A Poem? Not a Poem?

Let’s try this again.
I’ve written, deleted, written more.
Deleted more.
This is my life. Nothing sticks,
no matter what I try.
I’m not finishing things,
not accomplishing anything.
Write. Delete.
No record I was ever here.
Do I really have so little to say?
Or do I simply lack the voice to say it?
I tried to sing along to an old song
when I was driving yesterday.
My throat felt tight and closed.
My voice wobbled, unable
to find and hold the note.
I used to sing all the time:
school chorus,
community theater,
around the house.
Anywhere and everywhere.
Always a song.
And if not a song, a story.
Not any more.
I bury my stories deep.
I silence my songs.
And the silence has stretched so long,
that I’ve forgotten the words to my life.
Has the tune faded too?
I strain to hear it,
to hum it,
but there’s nothing there.
Am I disintegrating?
Have so many pieces of my self
fallen away
that I’m unrecognizable?
Is this why I can’t write?
I feel as though part of me
has been switched off,
and I don’t know how
to turn it on again.
Even as I type,
my throat feels constricted
and sore.
I cannot speak.
Whatever I have to say,
my body holds tight
and won’t release.
I fear that if I ever
find that current,
that energy,
that life force again,
it will shatter me.
What’s left of me.
It will blow me apart.
Would that be a relief?
One last burst of feeling,
followed by…

Maybe if I knew that answer,
I wouldn’t feel
so empty,
so lost,
so tired,
so alone,
so discouraged,
so hollow,
so done.


Just Because I Avoid It, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not There


I buried you
under years of dry earth
no tears

but I marked your grave
so I can find it later

when I’m ready
when I have time

to fall into your grave
and be buried with you
there under the dry earth

holding you again
till what’s left of you
the memory of you

and my tears float me
to the surface

or my anger claws
through earth and rock
leading me back to the sun

however long it takes
more than this day
or the next

so I drive by
dropping flowers
to say

I haven’t forgotten
where I left you
how to find you

and one day
we will meet again

when I and grief
holding hands
dive deep

into the dry earth

I Want Answers


What happens when we die?
When the sun can’t wake us,
though it tries?

When the cold inside spreads,
and that odd expression
freezes on your face?

What happens then?
Is it the end? Finally free.
Or do I become we and fly

back to a bluer sky?
Not so heavy anymore.
Not so sure of the answers.

All the questions changed
in the blink of an eye
and a fixed gaze.

It Always Feels Like Winter


I hold tight the door with one hand,
just enough for cold to slide in
and snow to
sidle past, then die at my feet.
I won’t let
life tug the handle from my grasp,
flinging wide
my soul to the world. I hold tight,
just enough for breath to escape,
before I
inhale and set the locks again.

New Year (Happy Optional)

Here we go again. The holidays are over. I need a holiday.

I’ve already failed to do the simple things I promised myself I’d start at new year’s: exercise, stop eating sugar, write every day. This is my half-hearted attempt to do one of the three. I’m not optimistic about the other two.

My year of exploring poetry forms is officially over. I’ve been thinking about what to do next. I’m tempted to leave things to chance, go back to writing whatever comes out that day without the imposition of theme or form. I’m not sure how that will go. I’m afraid I’ll let too many days slide by without writing anything. But that happened last year, even with my assignment set for the month.

It didn’t matter in the end—I wrote until I didn’t.
I wrote until I had nothing to say.
I wrote until life intruded too much.
I wrote until obligations to others seemed more important than promises to myself.

This year I need to figure out how and where writing fits in my life. There are a lot of other changes I want to make, things I want to do. New habits, like exercising. And better choices, like eating well (which means taking time to cook healthy food). I want to read more books and waste less time online. Oh, and declutter the house. That might take a bit more effort.

For today, this is the best I’ve got. Or the most I’m willing to try. Or something in between.

The new year snuck up on me, and I’m unprepared. I’d like to wind time back a month, maybe two. Try this all again. But on I go—forward, like it or not.

May this year be better than last.

*A note about the header: I know it’s out of focus. I was trying to capture the ice on the trees before it melted, while still keeping my phone from getting dripped on. It’s not a great shot, but I haven’t anything better at the moment, so I’m using it for now.