the pen

If I could give you anything,
anything at all, it would be a pen.
One you wouldn’t lose, no matter how hard
you seemingly tried to do so.
I would give you a pen which wrote in any
color you imagined at the moment.
With this pen, with any words you put down on paper,
you would feel heard and understood
and not so alone–
with those words sitting there all lined
up in your favorite color du jour,
reflecting your very thoughts,
you soul would tell its story.

By writing it all down
with this pen
your heart would be glad and
your mind would be eased
and peace would come to you.

That peace that comes from finding another
who says, “me too”
and echoes what weighs on your very being,
baring itself and revealing
your own beauty to you,
shining back in your eyes
and you can’t help but love her
and you

and in that moment
you will be free
and soar above the wreckage that
tries to pull you
down

write your words
and know
you are
never
alone

and
you
are
loved

it is written
and so it is so

Italian_quill_and_ink

“Italian quill and ink” by Clementina – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

the petals on the ground

on this first day of spring
I remember vividly another beautiful spring day
walking beneath the towering cherry blossom trees
dressed up in their pink finery
so full that they blocked out most of the sky
that was a brilliant blue with only
a few of the fluffiest clouds

I held the hand of the girl who walked
and he carried on his shoulders
the girl who was quite new
in six short months she’d filled our hearts with joy
and our lives with stories

these two girls who were and are my world

the little one looked up at the blooms above her and laughed
that deep gurgly laugh of the very small ones
and to this day I wonder
if that is why she so loves the pink

this one born in the land of the rising sun
all those years ago
as she rode on her Daddy’s shoulders
smiling down at the one whose hand I held

and our feet landed on the petals on the ground
as step by step we made our way to this spring day
half a world away

Cherry_Blossom_(4524817941)

By THOR (Cherry Blossom) [CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]

pollen painting

img_1772

the rain came and washed away the pollen

or so we thought

until the wind nudged the leaves along the sidewalk a bit

disturbing them in their slumber where the rough storm had left them be

 

and there underneath was the brightest yellow

where all had collected and gathered

protected

beneath the leaves

as the storm passed

and the day began

 

a perfect painting of what once was

and would not be again

 

 

 

 

for all the tables

where does the table go?
he asked
I barely remembered his name,
Joe or John or J-something–
he’d shown up with the others,
the ones they’d sent to do the job

the table? I replied,
stalling for time
wishing for more of it, so much more time

the table whose surface told
our story
the blonde wood glowing in the dimming light of evening

the fork marks from an excited toddler
banging his utensil up and down
overeager for that next bite

the pencil marks that were never quite
completely erased
from one report or another
or perhaps that year of Algebra II

the surface of it still cool to the touch
just as it was all those times
I lay my head on it, my face hot from the tears
I’d cried
I can’t remember all the reasons now

but today I know why they fall,
all the memories etched into its surface
and the time has come to let it go

time to open my fist and stop holding on
to all the things
and find comfort in the memories
playing non-stop inside my head
and heart

and while some of them are muted
and a tad out of focus

I can still feel the cool of the table
long after the the sun has set
and the truck pulls away

and the door is closed one last time

 

table photo

Foto Wolfgang Pehlemann [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons

closer than they appear

“objects in mirror are closer than they appear”
it says
and as the people press in around me
and the bar drops down to signal
the ride is about to start
I begin to suspect that the same is
true
for all those all around

closer

than they appear

because there is less to separate us
than most would care to recognize

and with the first click and jolt
the ride begins
and my breath is taken away

I reach for the closest hand
to know I am not alone
and that the past is not as close
as it may appear

we can leave it behind us
in this moment
and change its course

for the better

together

rear view mirror

By Axel Schwenke from Meschede, Deutschland CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

holding my hand

if we are all, as the writer Ram Dass says,
walking each other home
then I am so thankful that you are here
to listen when I laugh and when I cry
to take in my stories
and keep them safe

and when I lose my way,
it is you, always you,
who gently takes my hand,
just as you did when I was little–
I do remember–
and walks me back down the dirt road
to the little house
that holds all those we love
and their stories

all I can offer you in return
are eyes that see all the beauty you are
the sweetness of your soul
and the depth of your heart

and my hand
as we take turns walking each other
back up the path
to find what is sure to surprise all of us
at the end-shaped beginning

img_5280

seeking solace without reservation

there are days when the world seems
to be rushing toward that handbasket,
clamoring for a spot to climb in and go

it is on those days that I feel myself
swept up in the mad dash towards a place
I’d rather not be

but I can’t stop it,
all the throngs of people
pushing, shoving, shouting
and then

my friend reaches out her hand
across the crowd of people

“let’s leave this chaos
and all of this madness
and sheer meanness, let’s just go,
here, take my hand”

and so I do

and she smiles

“I’ve got you”

and she does

and together we find a place
away from the mayhem,
where we can breathe
and the flowers grow up to our elbows

we dance and spin around, falling to the ground,
cushioned by the pinks and reds and purples and yellows,
dizzy with relief

to have found another
in the splendor
away from the shadows and shouting

another who feels
and cries
and laughs over stories
about strangers on doorsteps
and children who are growing up

and finally,
I can rest
and then together we turn to let go
of what has been

and we hold tight to the light we were given
and each other
and, elbowing flowers gently as we make our way,
we go and find others
who
are being
swept up
in all the madness

and walk them home

San_Carlos_wildflowers,_2010

Sunset and spring wildflowers — on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, near Peridot, in Gila County, Arizona. By John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA (Arizona Sunset Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

the things we keep

isn’t it interesting,
I ask myself,
standing in the middle of my
closet
looking for hangers
and containers to
“contain” all this stuff,

that of all the things we keep,
the things we hang on to
and refuse to let go of–
in spite of the clutter
and general disarray it brings

isn’t it interesting
that of all those,
the things that we keep
in our hearts
are the ones that have the potential
to disrupt our homes the most

clothes hangers

By Misslager (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

the fire within

that glint you see in her eye
is only a spark
compared to the fire that burns within

she is our future,
the place where our paths all converge
and her story
is the one that we’ve all been waiting for
to right the wrongs
we’ve protested and fought against
for far too long

her flame can take out
the strongest of them,
the ones whose hearts are soiled
with a taste for power,
and it can burn those who
aren’t ready
to join her on the journey,
the ones who try to veer her off her path

she is intent and focused
and what she dreams of one day
will be
because that flame from within
is blazing the way
for her to speak and be heard
write and be read
lead and be followed
listen and understand
dream and create
act and inspire

such fiery heat can scorch
but for the one willing
to walk alongside
and encourage
and feed her soul
and make her laugh

that one will never feel the cold

img_1274

the kudzu patch

from the very first day of school
I can remember the rule sternly set
“no going near the kudzu patch”

it was out back behind the portable buildings
and the monkey bars and swing set
and beyond the patch where we played kickball
back before all of the regulations had
such things padded and fenced in

we were mindful of that
as we played kickball
with the hopes that no ball would go
into the forbidden territory

mindful of the warning to stay away
that is just what we did
until that one day
when you and the others
ran back there
with wild abandon

I stood mortified
of what could happen
to you, to all of you
back there
or later, when you were caught–
if you even survived

(part of me was sure you wouldn’t
for five year olds, kudzu monsters
can be very real)

you had your fun
and later paid the price in the principal’s office
and maybe even with your folks

I’ve always remembered that day–
when I looked on
and worried over what would happen

and now here we stand
talking about where life has taken us
we are the grownups now,
it’s amazing that somehow we made it to this point
despite all the bumps and bruises along the way

you look none the worse for wear, my friend,
a life well done despite your day of infamy
and me,
I wonder what I missed
from not playing in the kudzu patch
all those years ago

 

KudzuPlants

By Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33772552