Rising

all I hear is the beating of wings,
the murder’s grand explosion into the sky,
Mother Earth’s divine intuition raining from the shadowed tips of inky feathers, dispersing itself into the pink-red glow of daybreak,
illuminated phosphorous, igniting some kind of restlessness within me that’s been stirring,
a healing itch that’s nagging to be heard,
its melody begging to be sung at the top of my acquiescent lungs –
an ode to the outstretched, carefree soaring above,
to the whispering tops of the tallest of trees,
to the hope-filled breaking of every dawn,
to my voice,
to all that persistently rises

sing with me to the free-beating of wings,
let’s welcome the rising and all that it brings

-older poem, in honor of Earth Day

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Resonant

I hate catching sight of myself without warning; I don’t recognize myself sometimes.
I think I know what I look like, a wishful, postage stamp echo of myself rooted in my mind’s eye, but am taken by surprise by the stranger looking back at me.
Reluctantly, I study the surprised stranger’s face, her curly, salt and pepper hair twisted onto the top of her head into a lazy bun, her naked, splotchy skin, the lines creeping toward her eyes like cracks in pavement.
“You look like shit,” I tell her.
The movement of her mouth mesmerizes me, it’s autocratic timbre resonant as it travels the gap between what is and what is not.
I make her speak some more.
“Fuck off,” she says, in my voice.
I smile at her and she smiles back.

-image via Pexels

Were Not Some Part of Her

there was once a hole in her heart where no love would grow,
a void not desolate, no,
it was an urban uproar,
expectations as tall and as sharp as city skyscrapers,
all angles and edges,
streets littered with elbows and crowded corners,
she a pedestrian on an endless,
one-way route of regret,
her yearning a suffocating smog,
a desperate redness swelling in her tired chest,
droplets of shameful acid rain
eroding roads,
rationalizations the pits and falls on the map to nowhere

were not some part of her made of steel and concrete,
her soul would have suffocated,
her lungs would have exploded against the weight

were not some part of her a cartographer,
bravely charting the void,
the child inside would never have ventured forth to find nourishment

were not some part of her a gardner,
feeding the green amongst the steel and concrete,
her heart would not now know such sustenance

were not some part of her an architect,
unafraid to draft and erase,
hope would have died long, long ago,
and her heart would not now be whole

-image via Pexels; older poem slightly revised

Earth and Alchemy

I think these walls are killing me

in the half-light of the drapery-filtered morning,
breathing is nearly unbearable;
the fan whirs with its white-noised voice,
failing in its attempt at swallowing the stagnancy,
managing only to distribute it in an oscillating,
luke-warm stream that, every few seconds,
blows directly into my face,
making my breath catch in a baby breath gasp,
the unsure gasp of not knowing from where the next will come

I think these walls are killing me

I sit, immobile, acutely aware of my mass,
of the blood begrudgingly pumping its percussive rhythm in my temples,
of the defective dampness emerging on my forehead,
of the ever-growing patches of petechiae-speckled skin,
evidence of an incurable itch that has risen up from the fate that is history-stitched to the soles of my flattened feet

I think these walls are killing me

I long for a singular, bottomless breath,
for the autonomous, unfiltered sunlight and its searing warmth upon my face,
for the forced closure of my eyes,
for the rays’ piercing, pinky-red glow on the backs of my tired eyelids,
and its tender, ruby kiss lingering on the pasty surface of my gossamer cheeks

I long for earth and alchemy

-image via Pixabay

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

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