Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
I don't always choose words.
Over me, they hang
on light, light string.
I catch them like spiders
on threaded webs,
carrying them, wisp and air,
floating past the dust mites
of my over-crowded mind.
I discard some,
at their spidery-ness.
I shy from their unloveliness
and skittering shape and size.
Some words are uncomely;
eight-legged and untimely.
(Not all words are poetry.)
But some are fireflies.
April 1, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I keep watching humanity.
It's usually seen as awful, and messy,
and absolutely confusing.
I usually walk around town with an eye that sees degeneration,
lewdness, and an inherent sense of vulgarity.
And you would think today,
St. Patrick's Day, with its excuses for insatiable beer-lust
and enticing invitations for bawdy, common intoxication would
stir up the indignant prude within me.
Granted, as I walked toward downtown, the awful green shirts
with their fake bow ties and shiny plastic green beads became more
and more unbearable,
and the very volume of harsh, blatant voices
or gutsy laughs and guffaws at comments like,
"You need to tell us where you left the car, in case you can't remember after this!"
definitely grated against the calm, collected soul inside myself.
But before I reached the materialistic, base groupings of humanity
gathered for their personal pleasures and shameless inebration,
there was a sense I had.
I can't seem to voice it without sounding mystic,
but even as I walked through the people,
my moral core flexing against the jeering thrusts of carnality,
I could feel the intense fragility of their lives.
The historic district has a quiet about it,
something I relate to, like my old soul can feel the history,
the genteel propriety, and sighs in a comfortable relief.
I'm not fooled to think that everyone in such lovely houses
as are lovely as the artifices themselves.
But I tend to imagine it's so, and even as I passed an open door,
loud laughter pumping out of those old wooden casements,
I heard that people were alive.
They were probably drunk, or getting there,
and for that, I was sorry. Not because I thought the alcohol was
a poison to them, but because they found it their reason for joy.
The loud voices of the people on the street kept yelling into me,
pulsing into me,
"I'm trying to prove myself! I'm trying to prove I'm fun! I'm trying!
I'm trying to be someone! I'm trying to forget! I'm trying!"
I'm sitting at the park, watching lovely trees softly lean against the air,
hearing children squealing and dogs barking,
watching people run, and bike, and play football uproariously on the grass.
These people are alive.
I know it's not profound, but. . . it is. Because I don't think they really know it.
Because, even as much as they breathe, and move their limbs,
and flirt, and fall against each other, and scrape their knees,
and drink until their bodies vomit, and yell at each other, and march along
in their sweat suits, and Leprechaun hats, and business suits;
for as much as they beat their bodies in exercise,
or drink themselves out of their sorrows,
or walk their babies in pretty little strollers, and trot along with their
toddlers in their little sneakers and tiaras;
for as much as they live, they do not. And for as much as they do,
they don't realize it.
I feel the pulse of living inside of me: a God-given fibre that generates
a tremor that hums beneath the surface of this humanity.
There's a Life-breath, breathing, breathing, breathing. . .
It shakes up the stolid, unmoving, hardened clay of frozen minds
and tips the warmth of Knowing, and purpose, and desire into
the soul until it seeps into the cracks and corners of thought,
and flesh, and want, and heart.
I'm an outsider looking in.
They keep looking at me. I can feel it. I smile, or don't give eye contact,
but they look. The children especially. They look up at me as if they know something,
or are drawn to something, as if they are closer to knowing what I know than anyone.
I hold secrets they don't know. I know the Mystery.
A group of young boys walked by, maybe ten of them,
and the one-- a tall, chubby, oversized boy-- took the time to slow down as he passed
and very politely say, "It's a nice day, isn't it?"
I smiled and said it is.
One ten-year-old boy out of millions,
but there was that spark.
He knew something of kindness, and goodness, and what it is to exchange
life for life, from person to person.
The air is getting colder; the willow is brightening greener
and the bell tower is chiming the half hour.
I'm cold, but I'm unable to move, poised on the top of this sensation.
I am a Seer. Not in the strangeness of psychic mediums,
but I'm the reality of Knowing-- with the Spirit of God inside that whispers,
coaxes, and opens my eager eyes that I may see.
I peer into Life and it peers back at me. It's as if the Earth,
as if the Life-breath inside creation and humanity, winks and smiles at me
as if to say, "You recognize me, don't you?"
It's as if God smiles to see me seeing Him inside what He has made.
I see Him.
I see Him, and I know Him, and I crave Him more and more
with every taste of life that I get into my being.
I see Him in these people-- I see where He is not,
the absence and the emptiness,
the utter worthlessness of their plight outside of His strength.
The boy in the green shirt came back.
He stopped to talk and ask me what I'm doing.
I told him, "I'm writing."
He asked, "What are you writing about?"
I replied, "I"m writing about the day. What it is to be here,
to walk downtown, to see the park; what I'm thinking
His face pulled strangely as if he'd never heard of such a thing.
I asked him, smiling, "Do you ever write?"
He shook his head quickly, "No."
He asked me how old I am, if I was in college or high school.
I replied, "I'm out of school, actually."
He looked a little unsure.
I asked him how old he is. He replied, "I'm thirteen."
I was surprised. Here I thought he was ten.
I suppose we both surprised each other.
He quickly moved away and I was smiling,
only to hear four loud-mouthed boys ask him as they biked by,
"So, what did she say?"
He mumbled something quickly and they started laughing,
yelling back at him, "Thanks, man!" as they pedaled away.
He'd been set up by older, 'cooler' guys.
He had been used to try to be cool by vulgar little brats
who wanted to know more about the lady sitting on the park bench
I'm sure they felt stupid for getting information about a woman
twice their age, but nonetheless,
I was struck.
Even the one lovely moment I had ended up tainted,
the politeness a cover for some dumb, childish, man-boy intentions.
So this is humanity, even its children.
This is what we raise.
And they keep on going and going
Yet I feel the Life-breath breathing.
They just need to come to Life.
March 17, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I will sit here and try to think
of words for you.
And if I don't succeed today,
I will try again tomorrow.
February 1, 2011
. . .
I'll write of you, if I dare,
I will write in words that I can find,
if I can find,
if I can spy,
and when I do, I'll pen them quick
and kiss them well,
for they have been elusive things.
It is a lifetime's endeavour,
specific, and poignant, and ageless.
Words too large would drown you.
Words too small mightn't suffice,
but it's the littlest words that fit into these spaces
(the delicate, trembling,
I have for you.
So I will search them out,
on road signs,
and in library books;
and pages of Scripture;
and in mindless files,
and in root words,
and grammatical text.
I will look for your words
and in postscripts,
and in old shoeboxes;
on discarded magazine piles,
on the backs of poets' receipts;
I'll trace out the stars
and connect the dots;
I'll tip my head and squint my eyes
to find you script
and antique tablature.
I'll listen for you
in childish prattle on the playground,
in my own head's recitations;
in lexical lists I've filed in notebooks
on my dusty shelves.
I will sit inside myself, hours and hours,
I will sit and contrive;
I shall will my mind to dream up terms
and luscious phrase that can compare
to your face,
to our lifetime,
and to this breathlessness.
And if I cannot find you words, my love;
if I burn out this candle and cannot find
a second wind
and all the life inside of my exhales
until the flame is snuffed
like a tiny film of ephemeral smoke,
wisp into the air with my last breath--
if then I cannot find you language, love,
I wrote you sonnets inside myself
on love, and awe, and silence.
February 1, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
It was the quietest thought I have ever had,
tip-toed around the yelling ones;
the ones that spit, "Who, you?"
with spiteful tongues
tipped in doubtful poison.
The storefront windows jeered at me,
telling me they're on my mirror's side.
The dark smear they left, smirking,
"You can't help but look at yourself. . .
now, aren't you disappointed?"
There was the embarrassed blush
when someone comments,
"You sure do take a lot of pictures
all the while, knowing I didn't take pictures
because I think I'm beautiful,
but because I was desperate to prove to myself
that maybe I could be.
The tags on the inside of my clothes
burned numbers into my brain,
telling me even single digits are of
the greatest numerical value,
and I winced as I'd rip them off
to get rid of their weight
only to find the scales were playing
the same game.
I got up in the early morning
to paint my face on,
layering and layering and layering;
the mask that stared back at me
coyly smiled to say,
"It's me they love."
But outside of all that screaming,
there was that voice.
It was small, and still,
and it made me pay attention,
because there were two eyes
that didn't see straight through me,
or past me,
or see nice things "in spite of. . ."
Those two eyes teared up
to hear me admit what I'd been listening to
in all those leering comments
and opinions locked inside my head.
Those eyes spoke silently,
of kisses and good sight and prayers:
he said that I was misled,
appalled that I could think that all
those cruel things could be true.
I still couldn't believe.
And then he stood me in front of the mirror,
his eyes full, and brimming with words
he couldn't even say.
So he didn't say a thing.
He just looked at me in front of that lying
piece of glass,
past the make-up and inches
and my form and waist.
His hands on my hips,
his eyes on mine,
the lovely whisper sighed,
"My mirror can't compare to his eyes.
Maybe I shouldn't believe mine."
and though I didn't see anything different,
the liars went silent.
Those eyes almost cried,
and Beauty smiled.