"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smith - Unplugged

I saw a dragonfly waltz above your voice.

You never knew how the sound drew wings...
how hearts soared and memories danced
on the floor of fading proms.
I watched old women lose their frailty,
middle age men grow hair
and children frolic as if you had brought them the meadow.

I tried to tell you that angels had chosen you as home
to anything they wished to sing,
but your father kept plugging your ears
and you let him
because obedience has a similar pitch to flight
until you're actually mid-air
and finally out of bounds.

You stood in your own regard,
which is always a mistake,
and let it transform your opinion.

I tried to tell you
what the dragonflies know.

HSS Concert September 2012


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hello Lonely

Your loneliness spent the night,
having arrived for dinner
only to discover it had been less than known.

Do you feel better today
knowing I went so far into the heart of it
that I tapped out?

If there were a way,
I would carve that stone
until my fingers ran bloody.
But it would still be faceless
having gained its immeasurable ground at the work of a foreign hand
gathering as a boulder that retires heavily, remote and stoic
as if it had never moved.

I am weaker than I ever imagined
and stronger,
the brows of both
lifted in surprise.

Loneliness is a fog.
It is not the blanket that some poets romanticize.
It is just cold.
But it motivates us towards warmth
and inclines us to see.

We swipe at our eyes
and wave our arms like windshield wipers.
Where is home?
Why has our shadow gone missing?
We look comical,
but here in the loneliness
we no longer care of hecklers.

It just is what it is.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cutting An Orange

I am just a woman cutting an orange.

I could be the woman getting a divorce,
faith rattled
and no longer reliable,
or the girl without a childhood,
the child without protection.

I could be the one whose knife quivers
as anxiety mounts an attack worthy of all out war,
or the one whose e-mails hail her like Paul Revere
needing and assuming,
and whose work calendar overflows its daily boundaries.

I could wear the colors of past Spring
or the hues of coming Fall.
I could sing a swan song
or whistle a new aria that would lessen my impact
on those I hold dear.

I could be the woman who has neglected family
avoided friends
and hibernated in the disillusional safety of a foreign land.
I might even be the flesh that was not touched
in ways that made her cringe into her sunflower sheets
at too tender an age.

All of these things gather in the blade of my knife
as my breath swims a shallow stroke
that never reaches the shore of my lungs.

I teach the hand to tell the blade to steady the knife...

This moment I have not been harmed.
This moment I am not hurting anyone.
This moment is not the accumulation of misdeeds
and their consequence on the future.

I am just a woman cutting an orange.