Category Archives: growth

beginning

a poem about belonging

 

beginning

there were fifty revelers in the pool
gay and unfiltered bodies bobbing like
corks pressed down until the wine bubbles forth

and i didn’t know how to stop the pain
of their belonging watching how all these
fabulous souls were wrapped up together

waving like a coral reef and i waved
too one hand on my top button wishing
i had never come longing to jump in

 

Breaking away

I had a note from an old friend this week, telling me about the path her life has taken over the past few years.  She talked about how difficult it can be to be “big” as a woman – strong, competent, opinionated, right about things (!), refusing to fit the mold shaped for her by her upbringing.  She is a trailblazer…

I am always so impressed at anyone who has the energy and courage to do this one simple thing: to be her- or him-self.  Often at great personal cost, at least until the landscape is rearranged.  For anyone doing the hard and holy work of being all they were made to be, this rondeau is for you.  Keep going!

Breaking away

Don’t break the rules, they told you. It is not
Appropriate for you to take the spot
We’ve given you and use it to engage
In things that undermine our heritage.
Don’t question things, don’t cry, don’t stir the pot

Unless you’re making casserole, or hot
Meals for your man. Think twice before you trot
Out your own ideas. Girls of your age
     Don’t break the rules.

This dying band assumed that they could blot
Out such a force of nature with a shot
Of god and apple pie. But all the rage
They vented only proved you’re at the stage
You’ll not survive if you, bound by their knot,
     Don’t break the rules.

 

When the well has run dry

When the well has run dry
it comes without warning.
The tongue swells in your cheek,
thick and livid, so that
your words no longer speak.

When the well has run dry,
you curse Providence for
this damming of the source
of such early growth. You
rail. Yet it is, of course,

when the well has run dry
that the real work begins.
This is the place you give
yourself to the long task
of learning how to live

when the well has run dry,
the daily love affair
with hardy words you kiss
into unlikely soil
to bloom up from the dust.

Love fell laughing

Love fell laughing into the gulf
between our feet. We burned the lies
to stay warm, those that had lashed us

together, hobbled. Some saw us
as one splendid flesh, to engulf
their own griefs. They were wrong What lies

in us is a hope that belies
all expectation. For both of us
we owe our lives to this new gulf

the gulf, hard-won, that lies between us.

Posted to share with friends at dVerse Poets Pub.

My old man

To be honest, it’s not clear how you got this job.
Maybe you applied, maybe it just happened
to you like a piano falling out of a third story
window, jingling down black keys of destiny
on your incipient male-pattern baldness.

You try and learn how to love. For a guy that’s not
easy. Mostly all you have known is movies with
explosions and lots of cleavage. And now, all of a
sudden, you’re watching a tiny chest rising and falling,
speechless before one of the wonders of the world.

Over the years, you walk the wire like you own dad did.
Sternly setting your deckchair at strategic points on the
beach, sometimes for well-considered reasons, sometimes
just to prove that you are still bigger and wiser, and
that you do in fact exist and matter somehow in the universe.

But meanwhile there’s the constant undertow. The cloud
of unknowing pierced by unforgiving questions. The realization
that maybe you don’t understand at all. That all you have
succeeded in becoming is a carbon copy of your own father.
And in a way, you don’t mind. As long as the kid is okay.

But then comes the night. And you’re lying awake, listening.
Listening for the front door to open and close. Listening
for voices to tell you that actually nothing is wrong. Listening
to the vast silence. Listening to your baby crying, because
his whole body hurts and he doesn’t understand why.

Written for a prompt over at the wonderful Poetic Bloomings site.

The moon is missing

She is standing at the screen door again,
crying, as she looks up into the night.
The moon is missing.

Just last week she had friends and life was good,
but now she knows better. It is cold and
the moon is missing.

On the beach, the tide is rolling in, with
Venus looking on. It’s not true that
the moon is missing

but she won’t know until she learns to see
she is beautiful, and ready. Only
the moon is missing.

To have and to hold

To have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse… Glowing words uttered
haltingly, like lines from a high school play,
learned by heart, yet still alien. Today
is a necessary burden, offered

to assuage the desires of well-mannered
society. A photo-op prepared
with eight-by-tens for all to take away
     to have and to hold

forever. But in truth, what just occurred
in this place, the flowers, lace, high-collared
dress, unity flame, champagne toast, DJ,
first dance, are but the entrance toll they pay
for life to which they have not yet matured,
     to have and to hold.

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