I have a special story I wish to share
About a seamstress beautiful and fair
She would fade away turning into smoke
Of her amazing beauty, no man would joke
The spiraling smoke would then re-form
I know only an angels face could be so warm
Before her a beautiful quilt was spread
Upon it the story of my life was said
As she once again started to dissipate
She said, “Mike this quilt records your fate”
As the smoke traveled over to a new place
And then formed together creating her face
Looking over her shoulder back at me
She said, “This area will hold what has yet to be”
Most of the quilt looked like twisted evil tattoo
Simply because, my life’s quilt was quilted true
I looked the quilt over and then met her gaze
She was so beautiful in so many different ways
The last part of the quilt way over to the right
Showed the beauty of someone changing their plight
Upon her beautiful hand, which seemed so nimble
I noticed she was wearing my grandmother’s thimble
From a young maiden so beautiful to see
My grandmother appeared right in front of me
I guess up in heaven we return to our youth
My grandmother was beautiful; such is the truth
I thought of the price grandma was asked to pay
The shame of knowing I had turned out that way
I thought of her sitting there stitching my shame
My grandmother didn’t deserve an eternity of pain
She said, “Michael be still with the pain in your heart,
Your story encourages others to make a new start.”
“The deeper the wrong the stronger the right
I always knew my boy would take up the fight”
With a smile much brighter than an ice covered sea
She said, “I love the man my boy has grown up to be”
As she turned to the quilt and started to sew
She said, “Michael, its now time for you to go.”
“Believe in your story believe in your truth
For Salvation is the true fountain of youth”
One night in a dream, which I’ll hold forever divine
I learned; my Grandmother is now,” The Seamstress of Time”
When I was a boy I would help my Grandmother roll
her quilt, find her glasses, as well as, her thimble. I
never thought about how amazing her art truly was.
From a pile of rags she would make the most beautiful
quilt's. I sleep under one of her quilts to this very day.
God created hands for building things. Sometimes before you build something, you must first destroy something else.
Wildfires are never supposed to be put out. Their sole purpose is to burn the entire forest to the ground, transform living things to fertilizer, making room and preparing the soil for new growth.
It is almost paradoxical,
that there must be death before birth
My hands have stared the grim reaper’s reflection inside the pool of my best friends blood. An old student I used to tutor told me that I am the best brother she could have asked for
She said she will always love me
This was after I burned every bridge that traversed the gaps between us
Stared at her from across her desk
Told her that she will never be my sister. That our bloodlines will never match.
Our gene pools are just strangers that made the same wrong turn.
I spent so much time trying to find my way back that I never realized I was home in being lost I found something comfortable, without expectations. I only corrected myself after she spoke,
because I heard something familiar in her voice.
She sounded like family.
I have the scarred and wrinkled hands of a senior citizen
I’m only 22 years old
I once got my palm read
This gypsy woman told me that my lifeline should have been cut short when I hit 17.
That was a year ago.
What do gypsies know anyway
I have defied the odds my entire life.
Been broke down and built back up too many times to count
My fingernails chewed raw to the cuticle out of anxiety
I enjoy the taste of my own pain
Sometimes I use my own hands to destroy myself just to see who my real friends are who will build me back up when I can’t do it alone
My hands have a desire to learn how to cook, but I’m not that great.
So when I am alone,
I tend to be hungry, not just for food though.
I starve for someone to talk to
It never satiates, because it’s not you.
I know what it tastes like to completely give myself to someone.
My biggest fear is being abandoned.
When I look into your eyes, I am not afraid.
I need to cook you up a feast of myself, then feed it to you every day for the rest of our lives
Please tell me what I really taste like,
Years after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother moved into my aunt’s house.
Since I was 5, every time I speak to her she asks me:
“Spenser, did you thank God for waking you up today?”
I think to myself, I never did tell my eyes to open themselves. It just happened.
So I don’t know how to respond to her correctly.
I tell her that I love her, that I am writing a lot.
She tells me that she puts her hands together for me every night
Prays that I will get the job I want
I guess some prayers do get answered.
Sometimes two hands in the right position, matched with a conversation with God,
Can change things.
I even accidentally call that place home sometimes.
My dream is that my hands evolve into wolves, become part of a pack and work together with other hands to make a difference
Some days they will be the alpha male.
Full of confidence, at the head of the pack
Other days I need someone to show me the right way to go
Because if I’ve learned anything
It’s that I am not always right
I can not always be in control of everything
The only thing I have ever really wanted is to know
That my hands were truly
A part of something.
I do not know?
written 10th Aug 2013
I am God's child, first and forever
I am known by many different titles, a daughter
I am a wife
I am a mother
I am a grandmother
I am a poet
I am by several ways, known as a sister
I am an acquaintance
I am a loyal friend
I am a stranger
I am a cousin
I am an Auntie
I am a niece
But who is this person, they all call "Denise?"
She is a child to God
She is a niece
She is a cousin
She is a stranger
She is a loyal friend
She is an acquaintance
She is known to many, a sister
She is a poet
She is a grandmother
She is a mother
She is a wife
She is known as a daughter to many
She is everything, she'd ever dreamed her life to be....
She is happier than she ever imagined possible
SHE IS "DENISE"
Born American, sixth generation of great-grands all German,
not much liking sausage or sauerkraut, English speaking all the way,
except the Germany of my ancestry was fought over and broken
so I’m a bit of France, Germany, Poland, Hungary all the Holy
Roman empire, dissolved down, fought over, egotized, horrified
and remade Into some new state where English is as common as German.
We share a love of flowers in the face of cold and rain, I drink less beer
and wine, meet up somewhere, anywhere around the world on a beach.
From my parents and grandparents, I know to serve up too much food
seven sweets, seven sours and drink and whirl the night away to a band.
Hardworking sorts, unafraid of a little dirt, loving dirt, the turnover
and young sprout brought to fruit, wearing overalls and then washing up.
To sit before a pressed linen table cloth, served up on the finest china,
the cha in my father’s name, the uff da, and other exclamations.
The morning rosaries, the blessed churches where we give thanks for all good
and the setting aside of pride while we work together to make our food.
Sure there are aprons for cooking. Shorts for summertime. A dive into any pool.
What do I know of being German, not much, it's just somewhere in my roots.
I do not know?
(for the countless women, names unknown, who bore the brunt of Apartheid, and who fought the racist system at great cost to themselves and their families, and for my mother, Zubeida Moolla)
Pregnant, your husband on the run,
your daughter, a child, a few years old,
they hauled you in, these brutish men,
into the bowels of Apartheid's racist hell.
They wanted information, you gave them nothing,
these savage men, who skin happened to be lighter,
and white was right in South Africa back then,
but, you did not cower, you stood resolute,
you, my mother, faced them down, their power,
their 'racial superiority', their taunts, their threats.
You, my mother, would not, could not break,
You stood firm, you stood tall.
You, like the countless mothers did not break, did not fall.
You told me many things, of the pains, the struggles,
the scraping for scraps, the desolation of separation
from your beloved Tasneem and your beloved Azad,
my elder sister and brother, whom I could not grow
up with, your beloved children separated by time, by place,
by monstrous Apartheid, by brutish men,
whose skin just happened to be lighter.
You told me many things, as I grew older,
of the years in exile, of the winters that grew ever colder.
You were a fighter, for a just cause,
like countless other South African women,
you sacrificed much, you suffered the pangs,
of memories that cut into your bone, your marrow,
you resisted a system, an ideology, brutal and callous and narrow.
Yes, you lived to see freedom arrive, yet you suffered still,
a family torn apart, and struggling to rebuild a life,
all the while, nursing a void, that nothing could ever fill.
I salute you, mother, as I salute the nameless mothers,
the countless sisters, daughters, women of this land,
who fought, sacrificing it all for taking a moral stand.
I salute you, my mother, and though you have passed,
your body interred in your beloved South African soil,
you shall remain, within me, an ever-present reminder,
of the cost of freedom, the struggles, the hunger, the toil.
I salute you!
(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,
who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)
On Memorial Day I am haunted and flooded with so much grief.
My Mother lies next to my Grandmother and they next to my Great Aunt.
My Fathers name is there, too, but blessedly he’s not there yet.
Such great memories are restored as I look at each stone.
Once again I’m a rambling child with no kids of my own.
I remember the safety they afforded me, and all the treats and their love.
All their little sacrifices they gave, when I was still too young to know.
Why did I chase after a kitten when Grandma was so close by my side?
A simple tug on her skirt and she would of hugged me and smiled with pride.
Why was I discovering butterflies, when my Great Aunt was close there too?
She made the best pies EVER from scratch while I played in another room.
Why did I take Mom for granted… when as a child she gave me so much?
What I wouldn’t give for her gentle touch… and another soothing hug…
And Grandpa lies by Grandma… he was always repairing something or by her side.
And now there are all my aunts, uncles, and cousins that are all scattered around.
They made Christmas my favorite time as their talk and laughter rang out.
They’d laugh, talk, and enjoy each other’s company, as I’m sure now they do.
I can’t imagine them in any other way, than at my Grandma’s on those wonderful
We’d sit down to a holiday feast with everyone all around and it all seemed like play.
Were they then thinking of others that they knew from long ago?
As I walk around the graveyard picking out old friends, I remember their wistful
They did the same each year, as they talked about the past even back then.
Perhaps its time my stone goes there, though I’ve a few more years to go.
That will help my children when it’s also my time to go…
And surprisingly it makes me feel I’m not leaving the older family alone.
It’s like a kiss, and a tug on a skirt to leave that something behind.
It’s a promise… they’ll be remembered until it too, is my time…
Until then I’ll bring my children and tell stories from long ago…
One day a year can’t be too much since it’s memories that I bestow.
And they all simply add up to the life that I have known.
The Black butterfly waves away her adorations
All she seeks is seclusion, subsuming slave to mortification
The Dear Air is all she can breath, captive of imaginary dreams
The Beacon resonates, but the hope isolates
The Wasteland's silky fingers caressing the virgin's face
So she is now, the covet of the damned
Programmed to every victim's pain
Carrying the weight of every sorrow
Drowning in wrongs she does not know
But paradise is at loss; she must go
Nature sighs after the bite
All my hopes fading
Don't look at me with those sorrowful eyes
How do you know exactly what I'm feeling?
I'm just the ghost flower passing by
And you can hear nature's sigh
Strange or not
Odd and fun.
That’s not all
And still are
Strange and odd.
life is life.
Not is lies.
Truth seeps from
Lies, lies, lies
Move, move, move
Lies are life.
Lies are death.
Lies are homes.
Lies are pain.
Lies are truth.
Truth is life.
Truth is death.
Truth is home.
Truth is pain.
Truth is lie.
Truth is that.
Lies will die.
Lies will cease.
Truth will live.
Truth will be.
Now that I'm retired
And know I can't be fired
I'll do anything I damn well please
And I don't give a hoot
Who hears me when I toot
For I have grown acustomed to the cheese
Old women and old men
As they grow nearer their end
Really just don't care what people think
Say and do what's on their mind
For as they age they find
They kinda like to raise a little stink
What I imagine is beyond my years,
An equilent stare
And an equilent ear.
A sombre mind
Is what one ought to have, but I foresee
What plays in my head
Is a movie
Of such great distress,
I see a young girl,
A good girl,
And the other side
Of the mirror
Is a different
Sort of girl.
More like the one before
In the image the mirror gives off.
If one would say the mirror lies,
Then that one would realise
The only thing that stands between these two girls is the thin membrane called glass.
Yet with the absence of such, they are merged into one. And when they come out to play
A tiny piece of each stands out like the small glow of the paraffin lamp my grandmother used to forbid us to use
Their memories of each other
Are like the memories
Of one individual person,
Yet seeing them
Side by side
Would greatly outline
Their stalk differences
But in world of fear
You can only love one
And their tears are the only thing that mimics their distress.