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?

This In Between – M. A. Morris

I am honored to be featured on https://freeverserevolution.wordpress.com/

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

It was a time 

Long ago, younger days,

When it was all mine

When I just knew the sun rose and set

For me

For her

For love

For gentle colors 

Of bleeding horizons.

The things you know 

Only in youth

Chafes the heart

In old age.

Memories of when one

Could run, 

As only the young can, 

In complete nakedness 

Between heartache and hope

And hop and back again.

All the wooden slats broke and fell away.

All the rope rotted and frayed.

Now, that bridge lies at the bottom of the abyss 

Between heartache and hope

The place of desolation, of death, of living.

And there is nothing but the drifting space of gravity

In this in between.


I am a retired teacher, enjoying everything that retirement means. In addition, I have been active in the LGBTQ community since I was four years old and marched my…

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Tears of Fire

https://deadwood-deacon.obsidianportal.com/characters/senior-gabriel

Originally posted in August of 2017.  However, after driving from Dallas to Houston to take care of some business with having a home built and experiencing nearly deserted roads because of the lock downs and quarantines, I thought I’d touch it up a bit and post it again.  

The seven descend.

Each with wings spread

Enough to fill a house.

Shalom not upon their tongues.

Throughout the compass points

They search to find

All the gnawed bones,

The muscles and sinew,

The heart and entrails

Torn with teeth of hate.

And once the seven

Found all the tiny bits,

With flaming swords

Used as needles,

They did try to stitch

All humanity’s bloody bits

Into one thing well knit.

Neither their swords,

Nor spirit of their breath

Did have the power to seal

The meat and sinew to bone.

And then they knew

Those who showed no mercy

Would be given none.

Their heads hung

Inshallah upon their lips

As they ascend.

Their flaming eyes

Weeping tears of fire

As they saw the pale rider

Striding across the land.

The seven knew humanity’s

Avarice and hate

Had broken the fourth seal.

Maa shaa’Allah a whisper of smoke

Within their throats.

Their flaming eyes

Still weeping tears of fire.


Scars of Flame

My scars flames–
The sides of my back,
pock marked brown
drying dark
if not daily oiled in
the red, orange, white
of flames,
trailing once welted scars,
faded, now barely.
if even seen–
Feathered flames
enabling flight,
if I should like,
or if I so prefer,
burning back past paths
behind so I may fly
to places I wish,
keeping promises
to my soul.
My scars flame–
Only I see
and only I know
the power contained
in my flaming scars.

Wired

Image from Wisegeek

In this day and age
We ought to be able to be wired
Wired for anything, everything–
For hope—
–dreams
–love
–desire
Wired for it all and more
Wired for an add on room
In the heart when we’ve run out–
For expansion of sound inside
When we’ve come to love the buzz of silence.
For blood that doesn’t run dry,
Doesn’t clot to clog the works up.
Wired so we always have just one more try
Inside souls always filled
With the romantic dreams of youth.
Wired so there are stairs always to climb.
Wired so no wounds ever cut so deep
Blood runs out, runs dry.
Wired so we can learn
Yet pain be erased.
Wired, just wired,
Plugged in with a soul of shiny copper wire.

Absolution

For K.M wherever you may be 
2011042641confession_inside_fr_james

Use of your veiled power
Brings me here to this door
With the knowledge I must keep the touch of that power away from those
Who are loved.
Psalm 23 as I enter the valley,
The shadow you have always been
Since a night long ago.
Now midnight, on a summer’s night as it was once before,
I am stone
As I enter.

Though it has been thirty-three years since the night of such destruction
And twenty-six since face to face we have stood,
You are as you always were–
Resplendent.
So beautiful yet still–
Elegant clothing of black silk replacing your leathers,
Shining long pure white hair rather than chestnut gloss wave and drape round your shoulders.
Though there are creases round,
Ice yet frozen sparkles still
In the blue topaz of your eyes.
Words tumble from you like the pebbles of a river bottom in the floods.
The veil of your power used
Only to get me here
You would never touch
All I hold dear.

Talk. Just talk is all.
Sit down, please. A drink?

I sit, accept.
Though I’ve consumed too much liquid courage
Just to be near,
To calm all the fear
Of what I thought I must surrender.
But not this.
I had not thought it would be this.
I sip something too effervescent,
Too sweet for this.
And wait.
Sip and wait.

You sigh, drop your head.
A curtain of snow, a veil, falls
Hiding blue topaz.
You begin once again the apology
For the night long ago,
So long ago,
When you lost control,
Your anger, your fears
Ending our three years,
Ending our youth,
Ending the selves
We can never recapture.

“No, don’t. It’s done. Over with. Forgiven. Forgotten.”

You reach for a file.
“No. Not so. You haven’t forgiven or forgotten.
I know.”
And there it is–
In print outs, photographs,
Transcripts and more,
My life in the folder.
“I have always known– everything,”
Your answer.

At the evidence of this—obsession,
“Why?” my only question.

“To help if needed,” you say.
You drain your glass,
Pour more and continue.
The words pour down and over,
Wearing away my stone,
And we are humans
Who were once young
And loved together.

The ice melts and
Rains a deluge from blue topaz.
Your shoulders curve inward,
Your breathing wracked by sobs.
And I know then
Guilt
Flays your soul
Just as you once,
Losing control with anger and fear,
Flayed me.

I pull you to me
Lay you down
Your head resting in my lap.
I stroke your hair,
Dry your tears.
And I see all the years,
All the years of guilt written there.
The beautiful artist I loved once within,
Yes, still near.
While my life and soul healed, leaving just a little scarring,
Your soul is yet flayed open,
Raw and bleeding.

Perhaps an hour passed.
We talk of the present and the past.
It is then you ask for what I cannot give,
A future of us.
For even if I could, even if we could,
You would not find what you need,
What you seek,
In any reclaiming of our past
In the makings of a future.
Your soul would bleed still.

The last chips of ice melt
When you hear my answer.
And when it is finished,
When you are done,
You take my hand from your hair
And kiss each fingertip,
Gently,
Reverently,
As if you thought to kiss the statue of a saint.

Then you rise with cat like grace
Try to give me the last painting you did
You say some sixteen years ago,
The last time you held a brush.
It is of me.
From memory
You say,
Speaking of our three years,
Of how often you watched me sleep.
I can barely recognize the body, the face.
But, yes. I guess it is what I was once.

I hand it back,
Saying it is me no longer.
I cannot accept a me I do not recognize.
You take it, gently. Put it aside,
Then touch my cheek.
Ask me to stay,
Just to sleep.

I cannot.
But I hold you for a moment
Before I turn to go.

You place a slip of paper into my hand
Tell me you will watch,
You will listen– no more.
That should I want in any way,
Should I need in any way,
I should write the secret words upon a page you would see
And you would be here.

I make the promise
You need to hear
And leave.

Though you once called me your Helen,
Money and power your Mephistopheles,
The time is long
past the hour of any damnation.
For wherever you may go,
Now you know.
Nothing can be recaptured.
Nothing reclaimed.
Nothing would you find there.

Because I once loved you,
Once held you so dear,
Within my forgiveness
Given long ago,
Within yourself,
Within your soul,
Find
Absolution.

What Emily Said….

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
 
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
		Emily Dickinson
Yep, that’s what Emily said.
I beg to differ.
If it perched in my soul,
The cat ate that damn canary
Before it finished its tune.
 
And let me tell you,
I never heard anything sweet
During a pissed off hurricane.
That dang bird knew!
Away it flew
While the winds whistled
 Away my roof.
 
I sure as heck didn’t hear
Some sweet little bird chirpin’
As I froze my ass off in the northeast.
And all I heard as I sweated buckets
Under a southern sun was some damn
Squawking big ass crow.
In fact, I think hope isn’t a bird at all.
 
It might be a well.  That might be more apt.
Yep, wells aren’t dug or drilled deep enough,
Sometimes.
And I would imagine
Much more can go wrong with a well,
Like a pump runnin’ dry.
Oh, hell!  A well can even be poisoned!
 
But this here well,
It’s so dang dry
There ain’t even any mud
At the bottom.
Looks like some cobwebs too.
Whatever it had,
It done dried right up.
 
So whatever hope is--
A bird, a well,
It isn’t always there.
It doesn’t stick around,
Unless you feed it
Before the feathers
Drift,
Before the water
Dries
Away.