No Lexicon

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There exists no lexicon

For the echoes of emptiness here–

Where the azaleas bloom

Purple, pink, and white,

While dusty looking

Lavender sends up

Multiple spikes,

As roses yield up

Open, thirsting mouths

To the sky.

Though the soil here

Nourishes color and green

Growing things,

While life appears

Apparently abundant,

Although neighbors smile and wave,

The soil remains absent of truth, of meaning,

Of love—of a spirit—of a soul.

No lexicon exists for the emptiness

Echoing throughout the soil

In this place.

 

Spring Melting

image courtesy of southernexposure.com

Spring threatens to melt into us. 
Summer follows soon enough.

Birds will return, seeking seeds and worms,
Building nests for the young to come.
Will the birds remember the songs they sing?
Songs of summer, songs to mate?

Flowers will emerge, warming their petals 
And leaves under a brilliant sun.
Will they remember how to open
Their blossoms?
Will they remember how to dress themselves
In glorious color?

How can the birds or flowers remember
When the world walks a tightrope
Over the abyss
And sunflowers may never grow again
Tall enough to bow their heavy heads to God?

Masquerade as Spring

Image is my own taken at Houston Arboretum

Leaves half dead brown
half living green dappled
with the gold of hope,
sparkling, dangle from the tree
as if life clutched within
holds a secret 
on this wonderful warm winter
afternoon—
masquerading as a spring day--
joyous—these leaves
reflecting light like crystals
of a fancy chandelier--
yet the leaves,
fragile as they are,
will fall upon the forest floor
with tomorrow’s cold winds
which they cannot withstand
and my heart, like the leaves—
not green enough
to withstand
assaulting winter
but today, today—
chooses to clutch 
at the hope
in this masquerade of spring.

A Cave We Build

Photo by Erika Osberg on Unsplash

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/category/weekend-writing-prompt/

Close the blinds 
against the grey light.
Prepare a cave for the soul 
in cold January
as the wind rages.
Contemplation, prayer
like John of Patmos?
This cave
readied, awaits
the apocalypse
devils wish.

Seven Years of Visits to the Garden

image is my own

Each new year brings 
Now this garden grief
Nourished by regret

Each year, this day, here—
Standing, kneeling, sitting—I
Spend tears, words, wishes

All meaningless now,
In the barren garden grief
Flowers never bloom

Seven years gone now--
Nothing roots, though it has tried,
In the garden grief inside

The Woman Who Remembered the Taste of Apricots

Courtesy of brighterblooms.com

First published in Pinecone Review’s Be Proud With Pride edition


The woman lied to herself.
Said life is not had without hope,
Believing hope resided within her chest
Just under the bones,
As she remembered the taste
Of fresh apricots,
The sweetness of their juices
Bursting in her mouth,
The texture of their pulp
Playing against her tongue—
She remembered—
Fresh apricots 
During the weeks of summer
In the year the earth awoke,
Stretching and yawning,
Turning as if 
To bring sunrises closer
And hold sunsets dear—
That summer the girl,
Holding beating hope,
Emerged from the cracks forming 
In the left side
Of the woman’s chest.
Thus, the woman who lied
About holding onto hope,

Crumpled and died,
Shriveled like the over-ripened apricots
On the ground beneath the tree in your yard.
The girl, holding hope, emerged
Laughing with joy at all the smiling
Universe seemed for once to offer up
In the taste of apricot flesh
And the sweet juice that quenched thirst
After years of waiting want.

The earth tilted back, turning once again,
Withdrawing from sunrise and sunset.
Then the apricots were gone.
Picked, fallen to the ground,
Nibbled by birds and squirrels.
The girl, who held hope, 
Shrank down, curling into a fetal position,
Within the dead woman who lied
About having hope and who
Was now revived, resuscitated,
Like a cannibal feeding off a beaten enemy
Of faith, of pain, of living hope,
By the now shrunken head like girl,
Who had held beating hope 
That could beat no longer
As the revived woman remembered
Always—
The taste, the feel of the flesh of fresh apricots.





When the Familiar Dies

Image courtesy of TheSpruce.com

She walks to the end

of dark uncurling days

at the edge of the earth,

witnesses the new day

split open–

petals soft,

beautiful.

She’d give it to herself

could it be contained,

arranged within some vase,

held within her hands,

that cannot hold

such flowering strength.

She breathes in hope,

taking it deep into her lungs

where oxygen mingles

with blood and becomes one—

a seed took root in the moment

as all things familiar to her die.

 


The Gift of Mercy

Image courtesy of Pinterest

The jigsaw puzzle of mercy

fell to pieces today.

 

The dogs saw it crumble,

alerting me before I could

gather, prepare, ready–

anything—

For this, this seeming simple thing.

 

The dogs ran, back hair bristled—

I ran after,

yelling, yanked their collars—

the dogs listened, stood back, panting.

All the construction of houses around us stopped

it seemed for a moment—

for a moment only us—

the four of us—

my two dogs, one on each side of me,

standing back, as they’d been told,

me, and the small bird now in my hands.

 

I had not stopped to grab anything—

no gloves, no towel—

had not thought of viruses, bacteria—

this bird was still alive—

limp, though nothing seemed broken,

yet its eyes wild.

I held it lightly,

thinking it stunned

it would surely fly off—

just stunned is all–I thought—

just a moment,

give it a moment, it would fly.

It had to fly.

By God, this ordinary grayish brown bird,

shaking, breathing hard in my hands, had to fly.

The bird closed its eyes—

It would not fly—

I knew it then—

 

I would have to gift it– mercy,

and so did what needed done—

Broke its neck in two.

 

No. No. It doesn’t help to know

I put an end to its suffering.

 

But I learned mercy makes for easy talk,

yet it is a suffering thing to do.

 

Questions

Image is my own

Originally written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Challenge- Using Question in exactly 84 words but I didn’t get back to edit it down until today.

Questions hang in the air
Like heavy coastal fog
On cool autumn mornings

Eternal questions of humanity:
All the whys, the wonderings--
Never answered prayers--
Laying pressed between the
Pages of a book like brown,
Dried flowers—forgotten,
Having lost their sentiment.

Speak the differences
Among roses, weeds, wildflowers—
Inconsequential answers
For inconsequential questions.

Could sense of counting
Out the hours be sliced 
Like blood, blooming meat
To find truth absolute
Like high priestesses of old,
Scry the answer 
In a blood filled bowl?



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.