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October 3rd, 2018

IMG_4660
it is spring
there are flowers everywhere.
joyous
stretching
kissing the light
shocking colors that only god can make

i memorize them, for darker days.
wild
as they are.


at dusk
they fold inward.
sleeping until dawn.


my soul opens into the night
it is peaceful
the air is thicker,
closer to my skin somehow


coyotes running free
singing to one another
and to me



before and after

October 3rd, 2018

IMG_4335
it seems that we keep time
in before and after.
not so much in days or years,
but in moments that stop everything.

some moments create deep fissures
in the skin of our souls,
as though splintering the heart,
penetrating even our deepest being.

each soul is marked by scars
by tears not shed
by pain too great
by fires gone out
by before,
and after.


living in color

June 25th, 2018

IMG_4209Will I be grateful for my life when it is over?
or, will I die wanting more?
I hope not.
Time, and time, and more time, to what end?
I am learning to be grateful for temporary things
love, kinship, a smile, eyes that truly see.
I look at the trees,
I doubt they complain about the years they don’t have.
It seems enough to stretch their branches toward the sun,
to witness thunder and soak up fresh drops of rain,
to stand tall without demanding eternity.
Each little thing is more than enough on it’s own.
Why does humanity insist on living forever?
I admire the beauty and strength of the trees,
endlessly renewing, shedding the old and moving on.
It is the way of the universe.
We live, we grow old, we die,
maybe we change form and shape and live again,
somehow or another.
It doesn’t matter
one life is magical enough,
if I don’t waste it living in desperation and fear.

Today I am free
because I ran while I still could
and broke the terrible bonds of abuse.


that damn shoe

March 9th, 2018

IMG_3817You taught me to walk in the other one’s shoes,
rather than feel my own pain.
Maybe that person had a bad day, maybe their feet hurt…
maybe that person is just mean and I shouldn’t try to understand!

I wish I had just told you to walk in my shoes!
I had enough pain, didn’t need someone else’s.

I needed to scream!
But you taught me that my screams were worthless,
so why bother.
Understanding why makes all the pain better?
I don’t think so.
I understand what it did for me, in the end,
I turned myself inside out wearing that damn shoe.


secret

June 9th, 2017

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hiding
like a secret,
behind the floppy green leaves,
this tiny pocket of flowers
brought a sweet smile to my heart today

i had forgotten
perhaps
that secrets should be joyous


there was a time when my life held many secrets.
sorrows i could not contain
searching wildly for courage
to scream
and run
and run
and never stop
until the world was safe again


it took not courage,
but only
the tiniest flower of hope,
to find my legs.
and little hands to hold my own
as we made our way
from the secrets to our light.



the smell of water

November 25th, 2016

IMG_4966there is no sidewalk, so i walk in the street.
the hills are steep for my old knees
but my legs are strong now

i love that i can smell the water
and almost taste the green of the cool space
near the top of the longest hill.
there are always birds here
and small critters i can hear, but not see

the drought has choked the life out of many of our trees.
grass is stiff and yellow, what there is of it.
there are fewer flowers and their perfume no longer lingers on the air
so this oasis on the side of the road is welcome
like an old friend

I still reach out to low hanging branches
touching their tender leaves
with my fingertips
and my breath.
it feels like a kiss.
and i hold it softly to me
as i walk past

I walk this hill to touch my world
to admire the flowers
and whisper to the trees,
and to watch the birds float across the sky
and into my heart

I walk this hill for me
for my soul more than for my body.
I know that i belong right here,
in this little bit of the world


dying on the vine

June 14th, 2016

IMG_4470the flower is old
dying
but the bush lives,
there will be another flower

i wonder
does she struggle to breathe?
is she fearful of the end?

growing older changes me
i feel dried out
less self-reliant
colorless

i do not want to be replaceable,
gone from my own life,
but, i am vain

old news

May 11th, 2016

IMG_4545I remember a time
when people had no need for guns
when dogs slept in the streets, and children played there

doors were never locked,
and neighbors came and went like family
news did not travel quite so quickly then,
and it was not so bad it seems

I wish that my children
and their children
could have known the world as it was then

but time moves always forward
old, and bent, and troubled
with bullets and bombs
and terror
breaking what it can not bend

sparkle

April 2nd, 2016

walk

This is my walk.

Nearly every day
I say hello to flowers and trees and tall grass
as they sparkle in the late afternoon sun

My heart records their incredible beauty and sad decay.
I focus on the shapes and colors of the leaves,
the twisted limbs of ancient trees.
every flower is delicate, unique.
some are faded, some vibrant
some reaching around others for a glimpse of the sun

The scent on the wind
infuses unspeakable joy
into my heart and my bones.

My sister walks with me
almost every day,
but not today, and I am feeling alone
until I notice that today feels magical
the late spring sunset has cast a golden glow on everything around me

I touch the low branches and caress the leaves
and I realize that I, too, am part what happens here
I am not just an observer
I belong here
with them

my patchwork quilt

March 18th, 2016

springno sooner does my head touch the pillow
than the patchwork quilt of my memories and regrets
pulls itself up around me
and snuggles in for the night.

every remembrance,
whether lovely or sad, has its own patch in the quilt.

the beautiful faces of my children and grandchildren,
my poor little mother, dying before she was even my age,
chasing fireflies on soft summer nights,
priorities and pride
surrendered
to temporary needs and desire.

each patch is stitched to the next with the dark threads of regret.
i can find no forgiveness for myself.
time and age have not softened my sorrows,
nor the pain of regret
for the sorrows I have caused.

if it weren’t for the big yellow mutt
who demands his space on the bed each night
I don’t think I would ever sleep.