The house seemed smaller, now seen with older eyes...
The street seemed narrower, the trees taller..
Where once were open fields across the road
New construction had bloomed
The small fruit orchard had disappeared
But somehow we knew it would still be there....
Strangely different, ...yet much the same
There was an unfamiliar young child's tricycle
On the flagstone path that we laid...
In front of this little house that lies
Beyond the curve, where the old sycamore grew...
Suddenly, thirty years faded into that autumn day
And quickly had become a springtime of our lives.....
...of first Christmas trees,..of first anniversaries...
...a place where I cried night after night when mother died...
...and spent long, starry nights holding newborn babes....
Yes....it is all still there, in the little yellow house
Funny, but I'm glad they kept the yellow...
It has the same white shutters...
The little yellow house, with a flagstone pathway that we laid
That sits beyond the curve, where the old sycamore grew...
I count my walks through herbs and shells
never knowing how old bones can be fleshed
from a heart bound on scrolls of endings,
and here I am among rows of an orchard…
feet like dust sanded by twelve months
of famine and feast ; somehow the maple boughs
wither from the laundry of evenings’ regret.
Often times, like the gypsy rose,
I climb into the lattice of my family tree
smelling its tar and citrus that knit arms
glossed by twilight’s love,
then raked by froths of autumn’s debris.
Closing a fence as another year shuts off,
I am between silence and scream…
eyes groaning with the music
of an anonymous breeze sheltering
a collected beauty of tragedy and the comedy
of drama: trials pinned by veiled nights
when kinship endures the flood of weather's hands.
It is so, I mean, the certainty of taming
the last ride before new seeds from a new year
twirl upon unborn fruits…
I disrobe the old bones to greet the unknown.
"“In times of test, family is best.” – Burmese Proverb
Carol Eastman's Enter The Best of 2014 Contest
by nette onclaud
The morning sun peeks in my window
as I feel a tug at my feet
how could I not smile
at that little sheepish grin
Easter morn has arrived
He is risen
and so shall I
Pitter-patter across the worn pine floor
giggles, shrieks and laughter fill my home
searching for the hidden coloured eggs
my joyous children roam.
Such a special day.
Dressed in our new spring best
we show our love for Him
celebrating with close friends and family
indulging in delectable candies and cakes
a family game of whiffle ball,
pushing my little one on the swings
enjoying each others company
basking in the freshness of the great outdoors
The skies begin to darken
the stars start to shine
our day has come to an end.
After all the hugs are given
the I love you's spoken
kisses blown, good byes said
I climb up high into my cold brass bed
and reflect upon this glorious day
again it's just me and You
I carry my mother
like a rock in my pocket
that I just can’t seem to throw away
It serves me
it just weighs me down
When I first found it,
when I first picked it up
and started carrying it with me,
I thought it so beautiful –
I could look at it for hours
But, like my mother,
it never looked back at me,
never grew warm under my loving gaze
For the longest, I was blind to that,
Blind to anything but the beauty,
blind to the cold, hard,
beyond-remote nature of the rock,
of my mother,
I carry my mother,
a thought without weight
And she’s heavier
and she’s colder
than all the stones
By the time I recognized her
immutable, emotional unavailability,
I had run out of joy,
felt depleted of hope –
But I could not,
for the life of me,
stop seeking a beauty, a warmth,
inside her heart
Could not stop
that one day this stone,
deep inside my pocket,
Might just become
its own opposite –
Change from hard to fluid,
from cold to warm
But my rock, my hard burden,
will only turn to water
When my mother
A small little word
And yet so hard to say
It tempts me to say
Maybe I can make it work
I so desperately want to say yes
To see you disappointed
Those times when I have no time
When I am stretched to the limit
One on top of the other
The important less important things in my life
When I have no energy
No extra to give
No way of knowing if I'm making a mistake
I say no to give myself a break
Some space to breathe
Is meant to protect
No you can't go
To that party
Spend time with that girl
Hang out with that guy
No I won't change my mind
Even though I have to be the bad guy
No is a declaration
That I care for you
I want only the best
I want no harm to come to you
No is a tool I use to strengthen you
No you can't quit
You must finish what you start
There is no better feeling
Than seeing you succeed
Those times I said
"No, you can do it on your own."
Even though I desperately wanted to help
No meant I trusted and believed in you
You can do more than you think you can
No one is more proud of you
I wish you to know
The power of no
When it comes to a girl
No really does mean no
When you are put in an awkward place
You don't have to say yes
Choose your no wisely
No I don't want to go
No I don't want another drink
No I have somewhere else to be
No I will not let you treat her that way
No you cannot cross that line
No I deserve better than that
Yes, no is a small little word
It can change your path
Give you time to breathe
No, opens up possibilities
That is right for you
Yes or no
I believe you will choose wisely
Even though no
Can be a hard word to say
Visited you today
as the sun set in the horizon…
the orange tinged carnations
were a perfect complement
for the skies
and for you…
orange and blue
always remind me of you
the winds softly blew
and I just sat there
staring at the grass,
well more at your name really…
what I am looking at,
that it’s been seven years
of missing you,
of just putting that reality
at the back of my mind…
But there are days,
such as today
which make me
confront that reality—
I see your smile,
remember your laughter
celebrate your spirit
and your love
Tears, I tell you I have
the most stubborn tears
maybe because they
make it so real for me?
I look around me
and look for that sign
Nope, not there…
I say a prayer
and speak to you
thankful for the life shared
I kiss the date that you were born
and walk away
my reflection on the car window
One last look around,
and then I see it…
a cat, as we drive away…
Skies now streaked purple and pink
**My brother would have been 40 today, May 6…
A chalky moon rises, from still air, drawn on
smooth, blue-black paper sky. A New Year's eve
like this, seems too calm to be real, to feel
nothing but peace; snow covers tree branches
like fleece, yet I am warmed by a fire inside,
wrapped tight in the starry glow of tomorrow's
promise. As this year's memories glide across
my heart, all the love flows through me like oxygen,
beginning with the purest breath of youthful
innocence, me and you, under a diamond-cut
crescent moon. Many picturesque nights
have come and gone since then - the me and you
now we - a family. Somewhere a clock chimes
twelve times, when your first kiss of the new year
wakes me from my nostalgic dreams, my joy returns
to the moment, a new year, new memories,
a love more real, more true, than the chalky moon.
Laughter drifts through the house, ....it has been such a while
Debate filters in, from the kids in the kitchen
The rafters are rattled with two strong opinions
Girls against boys, with opposing positions
I've watched them shuffle their cards and argue who won,
They seem to be lost, in the light masquerade,
of bittersweet happiness that is dim from the gray
Dipping their chips into onion laced cream
smacking their lips, and drinking their cokes
They are betting a few of the red plastic discs,
that will ante' this round
...I listen, and smile, it's a beautiful sound, ...
So long overdue,.......
we are embracing the mood... and it is time that we do....
Now a new game ensues.....
Monopoly, perhaps? Or charades, they will play
Whatever it is, ........ let it fill up the day
Let it take them away,....away from the gray
I let up the shade
to watch the evening come in, bringing umber and rust,
as earth swallows dusk, which is fading away
From the living room window, I am hoping to see
geese flying back to their warm winter homes
All nature seems normal, routine, once again
Winter is coming and a new year begins
How will it be now, this journey, untried,?
As we move on, wearing smiles, wearing grief on our sleeves
Smiles, for awhile, hiding anguish, and pride
Cold days are arriving......and there is talk on the hill
where tall pine trees are whispering,
reminding the creek, and the ash trees are shedding
and katydids will not call out condolences in the dark
Soon enough, when the lark sings, wet grass will need tending
stacks of shutters will need painting,
and snow will yet need to be pushed aside
How will they cope..?
He's not here to do it...but somehow we hope
they will wade their way through it..
But for now , at a kitchen table
for these brief moments, they are able
to laugh, argue, and have fun...
Someone shouts out, "I won!"..
Joy is hard work...but it needs to be done
Your house still smells like you:
Warm shortbread and lavender soap -
Comforting and agonizing.
Your plants still bloom,
Perched beside the window
Where the kettle waits to be filled.
But your rocking chair is still
And all is quiet.
I could have fallen to pieces
Like a hand-blown vase
Hurled against green walls
Or dropped on old floorboards
Through fingers slick with shock.
But you sewed me up
With words gone by.
Your remnant thoughts
(So similar to thoughts I've had)
Penned in your slanted scrawl,
Filling pages with perfect rhymes
And clever observations.
Here you'll live forever
In vibrant verses and lilting lines.
And I'll live here too
Until the last salty drop
Lands on the final page.
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
See the woman.
See the face behind its age.
See the beauty of her form.
See the way her way becomes her.
See past her once taught skin, as it was
when it enflamed many a man.
See the way she holds her head;
the tilt of her neck, the ease
of her being.
See the strength that binds her jaw,
unrelenting in its flex.
See her hurt displayed, as shadows
fall like night upon the earth,
eager for rest and resolution -
for the one she could not save.
See her darkness. See it very well.
See it shatter like glass, glinting,
when she giggles like a girl.
See her shine.
As the shades of dark days rise,
See the years that grace her eyes,
like rays of her own sun
exponentially shining forth.
See forgiveness in her patient hands
as they weave memories with a touch.
See the breadth of her breasts,
for they have quenched her children’s hunger,
soothed their frantic cries,
and became the safe haven for her beloved.
See her empty, scarred abdomen –
round and perfect in its imperfections,
once holding the essence of all things;
carrying creation within –
see the divine home of God.
See the innocent baby,
the impetuous youth,
the voluptuous woman,
the devoted wife,
the selfless mother.
See the wisdom of the grandmother –
the epitome of every moment lived
for someone else, and the realization
of the circle.
Hear the acceptance in her sigh.
See the gifts she has given –
see the woman!
See the goddess!
The beginning and the end!
See the infinite that bares the name,
See her for all that she is and isn’t.
Smell her scent and know you are home.
Taste the strength of her words on your tongue.
Hear her experiences like your own.
To touch her soul is to touch perpetuity!
See her face in your mirror.
See the tears that fall proudly
upon the woman you’ve become,
and hope yet to become
when you have lived through all that has been
set before you –
tasted each woman’s tears as if they were your own.
When you enter that perfect union,
when you become,
when you come
you will see yourself in all things,
and your journey, will see you back
*Reposted for Chris's Get Your Rebel On, Contest! This was written with my Beautiful
Grandmother in mind. She saved my life in more ways than one. love you, Gran. This one's
for you. (and every woman, and woman lover, here)
Tell me that this fear is just paranoia in my mind,
we're not straining, we're not struggling,
we're not sinking, we're just fine.
I'm not perfect my dearest, but damn have I tried,
and I'll try harder but I know I'll have the same results every time.
Do you want me all the ways that I am?
With all the struggles and the tears and the clinging to your hand.
I fear your getting further and Im left on the shore to stand,
watching you in the distance with a bullet in my hand.
Tell me all this worry, its just clutter in my mind,
tell me not to worry that we're doing just fine.
Cause Im scared to run you off and I feel Im falling deep.
And Im so frightened of these thoughts that its getting hard to sleep.
All I know is that the heart wants what it desires,
because of you the match inside has turned into a fire.
And I feel the broken glass thats sticking from my skin,
Wondering if you'll remove the pain or push it back in.
My hearts frantic wondering if you feel the same,
pleading and begging for more than just a saying,
but to feel and to see that im not alone,
with being in this love thats overwhelming.
Once I told you that we didnt have a spark,
but you were lighting up and I was sitting in the dark.
And this fire, this blaze its wrapped in desire.
Im terrified to lose you, I think I might die or,
maybe disappear from all the pieces falling out,
im going crazy but when i open my mouth, nothing comes out,
and I cant explain to you why I just need to hold you close,
why every time you leave Im scared to let you go,
why these tears are building up behind my eyes,
all I know is that the heart wants what it desires
and it desires to be your wife.
So tell me in my panic, that your words are true,
tell my my dearest what I mean to you,
tell me that this paranoia is all within my mind
we're not struggling, we're not sinking tell me we're just fine
In the drawer
Behind all the white t-shirts
Packed away in the corner where
It is safe, I keep you.
You are hidden
No one knows you're there,
I take you out to see your
Smiling yet depressed face.
I realize the trouble you went through
Just to make sure I live a better life
Than you did.
Here you hold your baby one last time
Before sending him off to a
Life without poverty.
He doesn't say goodbye because
He is so small and innocent.
You give him a little kiss and say
Goodbye my sweet child.
So I thank you
Sweet, sweet, lady.
I'll put you back
In that safe little place,
So that when the time comes
For me to meet you,
I will find you before
You find me.
I had waited for you seemingly forever
So long did it take before you were to come into my life
But in so many ways you had always been there
Your hair so white more than once people
Said that you glowed
Your eyes blue gray
Soft but piercing.
In the spring we’d plant flowers and you quite the digger
Would never tire of ‘replanting’ oh the control God blessed
Me with that summer
On the porch we would swing and sing until my throat would be sore
And still Id manage one more
Lavender Blue, You Are My Sunshine, Red River Valley
I can still hear the wee small voice
In the summer under the big maple the front walk
Would flood and we’d run back and forth barefooted and splashing
Your face, pure joy, your eyes animated, your smile so wide
And those cheeks I could tweak them right now
Is there any better sound than giggles and splashes
Autumn we would take long walks and picnics down in the woods
And sit on a fallen tree. We’d find ants and worms and spiders and rescue the most
Precious of treasures. Feathers, milkweed fuzz, acorns, so much
Bounty for the taking. We’d bring them home and glue them
On paper or cardboard or make touch books
Winter oh please let’s have snow for winter. Snowmen
And snow forts, snow balls and mmmm snow cream.
I remember the look on your face at your first bite as
If you had just made magic.
We read books by the fire, books and more books
Then you would touch my lips and ask me to
Read one with my mouth, which meant to make
Up one just for you.
You have been blessed with intelligence
You have an uncanny ability to fix things
You’ve never seen before
Your sense of humor can put me away
Until I beg you to stop
You have a sense of logic beyond your years
You will sit on the floor for hours and build block towers for babies
Most importantly my son
You have been blessed for an unquenchable thirst for God’s own heart
At eighteen our time together will be changing but sitting here
I remember the words from a book we used to sing to each other
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be"
Sitting here, on these old porch steps, that I have always known
A weathered stoop, with gray-painted floorboards
The creaks and groans, the flaws and chips, so familiar to my hand
I've come to some conclusion,
and I'm surprised to understand,
how well I know each board, each slat,
the shape, the size, the warps, the cracks
each rusty nail, ....
but not the facts of you.
Oh yes, ........I've seen a glimpse or two,
in photographs, I have a few...
I see a robust man, in yellowed hues, of vintage stock...
There's a house, a barn, where land is strewn with stones to move.
You stand behind a horse and plow, in coveralls,... a mustache too .
I do recall, so vaguely gray, as gray as slats beneath my hand...
a jolly man, your wrinkled face,
with a smile, a laugh, a loving way
A dream I have, or is it real?
Is that me when I was two? Sitting here, beside you then?
Or is it just my wish to know... more than just a trace of you?
I never knew the man you were, your hopes your dreams...
the thousand schemes that brought you to these rocky slopes
so far from where your hopes began
Where those steep cliffs rose and the seas were blue.
Here, I look beyond these furrowed rows,...
where grasses grow in amber waves
and I ponder how it came to be....
that I am me,....
who came from you;
a man I never knew.
(To watch the youtube video recitation:)
Standing on the broken cement of the back porch
silently staring into the skies
and talking to myself
Fingers struggling to keep appearances
windshield wipers across my cheek
watercolors gone white
Flippant, fanatical, furious
patient, protective, passionate
trying to love the beast
Sending dreams to the clean ears of the open air
returned quickly, clutched in your mouth, crushed
presented for reward
Dead birds delivered to my doorstep
my nature wants to heal them, bury them
yours waits and wags its tail
It will hurt like a tattoo guns sting
as the ink infiltrates your skin.
Your first love will be like a tattoo on your heart,
always remembering the blessings and pain he gave you.
Be with a person who fills you with fluttering hummingbirds
even after the first and second and tenth kiss
who drinks the nectar of your demons and sucks them lifeless.
There will be men who you think will carry you forever
but after so long of holding
your feet above the water
they will throw you down.
They will not reach out a hand to pick you back up.
They will turn cheek,
kissless and forgotton.
You will stand with dirt palms
and fall back into his inferno.
There will be loves like this,
who convince you to prick yourself with safety pins,
the ones who carry guns on their backs
but never shoot to protect,
only to hurt.
The ones who drink all the water,
leave you parched in the desert of his mistakes
telling you that they are your own.
The ones who shoot arrows in your lungs
and you lye bleeding
believing that the color of your blood is true love for him.
The hour hand will spin around the clock
too many times before you leave him.
It will hurt.
You thought it was true,
but after the death of it
you will realize you deserve someone so much sweeter
than a bitter apple.
Love the one who doesn’t cheat you blind,
but instead comes to you with truths in his wretched palms
and waits for you to
but never gives up and never stops wishing that the past could rewind
that he could change the things wrong that he did to you.
Love the one who feeds your heart warm apple pie,
who cries in front of your children,
who drives them to school and hugs them when they get home.
Be with someone who doesn’t ask for you to change
but instead loves your mistakes
cradles them within his fabric lungs
breathes them in with a grin.
Love is an interesting thing.
You will be thrown out of a moving car to the side of the road.
Some will come running back to you.
Don’t jump back in the front seat,
until you find someone who buckles the seat belt for you.
Drives five under the speed limit,
takes things slowly and waits for you to be ready to accelerate.
I am here for you.
Remember me, the one who loved you first,
the one who will never stop loving you.
Come to me after he breaks up with you.
You can cry on my shoulder,
and ill wipe your tears with my sleeve.
Find a love who loves you the way
that your father and I love you,
the way that your grandmother loves you.
Find a love who already considers you family.
Who meets you
and looks into your ocean eyes
and drowns peacefully into your heart.
Place your head on my shoulder,
let it stay there
and we'll just breathe
Pluck the sadness from the air,
unravel that ball of worry...
We'll find that knot
that started it all,
and wave ribbons
in the air
We'll let those colors swirl
around each other,
we'll blend them...
then weave them
into a tapestry
that comforts us
in the end
if it turns out
are full of tangles
a lot of thread
So place your hand in mine,
let it stay there,
and we'll weave
Laying her back on the wall of her prison
Why was it different
It hurt more
Grief affecting her
This terrible ache consuming every pore
Harder to swallow
It was him she's sure
She loons at me
I know the look
She's hiding behind the sofa
Saying he's been back banging on the door
I know it was the tumble dryer upstairs
Her eyes are bloodshot
A beautiful bright blue bloodshot
Wide as fish eyes
She's been pacing all night holding a knife
She's holding an umbrella
I took the knives last time she cut her wrists
She's in torn clothes as she tears at her flesh
I feel my flesh tear
That's her last nice dress
No longer nice but torn and red
I give her trousers and a belt
My own only just brought
They drown her
At least she's covered
She says he's been calling her all night on the phone
I took the phone when she smashed it on the wall
I try to think of everything
In the bathroom there's hair in the chipped shabby sink
She's been pulling it out by the roots
I feel my scalp it's sore, alien
I feel everything
I removed the scissors when she shredded her scalp cutting her hair off
Saying this is why he had her
Her long golden hair
In the cabinet, too many
Too many pills
She should of taken these
Promising to take her pills, begging don't send me back to hell
But at the secure unit she's safe
Says she'll have a bath and
be better tomorrow
She's settled, I'm settled
So I leave
I'll come back in the morning
I sleep soundly
First night in months
The morning light gives me slight hope
I can't remember this feeling much
I hear a crash
I'm taking too long
Kicking the door in
I thank God for kickboxing
She's swinging from the oak beam in the ceiling
My belt around her neck
I look for a knife
I look for scissors
To cut her down
Cut me down
I look for a phone to call an ambulance
I feel my body juddering
My heart stop beating
The new belt
I hadn't thought about the belt
Come and gone like small twister
like the cloud of debris he’s left.
Echoes of Charlie Brown’s buddy Pigpen
blow through the cobwebs in memory.
Left over coffee cups replacing
Transformers still dumped in the attic.
Reams of knarley skateboards, wheel-less,
lay in piles like so much unburnable refuse.
The obligatory hugs and peck, over and done
the never paid chauffeur collapses…
Ah, to have him always near,
So, each kiss was not quite so dear.
The last fair maid on parade has wandered across
the home front, wondering about her predecessor,
still tacked with magnets to the fridge,
still part of my heart and his…
Sons…they say, do not cause such angst.
Couldn’t prove it by this mother.
This maternal blimp of unused helium
was not permitted a girl child.
One did come and fleetingly leave before formed.
We’ll never know the sweetness of her.
Let the image of his manly self disperse, this son..
into the mist as his Father’s has…
to be remembered again, only in times of need, his need,
for to do anything else, would be to rub salt
in an open wound.
Poet: D. Guzzi
*the day after Christmas
I hold three magic rocks, in my hand. Rolling them over and over and over. Leaving this
reality behind, far behind I stepped into the magic mirror and there I was back in 1959. It
was the same month, November. I looked around and it was the same as I remember it had
been then. Mom looked so young and beautiful and said, "The school bus will be here in a
few minutes." I looked at the calendar and saw that it was November 25th, the day before
Thanksgiving. I said, "But mom, I haven't been in school in forty years." I got this strange
look from her but she didn't say anything. Walking toward the door I caught a reflection of
myself in the hall mirror. I was so young. My hand immediately went to my face and I
stopped and stared at myself for a few minutes. I said, "Mom, can I stay home and be with
you today?" Again I got that strange look from her, then she smiled and said, "Sure, it's
your last day before Thanksgiving anyway, why not?" She and I sit down and talked for
hours. Then I said, "Do you mind if we go next door and visit with Maw Maw and Paw Paw?
I haven't seen them in so long and I've missed them terribly!" Again another strange look
from mom. Next door I saw Maw Maw and Paw Paw as they had been in 1959. I wept and
they all looked at me so strangely. I hugged them and kissed them all and we talked for
hours. Dad finally came home from work and I ran and hugged him so hard. "Dad why did
you have to leave us in June?" Again I got strange looks from everyone. My tears were
falling. I saw Aunt Frances and Uncle Bill who lived beside Maw Maw and Paw Paw. "I've
missed you both for so long." Strange looks again! They didn't understand because to them,
it was just another day in 1959. The day grew late and I knew my time was soon ending. I
got near the magic mirror and mom and dad were standing there so young and healthy. I
said, "Mom I'll see you on the other side of the mirror, but dad, I'll see you another time,
another place." They didn't understand. I stepped back through and my reflection was as it
had been before. Mom was sitting in her chair at age 84. I said, "Mom, do you remember
the day before Thanksgiving, 1959, when I stayed home from school and we spent the day
together?" She said, "Yes, it was so strange that you could never remember anything about
it. It was as though you had amnesia.
This map has grown lines,
deep creases, curled corners,
since you've been gone.
Tear-stains and fingerprints
mar its wrinkled pages like scars,
of where you've gone.
Mum's face has grown lines
around her mouth and eyes
since you've been gone.
And each sunrise tallies the days,
fading the map's mosaic of colours
as time fades the memory
of your silly smile.
This map is a liar:
It tells me you're nearby,
only a page-length away.
But an entire world separates us.
Cities and countries and continents.
Rivers and lakes and oceans.
Land and sea
have taken you from me.
And I want you back.
The room is still,
Quiet but for wind and rain
Making music on the windows.
Empty but for endless shelves
Of leather-bound volumes -
The first editions you loved so much.
The desk is weathered, coated
In a film of dust.
The chair is old and worn,
Tucked in just where you left it.
I can almost hear it creak
Under your weight,
Hear you whistle in that absent way.
I can almost see you there,
Hunched over creased pages,
Reading Keats or Blake.
I can almost smell that familiar scent
Of fresh soap and musty books,
Of spices and cigar smoke.
Together we would whittle sticks while chewing juicy gum
We would find a place to rest beside a river green and wide
The skies were blue, and tall grass would grow, and brush against my knees
Where willow trees, and dusty trails and nesting squirrels would hide
With tackle box on summer days, we sat in lazy pose
With fishing poles, and cheerful hearts, in willow covered coves
It mattered not, no lad was I, ...a girl is what he got
And he seemed quite glad, to take my hand, and help me hook the bait
I'd toss it in, against the wind......and sit awhile to wait
It mattered not, if fish were caught, the waiting was our friend
The sun felt warm, his voice could charm, and worries all seemed gone
Curiosity of my tender youth, this world a puzzle, vast
I would ponder things, and pick his brain, with many questions asked
This kind old man, with gentle patience, and a quiet ear to lend
Would tweak his mustache, and kindly hear me, without a word to bend
While deep in thought, would listen well, and continue with his task
As if my words were meant to hold, and mattered more than gold
He'd try to find an answer, with his wisdom from the past
With satisfaction we would whittle sticks, yet carving so much more
When shadows fell, he'd take my hand, the young one in the old
And head back home, as sun goes down, from lazy river's shore
Those fishing holes, are idle now, too soon the autumn fell
Although I tread the shore alone, I clearly see them all
broken families like fractured glass
scattered, sharp edges
once-perfect images of harmony
now lives severed by pain
mom at one end of the boxing match
dad on the other side
torn children shuffled in between
into a holiday lens they once smiled
picture-perfect family greetings
discarded in shards
joyful season ends
There is no hint, that this child of three
Could ever comprehend..
With his unknowing, smiling face,
With that cowlick in his hair, freckles here and there
Who takes the air from my lungs with a glance
Skin glistening, pink and rosy from the sun,
As he comes bounding through the door,
Mud on his small shoes and face
Without an inkling or a trace..
Of any clue of the pace
Of my heart beat,... how it swells
The way that my arms would wrap around
His small body so tightly, that he would gasp.
This well of love that I feel....
But of course, I don't squeeze so tightly.
I must hold my love for him
With more restraint,
Keep my arms encircled in a more gentle embrace,
For he wouldn't understand how much love
His sweet presence stirs up the air I breathe
This child, this precious son of my daughter
Will never know the joy
He has brought into my life
Nightmares tore her sleep with unseen teeth.
Her small thin legs in constant cramp from dream running.
She was only a child, but not the only child,
beside her, across a gap of oaken floor, in a matching bed I slept.
Whimpering brought me near,"Tell me good things," she'd say.
"Make me sweet dreams." And I would snuggle her close.
"Warm, small, cuddly kittens," I'd chant
and "chocolate bunnies to chomp."
The memories long gone, linger on.
I remember her wet cheeks
and sheets of woe night after night,
until the wee girl began to grow,
to shield with the only things she knew food,
with food for thought and form sated
sleep came easier.
She grew through the nightmare of longing
our home, she grew to and past me
little mother, big mother,
she sang the songs of love to dolls,
to kittens, to stray dust-motes
Too sweet to linger in the lost land
where battles must be found and fought.
Too dear to go through life alone,
need...garnered, family formed
upon the rack of sustenance
and the twist of genetic curdling's
she blooms still.
Barricaded at intervals from the nightmares,
cramped with too large a soul in too fragile
a form, sister mine, friend of all.....
My family is everywhere like wild seeds sown
On the whim and bluster of a wind
Some left for Cuba before the revolution
Bring green stalks of sweet grass to sugar
And are still there, root sunken in the earth
Grafted branches without memory now
Or recognition of ancestral home,
Separated by language and new history
Thick as the depth of our watery boundaries.
Some in Panama built the canal, but no bridge
For home when their meagre cents were spent
Too soon. I met a few with little knowledge
But no anxiety for early morning mist of blue
Over the mountain, looking still to see them
Coming home like birds when summer is done.
Some went to Venezuela to see the oil
They said was black as Africa in the new world
Brazil: there football is more than economy
Gladiators: bloodless troubadors of the new army
And many drifted into the squalor of Costa Rica,
Nicaragua, Ecuador, searching for light
Amidst old civilizations brought to ruins
By Conquistadores majesty and Roman might.
The only one who report are those from Canada
Is it because of the language, because they proper
As they do in America. Is there nothing in them
That longs for home, to leave the Mexico to her Aztecs
Her cactus lace with golden strands of sun.
When I was in Germany, Austria, France, far away
As Holland, Rhine and Danube linking invisble
Heritage, I met them, distancing the old decay
"We are thinking to move to Taiwan or Japan"
They told me, poverty does make a barren land
So I understand the boat people, not lying
Like Columbus, they seek the same treasure
And yet for their truth reap some displeasure.
I could package it for them to sell, but cannot agree
When the wind rattle the wattle of desolation.
My family is everywhere scattered like wild seeds
In fresh forests fretting with the burden of the wind.
Home Of The Hang Man
The children are so full of doubt
No one is allowed to speak
No one is allowed to shout
Opinions are driven underground
Seems that every time they do it wrong
Always been the same old song
Never get it right
Never allowed to speak
Never allowed to fight
It’s a strange house
The children are so full of doubt
A strange house
The kids just don’t understand
They don’t see that this is the way it’s all been planned
Keep them frightened is the game
Then all those “other” things won’t need to be explained
Why is big brother always mad
Why is younger brother always sad
Why does he sit in his bedroom all alone
Because it’s a strange house
And not a home
It’s a strange house
The children are so full of doubt
A strange house
Everything they do or say
Is turned into to a weapon to build upon the barricade
And Dad pretends he’s not afraid
Of the sudden discovery of suffocated memories
The dark deeds linger in a cage
Of ridicule and violence that makes the babies cry
So Mum has buried her suspicions worryings away
In Sunday lunches usual farce
A make believe gathering of corrupted loving and pretended merry making
It’s a strange house
The kids are so full of doubt
A strange house
Big brother hit the self destruct
With pills and needles long before he decided he was gay
No one ever asked him why he was so mad
And no one ever asked why younger brother was so sad
He sits up stairs in his room
Surviving in a sea of doubt
The suffocated memories have all come out
He’s always sad and he’s always alone
The babies to they both have grown
But he doesn’t know them anymore
It’s been so long since he left that so called home
It’s a strange home
The children are so full of doubt
A strange house
Their children are so full of doubt
Brought up and made this way
All their futures turn to grey
As all the buried memories fight their own way out
Remember why they always felt so wrong
Remember what happened when we were young
And mother just closed her eyes she did not help
All the future turns to grey
Brought up and made to be this way
Father was the hang man who took their lives away
Slice me with your tongue,
Razor blade wounds,
To suck out all my poisens,
Sweet lonely lullaby,
Accusing eyes of sadism,
Picture perfect prodegy,
My Deadly Sin,
A bitter taste of arson,
Burning in my vital organ,
Your the pyre that burns away my mortality,
A sip of tea made from Lilly of the Valley,
A shadow of Death stalking,
With odd angel like wings,
A Numbing kiss like Drowning in Morphine,
Sweet arms to rest in till my vision no longer holds,
Eyes neither like Hell nor Heaven,
That Drip of Drugs into your system,
Intoxicated blood stream,
I'd rather not dream,
And instead get lost within - Your paralysing,
Your Paralysing, Brain lapse,
Your moving too fast,
Stay slow and dreamy,
Like a burning forest fire,
Pain throughout my veins,
Ravishing and Beautiful,
A voice torn from my throat,
With my last sight of you. . .