Time of Year

It is the time
of grey skies
and dead brown grass
along the roadsides.
The time when the trees
are seen shivering,
their limbs quivering in their nakedness.
When even many of the evergreens drip down
brown, bloodied from the lethal knife wounds
of a sharpened frenzied freeze
as they sag into their deaths.
Yes, it is that time of year
when I yearn
for the green of spring,
for limbs to wrap myself within,
for a renewal of promises
I once longed to make.
The time of year
when I empty forty years
of myself.

The Dirt of Chimayo

Image is my own
As if you erupted
from an eternal spring,
an immortal thing,
I gave you away
when last I prayed
here at Chimayo.
When kneeling
I scooped the healing dirt
as I spoke silent prayers of thanks
for my heart bravely facing
shocks of resuscitation
after years spent
barely beating
in stuttering grief.

Upon return today,
I kneel to scoop
the healing dirt,
asking in silent prayer
a blessing of forgiveness
for giving you away
too easily—
thus, killing you,
bleeding you of all hope,
beyond resurrection,
beyond resuscitation.

In the dirt of Chimayo,
this healing earth,
from this place of faith,
sifted through my hands,
I bury you, a mortal thing,
I gave away too easily
to an undeserving faith,
in this dirt of Chimayo.

Tightrope

(Maria Spelterini crossing the Niagara gorge on a tightrope, 1876)
Image courtesy of
i.imgur.com



Since I drove right by it

on my GPS selected route

on my way to dinner

with friends,

I had to stop:



Here now— pulled over, paying reverence,

to time, youth, innocence, tragedy

When we loved each other

in this home we made together.



Here— this moment of reverence paid

unlocks the door of a room

where you are kept

preserved in perfection,

untainted by guilt

by tragedy

by the judgement

I rendered upon you

in my innocent ignorant self-righteousness

and so unleashed our tragedy upon us.



Now— could I travel that twisted high wire of time

back through the forty years

yet keep the wisdom of lessons

learned of forgiveness and judgment—

we would be young lovers

starting out again

and I would gift

you treasures of ancient gods and goddesses—

olive oil, an olive tree to plant,

casks of rose water,

roughly hewn amber, the mythic tears,

in which we could be captured.



I raise my head, turn my eyes to the road ahead,

locking the door to that place

where you are kept

preserved in perfection:

Sitting in the window seat,

your head tilted to the light,

sunlight glistening off your copper color hair,

smile wide as you lift your drawing pad
and pencil,

and begin to sketch,

your thin lovely hand floating
in movement above the page.

There,I leave you once again,

As I drive away.







 

 

 

 

 

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.

Return

pexels-miriam-fischer-2671074
Weekend Writing Prompt #267: This weekend your challenge is to write a poem or a piece of prose in exactly 31 words using the word “Return”.
https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/category/weekend-writing-prompt/

I envy the monarch’s, the hummingbird’s arc of return,
infinite, eternal.
My jealousy consumes as I have
no return, no cycle—
Only the damnation of this linear thing,
finite, directionless.

The Promise of a Nation


Photo by
@caldwellkelsie

Anger paralyzes,

I search for words—

Pour what I feel

Into them—

But my anger

Melts them,

Turns them molten metal,

Defiant to the forms,

The constraints,

The molds I attempt

To use to shape

This gob of white hot liquid metal

Into meaning

For feelings

Overwhelming me.



Paralysis crushing,

Submission—

It is what they want—

Make us heavy once again

With chains and shackles,

Place and close the Master’s padlock,

A designation of second class,

Something much less than they,

Round our necks once more,

Making of us an example,

So others live in fear

Of what they come for next

And so acquiesce—

Staying silent, eyes lowered,

Hoping to escape notice

By allowing them to feel smug and safe.



My anger burns bright white stripes,

Others will not die bleeding the red.

Remember the stars provide the light

Of what we know is right.

We will not live on our knees

Or on our backs, being beggars

For shredded scraps

Of what is the promise of our nation.



Handmaid’s Tale on the Horizon

Brevity of years
Right, paid in blood + death, destroyed
Fiction drips history

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2022/06/25/weekend-writing-prompt-265-brevity/

Brevity in 12 words

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Now available on Amazon

#1 New Release Bestseller!

I’m honored and humbled to have two poems included among the works of such talented authors. The work resonates with the strength it takes to not just survive—but to thrive.