SOLSTICE

Solitude beckons, bids you sit beneath scattered stars.
On this longest and darkest of nights,
Leaf-bare trees sieve the wind, cast ragged
Shadows on frosted ground. Journey inward to stoke
The bright flame within you, to bring new light
Into the world. Warm to the infinite and extraordinary
Creation that you are, extinguish all doubt, and
Embrace the wondrous possibilities.

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in this season

in this season, take your cue
from the Northern winds and diminishing days.
bask in the warmth of a golden sun soon lost to the horizon
and ready the fire that you will light.
kindle flame for tinder, but not to banish the shadows —
these shall keep vigil with you in this season,
for this is the time when the fragmented self
makes appeal to be gathered and reclaimed.
there is much to learn in this season.
take your cue from the birch
which sheds its gold-green garment and is no less for doing so.
abide in nature, tilting with the winds that blow;
be washed by the rains and stilled by the snows.
let fall from you all that restrains you
from self-knowing and self-honoring.
cast regret into the fire, and relax into being.
reside in the Great Mother’s embrace, secure in this season.

breach

I have shed tears,
not simply for what could have been
or for that which never was and never could be…

I have shed tears of gratitude
for the nearly narrow escape,
the breach in the wall that was too often passed over.

home to my self

with you, i lost my self.
i drifted slowly, inexorably…
bound by fear and hope,
intertwined and inseparable.
tethered by convention and covenant
and by my need to satisfy myself:
i will have done all that i could do.
together and yet alone,
the one to make accommodation,
subsumed by your expectations
of inexhaustible understanding.
time and again you extracted
my pledge to stand to you.
and stand to you i did
— to my own peril.
oh, yes! i was useful.

and at the last i saw you —
unmasked, naked in your contempt.

you may not yet know,
but you are undone.
and i am reborn.
for without you,
i have come home to my self.

fragile hope

all the times he wounds me
at the heart and mind of me
and i say nothing,
i let it slide
hoping and clinging —
not to him of course —
but to compassion,
this higher purpose that says
you, child, are the stronger
— you understand…
and there is good, too, yes?

but what else do i understand?

i understand that for too long
have i held fragile hope
in trembling hands
and unwound the thread
making space for pain

i understand the picture
i paint for my legacy:
in colors washed by tears it says,
hanging on to fragile hope
is a woman’s obligation

what disservice i do, then,
to cultivate patience
i am no stoic
where is the compassion
for me and my loves?

just now, sister Red Tail flew
across my view, low to the ground
as if to say
you will fly solo
but never alone

peach

sometimes, in fragile moments,
resisting the vulnerabilities,
i am like the peaches:
surprised to have survived
an early bloom and a persistent winter;
still hard and mostly green;
stony core dominating,
crowding the softness, the sweetness;
struggling to emerge intact
amidst an onslaught of predatory, hungry foes.

for Bill

how to encapsulate all that was,
all that might have been?
funny how a life is partitioned
by the arrival and departure
of those whom we dearly love.
we trudge on, ignorant and lonely.
like the mountainous dunes of sand
eclipse the view of the oasis,
we are lost, aren’t we, blind
until love arrives and quenches
more than our thirst,
offers up our own heart
so that we may see our true worth.
the echoes of you are boundless.
through memory and blood, and
the laughter of your children;
in a whisper, a sigh, a song,
and perpetually present
in the tears i have yet to cry.