Orchid

Image courtesy of Orchidresourcecenter.com

My militant mind reels,

victorious over sleep,

now warring with the words—

I grapple, attempting to find

the right ones,

the ones I left behind in dreams

or at war with other chores,

so in these early hours,

during a brief cease fire,

I stop

watch the sky

begin to pink

in the east.

I do not want to wish

yet it is easy,

to think

to want

to believe

I have Samson’s strength

to break this encasement

of fear of longing,

this fear of loss.

Others say

nothing ventured

nothing gained —

I used to think that way

before the drought

came and withered

hope away before

any intercession

could be made

and that thing

inside became like

the stalks of an orchid

shedding the petals of spent,

exhausted blossoms,

thin and dry as parchment paper,

falling, drifiting to the floor,

leaving the stalk empty.

I may wish to reach my hand,

twitching with something

resembling longing,

to the eastern horizon,

where I imagine you

warm and dreaming still

but fear cements me still,

fear of longing

fear of loss

for that place inside

cradles no hope

for green stalks

holding buds

yielding blossoms.

 

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.







 

 

 

 

 

Hardened Earth

Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

dry, drought ridden earth

riddled with cracks inches wide

forms chasms decades deep

 

layered in dry dust

rising as rain pelts away,

determined to flood

 

chasms, erasing all cracks

but this earth is too hardened

unyielding to any rain,

seeking to soften hard soil

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.

Turn It All Back

Image courtesy of Jon Tyson on Unsplash.com
Marshal forces
Of the earth, moon, orbits of planets,
Laws of time,
All we hold mighty and true,
Stop everything in its tracks,
Turn it all back
Before the start of any of it,
Falling away,
Marshaled from memory.

No Art (Revised)

.image courtesy of istock.com



I first wrote this a few years ago after reading Elizabeth Bishop’s work once again.  Well, after revisiting Mary Oliver and gaining familiarity with Pablo Neruda this summer, I once again returned to Bishop’s work and then had to re-watch Reaching for the Moon.  So I decided to dig this one out and tweak it and revise.  

In this thing called losing,
Bishop said we become masters
And that losing isn’t a disaster.

No, not a disaster.
Losing socks and such stuff.
I’ve lost earrings, bracelets,
Expensive ones too, didn’t care
Beyond maybe a minute or two,
And never was it a disaster.

And no pain beyond a stab of nostalgia
Did I have upon saying goodbye 
To three houses and two cities,
And never did I feel it a disaster.

And yes, it was no disaster
To bury my mother, 
A father who really wasn’t,
The man who really was,
First one brother, then the other,
Then lastly, a wife.
With each, my body and soul
Savaged by a catastrophic hurricane, yes.
But no, no disaster.

No disaster is it, I’ll admit, 
For a tiny bit of soul to erode
As I buried each.
But nothing, nothing did I ever master.

Except, maybe this—
I did not look for them-
Looking to forget them
Since they were gone,
Emptied of this earth.

No, I did not look to forget
While driving home
In darkness under a full moon
Lighted with regret
Of a new unfamiliar scent.
Yet the swirling of this sad scent
Is no, no real disaster.

No real disaster is it—
That I look to forget
A lost return now.
A return to life
Captured, fleeting, lost--
Filled with a scent 
Of hope or a fool’s thought—
Matters not but now lost.
And in this thing
Called losing, 
In which I am well-schooled,
As are we all, 
I have tried to make an art,
To make an art of all this loss.

Yes, this may be no real disaster,
But Bishop lied.
There is no art in losing,
No art at all,
That I can find to master.


First Day of May

Image courtesy of Givingcompass.org

 

Winds and rains came today.

I tried to follow the trail

They made.

But on this first day of May,

I was not strong enough–

To let the wind take me,

To allow pelting rain to abrade away

All my accumulated grime.

No freedom could I find

Within this day of winds and rains.

Rope

Image courtesy of Etsy

Endless mantra of your obsessive need–

Recited daily, hourly, till a rope twined,

Weaving a noose around me.

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/weekend-writing-prompt-172-endless/

Of Need and Desire

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
https://scvincent.com/2020/08/06/thursday-photo-prompt-fantasy-writephoto/

So very willingly,

I placed my head into danger’s toothy mouth

When I climbed the Pilgrim’s stairs–

Until dizzy from the height,  

And the steepness of the effort–

All done to look upon

A pure crystalline blue sky

Caressing a sapphire sea—

A fantasy of need.

Charms

Image from BBC Culture- The Strange Power of the Evil Eye

Serrated edges of your secrets

Sliced open my chest long ago.

Yet, I carried those secrets

Across the borders of decades.

I guarded those secrets like gemstones.

I wore them as talismans,

Good luck charms, rubbing each

Like burnished bronze of ages old.

Why have I kept them so?

I do not know.