Masquerade as Spring

Image is my own taken at Houston Arboretum

Leaves half dead brown
half living green dappled
with the gold of hope,
sparkling, dangle from the tree
as if life clutched within
holds a secret 
on this wonderful warm winter
afternoon—
masquerading as a spring day--
joyous—these leaves
reflecting light like crystals
of a fancy chandelier--
yet the leaves,
fragile as they are,
will fall upon the forest floor
with tomorrow’s cold winds
which they cannot withstand
and my heart, like the leaves—
not green enough
to withstand
assaulting winter
but today, today—
chooses to clutch 
at the hope
in this masquerade of spring.

The Woman Who Remembered the Taste of Apricots

Courtesy of brighterblooms.com

First published in Pinecone Review’s Be Proud With Pride edition


The woman lied to herself.
Said life is not had without hope,
Believing hope resided within her chest
Just under the bones,
As she remembered the taste
Of fresh apricots,
The sweetness of their juices
Bursting in her mouth,
The texture of their pulp
Playing against her tongue—
She remembered—
Fresh apricots 
During the weeks of summer
In the year the earth awoke,
Stretching and yawning,
Turning as if 
To bring sunrises closer
And hold sunsets dear—
That summer the girl,
Holding beating hope,
Emerged from the cracks forming 
In the left side
Of the woman’s chest.
Thus, the woman who lied
About holding onto hope,

Crumpled and died,
Shriveled like the over-ripened apricots
On the ground beneath the tree in your yard.
The girl, holding hope, emerged
Laughing with joy at all the smiling
Universe seemed for once to offer up
In the taste of apricot flesh
And the sweet juice that quenched thirst
After years of waiting want.

The earth tilted back, turning once again,
Withdrawing from sunrise and sunset.
Then the apricots were gone.
Picked, fallen to the ground,
Nibbled by birds and squirrels.
The girl, who held hope, 
Shrank down, curling into a fetal position,
Within the dead woman who lied
About having hope and who
Was now revived, resuscitated,
Like a cannibal feeding off a beaten enemy
Of faith, of pain, of living hope,
By the now shrunken head like girl,
Who had held beating hope 
That could beat no longer
As the revived woman remembered
Always—
The taste, the feel of the flesh of fresh apricots.





When the Familiar Dies

Image courtesy of TheSpruce.com

She walks to the end

of dark uncurling days

at the edge of the earth,

witnesses the new day

split open–

petals soft,

beautiful.

She’d give it to herself

could it be contained,

arranged within some vase,

held within her hands,

that cannot hold

such flowering strength.

She breathes in hope,

taking it deep into her lungs

where oxygen mingles

with blood and becomes one—

a seed took root in the moment

as all things familiar to her die.

 


Wait for Spring

Image courtesy of pixels.com
I wait for spring—

When days run long,
While hope emerges
Green from the earth
Warmed by a sun
Who knows the spell
A gentle warmth brings
With a smoothness of breath
Taken in the calmness of colors
Basking in the light of a day
Nourished by winter’s ashes.

Dying Magnolia Tree

Image is my own
The magnolia tree is dead or dying
Said the experts at the nursery
Which planted it.
No green leaves hang upon it,
Only these brittle, brown things
Cling to its limbs still.

The experts give me two things,
Free of charge of course,
To try to resuscitate my magnolia.
The experts tell me everything to do
Over the next eight weeks,
But not to worry, if it all doesn’t work,
The tree will be replaced.  It’s guaranteed.

A guarantee I never thought I’d need.
I did everything right:
Watering and fertilizing,
Watering and fertilizing,
Factoring in all the rain—
Yet here it stands dead or dying
In this place you never knew.

Like with you, in the place you knew,
I did everything I knew to do—
Replace the cooking pots and pans with stainless,
Only organic foods, red wine the only alcohol,
Broke all the cigarettes in two,
Quit my job to care for you—
Until—

Until the fourth time it returned,
Spread to the lungs and liver,
You wanted your cigarettes and alcohol back.
How could I argue?  Say no to that?
Yet even then—
I found you cigarettes with no additives, organic tobacco too.

Until January, our magnolia bloomed as you lay dying,
When at midnight a storm blew through,
Minutes later, you died 
And the magnolia shed its blooms.	

So here now, in this new place,
I planted a magnolia in memory
     Of what was, what was not,
     Of what could have been, should have been,
     Of what would have been
If I possessed the magic to shape shift
Into the one you most wanted.

And now, this tree in this new place
Stands dead or dying.

But I will do as the experts say:
     Spray from top to bottom for disease,
     Shock the roots every other week
Until mid- November, hoping to bring it back,
Bring it back from the edge of death.

If I can’t, the nursery will replace it
With another magnolia tree.

Yet I must think on that.
In this place, in this soil, perhaps
A magnolia is not meant to be.

I may ask them to replace it
With a different tree.
For it could be,
That here and now,
Magnolias are no longer meant for me.


Bouquets of the Ramshackle

https://amanpan.com/category/eugis-prompts/

With ramshackle shards
Of heart, soul, self
Falling away like the browned petals
Of a long-wilted bouquet,
We create a riotous noise
In ramshackle attempts
To find some connection.

Lumbering, awkward attempts
At reaching out to touch once again,
To replace, to freshen 
The brown wilted and missing parts
With new bouquets of spring
Whose stems sit in eternally
Fresh, clean waters.

We dream of a life lived
No longer ramshackle,
With no long-wilted bouquets
Of a past to haunt with falling petals,
But a life returning whole,
To move without noise
Through the world once again.

Gems of Dawn and Sunset

Image is my own

 

If I could gather a handful of dawn and a handful of sunset,

I’d cut and polish each handful into gems

                       For you to keep,

To take out and wear as you would wish,

For there are no stones of value containing beauty enough

To give you but these that are not true stone—

 

Yes, a handful of sunset,

A handful of dawn—

Their beauty ever constant,

Yet ever changing—

Daily renewed—

The only things containing beauty enough

For you.

 

Walking

Image courtesy of nationalgeographic.com




Walking through days---
There are too many left
And not enough 
To let me forget.

I walk into sunrises
Into sunsets--
There are not enough
Sunrises or sunsets left
In life to let me forget
And too many yet to live
To live in remembering.

I walk to gain forgetfulness.
There are not enough miles,
Not enough steps,
Not enough earth
To walk
To bring 
About forgetfulness.

I walk, seeking shelter
From thunderstorms
Yet they remind me.
I walk, seeking exhaustion
In the mountains
Yet they remind me.
I walk, seeking the healing of salt
From ocean waters
Yet they remind me.
All speaking
In whispers 
Of the earth’s remembrance.

It all reminds me—
The brilliant azure sky,
The verdant green of forests,
The primal roar of oceans,
The Rorschach shape of clouds,
The roil gray of storms—
It all reminds me,
Brings me back

Nothing allows me to forget.

of stone and blossoms

Image is my own




I am unsure how this happened,
but the stone grew, encasing me,
protective and cold, a walking grave
of comfort for many years.

Now, having grown moss over
the passing of so many seasons and
used to the weight of stone I carry
into the calm of night,
blossoms burst forth from this tonnage
of comforting cold stone,
this grave of a home I have known.

I would like to twist,
turn away from
such blossoms,
yet find I cannot.
I cannot gather dust to me,
creating stone again.
Cannot piece shards together
for there are not enough left
in this remaining dust.

As I rest in this place,
I will tuck these blooms away--
Until they bear ripened fruit,
Readied for picking.

Fragrant blossoms
that they may only be
for now.


Flight

Image courtesy of istock.com

Against a sky of perfect blue

Containing strains of purest white,

My heart and soul,

A kite woven,

Takes flight.

Finally, after all the years,

Unafraid of the heights

Attained on these winds.

 

My hope no longer dwells within

A fortress built

Of scars or fears

That others would have me hear.