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Tight-rope March 13, 2014

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Tight-rope walking with a
rope around my waist
hanging onto memories
of times I cannot place
the words are formed upon
the lips my
fingers used to trace
and I know that I will fall
if I keep
moving at this
pace
but if I stop to face the ground
my work will be a waste

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Linger June 7, 2013

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The bass is in my chest
and it makes me feel hollow
Recent events, whatever they mean,
make a hard pill to swallow and
There’s no time to feed
the self loathing that’s roaming
in my head and my heart
or blame the rules of the game
So I shrug off the shame
lying bare on my shoulders
and move forward
But the road has grown longer
and meaner, and I don’t
want to linger here in this
faux purgatory more than I have to,
more than I need to
“I’ll pull through, in the end,”
I tell myself, like I’d
tell a friend.
For now I’m a ghost
making the most of
the time that I’m given
to prove I am driven
enough.

St. James Infirmary February 21, 2013

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Blue skies, blue eyes
a sad, sad story
it’s a simple progression
to make misery
a wailing song
been too damn long
since blue’s been
a good color

Any color would be
a welcome sight
to these weary eyes
a yellow bright
or a red like wine
would be more than fine
but everything’s gone grey

It’s just as well
I didn’t appreciate it
anyway

Hush February 19, 2013

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I.

She squeezed her lover’s hand. It seemed an innocent enough gesture to those around. But they knew the secret to keeping it all hush, hush.
Three squeezes meant “I love you”
Four squeezes meant “I love you, too”
One long squeeze meant “Please don’t leave me”
This message was lost to the second lover as they picked up their bag and waved goodbye, feigning happiness to the lover left behind. To the unconvinced Brena.

It was then that she remembered the first time she said those 3 beautiful words.
“I love you”
“Hush!” her lover laughed, “someone may hear you.
“Let them hear!” Brena retorted, firmly but lovingly
“I wish I were as brave as you”

II.

Brena sat on the cliff overlooking the quiet sea, waiting. It had been months since her lover left. She took a pebble in her hand and squeezed it thrice.

She feared for her beloved, out to sea. She shook as the wind blew but not from the cold. Rather, she shook from the quick air penetrating the growing hole in her chest. The waves swelled and hit the rocks below as her heart, too, swelled, sure that her lover was already on her way back.

She had to be.

III.

Brena wasn’t sleeping well. Nightmares of hungry men having their way with her love, holding her down and muffling her screams kept her awake.

The images had her tossing and turning in the bed she used to share.
She told herself that no matter what she would put her back together again. She would brush the sea air out of her hair and rebuild her from the ground up.

IV.

The ship came back but her lover did not. The men ignored her worried, persistent questions. She went to the cliff again and told herself she would jump.

But the sea told her “No.”

V.

Brena was visited by officials a couple of days after the ship came back, without her lover. With no other family, her beloved’s belongings were returned to her.  A scarf, a leather bag, and a pair of work boots.

“What of her emerald? She never took it off.” Brena inquired.

“Hush, do not speak out of turn woman,” the man of God raised a hand, “We are truly sorry for your loss. Your sister was a magnificent sailor.”

Brena did not correct him and he said nothing of the emerald.

VI.

In the dirty hands of the sailors, drinking in the local tavern, was the emerald in question. A raven landed on the window sill, and eyed the jewel with curiosity.
“Didn’t take much to obtain it, stupid girl didn’t put up much of a fight,” said a drunken sailor.
“Hush! Drink makes you loud and foolish,” his friends warned.
The raven flew toward the sea.

They stumbled back to their wives, no worry of the morning’s repercussions in their mind, only the present merriment.
They were spared the harsh, judging light of day for none would wake with the sun.
Their blood drained from their throats,
Their tongues cut from their mouths,
Their bodies covered in black feathers.
The last sound they heard before death took them hung in the air, more than a promise. More than a threat.

“Hush”

Apple Tree January 24, 2013

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On my best days
I still think about it
that place that exists only in my mind,
as far as I know.
I close my eyes and
I can feel the gentle breeze
and the grass tickle my ankles
There we have a house,
small but more than enough
We’re rarely inside anyways

We have a bed
and a tea kettle
and one apple tree that
sits outside our window
and taps the glass on stormy nights

We often look toward the horizon
where grass meets sky
and feel nothing but peace

The only reminder of the
world beyond our little house
is the occasional piece of mail
that finds its way to our mailbox
shaped like a bird house

I feel your hand reach for mine
and I smile because
nothing could make this any better

When I open my eyes
real life is blinding and out of focus
but if I squint just right
I can see our one
apple tree

 

 

Tears Grow Nothing March 21, 2012

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Don’t let me define you.
I am not a mirror
and even those are flawed.

Let me start over.

I am a gesture.
At best, a natural occurrence.
A pretty face and nothing more.

Don’t let me decide for you.
That’s not fair
I am not equipped for that
And you deserve better

At the end of the day,
no matter how many petals you pull,
he’s never coming back
And I’m only a flower.

Prophecy: Emerald City October 23, 2011

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When winds are agreeable
and the sky is clear
they will reunite in
the Emerald City
where, months before, nothing
could touch them;
our fiery star turned
their city into a gem
among rocks
and everyday was a dream
they never wanted to
wake up from
Alas, two lovers must part
but not for long

One sails north to find
better things
for his scholarly mind
to attend to
(while his heart lingers on her)
And if his search is fruitless
he will wait for things
to find him
If nothing else
he is patient
And when he grows thirsty
(as he often does)
he will think of nothing
but her voice,
like water,
whispering his favorite words

The other flies south
for the colors
and song birds
Flies south for her
own intellectual prospects,
expensive but promising;
when the days seem long
she will take it as a challenge
and fill the hours with music,
(sad but beautiful)
And when the sun no
longer warms her
feathers, she will long
for her northern star
more than ever

Liquid Courage August 18, 2011

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Dearest Champagne lips
you dream of grandeur
of romantic times and romantic places
and are often disappointed
You are far from steady ground
and it crumbles beneath your feet with
every drink:
The foundation of beauty upon which
your worldly view lies,
The lens through which you capture rare
instances of radiance.

Although you are on the brink of destruction
your biggest fear is drowning in your own tears
and a broken heart,
the most treasured part, torn to pieces
and left on the floor, forgotten
There must be something in the air
that’s making you feel this way
The darkest places, although full of unknown,
may be hiding the greatest treasures
And when all else failed and the ground
started to crack
Love took your face in both of his hands
to protect you from the outside pitter patter
(threatening to pull you under)
A kiss told all of your secrets
and he loved you more still

For a heart in strong hands
has no worry of falling
no matter how uneven the footing

Stream of Thought July 21, 2011

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Hey Momma you’d be so proud
of me. I know it’s hard to
believe but my
creature fear has disappeared
for better or worse
a boy with a coin
and a dream in his heart-
love: from the start
of his hand holding mine
and a kiss that defines
what love truly is-
swept me off my
earth dwelling feet

Make a little room
for this build up
of hope
to smother your fears
I know it looks grim
but I’ll light the way
with a torch in each hand
to brighten the eyes

No wolves in the garden
hungry with greed
to swallow the seeds
of all our hard work
beneath all the dirt
is life, after all
above it is air
and a lone lily
stands, firmly and free

wake me gently
to leave my dreams
floating
oblivious, unknowing
to my firm, reaching hand

Seeing Red April 8, 2011

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An absence of red
has left me feeling
blue

plastic paradise
or soon to be
high glass walls
your world,
your aquatic cathedral
rocks and a
solitary,
green tree in which
to sit.
I imagine those were
the times you
did the most thinking
whatever it was you
thought about

In the sun you
glittered like a
Christmas ornament
and, in the same respect,
brought such light
and life
to an otherwise
barren bookshelf.
I never knew something
so small
could make me so happy.
And yet so heartbroken
when absent.

I gave you more
credit than most
and I sacrificed a
reputation of sanity
to spare you a few words.
For a creature who
lived, ate, and
loved a plastic tree
(more than I thought possible)
I adored you as if
I had brought you into
this world myself,
plastic bag in hand.

And what’s in a name, anyway?
Mostly irony, in
your case.
Although red, an innocent
life
was lead
down to the last pebble
and like your name sake
you left us in spring
a time of pinks and yellows
but no red
just empty glass
and an unoccupied
plastic
tree.

RIP Mussolini, the red beta fish. May you find many plastic trees to keep you happy in the big fish bowl in the sky. I miss you.