Living the Divine (Poem)

I hear the sound of the windchimes
the first six notes of Amazing Grace
the rush of water from the fountain
and traffic outside my window

Lighted candles burning,
in my dimly lit apartment office
scented wax and a bamboo plant
and a clock from a yard sale
still with it’s selling price

my desk is gorgeous
wooden, polished,
with a lamp in Tiffany’s style
bought from two retired republicans
gone off to live the rest of their wealth
in Arizona

a pair of inexpensive earbuds
that sing rock and roll when I work out
a brown leather wallet filled with credit cards
my favorite a golden American Express
my mother never thought I’d own

I am a homeowner
a dog walker
a bread baker
and a love maker
to a man, I call my husband
while the Virgin Mary watches over us
from her spot on the wall

I have a good life.
Dear God, I have a good life
when did all this happen?
how did all this happen?
what divine accident was I a party to?

The Three Magi (Preacher’s Kids)

I was a child on Easter Sunday,
in the back of the family car in my white Sunday shoes, grey vested, and grey pants
the door opened and your father stood there with a smile on his face
he was so tall, and he blocked out the sun
I thought I was seeing God for the first time…
then I’m a little older and the world is frozen and blue
black branches from sleeping trees reached upward and scraped holes in the clouds and caused the snow to fall quietly
on Belle Isle and we were sliding across the frozen pond
you and your brother and I and mine
we traded ice skates for the soles of our shoes….

Time passes in my mind
images on an old camera reel
and it’s pouring down rain
and we’re shirtless
your brother, you, and me
running and splashing and throwing ourselves on the lawn
pretending we’d been struck by lightning
and we laughed until our sides ached
We were the three kings, three magi, from the Bible
and instead of frankincense, myrrh, and gold
we had hymnals, and pews, and blue carpeted runways
where we’d flee between the adults
around the white painted former bar
and across the street from the party store where the Arab man sold us Faygo and hid his girly mags
when your father asked him to.

I remember…
cracking my head on a telephone box
your appendix surgery
long treks to churches where the people were so much more rich than us
but they didn’t know who was in their midst
three magi, three kings, ready to take flight
anywhere we wanted to go…

…and then, it was one last night together
one last dinner
I think that is when I first became acquainted with the concept of loss
there was laughter, adults talking, there was food around my father’s table
and I silently prayed that time would crawl to a stop
but God didn’t hear me or he denied my request
even for magi such as me
and before the night ended I waved goodbye to you all as you piled into your van to go far away…

I remember the time before time knew who we even were
and the years and the miles we’ve trod across
has stooped our shoulders, and added lines to our eyes
just hearing your voice tonight brought all those memories back hurtling back
from the dusty reel I’d had packed away
in some unkempt corner of my mind
my dear Christopher, Matthew,
there really isn’t much of a point to this other than to say…

I know the way life is
the complicated lives of three kings, so different from who we were
time has had its way with us
and the grape juice has turned to wine

My poem has a purpose, though
there’s a method to my prose as the Witching Hour draws close
and the spirits press themselves against the veil
begging for me to go to sleep
so they can whisper their stories to me
and that is, with the simplicity of the little boy that remains somewhere deep inside this tired man’s soul,
to say, “God, I’ve missed you.”

I’ll see you two in that space where we’ve never aged
after all, the pond is still frozen
in that space where
the rain still falls
and the white-tailed deer on Belle Isle
watch curiously
and the blue carpet runway is lit for three wild boys,
three kings, three magi,
to take flight

Til the end of my days (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoJames Bold

 

IT was more than just where I lay
staring up at the ceiling of stars above my head
In your love, I had found a rose garden
white blooms as far as I could see
and there I thought I had come to the river
to drink and dance and sing

but the more I loved you
the less steady I was on my feet
until the citrus scent threw me over
and I fell backward into the briars of emersion

In exquisite pain, I lay here
my clothes were torn and my hands wounded
tangled in a miserable mess
as the vines wrapped right around me

It was then I realized the danger I was in
and it was then I realized water didn’t feed them
and to my horror, I didn’t care
as I watch a crimson drop of my own blood
fall to the ground and disappear

It was then I realized how much Pain I was in
and it was then I realized how little I cared
for I would lay here dying til the end of my days
in your garden under the stars above

Til the end of my days

Grief (National Poetry Month)

 

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unsplash-logoAllef Vinicius

Hi!

So, April is National Poetry month and so every day I am going to prompt people for topics. My friend Liam chose:

Grief

I swallowed my tongue
somewhere between goodbyes
I drifted for weeks
transitioning from winter to spring
arguing with your ghost
inside my head

Every little detail of our last conversation
the laugh lines around your eyes
the tone of your voice
I’ve memorized with Catholic-like clarity

I haven’t cried, no
grown men bottle it up
and it makes us restless and fevered
swallowing back the urge
to beg and plead and borrow
time from some ancient god

Shades of Shale
is my mood
dark gray moments
in my room
pretending that everything is going
so well
I wander through the empty hallways
of the life we once knew

Now, if I see you again
it would thrill me and dash me
against the rocks of reality
that I was the one you didn’t want to see
and I was the one that spent these few weeks
in mourning, in grief,
somewhere in the memory of the friend
you’d once been

 

Real Love (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoKevin Grieve

Real Love

Water left on the bathroom floor
toothpaste in the sink
morning breath kisses
and aching backs
grey hair at the temples
and date nights on the couch

Bill folds
walk the dog
separate the clothes
and walk them to the laundromat
fevers, nightmares,
three a.m. dash to the bathroom
Are you alright?
Yeah, I’m fine
wait half awake for him to return

Throw this ratty old shirt out
or make it into a dusting rag
pay the bills, chase the cat
Christmas Trees
and flowers in vases
can you pass the gravy?

I’m getting older
you’re getting older
where the rubber meets the road
dishes in the sink
off to work you go
it’s another day in the life
of real love

 

Enough Gold To Hoard

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How did that happen?
Where was the tipping point?
I must have missed the exit sign
on the freeway of my feelings
and kept driving

Did I have the radio on too loud
was I caught up in the music?
Did I allow my mind to wander?
I have awareness but did I use it?

Or did I want to keep going?
Did I choose to pass the off ramp
and see what another stretch of freeway looked like?
It’s still blacktop, white stripes, my hands are on the wheel
but now I don’t know what to do.

Caught in the once familiar
I stood and looked at myself in the mirror
and heard the words spoken in my ear
I smiled and felt sexy
with new clothes and my prowess
now I am dressed to the nines
waiting for the phone to ring

I’m annoyed
that’s always a dangerous feeling
needle pricks inside my brain
that has me wondering and feeling foolish
I can taste copper inside my mouth
as I bite down on angry words
now the dragon’s been bothered

I hate when people do this
speak the truth and call the shadow what it is
make clear roads in, identify the moment
and the vanish as a sort of punishment
with whiplash-like ferocity
leaving me asking, “What the fuck did *I* do?”

Nothing. I didn’t do anything.
You made you feel those things.
Fantasize those things.
Dream those things.
Just like I did.
My guilt is mine.
Keep yours.
I have enough gold to hoard.

Poem for a Funeral

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unsplash-logoMalcolm Green

There is no light without the dark
no life without death
the sun can’t rise in the morning without
the setting of the moon
and the fading of the stars 
Why this merry go round, then?
What lessons are etched upon my heart?
Had I reached my limit of knowledge to carry?

There is no ecstatic joy without deep sorrow
each waterway must end where the land begins
No Spring Flowers without Winter’s frozen snow
no lasting love affair without the first chaste kiss
There I stood in the midst of many
one light in a sea of a billion stars
participating in life’s grand display – shining brightly
furiously burning ever so wonderous
surrounded by space as black as pitch

Yet, there is no truth without a lie
No relief without the pain
There is no mercy without the crime
and there is no night without the day
I’ve done all I can in this body made of clay
I’ve said all the words I came here to speak
and though I am gone from your joyful presence
there can be no fond memories, without the pinprick of grief

So watch for me in those times, my dear
when the sun fades just to the west
when the skies are orange, purple, and red
and the moon begins to crest
Find me on the last day of summer,
and talk to me right before you fall asleep
I’ll be listening to you, my darling
in the spaces, in those transition places
Right there, in the in-between

 

Sweet autumn morning (poem)

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Matthew Pla

sweet autumn morning
strumming guitars
sad songs and dappled sunlight
mint in my tea, a stray gray hair
conversations hushed over 
a gentle current of spiced air

wistfulness, theme
the taste of cinnamon and apple
in my breakfast bowl
dust motes dance in shafts of light
my barefeet on the carpet
fingers tapping out the heartbeats
in my study

one more laugh line
two doses of fish oil as I stretch
fingers twisting upward
swoop down, namaste
gentle on myself
as the indian summer breeze
caressing the curtains
of my windows

cardboard box, napping cat
at my feet, a napping dog
beef stew in a dutch oven
served over rice
a glass of wine
a kiss from my husband
before night descends
and we descend with it

 

Amber Colored (poem)

 

amber color

(Some Random picture I saw)

In looking for my rest
I found a bottle of amber colored joy
as I sipped – I let it burn my throat
as the fire cascaded down into my heart
upon a gut made of stone
There are a million miles
in the tattoos that I wear
and ten thousand memories with each
passing of the needle over my skin
as I proudly display each step I’ve taken in life
I hum dixie melodies
when I go looking for my soul
gospel songs and blues
when I’m lonesome and flesh upon flesh
doesn’t do what I desperately need it to
My church is a rusty and dusty bar
when I’m in the faith having way
Otis Redding the reverend
playing on a Wurlitzer Bubbler made in 1950
just one amber glass at a time

Hurricane outside, Maelstrom within (poem)

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Flickering lights and uncertainty rolled out in front of us
myself, my family
the wind crashed whistling through the eaves of the house
like an errant train in the dead of night
lightning danced 
Death had come ashore and ghosts were marching to martial music
thundering heels against the coal black night

the telephone rang
in foolish compassion I answered
and a voice from the grave spoke to me
suddenly I felt thirsty, ravenously hungry
and though the conversation was pleasant
my veins began to ache
and my body began to ache
to be possessed by old habits of a foolish youth
spent locked in torment

after we said goodbye
to fight against the desire of anonymity
I flung the doors open to the storm
wind, leaves, and rain rolled inward
when the threat between my ears
became greater than the one that ran screaming through the night

I pulled up shades
threw open windows and breathed in chance
in giant cleansing gulps
hoping against hope that I could exorcise my dutiful mistake
between The Father, and The Son, and three glasses of red wine – the blood
This I did in remembrance
I all of a sudden felt needy
to be possessed by creatures of the veil not far beyond my touch

I watched the storm blow the rest of the night
between flashes of lightning and gusts of wind
the fourth horseman I knew galloped close by
I waited for upon my cross of bones and childrens toys
for the sound of his thundering hooves
my gaze locked in on the shadows beyond the trees

At some point I fell asleep
only to awaken at dawns first light with my mouth
tasting like yesterdays news
and my clothes just barely damp
I rose from my leaf littered bed
my solace sleeping soundly next to me
my protection asleep soundly on the floor

I rose and peered into the stillness with a heavy head
a tongue that cleaved to the roof of my mouth
I noticed the lightening of the sky with the rising of the sun
now that the storm had blown itself away
and though there be no track marks, no bottles laying strewn on the floor
even though I knew the name of the man next to me in my bed
I still felt the shame of a misspent night
and the lingering feeling of poison in my veins

I’m an addict without a habit
no that isn’t true – no, there’s a habit there
and it isn’t in recklessness or immoral lack of judgement
it was in a simple act of compassion
that now, today burns a hole in the center of me
that wracks my body with a guilt even though I never did anything wrong

In the stillness of that morning
I slowly rose up from my sleep as a hangover
thudded mercifully between my ears
and before the rest of the house woke
I stripped down and walked naked into a cold shower
humming, “Precious Lord, take my hand.”
as shakily, shivering from the cold, I washed away my shame
and I climbed back on the wagon