The Evolution of Fire

I used to write with fire
basking in the golden glow
blazing across the page.

I slung words like flaming arrows
without regard.

They were powerful,
they were bold,
they burned . . .

And then one day,
sitting alone in the center
of a cold, radioactive flame,
willing cancer to ashes
I came to understand.

There is no pride in fiery destruction,
no lasting warmth in white-hot anger,
no vindication in always trying to prove oneself.

One of the lucky ones,
it’s been four years and
I’m still here to live and write.

But my words have changed with what I learned
and my life has changed with my words.

 

 

 

She was Born

She was born in the usual way–between a man and a woman.  There was blood, pain, and screaming. It was, as it always is, a brutal cleaving of soul from soul, flesh from flesh. Her father was a crime, her mother a child, and there was no one to catch her when, after years of slow, uncomfortable gestation, she finally fell into damp leaves on a darkened forest floor.

Her mother lays there still, not one minute past the memory.

She didn’t realize her birth was a death. She never grieved; how do you miss someone you never knew? But She felt the weight of grief all around her from the moment she was born in such a way that it was like gravity or some other universally accepted law of physics– binding her to earth, limiting her ability to move, and at the time, intensifying her need to dream.

 

Sunday Thoughts

When did my voice become too quiet to hear over the t.v.?  I’m hiding  amidst piles of dirty laundry in the living room, crouched over my laptop behind closed doors trying so hard to hear it, faintest of whispers, my voice, come back, I’m listening now.

Our marriage is where I can sleep
After setting my burdens down
After closing the door on the world
Unfailingly safe, comfortable, warm, loved . . .
I can rest my head and my heart
in us
until I’m ready to rise and face it all again.

Multi-tasking with a speed that felt like so much more, but was actually so much less . . . Worse than nothing when all was said and done.
I want my focus back, my concentration-to indulge my interest in one thing until it becomes familiar, known, maybe even loved.
To carefully, deliberately subscribe to something, to someone with discipline and care.

I wanted to dissolve into the sky
out of my senses, out of my skin
untethered, unfettered, forgotten to everything.
I get that way sometimes.

Where do I belong? I asked myself, silently in the car between what I knew then and what I know now. It is stunning how some answers come so quickly while others elude for eternity.

Curling over, again and again,
I can’t tell if the water seeks the shore or
if she’s simply a captive of the moon.

I’m still learning to end the poem in time
to prevent too much understanding, which
always seems to lead to misunderstanding.

Oregon

My words always flood in Oregon–overwhelm the barriers holding them back, escape into the world before I’m ready.  It might be the clouds, giving them a false sense of security, making them feel they are protected. I have told them again and again, we are not safe, but they never listen.

It’s beautiful here; I want to want to stay.  What it is about this place that leaves me feeling such unease? I used to have lots of reasons, but they’re all gone now, leaving only discomfort and the question.

Becoming

I love to read but never “have time.”  I dream about playing music again while my clarinet still sleeps on the top shelf in my closet.  There is another life waiting for me . . . at least I think it is, surely it isn’t the other way around?  I could not be sitting here waiting for it . . . and yet, I sense my own growing impatience with my excuses.  I can feel fall coming in my bones and blood.  It is deep and winter is dark and my soul has plans for my heart and fingers it refuses to divulge.  Probably for the best, if I knew what was coming, I would most likely come up with a hundred reasons it could never work.

My writing is ready to light up a long-darkened corner of my mind.  I have ticked out silly news and sappy love and a battle cry for women’s confidence, but there are other words which have waited.  These other words are fed by old novels of little interest to most.  These other words are fearless themselves, but terrify me.  They require careful construction and a level of skill I doubt I have at the moment, but they assure me if I start, I will get where they need me to be.  So here I am; to practice, to try, to be afraid but not deterred, to become.
Becoming