I’m all nerve
but not the good kind:
when I’m made of backbone
and adrenaline–
when I’m feeling brave.

No, this is the fearful kind:
quick pulse and shivers,
always turning to run.

You think my heart a shrinking violet,
but I know I’ve taken bigger leaps than this.

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As we fall into step I ask a penny for your thoughts
“Oh, nothing,” you say, “well, nothing so easily bought.”

Sliding into the rhythm of your silence, I almost forget
how lonely I’d been until that autumn morning we met.

At bedtime up along my childhood’s stairway, tongues
of fire cast shadows. Too earnest, too highstrung.

My desire is endless: others ended when I’d only started.
Then, there was you: so whole-hog, so wholehearted.

Think of the thousands of nights and the shadows fought.
And the mornings of light. I try to read your thought.

In the strange openness of your face, I’m powerless.
Always this love. Always this infinity between us.

-Michael O’Siadhail

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we’ll leave it far and far away–
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and–
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And I knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart–
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I’ll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

-e.e. cummings

It feels like Christmas morning;
Me-waking too early,
sprawled out between mattress and tossed & twisted
blanket, crisp air biting until the
heater revs up and takes off.
It’s that familiar morning, that God-blessed freedom,
the reluctant patience, waiting for Mom & Dad to
brew their coffee, sitting on knees by colored paper.

The tree looks different in the light of Christmas
morning; the night before had something like promise & twinkling
lights but now–we’re waiting still–rays of sunlight
pierce through the windows & dust particles lightly
swim the air. The sweet pine smell of the tree, it’s
dying slowly now, and we’re waiting.
Maybe we’re always waiting.

It is that morning, my heart swells, at first, but then
I feel it slipping away and close my eyes;
the hum of the heater kicks off and I’m cold, and tired still.

It’s going to be okay.

I close tightly my arms around the front of my body
to keep in the heat. To keep out the cold.

It hurts, but you have to feel it.

I cross the street and wish I had worn more layers,
shiver and feel the sting in my lungs.

I remember that night we sang as loud as we could
that song you loved so much.
There’s nothing worse than feeling nothing.
Even the cruel ache of a broken heart, leaking its poison:
The scenes repeating–the endless reel.
Waiting on time to beat on, to drag again.

You have to feel it; it’s good for you.

Those words glide through the channels of my mind
and I let the hurt hover over me.
It’s almost a tribute to the source,
I think, and I’m looking out onto an empty landscape.
The white frost on the grass. A sleepy corner covered in
winter’s breath.

I’m interrupting the frozen silence here,
my heart burns red.
It throbs and sits heavy like a sigh,
reminding the world that something is alive.

I shut my eyes
and I remember that I’m free.

I thought we just rang in the new year–toasting possibility,
more empty pages to fill and dreams that light our eyes.
But June is already slipping away:
we’re making small talk about hot days and busy weekends.
I swear the months pass more quickly than they used to.

And I’m awake like the flowers bloomed,
looking around me to see what’s new and what’s changed
and what’s coming.
What a good season, I think. My heart races
looking forward.

And what I’ve learned is to live Now and not later:
Now in the midst, Now when rain soaks my skin dark blue,
and thunder booms gunmetal silver,
and Now when my soul
is lit up pure white,
like a paper lantern soaring high among the countless stars.

All my life, I was walking along,
Carrying my burdens, keeping them in sight.
With my weary mouth I was singing your song,
Waiting for everything to feel alright.

I was stuck working out tenses and time zones
Thinking I would stumble on all the things to know;
I was still just a bag of aching bones
Looking for the right seed to sow.

The truth is, I was scared of getting dirty.
Kicking myself for never biting my tongue;
Making things more complicated than they should be.
A little progress always brought me back to square one.

But I didn’t need to worry,
No, I didn’t need to worry,
Because you took me in your arms
And you carried me home.

I was so busy tying my own noose
Tripping over past mistakes:
All those things you told me to lose,
All those things I just couldn’t shake.

I wanted to surrender to your love;
It was the only thing I wanted to do.
My own strength was never enough,
So you told me to let go and let you.

Now I can see I was the biggest fool of all.
Putting myself through so much more than you ever would.
Screaming, Please don’t let me fall!
When you said there was no way you ever could.

But I didn’t need to worry,
No, I didn’t need to worry,
Because you took me in your arms
And you carried me home.

But now we’re laughing those memories away
Because all that pain is done.
Like you always used to say,
Take heart, my love, ’cause GOOD HAS WON.

When I think back on better days
You are there, but they all fade away.
My mind flutters & lands on love, sans the rest.
What can I say? You were the best.
I know now that it was never enough,
But my God, it was a beautiful love.

And like a late night in Paris, I’m there again,
Thinking on you and breathing you in.
I’ve never been one to get so distraught,
Oh, but I could fall apart at the thought.

But then the present breaks through, something darts by
Enough to bring me back and catch my eye.
It’s hard to keep track of the moments I get lost in
But I know that everything ends for something new to begin.

They say that the real good times are yet to be;
I’m learning to love the things I cannot see.

I was a fragile thing, crawling on the floor
Just to reach the other side.
I was looking for something beautiful
And it was You every time.
I felt You first, You even called me by name.
And You were the one who kept me alive.

You were in my grieving and my sorrow,
You were at the center of my every delight,
You were the quiet, sacred moments I’d find.
You were my comfort, my soul’s missing piece,
You held my heart in Your hands
And You were the keeper of my life.

You were the painted sky – pink, gold and blue,
You were the warm sun, the petals blooming,
The endless horizon line.
The mystery of the universe, the glowing moon at night,
Surrounded by tiny specks of light.
You were everything I could see and You filled my dreams,
You were the assurance that everything would someday be made right.

You were my constant friend, every swell of my heart;
You were the only wisdom I could find.
Every breath, every desire, and every hope of forever.
I was waiting so long, I was lifting my eyes,
Reaching for the hand that shaped the skies;
I went to the end of everything I knew,
And every day brought new glimpses of You. 

Now everything is clear and time is a distant memory.
Every hope made complete as I cross the sparkling sea,
The still surface of melted diamonds reflecting Your light.
Rays of bright gold bursting from Your heart,
The heavens around me waiting on Your word.

You were with me before, it was always You.
But now all my desperate longing is fulfilled,
My yearning is forever through.

I am the most fortunate beast;
Figuring out this chain much to the dismay of the rest.
How many years has it taken us to get here?
And thanks be to nature’s favor that we turned out so well.
There is only this side of the stars,
And it’s gone our way since the beginning.
Now we can study life and its millions of pieces
So we can put a name to the Earth’s parts.

What comes is happenstance.
I will eat and drink and carry on,
As long as I’m in this state – higher than the others.
Everything has a place in this domain:
Building blocks and cells and creatures,
No – not created but came to be.

Isn’t it a wonder?
To dig up the things that came about
And learned to live the best way.
To be part of this time in history
Is quite the honor.
Knowledge is power,
Moving forward is the only way.

I’m part of this brilliant cycle
Under the stars, to dissipate into dust.
To contemplate further is asking too much,
No, we are alone under the stars, we’ll soon be dust.

(Jeremiah 14:22)

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