The Great Heron

Image is my own

I greeted the Great Heron

With a hello.

Then asked for some wisdom

Or some secrets of the earth.

 

But the Great Heron

Didn’t bother with a no.

Just a fluff of feathers

Before turning away

Without being troubled

To even look at me.

The red wing black birds

Chittered away in laughter

As the gentle doves

Cooed soothingly.

 

The crows cawed,

Rather obnoxiously,

About time running down.

I said I knew

And was aware of the beauty

In lessons along the way.

Even in the lessons so painful

You thought they might

Break your soul in two

Held a beauty in the end.

 

The crows disliked what I said,

And they couldn’t disagree,

So, screaming out a caw,

Flew away.

 

Turning his eyes to me,

The Great Heron shifted on his log,

Before opening his wings

And flying away,

Letting me know

He had nothing to say.

 

 

			

All Things New

Image courtesy of Dreamtime

Storm clouds rode in

Upon a sky soaked in sunset red.

Wildflowers bowed their heads

Down on either side

As I drove by

Smiling, thinking of all things new.

Once home, I stood in the yard,

Arms akimbo, welcoming the new—

What the storm, the wind, the rains

Would bring—

As gently as their nature could—

All things new, clean, green

With spring.

Scars of Hope

Image is my own

I gather hardened scars of loss and damage
Braided into keloid beauty
That are not blossoms of bitterness,
But fragrant beauties
That make me who I am.
Even the bars of your barren garden
Called love could not steal away
The essence of my hope.
Instead, the black, barrenness
within sugar syrup words
Of one never able to love
Contain no acid
To eat away
My skin of hope.

Dear Robert Frost

Image is my own. Taken at the Hockney/ Van Gogh exhibit

VJ’s Weekly Challenge: roads – One Woman’s Quest II (onewomansquest.org)

Before this moment,

All roads coalesced into one,

The present, the now.

Then,

Seeing this wall of roads,

I cannot help but ask

Where each road would have, could have

Led.

Different places, people–

Certainly, yes.

The mind swirls,

Possibilities,

A Tilt-A-Whirl—

A daughter lost?

The fetal tissue of a son not lost?

A different daughter born?

A heart not broken by cancer?

All the rewinds and fast forwards

Of a life of lived down different roads

Of different choices made along each way–

All the differences of each win and loss

And every other thing implied by this wall

And dear Robert Frost—

 

The choices I’ve made

Gave me this now,

This daughter,

For whom I would give my life,

Rather than trade.

Beauty of His Work

Image is my own

High in the air,

Buffeted by the strong winds,

Yet navigating the narrow beam

With a grace and strength of Baryshnikov 

Or the great Nureyev

As I, his audience awed by his performance,

Stood and watched,

Wondering if everyone who looked

Could see this man’s artful grace

As he seemed to defy all laws of gravity,

Bending to hammer,

Leaping to rise,

Prancing to walk.

 

Then bending once again,

Hammering, rising, walking.

Never thrown off balance

By the winds or heavy hammer

Or the weighty leather tool belt,

Carrying the long nails off to the side.

 

Who else saw the grace and strength

In the rhythm of the dance

This man did perform

In the building of that house—

A dance that held something,

Some paternal element of David

As he danced entering Jerusalem—

 

How many would see the beauty in the performance of his work?

How many would only see a Hispanic male and question his legal status?

 

The Wayward: The Tale of Peace, Love, and Charity

Such wayward children were Peace and Love that their mother, Charity, put them to bed supper less every night for many years. But Charity, you see, had been microchipped by Reverend Serpent Woman, who made the ground holy where she walked and planned to destroy Charity and her children.  For she believed them enemies of the true Christian state, and thus, abominations.  However, Reverend Serpent Woman needed money and appealed to viewers’ righteousness, using the 1-800-LET-EM-STARVE campaign.

Baltimore

Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Pulled my anchor from this harbor
Years ago.
Yet the current pulls me back,
Some irritant speck,
Yet to yield a pearl,
In the soul,
Some rough edged
Needless need chafes away
Until confession is made
And a pilgrimage to graves
Must be paid—

There is no why to this–
This steel wrought laundry list
To be run down and checked through

A visit, a meal eaten
At the landmark restaurant,
Where new owners chiseled hieroglyphics
over a history of years when
the landmark lived across
A narrow brick paved street
And my family lived upstairs,
Erasing my mother’s sacrifice
Of bloody fetal tissue,
My fraternal twin,
On the bathroom floor there
While I hung on to be born.
But such bloody sacrifice
Doesn’t sell cheeseburgers,
Greek salads, and over easy eggs,
A fairytale of family ownership-
Sells well and makes for spots
On reality television shows.

A drive by the childhood home,
Sentimentality at its highest,
Revisit the torture chamber
It became—
A wooden yardstick and when it broke,
A metal one I had to buy to be taken
Across my back by a drunken mother
Until the skin broke open to bleed.
.
Why the drive by?
Who the hell knows?
When all I’d like to see
Is it all disappear—

Then the statue of Christ
In Hopkins Hospital lobby, a must see.
Where I stood as a teen
Confessing the darkest
Thing upon my soul—
A part of me wishing
My mother had died
In that surgery of fifteen hours
The other part thanking Jesus
she had lived.

Then the graves,
To place some flowers,
Talk a bit to the air,
Turn my soul inside out
To find it dusty and dirty again.
We can think our souls clean
Until turning them inside out—
That is where we find the grime
Of all the living done.

I visit my brothers,
The man who was my real father,
Then on to the man I thought was,
And then my mother,
The saint she was,
The monster she became.
At her grave, my soul aches the most,
Tweezing thorns left from her old rose bushes and my own,
Turning itself inside out,
Leaving all the grime and dirt behind,
Or so it feels.

Then on to visit with what is left of the living.
And though, I love the living,
There is little, so little–
To charm me into staying.
But the currents, the tides
Of some blood element,
Like an ancient memory,
Bring me back
From time to time.

This is Baltimore—
for me.