Plantings

Image courtesy of https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/Green-grapes-on-the-vine-with-morning-gl/0F474D245DD85FB8
I tire of seeing memes about having a positive attitude and choosing one’s feelings plastered
social media. It is no surprise our young people are in the midst of a mental health crisis when constantly bombarded with messages telling them, in essence, “The only reason you are sad is because you are making the choice to be sad,” or, (one of my favorites for sabotaging anyone’s self esteem) “You have a choice to make your day wonderful or not.” While such simplistic messages are well meaning, I believe they are sometimes extremely toxic. After all, what if your parent died on that day? Did you make the choice to have a horrible day? What if you go home to a toxic abusive environment? How can you choose to make your day wonderful? So before reposting those wonderful positive messages on social media, let’s all take a step back and think about what we are really saying to someone who may be going through something or in an environment where there is no choice in the matter but to feel what he or she feels. Let’s send messages that say it’s okay to feel what you feel and acknowledge it and to take time to feel it all,so something can be gained from it—a lesson, a positive action taken, whatever it may be, so we know our suffering was not for naught. Hence, this piece.

I gathered my despair,

my tears, my losses, all my grief.

Sat with each,

held them close,

let them dry,

waiting for spring.

 

When the ground warms,

softening, ready for tilling,

I will plant my despair,

sow my tears,

plough rows for my losses,

dig a hole deep enough to hold all my grief.

 

In the turning of time,

from the shrubs of my despair,

I will snip flowers and herbs

for healing others.

From the vines of my tears,

I will pluck the fruits and vegetables

to pile upon the table for all who need.

From the fields of my losses,

I will reap the harvest grain

to store for when a time of need arrives.

Finally, from the tree of all I grieve.

I will pick the sweetest fruit

of memory.

 

 

Crumbs

Inspired by this line from Mary Oliver

Feast not too often on meager crumbs of joy,

fallen haphazardly from someone else’s table.
Thinking yourself filled, sated,
you will find yourself crouching, smiling,
lowering your head to be patted by the hand
that cares nothing for you.

Then, when beaten back from the table,
you will scuttle away crouching low,
spirit yielding to fear.
But rise, rise then, standing—
staring eye to eye.
Lift your head and turn,
walk to new horizons.

There, build a table all your own
where you feast wholeheartedly
upon the delightful dishes of joy
you create,
inviting others to share.
Each one partaking in as much joy
as can be held
at your table
where no one
need feast on crumbs.

The Coffee Mug



shattered on the floor
my favorite coffee mug
nothing big, not much of a thing,
just my favorite coffee mug--
sunshine yellow, with coffee beans,
and a coffee spoon printed inside at the top
along with a line from my favorite poem,
“I have measured out my life in coffee spoons”
yes, trite, you might say, emblazoned upon a coffee mug
but still, yes, I loved the mug, love the poem.
and there it was—
shattered upon the floor
there she stood,
apologizing—ad nauseam—
saying she’d buy another to replace it.
But it was not to be found.
Of course, the store didn’t have them anymore.

The mug was the first broken thing.
The first of a few, if it wasn’t liked,
didn’t fit into the ideal 
of what could be
forged of me
if pinched in the grip of tongs 
and held in the fire long enough
to be broken down to a molten,
malleable state, pounded upon the anvil, 
shaped, dipped in water to sizzle cool enough
to start the process over again—
for easy fracture.

Many things ended up broken, 
shelved, stored in closets—
pictureless frames and frameless pictures,
parts of me 
hidden away, never to be seen
sitting on shelves
in black closets—

until I emerged
chipped but no worse for wear
unbroken into the light.

Endlessness

Image courtesy of Pexels.com

https://godoggocafe.com/2022/06/21/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-june-21-2022/

Todays prompt: Begin a poem with “endless”

Endless winds rustling

Through leaves baked a thin crisp green
By summer’s noon sun.

Endless wilting flowers
Reaping words of empty dust
Sands away meaning.

Endless hope sprouts blooms
In the dry cracked refuge of earth
A survival scented thing.

An Autumnal Baptism

Image is my own

Caught in the evening downpour,
I am washed clean of summer.
Summer’s red rock, red dirt dreams
Sluiced from me with this autumnal drenching.

Morning greets me with a cool hand
Of sunshine upon my brow.
Autumn whispers of a harvest
Under skies of bluest topaz.

A clear, clean, honest reaping
In days yet to be had.

Fractured Twilight

Image is my own

https://amanpan.com/2021/07/01/eugis-weekly-prompt-twilight-july-1-2021/

Walking in fractured twilight

Is the smoothest time of light and mind–

A wish made–

To braid reality, this curve of light, with sweetest memory

Thus, so entwined

One begins to hope,

Believing in miracles once again

To spite all fractures made of years.

Washed

At the Beach – Image by KL Caley

https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/writephoto-beach/#like-5743

( An older poem written in 2015 while in Provincetown, MA.  Revised for this week’s writephoto challenge.)

At sunrise over water,

        Remembering as if in a dream  

The child and you and me

As we stood by a sea

Half a world away.

Both of you now baptized differently by my tears.

 

And for and from you,

I am left with things neither given

Nor felt in years,

 Linked by all the fears

To form over a decade of a life

Lived like a stranger

In my own shrinking skin.

 

I have stood

Since the dawn

At this ocean’s edge

Waiting, waiting.

And now at noon

The rain begins.

Fierce pelting blows

Washing me clean

Of all I know

Or dare to dream.

 

For living continues

Within my own skin

 

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.

Whispered Tales

Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

A phoenix rises in flames

From out the left side of my chest

With feathers of flame yet,

Set free to fly where it wills.

 

One day, it will return,

Nuzzling deep inside my chest again,

All the ashes gone,

All flame having died away,

Its fiery colored feathers

Whispering, singing to my blood

Of beauty seen,

Of tantalizing things touched,

Of all the air breathed, smelled, felt,

Of the sounds soft and harsh heard

All along the way around the earth.

 

Through the whispered tales

Of those fiery feathers

My blood will tell me

Where I am to go.