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.


An Autumnal Baptism

Image is my own

Caught in the evening downpour,
I am washed clean of summer.
Summer’s red rock, red dirt dreams
Sluiced from me with this autumnal drenching.

Morning greets me with a cool hand
Of sunshine upon my brow.
Autumn whispers of a harvest
Under skies of bluest topaz.

A clear, clean, honest reaping
In days yet to be had.

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.

Fractured Twilight

Image is my own

https://amanpan.com/2021/07/01/eugis-weekly-prompt-twilight-july-1-2021/

Walking in fractured twilight

Is the smoothest time of light and mind–

A wish made–

To braid reality, this curve of light, with sweetest memory

Thus, so entwined

One begins to hope,

Believing in miracles once again

To spite all fractures made of years.

In the Long Ago So It Goes

image courtesy of istock

 

In the long ago

Youth’s armor

Stripping down fates

In acknowledgements

Of ruined selves

Where someplace we lost

The spare threads

To stitch everything back together

And could never touch another

As we once touched the other,

Letting go dreams

Sprinkled with desires

That only served to choke

The future we swallowed

In gulped decades

While watching dreams

Drift and float like the blown off

Heads of dandelions

Until settling into the

Drudgery of what must be done

In the day to day—

No answers exist when

The only answer is

There be no magic here,

No fairytales, no giants,

No forever’s or an eternity

Yet there be no lies,

No castles built on air,

No innocent beings with wings to rip away

In devilish delight,

No trust found broken

In garbage cans.

 

And so it goes.

 

And so it goes,

In essence,

Neither was what

The other really wanted

Resentments the wooden

Puzzle pieces of a child’s game

Tumbled down over us

In crushing weight

Until only the dust

Of us was left

To be swept away.

 

 

The Embroideress

Image courtesy of picClick
 
 

 

Like some ancient voodoo priestess,

Fears sits and smiles from her rocking chair.

Tilting her gray head to her work at hand,

Fear embroiders in red thread

The narratives of my old scars.

She stitches in orange and green thread

The flowers of my poorly made cobwebbed choices.

She stitches in black thread

The vanquished vines of  all my loss and pain.

She stitches in yellow thread

Her flowers of caution at the edges,

All the while chanting an ancient spell,

Giving her stitched yellow flowers

Magic to steal any power in the air,

Paralyzing– daring the pulse.

 

Fear stitches away in red thread

On the last cloth of daring I’ve left,

And I, I am paralyzed by the stitching made.

 

 

 

The Itch

Image courtesy of Egypttoday.com

https://godoggocafe.com/2021/06/08/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-tuesday-june-8-2021/

Today’s prompt: Write a poem that uses the words “weary”, “nails”, and “mind control”

I weary.

Weary of the white noise

Spitting out layers

Striated stone

Of itching mind control,

Of mica and gypsum

Rough, itchy flakes

Others carved out for me

To keep me in what they

Saw as my place.

My nails worn down, bloody raw

To relieve the itch from time to time

The itch that speaks the words

I know are not true

But still have the power

Of stone to crush the ribs

Of my soul with the weight

Of their damnable tonnage

That I am not enough of anything

Not smart enough

Not pretty enough

Not thin enough

Not good enough

For anything or anyone

Yes, I know—

None of it is true—

The stone skin

I’ve worn down

Over all these years,

The itch rarely there.

But sometimes—

Sometimes—

The itch returns—

Vicious, relentless

Until my nails,

Bloody and raw,

Leave me weary.

Yet still,

Still, I now create

My own place.

Washed

At the Beach – Image by KL Caley

https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/writephoto-beach/#like-5743

( An older poem written in 2015 while in Provincetown, MA.  Revised for this week’s writephoto challenge.)

At sunrise over water,

        Remembering as if in a dream  

The child and you and me

As we stood by a sea

Half a world away.

Both of you now baptized differently by my tears.

 

And for and from you,

I am left with things neither given

Nor felt in years,

 Linked by all the fears

To form over a decade of a life

Lived like a stranger

In my own shrinking skin.

 

I have stood

Since the dawn

At this ocean’s edge

Waiting, waiting.

And now at noon

The rain begins.

Fierce pelting blows

Washing me clean

Of all I know

Or dare to dream.

 

For living continues

Within my own skin

 

Scars of Hope

Image is my own

I gather hardened scars of loss and damage
Braided into keloid beauty
That are not blossoms of bitterness,
But fragrant beauties
That make me who I am.
Even the bars of your barren garden
Called love could not steal away
The essence of my hope.
Instead, the black, barrenness
within sugar syrup words
Of one never able to love
Contain no acid
To eat away
My skin of hope.