Newton Was a Child Once

From primy youth

               we do dawdle in a

                        perpetual spring

 of our own creation.

                                                  All is budding vanity

                     to be grasped, tasted, and enjoyed

                                         until it, quite suddenly, isn’t.

                                                                                                                         We cling to the belief

                                                                          with pudgy primrose fingers

                                                                                                         that, if only we dare try,

                                                    we could fly — soar even —

                                           until gravity strolls

                                                                  into the whirring room

                                     of contraption and wonder

                                and coughs rudely — conspicuously —

      and, inevitably, we are told

to let go.

Optimistically Kafkaesque

You cannot produce new words

while you remain there,

hopelessly tangled in the old,

suffocating under trips of the tongue,

awkward pauses, and mispronunciations.

You must shed off that crystallized ink,

a dim exoskeleton, each and every morning,

acknowledging that you have grown

too capacious for your modest home.

It is only then that the writing can begin,

the wordsmithing, the storyweaving.

Israël

When He calls You out

into the Wilderness,

You will not be without sacred spaces

for He will go before You,

anointing the very ground

You walk upon.

 

Behold, the sky will fracture

and downward will tumble

His distilled vessels of peace

in a direly tender deluge.

 

Drenched in love,

You can do naught but

humbly follow where He leads,

until — by grace — You stumble

upon the wonder of

The Promised Land.

Attrition & Acquisition

Chasm

I now see that you have become fluent

in a language I cannot communicate in.

Though I pause and murmur and laugh,

all these signs and symbols

are jarringly out of tune,

                                                         disjointed,

reeking of a foreign, clumsy tongue.

I am unversed in you now,

and it was not always so.


Chaos

We are perched on the edge of our seats

within a dim room, reverberating with rhythm.

Waiters bustle frantically by,

whirling our words into the shadows

where they feebly sink,

weighted down as soon as they are spoken.

When the blonde child at the adjacent table,

wiggling impatiently, abruptly turns,

wide-eyed with a clairvoyant honesty,

what can I do but shiver to my very soul?


Companionship

Honey, drizzled across my fingertips,

cascades lazily into the fragrant tea below.

The blonde girl before me abruptly turns,

brightly smiling and petite —

faerie-like in the sense of her smallness

and the ethereal way she glows and moves.

She should be elsewhere, but she is here.

A cheerful introduction, and then I know:

we speak the same language.

Cryoseism

I am wishing I was elsewhere

when I can barely manage to be here.

the sweet hypocrisy of the divi           ded self

My limbs quiver like tree boughs

in these unforgiving gelid gusts

and sap creeps into my aching veins,

so please forgive me if I shudder

and cannot look you in the eye.

there is a tempest present you cannot detect

Benumbed, I can do nothing in particular

save chip myself away, piece by p

                                                                            i

                                                                        e

                                                                                      c

                                                                                    e.

Meet Me Next to the Nymphéas

My feet know the way,

and I trust them.

It is a humble, everyday sort of magic, I suppose.

And so, at last, with their guidance, I wander into the hushed gallery

and am bewitched afresh — utterly, completely, hopelessly.

My eyes blur with sudden tears,

and I am alchemy of emotion.

I breathe in greens, lavenders, golds;

I exhale serenity.

Hello, old friend. It’s me. I’ve come to stay awhile.

A Moveable Feast

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter.” -Sylvia Plath

I share the astonishment of wounded stars,

spellbound in their wandering courses,

held blithely captive to wonder.

To be seen, to be known.

The petals drop slowly, rhythmically even,

until quintessence alone remains,

perched on fragile stem.

To be chosen, to be loved.

I partake of a sumptuous repast

where brokenness leads

to no loss of appetite.

To be embraced, to be set free.

Titus Andronicus: Act II, Scene IV

I am not Lucrece. I am not Lavinia.

You cannot cut out my tongue

if the truth of the words that I speak

causes you discomfort,

if the way that I unapologetically carry myself

brings you unease.

You cannot minimize my significance.

You cannot trample upon my flame.

You cannot silence me

for, when I speak,

I verbalize the communal pain

of thousands upon thousands.

Muteness would be mutiny,

and that is an act I refuse to perform.

Aubade

I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the wilderness; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and the storm.'” Psalm 55:6-8

The Nesting

“But you are not a dove.” The reproachful echo resounds, echoing in my skull.

And yet, so often, I cling to my perceived agency, gaze firmly upon the skies.

I fixate in formulaic verbosity; I validate my foibles and fears.

Daydreams of nostalgic yesterday oft overtake present joys.

Phantom pains from missing wings skeletally ricochet.

Now I pluck at twigs, yearning to create something new, to find contentment here.

The Singing

Fragile frame. Twinkling song. Sharp, observant eyes.

The nightingale welcomes me into her nest, and I humbly accept.

“What’s your story?”

An inquisitive tilt of the head, expectant.

The words are slow, manifesting like molasses.

They are elusive, shifting in shadows I cannot grasp.

Yet the silence is somehow entirely right, and I need not rush to fill it.

I sip my tea, breathe in, and begin.

The pause just before birdsong greets the dawn.

Reverie

An insurgent breath, recoils, trembles, returns, swallowed back up by my greedy lungs

          as the train deafeningly gallops into the station,

                                                                                                and my eyes flutter closed.

                                                                I float delectably, daringly close to danger, suspended.

Do you want to know what the secret is?

Sometimes I do not feel real.

                    It arrives as a pleasant surprise when my heart instinctually begins to pound,

                                                when the counterfeited bitter wind stubbornly tosses my curls,

                                        when I encounter a thousand crystalline kisses falling from the sky.

I shiver, and I smile.

Sometimes I do not feel real,

but tonight I most certainly do.