Belief needed in the moment–
See diamonds, rubies, sapphires,
Gold, treasures to cherish.
Let the mirror reflect
The lies to eyes
In needing desire.
Do not hold them in harsh sun.
To withstand such blazing light.
Gently bury them deep
Beneath the soil
Of a needing heart
And the damp decay
Of foolish wants.
Let the lies take root
Growing into the very soul.
We tell ourselves,
The truth at bay,
As the lies grow
The rot of hopelessness
Into our very souls.
My daughter, at twenty-one, stands to my right.
The gentleman to my left turns to light my candle.
I do not know him, in that moment he is a friend.
I turn to my daughter, and with the small flame of my candle,
Light the candle she holds.
I lift my eyes to look upon her face and I know.
I feel it within me. A tiny spark jumps back
As I think of my own mother and wonder.
Did she ever look at me and feel that light, that flame inside?
Feel that spark of her soul live inside me?
It matters not what I have left undone:
No trip to Paris, No months spent living in Europe,
No books published, Nothing I wish for is important.
Nothing I long for matters to be lived, matters to be accomplished.
I have accomplished all that truly matters
And I can be at peace with any death
My daughter lives.
You, your perfume, Or something in the scent of you Clogged my nose, My sinuses, My bronchial tubes With fluid like cement, Leaving me no air To live on.
Really, suffocation Never felt so sweet.
You were warmth personified Like fire you fed on the oxygen Whenever you wanted, Wherever you were. But God, it felt like heaven To warm myself near your flames. Until it felt like hell And I burned in the flames, Sucking in nothing but smoke.
This was written after I completed a five mile hike and then picked up a volume of Elizabeth Bishop's poetry to enjoy once again on a sunnyafternoon. My answer to Bishop's poem, One Art.
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 no pain beyond a stab of nostalgia
Did I have upon saying goodbye
To three houses and two cities.
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 hurricane, catastrophic, yes.
But no, no disaster.
Except perhaps, yes, I’ll admit,
A tiny bit of soul eroded
From the waves of each hurricane
Breaking over me as I buried each.
And nothing, nothing did I master.
Except, maybe this—
I did not look for them
Since they were gone,
Emptied of this earth.
Now, there is you and
I look for you
In everything I do--
Every in between time.
I look for you in strangers,
In cars I pass along the street.
I look for you at festivals,
In films I see.
I look for you in places,
In the sky of Ruidoso,
In the eyes of strangers,
I look for you.
I look for you in all this.
And in this thing
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.
This is a blog about my life. It's about much more than living with cancer. It's about reading books, cold water swimming, mothering, eating. All that stuff that people who don't have cancer do. If you're looking for my poems you need to go to fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com