The Watcher

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent Thursday Photo Prompt Challenge
For visually challenged writers, the image shows a flower-strewn cliff-top above the sea, where a rocky outcrop, seemingly shaped into many forms and faces, looks out over the waves.
This week’s prompt ~ Guardian
https://scvincent.com/2020/05/28/thursday-photo-prompt-guardian-writephoto/

The guardian watches the sea,

Waiting patiently

For the return of old ones

Who long ago slipped away

Out to sea, speaking

Words of promise,

Words of return–

Not unlike your words to me.

Like you, the old ones

Will not return,

Lost in an ocean

Of time long forgotten.

They found new homes

Where to light their fires,

Burning away old, shriveled desires,

Burning away the salt of the sea,

And the dirt of old known shores.

 

The guardian waits,

Like a widow upon her widow’s walk,

Staring out to sea.

But as I have finished waiting,

 I must walk away.

Dance

https://scvincent.com/2020/05/14/thursday-photo-prompt-dance-writephoto/

This week’s prompt ~ Dance

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a pale sun piercing the mists above a green path through a golden field, leading into the center of a circle of stones.

A mist of souls weaves among the stones

A dance between grasses of green and gold

Breezes chant in ancient secret runes,

Speaking in tongues of priestesses and druids–

A single soul leaps toward a shrouded sun,

And something in our blood no longer runs—

At all fluid.

Wild and Tame

My own image from Provincetown, MA 2015

Originally written in July of 2015.  Revised 2020.

My friend, the squirrel, sits at my feet.

I wonder perhaps should I be sitting at his.

He is tame

Unlike me.

I have peanuts for him.

He knows.

He is willing to wait

And teach me

All the lessons he knows

Of a heart

That is wild

Yet tame.

I marvel at all

That is contained

Within his tiny heart.

The joys of peanuts and sunflower seeds,

Being unafraid in the face of strangers,

And making friends so easily,

Of finding a home among things lush and green,

Knowing no fear to leap

Into things unknown.

Will he instruct me

In the ways to live once again

And move on?

Tell me to remove these rings

Linked to a grief buried beneath grey granite?

Can he share with me the lesson

Of what to do with all things circular,

New and old grief– link upon link of chain?

Teach me the ways of letting go?

The ways of living without fears

To staunch the bleeding of wounds

Both new and so very old?

Is this the meaning

Of being wild and tamed?

The Friction of Salt

 

woman at sea

Image from Shutterstock

 

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.

Besides–
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.
Freedom elusive.
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.

 

The White Ones

I wanted to run among the wild ones.
Live with them among the mountains.
Rub muzzle against muzzle.
Eat sweet grasses.
Enjoy golden warmth upon my back.
Let my soul and spirit rest
Among the trees with the wild ones.
But it was not to be.
My heart could not slow enough
To contain their peace.

And so, I sought the white ones at the sea.
They crashed about restlessly.
Truly wild they were, as they raced continually.
Their cacophonous pacing furious, relentless.
Yes, these wild white stormy ones were in keeping
With my heart, a raging irregular and brutal pace.

The Mechanics of Flight

magnificent-hummingbird-costa-rica-flying-40067390

Image from Dreamtime.com

 

The science of flight
Broken, stripped down
Into the realism of words.
The dryness of what happens:
Lift and torque,
Drag and propulsion—
All things the ancients
Dreamed of mastering.

And so, we moderns have:
The smallest of Cessna,
The most enormous Airbuses,
The cavernous military transports,
Such technology and science
To destroy the magic.

Until watering the garden
On a summer evening
And turning to see
A tiny green hummingbird
Stick out his chest in pride
At having mastered
Standing still
While flying.

No Winning

No winning in this loosing.

Chunks of soil eroded,
Carried away by this freezing rain.

No artifice found in storm winds,
leaving an icy slush of blood
In the veins,

Or the heated words you
Coated with never melting ice.

The fire you set
Left forever unkindled.

How you must love your
Barren winter landscape,
A frozen revenge,
A frosty meaningless game.

Under A North Texas Sky

my own image

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.

Tattoo

I had not realized
That still I wore the black,
The widow’s weeds of anger,
These five years hence
Your death.
Until today,
When at your grave,
I stood and, in finality,
Cast them away.

Now, emerging from the black chrysalis
Of my anger,
Perching upon the vine,
I can spread the wings,
Waving them, allowing them to dry.

And you, my wife, are not here.
Not under this six feet of earth.
You have long flown away,
Beyond the things we were and were not,
Beyond the languages we spoke and wrote
To one another yet could not understand,
Beyond the desire of ego and want and need,
Beyond the hurts and the pains of life and selfishness
To where only truth, love, and real atonement
Color a spirit and soul in a prism of flames.

And in my freedom from anger and pain,
I wear your vine with my own rose, and
I am the Monarch with wings ready to fly.