Invited To Inquire More Precisely

“A new manner of fashion I’d found,
And the world seemed to smile all around”~from Alice Blue Gown by Joseph McCarthy.

An overflowing nose at nap time prompts
a tall pile of pillows. We lean.

I need to cry for Mama, but his throat
is just too sore. And so I sing.

Tuning in to simmering feelings.
Tell me if I get it wrong, I say.

He’s quick to instruct, she is MY
mama, so I shift the point of view.

I sing a minor key of feeling sick
and sad and needing Mama who’s so far

away.  Hitting the sadness button
his face screws up, grief erupts.

I justify making him cry now
unstuck, releasing, being heard.

Giving silence and a hug. His sobs
fierce and quick until a winsome smile,

brave and quivering, he nestles closer, says,
Now sing my song again. Sleepily

as I present leftovers: the tight jaw
and throbbing temples until we breathe

in dreams, and all the germs come into
the light, the room, the planet in song.

Inspired by: Justify, Leftovers, Manner, Winsome and a three-year-old grandson with a head cold. (And Alice Blue Gown charted #1 in 1920.  My mother sang a different version à la Judy Garland “and in manner of fashion, I’d frown, and the world seemed to smile all around.” I like the original much better!)

Advertisements

This Is My RSVP

I’m old, wearing purple, silver hair
to my shoulders. I need a red hat

that doesn’t match. Poetic justice
here at the descent of the cold times.

All my misgivings rise. It is now in
the glooming fall that ancient practices

shift, their humble roots trapped under
lies twisting history. The victims of

church and state reduced to Boo!
and torturous excess at groaning

tables. The archetype of the genocide
purge of the Americas celebrated

casually painting good guy clothes
on He Who Must Not Be Named.

Never is it more obvious
the gilt cracking, exposing dark

stains. In our chosen costumes
we witness the hidden shadows

or turn away with bright
artificial smiles and beg

for treats. I’m going to your
party as a poem.

Inspired by: Thanksgiving, Shoulder and Humble, Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day, the ugly story behind that first Thanksgiving, and the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph.

The Way Through

We’re tuning in together across
the planet, deliberate, setting

aside our jaded lies. We’ve treaded
water, gasping and choking, trying

to heal ourselves in the poisoned
system, rising and falling alone.

Throbbing wounds from unexpected
splinters: we do not rush to kill

the pain. Instead we witness the
longing for death, trace its descent

through our lineage, the millennia
a tangled knot we cannot integrate.

Setting aside our individual triggered
drama to illuminate our collective

trauma. Each of us a fractal symptom.
Summon our skilled weavers. Illuminate

the net which binds us, blindly grasping
until we let go. The tapestry emerges

familiar and strange: our wounded
ancestors’ intricate scenes of carnage,

victim and perpetrator dances too horrifying
to love. Release the story. See the spin.

What breathes through us, what moves our
passionate living? Opening our vulnerable

hearts now, we sing what is. Resistance
chorus urges us to act. The future

clamors: repeat the unexamined past
fast. And still we sit, allowing

the tightly held terrors. Safe now
in our warm regard. In this relational

space we create entirely new
breathing what is in the way.

Inspired by: Descent, Jaded, Death and Splinter. and the Collective Trauma Summit going on this week (it’s free and it’s liberating!)

The Old Stomping Ground

For M.C.

I met my old lover on the street last night.~Paul Simon

At four in the morning, I detour from prone
shadows rasping through the sudden chill

winter’s first hard shove and though I
bunched my summer blankets in a scrum–

nervous dreams–still sharp cold nipped
every inch of skin I offered. When a lover

dies, we all clamor for recognition, jostle
into chronology as if grief gives rights

at last. All the newly revealed lessons,
once mouldering in the dank basement and that

final call we never made–did I think that
he would rise from his deathbed, demand

my distant voice? He plucked my heart
in his passing, so I reenter that sticky

web I fled so many years ago, the one
I carry with me still, in the dark enjoining

strangers and new friends, regale my
side, painting romance over the edge

of terror and pain revisited. Oh, I saw
this day coming, long ago, and yet right now

there is not even a glimmer of dawn, not since
nightfall descended. The moon is bursting

wide-eyed full over my shoulder as I peer
into indigo east searching for signs.

Inspired by: Detour, Nervous, Shadows, Nightfall and Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness prompt: ground (which means no editing, just put pen to paper and press publish.  No matter how much I wish I could change.) The soundtrack for this one is Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years and Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Come Into Light

We are but a moment’s sunlight fading in the grass.~Jesse Colin Young

In the dark this bugaboo looks new
but I know better. An ancient

shoot ramifies like cousins
branching from my grandpa’s siblings–

twelve in all. I’ve charted children
and marriages, winding through generations

to calculate relations. Thankful now
for my skill and motivated by love

I’m tracing the fear shouting through
the president, armed and proud in camo

the shouted slur and whispered denigrations.
Standing in opposition, murky and

addlepated by perceived separation.
Go far enough back and we’re all

family. I listen past the labels–
look, somebody’s gotta–to find

what continues to be excluded.
Let in the light of compassion

as I claim you and you and you
reflect what most needs love right now.

Inspired by: Ramify, Bugaboo, Thankful and Jesse Colin Young and The Youngbloods, Get It Together.(“Come on people now, smile on me, brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”~Jesse Colin Young)

 

Perspective Change

“Fire is the Sun unwinding from the tree’s log.”~R. Buckminster Fuller

Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.~R. Buckminster Fuller

At sunsight we suffer a sea change,
paint in grays in the turning

we call dawn. From moonlight’s shimmer
of silvery waters, a palette inspired

by dark, splashed gently with
white and moody mauve, deepest

blues touching taupes and
licking lavender. A tiny

yellow drop. None of the pinks suit
chic-subtle in monochrome.

The sun is film-noir whispers
veiled disinterest. The I who once

chased those golden waves to paradise
would drown in a platitude of mourn.

In my deep healing torsion today, I spin
away from pseudo-science manipulations,

catch light beautifully warm and cool.
A new world arises. We reflect connections.

Sumptuous, velvety fog plays
well with others, celebrating we.

Inspired by: Suit, Dawn, Chic and Platitude and a foggy morning that fills me with so much gratitude, inspiration and a true knowing we can effect change!

Merci beaucoup

Across the water tenebrous woods
await light’s generous revelations.

In the chill, I huddle and watch
what seemed insurmountable in dark

emerging, eminent by noon.
I practice, say I don’t know

in one thousand wondrous ways
that sound like thanks, gratitude

soothing my frightened amygdala with
an intentional evolution, planetary

and necessary as two plovers arc
white-feathered play across

the brightening lake. Speak to me
and I will listen inside you

for the deeply felt praise
behind your triggered fear.

Inspired by: Eminent, Insurmountable, Tenebrous and Chill.