the verdant heart

pluck ingots of tears from my eyes
and polish them in the lake until they shine
in this green land i am shorn of my grief
and my heart is a moon-blooming flower.

here the notes of song from voice and chord
echo beyond the line of sea and sky
here they listen not only with their ears,
here the curve of a shoulder is grace.

inside a ring of trees i am held until my pulse
steadies and the moss grows over my feet.
atop a mountain of creased limestone,
i swear the horizon is closer than ever before.

i swim deeply immersed in an ancient tone
and you are with me and i am never alone.

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friendship

cherish what you have
you could wake up one morning
and find shattered shadow pieces,
the dynamic destroyed, words wrung
from your darkness until all is irreparable
and there is no forgiveness, pulling up
from the well a bucket of ash,
some bits of fabric gone so threadbare
that there is no mending.
some people will never forgive you–
and for that, you’ll never forgive yourself.

the rain that falls

with light fingers i pluck strands from my hair, a medusa of memory.
these days i find i can no longer be a vessel of carnage, that i cannot
co-create with those who wish for the quake and the quell. i used to
think that if i could squeeze myself into the space between the words
“i” and “am” then i would go unnoticed, but what did i know. without
this perceptual shifting i might never escape these foisted-upon fears
of inadequacy where i can’t parallel park, balance a tray of glasses, or
love myself. when the wind shifts, i will feel it at my back, carrying me
ever-forward, that seed of grace that drops down over the landscape
and waits for the rain.

suburban girls

a man who used to know me said that
i am not worldly, as i once claimed.
even if i add up all the empty moments,
it still leaves a taste, a richness in my mouth
like the cake i will not eat because i am
terrified of gaining weight, so i stuff down
cigarettes to stave off my hunger, but
the hunger goes deeper and deeper still.
i didn’t fall from heaven. i grew from the
earth beneath the pavement, in cracks
and voids, pushing through, just to see
a bit of sunlight. my hands often have
scrapes and cuts on them and i don’t
remember where they came from–
it is with this same kind of carelessness
that i leave the front door unlocked, but
am not nervous about anyone entering.
and should i be. what will come, will
come, through windows and broken
screens that flap in the breeze in the
hall of my heart. i would devote myself
to the sky but i’m not sure if it would
matter. i am not your angel, and i proved
it to you by leaving, as i have left every-
one before, before they could leave me.
i do these things out of a fear i can’t
pinpoint, out of a vulnerability that i
must cover with earth before anyone
sees what may fruit. these pills are
supposed to balance my brain, but i
am already upside-down and gone
before you even knew i was there.

incubation

the forecast is partly cloudy and chance of kisses 50%
but these lips have flown from my mouth, and the dry
season is coming upon us. some days i just don’t feel
like reading any self-help books, when i am very far away
from myself, a shadow with a cigarette. my edges start
to mingle with the atmosphere and i long for the sea
to help me remember infinity, because the myth of the
horizon has been already been revealed. these vaporous
tendencies don’t mean i contradict myself, and though
the words vanish in the air i can feel them still hanging
like earrings from my earlobes. there is truth to be
found even in the dissipation of half-hearted promises
and i don’t lie to you, the birds overhead, or myself,
i just change my mind often and life isn’t to be filled in
with one neat little bubble per question. the blood
inside me ebbs and flows, that inner tide that carries
with it the questions that nobody can answer but
myself, and as my shadow lengthens i feel myself blur,
and go softly into the stillness there.

spotless

why does the rush and torrent of the soul
so seldom break out from beneath our skin
we’ve got trigger hair tempers and mistaken ire
carrying the carcass of truth in our hands
obscuring the light, that although never fading,
can dim until we can no longer see in the dark.
blindly we reach with our hands and will grasp
anything near, even the necks of our beloved,
desperate to keep the old adages true,
that we are flawed and broken-winged
that the lines in our paper hands can never be
unfolded or uncreased, that the ink that dries
beneath our fingernails will never fade.
go soak your hands in the salty ocean,
knowing to move when the tide comes in,
betraying not a single grain of sand with
your footprints because we are carried
forward by the wind, and we leave no trace–
not even the sun will recognize us at dawn,
unmade and spotless in the light.

not everything broken

the seed has been planted
the willow will wave
the redwood will tower
and the oak will be strong
against your back

this is how you learn
how to lose anger
how to keep sadness spacious
that space within the heart
that knows its own death
yet rejoices

pour yourself like water into clear glasses
let them drink from you
and see their own reflections
and know who they are

the glass is most beautiful
right as it slips from your hand
right before it hits the floor
right when it shatters

not everything broken
begs to be fixed.