All The While Settling Onto Beauty

A flickering fluttering triangle of wing and body

Colors blurring, wind carrying aloft

During the seeking

Her goal, her sole existence is to feed for growing

To lay eggs for living

To continue the cycle endlessly

Of newness

Caterpillar

Chrysalis

Oh, what life to live

Flying on current’s edge

Constantly in hazard’s way

All the while settling onto

Beauty

Of leaf and petal

Of scent and color

Kissed with dewdrops left by

The Morning.

 

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The Challenge

The Challenge of life is to welcome challenge itself, not for ego, not for attention, not for riches, but for the dim glow that grows into brightness, illuminating the person you were meant to be when you were only a small spark in the Heavens.

I Might Imagine

I might imagine, or I might not, that love is a smile beneath a small straight nose, deep brown eyes, and dark chocolate tresses falling around my face as she sits above me.

I might imagine, or I might not, that over her head, green leaves laugh in the summer breeze, and lake waves lap whispers against round stones.

I might imagine, or I might not, a soft kiss, moist and tender, warm upon my lips, and the brush of fingertips at my brow, with words of welcome.

I might imagine, or I might not, a mountain trail, rough with stones for tripping, slow with time for talking, waterfalls crisp with splashing, and the summit for rest.

I might imagine, or I might not, two sets of footprints pressed into wet sand, hands clasped, sun overhead, and at night, stars.

But I shall not imagine, for I could imagine more that would not be imagining, for I am thankful, grateful more than I can say, reaching for her hand over twenty years hence from dreaming, and still we laugh, sigh, love.

And we imagine.

If Nothing More Than Hopes

What are mothers, if nothing more than hopes?

They hold from the beginning, the smallest of seeds.

They nurture, they feed, they do more than we comprehend.

If they are true mothers, as many are,

yet they feel for those of us born to mothers who are not.

Some gone on, some aged, some dealing with rebellion, some watching mistakes

kill.

Sit with yours today. Look into her eyes, whether blue, green, brown,

regardless of shades, and realize who she is.

because of all the things she is, she is not just your mother.

She is a person, a human being with hopes and dreams like you.

But know this: her dreams include you, your happiness, the fine things in life she knows

you

are capable of.

Mothers, if they are true, if the gem of wisdom sparkles,

the gem too many take for granted, are worthy.

Words will never reach the pinnacle of a mother,

for Hope’s definition is hers.

 

When I Died

When I died I fell face first into the snow, oh, the icy crust, the millions of tiny crystalline knives.

When I coughed my lung’s bright blood upon the blanket of white, I realized I would never see her again.

When I realized I would never see her again, I willed my heart to beat, though powerless to have it beat forever.

When my breaths slowed, stopped, and when my heart faltered, stopped, and when my eyes closed, I willed my soul to join another …

And he fell, and another, and he fell, and another, and she fell, and half-a century later I live, a mist, a memory, a dream desired, a hope unrealized.

And yet, I love, and yet, life offers me hope, if only in the most fleeting moments.

Once we lay beneath an oak. It was an ancient thing, gnarled and gray-barked, branches hanging low over the wide river, leaves twisting in the daytime breeze, whispers of young love’s yearning desire.

And natures faint aromas, the gray smell of water on the air, leaf mold and earthy hints of times past, and her hair, as if she rinsed her silky strands with morning rain captured just for her within the petals of a rose.

And at night, oh, at night, beside the fire, millions of stars, constellations, a meteor’s dim minute streak, the oak’s leaves aflutter, matching moth’s wing beats around a lantern.

The stuff of dreams, the dreams of hope, soft whispers, softer kisses, love’s final goodbye.

When I died.

She Called This Hope

As she sat upon the hot sand, sea birds calling overhead, a warm, salt breeze entered her being. She called this Truth.

The sun peeked from over the waves, casting pelican shadows, and it was a  glowing disc, alive and shimmering. She called this Honor.

The sun continued, traveling the blue, cloudless sky until it set behind her, and the great orange ball of the moon rose over the waves, and she called this Respect.

The next morning brought a sky filled with anger, rage at all that was believed, but what was nothing more than lies that soiled the land. Lightning flashed wicked strikes upon the deep and thunder rolled and boomed and settled, its echo a whisper across the distance. She called this Ignorance.

But before the night, came the true gift. As the clouds sailed west, as the wind scattered the velvet mists, as the calm returned to the sea and the slight spray dampened her face, a rainbow formed, a bow of color across the horizon east.

She called this Hope.

The Seduction, and the Hope. A Dedication.

Written in second person point of view, present tense, as an exercise, but much more importantly, as a dedication to those who struggle with drugs. I am thankful that I can only imagine what you are going through. I doubt I am even close.

Please, inside your shattered life is a good person who wants to live again. Give him or her that chance. If I can believe in you, without even knowing you, others, I’m certain, believe in you. Now–you need to believe in you.

For those who like to wonder about such things, the punctuation, especially the lack of quotation marks in some places, is intentional.

The Seduction, and the Hope.

You sit on your parent’s sofa, watching TV, changing channels rapid-fire. It’s all boring and you scratch an errant itch. Your face is rough with stubble, your underarms reek, and bathing is an afterthought.

Your mom walks in. Curlers. Pink robe. Grungy slippers. Bright red fingernails.

“Is this all you’re going to do all day? Sit here? You could at least take the trash out. Cut the grass. Do something … “

In the recliner, your dad grunts. “Yeah. And while you’re doing all that, dammit, get a job too.”

You stare, then wipe your nose with a finger whose nail is in dire need of trimming, and you spread the yellow smear on your jeans, which are slick from sitting, stained from mayonnaise, and smelling of spilled beer.

You punch the remote’s off button, rise slowly because your back aches, and walk down a darkened hallway, taking a door to the stairs to the basement, where your room is.

Placing your bare feet on the first step, you close the door behind you, then stand there.

A scurrying in the walls–you wonder how long it will be before the mice or the roaches or whatever it is will take you away from this world.

Anything would be better than this. Just one more step down these darkened stairs– No. Not a step. A stumble. Hello, new world.

But basically, on your deepest levels, and sometimes,  even on the shallowest, when the meth or the coke or whatever you can get from your dealer deadens the pain, you know you’re a coward. So you flip the light on, and it clicks, causing more scurrying, which, perhaps, is in your muddled brain, or what’s left of it.

The stairs, and your bones, creek. You run your tongue across your teeth and swallow on your way down. You taste like gray film looks, and your teeth have things growing between them, you’re sure.

And at the bottom of the steps the dank smell of your underground room zips through your sinuses like a warm, wet ice pick. You shake your head, flip on another light, and your own sofa looms before you. It’s worse than your jeans.

That’s probably where the roaches live.

If you sleep there one more night will they take you away? Will the come and eat your eyes right from their sockets? Leaving you even more blind than you are now?

You sit and fish the crumpled paper from your pocket. It’s been stuffed in and brought out so many times it feels like what a rat uses for a nest. You open it. Smeared blue ink. You call the number and before the ring stops in your ear, he answers.

Yeah?

It’s me. What do you have?

The question, as usual, is what do you have–monetarily?

I’ll have to get something together. My parents don’t leave cash out anymore, and there’s nothing here worth selling. …

Not my problem.

I realize that but–

Like I said, not my problem. And you don’t want to make it my problem. Do you … ?

You swallow, and you swear you feel the tiny prick of roach legs in your throat.

No. …

Then don’t call me until you have what I need. Then I’ll have what you need. Are we clear on that? I won’t say it again. And if I have to, I’ll send someone over and your parents will know something’s wrong when they smell your rotten corpse in your basement. Then you’ll be their problem, not mine, not anymore.

I … I won’t call again. Not until–

Click.

You throw the phone and it hits the wall with a dull thud. A hammer into a skull. Hot tears fill your eyes and you gag and retch and fall onto the cold concrete floor, finally throwing up, adding another yellowish-white stain. You cry. You beg. You ache for understanding, for forgiveness, for hope.

Hope?

It’s been ages. Once you enjoyed. Once you loved. Once you created. Once people–good people–loved you. And you loved them back.

Hope.

You find the phone behind the skeleton of a chair. You find the phone book in the laundry sink. You find the page, rip it out, then read the number. You slowly dial. You want to get this right. No mistakes. Not anymore.

You hear a voice.

“Hope-line drug addiction hotline. Can I help you?”

A gentle sigh exits your lungs. You blink. A weight lifts from your soul.

And you hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on the Souls. Poetry.

The silver fishes dance

and waves break

and pelicans wheel

turning into wing-driven darts that

dive beneath foamy crests.

A gull’s complaint.

And sand that is warm on

the soles.

And on the Souls.

Air heavy

salt-laden taste.

Children’s footprints and mother’s laughter

with father’s smiles.

And the surf meets

with gentle whispering breaths.

And the silver fishes dance.