To Water You Shall Return

The moment you decide to dip your toe in, everything becomes clear. The fog lifts, the haze dissipates, and suddenly the weight of your thoughts and pains is lifted and carried on the backs of millions of tiny atoms bonded together by fate, because the universe willed it so when meteors collided and out of it sprung dirt, wind, flame and sweet arms of warm velvet, holding on just tight enough to keep your head afloat, your lungs satisfied, and your heart free from the gut wrenching pangs that earth brings with its dusty, barren expectations of groundedness, clarity, the need for sense making that’s been ground into our skulls between the mortar of society and the pestilence of giving a fuck but why bury ourselves under the rubble of stone when our bodies are made mostly with the capacity to float; float far away on salty waves, ebbing and flowing between coasts, destined to one but drawn to the shininess of the other, an oxymoron of the freedom trapped on an island between two bodies, east and west, hot and cold, familiar and new, a balancing act of healing and being frozen in time with only the very tip of the reality of it visible while the bulk remains concealed below, reverberating the songs of all of the other creatures of two worlds, born of fire and water, fighting the never-ending battle of sustenance or love, creation or fulfillment, swirling in paths and patterns that the universe etched long before anyone had a say in the matter but we must go with the flow, as they say, because there is nothing better than the sway of the tide gently tugging your ankles, willing your toes to unclench the sand and trust that temptation will satisfy you just enough to not fully take you and everything you have worked so hard to build, your sandcastles overlooking a picture perfect life, endangered by the strife of never being able to feel the splash of mist or the caress of wet hair plastered over your face, and the sweet muffled lullaby rumbling in your inner ear, whispering,
“You are water and to water you shall return.” 

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.

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.

Awakening

To awaken oneself, as the French would say;
a reflexive looking inside.

To awaken oneself.

To bring oneself out of a state of sleep or rest;
to dust off the cobwebs; to destroy the rust
that has settled in from decades of monotony or sloth,
slowly creeping up one branch
to reach the ripest fruit
but at what cost?

What is the price of being awake?

Of seeing the world through a philosopher’s lens
or a politician’s skeptical pocket book?

Why study the chambers and valves of the pump
that sloshes around a life-giving liquid,
when it seems to do just fine on its own
without the help of man
or woman, a soft creature by nature,
or so we assume that which we have been told
in our sleep
by our parents
who read us bedtime stories
told by their parents
and theirs before,
whose source of fact comes from a paper or radio show,
or the neighbor next door,
who last time I checked has been camping for years
on the bale of hay so perfectly propped on their porch
where they spy like crows
seeking the next empty headed scarecrow to feed on,
to pluck out their button eyes and deafen their cornfed ears
so he may lie asleep for years and years,
because who needs change anyway?

Our books are comfortable collecting dust and mites
on the shelves and side tables
perched neatly next to a memory foam throne
that has more skills for retention than the current generation
who have lost the knack for memorization.

Who needs facts when Siri is your best friend,
cousin to your second aunt twice removed, Google,
who is happy to do all the heavy lifting for you
because we have grown weary,
atrophied,
complacent.
Our fingers more skilled at swiping right
than turning a page,
or cracking a spine,
taking a whiff of the history in fine cursive lines.
We squint to read because our eyes our heavy
from dreaming of princes and fairies,
education, libraries,
equality, justice,
and so many other tales we’ve heard in the folklore of future generations,
sent in a tiny capsule from those with 20/20, without correction,
or the need to sit in the front section of a lecture
to see in the reflection of the screens
projecting images back of ourselves
walking around like zombies,
eyes glazed over with the film of deception
or better yet closed,
shut tight,
locked,
with no way in from the outside,
stuck in our own prison
pondering what the cost would be to

w a k e   o n e s e l f   u p  ,

to run full force out of this dream,
or nightmare,
where opinion holds court over truth as a monarch who awaits a curtsy,
because that is what we are expected to do.

To bend the knee, to bow the head,
submit,
stay quiet and underfed,
malnourished of facts,
science,
history,
biology;
an autobiography writing its own ending
if the puppet master continues to get his way
and his every move we complicity obey,
if we don’t break free from the strings
tying us to the Bastille’s floor of stony concrete,
we’ll be running madly
through bloody streets
and severed heads
to defeat forces believed to be beyond our control
but what David has set his mind to
no Goliath can put asunder
so we must awaken ourselves from this slumber
and Stay Woke.

Illusion

An illusion:

A slight of hand slightly different than what appears in the mirror,
if a mirror is even something to be trusted,
as it is constructed
of metal and glass and bits
made from man
with their sweaty hands,
tinkering away to create a shard
where you can stand and reflect
on if the angle of where your jaw and chin meet
measures up in a way that pleases the masses
and check off the box we are put inside,
concealed and bound with chains and locks
into a mold.

We’re bold,

but not clever like Houdini,
with a skill for wiggling out of any corner society has backed him into

and with a flash,

bang,

they are fooled.

Full of deceit and lies,
cashing receipts
for the tricks they’ve been sold,
because the age-old smoke and mirrors has succeeded again

but  We  are  n o t  f o o l e d.

We are not tricked.

We see a spade for a spade on the back of an ornate king bedazzled in diamonds, capturing the hearts of queens,
hiring jokers,
the masters of the craft
of making us laugh
as a distraction from the true terror illuminated under the Light of the Moon,

but that’s just one side of the story.

The shadow of the eclipse is presented to one hemisphere,
while the other bathes in milky, incandescent pools of hope,
dancing in masks on the dreams of the other
because they are blinded by the brightness of what isn’t even light,
but a reflection of light,
if light is even what we think it is.

Alas, we
have been tricked

by Science (or Ignorance),

into believing that our side of the story is what truly holds water
when in fact it is  w e i g h t l e s s ,
blown away by a strong current,
the hurricanes and cyclones of another world,
built to destroy our perception of perfection,
when if you flip a coin you can’t make heads or tails
of light
or dark
and Grey suddenly becomes the only truth you’ve ever known;
in its subtlety,
in its wavering footsteps,
on a dusty surface too cold for life,
but too beautiful to not consider the possibilities
and dream of a Universe bigger than our earthly tricks and games,
where we have put blame on the other side of a two-way mirror
that if we just wait long enough,
we will see the problem we’ve been staring at the whole time is
ourselves.

So the Moon turns and fades…

It illuminates.

It darkens.

Its shadows deceive our eyes
which require light shone just the right way
to reveal the magicians truth:

that behind the glitter,
the smoke,
the dust,
the velvet,
and the rabbit-filled top hat,

the Glass is shattered.

A sparkle glimmers blindingly at just the right angle,
a geometric revelation that when all is said and done,
when the lights fade and the music stops,
the violin creaks a final screech,
the bow halting,
cymbals crashing,

we are left in a world of Grey,

splattered,

sprayed colorless,

where  d e t a i l s    n  o  w    f  a  d  e

and perceptions bleed into one dull shade…

We are one card-up-the-sleeve away from giving up the Magician’s secret:
Things Aren’t Always as They Seem

Creat(ion)ivity

To create.

To grow.

From nothing comes all.
Just a seed,
a tiny inkling of an idea,
a germ germinated through soil and muck and dirt,
worm-covered and slick, slimy, slithering through the trenches,
the maze of roots rooted in the ground.

The Beginning.

The Earth;

the base of all where Life begins and falls.

It’s a cyclical merry-go-round spinning at a dizzying rate,
flashing with vibrant, neon, technicolor,
blinding from the speed and change

The rate of change.

The rate of death.

The death of Life.

All from a singular being, swollen with watery pride.
Is it a nest or a tomb this watery grave?
New Life or Undead,
walking stiff legged, blank faced, glazed eyes
crying out in hunger for the first or the last time?

The lines are blurred as they so often are in every color of the spectrum:
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, ultraviolet rays
blazing down from the sun,
creating a photosynthetic, polyester, plaster, and ceramic life,
molded from the clay of the earth or the rib of a woman: the holding cell of all,
this ossiferous cavern mingling blood and bone
made from sweat and tears for 9 months and 18 more or less years.

Life.

                           Life.

What defines the life of a creature other than to live

to breathe

to count the moments until breath ceases to be the arduous, single, laborious task
when the first and the last
give an overwhelming sense of joy and relief to the owner
and all those fortunate enough to witness it?

It’s forgotten.

It’s taken for granted.

The sack protected by the rib,
given by the rib from which you were created,
is the Great Protector.

Your filling.

Your pump.

Your sustenance.

Your soul.

It rises and falls as the sun and moon do
daily,
yearly,
e t e r n a l l y
chasing each other around the universe,
playing tag throughout the galaxies.
Waxing,
waning over all to give rise and fall to the chests of its subjects
whether they gasp in fear, awe, surprise, shame, joy
or in the pangs of,

h e e  h e e    h o o                 h e e  h e e    hoo

the Breath of all breaths which brings forth you and I

no   matter   who   we   have   killed.

We all come from a breath,
with a breath,
the very life giving,
life sustaining effect
that will be our demise.

Still –
we rise
and fall
and rise
and fall
and Rise.

Abundance

an abundance of towels
Abundance paper mâchéed with hundreds, the money of peasants
the presents of peasants
pheasants, feathers, peacocks, sequined, majestic birds take flight
soaring, swarming, flying through space
the luxury to waste such precious moments
to not be present

winged in abundance
fabrics, mixed metals, stilettos of all colors
a waterfall or water feature, which is a basic need
when your carpet is cash, your wallpaper coins
your furniture upholstered with deeds to castles
chateaux of the old world, enriching your new world
where you reign as sovereign to your body, your shrine, your temple, your hive

to busting your ass on the streets
so you can sleep in golden honeyed hexagonal sheets of 1000 ply Egyptian thread cotton passed down by godmother Cleopatra
the Queen of Kings
the Queen of gods
Bless Her
Her art withstands; respect long gone
but who gives a shit when you own all the johns
all the drones in the palm of a powerful hand
whose primary task is keeping a firm grasp on a bejewelled scepter
the other hand housing the nectar
a salty heap of caviar
the offspring of thousands of women who offered themselves as sacrifice to the great god Independence

queenbee

Stand Up For Love

This is a poem that just came to me about a year ago. I started writing it down on the plane to TX last Thanksgiving and then found it again on the trip back from TX and finished it. It’s sort of a weird rhyme scheme but anyway, here it is!

What if today is just a hurdle,
All these life lessons I must learn’ll
Help me see that what’s eternal
Isn’t the yesses and nos
Or the ribbons and bows
We pay plenty of dough
To dress up this mess
We call “success”
When all it is is accessories
To help us ease the pain
Please the mainstream
Is there really any gain
In tit for that, this not that
Measuring happiness in things that’ll disappear
To bring us cheer
When we can see so clearly
That material supplies will soon run out
Without out a doubt
Then where will we turn
When technology can’t hear us shout or cry
Can’t dry our eyes
We compromise
Fall for Hatred’s disguise and lies
He tries to bring us down
Make us polish His crown
But the overwhelming need for love will resound
Louder and stronger, truer and longer, right over wrong
Our true lifesong
Is to love and do so without boundaries
Can we please
Take on this task together
No matter the weather
Whether shine or rain
We can ease the pain
Put ourselves on the shelf
Forget the personal gain
And train to give love
Selflessly, ceaselessly,
Easily, endlessly
Don’t pretend to not see
That there’s good in all
Despite the flaws
There’s not a blemish big enough
To hide the law
To love, not hate
It’s not outdated
Or overcomplicated
It’s rated as the number one healer of the jaded
The giver of life, answer to strife
A quick emergency exit when the world feels
Stiffling, Trifling
To love and be loved gives us a tune to sing
It’s soon to bring
The lows back to highs
Clear clouds from the skies
Turn hurdles into pebbles
Make smiles of sighs
Help us realize
That the trials from today
Are pebbles paving the way
For us to rise above
And stand up for love.