Lessons in Listening

image courtesy of Dreamtime.com

 

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/08/03/vjs-weekly-challenge-107-listen/

My lessons in listening:
To a mother’s final words—
Always remember I loved you and was proud
Tossed off, too rushed to leave work
To get to the hospital, to see her,
Always thinking of more days, time.
Not thinking all I’d see,
Her dead eyes.

To all my dogs– little tells
Of cocked heads, whines, barks,
The ways of wagging tails,
To know what meant what–
Hunger, pain, desire to play,
A need for love or to go outside.
Those I’ve always learned well.

To students, the teens I taught,
A puzzle to figure of pieces and placement
What each meant for each—
The lift of a shoulder, how the eyes met or did not meet mine,
The head upon the desk, the work done or not,
The things said, not said—
To figure needs-
Some basic, some not so,
Requiring other safety nets,
Bruised and broken,
Some I could help repair.
I knew what to listen for,
Almost by instinct,
Since I had not been listened to
When I was one of them.

To my child, a whirlwind of cries,
Hunger, diaper, cold, hot, sick—
Each cry different
A knowing, animal instinct,
Some primal thing beating
Inside knew the way
Of my infant’s need.
When a teen—
A different thing,
A new species of need,
My animal and her animal
Had no common language
Of smells, signals, or cries
In the darkened tunnels
We went through.

To my dying wife, my dying wife—
So hard to listen to, to understand
a language no longer including
My daughter or me.
Never knowing for whom
The last coma spoken words–
I’m sorry, so sorry—
Were spoken.

Now, I learn the final lesson of listening,
A lesson sixty years in the learning, 

To myself, my own heart, my own soul.

Of Need and Desire

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
https://scvincent.com/2020/08/06/thursday-photo-prompt-fantasy-writephoto/

So very willingly,

I placed my head into danger’s toothy mouth

When I climbed the Pilgrim’s stairs–

Until dizzy from the height,  

And the steepness of the effort–

All done to look upon

A pure crystalline blue sky

Caressing a sapphire sea—

A fantasy of need.

Beneath The Surface

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge–August 4, 2020

 

Beneath the surface of the night

Flailing fitful, restless

A dream slept wrapped

In a syllabic, heavy blanket,

Waking drenched in a sweat

Of moon touched light.

 

Upon this awakening,

Her shining skin did give

Away no secret of her wings or flight

Beneath the surface of the night.

 

Gratitude

Image courtesy of Flickr

August–

The resplendent month,

Of sun’s heat and blinding light.

The lethargic month

Of jealousy’s blight,

A thing of loss, not fought.

August—

The milestone marking month,

Of anniversaries, holidays, tears.

The flaming month

Of ashes where freedom,

A rising thing, held dear.

https://amanpan.com/2020/08/03/eugis-weekly-prompt-august-august-3-2020/

Ink and Fire

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
In response to The Thursday Photo Challenge at https://scvincent.com/2020/07/30/thursday-photo-prompt-worn-writephoto/

I look for worn comfort

in finding unfamiliar pieces

that used to fit,

make sense, even if only of a kind,

but turn to no message

in the candle’s long drips.

The slippery steps of words

in letters slide from the drawer

of my desk once more,

and I, admiring the art of bloody cursive,

think the quill wore out,

dipping so often

into the inkwell of my bloodied soul.

Did this art require such red ink?

Now, indeed, I think, is the time

to find the perfect vessel to spill                                                

these worn, oft used slippery words

and provide a cleansing of fire

from which will arise

a heart and a soul

I recognize.

The Promise We Must Be

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
https://scvincent.com/2020/07/23/thursday-photo-prompt-darkness-writephoto/

Darkness gathers upon the horizon of our land:

A land we have loved with the lives of our sons and daughters,

A land we have bled for,

A land we have built upon golden ideals,

Shining as a beacon to other nations

 

But the darkness gathers upon the horizon of our land:

For which we have done things of shame and sin,

For we have killed our sisters and brothers

Of all different colors,

For we have kept others in chains of injustice

Because we saw others as less than.

 

And now the darkness gathers in our cities,

Creeping along the horizon of our land.                                                          

 

Now. Now is the time to carry that torch

Lifted above the water of a harbor

And see its light spread across our land.

We must be the promise

For which our daughters and sons died.

Driving out the darkness,

We must all be the promise of the dream—

Liberty and justice for all.

On The Horizon

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent

Thursday photo prompt: Vista #writephoto

Gazing at lush greenness as it travels

along this vista, a soul emptied of itself,

shrinking away to dust

for all the of giving it had done,

breathes in fullness and begins to glow.

Only here in green wildness breathed,

can pinhole prick holes and jagged slashes

be sealed in a soul emptied of itself.