4.27.22 Permission Requested

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When you were little,

I could have sworn that I always knew what to do 

to make you feel better

(almost always)

Now

sometimes,

I feel like I can’t even guarantee that I won’t make you feel worse

And it leads me to question if I ever really had it all figured out

or, 

more

likely,

if I was fooling myself all along,

the Queen of Misplaced Confidence.

Regardless

I wanted so much for it to be true –

for us to be closer than close

always

But maybe that was wrong too . . . 

maybe freedom was the point all along.

I’m not good at it,

it would seem.

I apologize.

I’m not a fan of realizing that what you might need 

is   s  p  a  c  e 

instead of a hug

or quiet

instead of conversation.

So here it is – the dreaded truth . . . 

don’t

know 

what

I’m 

doing.

But I love you the same.

More, in fact –

and I guess I’m asking your permission for that to be okay.

1/10/22 Does She Know?

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This poem is for all of the women in my life who make it a little easier to breathe … to laugh … to cry … to be myself. If you’re wondering if you are one of the exquisite souls who inspired it – you are.

Does she know?

 . . .

She is a wonder

an apothecary of magic

weaving words that draw

and settle

and heal 

places of your spirit 

you didn’t even know were raw

until her brilliant stardust of diction

falls into the cracks

mixing with molten hope until 

you become, once more,

a priceless paragon 

liquid gold filling you … 

making you stronger than you ever were

before you realized you were broken

She is not afraid of scars

but welcomes them in … 

tracing their storylines –

drawing silver strands forth 

crisscrossing beautiful strings of prose 

until all that remains 

is a dreamcatcher of renewed wishes

She is a wonder

the embodiment of all that is good

and worthy

and precious

breathing life into lost dreams

and lost dreamers alike

She is a wonder

a curator of fragile memories

a keeper of secrets too heavy to hold alone

a kindred confidant 

a borrowed gift of heaven 

. . . 

Does she know? 

5.16.21 Voiceless

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Yesterday my son texted me a picture of a bird’s nest that he and his cousin found when they were playing baseball outside. A perfect, manilla colored egg lay atop the nest. It would have been a happy discovery indeed, but when when I scrolled in to look closer, right beneath the egg, I realized that the top layer of the nest was green, plastic netting, commonly used as lawns are being made … not grown … created. It hurt to see; so I wrote.

I’m afraid we’ve failed you –

again

And I’m afraid no one remains

unaffected

less protected

or more rejected

than those who have no voice to raise

How is it that we have fallen so far

from Eden?

from grace?

from the commission to

take care

or

be aware

Instead we close our eyes

and compromise

our virtue for value

and sustainable

for easily attainable

I’m so sorry

and I know it’s not enough

It hurts …

this separation of who we were called to be

and what we’ve become instead

I’m afraid there isn’t much time to fix things

to fix us

to mend your broken heart

to mend our broken place

But I promise to try

to use the voice I still have

even if it’s barely a whisper

You say actions speak louder

so that brings me some comfort

I guess this is me

taking one more step

4.12.21 It Has to Be Alright

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I think it’s there

just barely visible

on the edge of a cloud line

on the faintest curve of a smile

that hint

that glint

of light, and hope, and

something

better

is

coming

for no other reason than

it

has

to

Judge as you may,

I’m not prone to naivety,

but rather the need to rely on my faith –

which I admit

can sometimes look the same …

But it feels entirely different

Trust me –

or don’t

but know that I know myself

and the only way I can carry on

is to believe

in the edge

in the curve

in the light

in it has to be alright

soon

11.16.20 I Need You to Know

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Sometimes one spirit, 

one flesh

feels too far away when in two bodies

And your mind is a mess with stress

and mine is just

tired

And it amazes me just how possible 

impossible days come

and go

and come back again

Like a chill neither of us meant to catch

but caught

n  o  n  e  t  h  e  l  e  s  s

On days like these days

I can’t find you . . . 

though you’re right in front of me

you’re not beside

and your thoughts reside

e  l  s  e  w  h  e  r  e

And there is not somewhere I can go with you –

because you didn’t invite me

It’s not a burden I can help you bear

because you took it on alone

Still somehow I carry the weight

of waiting

for you to set it down

to look at me

to let me back in

I’m sorry

for offenses both real

and made real by believing I meant to offend

I’m sorry

for moments lost

and more

for moments thrown away

If I tell you that I love you

could it help?

Could it heal? 

because I know you know

but knowing doesn’t seem like enough

I need you to know

and I need me

to be 

e  n  o  u  g  h

5.4.20 A Poem for the Ageless

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Here’s to the ageless ones …

the ones who self-identify with feelings 

instead of years

The ones that triumphantly ride squeaky-wheeled carts in parking lots

and aren’t ashamed to order dessert first,

even if they’re eating alone

Here’s to the ageless ones … 

the old souls in young bodies

bursting with wisdom they yearn to give freely,

yet no one receives without cost

Here’s to the ageless ones … 

who sing and beat their steering-wheel-drum

chanting their anthems to the wide-open windows 

and passerby cars 

who carry on completely unaware

Here’s to the ageless ones …

to those captured deep-in-thought,

tangled in the philosophies they weave

theories stitched in time 

yet surrounded by those stuck in the shallow end

Here’s to the ageless ones … 

the running barefoot, hair down breeze dancers

who delight in the light that they chase

just to feel the thrill of releasing it back to the wild 

Here’s to the young

the purposefully naive … 

the dreamers who remember to play

Here’s to the old, 

the vintage souls …

the antique hearts whose beat is the rest in-between

To those who transform 

but refuse to conform their spirit to a number 

too small to fit into

or big enough to get lost in

Here’s to the ageless ones …

for the world belongs to you

4.28.20 Dear Time Traveler

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Dear Time Traveler

I know full well you may

in fact

only exist in my imagination

but,

even there

you are real enough for me to make my request

Teach me to traverse time

to find myself back in moments I cling desperately to

that ultimately  f   a   d   e

as the clock ticks ever on

And if you cannot teach me –

take me with you

just once

to see him

to see her

to remember the exact notes of his laugh

to feel the acute pressure of holding her

to delight in fingers laced I never planned on letting go

Whether or not you are …

whether or not you will …

I will remain yours

holding fast to the hope

of the help

only you can give

4.9.20 Just for You

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There is too much noise

sometimes –

always.

Too much talk and chaos,

too much static in-between perspectives bent far

too right

or left.

And I wonder if we are losing our ability …

to value the wisdom in silence –

in the word not spoken,

in the opinion not shared.

How much greater is a story with an audience intent on listening to it –

taking it in for what it is,

and isn’t

as opposed to a version of that story …

twisted and conformed to a standardless society.

I wonder … do people even want the truth?

Or just truth according to a circumstance they can rally behind.

Amazing how little the world changes …

even after spinning two thousand times.

There was too much noise then too,

too many voices of people intent on holding power

just to keep others powerless.

In the chaos of following traditions

and superstitions …

they missed it.

They missed Him.

The orator who spoke stories that stirred the Spirit to action.

The gentleman who remained silent in times He could have condemned.

The brother who was paradoxically the hero called villain

in an attempt to protect.

How do we stay so confused when we have answers?

How do we remain so hazed in the season of hope?

There is too much noise

sometimes –

always. 

But if you lean into the stillness …

if you seek the whispered stories …

if you trace the living history …

the wisdom of silence will find you.

And you’ll fall into a truth

lived just for you.

3.10.20 Still and Always

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A couple of days ago it was National Women’s Day, and in honor of it, I feel like I’d like to send a message to all of the young ladies who are in that in-between stage … the place between finding yourself and knowing yourself … because it is a hard place to dwell. This piece was actually written for a precious client of mine who regularly asks me to write poems for the special people in her life. She sends me her stories, her memories, and pieces of their precious relationships, and I sew her collected thoughts into prose. “Still and Always,” was written for her teenage granddaughter … about the paradox all young women face … being who you were, and becoming who you are.

Please pass it on to any women who need to be encouraged … and if that’s you … carry on beautiful … carry on.

Elle

Still and Always

It is contrary to imagine
in a world as concrete as this world tends to be
that there could yet be a glimpse of wonder, of glimmer, and of hope
Still she is, beautifully
And it’s trying to respect the perspectives
of generations apart from your own
those that give voice to the past instead of the present, who mistake was for will be Still she does, gracefully
It is unthinkable
in a life riddled with the movement of “me”
to allow your inner sun to radiate outward, to see others before self
Still she has, attentively
And even given the state of discordant haze
between battles of heaven and earth
between battles of right and right now
Of who matters most? And why should I care?
Still she loves, fiercely
It’s astonishing to believe
that this girl, so full of all that is good
could ever retain the domain of expectation
so many have come to depend on her for
Still she will, bravely
and so …
for this world,
and for her precious, singular place in it
Still and Always
I am thankful

2.19.20 Not Enough

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“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

I’m not sure I entirely agree with this quote from Mae West. I love the impact of her delivery, but sometimes I’m acutely aware that the immensity of my dreams and ambitions far outlast the promotion of time one human is allowed on this earth. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but the idea of it is such a romantic thought to me. To come back … to do it all again but better. Differently. Hindsight is a really amazing gift, but it seems somewhat ironically unfair to gain wisdom after and then not be able to fix the parts and pieces of your story you’d love to edit.

I am of the opinion that life is much too brief to harbor regrets and hold on too long to wishes that can’t carry you forward, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I would make a few changes … or a few more than a few. In any case … I thought I’d invite you to share a piece of my mind with me – it goes great with coffee and a snuggly blanket. I’m happy to think I’m not thinking alone.

Not Enough

To think that we can measure time

is futile

to think we can stretch it

is madder still

For Time is an untamable beast

prowling and haunting

those like me

who would do anything to claim

just a little bit more of it