Rise

in this life,
there is a rising that isn’t always from death,
a flight that doesn’t always end in breaking

if we pay attention,
brilliant beams pass through us like water,
and, if we’re still enough,
we experience every imaginable light

and every now and then,
a current sweeps through us,
carrying with it our broken hearts to grieve,
as they should

then, a raging river lifts us,
floating us over the low gray hills,
up, up,
elsewhere,
to find the place where the light,
even if dimmed, never diminishes

for, we are more than breath,
alone,
more than the thickness of the air that surrounds us,
more than the rupturing into molecule and atom;
we are not fractions,
we are our own lowest common denominators,
we are primes

we experience every imaginable light,
including its absence,
and as a whole,
we rise

in this life,
there is a rising that isn’t always from death,
a flight that doesn’t always end in breaking;
there is a light that can only be known from darkness,
a journey that brings us home

-image via Pexels; shared as part of dVerse Poet Pub’s Open Link Night

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Fall

it was a arduous journey,
but with calloused hands,
I continued the climb

at the top,
I looked around in amazement –
everything was bright frosted stars and distances

the thing is,
I understood in that moment that there is no top –
there are only distances and scenery along the way,
and the ability to be awake enough to travel and see it all

so I closed my eyes and let myself fall

-image via Pinterest

Grind

life inevitably serves us challenging circumstances,
and sometimes we allow ourselves to be defined by what happens to us

we cope in very different ways –
some of us restlessly run from the shadows of the past,
while others cling on to things that anchor them to safety

but what we all find, I think,
is that time can grind anything into a kind of new normalcy

-image via Pinterest

Home

there are times when life requires that you fight,
that you wake ready for battle,
ready to flip-flop and rearrange for perspective,
to reach to uncharted depths for motivation,
to forage for ribbons of hope

it’s a war of sorts, this fight,
one where there are no winners –
there’s only the return home

so, you find a way to fight,
and fight

and one day, you wake up,
ready for the fight,
and you realize that, somehow,
you’re stronger,
softer,
certain about the one thing that matters most amidst the continual uncertainty

you wake up,
and you realize you’ve altered old patterns,
and that even when you were exhausted,
you showed up for yourself,
and you hadn’t even noticed

you realize that, once again,
you’ve made it home to yourself,
like you have so many times before

-image via Tumblr

Cultivating

the stress and heartache,
one thing after another in a combination of knock-out punches,
had nearly broken them,
yet here they were

it was a familiar place,
this raw place of survival,
one they’d been to before in their years together –
it is inevitable if you spend enough time building a life together

it was a place of choice;
a place where you can choose to hide or choose to be,
a place of past, present, and future at once,
where, if you’re ready, you offer up pieces of yourself with abandon,
in both fear and freedom,
where you grasp for humility and strength,
where, when you do,
you break free to someplace other,
a place only achieved when you’ve dug and excavated,
when you’ve both buried that which is no longer useful and unearthed something new,
something more

yet, that newness has roots that have burrowed so deeply in fertile soil,
it’s destined to reach for the sun
and weather the most viscous storms

she knew love is a conscious choice,
that it is cultivated and it’s hard work –
she never expected white horses,
nor did she need them,
but she could never have predicted the depth of the heartache and what it required of her soul

what she did know was that she was grateful to be here with him,
heart aching,
soul-searching,
burying and unearthing,
laying roots;
cultivating

reaching for the sun

-image via Pinterest

Maneater

‘Oh, here she comes’

I know what you say about me behind closed doors,
what you whisper in smoke-filled rooms,
bronze rivers dancing in crystal fractions,
creeded ego hot on supercilious-stained cheeks,
stinging the tip of your liquor-slicked tongue

‘watch out boy, she’ll chew you up’

and you’re all man, right? –
that’s what you tell yourself,
what you want me to perceive

you want me to want to devour you;
you want me to believe I’m doing the devouring,
that I’m the one who’s gonna make you pay,
gonna break your ‘fragile’ heart

‘she’s a maneater’

but you’re a master at the game,
and you think I’m just another pawn with a confident exterior,
shielding my heart from fear

‘she’s watching and waiting’

I am, there’s no denying it –
I’m no fear-filled dummy, boy,
I can play this game, too,
if I must

but let’s be clear –
I was never here to play the game,
to break your timorous heart,
to find easy prey and pounce

I just want more,
and I’m gonna get it

so, if that makes me a maneater –
chomp,
chomp

image via Pinterest, original source unknown; written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Music Challenge

Dust

what of dust, of fortune telling,
of lightning coming too soon?
what will I become?, I wondered,
whispering to the moon

she told me I already know,
I know from where I came;
the rest is right in front of me,
try dusting off my name

-image found on Pinterest; shared as part of Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, dust

Take It or Leave It

don’t be angry;
I haven’t become someone else
in front of your eyes

the problem is,
you don’t want this to be me –
you have always had some idea of me
that doesn’t exist,
some set of expectations I can’t possibly
live up to

you have constructed some ideal based
on something inside you,
and you have seen what you have
wanted to see –
you have refused to see my truth

but it’s been so very exhausting,
and not very fair to have to pretend
all the time

you don’t know me,
but I’ve been right here,
all along

here I am –
take it or leave it

-image via Pinterest, original source unknown