Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Waters In Winter

A Place to Stand
16 September 2016

Beneath the sky, upon the ground,
between green grass and frozen waters,
I am a bed of cold, cold sand.
You scratched the words into the surface:
You must find A Place To Stand.

Always, my feet were on the grass
around the reservoir in springtime.
I made the flowers grow, the leaves green;
I caused the sweet, warm breeze to blow.
Always this has seemed to me
a solid place to rest and weep.

The waters received my tears.
Soft wind blows, my hair a plait
behind me. The sun was warm;
kept the chill of grief at bay.

I dreamed beneath my midnight skies
of dancing stars, among the citrine fireflies.
I'd rest in dreams, not lies. Not lies.
Always, this has seemed to me
the safest place to rest and sleep.

Even here, a chill could creep into my mind,
into my sleep. Between the grass and reservoir,
I'd be a bed of warm, wet sand, the water taking
slowly any words traced there, by any hand.

The thread of cold is constant, day or night,
but springtime is rest, summer is for dancing,
fall a time for honey-sweet reprieve for tired feet.

Always a chill creeps through the grass.
Always I know it comes, and I cling
to all these vestiges of autumn, summer, spring.

Winter, I deny. Winter is a cold, hard eye
avoided. A small rebellion,
now there's nothing left to push against.
Only choice. Only me and my desire
to sleep, dance, rest in warmth of forgetting fires.

If I stand beside the Reservoir in winter,
the grass will crunch beneath my feet,
reminding me of spring and citrine fireflies.
I'll place the cold, hard stone of grief
beneath my feet where rain can't penetrate.

It is frozen.

I'll stand on grief in wintertime.
I'll stand barefoot beneath a sliver moon.
In the dead, chill air, my hair hangs loose.
I'll bow my head, hair falling like a curtain
hiding tears that slowly freeze
before they reach the reservoir—
the reservoir that never runs dry.
They freeze before they fall. I know,
I know they all will make their way
in springtime to the waters.

Beside the waters in winter,
I can still remember green and living things,
but songs as sad and sweet as empty honeycomb
sing softly through the trees.
Carp still swim the depths, but snow begins to fall,
and I don't need them to remember. I know.
Unsleeping memory opens wide
on still green grass, frosted in the evening's glow.

I'll stretch myself beside the frozen waters,
gaze upon capacious midnight skies
and unmoved stars above. The world does not tilt
in wintertime. Grief is foundation enough,
even for my heart's shifting.

Beneath the sky, upon the ground,
between green grass and frozen waters,
I am a bed of cold, cold sand
bearing your inscription.

Winter is my place to stand.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Family History

24 August 2016, 12:45 am

It happens slowly,
all at once.
Those of them who know the story
leave those of us who know less.
We who know little
begin to pass on the narrative
to those who know nothing.
We deemed it fitting,
they were so young.
What would we tell them of the hurts,
of the anger,

I find the story necessary,
now those who were there when I wasn't
begin to fall silent. Few now can tell me
what I don't already know.
Few now can give me what I never wanted,
what now I can't live without--
the mortar to hold together
the gross, obvious bricks I couldn't bury,
the wounds that never healed.

There are pains which cannot be relieved
by therapy, by understanding,
by the act of naming.
They must be lanced and drained,
but the tools for such grow few
as time dances away from us,
as do the Ones Who Know,
the Ones Who Might Bring Understanding,

the Ones Who Are No Longer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Moving On II

The quality of the doors has changed;
of the walls, the floors, the light.
This room was a different place before
we packed up her precious things.
She had possessed it, made it move,
and now it lies still, not dead, but waiting.
No longer hers, it longs, as does she,
for what comes next.

George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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