Archive for category poems

Mother’s day

This is the thing that people with mothers need to know-

You won’t always have your mother.

You will lose her.
You could lose her now.  
You could be losing her at this moment and not know it.
You could be losing her at this moment,
and she doesn’t know it.

This is the thing that sons and daughters do not know.
No matter how old we are.
And when it’s too late.

Mother’s know.
We know it down deep because the moment you were born into us-
we knew that at any moment,
we could lose you.
We knew it before you were born.
We knew that we could lose you
the moment we became aware
that we had you.

The tug and pull of knowing that we have,

and that we have not,
at the same time.  
And that we will never have control again-
Fight as we may.  
Fight as we must.
Fight as we do.

Perhaps fathers know this.
Some fathers.
But no father knows from the moment a mother knows.
No son knows.
A daughter will know just as her mother did.
Ironically all the knowing in the world does nothing to compare with the not knowing.
Knowing you can lose.
Knowing you will lose.  
But never knowing when.

So.  A mother knows in an instant of a moment’s knowing-
But children with mothers….and we are all children,
you don’t know.
But it’s true.

And it’s never about guilt.
You will think that it is-
but you are wrong.  
It is never about your guilt-
those times when we want you closer-
for longer,
home earlier,
wearing that coat we love to see you in.
Holding our hand across the street, from the car to the playground,
And when leaving our site for a second,
a minute,
hours,
days….
It is not your guilt we seek to elicit.
It is our guilt we wish to cut out-
the moments lost,
that we ourselves created as lost between us.

And we seek relief from it in new the moments-
met with the loss of moments that now, you create.

That is the tangled web we weave.
Around our lives and our hearts.
Around the things you will remember when I am gone.

Even bad mothers are missed.
Absent mothers are missed more in death
because we elevated them so high in life.
We had to help them rise above their own lacking.
We had to hope them into who they weren’t.
And we mourn her hard when she is gone.
Not the bad mother,

But the Hope mother.


Not that mothers mean to be bad.
Or can be bad,
but just that they can’t seem to be the mothers way we need them to be.
The way they wanted their mother to be.

Bad mothers are a hard habit to break.

Maybe that’s why we miss them more when they are gone.
Because we have to kill the bad mother inside of ourselves as well.

This is the one thing all children with mothers should know-
Your mother will be gone.
Even if it takes days,
or months,
or years.
When she is gone-
when she leaves you-
it will be now and instant.
It will be a breath in that never breathes out.
Or a breath out that never breathes in again.
Or a breath held in your chest.

It will sit in your heart-

in your soul-
like a rock.
A cool black rock that the sun surrounds,
but never makes warm again.

So.
Now that you know.
Maybe go home more often.
Maybe a little earlier.
Hold her hand-
because you hold her heart.
Wear the coat.
Wear the sweater.
Wear HER sweater.
Read the book she mentioned.
Read her favorite book.
Take her for coffee,
or dinner.
Or make her dinner.
Say, I love you.
Say, I miss you.
Say, hello.
Say nothing at all
and just linger a little while
where she can breathe you in.
Help her to know that she may lose you,
But that isn’t happening right now.

happy mother’s day children.

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All things homeless make me sad

All things homeless make me sad.

Old Veterans on shopping center benches with their mate-
an old girl named Baby, left in a backyard to starve, but surviving anyways on God knows what
and other things that I can’t say,

And he says,
I just couldn’t have that, you know?

I know, I think.
Like how it kills me to leave you here on the bench, and her on the cold concrete under her three blankets.
I ask, do you need anything?
What in the holy hell am I asking that for?
Of course he needs.
But I’m not sure that either of us knows what that could be.
How big is the need?
What could possibly fill it?

I buy him shoes.
I buy the old girl some dog food.
I offer to feed them both on Christmas.
I’m going broke on both of our needs.

All things homeless make me sad.

Define home.
Define more than a location.  A locale.  A bench.  A car.
Defined as a house.
Defined as a space claimed,
or as a space welcoming you into it.
In general, defined as good.  So without home, we are less than home.

Homeless.
Defined by what we lack.  Somehow missing something, or something missing a place.
A place to rest.
A someone to belong to.
A pair.  A match.

A jar
A mate
A container in which we feel belonged to.

Lonely things make me sad.
Strays.
Stray cats.
Stray dogs.
Stray people.  Alone and in packs.

I don’t actually know if any of them are lonely.
But then again,
I am sure they are.
And like my old Veteran and his old girl,
Loneliness is what they know.  How they live.  How they like it best because somewhere along the way it may have been too crowded-
Or maybe they got lost.
On the street,
or in their head.
or in their heart.
And now lonely is life.
Maybe now lonely is home
And no less lonely than where I am sitting in mine.

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along the way

You can’t ask something

That is always here,

To suddenly appear. 

To come from nowhere,

When it’s everywhere. 

It’s like asking the stars to prove they’re still shining,

Just because the Sun makes it hard to see….

Or the clouds cast a shade of grey that you can’t quite think past when you’re up and restless…

Clouds you can’t feel past. 

Let alone, clearly see at all, as passing….passed….gone. 

You want proof that it’s in the pudding-

But you haven’t had desert in years….  Measured in lifetimes really-

Though you have just this one,

For now anyways….

You want the moon and sun to share the same sky,

And when they do,

You call them liars and demand heaven show itself…

And that’s what got you here-

Surrounded by heaven everywhere,

Yet you remain afraid-

Convinced-

Lacking though in faith really-

That it’s nowhere. 

Perhaps,

You think,

Gazing up and into the sun with your eyes closed so that you can see the stars-

Perhaps, this is just somewhere along the way.

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At a glance

From a distance.
At a glance.
In small doses,
To have now and again-
But not to hold forever,
When the sound of me,
Will surely be what
Drives you to yourself
And away from me.

I hunker down in the shelter
Of my own insecurities-
And they distance me from all of the things
you will find I am not-
Did I tell you I would be?
Perhaps…
I never remember the details of the words and intentions that fall so casually from my lips during stolen moments of idle chatter-
Who did I say I was?
Who did you see that day?

Like something you think you want until you need to escape it-
Like secrets wrapped in truth,
Better left unknown.
Like once in a lifetime, that you never meant to find,
Leaving you lost.

From a distance.
At a glance.
Caught by a glimpse-
Like a whisper barely heard-
Twisted into what we wanted to hear.
Like a breath of fresh air becomes a cough.
Like consumption becomes overwhelmed.
Like the truth when we are finally quiet enough to hear it.
Not a lie.
Just a better,
Clearer,
View.

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Our common goop.

I have gone so far away from things, from people, all in an effort to find myself.
Which is ironic.
Since I believe that we are all connected.
Most of the time.
At the bare minimum, we all seem to share this existence called life, on this planet called earth that ends in something we refer to as death. These, for me, are our commonalities; existence, location, death. Past those things we are a melting pot of human goo…so sticky and stuck together that it’s hard to find, to state, to be individual.
And so perhaps, we walk away. We pull ourselves free from the goop and we stand back and look at it.
We judge it.
We recoil from it as if to say,
I was never a part of you,
and if I were,
I know better now.
And then something goes missing. Something begins to fall apart from the inside out and it would seem,
Though we can neither confirm nor deny the truth of it,
That the goop is what held our individuality in place.
Because as time goes by, we begin to feel less ourselves.
Or more ourselves, but suddenly in pieces.
I’m walking along and suddenly, my hand falls off and begins to inch its way back towards the other hands.
Curious.
I had begun to hate holding a hand.
I guess I had forgotten how many hands there were to hold-
and what it was we shared that held us together.
The snow is falling so heavy now outside my window…
and you are not here to share it.
Maybe because I wouldn’t let you be-
And maybe because you couldn’t let yourself be-
And maybe because if i weren’t here to see it alone,
I’d never know how badly I want to say to someone,
“Come here! Hurry and see the snow falling! Isn’t it beautiful?”
I’d never know that I want to go stand in the middle of the pasture and spin in the flakes…
And I’d never wonder…
Hope…
Wish…
That someone would stand on the porch and watch me do it.
That my daughters could hold my hands and spin with me-
all held together, those hands of theirs and mine, by the invisible,
most necessary, absolutely perfect,
I am without a doubt a part of, goop, that I call life.

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Turn on

You are waiting for the light to come on.
You don’t understand that you are the light.
Not what powers it,
but what chooses to use that power and how.
You’re like a flashlight,
but you are not the batteries.
You’re the switch.
Turn on.
You wait in the dark, holding yourself so tightly,
that you can’t even breathe-
Not in.
Not out.
You are clutching yourself,
because we always clutch at what we need most-
We are grasping-
and then never gently holding,
but desperately clutching.
You stand in the dark, waiting for enlightenment-
for magic to appear and to light the room,
the space,
the void,
that you think of as “you”.
You are confused.
There is no greater torture than this.
You are confused by thinking of you,
In terms of a Me-
thinking that you can be both space and void,
but you are only space-
the No Thing that you cannot wrap your mind around-
and,
there is no void.
You are not void of anything-
especially light.
Turn on.
You think that you need something outside of you-
some power that you are lacking,
some way to be more than you already are,
but that is just to deny who you have always been.
You are the light-
You are what cuts through the darkness of your thoughts,
You are what uncurls the fingers grasped around the empty space of nothing more than thoughts…
And those my love,
those are fleeting on the wings of tiny birds.
You are looking for something to fill a space that is full
and that is what creates the void.
A man wanders lost and finds that he only loses himself again into the wonder of being lost.
That is light.
To stand in the dark,
holding yourself as the light.
Turn on.

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Holding

i want to write about what’s pressing
down on me
can’t breathe
because i’m holding the last breath i took
to mean
that there isn’t enough
to fill me
up on the inside
with the outside
as it should
or maybe?
should not be
without me.

the last breath i safely took
before my world became
undone
on top of me
around me
as they crumbled
before me
which somehow
ricocheted and reverberated so violently
that it took me down with it
like the glass in the building
shatters
when the one next to it explodes-
and one is decimated,
while one is not repaired
but redone
encased again on the outside
to protect
not strengthen
what’s on the inside
and things run amuck
in the framework
but they say it will hold.
and it does.
it holds.

 

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