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Tag: National Poetry Month (page 1 of 3)

Eventually

I dream different things as I grow older.

Gone are the rosy visions of a
white tulle gown and a grinning groom.
A fat pink baby wrapped in a quilt
I sewed in an effort to stem the tides of
my impatience through an endless, sticky
summer.

And a sunny, grassy yard
lined with berries and bird feeders.

These days I dream less of love, that
fickle thing.

More the clatter of passersby in
Venetian canals. The ache and throb of my legs
as I round the top of a postcard mountain.
Crisp reds and yellows and greens of a
farmer’s market in the equally crisp
morning air.

Still that sunny, grassy yard, though.
Lined with berries and bird feeders.

And seeing and hearing and tasting things
that make my heart feel as if it will burst.
Things that make my fingers reach for a pen.

And maybe love. Maybe still. A different kind.

Steady. Patient. Arrived. An envelope.

Or a symphony. Not the rush of youth’s tides.
A building of things, a minutely increasing
everything that becomes a masterpiece.

And the isn’t-this-world-beautiful kind of
love. Awe. At the masterpieces that are
already here.

And the final, beautiful discovery that
giving is more satisfying than receiving.

Giving, giving, giving every piece of me.
Sending life out into the world in
notebooks and hearty laughs and weeping
willows. And eventually this very soil.

Eventually another, different dream will
come true.

Eventually the right one. The right love.

 

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water man

A gray hair in his whiskers,
a sudden sign of fallibility in my Herculean
hero of a man

A man who doesn’t fall or recede

who only
pushes forth, pushes forth

like time, like water through the rocks

Will he age?
Will he pull back like the tides
telling me that nightfall is arriving soon,
that the sun will no longer be
upon my shoulder?

Will he become just a man?

No. He will push forth, push forth
until there are no more rocks to
break through

until he floods into the plains
and valleys, washing the world in
the spirit of things
that can’t quite be harnessed

Come with me, he will say.
Come with me and defy these ideas
of walls and gravity and
alarm-clock hearts.

Come with me and push forth into
the impossible.

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Seeing the Monets

We like the Monets.
He prefers Rouen Cathedral and I prefer the ships in La Havre.

Each is a palette of blues and grays, and a bit of orange.

Each evokes some sense of fate forthcoming, the sun running
over the waters and elegant spires reaching into the sky.
Grand things.
Things that command silence, or awe, or gratitude.

Image: Sunrise (Marine) by Claude Monet, courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Image: Sunrise (Marine) by Claude Monet, courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

We move through the museum at a medium pace,
stopping in front of walls next to other
congregations of worshippers, heads lifted

not because we need to do so to see – we could step back -
but because it feels right to only look up at miracles,
it feels right to place ourselves at their feet.

Image: Courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program

Image: The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light by Claude Monet, courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Someday we will hang prints of the Monets on our walls,
remember tumbling out of the museum into a black courtyard
dotted with tiny white lights, a copy of the sky above us.

I took a picture of him that night, another copy
of something more beautiful.

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Atlas

I picture him in the middle of that glass house,
feet planted firmly on a stone pedestal

holding up the earth

stretching, stretching as tall as he can

he has no other choice

he hasn’t considered
being
any other way

he hasn’t considered
just
being

He will stretch, heft
his earth up through that crisp, white ceiling
into the sky

more, more
still more

until he has stretched himself so far, so thin,
that he disappears from sight

until there is just a pedestal left standing empty
in the middle of a glass house

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Date Nights

When I was very small, I used to watch her get ready for dates.
She would lean into the mirror and dab on lipstick. My favorite
was a berry burgundy. It made her look exotic, more like
the women on television, less like my mother.

I used to try on her brown boots while she
brushed and fluffed and sprayed and powdered.
They came clear up to my thighs and made a fun clunk-clunk
as I marched up and down our short hallway, my arms held
at my sides like a runner’s, my hands in determined fists.
When she had taken a last satisfied look in the mirror,
she would hold out her hand in request. My fun clunk-clunk
was done. I would shimmy out of the boots and watch her
pull them over her calves, become a tall willow of a woman.

A few minutes later, the doorbell, a kiss on my forehead,
a breeze of our front door opening and shutting, the smell
of her citrus perfume filling our toy-strewn living room.
I read books while I waited for her, wearing the shape of her
berry burgundy lips on my forehead like a badge of honor.

I awoke to her returning in the blackness, my head having
long ago surrendered to the heavy pull of sleep, a book still in
my hand. I could hear her boots in the hall, water running,
the sound of her boots once more. Then her undecorated lips
kissing my smudged forehead, back to being my mother again.

 

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A Choreographed Life

The last one is gone
and now it is so
silent in this place

I can hear sounds
from the nearby
houses, families
chattering and laughing,
dishes clinking together

But here
there is just the sound of

me

the scratch of
a blue pen traveling
across my notebook

wine cascading
into my glass

a sigh… a sneeze
punctuating the room,
and then the
silence returns

People say habit
makes time stall

but that isn’t true

The days blend into
one another seamlessly
with nothing more to
look back on
or run toward

There is just now,
a choreographed life

repeating

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Sensations

It begins slowly:

a tingling on my skin

a fluttering in my chest

poetry begins to fall from my lips

My body wakes up,
limb by limb

muscles and sinew becoming fluid,
pushing and pulling as one
until… ah, there – just now,
they beg me to dance

like that old familiar routine

that feeling of home

Then my soul rushes in,
full of hymns and lust and
nectar, a fierce thing

And, at last

I am filled up.
I am wild.
I am new.

(How brave I am
with you by my side!)

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peeling back the layers

Not until
I was alone
in this
silent house
did I realize
how quietly
I can cry

Not until
I led a
silent life
did I realize
how little
they had all
listened

Not until
I chose to
write truths
did I realize
how easily
we lie
to each other

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Loving and Breaking

All these brave souls

loving and breaking…
loving and breaking…

Loving.

Breaking.

Gathering up the pieces,
trying again and again.

Reaching out
even as their hearts
are still crumbling.

I wish I was one
of them.

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