The Great Heron

Image is my own

I greeted the Great Heron

With a hello.

Then asked for some wisdom

Or some secrets of the earth.

 

But the Great Heron

Didn’t bother with a no.

Just a fluff of feathers

Before turning away

Without being troubled

To even look at me.

The red wing black birds

Chittered away in laughter

As the gentle doves

Cooed soothingly.

 

The crows cawed,

Rather obnoxiously,

About time running down.

I said I knew

And was aware of the beauty

In lessons along the way.

Even in the lessons so painful

You thought they might

Break your soul in two

Held a beauty in the end.

 

The crows disliked what I said,

And they couldn’t disagree,

So, screaming out a caw,

Flew away.

 

Turning his eyes to me,

The Great Heron shifted on his log,

Before opening his wings

And flying away,

Letting me know

He had nothing to say.

 

 

			

Dear Robert Frost

Image is my own. Taken at the Hockney/ Van Gogh exhibit

VJ’s Weekly Challenge: roads – One Woman’s Quest II (onewomansquest.org)

Before this moment,

All roads coalesced into one,

The present, the now.

Then,

Seeing this wall of roads,

I cannot help but ask

Where each road would have, could have

Led.

Different places, people–

Certainly, yes.

The mind swirls,

Possibilities,

A Tilt-A-Whirl—

A daughter lost?

The fetal tissue of a son not lost?

A different daughter born?

A heart not broken by cancer?

All the rewinds and fast forwards

Of a life of lived down different roads

Of different choices made along each way–

All the differences of each win and loss

And every other thing implied by this wall

And dear Robert Frost—

 

The choices I’ve made

Gave me this now,

This daughter,

For whom I would give my life,

Rather than trade.

Baltimore

Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Pulled my anchor from this harbor
Years ago.
Yet the current pulls me back,
Some irritant speck,
Yet to yield a pearl,
In the soul,
Some rough edged
Needless need chafes away
Until confession is made
And a pilgrimage to graves
Must be paid—

There is no why to this–
This steel wrought laundry list
To be run down and checked through

A visit, a meal eaten
At the landmark restaurant,
Where new owners chiseled hieroglyphics
over a history of years when
the landmark lived across
A narrow brick paved street
And my family lived upstairs,
Erasing my mother’s sacrifice
Of bloody fetal tissue,
My fraternal twin,
On the bathroom floor there
While I hung on to be born.
But such bloody sacrifice
Doesn’t sell cheeseburgers,
Greek salads, and over easy eggs,
A fairytale of family ownership-
Sells well and makes for spots
On reality television shows.

A drive by the childhood home,
Sentimentality at its highest,
Revisit the torture chamber
It became—
A wooden yardstick and when it broke,
A metal one I had to buy to be taken
Across my back by a drunken mother
Until the skin broke open to bleed.
.
Why the drive by?
Who the hell knows?
When all I’d like to see
Is it all disappear—

Then the statue of Christ
In Hopkins Hospital lobby, a must see.
Where I stood as a teen
Confessing the darkest
Thing upon my soul—
A part of me wishing
My mother had died
In that surgery of fifteen hours
The other part thanking Jesus
she had lived.

Then the graves,
To place some flowers,
Talk a bit to the air,
Turn my soul inside out
To find it dusty and dirty again.
We can think our souls clean
Until turning them inside out—
That is where we find the grime
Of all the living done.

I visit my brothers,
The man who was my real father,
Then on to the man I thought was,
And then my mother,
The saint she was,
The monster she became.
At her grave, my soul aches the most,
Tweezing thorns left from her old rose bushes and my own,
Turning itself inside out,
Leaving all the grime and dirt behind,
Or so it feels.

Then on to visit with what is left of the living.
And though, I love the living,
There is little, so little–
To charm me into staying.
But the currents, the tides
Of some blood element,
Like an ancient memory,
Bring me back
From time to time.

This is Baltimore—
for me.

 

Music of Hope

Image courtesy of Pxhere.com

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Dance – April 22, 2021 – Eugi’s Causerie (amanpan.com)

My dance was escape

From the always too much vine

You are, crawling over the souls of others,

Choking them with tendrils of your love.

My dance, too strong for such tendrils,

Stepping the swirl patterns

Of aloneness,

Finds joy.

My dance, leaving colors of spring

In the wake of its rhythms,

Paints new life into me.

My dance, following no one,

Discovers love in its patterns,

Creating new steps of invitation

To be followed by my soul.

My dance, flaming and firing in warmth,

Burns away the coldness meant to kill.

The World and Technicolor Youth

Image courtesy of LearningRadiology.com
 
 

When colors bled into the world

Through the ice blue topaz of your eyes,

When we both dreamed dreams of kaleidoscope horizons

Blooming in colors too true to be real,

The universe grew beyond our measure

Where recall of dreams came so easily,

Happiness and joy found no reason to arm wrestle

With the stark reality of the world back then

In our younger times—

Before the world shrank

To this extra small size colored

In tones of X-ray grays

Now showing the long-healed breaks and cracks

Of ribs and jaw and clavicle

Yet in this time of a shrinking world and universe

Steeped in all hues of gray

With the amnesia of shrunken head dreams unbreakable,

The filter of your ice topaz eyes—

A small price to pay for wholeness

Of body, bone, and mind.

The Work of Spring

image courtesy of anoregoncottage.com

I clipped away dead branches

From the living shrubs today.

Not an easy thing,

But a thing that must be done.

Strange it is how dead things

Will cling so tightly to the living

As if to squeeze

The last remaining bits of life away

And thus, have company in death and dying.

There is yet more to do

So only the living things are left

To flourish in the spring sun.

Decision on a Birdfeeder

image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

 

I hesitate in remembrance

as if the fates would choose

a day of gray and leave me there,

as if a blossoming could be had upon

a second visitation to any day.

 

The creamer clouds disperse and swirl

in my extra strong coffee

like memories of things I wanted–

never had, never attained

all those years ago.

 

Stirring the coffee still,

I stare out the kitchen window.

Decide against a bird feeder

filled with black oil sunflower seeds.

I do not want cardinals here.

People say cardinals are spirits

of those you’ve lost come to visit you—

No.  I want no cardinals here.

No spirits of the lost to visit or say hello.

No twittering or chittering away.

No vibrancy of color outside this window.

No.  Not here.  Not in this place.

 

I’d rather this be a spiritless place,

A virgin place, void of spirits, void of touch—

 

At least for a time

 

 

 

Emerge

Image is my own

 

Days lengthen,

The sun returns

In an earnestness

We have not seen in months.

Not yet does the earth send warmth

Enough to climb through the soles of our feet–

Not yet warmth enough to creep onward up our legs,

Stretching, reaching toward our souls,

Where I carry the wish I have of you

One day, perhaps—

Perhaps, I may find the courage to grasp

In an aching, aging hand the bone to break

And set loose the wish I have of you.

Song of My Sisters

Image courtesy of Storytrender.com

A daily battle with memories,

Offering emptiness,

Even the sparkle of gem like happiness,

Leaving small smiles for the moment—

Before tears begin.

Standing separated

From the ashes and earth

We once kissed and touched so tenderly,

All we embrace now—air,

Some ephemeral being of memory

As voice and smile and laughter fade.

Some of us,

Too many, told too often,

By those once precious, counted family,

Our grief, less than, less meaningful,

Really nothing more than dust,

Containing no rawness of a bloody heart.

Thus, I voice, singing the lament

Of my sisters in widowhood,

As we wait for our souls to soar–

To take flight once again.

When each in her turn is ready,

Able to begin,

Renewed,

Emerging, uncurling, however slowly,

From our blanketing storm clouds of grief,

Wings wet, drying in the sun.