A Prayer

Kathmandu Post

I walk my dog by the children at play.
I must stop to admire a small girl upon the swings,
Kicking her feet straight out and leaning her body back,
A challenge to the dimensions of air,
A brave heart to dare push her feet against the height of the sky.

Yes, this girl, smiling in the joy of her challenge and dares,
Will carry her brave heart into her youth,
And, I hope for her, she will carry it to her grave,
Dying with the bravest of hearts.
Unlike me, who carries a heart tucked away
Inside this lidded vase kept upon a shelf.

Arrival of Spring

From google images

Spring arrived

Barely seen.

Our eyes turned inward.

Suspicious of air,

We could not take spring

Deeply into our lungs,

Feel the warmth of it on our skin,

Taste the freshness of it on our tongues

For fear.

We counted our first born

And tried prayer.

Had we forgotten the blood of the lamb

Above the lintel?

We sought protection in distance,

longing for human touch.

Hate and fear drained us.

We grew weary hearing–

Wash your hands

Don’t touch your face

Wash your hands

Prayed Mother Mary full of grace

Six to ten feet apart we must stand

We feared to touch

Our mothers

Our fathers

Our sisters

Our brothers

Our sons

Our daughters

And longed–

All the more–

For touch.

Yes, this will make us aware—

Appreciate what now

We could not do.

Yes, we would improve,

We would appreciate all.

Technology would see us through.

Somewhere in our collective soul

We had doubts, questions–

We had to know–

Hadn’t there been signs?

HIV, Ebola, Bird flu, Swine flu,

Zika, West Nile too,

All killers, all unseen—

Hurricanes, droughts,

Famines, earthquakes—

Natural disasters ripping

The world to shreds.

Had we done this to ourselves?

We hadn’t been the good stewards

We were charged to be.

Drowning seas with plastic, killing bees,

Melting ice caps, making greenhouse gases–

Killing the mother God gave us.

We hadn’t loved each other as we were loved,

As we were instructed to do. 

Then our arrogance, a weed within our souls grew.

We killed, pillaged, maimed, raped, started wars–

For the one skin that made us master,

For the name of God, the only one to worship,

For riches, since the strong should prey upon the weak,

For gender, after all women were things to use,

For sexuality, holy books said there’s but one way to love,

For everything was ours to take.

We’d killed each other

For these grotesquely grandiose ideas,

While calling ourselves Godly,

Saying our actions were sanctioned

By our God, our religion.

Only we knew the natural order of things.

In pride, we claimed

Where we walked—

Holy Ground.

Then guilt filled our lungs,

We finally questioned—

Was this it–

The fourth seal broken?

Had the pale rider been loosed

Upon the land?

While wanting to believe

It was all simply science.

Drying Time

Turn toward the hours passed.
Size them and arrange.
Let soak in dyes of prism colors
As the minutes pass away and then
Lift them, dripping dye,
To hang in the warming sun
Over tight strung wire.
Watch the colors drip, splashing on the floor.
Wet splotches collecting in puddles
Of liquid silk to be mopped away
As the hours drip colored dye
In the drying of time.

Could You, Would You

image courtesy of jens at pexels

Could you, would you
know the darkness too?
Or would you try to erase it
as others do?
Would you ignore it?
Say you wanted it gone?
Say your touch
should drive away
the darkness within?
The darkness is there–
inside me,
it has always been,
I need it, need it to be there,
just a spot or two.
I need it to visit, take a trip with it.
Occasionally—
ride a night, a day, all the stars at times,
sleep and wake with it.
It keeps me strong,
this steel skeleton of my heart and soul,
keeps me whole,
makes me who I am.
My darkness does not need
some antidepressant elixir.
My darkness is a shit pile of things,
years, and incidents I keep
tucked away–
a part of me.

Could you, would you
know it?
Keep it, if given?
Or tell me to let it go and get over it
like others have?
Could you, would you
understand how happiness can be had
and yet keep the darkness
for creating, repairing,
reinforcing the steel railings
of my spine,
my soul,
my heart,
my mind,
my all that I am.
Could you, would you
understand, without the darkness,
I cannot give you all that I am?

Ash and Blood

image from Moblog by orbits

Ash soft upon the brow.

Atonement drifts

On frankincense smoke.

No one ever seeks

To wear the stigmata

Upon hands and feet.

There be no martyrs here.

Confessions worn down

By touching whispers

Of brokenness.

A shattered seeking

Of what heals in ash and blood,

Whispering of saints and sinners.

Wingless prayers spoken for things lost

In a darkness of light.

The wish of a murdered truth

Contained in dusty grey skies

Of wanting and desire

 Sought over again–

To now seek and send a trembling

Hand to reach with no strength to grasp–

For a soul too wearied

From the grinding away

Of trying.

Wild and Tame

My own image from Provincetown, MA 2015

Originally written in July of 2015.  Revised 2020.

My friend, the squirrel, sits at my feet.

I wonder perhaps should I be sitting at his.

He is tame

Unlike me.

I have peanuts for him.

He knows.

He is willing to wait

And teach me

All the lessons he knows

Of a heart

That is wild

Yet tame.

I marvel at all

That is contained

Within his tiny heart.

The joys of peanuts and sunflower seeds,

Being unafraid in the face of strangers,

And making friends so easily,

Of finding a home among things lush and green,

Knowing no fear to leap

Into things unknown.

Will he instruct me

In the ways to live once again

And move on?

Tell me to remove these rings

Linked to a grief buried beneath grey granite?

Can he share with me the lesson

Of what to do with all things circular,

New and old grief– link upon link of chain?

Teach me the ways of letting go?

The ways of living without fears

To staunch the bleeding of wounds

Both new and so very old?

Is this the meaning

Of being wild and tamed?

This In Between – M. A. Morris

I am honored to be featured on https://freeverserevolution.wordpress.com/

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

It was a time 

Long ago, younger days,

When it was all mine

When I just knew the sun rose and set

For me

For her

For love

For gentle colors 

Of bleeding horizons.

The things you know 

Only in youth

Chafes the heart

In old age.

Memories of when one

Could run, 

As only the young can, 

In complete nakedness 

Between heartache and hope

And hop and back again.

All the wooden slats broke and fell away.

All the rope rotted and frayed.

Now, that bridge lies at the bottom of the abyss 

Between heartache and hope

The place of desolation, of death, of living.

And there is nothing but the drifting space of gravity

In this in between.


I am a retired teacher, enjoying everything that retirement means. In addition, I have been active in the LGBTQ community since I was four years old and marched my…

View original post 17 more words