The worm

Why have you never been happy? Asked the caterpillar

I do not know, said the worm

For I have tried, to find meaning in wriggling through mud

Surely I have put effort into higher purpose 

Yet it eludes me for certain

And the caterpillar

Understood

For he would soon transfer his frustration

Into colored flight

Becoming even if for a short while

A thing of polination and cast of beauty

Surely people wept when his life, so short, would end

And still they taunt the worm though it cleanses the earth

For we are kinder to beauty than usefulness

And our lot is hard to fathom

From a ninety degree turn

Walking as we do, on top of the worm

Fulcrum

Once

That part that burned to taste

Urged me to crumple up and set fire to rocket

Rushing in sky, a mauve glove of geese, maybe I’d die in pursuit

Or perhaps retain the heat of being young and urging on

Like galloping upon horse across darkened moor

Would permit youth to live evermore in witnessing starlight

I recall that impetious surge

To swallow up the entire sky

Opening my lusty mouth wide 

Consume all I could shove inside

Learning, love, adventure, dream, pain

Extinquish hesitate

Now it seems

Such a different version of me

I am no more the linx who came out in ebony hour

Thirsting for touch and feel, experiences mixed in bags of sticky fingered treats

To exist purely in a waking sleep

Smoking the reefer of self deceit, shifting always with instinctual unease

In whose arms, I longed to go, with my whole

And yet ever as if I were just passing through

Never laying down long enough to know

What struck real metal, versus weak afterglow

It was

The life we may choose to dreamily walk through

Until some bell or shackle

Maybe a curse, maybe worse

Or a loosening of something always within us, waiting to be witnessed

Halts the hedonistic child clutching her fat purse

Of fanciful, unraveled, egotism colored outbursts

Shakes her quite loose of her self satisfied joints

All the sweetness, all the spice

She is only this girl because she’s yet to find

There is so much more in the soft slowing of the mind

And when you see in an old woman’s eye

The girl she once was, held steady against her rounding shine

It is with joy you embrace the whole

Her fulcrum, glowing luminous along with moon

Let her out


The wax in your wane

Needle on smooth track

A song from twenty years back

When you didn’t have

The holes you have now

Crocheting skin with doubt

When you just threw yourself open

Dancing in a crowd with long wick

Breasts high, chin tight, feet on tiptoe

The candle lasted all through night 

And we spilled, like red polinated seeds

Out into dark city streets

Bra straps, cyclist legs, powdered glee

It’s not the bravado of youth 

But the absence of ghosts

Keeps us free

***

I am you 

I am the flicker of past who asks

What did you do with your true self?

Packaged up in trepidation so soft

Lulled yourself to sleepwalking 

Years passed like finger on fast forward

Before you know 

Almost

On the cusp of memory

A girl with an open smile

Running towards you

Gone, not lost

Unpick the confine

Let her out

That she may find again

Herself

Her light


Once

I was a narrow backed bird

My wings were thimbles 

Dipped in vermillion

And male birds

With fat heads and thin legs

Betraying insubstantiality

Bowed and pecked, scratched in dirt

Of ardor and the absurd

Inflation being the territory of youth

Puff up, and let loose, shallow breath

I stood, cased in thought

Whorls of sea, hissing in my ears

Watching the pantomime of suitors

Without impression beyond wishing

To reveal innermost truth

To tell them, I am not the amaretto heart

My legs may part but the secret requires a key

The covet you have, is not for me

But a flickering illusion

Born on gold wheat and full fat milk

Where shyly school children sit hip to hip

Attempting to swallow the future, spoonful by spoonful

Wondering

Will I grow tall and willowy? Attract the grazing male?

Or stay suet and solid, in the finery of my own chainmail?

Not shifting with the glare

Nor melting beneath reporate

Feet grounded and solid

Like a much weathered tree will gain, higher purchase

Had I known then

The value of solidity

I’d have filled my belly 

Stretching out like a catamaran

Ready to receive weight of water

Cupped once, twice, thrice

Until beneath us, all else sinks

A stone among stones, building

Fortress against cruel turn of attraction and other auctions

So easily sold for naught

I would have been a yellow woman

Christened by yoke

Feathered in shellac pose

Hardened in ocre sun

Yet able to rise like morning bread

To embrace the less savage road

Where love is not dependant upon

Rude strings of shiny beeds and fleeting sum

Nor the appraisal of one, unable to understand

The warm value of the feminine

And not that cast off coat, threadbare in her insulation

He will soon see right through his own

Penchant for the fantastical

She is weathered, moored in confidence, for her walk

He may never glance her way

Though when he says he saw

The sunset and it was beautiful

He may indeed, be describing

Her light

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 

Selfhood

Four and twenty years

The flower in the room

Lain closed

Was no more than dim statue

Vase without rose

Color without sight

Shape losing distinction

And those who sought its open

Knew not the riddle

And so the light that came

Was always mute

Hesitant on ringing cusp

So close to elucidate, yet

What we know .. can simply be words

Spoken without access

As skater will skim surface

Unbeknownst of depth

So our hearts may idle dormant

Through many turning seasons

Held in abayance as treasure is horded

Lost over time to silentio

**

Do not put off finding your source

Though deep it runs beneath the world

Gathering sediment, silt and clay

What shape will we form, when lifted out?

Held to inspection, as writhing newborn

The metal in our veins fastening

This soul of salt 

This fusion of minerals 

Cast against unwanted chessboard

Where all demand a role

How do we learn to wade?

The fridgid waters of other’s demands

Yolking us back to previous destination

When all we strive for is the warrior pose

Striking our way forward in certitude

It is hard to remain resolute

In the eye of other’s storms

To hold on when you are being tossed

Over the edge of plundering vessel

**

Yet

Remember

You were born in motion

Swimming before breath

Breath before word

And they baptized you, based on their own heaviness

And they spooled you out, cast wide into frothy sea

Attempting to repair themselves in their seizure, of your liberty

**

It is not, returning to them, you go

But the highlands

Where only those able to breathe thin air

Can survive 

Among the castaways and forgotten

You found yourself

Knew the piston of your core

For its oiled heart

Ticking over, even as you held your breath

These many years of half won life

**

Watch the glimmering sky dispose day and usher gloves of dark

As mime artist speaks in gestured dance

See the low swoop of heavy headed swallows

Break apart and like gloaming magnet, reassert

Their whole in sight of land, gleaming in shortening pathway

Just beyond marbled horizon, saturated in indigo pulse

Where all you always were, stands waiting

To be claimed, and shone, and worn

In the splendor of selfhood, eager to push forward and meet approaching dawn

Cinder

I hope when we leave this lapsing category of malaise
It is to move toward; “All better now” and “well”

And never look back ….

At those rags that became us

Chained to a monstrous reality

Foisted like gravity

An unnatural disaster, scattering months

As what you took for granted can mock

Even the most stalwert

**

Before we were thrown together 

You were sane and I was whole

Not the vomiting wretch you met

In the dim hallway of limbo

We held onto each other

As broken pieces seek comfort

In the sharp edges of others

Not misery loving company, as pleated savagry

Misunderstood by that exterior world named;

“Those who are well, as we are no longer”

**

It was always night and always day

No difference

No discernment

To starve on the circumfrance 

You understood

The sudden loss of everything

We wrote, as violet penned lovers

On pieces of ourselves

Every tear, every unfurnished gap

Showing where parts of our whole had

Turned to ashen facsimile

**

In our former world

We may never have

Shared a long drawn breath

And here, in a room without clocks

We assemble words like kindling

Speaking of forbidden things

The rest of the world seeks succor from

Sickness you see, is a social pariah

People flee, even family

And the world could have burnt down outside this hospital

With you and I clad in backless gowns

The ribboned IV, a sharp needle with scratched song

Our wet faces seeing only the glue of disease

Dancing like embers at the edge of pinkening day

Rolling into months, as illness will smother whatever you were before

You lost the bet ….

**

Longing to leave this new role with the urgent lust of addicts

Nosing bags of sugar, to reclaim health

Though it were a fabled prize

And maybe it is 

For those shod on soft shoes

Feeling every stone beneath

Something of trauma, acts as language

Only you, only I, understand

We’ll never be the same now

Whether we survived or died

Shifting mystery within, to a new state without

Everything changes, even the taste of day and close of night

A voice

A warning

Unwelcome insight

And you tell me

We are closer for sharing a preview of death

Than friends who laughed together for decades

For fear can make strange bed fellows

**

It is true

My friend found in darkness

Reflection of what we never say outloud

It is my wish we gather everything we have left

Set fire to the pyre

Douse argument

Walk right through

Finding out there is a bridge

Even when you almost gave up

There are hands reaching 

For whatever is left after the fall

Hope

Pitches a tent in the parking lot and waits however long

And it is that 

Or maybe nothing more than will

A will to reclaim

That sets us trying again and again

With the forge of desire

Silver in a cloudless sky

The barrier of herself

The bird

who is not a bird

but has mosaic feathers

dipped in tar

this bird

who is neither oil nor waterproof

sinks

and then

licked by white fire

lent by God or fishermen

some happen-chance salvation of sorts

this bird

rises as phoenican ships will be

swallowed momentarily by

cresting waves the size of

mountains

bursts with light only matched

by a lifting of spirit into cloud

casting her netted permanance

against rush and churn

of life fighting with itself

this bird

who now possesses compass and ink

soars in oxygen and silence

this bird

who spent years

fearing how

instinctively breaks through

the barrier of herself

Defiance

14718735_10202095537187418_8475389863967140182_nAs she ticks upward

the hours tick down

crossed off by permanent pen

no you will not live this moment again

seize it as you would a hot sparkler

waved maniacal by laughing children

through mittened thin protection of wool

and in that conjure

you still the thunder of

what you didn’t achieve

what you didn’t yet reach

in the circumference of your dreams

just before burn

becomes indelible

raise up

let go of all worldly commands

to obey and bow

you are beholden only

to ushered majesty of tomorrow

make it worth your time

here standing in line with

other decaying eyes

blinking against saline

for soon you will rise

a little sorer for your walk

parchment for skin

timidity taking over waltz

then when you think it’s too late

surprise yourself again

swelling with love and energy

like the old dog who hears his returning master

will out run even March hare

for nothing is as lasting

as devotion

turning blushing cheek to quixotic moon

spilling beyond possibility

like frozen water is released

with first thaw

purest of all