I fled from days
of standing under your patchwork roof
offering no protection from the rain,
least of all my own rain pouring out of me,
threatening always to drown in its leave taking.
So I learned to float, flowing along the curves
others presented in my efforts to find
time, love, home,
the back roads where berry bushes
grow in abundance.
Yet I never tasted,
never picked any berries,
fresh off the branches.
Instead, I always found
the snakes hidden, lying in wait
beneath the berry bushes,
for the seeking,
and I, always bitten,
never learned my lessons
of serpents who lay in wait,
or the lessons of Eve,
I still sought,
in spite of the venom,
in spite of the bites—
I found the rains pouring out of me
to travel on
Tag: #starting over
A phoenix rises in flames
From out the left side of my chest
With feathers of flame yet,
Set free to fly where it wills.
One day, it will return,
Nuzzling deep inside my chest again,
All the ashes gone,
All flame having died away,
Its fiery colored feathers
Whispering, singing to my blood
Of beauty seen,
Of tantalizing things touched,
Of all the air breathed, smelled, felt,
Of the sounds soft and harsh heard
All along the way around the earth.
Through the whispered tales
Of those fiery feathers
My blood will tell me
Where I am to go.
Decision on a Birdfeeder
I hesitate in remembrance
as if the fates would choose
a day of gray and leave me there,
as if a blossoming could be had upon
a second visitation to any day.
The creamer clouds disperse and swirl
in my extra strong coffee
like memories of things I wanted–
never had, never attained
all those years ago.
Stirring the coffee still,
I stare out the kitchen window.
Decide against a bird feeder
filled with black oil sunflower seeds.
I do not want cardinals here.
People say cardinals are spirits
of those you’ve lost come to visit you—
No. I want no cardinals here.
No spirits of the lost to visit or say hello.
No twittering or chittering away.
No vibrancy of color outside this window.
No. Not here. Not in this place.
I’d rather this be a spiritless place,
A virgin place, void of spirits, void of touch—
At least for a time
I gave you all my roses,
The many colors I had.
Cut them all from the bushes.
I knew there would be no more,
And I cut them for you.
The last few dozen blooms
I cut them down for you.
The bushes are dead now.
They will bud no more.
I double, triple checked.
The limbs snap crisply in dryness,
Easily between my weakened hands.
No supple green within.
A single snap finishes each limb.
And so finishes each bush.
I am done, a gardener
With nothing left to tend.
The Moon and Narcissus
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.
Images of the year
Drift in my mind
Like so many
In a cold rain.
My blood turns icy
With so much frozen regret.
My dog stops.
We’ve reached a crosswalk.
Unlike me, she’s learned
Her lessons well.
But she reminds me
The years of regret are done,
So we walk on since no traffic comes.
The sun peeks out,
Deciding it’s safe,
She comes out all the way
To warm and cheer us.
My dog looks up at me
And seems to smile.
This year will be done.
Yes, soon, this year will be done.