the waves

swallow them,

and whisper in your

tiny, monstrous voice,

“I win.”

Erosion

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She used to face the wind, steady

strength worn in straight lines and

sound steps. But harsh nights

and bitter words weathered her

core, washed away resolve,

beat down seasoned worth,

pieces fall away, she lets

them go, it’s all broken

anyway, layers of fall

lean and snap of

her, cruel words

grab, she’s only

a fragment of

what she was,

the rest of

her is

gone

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie/She’s Always With Me

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie/She's Always With Me

she’s always
with me
the little girl
that no one sees
she was never
enough, still
trying to
catch up
I look away,
but I know
she’s there,
whispering
my alone
reminding me
following
me
home

let him pick no more

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don’t blossom here, flower,

close up, go back inside. don’t reach,

for your sun, don’t open your petals

wide.  don’t smile, or believe, or

speak your fuschia dreams.

he’ll pick you if you bloom just right,

grip you, rip you, wilt your hue,

until a lovelier one blooms, and he will

drop you. pick her. pick her. pick her.

you’ll be lying on the ground, with no

way to grow. wither. hold your blooms,

dear flower, let him pick no more.

all the ways

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all the ways I drown in silence

as lifeboats climb trees

the tidal pull, the listen for you

but wave after wave of mute breath

while your forests are alive with float

songs of save, so far away

sink, sink in salty quiet

none of your life lines reach

they play melodies in trees

and I struggle

wordless rip current

desolate sea

silences me

Simple

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He and she lived a simple life of years

in a house with shuttered windows

and a garden of roses by the back door.

But she was I and he was you and years were only

things that didn’t happen and things that did.

And the house was a palace and a prison

and an empty box, and it was all so complicated.

The windows were weary eyes that always

watched, and the door, the door was the keeper,

the releaser, the rectangle of know; behind there,

questions were born. And yellow roses grew out back,

but so did thorns, and we never knew which we would

collect.  Strings of together pulling, binds of tight,

and then invisible hands to reach down

and sweep away our tangled life.

Never Still

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I am not enough everywhere

here and here and here

but there and now and only me

and all and none and it’s all me

and why can’t I be everywhere?

falling short, falling, falling

losing time, letting all of you down,

down, running all my days, running

in my sleep, no finish line, no

victory tape, no end, only longer

lists, more things missed

lost beneath time spent, spent lost

a thousand ways but still not enough

still

never still

never

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy and a Poem: Joy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy and a Poem: Joy

down, down the snowy hill
frozen giggles and mittens grabbing joy
grab it, winter girls, ride it
on sled tracks and carefree clouds
to all of your nows, laugh and again
feel the white delight of unbroken mornings
become the sky, it’s yours
enjoy the ride

true

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in the morning of peace and know
beside the line between now and float
the trees felt their wait and reached
above how, into the hold of sun before
and clouds they became always and
in the soul of black and white time
grew into glow and everything was true

We Talk

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We talk about the way you build wooden boats with your hands,
and the way the sun shines off the water when we canoe across the lake.
And we talk about the snow in the winter and the way the snowflakes fall in the quiet.
We talk about the way that you rode an elephant in Thailand along the side of a cliff,
and the elephant put one foot in front of the other so he kept on the trail,
and the way I went dogsledding in Alaska, felt the dogs pull and heard the trees whisper blue.
We talk about the summers of sun, sand and waves, and how we grew with salt water in our veins. And we talk of our smiles and our failures and the lessons we learned, tomorrow’s plans
and time that we hold in the palm of our hands. We talk until the coffee grows cold and the night grows wings, until the words have words no more, but our eyes keep talking.
We don’t talk about your aneurysm that might kill you tonight, or tomorrow, and we don’t talk about my brain tumor that’s growing as we speak.
We don’t talk about it.

BORN IN THE USA (we both say)

classified categorized signified

Who am I?

This is where I was born.

You think you know?

We are all….

We are all….

Every one of us, the same

must be geography

blame culture

this, a place no one wants to claim

because every one of us is the same

Right?

Does one voice speak for us all?

cultural assumptions

invisible me, an anomaly

No.

You think you know.

assume

They are that way.

simplify

Yet you with your own national pride

expect respect, are not denied

But those people, the U.S.,

they are THAT way.

Some things never change

(we both say)

how we planned

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built on

ideas

of tomorrows

when

all the yesterdays

are blind

we plan

draw visions

of hope

in pencil, on

flimsy paper

that afternoons fade

and rains run

crumple

ripped dreams

days end

faded know

things don’t

always

work out

how

we

planned 

The Butterfly and the Hail Storm

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In the morning, while the sun knew
and I was time, she drifted to me.  Blue,
floating blue cascade shimmer, she came
to me with whispers of summer still.
Quieted by her dance, I stayed as she
settled upon me, smiled with her indigo
wings, round eyes and watched me
wonder her blue deep through me.
 
And then later, on the mountain, darkness
dropped, as it does with time, sky turning,
mirroring granite below. Rain pelted, soaked,
willed itself to hail. Morning forgotten,
I drew myself closed within the gray, startled
by bolts of lightning on nearby pines.  Hunched
down, arms around knees, head bowed, hurting.
I felt the wings on my back lose their flight.
 

Rusty Locks

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Some

locks

don’t open

 even if you have the

key.

Life

may have been

too harsh, and

rain,

too many days,

will rust anyone

closed.

You can

climb over gates

but the

lock

will always

stay

rusted shut,

in time and for time,

and only he

will know

why.

six ways of dreaming

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six ways of dreaming

seeing into being

tasting tomorrow like afternoon tea

becoming the waft of lilies float

in the gold of summer air

entwine the voice of trees and birds

with crickets and colors that soar

and feel the reach of sun’s hold

wind’s brush, gravity pull

within, another way

your universe,

a dream away