Recreating Recall of the Priceless

Age can be a terrible thing, what it can do
to a man’s body and mind that he once thought
invulnerable to the degradation of disease
and his own misuse over time.
But along comes the day when his shoes
become too far away to tie and the chasm
so great between the desire to remember and
the clear view of actual recall, it renders
memory nothing more than a museum ravaged
by the temblors of time. Now the picture
I hung of you is not much more than a frame
surrounding empty desire, one I must fill
or you’ll finally be lost to me forever.
And so I scour this shattered space for bits
of the ancient and arcane. With pieces of lapis
set in shards of Delft blue glass I fashion
your eyes, with flaxen threads of fine
Irish linen and crushed Etruscan alabaster
I formed your face, and with countless strands
of gold and brown silk, your hair. It’s an
imperfect portrait, true. Though, created
from treasured bits of my life and the echoing
music of your voice, I once again can hang
my invaluable memory of priceless you.

For Day 19 of NaPoWriMo, a piece made of the combined prompts of Writers Digest and NaPoWriMo.net — a memory poem and a creation poem. I like to think of this as my imaginary life imitating their art.

An Ode to ‘Femotions’ – A Celebration of Life

It was just another sunny spring  Sunday afternoon, the kind where the wind sings its celebratory air,  when I found her curled up in her  own special chair. She wore headphones  holding back wind’s hymn from her ears,  on her cheek I saw tracks of her tears.  “What’re you doing?” I asked,  with the hard-earned knowledge  never to tell a woman not to cry. She looked up with red eyes and  said “We’re going to die.”  I figured this was another of those  things I secretly termed “femotions,” —  cathartic expressions of feminine emotions — I now understood not to try damming  or I’d be damned, you see, as just another male  whose feelings ran the gamut from A to B. “Yep, we’re all somewhere along  that path. Can I help?” I asked. Perhaps  I could make her feel better if I took on her task.  “Yes,” she said, and opened her fist,  within which I found crumpled a  smudged page titled “Funeral Playlist.” “You let me handle this,” I replied, because  I’d already begun one for when I died. I never thought this morbid, collecting  songs for the grieving, reminding us of  loved ones our sides forever leaving.  But what I wrote, like that uplifting breeze,  came swiftly as I penned titles with ease. And they didn’t echo much of sadness nor strife.  With memories wistful, soon I turned over her own fistful, a soundtrack celebrating the love of my life.

For Day 18 of NaPoWriMo, I combined prompts again. A Life and/or Death poem and a poem using neologisms. A neologism is a word made from combining two existing words (like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound. This piece is a cobbled together thing, but the sentiment is one I think about a lot because I’ve already begun making up my all-too-soon to be in rotation ultimate playlist.

Love Among the Shadow Children

” … the dark has eyes to recognize its own …” ~David Whyte~

It is in the darkness
we lose ourselves,
forget our way.
Without any light,
You could look like I do
and I could look like You
and neither of us
would know it.
But, as we’ve burned
and learned,
looks can deceive.

I’ve tripped and fallen
in the dark as well as
the light over what
I thought was beauty,
something or someone
I never thought would
hurt me, but did.
Just I have caused pain
to those who put
their trust in me —
a creature never far
from shadow —
when trust was undeserved.

Trust is better given
and received in at least
penumbral twilight,
best under the sun-bright
proofing of truth.
Only the dark
truly recognizes,
truly understands,
can only love its
shadow children, because
only the dark has eyes
to recognize its own.
And I know you.

Day 3 of my National Poetry Month poem-a-day quest. This piece is based on Sharyl Fuller’s weekly Writing Outside the Lines challenge prompt you see at the top of the page. Yeah, I am the penumbral denizen who can easily slip into the dark with but one step. But the light is only a step away, too.

It Might Mean All It Might Mean

Still don’t know what Love means,
even after all these years.
When I was a kid, I thought
it was something like devotion,
like I was devoted to my parents.
But it wasn’t really.

As a teen I thought Love was
something like that emotional,
romantic and sexual connection,
that feeling of excitement
you experience when you touch,
or you get lucky enough to
press your flesh against
(or some other preposition)
the object of your affection.

As a father, it was all about
providing for and protecting
those people you’d call my loved ones.
I was never too good at any
of what might be Love, except
what actually could be obsession.

Maybe Love is all those things,
but I still don’t know for sure.
I am sure it’s something close
to what my brown-eyed girl gave me
just about her whole loving life.
But that’s dogs for you.

I took a line from Ray LaMontagne’s song Jolene and Annie Fuller’s prompt photo, closed my eyes and just wrote. The results are iffy, but the experience of discovery is always a blast. You might say I love it.

So Strong It Hurts

It is a painful thing can we do
to one another, this coexistence,
this dissonant linking of one
with a different kind of other,
this trust-but-verify alliance
of two souls who would love to be
in the state of this painful thing
we can do to one another,
this love.

Maybe opposites do attract,
clanging together with a magnetic
melding of positive to negative,
hard to pull apart, though
easily turned to repulsion
with just one turned back.

It is a healing thing we do
to one another when we lie
side by side, my positive
by yours, negatives turned
upside-down, out of sight
under the covers.

All that’s required to maintain
this alignment of sacred coexistence
is a harmonious linking, a common
face-to-face faith of soul-to-soul,
where heart-to-heart beat soft
against one another, holding, healing,
loving so strong it hurts.

Another Spoonful of Dreams

spooning

I dreamt you allowed me
to hold you, and I did, as
I dreamt you’d want me to.
And I recall wishing
my skin was soft as yours,
my embrace strong,
yet tender, too.
My chest I pressed
against your back,
your breast
my hand caressed.
I needed to know
if heartbeats echo
or mirror-beat as one.
But this was only a dream,
one many nights I’ve lived,
in which I’m not the me
by dawn’s light I see,
but one you’d wish hold you
how you’d want enfold you
on those nights
it’s your dream to be held.

Sat down late this afternoon and along came this 100-word piece of free-written, stream-of-consciousness run mushily amok. Must be the approaching celebration of mirror-beating hearts and mated souls . Oh, and the imagined dreams of my dreamy imagination.

a·ban·doned, adj.

refilling-cartridge-1003-0113-long-live-pitmans-shorthand

The crisp heartbeat rhythm
he’d hang pictures upon
dulled to a matte thing
reflecting nothing but
whispered brushstrokes.

In its place,
an amber-light ache,
a cautionary Don’t
raising its hand,
a bleary ellipsis en route
to comma and then
the silencing dot.

In the white field’s
vacant stare,
he thought of then,
of that, of her, of them,
of eyes, of laughter,
of tears.
Of abandonment, of regret.

So he turned from them,
dipping his pen into the well
of almosts and sortas.
But what good were imprecise
words if they couldn’t
bring that face into
his inky hands again?

Nothing happening here today. Nothing to see. Nothing to hear. Move along. Move along…