Pieces of her broke in the waves,
Searching for wildness
In this place she always went to be alone.
She walked along this shore a thousand times
In the dawn and the dusk
As if they were quantities unknown,
And thus, in them, she could discover some truth,
Some faith, some charity, some hope for herself.
Who knew? It had worked before.
She’d walk toward the town with something—
Some small bit piece replenished.
She’d always heard salt was healing,
So she figured she’d rub it in her wounds.
But bloody red and raw
She walks still wounded, broken,
Along the wildness,
Yet not touching it.
She can not find what she lost.
Her wounds chains,
Binding her still
To things she knew illusions.
She waits for the friction of salt
To rub away the chains.
She walks toward the seals in the surf
And on toward the whales in the deep,
Searching for truth or faith or charity
In the wildness of the sea.
I gave you all my roses, The many colors I had. Cut them all from the bushes. I knew there would be no more, And I cut them for you.
The last few dozen blooms I cut them down for you. The bushes are dead now.
They will bud no more. I double, triple checked. The limbs snap crisply in dryness, Easily between my weakened hands. No supple green within. A single snap finishes each limb. And so finishes each bush.
I Words scattered across the page. Words littering the soul.
All these words Piled upon the table, A hoarder’s table of words.
Words left unsaid, Unwritten, A bouquet of words Wilting in the heart and mind.
Words twisted in contortionist meaning Of manipulations, Weaponized for destruction, Yet leaving victims living. II Words of things that can’t be said. Words of things that should have been. Words of things we could not speak out of fears too deep. Words of things we could not begin to understand Of ourselves, of each other. Words of things we wanted so to believe Of others, of the world. Words of hope Of love Of charity Of peace. Words of what we have lost. Words of what we may never again find. III Words, words, words Slipping through the fingers Like water in a desert, Dripping away, evaporating Before they can be used.
Words, words, words Twisting round the wrists, Writhing up the arms, Biting the face and neck, Killing before they can be used.
Words, words, words Left unread by faded ink, Left unwritten by a tired mind, Left unsaid by a fear filled mouth.
No roots here, Not under this. Not under this, North Texas sky. Nothing grew, Nothing rooted, Although I tried.
I planted native plants, Fertilized and tended, Weeded and watered, Talked lovingly even, Became the crazy lady With the plants.
For a bit, just a bit, Each plant bloomed In wonderful cinematic, Glorious technicolor. I would think– I’ve got it right! But no. Each would start To wilt and fade. I googled and researched, Soil tested even. Yes, it’s true– to know What to do. But I was doing everything right.
No expert could tell me true, Just why I could not Get anything to flourish, to grow, to root In this, this North Texas soil Under this, this North Texas sky.
My hope is Different now, Changed, evolved. Once a verdant green Of fresh, newborn spring. Now evolved into this chilly thing– Brown, dried husks, A few barely clinging To a tree in late autumn. Seems something, someone Sucked the hope out, Fed on it as if it were life’s blood, And I am left drained, a leftover hull Of what once was. But I go on As if all is the same and nothing Is gone. A tree in winter, Hoping enough green Is left to grow, to live in spring.
From the shaking dirge cries of birth
To the desire for ease in the between,
Before the elemental breath rattles at death,
We are lost in cacophonous sighs of daily life,
Choosing to turn away
From moments appearing as iridescent sun rays
As if God's fingers reached
Between the clouds
To touch the earth.
Yes, we turn away,
Pick up kids,
A trip to Wal-Mart,
And to work,
The mundane of every day,
Yes, it must be done,
To hurry toward the waiting,
While living holding sand,
the elemental breath before death.
Here, under a Ruidoso sky,
You remind me:
An extraordinarily warm spring day
Spent in a field somewhere
In Lancaster County, PA.
Where exactly? Well, now,
I could not really say.
I’d never find it again,
Even after taking the memory
Down off the shelf
And dusting the cobwebs away.
I remember the day in snapshots
Before we trampled, stomped, burned
The drive from Baltimore
In your little black sports car.
The top down. The wind
Running its fingers through
Your copper hair.
The glitter of your crystalline eyes
In the morning sunshine.
The softness of 501 jeans washed
A thousand times.
Your artist’s soul looking for the
Perfect spot, rejecting several
Before perfection found,
A sun-drenched meadow amid
Pine trees. No Amish around, you said.
The care you took with blankets
And picnic basket and, of course,
Your ever-present sketchbook.
Cheeses, bread, fruits, and wine
We ate and drank.
Then, I posed for you,
The first time.
No one was around.
No one could see,
You said and so
You shucked me
Of clothing and
And my long black curls.
You sketched me
And said you wished you
Had your paints.
Copper and black hair
And the sun low
In the sky. We
Packed the basket
And folded the blanket.
Some 40, 41 years ago.
Snapshots of that day.
Why remind me now?
We trampled, stomped, burned our
Youth down. Oh, yes. we could tease
"Here come and sit, where never
serpent hisses, And being set,
I'll smother thee with kisses."
We’d do nothing better in the
Here and the now were we to tangle
Silver and white together.
Lies were told, I know.
For once, I wanted to believe.
Your truth telling services,
I do not need…
And the tangling of silver and white now, just--
The braiding of loneliness and longing
Leaves us soulless.
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