Pieces of her broke in the waves,
Searching for wildness
In this place she always went to be alone.
She walked along this shore a thousand times
In the dawn and the dusk
As if they were quantities unknown,
And thus, in them, she could discover some truth,
Some faith, some charity, some hope for herself.
Who knew? It had worked before.
She’d walk toward the town with something—
Some small bit piece replenished.
She’d always heard salt was healing,
So she figured she’d rub it in her wounds.
But bloody red and raw
She walks still wounded, broken,
Along the wildness,
Yet not touching it.
She can not find what she lost.
Her wounds chains,
Binding her still
To things she knew illusions.
She waits for the friction of salt
To rub away the chains.
She walks toward the seals in the surf
And on toward the whales in the deep,
Searching for truth or faith or charity
In the wildness of the sea.
I wanted to run among the wild ones.
Live with them among the mountains.
Rub muzzle against muzzle.
Eat sweet grasses.
Enjoy golden warmth upon my back.
Let my soul and spirit rest
Among the trees with the wild ones.
But it was not to be.
My heart could not slow enough
To contain their peace.
And so, I sought the white ones at the sea.
They crashed about restlessly.
Truly wild they were, as they raced continually.
Their cacophonous pacing furious, relentless.
Yes, these wild white stormy ones were in keeping
With my heart, a raging irregular and brutal pace.
Through wisps of thin streaming clouds, The last full moon of the decade Looked down on me and seemed to nod. Why? I’m not sure. I thought and tried to puzzle it out. The decade? Perhaps. Did this last full moon wish me To think about this decade?
What ten years can bring: A wife battling ovarian cancer For her life and loosing; Loosing myself along the way And finding me and loosing me All over again; A profession left in disgust For the pleasure of retirement; A daughter nearly lost and then regained. Talk about water swirling slowly down the drain. But it swirls no longer. The ground leveled. The tub fills. I have finally grown into my skin.
I look to the moon again and she seems to nod Once more. From somewhere, I smell a faint Scent of narcissus. Yes, it would be easy. Play the fool once more and return to that place, find beauty and comfort In blue skies And soft grasses by mountain lake, Breathing in the sweet narcissus scent, Pretending for a little while That everything offered was true. But brimstone to my soul would it be. Leave the blue skies, the soft grasses, the mountain lake, The scent of narcissus behind. This I must do or my soul I would lose.
At sunrise over water, Remembering a dream Of finding ecstasy Within tears, Things neither given Nor felt in years, Linked by all the fears To form decades of a life Lived like a stranger In my own 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.
If only these colored leaves Of red and gold and orange Could be caught, Snatched gently By careful hands To be savored, arranged Somehow preserved, Rather than fall, lifeless Torn from their limbs By careless winds, Shoved to the ground With murderous violence To be trampled and ground to dust Or raked and bagged for trash Or better yet, If only these colored leaves Of gold and red and orange– Could stay filled with life And be always green.
The wind and rain stopped by last night,
Had a few minor temper tantrums outside
As I stood watching from the door.
They slapped the trees limbs around a bit
And kicked at bits of loose trash in the street.
Nothing more violent than that.
No pushing down trees.
No pummeling hail.
Rather calm for a storm.
Yet it killed the heat of summer,
Murdering it without a hint of passion
And ushering in a cold windy day
To begin the fall to winter.
I stand here,
With this cup of coffee,
Mourning a summer
That passed without passion.
This red heart cedar stump, With its dark crevasses And holes where bugs had homes, Was sanded smooth. A urethane finish added for shine And protection. The rings are visible still, Rings that count the years Until the tree fell in a storm, Twisted from the earth By tornadic winds.
Thus, I found it In the yard. Took the chain saw to the tree, Cut it into chunks, Along with the others that fell That day while the dog and I Sought shelter from the storm.
Now I sand and chisel away. Routing out some hearts concave, Bowls to be used for filling At some future date, Now standing empty. Sanding some hearts level, Tables to be used for holding things, Yet these are empty too.
All this red heart cedar, Once stood filled with life, Now stands empty.
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