Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

Delicate Arch
stoned carved look through
two ways of seeing

after all

(today I decided to walk out deep into the woods until I came up with answers to the questions I have been pondering. after walking more than 7 miles in the heat, I found myself lying face down in a grove of trees, with no recollection of what had happened. i took this photo then. i was injured, dizzy, and in no shape to walk the remaining 5 miles back to my car, but i realized that, not only did i have no phone reception, but i had no one to call to come help me. somehow i made it out.  i was in the woods for almost 5 hours.  after i got home, i found this poem on my phone. i wrote it today, but i have no recollection at all of writing it. i think that says a lot.)

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eight miles out i fall

black out, wake up

stones edge tree lean

ask. no reception here

no one to call. leaks

from knees, red, and eyes,

clear drops of alone

air crush with know. no

breath. out of focus all.

lost. alone. maybe here

home after all. 

Sun Grew as Flower Grew as Me

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Sun grew as flower grew as me.

Rays that stretched and reached,

pushed through the wormy earth

to climb on stemmed leg.  We drank falling 

water and embraced warm. Nights,

we faded, rested silently, to be

re-born at dawn. When at last we opened,

our faces turned to one,

flower, me, sun.

When Mother Gets Angry

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When Mother gets angry, the children are not safe,

clinging to walls that collapse around them, crushing

childhood beneath her wrath.  She roars at us, and throws

our things about, for they mean nothing to Mother

when she is mad.  She’ll unleash torrents, and we will try

to hide, but Mother knows all the hiding places.

She will knock them down or flood them with her rage, until

we are gasping for air, begging Mother to forgive us.

And when she calms again, Mother is nearly silent.

She never apologizes, only watches us through cloudy eyes

as we try to pick up broken pieces of Mother’s fury.

We hold the children and shake, and try to explain, but

we can’t.  Haunted by the cruelty Mother has unleashed

on some, we whisper and hope, and glance up warily.

Do not make Mother angry.

 

 

Lessons

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On the Sun’s day, she called for a walk,

so I obliged, and listened to the birds of Spring.

They sang to each other, but left me out of their songs.

My steps were slow, while walking, to know.

And back in the woods, so far that I was alone,

they began to come, each at a different place

on my path:  those that I fear most –

the snakes.  They wound right to me, looked through

my eyes, never stopping – though I could not

move.  They each wore different clothes, but none

feared me;  they approached.  Stopped.

Spoke their silence.  Froze me in the leafy moment.

Seven times, seven snakes, seven silences,

each of them with something to say.

 

 

Silent with Wonder

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In the tenderness of morning, the fog

wraps the horses in promise and paints

the yellow blanket soft.  The horses

speak their quiet, feel their Spring,

dance their velvet noses in flowered field.

Silent are the pines, watching

through dew drop eyes, hanging

their needled peace in the foggy morning.

Early morning hoof prints mark time,

yellow daybreak, flowery fog of pineful watch,

and I am silent with wonder.

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.

 

 

the path

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the path leads
whispers unknowing,
draws you, pines,
tomorrows to follow.
walk it with tender feet,
mild heart, searching
blind corners.
the path speaks
silent tones of hanging moss,
fallen logs, pine cones,
hear with your eyes,
color the symphony,
of so many days
walking ups and downs.
the path follows,
shadows of feel,
learned and passed,
crunch of golden pine
needles, fallen back down,
looked sweetly upon
by the sun, and the long
path, and always, you.

 

No One Ever Wrote a Poem for You

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You show me a skull, tell me you scare people,

and you don’t believe in God.

I nod and listen, smile a little, and hold out my hand.

Come with me, let’s walk together.  Take my hand –

It’s warm, you say – yours is, too, but I knew it would be.

Let’s walk the shore and you tell me why God can’t exist.

I promise to hear you, if you promise to stop with me,

close your eyes and listen to the way waves

feel as they gather toward shore, and break

their release to the sand in song.  And see the shells,

and the driftwood, each one a different sea sailor.  Listen;

they will tell you stories of voyages and places you could

never know.  Breathe the salt air, know it like home,

like carefree summer days and moonlit nights, it holds you.

Now let the words go and watch as my sun floats to the waiting

sea, his arms outstretched to embrace her.  Do you feel the yellow?

I watch you close your eyes, and I wrap my arms around you

as the shades of glow and sincerity wash through you. Quiet.

The sun has gone and sweet blue shines the sand.  You turn

around silently to hug me. I feel it. Watching you drive away,

I see you smiling.  There is love all around you.

God just followed you home.

Silent Christmas

In the dips of the Blue Ridge Mountains,

where the soft blue cast blends with mountain streams

and stone walls, I settle in to a sparse cabin

on the side of a hill.  It is Christmas Eve,

and I’ve made my journey, here,

away from what Christmas isn’t, to this

stillness that is coming home.  The cabin is bare,

and cold.  With twigs and logs left by another, I start

a fire, the fireplace making the cabin glow a gentle orange,

smell of wood smoke that makes me want to lie on

the worn blue couch and fall asleep to the crackling wood.

But it is Christmas eve, and I have no tree.  In my many

years, I have never spent one without a decorated tree.

It seems a tradition I cannot forego.  So, before I settle

by my fire with hot tea and dreams, I zip my coat and head

out into the blue twilight with the axe left by the door.

It doesn’t take long to find the perfect evergreen.

She calls to me, from the hill next to the cabin, and I go to her,

admiring her symmetry, the round of her back, her perfect point.

As the wind blows through her needles, she smiles at me,

and I know I shall never chop her down.  I drop my axe

and contemplate.  Surely she must be decorated for Christmas!

She shall look like a queen.  Scurrying around like a chipmunk

gathering nuts for the winter, I collect pinecones, and berries,

dried flowers, and even a bird’s nest.  Soon my splendid tree

is dressed for the holiday.  The sun has set, and the cabin calls.

I sleep by the earnest fire, awaiting a silent Christmas,

 and my Christmas tree dancing in her place in the hill.

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The Tree on the Hill: A Love Poem

I touch you gently, running a finger down your trunk.

You have knots, scars, and holes; I move my hands

across your roughness.  Leaning into you, we breathe

together; I listen to your wooden heartbeat, to the rings

of years you have grown, to each of the grabbing roots

you pushed through the earth.  You are strong.

You faced wind and rain, snow and cold, on this hilltop,

alone, begging birds to sit with you and lend their songs.

Branches bare and reaching for sun, you no longer hold

your blanket of red and yellow, and we both shiver in the cold,

as your fingers bend and twist skyward in a graceful dance

with the wind.  The clouds lean down to hear you whisper, but I say,

“Talk to me,” for I am enchanted by your strength, the turns

of your trunk, and the way you reach for the sky.  You have secrets

you’re not willing to tell me, though I throw my arms around you,

scratching my face on the rough of your bark, your arms remain aloft.

I trace a heart with my finger, turn, and walk down the hill,

stopping only once to admire your grace.

You don’t belong to me.Image

Je Pense Toujours à Vous

I call you to return ~ revenir mon amour~

let us meet on my granite rocks and listen to the passion of the sea.

Follow the Rue du Port past gorse and wild heather, remembering you,

plateaus of open, sweeping toward the English Channel,

where the land ends, where you found me, past my stone walls

wrapped in clasping vines, and golden reaches with rolls of hay, and cattle

who still whisper your name.   My reaching meadows draw wind off

the jagged coastline and silvery sea, fuse it with the pearly sky ~

la lumiere~ a young Monet painted here.  And you fell in love with me,

Le Cap de La Hague.  I felt you lose your breath in me, the way

my lighthouse  watched over you like a guard, with its window

eyes, breaking each angry wave so it would not reach you.  And my horse,

my bay mare, she still grazes the shore grasses and asks after you,

that she may take you deeper through mon histoire.  And I,

mon amour, I call you to return to me, for the light of my skies to shine,

and to see your face of joie when you are in my embrace again.