True Story

THIRTY

Subtle fascination tugs the
Dangling thread from muse to mind,
Pulls my focus ‘cross the room,
Not knowing it was you I’d find.

Busy with your mad designing,
Never looking once my way,
You didn’t feel the tug of mem’ry
Telling you we’d planned this day.

Love at first sight? Not exactly.
A knowing gone before it came—
That’s the guy I’m gonna marry;
I really should find out his name.

To the rescue, thought flows quickly.
What was that? I couldn’t say.
I’ve no plans to ever marry.
Who is that guy anyway?

Never had I seen you prior.
Common friends we didn’t share.
Still my soul rejoiced that morning,
Recognized you sitting there.

What compelled me, silly child,
To seek out a stranger’s love?
Was our meeting preordained,
Directed somehow from above?

Thirty years ago we married.
Our children are long grown, and yet,
Still we walk this road together,
A journey planned before we met.

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I Don’t Know What Keeps Me Going

THE TRUTH OF LIVING

Some insist all life is dreaming,
One day we’ll wake and understand.
Others say all dreams are lives
We’re living in concurrent lands.

I don’t know the truth of living-
At times I fear there’s nothing more:
No spirit breathes beyond this life,
No other lifetimes came before.

Every joy, so fleeting, fragile,
Every sorrow’s brittle pain,
Weave together fresh tomorrows
Tinged with hope I can’t explain.

Life is whirling all around me.
All my life I’ve watched this dance.
Still I long to find my place,
And reason to give life a chance.

A Little Detour

I lost myself again. It feels like I’ve been missing for years, but it’s been a week. Just a week. Each day built on the smallest choices to ignore my soul’s tiny voice whispering in the storm.

I question my own motives sometimes. Why do I say yes to things that I know will cause me to lose my way? Do I so desperately need to feel wanted, feel useful, that I’m willing to slip back into old roles that were always a poor fit? I’m exaggerating, aren’t I? It’s not that the old role was always a poor fit. I chose it willingly, and learned much from it. I even enjoyed it at times, so I shouldn’t pretend now that it wasn’t right for me. It’s just that things have changed, and I have a chance now to choose something different for myself. And that’s scary.

It is easier to do what I’ve been doing, but still there’s a part of me today questioning my motives. Did I really want to help? or did I want to feel appreciated? Am I strong or needy? Or both? Can’t I be both?

I haven’t thought about writing all week. I was busy, true, but I’ve been busy all year and still made time, still made thoughts. Not this week. This week I let go, and until last night, I wasn’t sure I’d find my way back here. But I have. I did. For now.

No Mountain Streams For Me

I DUG MY WELL

I dug my well
In soft earth
Open meadow,
Handful by handful
Dirt became
Mud and clay
And rock
But still I dug
Until the water
Flowed freely
Deep under ground
My water, my well
Ringed with rocks
My hands pried
Loose from
Mud and clay
There I drink
Bucket so full
My rope frays
As over and over
I drop them down
Deep into my well
Where I drink
Until the tears
Flow freely

I Can’t Watch the News Anymore

a call to arms

put down your gun
silence your drums
hatred and fear may
rule the hour
but they never win
the long war
come into my arms
let me hold your pain
against my heart
let my love fill
your hollow places
and if bombs drop
take my life
as your shield
i’d rather die here
in open meadow
with the sun’s warmth
on my face
and love in my heart
than live in fear
behind your wall

From Whoever I Am

My prayers are vague, unfocused, unlike the formal prayers I learned as a child. Those words lost their meaning and ability to comfort me long ago. As I’ve grown (aged?), I’ve allowed most of my formal religious training to drop away. I’ve replaced it with an odd mashup of pop-spirituality, mysticism, and vaguely positive thinking. If I read something I like, I throw it in the mix, hoping that on some level I’m becoming a better person for the effort. Through it all, I’m still searching for answers—who am I? why am I here? what does my life mean?

When I sat down to write this morning, after two days of horrible migraine pain, my first thought was, “Fill my mind with inspiration.” I desperately wanted to write something that took me out of myself for a bit. I felt beaten by pain and fatigue, so I looked to the sky, to spirit, to the universe—whatever you want to call it—and asked for help. I wanted to connect with the muses who sometimes drop poems into my mind when I’m not looking for them. I didn’t intend to write A Prayer, but that’s what came out. When that happens, I don’t fight it. Not on a day like today, when I’m feeling raw still and unsure of myself.
Sometimes it feels like I lose pieces of myself when I have migraines. I imagine parts of my brain disintegrating as the pain bores through my skull. When I emerge on the other side, it can take a while to feel like myself again. It’s almost like having to relearn my own life. I remind myself that I am competent, that I can drive, that I can do things, that I can write. Still, I’ll feel out of sync with the world for another day or two. I’ll feel fragile, afraid that the pain will return. During this time, I won’t want to make plans, won’t commit to any appointments, make any promises. I’ll try to remind myself to breathe deeply and not let the fearful thoughts run my mind. In my own way, I’ll pray myself back to wholeness, back to life.

To Whoever Is On Duty Up There

A PRAYER

Send me words of inspiration.
Fill my mind with thoughts of love.
Wrap my day in veneration.
Show me wonders from above.
Light my way, dispel the shadows.
Excavate the hidden truths.
Dwell in me as holy witness.
Cultivate the hope of youth.
Banish fears of aging poorly.
Triumph over thoughts of death.
Celebrate the smallest moments.
Breathe through me eternal breath.