metamorphosis

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Today is a day I feel I don’t quite belong to —
but hopefully the next.

Missed cues,
dropped plates,
small insults
and a bed with too much space.

I lay there, now, with a book on my chest,
full of people who have said it better.
(And to be honest, didn’t have the luxury of choice)

But I do.
I have so many choices.
So many ideas of change and movement,
like some impatient larvae anticipating
the metamorphosis.

I cry out,
and shake my head
and pull a bit on my shirt.

What is this thing I’m doing?
What on Earth am I learning about being lonely,
except maybe being a little scared from time to time.

I’ve never been a fan of scared.
In the deep recesses of my mind,
I come across a tiny ruin.
It is there, I imagine a person like Job,
picking his scabs with broken pieces of pottery,
but singing, “G-d is great!”

Oh, I am a fool for so many things.

When I close my eyes,
I see a tree on the horizon.

It is a silhouette against a big red sun.
I am there, again,
pulling slightly on my shirt,
explaining,
“I don’t know how else to be…”

Like some form of confession.
Like these things don’t already know.

I crumble. I melt away.

I come back.

I let whatever it was hanging on my hips,
return to where it came,
which just so happens to be a place I left long ago.

The place where dead things live.
The place where I shed a ghost or two.
The place of the old shells and skins and
skeletons.

I lean forward into the horizon
and allow myself to float free
of the old wineskins.

I close my eyes,
and fall asleep to the rain outside of my window.

weapons

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I wonder what would happen if we laid down our weapons today.

For just a week, maybe.

Warlords.
Soldiers.
Police.
Citizens.

Oh, we will all still get angry at one another. There’s no stopping the friction that is caused by needing to be right all the time.

You’re wrong, I’m right.

The absolutes are killing us.
This or that.
Or else!
Our lack of self control and

patience and
kindness and
understanding.

We are products of what we see and how we are made to feel.
We move in patterns left before us by our parents and grandparents.

We repeat history over and over, because we’re afraid that maybe we just didn’t get it right.
Like returning to a bad lover because you want to believe things will be different.

War and death and injustice carve up this world.

Scars.
Deep dark wounds.

I usually just throw my hands up, or shake my fists at the heavens.

When really, I should lower them and place them on wounds.

Of my brother and my sister
In hopes that one day,

they will do the same for me.

Ace_Bandage_Texture_4_by_FantasyStock

Today, if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other-that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister. If everyone could see the image of God in his neighbor, do you think we would still need tanks and generals? – Mother Teresa

fear of spiders

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at my feet, I saw you working.

hind legs, whichever ones,

busy.

pulling sticky silk to form

the kinds of things you were built to make.

 

I jerk my leg, only momentarily.

In all fairness, you are a spider.

But in the moment, I recognize your place.

Really, you have no intention of bothering me.

So today, I have no intention of bothering you.

 

I watch you work so hard. And so fast.

I become aware of my place. My power.

My ability to wash it all away, knowing good and well,

you will just start over, because it’s in your nature.

 

To spin and and release your web

when their is a thrust of force

or mighty wind.

Yet here you decide to work.

 

To be fair, there are these fruit flies.

I feel a little insulted.

Like maybe you’re telling me something

I don’t already know.

 

To not leave out my apple peels on a warm day,

or sweet milky tea before I sprint out the door.

I know, I know.

But life just gets to be so busy.

 

Especially so for a spider of your size,

maybe a little bigger than a green pea.

Yet smaller than a dime.

Your design is nothing short of flawless.

 

Spider web 1

 

We are all here for balance.

I recognize that if I take more than I need,

especially in my space,

I am taking more than I require.

 

The life of a spider seems to be one of constants:

movement, spinning, letting go, small moments of excitement

and repeat.

Much like mine.

 

Today though, it is our space.

You spin yours.

And I, mine.

moving. spinning. letting go.

 

indulging in the small moments that give us both life.

rise and fall.

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More than anything, I feel like we are tiny oceans.

With them full moons, bellies breakin’ water,

delivering new life under that perfect, magic light.

 

some people actin’ a fool.

“Every time there’s a full moon…” they say.

I notice it.

I notice the rise and fall.

Scattered pieces,

like jetsam and flotsam.

some of it belonging to bigger things,

others are a just a by-product of what they used to be.

 

I look out and see,

glasses spilt.

people, a little wobbly.

Like tiny hurricanes,

and grumpy neighbors who want more space.

 

You see, our bodies are mostly made of water.

mostly.

And like the tides, the water in our bodies

moves us.

To big places. And into cracks,

and little rivers, constructed via plastic shovel and pail.

Sometimes we rise over rock walls

and flood the marshes.

Sometimes we change things.

 

I don’t know about you,

but there’s something in that big moon.

Just far enough away.

Dimpled.

Our satellite.

Our sweet Sister Moon.

Pushing. Pulling.

Dream-like.

 

I look up when I see Her,

thankful for how she pulls me into a dance,

where I’m clumsy and awkward,

or quiet and centered.

And I realize I am not the only one

who’s able to fall in love again.

101

 

holy day

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baby laughs and sunday pot roast

a familiar memory runs through my veins.

the feeling of normality and ritual and calm wash over me,
regardless of the noise and the sound of toys scraping floor,
this was something I had been missing

ketchup, mustard and ice cream,
the things these kids are made of,
that, and their creative restless minds
learning how to build bigger towers
with more and more colors.

the sounds of mom clinking spoons on the sides of pans
dinner rolls, last to come out of the sparkly clean oven,
an inside joke from the years of waiting on bread.
we are always waiting on the bread.

I know that most see these things as they are.
I can’t help but to see them as something I might miss again someday.

so I soak it up when I can. 
and when I’m not toiling away at a day’s worry.
When I decide in my own heart that all of this is so very important. 

the pot roast.
the little head nestled under my chin
with mashed potatoes smeared above his
little lips drenched in drool and baby noises.

God, I’ve missed this.
The toils and the messes and the quiet afternoons.

baby laughs and sunday pot roast

a holy day if I ever knew one

legos-on-floor

the mystery of other worlds

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Sometimes, when I look out into a room,
or when I sit at a table,
I imagine tiny universes
sorta, spinning around.

I see them give and take,
smile and nod and reach,
as though they are trying to understand another world
vastly different from their own.

I understand this.
At times, I am the one who helps facilitate.
I am the one who keeps their glasses full
and their plates warm with food.

It is not the burden of Atlas that I carry,
but the weightlessness that comes
with noticing the invisible things
and the gravity of a new discovery.

ngc2207_hubble_2907

I’ve always enjoyed space.
I love the mystery of other worlds,
which is why I love the mystery in you. As you.
This unknown galaxy swirling like the Milky Way

Don’t let this time go to waste.
You only have a few moments to be this connected
and to discover!
and to explore!

I remember watching the sun shine on your skin
How it glowed, and also its shadows,
the way it allowed me to stand in wonder
as I do always, when I stumble upon a world not my own,

a little universe
with its own fiery suns
as swirling stars.
there you are,

sitting and falling,
moving with intention,
all with a slight lean,
as different worlds do,

drifting into their own forever.

walking with giants

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I am not afraid of your pain, dear one.

there is a wounded healer in all of us.

intertwined and tangled in the dark and light.

some days, I’m not sure which side wins.

 

if it’s even about winning.

more so, making room and acknowledging both sides exist

as do you,

and even though you think the pain is too much, which it will be from time to time,

you will grow, like a weed,

as you do.

 

I’d like to say I’m sorry.

for all of that hard and gritty noise.

It sort of bounces and echoes through our bones,

like screaming into a canyon,

and sometimes, I absorb it and it resides in me

 

but like I said,

I’m okay with the weight of your ghosts.

I’m not afraid.

Secretly, I am more afraid of my own depth

 

sometimes it starts as a trickle and moves into a great flood,

I think, “..even Noah struggled with the Arc.”

some things are lost. some things die.

what blossoms in spring, dies in the winter,

(but it’s not really dead, you see?)

 

it is your ability to create and move,

to nurture and grow tiny things.

that is how we rebuild

 

giving new directions a chance to grow on us

a chance for our narrative to take a turn,

like trying to sell a donkey, and in exchange,

a few seeds we don’t know are magic,

until they grow

and we find ourselves walking with giants.

 

Jack_and_his_Beanstalk_by_DickStarr

 

thunderstorm

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electricity fillin’ up the sky

one mississippi two mississppi

a low rumble down the ways

two miles, I say half asleep

 

I wake up to a

thump, thump, thump, thump

drips from the roof tapping my window seal

cool, wet breath on my face

and the trees slowly touch one another

 

reminding me of that brilliant dance

with her,

half way touching

and moving

 

electricity, again

one mississippi two mississippi three mississippi

quiet rumble, like the sound of water rushing over your head

a little less awake I say,

‘it’s moving away’

 

trees sway less

I am aware of the stagnant air

that now fills my space

but I smell the dampness

it is comforting

 

the storm, it is gone for now

but I am asleep

one leg in, one leg out

to keep the balance of warm and cool

 

I miss the sounds of storm

of wind making trees stretch

wet road smell

 

but then there is bright and breeze

a bird singing its dream

and I am awake.

with a big breath and stretch,

Yes! I am awake, now.

il_fullxfull.381556887_ebv5

 

Blood Buzz

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I’m on a blood buzz.
Sort of, intoxicated-like,
on family and history and potato salad.

Sadness is a tingle,
much like when your foot falls asleep,
but you are very much awake. 

God, am I awake.

I tingle here and there,
this is how I know:
I’ve lost a great love.

Vibrations, almost.
a bit of shell shock.
my ears muffle when you talk to me.

Not all the time. I try to listen.
I try not to think about her.
I realize it’s a losing battle to not think about someone.

how does one snap out of this?
to fall in love again?
to kiss in the dark again?

yes, I know this.

but today, I stare outside my window
I see mostly brown,
but then again, I would.

The green is coming.
daffodils line them Miss’ippi highways;
I can see them!
(something deep inside of me proclaims)

and I am hungover
from big pains
and too much fried catfish.

buzzed. like with too much wine,
but for my family,
my history,

drunk-like,
with them old southern ways,
and hummin’ the hymns
I used to sing.

tangled.

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{I’m so honored and humbled to share this piece with you. 
It was written by my sister-in-law, Leah.  (Who is a beautiful writer…)
And it was written during the time I had just moved into my new room, and everything was astray.
More importantly, it was written for me.
I am so thankful for her and her husband Bryan for loving me so well over the years, and keeping a steady eye and hand on me, as I wander, and have come to them hungry and broken, many times. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you.}

So now you’ve arrived in a new room where you’ll live alone.

It’s clean and not too shabby.
The quiet and solitude you’ve always kind of craved bounces off the plain white walls.
Loneliness can be so loud sometimes.

In your dreams you are back where you were, and she is there too,
with not quite enough space in the bed and her reading light on late into the night.
You toss in your sleep and your foot brushes warmth, skin too clammy in a muggy apartment bedroom.

You think when you wake you will make her an omelette, a little crispy on the edges the way she likes.
Maybe she’ll make the coffee beside you, with the full silence of people who are used to working side by side.

Afterwards you’ll do the dishes, burning off a few more nerve endings in the scalding foam of muddy water.
You’ve never had a dishwasher in this place, so you know your way around the sink by heart.
Scrape the pan, leaving little brown bits floating, then clink together plates of filmy yellow yolk.

When you really do wake up, in the new room, the realization hits you hard:
that in fact you can roll over many times or hog all the covers if you want and there is no one to make breakfast for.

It’s disorienting to feel the crisp new twin sized sheets that will never be worn down by the two of you,
the ones you picked out alone,
staring stone faced in an endless aisle of colors and thread count.

You knew from the start she was a little wild and unknowable but it’s what you loved about her.
The fragile light beaming bright in whatever direction she chose.
It felt good to have her shine it on you for awhile.
Your life together wasn’t perfect but it was steady.
(sometimes you wonder if the stillness is what left her undone)

But now you rouse and pull on your clothes.
In time your shirt will stop smelling like her and the edge of the pain will dull.
Already a family of bouncing boys is using your old bed frame.
With noise like that, they won’t even notice how it squeaks.

You pawned off all your things like that in the last days before check out:
the couch your grandma bought as a wedding gift, an odd assortment of lamps,
a cutting board where you chopped so many onions for your soup.
It wasn’t hard to let them go and you smiled to think of better days ahead for your possessions, the old bones of your life together.

When the place is finally empty,
you roll up your sleeves and start to scrub away the grime that built up over time.
You clean the slimy edge around the sink that usually went unnoticed,
the dusty slats of the blinds,
and the dirty corner of the bathroom, only visible from the toilet. Lastly you head to the front flower box to pull up the tomato plants.

Many come up easily, with a little tug.
Those are the ones she planted this spring thinking you would like to can them in September.
But one plant gives you some trouble, and it pleases you just a little to see it put up a fight.

The roots of this one have really taken hold, it came up voluntarily every year without any prompting.

Last year it grew so big it curled right up the front porch and sent shoots circling the spokes of her bike.
Covered in tomatoes, It looked like she had parked it there forever.

Eventually the plant comes up and you hall it to the bin for debris.
You clean up the big mess of fallen tomatoes except for a few roll aways that scatter under the bushes where you can’t reach.
Then all the while, as you turn in your keys, collect your deposit, and walk away, you imagine those tomatoes going to seed.

I wonder if you’ll drive by on your way home someday, next year, or maybe when you’re older and find that they’ve sprouted again into huge abundant bushes, so big that nobody bothers to pull them.

Tomatoes will dangle from every stem, shining, bulging, ready to burst.

You’ll smile when you notice from your car window, in a quiet knowing way.

And whoever is with you, a lover, a friend, a wife, will notice and ask you why.

Oh nothing you’ll say, as you keep on driving.

But inside you’ll smile, knowing that once they are tangled up together,

there are some things that just can’t easily be undone.

photo