Vines like a river

Breeze through the glories
Vines like a river, like a wave
Painted gold, leaves shimmering

When my eyes told you I love you,
you tried to touch me with your tendrils.
Your dress, worn softly and falling apart,
revealed a mouse’s treasure beneath your blooms.
And purple trumpets, emerging from your shoulders,
announced the morning rain.

Seeing

I see color.
~Me

Though I have no illusions that the world revolves around me, I do think that I am spoken to. The words are always there. Sometimes they whisper, sometimes they are loud, but they are always speaking.

I’m in the same boat as everyone else, but thankfully not a large boat off the shore of some unfortunate harbor. I’m not going to name it, though, it’s already been named. It’s some version of the Scottish Play, and let’s just leave it at that. And we’re all staring out, unfortunate actors, waiting for a cue, waiting for the next act.

I had a laugh when this play began, as it was right before I was supposed to embark on some sort of personal journey for three months. Like space was going to be made for me and I would work out all the shit in my life. Oddly, space was made for me, but not in the way that I wanted. Instead, the streets and my neighborhood around me said “have a listen” and “have a look-see.”

And what I heard were birds, and fewer of them. I saw and heard Western Bluebirds, my lonely wrens and sparrows in the bushes, and an eerie calm. And I saw color in my yard – yellow, pink, lavender, and white. White is prettiest as a blooming azalea at dusk, the sky filled with dark clouds.

And so, I thought, this is the space. The world is quieting down to where I can think.

Noise

Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

The cars are a river that wake with me
Silver and silent, going nowhere

The planes are up at 6 am, but their song isn’t pretty
Instead they sear the sky and hit the birds,
blood and feathers in the wings

The lights come on
but they aren’t the sun or the bright moon
They are green and harsh

Sometimes they are red
and pavlovian

The friend

She is erased, but I still watch her
The drunk, there
Looks like no other
glassy, unseeing
peering out from the pain

ethanol sits there between us
waving like the summer heat
so there’s no embrace
only breath perception

you can’t, you aren’t
I am not
I am

the tears don’t come, and I’m more sad than angry
but I don’t miss her anymore

Why do we gaze at stars?

For Lisa

Why do we gaze at stars?
Birds used to swim, before they could fly.
The longer we swim, the more likely we will grow wings.

The sailors, then, is that why they watch you?
Yes, otherwise they’ll never be free.

So, sailors are like fish caterpillars, waiting to emerge?
Yes, like an unborn star.

How are stars born?
Light, balance, and force.

Just those things?
Maybe some fairy dust.

What happens when you fall?
A million wishes are made.

Who do you fall for?
The purest of hearts.

Do their wishes come true?
Look for yourself.

Fire

Fire
I dreamt last night I was a volcano,
but afraid of my own power
I erupted bitterness instead of fire

The neglected dog two doors down
is a different heat
and it burns my belly to imagine him there
under the hot light of a back porch

Night winds cool the winds of the day
that are harsher in their own way
the sun swept around in the branches
is mad there is no shadows
and basks the leaves in a blinding light

Rose and D

“We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.” ~Eeyore

When she was ten, Rose lived near the old lake town, on a single road just across from the road where the willow tree lived. Many years later, Rose would occasionally sing the old story song “Bury me beneath the willow tree,” passed down by the late Almeda Riddle, to remind her of that tree down the road.

Rose lived with her boozy mother in an old apartment, and her brothers and sisters who she sometimes lived with, and sometimes didn’t. They were more like ghosts, she will recall later on. She knew they existed, but they were really never there; just phantoms that appeared and reappeared, with their usual scorn for her, the eighth child.

Rose lived her life by landmarks – the willow tree, the corner grocer, the relics of the old mining town, and a donkey named D in a field across from her apartment.

D was a large donkey with long, untamed fur, and large brown eyes with eyelashes for days. D never wore a halter, and was kind and gentle.

She didn’t visit D every day, only when she thought to. Their relationship was composed of Rose scratching D’s nose if D let her, and if D got tired of that, would saunter back toward the shade.

It was a mutually lonely existence; Rose on the hot cement outside the fence, and D standing in the dead grass on the other side. Whenever Rose approached the fence, D trotted excitedly over to the fence, and then would exhale an unspoken “oh.” The friendship did not yield an escape from the fields, or an apple or two, but it was there, nonetheless.