There is a place

There is a place, to quench your thirst

It lies

Further than you can reach

And 

Nearer than losing hope

For if you fall short

And beseach the void

With nothing more than the scars of your trial

There will be no reply

From the dieties we cut out of paper and hang from the sky

There will be no response

From those Gods of the underworld, intent on war

And even calling upon Gia

She will cast a long weekend storm 

Drowning your faith in rain

Too easy to retrace and see again

The drizzle of despair, mocking courage

Only do not linger there on your knees

Carrying terror along a shiver of bone, knives on sleet

For haunted corridors have no permanent harness 

No freedom to defy, unless permission is granted

Only do not linger there in terror’s savage maw

Past fears may mount campaigns, but you

Sailed away on a blue midnight train

Wreathed in pale smoke and all unspoken dreams

For as long as you listen for fear, the record will remain

Stuck on a slow dance without willing partner

Choose your new shoes, write your own song

Frequent heartburn doesn’t hurt when you transfer to thirst

And drink deeply, for within the spring hope is refound

And God’s? They live not in clouds but within us

Lending the strength to never ever give up

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Voyager

I woke up and I wasn’t, me anymore

I had the emaciated body of someone starving on a full belly

Of a broken promise, shaped like a hennaed woman

I took off my wig, spectacles, teeth

And the skin child stood empied beneath quizzical stares

Tested for her taint

The diagnosis throttled me

Nymphs in weeds

The uncertainty held me down

Poisoning in vogue

The loss sat like a stuffed bear

Snarling without glee

The smell of bonfire on my skirt

Mud beneath my eyelids caking sight

So many labels, sticky to the touch

Like toffee left to run, patching over who I would have become

If warm nightmares hadn’t stirred

An unease as vigilant as a curse

Wondering, whether to unlearn

Bravery, a tarnished metal band

Playing for the hard of hearing 

How to train a slack horse

To regain the urge to bolt from his stall

As sleek as otter, sweat steaming in fridgid air

Beseachment riding, her violin back

From small things can come great change

Tamarind stains mandala, winking in the earth’s center

Bend to listen, hear the wet hoofs thunder and grind to dust

Those somber things of past

Where tensed against expectation

Rain poured like a singular thought

Blotting out sound with puckered mouth

In carousel prayers, lie the warm seed with violet heart

Whosoever nurtures patience, may again discover

As from frost comes first flower, urging from dormant

The spring of hope, pure and boyant as you recalled

Returning home after passage through hell

See the signs and wonder, when before you missed out

From nothing comes Renewal, staining her skirts in dew

Unafraid of the unknown, a journey we grow into

Chasing nothing but the feeling of sun, filigree elm branches

Now free of the weight of snow, rosey buds unfurled and supplicate

As we divine beneath, with grateful hearts

Voyager of ourselves and the might of stars

Something we used to be

When snowflakes melt

They melt from the outside, in

When people dissolve

They dissolve from the inside, out

You may not even know

That person standing next to you on the bus

Has nothing inside but icing

We are, after all, consummate sleepwalkers

And act, as if we wrap up everything, it will thaw

Even as the emptying of layers reveals it was 

Only shadow muffled

Something we used to be 

Before it became too hard

And the deception

Feels like a fickle lover, you can’t quit

A lung full of poisoning

A bed without dreamers

Only then the clock reveals

All its missing time

You spent putting bows on hollow boxes, with empty routines and unpolished shoes

When you could have been

Watching snow fall

Like a blanketed mirror of another world

Where you didn’t cut your finger on fears edge

And slip unconscious into hedging your bets

Where you found your long lost mittens and hat

Red against virgin snow, sledding almost vertical

We choose our closed doors with care

Would that we gave such attention to those standing slightly open

Offering a way to cut through resisting ice

Restoring wonderment 

You got out

(Part of a new series of poems about people whom I have met, who profoundly moved me).

They said

no it’s not a person, it’s a trash bag, or wad of clothing

as I turned the car around

knowing it was a girl, curled into herself

it was for her, the end of a long night

for me, an early morning drive

into rising sun

indigo girl

her limbs thin enough, to resemble twigs

hair colored black, face still-water of a child

she waved us off

no, no, no, I’m fine here

in the fetal position, on the cement

lying by the side of road exhaust

as predator number 10, idles his car and asks

do you want me to take you home

baby?

I press myself to the window glass

no, don’t get in the car!

he looks angry when she says

I’m just taking a nap, goodnight

his lust drives off, leaving fuel staining like road kill

I wonder

what he would have done if

all 90 pounds of her, in tiny shorts and torn top

had accepted his bearly, concealed hunger

how many predators comb

early morning side walks, hoping

to pick up lost girls?

she’s got sense and she also, doesn’t know

but I do

I was her once

crawling out of an abandoned warehouse

knife wounds, waltzing on my throat

cold semen in my belly

clawmarks designating, my survival

bearly

the car that stopped then

a light in darkness

they took me away, from near death

when so easily

I could have been picked up, a second time

a third,

by hands with bad intention

when you are fallen

people often crowd in, to help you

fall again

like wolves who smell

the coming of blood and

vulnerabilities, we think we hide

I told her

don’t get into a car with a lone man, or group of men

they may not show their fangs but

you are a little piece of goodness

sometimes people who prowl, want to hurt

that shining within you

we drove

she was looking out the window

with her unslept eyes and the residue of last night

still high on her pain

and for the first time in my life

I no longer felt a victim

but one of the imaginary horses, I used to ride

speeding away from slick, sales-man, cough

of curb-side prowler

I wanted to make her better

but sometimes you can only

patch and release

to maybe nothing safer than hope

with a few words

wishing, that when she’s sober

waking without assault

she remembers

you were her once

and you got out

 

Freedom from your scorn

babushka_1-tcall me anything you like or don’t call me at all

you’re cold when I’m hot and hot when I’m cold

many years past you asked that I leave

go away you said this isn’t your continent you do not belong here this is not your country

your jaw was too narrow to carry your eyes

I could see in between your bones and feel your lies

you sent me metaphorically packing

because of that I stayed

though you were right in a way, I did not belong

call me anything you like or don’t call me at all

you’re cold when I’m hot and hot when I’m cold

sometimes when someone threatens you

you say, okay then, bring it on

and you watch yourself fall down the rabbit hole

next time I’m challenged to a duel, I may hang up my sword

catch the next bus out-of-town

proving ourselves in battle, rarely avoids scars

call me anything you like or don’t call me at all

you’re cold when I’m hot and hot when I’m cold

what makes one person give another everything?

even when they know they will never receive an ounce in return?

do we loathe ourselves that much?

call me anything you like or don’t call me at all

you’re cold when I’m hot and hot when I’m cold

I’m done, breaking my heart over people

least of all you

you who broke me and didn’t even know you did

how absurd we are who give everything

to an empty hanger in an empty wardrobe in an empty chest within our empty arms

call me anything you like or don’t call me at all

you’re cold when I’m hot and hot when I’m cold

and I’m out of here with freedom from your scorn