Nearing fire

Ophelia_by_EarthDefectShe was not a hunter

She did not compete

There were no hands on the tinder clocks, rebinding feats.

When it rained, she stayed dry

Her hearth and rug, small morsels of comfort clutched

For not venturing out, salved potential for harm.

She grew up on the black hard bread of fear

Of the river breaking its banks and drowning

Those she loved

It was an inherited sense of loss

Passed down through heavy curtains, generations of individuals, feeling cast off

All the instability of fine china, balancing, teetering, turning to shattered lotuses.

She saw what happened when they lied and said she was safe

She could feel the pink welts, smell the violation, as it poured down the road, a torrent of what humanity can do

To a child.

She grew scars as self armor

Moved further to the fireplace to touch the source of its continual scald

When it stormed outside she didn’t join the rushing tide

The pinches, taunts, jostling, glut on perpetual war

Plasma and soldiers, drunk on devouring dear goodness

She stayed listening to the sound of the rasping wind

Beating on the old oak door

As if everything possible came together and fought

To get inside.

She stayed set apart from her given trajectory, a kite who cut her wings

Turning to liquid and back into wax, only to melt, nearing fire

They say fear is an echo, set the trap, watch it snap back

Until, submerged there’s no end, but the point you began, to let it rule.

She watched fear remove, her skin, her sight, and blind with fright, she consumed her own shadow

Till it was the only place to return, and burning into reduction she saw the reflection of someone with nothing to lose.

Expunging soot from her stained lungs, she let herself pass through the cloak of heat, demolishing every trace

Rising from emptiness, becoming ash in air and last dancer of ember, she saw

Hands spin trees into forests, reclaiming what was lost, in hungering inferno.

A girl who closed the door and checked beneath the bed, was gone

In her place the outline of a cowering form, afraid, yet, stepping from

The thin ledge we believe protects us from imagined harm

When all along we torment ourselves with far greater, considered terrors

Better that we face head on, destroy facade, turn to rubble and rebuild

Our resolution for survival, as we will always near, fire.


Simply forward

How early morning light

Discovers a new pucker, a fine line

The crepe of hands unwrung from fear

Too many years I was hostage to you


Thinking age would only color more vivid

That anxious sickness, a trembling nerve

Raw to this unforgiving gallivant

Pills can only gloss over the root

Purple and bruised

It is not enough to look away

You will meet in unguarded moment


Bilious with trepidation of this gift of life

We have 

Glass blowers of naught and much

Configured our trajectories

To eliminate handling this butchers theatre

We poise through fingers held before our eyes

Seeing segments and no practice of


Given to calm souls

Seeking just enough

I do not know how

To carve peace

Like a white horse out of chalky cliffs side

To stand as marker 

When the sea gathers her cockled skirts and rises

Over our heads


As a child I wet the bed

In roacharch patterns

One was a tiger

The other a shooting star 

And as I stood craning my neck to see 

The tiger clamped onto my small foot and dragged me beneath

Where only fear and marbles lay

Without direction or elucidate

My nightgown became a map bleached of purpose, bleating surrender

My hands grew like midnight iris, long and stray

Unable to capture magnification


We learn our hobble

We embrace killer 

Of playtime

Sketching devil’s from unknowns

Casting deep nets with myriad holes

Surely nothing alive

Shall follow our wake

As Persephone

It is in the silt at the bottom we stay

Conned by shadows into believing

The fur lined pockets of nightmares


With this lantern

Pressed against a desire to scream

Abandon effort, rebuke change

For how foolish we feel

Naked again, starting over like blind mice

For how scared the taste

Of difference

So long appeased by secluded ideal

Poisoning thatched way

As we think we know, we undo

The signs and wonder

Glimmering in transit, should we observe

It is 

Never too late

To learn 

The effort of 

Fighting against


She only survives when

In our desperate cast we 

Feed her habit 


I turn 


Lowering my hands from my face

Seeing without mask 

The fullness of being afraid

Staying steadfast

One foot in front of the other


Links of intention

A necklace

Keeping us together

Though wind and rain comes

We seek the hour when it will be


Unmade of nerved past

A natural walk 

Simply forward


The icons

Their gilted, leafed, gold

Vibrant vermillion

Watch with watery eyes

Dried on stone

As old as memory

They shift


Less than the fierce jackknifing

Of human need

As hot as birth

Waiting for rain

The saints

Painted with care

Remain vivid

As those who bleed

Live too fast and bruise

As dragonflies tussle

Enmeshed in each other’s flicker 

For a shortness that seems