Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Full


Sometimes abundance appears before me - effortlessly - ripe on the vine, bursting with color and flavor, kissed by the sun, surrounded by fragrant blooms. Even before I pluck it and bring it to my lips I can taste its sweetness, feel its juice dripping down my chin.

Those moments pass too quickly.

In the between when the world goes from fertile to fallow, veiled in gray, I must, I must, taste the sweetness again. But how, when my eyelids are heavy, my energy stores empty? Like a desert wanderer, I squint and see - whether by imagination or inspiration or a heady mirage - the water and the juicy morsels. It is enough to get me up and at 'em, to light candles, to pour a drink, to mince, to chop, to stir, to cook up nourishment for the tired traveler.

Tonight there was pasta, simply prepared with garlic, nuts and herbs, adorned with a small pile of curly parmesan and a sprinkling of crushed peppers. It looked ordinary steaming in its bowl, but I swirled it around the spoon and took bite after bite. The oil pooled on my lips and as I slowly licked it away I tasted a different kind of abundance with its own brand of sweetness - the kind I can create.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Self


I am the light touch
the well-timed smile
the glistening eye
the playful banter.
I am ease and enjoyment
a soft place to land.

I am the passionate embrace
the tear-stained cheeks
the deep conversation
the question with no answer.
I am struggle and surrender
an ocean of feeling.

I am two sides of a coin
flipped in the air
heads and tails
heads and tails
spinning in motion.
I am multi-dimensional.
I am not at odds; I am not even.

I am outstretched arms
open palms
beating heart.
I am present
willing
ready.
Are you?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Descent


even the small poems mean something, they are
often whales in the bodies of tiny fish. 
-nayyirah waheed

The alarm sounded at nine on Thursday morning. It was just a drill.
All the same, the suits went marching down 23 flights of stairs.
Fearing an avalanche of shirts and ties if I slipped
I sang to myself, Step, Step, Step, keeping cadence with the rhythm of my feet.
I reached the bottom safely, muscles long asleep quivered awake.

Today another bell rang, but not the office safety kind. This was not a drill.
All the same, I went marching down 14 years of memories. Engrossed,
I forgot my fears of the avalanche. I slipped, stumbled, recovered my footing.
The familiar song Step, Step, Step chirped in the background.
Tired, but whole, I reached the bottom, muscles long asleep quivered awake. 




Monday, January 12, 2015

Please


“all that was 
taken
from me 
is still here.”
--Nayyirah Waheed, “root | immortal”


Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Ask her
What does it feel like?
She might tell you

Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Listen
Listen to the answer
Like a dark hole I’ve fallen into

Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Let him cry
For as long as he needs
Tears are the tunnel to pass through

Please
Please if you know someone grieving
Ask, Listen, Let
There is no greater gift
Nothing better you can do

“when I am lost
touch the back of my water
and 
i will return.”
--Nayyirah Waheed, salt

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Want You


I want you
not the way
young lovers want
all appetite and impulse
longing and angst

I want you
the way
waves want sand
to wash over
to rub against
then recede

I want you
not the way
a babe wants mother
needing nourishment
craving security

I want you
the way
sky wants clouds
seeking contrast
white and grey suspended
in soft blue

I want you
not the way
I used to want you
in raw desire
but in assured strength

I want you
the way
earth wants rain
enjoying tickle and splash
then letting
sun evaporate

I want you
not because I am
not complete
without you
half of a whole

I want you
because I don't
have to have you
because I can
still want you
and want me too

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stand Still


Swirling, foaming
singing, roaming
The waters stir
when moved upon

In constant motion
eyes wide-open
The hearts drinks in
the life that teems

     And then...

The movements cease
there is stand-still, peace
A space for rest
and silent exhale

Yet Soul resists
bucks up against
the quiet calm
Wades in, cautious


     And now....

Self must bow low
Accept ebb and flow
Trust time and change
Surrender to the lull

The impulse to test
pound fists to chest
eventually fades
     Souls settles, floats




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Filling Up


I have tears hovering at the tips of my eyelashes. They seem to want me to know that they are there for a reason, but they won't come out without a bit of coaxing - like my eight-year-old when he hides behind my favorite chair and lets out a tiny squeak to alert me that he wants me to retrieve him.

I feel like I did after my baby died and I was without a little one, when I felt the ache of empty arms. Those were the days when I longed to nurse a breathing child at my breast, to hear its gulps and coos, when I wanted to hold and to cuddle and to care for a teeny babe - my babe - and the wanting and longing burrowed its way deep inside and created a chasm within. A chasm that could only be filled with full arms, pink cheeks and a diapered bottom. 

One day the chasm was filled.


Today I feel the same gaping hole, though this one didn't form from the same longing. This hunger has been birthed during my time in The Alone - in the internal terrain where every soul must travel in search of home. It seems the hours spent here have been chipping away at a stony core, like each drop of pain (whether it be from piercing or healing or both) has been carving away a deep, wide, open, ever-growing, empty space. And unlike the chasm that was carved in my unquenchable thirst for another child, I haven't been sure what or who to fill this one with.

I thought at first that what was forming was space for other, for lover, for a man. I wondered if the only way for it to be full was for the liquid essence - the inner waters - of another to be poured into it over time, through love, tenderness, intimacy and relationship.

But as I stood along the chasm's edges, peering over it and taking in the vastness and beauty of the space, I knew that the Sacred Empty was there for me - and me alone - to fill.

So I asked myself, "Is there enough of me to fill this part of myself? And if there is, how?"  

I remembered back to times long gone by and times so recent that the dust is still on my feet, when I have quickly and easily and eagerly given myself away. I recalled my impulse to spread my treasures, my hard-earned polished bits, out on the table not because someone asked, but simply because I had them and I needed another to see them.

I realized that just as quickly as I have laid myself out, I can gather myself back, scoop those pieces toward me, and tuck them away into the Sacred Empty, to delight in, to celebrate, to revel over, and to fill me. I can stand next to what I have gathered and speak the words that only satisfy when they come from deep within. I can open my mouth and use my own voice to praise the good I see. I can do for myself what I have wanted for too long from another.

It isn't that I will tuck away my treasures and hoard them forever, never to share. For I know that just as surely as I need to be filled up, there will be a time to empty out. There will also be a time when the waters of another will pour into other parts of me, and I will be and feel filled. But even then, the Sacred Empty will remain. And even then, it will be mine to fill.


Already, it's a little less empty than when I found it.