Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Did He?

Did he tell you of tonality
and tangled chords and cords
of strings and symphonies
he bore like these new songs
you try to keep from singing?

Did he?

Did he hold your hand and
let his small heart fast unwind
its boyish words and write
his love, like poetry, upon your own?

Did you see his grace and form,
his hands fine tools for finer crafts,
the lilt, his choices, delicate,
or did you fast and firm react?

Did you tailor him to fit, or
did he fit a tailor you can't
control; a million joys you
could have had, unsaid instead?

Did you?

Did you file each word
and tuck his letters in a pile,
a while spaced between your thoughts
and further conversation?

Did he spill his fears of faithless-
ness and fraught with questions asked,
or did you stake the doubts to death;
consoled, dissolved, and conquered it?

Did he turn a glance, an eye, and back,
and did you follow it; follow it back to his heart
that aches, or did you judge and lose it?

Did he? Did you?

Did he try to paint the walls
the colour of a beauty, marked
with life of art and feelings far
from what you like to cover?

Or did he get to settle in with
you, his twists and turns entwined,
and sign his name like yours, the same,
but with his own embellishment?

January 28, 2009

Sick in Bed, final draft

in fluff and in pillows,
my comforter,
my Comforter,
and a blanket on my window.

Brown-tone light
lazes, hazelnut dreams,
thick cream blankets
make me sigh and I

Waking and sleeping
go liquid, and mix,
downed in hot drink
like milk and cinnamon.

You're the blind on my window,
keeping inside in,
and you guard me with kisses
and cups of tea,
never shy of infection,
your soft lips please,
with your cool cheek on mine,
a consistency.

Murmur of voices
pull me out of the dreamed,
push me back ‘til the edges
are crinkled and steamed

and I wake,
yet I sleep,
all sugar and spice;
my bed holds the flavour
of grave and of life,

and I wake to your fingers
lacing through mine:
I’m the chill in my bones;
you’re the warmth in the wine.

I dream like I'm fading
and coming to life:
as my young body aches
like I'm aged, and I sleep,
it's all movement and sitting,
like old man and wife,
and I sleep as if nothing else
matters to me.

Sleepless, I'll sleep
in my half-wakened state
you’ll be there,
you’ll be there,
with a touch at my Wake.

And I’ll wake,
as the mourners pray;
dead never dreamed—
your tender hand holding
the healing I need.

Tucked under covers,
I taste of the Sweet:
A case of you, soothing
my waking and sleep.

January 27, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sick In Bed, draft 1

I'm quite comfortable,
with sleep and the feeling
of fluff and of pillows,
and the cool side of the sheets.
And I hang a blanket over
the window,
brown-toned light makes
me drift and sigh and. . .
illness makes dreams

and dreams reality
until waking and sleeping
are liquid and warming,
downed like a mixed drink
that swallows like warm milk
and cinnamon.

You're the blind on my window,
keeping inside in,
and you guard me with kisses
and cups of tea,
never shying away
from infliction of infection,
with your cool cheek on mine
and your sweet consistency.

I dream like I'm fading
and coming to life:
it's all movement and sitting,
like an old man and wife,
as my young body aches
like I'm aged, and I sleep,
and I sleep like there's nothing else
that matters to me.

I dream of walking down a road,
but never getting anywhere.
But the 'never anywhere' feels
like a comfort. And I dream
of you talking, and my home that
isn't my home, but the yellow walls
seem usual.

Taking my shoes off when I go outside
seems practical;
driving my car around the same bend
seven times seems
Repeating the same syllable over to
get it right feels rational.
Dreams are delusional.
So I dream.

And I've fallen in love with a blanket,
and it responds with tenderness,
wrapping my coldness in pelted, fuzzy
warm; like you stay in my arms
when I dream.
I get well to the murmur of voices,
and smiles I can't see,
and the one line of poetry tripping over,
and over,
"Because I could not stop for death--
he kindly stopped for me. . ."

I hear four notes played in succession,
on repeat with coda and then
I somehow mix the poem with the music
'til it wakes me, still driving me mad.
But I'll sing myself silly,
and sleepless, I'll sleep in my half-wakened state
and you'll be there,
like a hug or a touch at my Wake.

And I'll wake, like the mourners have prayed for,
as so many dead never have dreamed:
for my bed holds a sweet resurrection,
and your soft hand the healing I need.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"The Shadow Proves The Sunshine"

"Sometimes it takes a storm to really know the light:
the scent of rain, the weight of the clouds pulling down the sky.
Sometimes it takes a storm to know how you feel. . . .
. . .The way a cloud divides sometimes; the clearing and the blue.
I love you." -Fernando Ortega


"If only everything was black and white," we've heard it said.

And then the storm rolls in.

Dark. Sooty grey clouds, coating the inside of the sky and riddling the pavement with black spots. Rain-soaked and dismal, the view becomes rather grey.


There is no colour so forlorn to me as grey. It drivels and complains and hangs its head; it snuffs out candles in smoldering plumes; it blankets colour leaving it lifeless and dull. I'd much rather darkness come and take me into Blackness completely.

And since Light is far gone and does not promise its return, we start asking for the Darkness-- better go all the way than stay in the middle. Let it thunder! Let it pour! Let it rattle my bones, and soak me through, and succumb to something of movement and invigorating power rather than something with no force, no vibration, no infusion of anything. And the storm comes.

Everything hovers. The air pulses; leaves quiver; every particle seems to tremble. It's awakening! It's enlivening! It's. . . over. And all that falls for days, and days, and days, and days is rain.


Night is black, and follows the evening storm. It's rumpled and wrinkled, drenched in water, shrivelled like a prune. It's old; it's new. It's clean and cold and. . . dark. And there it is. Black and rain and night; black and rain and night.

And it stays. It stays and waits, and when it sees us tire of day after day of windshield wipers, and wet shopping bags, and frizzy hair, and soggy shoes-- it stays. Dark and rain and night. Even in "day", it's dark and rain and night. No black, but dark.

And grey.

That grey.

That grey. . . turns an odd shade of gold. It hints. Remember light?


Mmm, day. Day, when we could see clouds as individual puffs, and frosty blue between them, so crisp it looked like it would snap! like a clean sheet hanging out on the line, drying in sunny warm air. Hot sunshine would heat our heads and make us yawn and smile and sleep in hammocks, or stretch out on the prickly grass, or lie down under the trees. Trees that didn't droop with water droplets and annoyingly drip & smudge our glasses, or crack and smash their branches into windows and parked cars. Trees that sway, with that amazingly musical rushing sound, like water in the distance-- but water that is too far away to bring the rain.

Indigo blue and golden sunsets that would blaze over wheat fields, and streams of sunlight that would glisten off the waters and the ice-encrusted trees: Light that pricked its stars in night skies and trickled through my hair like liquid gold when I napped under the open window. How easily we forget and take for granted. How simple and so sweet; so present it is. Light flashes with its own magnificence and yet, most often, sifts and drifts and stays, so understated.


It splits a cloud and suddenly, we feel like we've been given air. Dismal grey, coal black; every raincloud meets its doom in our minds as soon as one little ray breaks through. Shadows fell too long. Light came back.

I've missed you.

Hope sparks. We shake off the gloom, and tombs are seen as tombs. Life means something; darkness is exposed. What was taken for granted is reposed and returns unexpected. It is proved by the shadow, and shadows are proved by the light. One can finally see-- why didn't we see it before?

I love you.

That's what it was, but it was covered in grey. Light needs its shadows. Love needs its distance. Healing needs its pain.


It's a brand new day.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Butterfly : A Song

I wrote this a year and a half ago, but it has been going through my head the last few weeks. Butterflies may seem a highly cliche metaphor, but I can't help relating to it nonetheless.


The cocoon is
tightening now,

There’s no room

in it now.

You’re afraid
you don’t know how
to let it go.

Butterfly, butterfly
butterfly, butterfly

You don’t remember
what it’s like:
the world outside,
the world outside.
It was such
a hard climb
you forgot
about the sky.
You did, didn’t you?

Butterfly, butterfly
better fly, butterfly

No more of the grass is greener.
Watch the sky, you will see her

flutter by,


let her by: butterfly.

Never meant to be pinned.
More than a beauty,

wings were meant for this


October 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Strange Sensations

Reading old journal entries is an eerie experience for me at times. It gives the allusion of omniscience. I know what follows.

Happy entries are dear to read, yet make me cry when I know the sorrow that follows. The sorrowful pages make me smile to know what joys will soon come. I see where I'm about to get crushed; where I think I'm already strong; and where I will be surprised by joy. Ironically, the feelings I encounter when re-reading such usually run opposite to those on the page.

And no matter how old I get, I still see a little girl in every line.

I think that's why I stopped journalling a year ago. I found it embarrassing and absurd to go back and see what I thought wasn't real and what was real I didn't see. (I have some sort of complex, to see that I am wrong: even though no other eyes will probably ever read them, I myself blush to see my own naivety or crude mistaking of situations.)

Yet, if I read past my first inclinations, such entries help me see growth and know I am changing: even changing in ways I did not see until reading of this girl yet unchanged. Life is about such moments: it is what we are made of.

And God knows this is what it is to be human. He smiles over my ignorance as I do: He cries when He knows what I will have to face. He knows.

It's just so odd for me to sit from His view and read my life from outside-in: to watch my life in retrospect.

It's strange to relive one's life on a page. But I suppose that is what writers do.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Settle down inside myself,
I sit and you,
sit too.

Rest my head,
my weary, weary. . .
but not so weary with you.

And I will keep you
right there.
Just there,

(neat little boxes
strewn on the floor;
untidy feelings
left at the door)

'til comfort leans
toward me once more
and proves that it

is you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fell Swoop

You tripped the line that got my heart,
you found the spot and took me down,
for only you could say the words again
and get me now.
You and all your catching ways,
you weave around my heart and say,
and say that you will come, my love,
and be my love someday.
You make every line awake,
for every soul must take a piece of another
down with it.
You took me down again today.

One fell swoop, one felling strike,
the timber creaked and fell tonight,
the forest shook under the might
as it was burned in firelight.

You take me in; you capture me,
the sidewalk takes me aimlessly,
and Wond’ring pours my coffee cup,
steeps my soul and fills it up
and I wonder at this fact that catches me.

One surprise, one word you said
and things came waking from the dead.
The thoughts that fall out of my head
are caught inside my heart instead.

Don’t take me down too easily;
your eyes can still speak wordlessly.
I do not trust a single thing; do not trust
the days I leave and do not trust the days
I keep.
I do not know which way is right,
to want the tree or firelight.

Aches are burning, feelings turning,
back inside our habitat.
Too easily I’d fall for that
and wisdom says to leave it here
and do not wake a love that seers,
but hearts are cold without a flame
and flames are made to live again
in embers that have stayed the same
though mine were cold
and nearly dead.

If I turn and choose to stay
I know that I won’t move away.
So much for that old yesterday;
it just became my new today.

Breaking glass, it can’t be put
back into one piece again,
and circling will bind my song
and another’s heart and then…

there’s still only one face I see
waiting in the aisle for me,
under the ancient canopy,
no other there to wed with me.

The air is cold and Autumn’s come,
and being tired runs me down,
these are thoughts deep in my mind
dropped back into the space of time.
My finger tremble with the key
glist’ning brass & gold and saying
“Throw me away or hold to me,”
the choice is mine and mine to be.
You drive in deep, suffer my sleep,
break out the tomb I’d left as was,
cried my widow’s tears because
I died
and left my love inside.

All my flowers turn and fade.
Yes, I live and yes I’m brave,
but all my life’s a solemn grave
to live so wise and live so safe.

Willows flurry, flurries snow,
I’m lost inside this space & rain,
my hands are cold though never once
did we ever hold them; touch.
But seasons run me through and say,
wait for me just as I wait
and ask again some other day
what we can never ask today.

October 3, 2008


I've discovered a love for roads travelled;
they're enough for me to say,
(since they bring such dear friends homeward,)
I love a holiday.

The yellow lines down on the asphalt
seem dull with hours passed,
but they are lines trailed, long and ribboned,
that lead to home at last.

The cold may set in our bones, and
though they do not long for such,
if it brings you to this doorway,
then, indeed, it matters much.

November 8, 2007

Boys & Girls

There’s no space inside these places;
the cupboard’s small,
and I’m too tall to duck inside
and somehow hide.

The little boys are making faces;
I watch them smirk
and start to lurk to find me there
where it’s unfair.

I’m rather mad they make me squeal;
their fingers poke
and make a joke as though my scream
will crown them king.

I cannot say just how I feel;
I claim the swing
and softly sing as they walk by
all looking sly.

Sometimes there’s one who’s sometimes shy;
he slightly smiles
and girlish trials feel like they’re just
a girlish must.

The other boys are throwing grass;
he joins right in
the feuding men, for they all see
the girl in me.

They run for food and I am left;
the prickly grass
has made a mess up in my hair
and settled there.

I get back on the empty swing;
I might have fussed,
but I half blushed for just a while
to see him smile.

October 15, 2008


If life turns circles, I will grind
the wheel until it’s turned full-round;
If walking opposite will find
me back from losing you to found,
then I will work until I’m shown
the moon in day; the Spring gone brown;
the antonyms synonymous
where down is up and up is down.

I’ll work to where I left you off
and leave the ache inside my chest,
if putting feeling in a box
and saving it is truly best,
then I will do it best I can
and leave you to the valiant rest
if you will fight and tell me that
you will try and clean this mess.

If cruel is but a way to feel
the subtle brush of something kind,
if crushing pain is just to seal
the healing beauty in its lines,
then I will bear it with some strength
and tuck it deep inside my mind
until the seasons weep and break
and make some sight out of the blind.

October 21, 2008

Thursday, January 1, 2009

You Must Think of Me

When you go down the sidewalks,
grey-ish and cracked,
and the filmy store windows
don't reflect back anyone but yourself;
wind whips your hair,
I'm not there,
and it's felt:
you must think of me.

When you're pouring your coffee,
strong; piping hot,
and you find that there's more than
one cup in the pot as you set out two cups;
it's a mistake,
and you shake
off the crumbs;
you must think of me.

When you're saving your seating
there at the play,
and you count out an extra seat
quite by mistake, and you've taken two programmes;
script lines are felt,
no one else
you must think of me.

When you're sitting there musing
yourself 'round the globe
and the aging of time has you
living alone, just to frequent this park bench;
foreign or home?
you don't know
which is which:
you must think of me.

When you're juggling grocery bags,
car keys, and lists
and you flick on the light to see
what you have missed on the caller ID;
there the light blinks
and you think. . .
your heart beats:
you must think of me.

When you're facing a closing door,
watching for light
to come on in the windows and
pull up the blinds, for a sign to come in;
When you need to dream,
when you seem
at an end:
you must think of me.