distances allowed ~


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Last week my mama called with the news – an old friend was gone.  Certainly before his time (yet not). He was nine years younger than me – the same as my baby sister.  In fact, my very first job was babysitting him and his two younger brothers.  It was sudden, unexpected – his heart gave out during the course of a night.

He lived alone; slept alone; died alone.

It’s a formula that breaks my heart, and one sure to haunt his girls with what ifs and who could have known.

And yet – he wasn’t found in the hallway or the bathroom floor. He was on his side, as if the moment was first presented as a dream.

Such news moves us for surely we know the echoes of such emptiness. We grieve with the broken, and grieve for ourselves, as we are reminded (again) of the frailty of life, of the breath that stalls, cleaving us from this world, from every might have been.

It’s not the dying that scares us, but the running out of road. It’s not the trip we never took, or the book we didn’t write.  It’s the half dozen eggs in the fridge, yesterday’s mail on the counter, and laundry not yet dry. It is the heart that will wonder to words never spoke, our last time forever the last. It seems as tho the things of little weight in life – weigh the most in death. Faith gives us assurance of another sun, but it is an assurance unfamiliar to this life.

We breathe, and we shed unseen tears for a loss greater than our words. Days pass as memories soften, such that one day we are surprised anew by the passing of life into fall.

I’d swear
there was a time before
I memorized your kiss
wrote your name
in cursive
next to mine

waited one more
always -
of reason to recall
and traded me
a winter
for your touch

you claim
to know my stories
when nights
I find you there
walking all alone
on roads
I go

torn between
the now and then -
were distances
a light we burned
– another
shining bare

relearning -
the warmth that is
your soul
come again
to carry me
to home

alignment ~


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The morning unfolded slower than usual. I sat on the porch and watched the feeder, or at least when I wasn’t checking my watch. I needed to go; I couldn’t keep my students waiting. Where are they; don’t they know………

When I could justify no further wait, I rose from the swing – just as a tiny yellow bird arrived to the feeder. I have no idea what kind of bird he is……….and in retrospect, I’m fairly certain he didn’t eat.  He merely stopped, raised his head and pushed forward a song which must have been crowded in his little body………. Then he was off, sailing beneath the branches, beyond the fence into the field……….disappearing in a blur of wildflowers.

I smiled, took my last sip of coffee, and closed my eyes……..*thank you*  There, my blessing………. If nothing else in this life, this is sufficient. This – payment enough for my trials.

I don’t know about you, but for me, life is filled with these reminders of just how divine the way we’ve come. Tho, surely I’ve made some wrong turns, eventually they brought me to this place. A place of understanding and perspective, reality bound with strings of almost but not quite moments.

bethankfulIs it faith that convinces me it is as it was meant to be, or something more – a nagging recollection of home?

Maybe it is as simple as timing.  Perhaps we have to leave in order to really miss a place; to travel to figure out how beloved the starting point was.  Maybe destiny has more to do with our dreams than ever our plans, such that we move on auto-pilot sometimes, held in place by a north star we can hardly see.

Pulled back into alignment by a tiny yellow bird.

. . .

delivered from rust ~


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were there more
than one season
a flood before draught
a whisper of knowing
lines never

in the telling
compelling me
backwards to place
recorded my will -
on wallpaper scrolls

history layered
by news of goodbye
to welcome
the best of me
delivered from rust
the remains of a sigh
a moment denied
the pulling apart -
is worn by my soul
into dust

as longing recalls me
– remember
these steps
in returning
of time to the shelf
as lies from the meaning
of all we had learned -
to follow us
back through the dark

candles warmed
as smoke rings to glass
the pull of the moon
looking in

were ever another
a reason to die -
seeds I was planting
before spring

fashioning shadow
from passionate bud
beholding in me -
their purpose became -
and where have you gone
crushed in the leaving
by sweet
muscadine -

awakened to fall
by a dream

. . .




sky of mirrors ~


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she carried
every tear
outside her heart
a withering corsage
against her skin
held such deep conviction
ache to recognize
a name or two
- a lifetime

a time before
this burden come -
to lay aside
the rest
would give of faith
a place within her bed

a sky of mirrors
windows burned with light
a faraway
brought nearer
by the pain

take charge
the tongue to harness -
a bitterness to chide
or shoes
- you’d never wear
their sorrows out

for the sake
of who you’ll be
when comes the dawn -
held within redemption
by her love

. . .

where petals fell ~


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between the lines
where petals fell
counted back from none
he loves me
loves me not -
or so the story goes

where once
the soul was wary
mercy came as time
from brokenness
- a sweeter blossom

warmed beneath
the same ole sun
rocked upon the wind
sorrows burst
to bloom
beside the rose

keeps a hallowed path
reminders mark
the way
were petals loosed
as questions -

now I know

. . .

hands to watch ~


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how sweet
where springs immortal
some provision for the light
an extra sheet
with blankets down the hall
a book of story
read to me -
one night
when morning came
was I
so sure to fall

in wonder unexpected
a corner
dusted bare -
else distance will
my soul to disappear
how many times
were hands
to watch -
a sweeping into day
love is left a promise
- silence I can

. . .

shudder ~


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so sure my soul
recalls your breath
tho how and when -
I shudder
forgotten here
where circumstance remains

when pulled into
your memory -
as light within
your light -
as vapor unremembered
by the flame

of moments held
so fragile
I dare not speak aloud
of where
the wonder slept -
between us

as strangers
to believing -
of another place we came
familiar once
as golden still
the sun

. . .

the way of stars ~


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when I have gone
the way of stars
across an ancient sky
slid between
the branches - whispering
a name
held sweet
by one or two -
a page already turned
who will know
of words
to understand

were never
for rhyming -
decided by the night
woke me up
when dead the hours passed
every passion -
a time and place for all
for us
it seems of one
there never was

were ever
this unknowing
be given up again
or I -
a secret carried by the wind
to lands
beyond the call of feet
where cold
the floor is laid
ghosts are camped
in silence -

. . .

Reflected (in honour of Peaches Geldof)


Words give us room to feel………

Originally posted on Angela Hickman :

Why do we care?
Why does our compassion swell
in a collective wash of grief

and we hear your babies cry

and we feel your father’s soul fold in half, crumpled
by the anguished pain—returning… again… why?

and we hear your babies cry

Why do we we care
when we never touched the soft skin of innocence
upon your face, or saw the dawning
of countless blossoms only a child’s face can carry
lighting up your smile?
We never knew you, not them, not I

but we hear your babies cry

and we see
our children, mothers, sisters, friends, wives and lovers
in every image and utter of your name
as you go to sleep and live
in another light, another sky

and in our souls we hear
your babies cry.

— ~ —

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