falling asleep

once I listened to a man give a lecture on prayer

and he talked about how he often fell asleep while praying

like an old dog, happily resting at his master’s feet

and it gave him peace to know that God was such a thing

as to make room for tired souls to rest in comfort

sometimes I feel this way, too

when I’m talking to you late into the night

and the weight and business of the day overtakes us

drawing out the pauses between our replies

like languid breath, like molasses, like hope

until one of us drifts away to that place

where the wood surrounds us in silence

and we don’t need to use words to make connection

we just let ourselves be wherever we are

and though the space between us spans miles

it’s not that far away from here and now

like turning a page, like taking a breath, like hope

we will wake when rested, and speak again

of falling leaves and autumn and how to be alive

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a liturgy for lovers

oh you still beating heart, battered and bruised by hurts

be brave and vulnerable still

oh joy, scattered by the winds of change and insecurity

be brave and vulnerable still

for those of us who love too fast, yet find themselves alone

may we rise up and try again

for those of us who refuse to love, for fear of being hurt again

may we rise up and try again

for the shame we carry over our choices, and what was chosen for us

may we rise up and try again

when we fear we will never be loved for who we are

may we hope anew and love anyway

when we fear we’ve fallen to far, lost too much, and built too many walls

may we hope anew and love anyway

for those of us left at the alter, left by the bedside, left in the woods

may we hope anew and love anyway

for those of us who feel used up and unloveable

bring us healing and restoration and new life

for our aging bodies, fearful of being criticized and rejected

bring us healing and restoration and new life

for those of us who hang our heads in shame for failing

bring us healing and restoration and new life

for the defeated, deflated, and discouraged

lift up you face and feel the warmth of love

for the lost, the lonely, and the listless

lift up you face and feel the warmth of love

we confess that we hold un-forgiveness towards those who have broken our hearts

heal us, we pray

we confess that we have become drunk on too much wine and smoked cigarettes and kissed strangers to fill the empty places left by those we loved and lost

heal us, we pray

we confess we have not showered, cranked loudly at our children and pets, and left the dishes plied, dirty in the sink, while feeling sorry for our own broken hearts

may we start again, and show the love of God though our love

we forgive ourselves

may we start again, and show the love of God though our love

we forgive ourselves

may we start again, and show the love of God though our love

we forgive ourselves

may we start again, and show the love of God though our love

because love is a dangerous adventure – and yet we will rise up and try again.

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only sunshine

Some days the light shines

just a little brighter

as it streams in the windows

it doesn’t matter which windows

it doesn’t matter what time of day

all that matters is that light is shining in

and I am in its path

and the warmth is reaching

the chilled places

and I am noticing each ray

I can’t explain this

I don’t have science

or reason

only the way my skin feels

only the way my closed eyelids warm

perhaps it’s just my heart

being more receptive

perhaps it’s a lack of rush or business

allowing me to notice

perhaps it’s magic

I care not

I only care that I have been gifted

the moment

the ability to notice

and the reminder

that brighter days still exist

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lost words

I wrote a poem and it disappeared

not for lack of trying to save it

but I suppose some things are meant to go away

I lay in bed last night as the darkness eased over me

and thought perhaps I could find the words

again in proper order and feeling

to put them down once again and forever

but the heart that wrote them

doesn’t beat within my chest this morning

or perhaps it’s that the heart in my chest

is beating again with a new and steady rhythm

and some words shouldn’t be written down

no matter how true they are

because better words exist to be spoken

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a hole in the ground

we don’t knowingly step

into places of our own demise

we don’t build our homes

in places of desolation and dismay

those things creep up upon us

they catch us off guard

like a rabbit’s teeth

like a hole in the ground

like darkness that’s come too soon

but the foundations we lay

and the roofs we build to shelter

from storms we never expected

can redeem even the most broken things

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marking time

A year ago May it rained.

And why I say it rained, I mean I cried downpours of tears

because a friend who was my north star, my constant, was gone.

Not dead. Just not drinking coffee on Saturday mornings.

Instead, we yelled at each other in the rain outside Starbucks on Sunday afternoon.

I cried in my beer and sat on a curb pouring out my heart.

And I’m not even sure what was in it. But I emptied it like shaking crumbs from the bottom of my purse.

And it was raining. And I was drowning in it.

 

July was like an inferno.

And when I say inferno I mean it burned up my life

and even thought I was exhausted, I would have run the whole way.

But I have nothing to show. Not the children, not the work.

I had worn myself to the ground with worry.

Even though my heart had been rent open time and again

to give more than I really had, it was never enough.

So I stood beneath a tree holding my heart like a dead thing in my hands, as the rain fell

And it burned my skin deep. And it scarred me.

 

September was a month of chill.

and when I say chill, I don’t mean something in the air,

no the South is too uncooperative for that.

I mean a slow, smothering lack of breath from the north.

I mean what happens when one is giving all they have

and the other has already walked away. Twice.

Its a breeze that blows discontent and disconnect and a congestion that makes my chest rattle

Its a silence. And I was screaming in it.

 

January is moth of leaving.

And when I say leaving, I mean breaking hearts.

Because I was already broken. And broken again.

And I sat on the sofa and lied to make myself feel better

because I was ashamed to admit I was scared.

And I thought I was so utterly alone

not realizing he’d just offered to keep me company.

I chose what was easy instead. And was alone.

 

The wheel keeps spinning.

And by spinning, I mean I can’t seem to stop this dizziness.

It rises up in my gut and makes my head hurt.

Make another cup of tea. Forget for five minutes.

Remember.

Remember you are not the wheel.

Instead of turning, let’s go for a walk in the woods. 

one – 57

there you sit like you always have

mug in hand, books stacked

pictures on the wall

just as they belong

as you pour another cup

and ask me to say more

always more, always listening

heart open, gaze downcast

knowing me

like you always have

across the table, leaning in

laughing

with eyes that hold a universe

you taught me how to breathe

I taught you how to love another

and the carrier pigeons

fly between us

like sparks and flurries

and fine lines of black ink

on soft pages

the notes of lives entwined

loosely

to hold each other up

and push the other out

into the world

we both long for

when the garden walk

is too short for such a long time

and papers rustle, pages turn

today is not all there is

tomorrow we will still love

not like that

like borrowed books

with penciled notes

that we will remember

and be whole

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a specter of you

eventually, I stopped counting breaths

moved into new head-spaces

trashed the pictures

deleted the words

went on dates and to bed

and to places far away

until you appeared to me again

unannounced

uninvited

smiling by the river

like it was yesterday

we’d gone berry picking

talking about fish and goats

and cottages in the woods

back before I drew a line

and you stepped back from it

before silence replaced poetry and songs

before him and them and everything

that wasn’t meant to be

and I keep the door shut now

I won’t let myself remember

where I hid the key

there is no going back

there is no future in that

only in walking forward

and remembering that ghosts

don’t scare me

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a prompt

they say write what you know

but all I know is what I don’t understand

of how hearts flutter and fail us

and I wonder while I write

why I can scrub the dirt from under my nails

but not from out of my heart

they say write what you know

but all I know is what I don’t understand

about living in a place for a decade too long

when all I’ve ever wanted was a home

but my feet are always running

towards things that hold no lasting comfort

they say write what you know

but all I know is that my words are jumbled

a mess of magic and mayhem

and I’m at a loss for how to find them ordered

while they tumble out on the page

and leave me so very afraid

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