What’s Coming

At the top of my list, of course,
is breath, but my next best friend

is death. They walk me, teasing,
loyal life wants to live

escorted in the arms of lovers
dancing in the flavors love

layers. Naming every birth
we create separation illusions

with our powerful beliefs
that sweep us past and future

rocketing by the song-now.
Birds chittering through oldgrowth

forests sound the alarm as we
play foreigners, our roots forgotten

we emerge from trees
and soil, composted

through uncountable millenia.
We chirp until named, we spread

our wings in arrogant denial
a flurry of greed to clothe ourselves

in what we buy in fear of
our imminent demise. Missing

the call to shine, eminent
moment of this particular voice

in this astral alignment.
When we walk in peace with our death

unafraid, we open up the stranglehold
past, let go of the predetermined

future at last, the patterns blown
in our explosive joy.

Death isn’t lurking, looming, it’s coming
for you now in deep orgasmic waves thrumming:

Our only prerogative, let’s be clear,
is to be alive right now, right here.

Inspired by Prerogative, Explosive, Foreigner and Eminent.

Soundcloud recording here.

I See, Have Seen, Will See

To all the disappearing and the disappeared.

In these days right before he
becomes unhinged, medicated

beyond distractions, now the side
effects come crashing in

the decrepit hovel he drags along
sheer weight of dread and

fear and curdled anger
leaking in places long

forgotten, out of sight,
all of the life juice

that longs to sparkle
held, concealed

the doctors up the dosage
talk amputation

Would an electrician say
the only way to brighten

this dim room is rip it
from its foundations?

The ancestors call, childhood
trauma drumbeats. Agony.

All of this not hearing
deliberate and focused:

don’t look here
don’t feel

In Star Wars films he watches
the Deathstar destroy a planet

and only those who know The Force
pause and grieve

just a momentary stumble, gasp,
hold the heart before the fight

resumes. Resistance the imperative.
While rooted in our only earth,

drinking the poisoned air,
breathing the toxic water

right before he becomes unhinged,
madness descends and we swear

we are here, watching the unnourished
limbs–ours–disappear.

Inspired by: Hovel, Brighten, Unhinged, Sparkle and the need to bear witness.

Listen on soundcloud.

Pulled By The Past

He’s bursting to play in this brisk
autumn, so soon after we both succumbed

to the nasty bug from preschool.
Something inside cries, no! Seemingly stray,

a thought, how did they manage in olden
times? And just like that, I catch

the epigenetic trauma alert interlaced
and concealed. Keeping us alive.

The whole damn town reeling two
hundred years ago, this child’s

fifth great grandmother losing four
loved ones in the fall, weather

so similar it stirs our guts and
makes us jittery. We’ll bundle up,

declare this trauma broken up,
a new ruler of integration and

consciousness, choosing fresh air
and being present for ancestral warnings.
Inspired by: Jittery, Brisk, Broken and Ruler and the tragic life of Mary Glaze, my third great grandmother and the traumatic fall of 1838. First Solomon, her 43-year-old husband, died on September 26, followed four days later by her five-year-old daughter Sarah, and three days later her three-year-old daughter Elizabeth.  Did I mention Mary was in her last trimester of pregnancy?  On 28 October she gave birth to a son, Joseph, who died several weeks later.

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.

We Save Each Other

For James

This dissonance created by talking
heads spinning webs of deceit

is no mistake. Carefully crafted
disempowerment revealed in the dark.

Spiraling up. We start,
disturbed. Harvest what’s been

planted, brows wrinkled.
When we dare to question

we’re inundated with flippant
non-answers, rising like vapor

in our muddled midst.
We are awakening to the chaos

feeling alone. Despair.
We cannot make sense of

the cruelty of separation.
Across the planet, we tug

a line igniting our soul fire.
Oblivious, immersed in our unfixable

wrongness, even so we touch
the responsive field. Huddled

in pitch black, eyes closed
as the light hurtles us to day.

Every agonized step we take
loosens our silenced sisters’ bonds.

Every word we stutter dissolves
the others’ gags. Every gasp

breathes. Our connected hearts
pulse to the living now.

Written for #OctPoWriMo Day 1 prompt a dark night of the soul and inspired by: Flippant, Vapor, Harvest and Wrinkle. and a suicidal tweet by a young autistic gay person in England this morning.

Beggars Would Ride

The universe was literally spoken into being. Language, embodied in sound and light, not only affects, but effects the genesis of life. Go live your passion with all the joy, gratitude, love and laughter you can muster!~Sol Luckman

I slide open the doors and
blue feathers flash across water.

On the urban edge, another interrupted
heron breakfast. At my feet, a brown

spider’s carcass. When the birds disappear,
the ecosystem collapses.  We stir

uneasy, boxed in childhood fairytale
heroes and villains, easy duality

until a clear-eyed child points to
the strutting naked emperor.  How can we

reconcile the blatant evil–30 Afghan
farmers killed while sleeping, a king

receiving US troops to defend his
oil? The brutal empire tentacles

choke the vulnerable, while we
walk up hill and down to offer our

energy-fuel to this earth-destroying
machine. Complicit. Implicit. Illicit.

Manipulated to concur by a constant
stream of chaotic lies. Heads spinning,

which foe do we fight first? Hopeless
shoulders slump. The storytellers gloat

pretty falsities, sugared treats prepared
just for our refined palates. Addicted

to promises, the wishful silenced
by the indigestible. Hush now.

Sleep. The only way to change
the world is to wake and tell

a different story.
Seek and you shall

find, they used to say. Ask,
like any beggar, for a lift.

Inspired by: Laugh, Concur, Wishful and the old saying, if wishes were Horses, then beggars would ride.