Day 26

Before the sun rises

My dear one

My darling

Before the sun welcomes the blue back to the sky

Before the the dove coos

From it’s nest in the rafters

Before you open your eyes

Limned with laughter

My prize

Before the dew gathers

While the wind travels north

Before the sea wakes the gulls with it’s churning

And tendrils of seedlings are dazzled by morning

Let me whisper a secret

Let me invoke the last rite

My dear one

My darling

My ends of the earth

Love without scruple

Let me bid you goodnight.

And that is how

And that is how I knew,

Between the hours of twilight and morning,

What could be hoped for could also be mine.

What could be dreamed

Might also be captured in the fading light of dreams

And be brought into a blaze of mourning glory,

And be won.

And be mine.

Pied Piper

To follow a heart beat

A murmur

Of beauty

To live like there is a tomorrow

And a day after that

Forever

To cling to a hope

Incandescent

And fully

To realize a passion

That calls me back home

 

To discover perfection

And bask in its glory

Living a dream that comes not

From myself

Singing the tune

Without words

Yet a story

That’s been sung

By the Angels before time began

 

I find myself walking

A path much less taken

Following music

That no one can hear

Strangers, they stare

And mock at my dancing

Missing the beat of the drums

That do call

The righteous

Made pure by the blood of

Atonement

To be where we always belonged

 

And sorrows fall quiet

Pain silenced

Fear drowned

As light

Not from the sun

Warms my face

I am crowned

An heir to fulfillment

Of the thing only dreamed

In the world made of shadows

In the cool breath of night

Finally surfacing

Gleaming

And at last I have sight

Of the gift that was given

Of the thing in my grasp

And I hear music again

Different and deep:

A voice saying

“Well done

My good, faithful servant.

Well done.”

And I rest.

To be a Poet Laureate

My poetry always ends up sounding like something out of a yet to be discovered Shell Silverstein book. I read Where the Sidewalk Ends, when I was little, not Robert Frost, and my young mind appears to have soaked up every bit and stored it away. I feel like I have some sort of bizarre, latent gift that surfaces every once in a while, briefly, and then leaves. Or rather the desire departs from me.

Words are so difficult to arrange. My favorite book is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, by Patricia Mckillip. It’s on of her earlier works, and it also garnered her a World Fantasy Award. When I had discovered it for the first time, I had been attracted to the woman on the cover with dark eyes and white hair, standing serenely beside a lion. It smelt musty, like an old dust jacket, but inside there had slept a different world that came to life wherever my eyes touched. She wrote, I discovered, as if she had been handed a specific number of words, and she had rearranged them into what they had always intended themselves to be. I didn’t know it at the time, but something caught in me when I read that book. That fantasy novel was not like the ones that lined the shelves at my local thrift store, with gaudy, glossy covers of women in tight leather, riding dragons, red and purple and black splashed heedlessly through the illustration. I wasn’t listening to a middle aged woman venting her vivid, fantastical dreams. It was carefully sculpted and lyrical. It was warm, yet precisely refined, like a diamond. I then and there if I could write like that, then that would be enough. To paint with my words without seeming melodramatic, and to relate my dreams without growing lost in the sea of voices.

To write not one word more, or less, than is needed. That is my struggle.

Now, my poetry. The very idea seems ludicrous. Me? My poetry? It always leans either to the whimsical or the deep, heavy stuff the heart is made of, and is rarely, if it ever was, good at all. Yet none the less, there are those moments where I pick up a pen, and I begin to write. Words start filling the page and all I can do when it’s over is stare at them and wonder where they came from. All my other writing is vastly different. Like right now, for example. My regular compositions often reflect what I happen to be reading at the moment (for the curious: Laurie R. King’s God of the Hive). That truth has often put me in odd bearings depending on the quality of my sources. I’ve noticed that if I don’t read at all, my writing suffers, and if I read books that are beyond my comprehension, my brain absorbs, quite hungrily, I must say, and adapts in ways I am only aware of when I write. And my writing also is effected by sheer hours I put in writing. I picked up a pencil when I was fourteen, wrote every day, and two years later my writing was often confused for an adult’s. But my poetry.

Ah, there you have it. My poetry is always what it is; in my poetry, behind the rhymes, is the face of my childhood and my grown-up heart, woven inextricably together.

 

 

One day under a sky so clear

And a sea so calm

Stood fear

In robes made of the darkest stuff

Whose irises reflected night

And whose breath reached out to spread decay

Whose voice was gravel

low and rough

Would never cease all time to convey

The desperate desire to both run

And stay

Until the heart gave out

And the bravest hand gave way

 

He simpered in the open ears

Of rulers warming ornate chairs

While men marched quiet to their death

And the children softly wept

Because the quiet in the dark

Consumed the noise of life and took

The hope the heart, it’s treasure, stores

 

But an army rose to speak

Truth with banners bright

Against the bleak

With light ablaze behind their eyes

And a blade of truth to try

They shook the earth with steps unchanging

Never wavering

And never blinking

 

He hears a rumble distant, faint

And turns his face to feel the warmth

Of a burning inside the soul

Of worthless men

Of pluck that’s quaint

 

But distantly

Still yet he hears

Them coming nearer

Across the years

Until at last upon his face

Something far different from a sneer

Overtakes his features, slack

And a foot once planted firm

As if made of stone

Steps back.

From ‘fly not yet’

Fly not yet! the fount that played,

In times of old, through Ammon’s shade,

Though icy cold by day it ran,

Yet still, like sounds of mirth, began

To burn when night was near;

And thus should woman’s heart and looks

At noon be cold as winter brooks,

Nor kindle till the night, returning,

Brings their genial hour for burning.

O! stay-O! stay –

When did morning ever break

And find such beaming eyes awake

And those that sparkle here!

>Thomas Moore

I wonder how it could have felt to be the Muse of such an attention.

I found this poem in a chocolate bar. I love it.

Remember

A sliver thread

Of thoughts

that runs through souls.

Why am I here,

they whisper,

and why are you?

For what purpose do we breath

and laugh

and cry?

Others would think that

Chance is the god to be served.

That Chance is what gave us souls

and a mind to exercise

a will.

Chance is what makes us

question why we are here.

Why we are.

I look into the eye of Chance,

an empty chalice of

man’s wisdoms,

our greatest minds,

and I see nothing.

Nothing but the keen of

a mother who has lost her only child.

Nothing but an empty vessel

to crawl inside and

beat the walls of.

The god Chance stares bleakly past me,

ignoring my questions,

my pleadings,

my demands for answers

for why I cannot see

beyond the reach of my fingers,

and why I cannot know

the secrets of the present that

I used to call my future;

I weep at its feet.

Why do you speak to that stone

as if it will answer?

I raise my face,

seeking a voice in my head.

I am its servant, I gasp,

it is my lord. 

My world is in shadow

by the breadth of a great eagle

blocking the sun. It cries

and I cry,

clutching my ears.

Feathers run through my vision,

and I no longer

see what I was serving.

Wings envelope me,

pull me close.

Daughter, 

are you listening?

I do not answer.

Daughter! The voice thunders

in my head,

in my heart.

Do you believe that 

I am capable? 

Or do you wish 

to  sit at the feet 

of this thing you made 

in place of me? 

—-

The noise of questions,

the cacophony of will

and doubt

subsides into a

soft hum.

An ultimatum.

And I listen.

Do you believe that I 

am competent

to make the life created

by my hands

worth living? 

Do you believe I will not

forget?

That you will never

be small enough to slip

through my fingers?

Am I faithful? 

And

in that stillness of His right arm

I ponder two answers.

And I know then that

there is only one.

I release my whip

and reigns

I have used to direct,

from my cramped hands.

I can no longer find my stone God.

I can no longer hear it

whispering of fear,

or uncertainty.

I close my eyes as I feel

a stirring

in my throat.

With my freed palms

I reach up and

remember

how to sing.