NaPoWriMo – Day #23

I walked up the hill
past the old climbing tree
and down the path
into the woods.
There is a deep layer
of dead, brown leaves
from last year,
maybe several years.
They crunch under foot,
like walking through skeletons.
Yet, the buds on the trees
are swelling, greening.
This is not morbid,
it simply is
the way things are,
life and death together.
Perhaps
our insistence
on separating the two,
on fearing and denying death
is what’s abnormal.

NaPoWriMo – Day #11

Today I am cleaning closets.
I am the archaeologist
of my own life,
of my family.
I sift through layers and remember.

There is the High School Era
with my kids’ athletic medals
solo and ensemble ribbons
musical programs
home burned CDs
report cards and reports
dried and crumbling prom flowers
and so many pictures
of those brave, innocent faces
with a knowing in their eyes
that wasn’t yet beaten or
swindled out of them
that they would change the world
and the fresh young bodies
barely able to be still
long enough
for the snap of the camera

The Elementary School Era
with exuberant little-kid-bright crayons drawings
rippled watercolor paintings
ribbons for history day projects
and science fair projects
and some of the projects themselves
special stones
random game pieces
lopsided coil pots
and handmade cards
ending with “I LOVE YOU”
And photos that squeeze my heart –
smiles with missing teeth
and now-dead pets
first days of school
birthday parties
sledding and swimming
and sitting with grandma and grandpa

Then there is evidence
of the big extinction
when my mom
and later my dad
died.
There are two
black and white plaid bags
from the funeral parlor
four years apart,
but each filled with cards and notes
a slim, white prayer book
a guest book
a silver cross
and a bill of sale.

And that’s a far as I can dig today.

NaPoWriMo – Day #10

Good Friday

I have always thought it strange
that the day humanity
betrayed
Jesus
should be called, “good”

If one is a believer
doesn’t it
make more sense
to call Easter
Good Sunday?

Or is it “good”
that God is dead?
For he was on that day.
Must humanity
always kill its gods?

Asking for a friend

A day late, but not a word short for FF55 at Verse Escape

 

NaPoWriMo – Day #5

4-5-20

The dead have
their collective hand
on my shoulder

I can feel the pressure
of their words
in the back of my throat

See them gathering
in the shadows behind my eyes

Feel them crowding
my heart

They whisper unkept promises
and lament unfinished lives.
And now time unravels
before them –
an eternity of regret

Another day, another poem.  I’m really a little ray of sunshine lately.  One of these days I’ll post something optimistic again, honest.

The Sunday Muse – Dwell Time

smokyphotog

Ghosts document my misery
as I stare, unblinking
into the next ring
fumbling for my ticket

I’m caught in ropes of smoke
trapped by the cyclops,
for the image of a thing is the thing
and the image of a soul,
well, you know…

Mirror, mirror on the wall
the next train to Hell
is now boarding
at gate seven.
Please watch your step.

I’m really rusty at this, but I loved the picture, so figured, meh – let’s give it a try. This is for The Sunday Muse , a weekly photo prompt site for writers, poets, and blogging enthusiasts.  Follow the link and check it out.

 

Communicating with the Dead, in 55

I imagined
communicating with the dead
was shrouded
in mystery

But it’s not

It’s a note
in his handwriting
tucked into a favorite book

it’s the smell of
his closet

it’s the work gloves
still stiff with
the shape of his hands

Communication with the dead
is small, common
everyday

and
pretty much
one way

 

This is a 55 word version of a longer piece I’ve been noodling with for FF 55 hosted by Hedgewitch, with a tip of the hat to Galen.  Click on the link to go to her blog, Verse Escape, and join the fun!

Communicating with the Dead

I used to imagine
communicating with the dead
was a wispy, fine-spun thing
shrouded in mists and veils.
There must be darkness
and hands held around a table
and maybe chanting…
My eyes would most likely
roll back in my head
my body go rigid,
a voice would whisper
from somewhere beyond,
and we would all be left in a stupor
filled with awe and wonder.

But it’s not like that at all.
It’s a note
in his handwriting
tucked into a favorite book.
It’s someone mentioning her name;
maybe a story
you hadn’t heard before.
Or a story you’ve heard
a thousand times.
It’s junk mail
addressed to him,
asking for money or a vote
he can no longer give.
It’s the smell of her closet
for awhile.
It’s the work gloves you find
still stiff with the shape of his hands.

Communicating
with the dead
is small, common, everyday.
It can be soft and comfortable
or piercing.
It can come at any time.

The one drawback
to communicating with the dead
is that it’s pretty much
one way.

Difficulties of Speaking to the Dead…

Between you and me
is an ellipsis
that spans this life
but can’t quite reach the next

All the things I said
that you didn’t hear
and all the things
I didn’t say
but meant to
and now I never can,
for your ears
are filled with earth
and worms
and bugs
and all manner of bacteria
claiming you,
taking you back

And the space grows
between those three dots
past, present, future
time and worlds
and thoughts
and unsaid
words
fill the space

And yet
it feels so empty

Check out Poets United for more poems in keeping with the season of All Hallows Even and Day of the Dead.

 

NaPoWriMo #19

Another full moon
poses above us.
Gently, she lights the way
as we creep, or dance, or stumble
through another night.
And perhaps we pause
to admire her for a minute or two.

And when we go in
she beckons us
through the bedroom window:
Come out and play,
come out and live.
Do not sleep your life away
silly mortals!
You have such a short time…

What she doesn’t know
is that we are in love
with sleep
with dream
with death

 

Well, this didn’t go as planned. (Maybe because I didn’t really have a plan?) I feel like I should spend a lot more time with this one, and that the end result will be quite different. Maybe even a couple of pieces that are quite different. But for now… the day job beckons.