Strawberry Moon

A Strawberry Moon,
reddish, pinkish,
hued with secrets,
the whispers of native soles
pounding on berry covered Earth,
green, seeded, fruit painting the soil
and hungry teeth craving a sweet bite after snow, rain, and freeze,
the first sight of green needles
prickling the skin between the toes,
alerting friends and foes
that the time is upon us
when mothers gather
with their mothers and daughters,
leave the men to the slaughter,
venture deep into the woods,
over the river,
over the ridge
patched with colors sewn from Grandmother Nature’s needle and thread,
stitching together the time of lore
when the wolf howled at the pink orb
and dozens of red droplets poured down
and glittered the Earth with the tastiest treat
on this side of the solstice
longing to stain little fingers and dresses,
faces, golden-bronze tresses
tangled in burrs from rolling down the hill
harvested by the tumble of laughter,
filled with crimson morsels
illuminated by the spotlight of the rays
of the recently sleeping brother of the lady of the night,
a guiding light pointing out the dangers and joys
of a dewy summer’s eve,
companion to Father Adam and this his day,
when we celebrate and mourn what he has given us,
a prickly, thorny, leaf of three,
flowering in deceiving yellow,
beckoning to give us life
while poisoning us with a toxicity pulsing through veins,
wrapping and reaching,
rash inducing,
swollen,
spotted,
with a reddish, pinkish hue
just like you Mother Moon,
yet nothing like You.

Nature’s Blessing: A Curse

Mother Nature expands, contracts
A crimson storm
Shedding new life
Sweeping away another
Flashing, wincing pain
The solitary black cat remains
Leaping through grass
Pouncing on puddles
Pools of light
A blessing
Cursing us another day

Stay Humble

Leaves of grass,
beads of sweat
I’d prefer it in a mug
than plastered to my chest.
I’d prefer it steeped at 173
than itching, irritating,
clinging to me.
I’d prefer it my salad,
an avocados mate,
than scraping it’s debris
from a stranger’s plate.
I’d prefer it arranged
in a crystal vase,
than shredding projectiles at my face.
I’d prefer it soft between my toes,
nature’s protection from jagged foes.
I’d prefer it dancing, wild, and free
cared for, groomed by destiny.
But Duty calls for Nature’s pause.
Humility has a higher cause.
And dripping in clippings am I today
so the sound of the motor can gently say:
“Stay humble.”

Vive La Notre Dame

We’ve prayed here.

Cried here.

Loved here.

Mourned here.

A cornerstone so ancient even the dust collected is a historical landmark of so many things unseen, stories untold, witnessed by specks of dust turned to ash extinguishing years, extinguished by tears, flooding, growing flames burning in the hearts of centuries of congregants so strong in their belief, their faith, unmovable, fixé on Un Dieu who lives in stained glass, a kaleidoscope of holy stories, breathing through pipes of an organ pumping the blood of Christ transubstantianted through dark, medieval, renaissance, industrial, plagued, revolutionary, modern, and contemporary times kept by the gong of bells preserved, pristine by a misshapen soul who found sanctuary as much as the most noble gentleman wiping their tears on the shroud where Jesus wiped his fears, tucked into a virgin’s breast, protected by generations of women veiled in white to say “I do,” or lacy black to say “Adieu,” lighting a blaze of unity for better or sending a up a prayer for worse into the vaults of stony, hallowed halls whose walls hold secrets of seductresses, gypsies, kings, priests, sinners all alike, all the same to the God of the Coeur de Paris, surrounded by holy waters not quite sacred enough to keep out destruction, the natural order of a man-made, nature inspired force that can’t even be put out by the tears of thousands of Frenchman, shed over hundreds of years, enough to fill the Seine, to fill the baptismal fonts, and bless us all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost whose oil burns on, burns brighter, stronger, engulfing, emblazoned, ravaging the memories, the moments, the echoes snuffed out by a spark, reduced to a layer of ash.

From dust we come and to dust we shall return.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Vive La Notre Dame.

Stagnation

I don’t have words to say but my pen yearns to write.

I don’t have notes to sing but my voice yearns to make music.

I crave shapes.

I see lines,
but my body creaks and cracks in fatigue,
a static whispering,
deafening in the silent space between my legs and the couch,
padded screams from inside,
muffled under a pillow,
smothering the life out of a voice that needs,
a body that bleeds only to be fulfilled
by something just barely on the other side of nonsense,
with a glimmer enough of truth to keep sanity at an arm’s length,
way closer than a tray of food or liquor-lined strainer,
draining every toxic drop from each finger,
heavy enough to pry these lids open for one more hour,
just one more day and I’m out of this place…
followed by another and yet another more,
stacked higher than Empire herself,
dreamily floating above the clouds,
which from below seems ideal,
but from above,
the stars and the ground both seem unattainable,
one too high to conceive,
the other so far below
that it doesn’t seem possible to reach it
without smacking into it head first,
once more numbing yourself enough
to forget how painful the bottom was
the last time
and the 10,000 times before
when the patterns of dust on the floor
were more recognizable than your own reflection staring back at you,
your lined face spelling out a road map
of where you’re supposed to be
and what you’re supposed to do
in hieroglyphs of your own creation
that only you have the key to,
if only you didn’t swallow it,
wash it down with another shot of salty tears,
eroding the jagged metal into the only kind of liquid you can stomach,
which is the cold hard truth that

You are your own jailor.

You are penning your own critique
whether you think you have the words or not.
They flow from the pen,
seeping through your sweat,
stinging freshly scratched scars etched on your face,
clawing to be freed,
begging you to put down the scissors
and let the ink fly on unclipped wings
before the muscle’s only memory is
Stagnation.