Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Beautiful View

I spent most of my life judging people
putting them in boxes
with neatly written labels
in my best cursive handwriting,
storing them in basements
and locking doors behind me.
I spent years
wrapping caution tape
around anyone that dared
to claim they knew Truth,
and when the tape ran out
I used my prejudices
and glue.
But I see now that Truth
is not an endpoint
or a destination on a worn
and faded map
Truth is the path,
and it can only be traveled alone.
It is dark and overgrown,
with creatures that howl in the night
and we must all create
our own light
So we arm ourselves
with religion,
with law,
with horoscopes,
with science,
and the path becomes clearer
though there is no end in sight.
There is no single Truth,
we all must walk our own paths
though winding
and steep
and no matter how tired,
we must never stop
But oh God,
what a view
it will be from the top.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Warmer Weather



These winter nights
whisper words that would freeze
even the warmest love in its tracks
and we have been listening
to this cruel season
like Gospel
You’re shivering but
I’m unable to give you any sort of warmth
-When did I get this cold?
It feels like I have been buried for centuries
I am still like the aftermath
of a storm that buried us both,
listening to the wind rattle the
windowpanes, listening to your dreams
rattle against your eyelids,
your fingers twitching slightly
against my thigh
I am patient
I wait for
the warming and thawing,
the wide yawns and dawn stretching
across the sky,
into me once again,
your eyelids softening,
the divine Spring
bringing me to you every
bird-song laced morning
the sunlight pouring into
our bedroom, melting
these icy bodies
Oh Darling, wake up
the world is coming alive again!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

African Song

africa refuses to be silent
to be smothered under pavement
roads and buildings crumble
and yield to ancient voices
below

they sing for the sunrise
(a celebration)
and for the rains and moon
and for you
though you do not hear
the song clearly
after all this time

it is in a language long forgotten

but sometimes, if you listen
very closely
your ancient self
remembers
and stirs

and your heartbeat becomes a drum

and you hum softly with the voices
as you bathe in another

   rising sun

Friday, September 5, 2014

Untitled

I witnessed our fear of 
impermanence while in the Rocky Mountains
the trees called out in unnatural languages
and as I passed them, I gently ran my hands 
over years of desperate etchings by Man
and I wondered how many beautiful things 
we must mangle before we feel 
remembered

It is not enough to merely live,
we must leave a legacy of something,
even if it's only destruction

We all try to be immortal in one way or another
as our flesh decays
more noticeably every day
and we will all carve our names in the earth 
and call it a gift,
and we will scratch our initials
into each other's bones and call it love
so that we will never completely disappear
even after we turn to dust
and we pray to our gods that this will be enough

(These words are borrowed,
though I call them mine
and I will gratefully fade with them in time)


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nine ways to leave a lover that wasn't meant for you*

      1.) Quietly
in the still hours of the morning
when his house is empty and dark
you will leave the door unlocked
but take your heart back from where it rested,
tangled in his bed-sheets

2.) Regretfully
your time together a weight that will drown you
you know that there are never any life-jackets
in this kind of love
never any guarantees
you will not get back what you gave
despite what the return policy reads

3.) Happily
with smiles and promises
with the kind of love that sits at the center
and radiates
with the confidence that your bodies will
fit together again one day
with the unwavering belief in fate

4.) Jealously
knowing that with every day he will fall
more in love with her
and you will fade like an old picture in a wallet
behind credit cards and old hotel keys
soon your features will blur and you will resemble
every other girl who broke his heart
and she will make him happier than you

5.) Fearfully
with the creeping feeling that you will not exist
when he no longer loves you
and with every mile you drive away,
you know that you will be less real
so you stay a little longer
and kiss him harder
but you are already starting to disappear

6.) Quickly
with haste and sharp movements
cold and mechanical goodbyes
you will not cry
you will not cry
it is done and sealed and you must leave
this will be as hard as it seems

7.) Hatefully
the resentment burning a hole
in what you thought was love but
turned out to be only an act
so you exit stage right
his tender goodbyes will feel like knives
even the way he closes the door behind you
softly
will feel like a lie

8.) Desperately
on your knees, begging for him to save you
from something that you can’t even name
something that has been chasing you since
the very first day
you ask for impossible things
and can’t help feeling like if you were a little
different, 
a little better,
he wouldn’t let you leave

9.) Finally
with the book closed
you will drive away and you will not look back
until you know you will not see him in the rearview mirror
and you will sleep alone, cold in the evening shadow
of temporary love
knowing with a heavy heart that he will not call


*Or perhaps you will not leave at all

Sunday, June 8, 2014

While Wandering (Reflections After a Shamanic Journey)

I was roaming the earth,
moving lightly and
making temporary homes out of paper maps
and travel plans

when Jasmine invited me to sit

she welcomed me with arms
of fragrant vine, and l laid near her
under the summer sky

I thought I heard whispers;
something about cultivation
something about growth and time

I touched her delicate white flowers
like the porcelain skin of a newborn child

I inhaled the perfume of the wisest mother

and in the ancient language of Gaia,
Jasmine spoke to me:

she told me that her flowers are the gift
but not the lesson

they are the form but never the essence

she asked me to touch the place where
she grew from the soil

I felt the energy course
through my body from deep within
the earth’s womb

and then I grew roots so that I could bloom.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Lament in Early Spring


I don't look into your eyes
because I don't want to get lost
The world spins so fast
and we don't last very long
and the last time I looked deeply
into someone's eyes
I missed an entire season

Before, there were leaves scattered all over the ground
and after, the snow was melting
I don't especially like winter
but it was unsettling

The stillness that I sense in you
makes me shiver, even now
in Spring
and here's the thing:

there is not enough time
for me to be missing seasons 

but you feel like summer rain
and you hum in the morning
like birdsong
and you touch me like I am made of flower petals
delicate, like snow kissing the ground

I think that maybe the best parts of the seasons 
are just underneath your skin
and they make you glow
and I'm lost again

Monday, March 10, 2014

Animal

1.
We saw a show on the Discovery Channel
and that night I dreamt of wolves with green-fire eyes
tearing, ripping, feeding
in the morning your back was bleeding

2.
I want to rip up the pavement with my bare hands
and feel the damp earth between my fingers
I clench my hands into fists
and try not to listen to the false sounds of my footsteps
I think about recipes and grocery lists

3.
We drink wine out of paper cups
the vein in your forehead pulses
I pulse with it
our lips and teeth are stained red
I wonder which one of us is the prey tonight

4.
On the news we see that a man was attacked by a wild animal
I am quiet
you clear your throat
we scrape the caked mud from the floor
and wash our hands for dinner

5.
I hear calls from the forest at night
taunting, summoning
making shadows dance on our walls in the moonlight
you pretend to sleep but I can feel your body humming
we chain each other to the bed with our arms until dawn

6.
How can you believe that we are more than animal?
we stand at the precipice and swallow our howl.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Path


I make spontaneous decisions to prove
That I have free will

I turn left when I should turn right
I take the road less traveled
I abandon the road altogether and read the stars like maps

Acutely aware of routine,
I believe I have found a way to resist
I destroy myself only to create a new existence

But there is a path that I must take;
To leave it is to step into darkness
And denounce the light

I think I have always been fond of the night,

So I turn around and walk against the future
To start over, to forge a new path
But I am no architect

I see the first star being born
I learn this is how the path was formed
There is no other way

I turn and walk forward again

I think I finally understand.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gift


Poetry is not just read,
it is a breath through every pore
it wraps around nerves
and vulnerable skin
and protects the
essence

It is not just words,
it is the inhale that spreads
and expands and
burns behind the eyes
and it is the exhale
that calms the
troubled mind

Poems are worn
like fleece to keep warm on
nights when the moon threatens
to turn bones to ice
and armor when stares are
like daggers and 
knives

Poetry is not just written;
as soon as pen marks page
it is given

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shelter

I am a builder of expectations and 
exploring each other
on wind-strewn beaches

I am a builder of whispers
and words trying to explain in
less vulnerable ways:
love, 
love, 
love

I am a builder of days spent
curled into each other
like yin and yang

I am a builder of impossible plans

of hands that fit perfectly together,
of weekends spent hidden under blankets,
of the way you hold me when I sleep

I am a builder of moments,
I am a builder of promises,
I am a builder of everyone that has
ever loved me

I do not know what I am building,
but it shelters my pride

and I think this must be the way that the
weak survive

but when it finally crumbles, 
there will be dust in my eyes,
and I will be alone, 
among the rubble and the lies