Hope is Listening Beyond the Melody


She plays a song for me
From my own playlist,
Describing the scene she
Imagines, images evoked
By melody and lyric both.

Listen to this song!
It’s beautiful,
But the words are sad.
That’s why I like it,
She explains. Beauty

Isn’t tied to an emotion.
Not tied to just one.
I am beautiful,
But sometimes I’m sad.
It’s not always happy.

She plays a song for me
From my own life,
Beauty interwoven with sadness,
Sadness made beautiful by song.
Listen beyond the melody;

Pay attention to the words.
Beauty isn’t tied
To one emotion.
We’re not always happy,
But we are beautiful.


Out Here On My Own


I miss you
far or near
not present
in my moments
attention tuned
to other loves
soothing your
taut nerves
and tired mind
places I can’t
reach anymore

Your absence
should feel
from your
our present
missing the
old days
the first days
when connecting
meant the world

And talking
soothed all
when we shared
a dream
together always
when apart
now awake alone
always apart
even when

What Was That All About?

Why does a celebrity’s death affect me? That’s the question I spent yesterday asking myself as I tried to shake the deep sadness engulfing me after reading that Alan Rickman had died. I never knew the man. I couldn’t say he was warm, or kind, or funny, but as I read those tributes my eyes teared up and my heart ached. Why? Yes, I loved him as Snape and as many other characters over the years. He was one of my favorite actors, but I never knew the man.

So why the sorrow? Why have an entire Thursday lost to it? I still don’t know. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.
It could be that his death stirred long-buried feelings of loss from my own choices in this life. Once upon a childhood, I wanted to be an actor. He’s the type of person I would have loved to work with. Could I be mourning not just his passing but the death of those dreams as well? It seems ridiculous. I’ve known for years that I would never realize those dreams. I walked away from all things theatrical without looking back. Why feel sad now? Because acting was my first love. And it died.

Still, it doesn’t quite make sense. My daughter reacted strongly to the news of David Bowie’s death. That one didn’t affect me the same way. But perhaps there was a collective sadness resonating in our house. We both felt the loss of such great talents. People like that shouldn’t leave the earth so soon, especially when people like me, eager to leave and adding so little to life, remain. I’m not saying that I felt, “Why not me?” That’s not it. It’s more the loss of what more they would have done. The loss of their art.

Maybe Mr. Rickman’s death hit me harder than I expected because we had just marathoned the Harry Potter movies, and I had been marveling at his portrayal of Snape. Maybe it’s as simple as that—he had been on my mind and now he was gone. It still feels odd that I was so affected, but maybe immersing myself in that world had created a bond of sorts that hadn’t yet released. It would have naturally in a few days, but the news caused an abrupt severing. It pulled me back to reality before I was ready, and the reason was shocking.

I didn’t know the man. And it’s not like I had posters of him on my wall or collected Alan Rickman memorabilia. I’m not a super-fan. Yesterday I kept feeling that I had no right to mourn, but I did anyway. For whatever reason. I’m okay today, though. The intense sadness lifted last night, so I’m less worried about my mental heath. I feel sad for his family, for his friends, the people who knew and loved him and now acutely feel that loss. There are days I still feel intense grief about my parents’ deaths. About other losses. May we, the living, the left, all rest in peace.

Can’t Shake the Sadness


ache my heart
let sadness fill
all mourn the loss
as one
another light
now dimmed
the day has lost
and night has won
how do we know
all spirit binds
connecting those afar
the tug of sorrow
on our soul
the furrow of our brow
weep my heart
your sadness knows
the secret we
all crave
we’re here as one
alone we walk
pretending that
we’re brave
another loss
so many feel
a mystery for now
rejoice my heart
for love lives on
beyond the final bow

No Mountain Streams For Me


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

Sometimes We Want to Forget


Awash in blue
A crystal sky
Paper clouds and sun
Float by
Torn from books
No longer read
Blown by winds
From lips long dead

Above me now
Just out of reach
Wisps of love
The stillness breach
Forgotten words
Your dying song
Push those paper
Clouds along

Passion, flare
and heed my cry
Don’t let those phantoms
Fill my sky
Lick your flaming
Tongue to clean
The yellowed memories
From the scene
Let smoke and ash
Clear all away
Awash in blue
Remains the day