Category Archives: Poetry

Scarred

Can You Hear Me by jinzilla@deviantart.com

My scars sense the raw pain that you feel.

Although my wounds stitched themselves together,

They left faint traces that narrate the pain of the past

For those who draw close enough and look closely.

The scars remember the deep ache that discolored the skin.

Yet, deeper than physical wounds are the ones on the heart

The penetrating cuts of shattered hopes that pierce the soul.

The dreams of the past and the promise of the present

All turn to ash in the white-hot furnace of the abuse.

Sometimes the strong walls of home can’t keep the wolves outside the door

To survive in the midst of wolves you become a monster that they fear.

Yet, your own teeth began to terrify those whose embrace you desire.

You stare in disbelief at the scared, scarred animal you’ve become.

Your wounds learned to wound, tooth for tooth, claw for claw

But the wolves are quick and cunning and often just out of reach

And those who share your sanctuary may find themselves bleeding.

The pain can heal, if you can find a sanctuary from the wolves.

God knows, that isn’t easy, for they do love their hunt.

The wounds of body, spirit, soul and mind can slowly heal,

But you will bear the marks of this within you for your life.

Some nights the deep ache will reawaken in your nightmares.

You may still see the animalistic fear in the mirror long after the danger is gone.

Yet, in scars there can be the gift of seeing the pain that others ignore

Of feeling what others cannot feel, and of helping bind the wounds.

Helping one more human return to the world of humanity.

To rebuild the safety and security of the home that protects their beloved ones.

And perhaps, in a small way, helping heal the wound of the world

One scarred sister or one broken brother at a time.

Seedlings

First Broccoli Seedlings Emerging For My 2021 Garden

I rejoiced to see you emerge from the fecund and spongy soil

Where your seed was carefully wrapped in the warm earth

The vessel where you begin your short life is small and light

To bring you to a safe space and protect you from the killing frost

So, you can have enough time to fully develop and bear fruit

Before the brutal summer sun saps your strength and dries your roots

Yet your life will not transpire in these carefully controlled conditions

To reach your full size you must grow beyond the confines of this pot

Eventually, you will be transplanted into a place prepared in the garden

Where the sun shines, the rain falls, the wind blows, and the soil is deep

To sink your roots deep in during the hot days and the chilling nights

As I add water or perhaps cover you in the event of a late spring freeze

But as you grow, you need my protection less as your roots drive deep

It is in the garden with worms and weeds where the flowers and fruit mature

As I think on your short life from seed to sprout to fruit

Started in winter, growing in spring and gone in the summer

I ponder the balance between sheltering and smothering

The necessity of providing a safety from the life destroying frost

Is as essential as letting things grow in the uncomfortable world

Knowing what supports the seedlings struggle to reach fruition

And what prevents their growth beyond the vessels they start in

Hearing the Monsters’ Fears

Some desire a dance with their demons

awakening the monsters that lie within

Embracing their deepest darkness

Drinking away the inhibitions

Silencing their consciences

Entering the darkest night

Without the searching of the soul

I’d rather sing a lullaby for my demons

To listen to monsters’ fears by candlelight

Hearing their stories and regrets

Learning what they were afraid to see

Tending the scars of the soul

Walking through the darkest valley

Into the morning beyond the mourning

Monsters of the Mind, by Tirby@deviantart.com

Lost Dreams

Child by fabii from http://www.deviantart.com/art/child-61251692

Sometimes I imagine you running through some unending shopping mall

Realizing that somewhere along the trip you lost hold of me in the crowd

Perhaps you stopped to gaze at some curiosity in a shop window for a moment

And I was gone, moved on by the crush of the crowd’s unending, unfeeling flow

Tears streaming down your cheeks for the companion no longer there

As both our futures were severed by forces beyond our control

 

Like a parent who came to a new country seeking hope for their family

Only to find that family ripped asunder at the border, children caged

Fighting bureaucrats and their cold, unfeeling mountains of paperwork

Fanning the embers of hope for some eventual reunification

Only to find out that you are gone, given to a new family to foster

Just a dream who has hopefully found a new father to be cherished by

 

Some part of me won’t accept that dreams die when reality shatters them

When life moves on, when circumstances change, when new dreams are born

Something makes me hope that they find a new heart that beats with theirs

Someone who cherishes them the way that I did as they grew and changed

That they have a future beyond the fracture, and that they find joy and love

That you may be the dream that another person raises up for the world to see

Growing a Story

By FASTILY (TALK) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6850324

Growing a Story

Some kernel of truth was planted in the fecund imagination
And as the new shoot broke from the warm moist ground
Spreading its initial leaves to breath in the air in a new world
As an alien sun showers the cotyledons of the seed with radiation
And the roots begin to drive into the soil feeding on the detritus
So many things can happen to this new seedling over its maturation
The environment it emerges into may be too toxic for it to endure
Animals and insects may eagerly devour its first green leaves
Or weeds may grow up around it choking its access to the sun
Drought may deny it the nourishment it needs or flood may overwhelm
Subterranean pests or diseases may devour the roots it sinks
But sometimes, against all the odds, the roots delve deep
The plant spreads its tender branches towards the heavens
And the story slowly grows, struggling to reach maturity
Putting forth leaves, flower and fruit and delighting the eye
Yet no story grows unchanged by the world it enters
The knots and gnarls that give it character as it grows
Some branches have to be pruned carefully by its author
As it takes its place among the orchard that invites the hungry
To walk among the collected trees and to taste the fruit
Which provides the seeds for the next generation of stories

Bradford Pear


Bradford Pear Tree After a Storm, Own Picture

They put me in this ground because I grow up fast
Spreading out my arms full of foliage in the hot sun
On summer days, I appear strong and full and healthy
My shallow roots shoot through the brown clay
Like a spider web gathering all the water from the ground
My heavy green crown provides a deep shade for the earth
Roots and crown absorb all the sun and water of heaven
Suffocating any life that may want to grow in my shadow

Yet, trees like me are notorious for shattering in the storm
Every branch goes back to a single point on my trunk
My long, heavy laden, branches too firm to bend in the wind
And my crown breaks in the spring and fall rainstorms
The wind snapping my arms and dropping them on the ground
Blocking paths and roads, waiting to be cut up and taken away
I grow up fast and I look like a king only to dethroned by the elements

My query about things that we expect to grow up too fast
Who learn how to rely on a single point of strength in the sun
Who may at times appear full, healthy, strong and immovable
Perhaps sheltering others in their canopy absorbing the heat
Or absorbing all the light and water suffocating those nearby
Why we’re surprised when they break leaving destruction around
When their lives are short and they are more brittle than they seem
When their roots are shallow and the storms of life are too great?
And we clear away the fallen limbs and foliage, the broken crown
Making space for another Bradford pear tree to grow up in the space
As their ancestor’s memory is ashes and smoke in the firepit of history

Barren Seeds

A close picture of soil in my gardenl

The soil was turned, the weeds and rocks removed
Seeds placed at the proper depth and thoroughly watered
So many have cast their seeds into the waiting earth
Seeing the germination, the growth and the eventual fruition
The earth giving birth to another healthy harvest

Sometimes after germination pests come and root in the garden
Floods and winds damage the plants or drought dries the roots
Struggling against the elements to shield the tender shoots
Yet, what can be done when plants miscarry before they can emerge?
The seeds rotting in the dirt, disintegrating in nature’s womb

Perhaps they are dust, and like the sower who sows, to dust they return
Some unknown problem with seed or soil, parasite or pest
Birds may have come to consume the seed on the ground
Rodent may have rooted in the fecund earth for the precious seed
Sun may have baked the seeds and made the ground infertile

With the termination of the germination the ground lies barren
The hopes reserved for this season are buried in the earth
Never to rise again. For the season’s seeds have been sown
The storehouse sits empty and the store shelves are bare
Until a new season emerges when new seeds can be sown
When the soil is turned again, and the seed placed lovingly inside

August Petrichor

Petrichor-a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a period of long, dry weather

The land has languished for months amid the annual summer drought
And the cracked clay which bakes beneath the brutal blast of a Texas sun
Awaits the agonizingly slow approach of the autumnal wind and rain
The heat saps the energy from flora and fauna, man, and beast and field
Desiccated air absorbs the last trickle of water from the earth’s skin
Creeks and streams that flowed in the spring are sun bleached limestone
The inflamed soil longs for relief as it sinks exhaustedly into a summer siesta
 
But on this August day there is the earthy smell of petrichor as the wind shifts
Thunder rumbles in the distance as the baked earth prepares to receive
The bounty of the heavens as the clouds open and deposit their liquid life
Cooling off the sunburned skin of the earth and giving the soil a sip
A small foretaste of the feast that will come as the seasons turn
The earth sings and dances in this brief shower which dances on its body

 

When a Dream Dies

Glimpse of a Dream, IR photo of French River by Paul Bica, 2013 shared under creative commons 2.0https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Dreaming#/media/File:Glimpse_of_a_dream_(9391068364).jpg

Often they simply fade into the night, slipping into the ether
They dwelt for a brief time deep within our sleeping mind
We wake with no remembrance of their sojourn through synapses
Our short journey with their evanescent existence in the dark
 
Yet, rare visions weave themselves into the warp and weft of the soul
Their lives become joined to our own, birthing hopes and aspirations
A symbiotic connection of between vision and will, the dream and dreamer
And when that dream dies it takes a piece of us with it into oblivion

The Mansion of My Mind

House of Prince Gagarin By Aleksandr Lozhkin – Степанов К.Н. (March 2014). “Художник Александр Васильевич Ложкин (1881–1942). Краткий очерк жизни и творчества”. Московский журнал (3 (279)): back cover. ISSN 0868-7110., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31922649

I will never dwell on some vast estate with a gardener to care for the land
But I can cultivate the fertile soil of my mind and plant seeds that grow
Care for the flowering plants, harvesting the produce, clearing the weeds
Pruning thoughts that have grown unruly to make space for the seeds I sow
 
I will never build some great mansion with rooms to fill and halls to decorate
But my mind contains an expanding multitude of rooms to fill as I choose
A library full of stories and wisdom, an art gallery filled with beauty and color
Halls of memories holding pictures and remembrances of a past still alive
 
The ever-expanding building may be complex, but I contain multitudes
Teachers and friends and family, writers and artists all inhabit my mind
And I can choose the dialogue partners I allow inside these walls
As master of this house, I send out the invites and I am the gracious host
 
I find as I grow that I need new rooms and spaces as life expands its reach
Curiosities need places to be explored, relationship need spaces to live
Sometimes, I need to explore the vast expanses of nature that adjoin
Sea and sand, mountain and forest, babbling brook, rushing rivers
 
I choose not to dwell too long on the mirror of lost loves and hopes
There is no wing full of the mementos to untraveled roads and broken hearts
Some rooms have been removed; others remodeled as I have grown
But I love the beauty of the place, it is home in a way no building is