The Harmony Within

For Rebecca

I wake up to layers of myself
emerging. A queen accepting

her just accolade, a wriggling
puppy ecstatic to be seen.

Shimmying in with a spangled
skirt and belly-dancer allure.

Wise and sexy, strong and smart.
Yesterday I created space

for each of them–of us–scanning
with a healer’s precision.

I interviewed an epic stream
of heroes demanding a sword,

a class, this daily practice and that
ritual. In one fell stroke, obliterating

my indecision of last week,
when a dearth of possibilities

convinced me to give up.
(Trauma’s brilliant way of

saying, hey.) And so I make
the call.  I ask for help loud

and proud. I just can’t solve
this one alone, under the heavy

blocks I finally feel. That weight
compelling me: run faster,

work harder, hellbent to ignore
the feeling that there’s not enough.

I’m not enough. I trace it
down to its base, the fear

it roots in. Nothing to do,
only to be aware. Allowing what

I could never digest in the past
to rumble into my listening.

Being present to the drumbeat
as the notes manifest.

I listen to the conductor until
with heart, I play my part.

Inspired by: Epic, Indecision, Dearth and Help.

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Essential Ingredient

If there is something in nature you don’t understand, odds are it makes sense in a deeper way that is beyond your understanding.

If you see fraud and don’t shout fraud, you are a fraud.~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Under a quivery yellow
poplar—liriodendrum

tulipifera—in this breeze,
lit by a sunbeam right before

the rain comes. Who can hear secrets?
What is the sound of a thousand

trembling leaves? A stage whisper
reaching into the receptive

cells that vibrate living. Can we
recognize the song cascading

past the stained-glass windows? In the
fastness, pious people kneel eyes

closed before their almighty white
patriarch, chanting, gulled and farmed

for their subservient tithing
to the very ones who kill the

sacred mother, dispossessed of
even her holy spirit. Saved

by random unrecognized
movers like this impossible

black swan, unpredictable
catastrophic consequences,

slipping into our collective
shadows unclaimed and unnamed—

look, just there in the blink
between dreams and soft waking.

There is no other place to go.
There is no better song than yours,

issuing right now off-key and
fun, original lilting you.

Written prompted by: Almighty, Original, Kneel and Farm.

Absolutely Wrong

Everything, nothing, always
and never–the absolutes have

crowded in. We squeeze into the
corners, cowed by crushed expectance–

where is my happily ever
promised, damn it, so unfair.

Our feet are mired–drips over
decades seep into our very

ground. What I dislike sprouts, deep-
rooted despite this daily flood

tide. And all the seeds we say we
treasure sail down the current:

hope, understanding, compassion
uprooted in this storm. We trust

this shallow surface now revealed,
a gleaming veneer over our

anger and outrage, pain layered
over what lurks eclipsing love.

We orbit around pure nameless
fear, the agonizing heartbreak

a sad refrain we cling to,
spinning through space, the musical

composition of our precise
choreographed lives. I surrender

submerge into this torrent, a
wild ride, terrified that you and

I can harm each other
in this muddled dream.

Inspired by: Orbit, Trust and Dislike.

Numbered Days

The world is woven from billions of lives, every strand crossing every other. What we call premonition is just movement of the web. ~ Mark Gattis

I catch her in a dream in
the cool mulch. She never hears

my steps, her nose engrossed in
tortured breath. Her heart is pure

love and she opens her blind
cataract eyes in surprise,

wagging her welcome, struggling
with these strange new lumps blocking

her joints. She can’t stand long. I
sink into the grass, sitting

for a spell–when I get out
of the way, energy flows

from my palms. She relaxes,
leaning her full weight on me.

Attention focused on the
road her human disappeared

down, three years ago. She keeps
her welcome ready though her

family is moving and
she’s worried she won’t make it.

Or is that me–sometimes this
dog-whispering is anguish.

She inches forward so my
pulse will warm her aching hips.

She heaves a sigh (it’s clearly
my grief I’m feeling, she just

emanates divine love, God
in dog skin.) When she was small

she broke free to visit each
house on this street, begging a

treat, a madcap revel to
celebrate connection. Fast

forward fifteen years to her
loud and difficult pants to

signal pain. Her puppy heart
still greets every passing car,

so sure of his return in
these, her final hours–goodbye

is wiping white fur from my
salty cheeks, walking away

we’re at the edge of today
and tomorrow might not come.

Inspired by my neighbor Stella, her big beautiful 15-year-old heart and these prompts: Dream, Revel, Edge and Surprise.

Old Dog, New Tricks

Silence and that heavy stare’s
a laser just at sunrise.

He has plans and urges and
his coaching sparks my waking.

He believes in my super-
powers, latent until now.

I rise with not a backward
glance at the ways which brought me

here.  We greet the day pacing
a beauty walk before the

inkling of a poem sprouts.
Enlivened as live oaks, we

serenade in turn with song-
birds, the drape of Spanish moss

a cautionary tale. Glimpse
lizards skitter out of sight.

We celebrate sentience.
I wave at every being

trapped in steel as I root deep
into the ancient land of

the Seminole.  Resonate
fine-tuning my instrument,

grab your pick and pluck my strings
and oh, how my heart can sing.

Inspired by: Silence, Backward, Pick and Spark.

Alone Again, Naturally

I sit just so to allow
the jealous child to emerge

and return to the scene.  How
far from nostalgic, seeing past

the captured smiles in photographs.
Compare and contrast, fall

off the high-expectations cliff.
Not good enough? Give your best riff

and be found
wanting, no fair exchange,

overlooked.  Unsung hero,
braced for the pain, condemned

by this voice inside.
Sometimes I’m steered into

tight places when the child
grabs the wheel, panicked,

fierce, misguided.  And so
I hold this container

ward off the oblivious putter.
No one to harm or blame, safe

waking with the melting steel.
A sweet embrace, a heartbeat

here invited
in and now I breathe.

Inspired by: Jealous, Putter, Nostalgic, and Return.

In Good Repair

My sanctuary is guarded
by the half moon and bright flyers.

Two silver jets, a curious
parade to illustrate how things

travel in tandem, oblivious
to each other at separate

heights like two entire planes of
existence occupying the

same space. I am untroubled here,
no undercurrents, just this joy

surge of surf, the tide teasing out
our most mortifying foibles.

So I dare to emerge and be
seen, even celebrated, to

unwind, at peace. And now pulsing
a machine’s brazen claim of air,

jarring jeopardy to my calm.
In counterpoint, birdsong rises

weaving cacophony into
a healing of this broken field.

So many planes this morning, cold
and calculating the worth of

my tranquility. (None compared
to their imperative.) Ancient

memory, birds’ caretaking at
tree level and below, soothing

these harsh vibes, structuring the air
with precise sweetness. The barrage

of mechanical noise, distant
fuzzy highway, the neighbor’s car,

this thrumming motorcycle’s rev—
we pursue strident denial,

blare high-decible ignorance
and the birds give air to repair

our heedless noisy destruction,
certain soon we will get in tune.

Inspired by: Jeopardy, Memory, Surround and  Fuzzy.