Poems and Phantasms

Posts tagged ‘memories’

Enduring the River

the soul bleeds against stony edges of

injustice, churning up

memories better left to settle

 

except bubbling up also

from fathomless depths, hope

irrepressible, clearing the way

to the surface and sun

 

see now, carp of joy

bounding upstream

red and golden

 

back to the source

 

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Little Returns

Putting in moments of

parenting,  gains and losses

add up

 

The hours of chauffeuring

picking up and dropping off, rush

and wait, items left behind

 

Teaching them to help, playing

a long game, banking

against efficiency

 

Measuring days by

teeth lost, shoe size

and how quickly

they grow

 

This is it, childhood’s prime time

the real estate of life

 

Success, luxury, vanity, none

compare to the blessing

of kissing good night

my child, safe

 

For the richest memories, sweet

and surprising, the confidences told

between stories, you

had to invest

the time

At Play

Did they tell you

you must fight

to survive, take

to succeed, scheme

to win, your life

a pawn in a zero sum

world, and is that all

 

you know? You could

play a different game.

 

Do not fear

for your life

to mean nothing

for every word

you speak echoes

 

to others. We cannot help

but leave traces. We are

immortal in human

memories. What is

eternity anyway?

 

Or is it pleasure, creature

comfort you seek yet

what balm greater

than peace?

 

This is a strange kind

of abundance, giving

more emptying grows

you, a vessel

hollowed out by light

overflowing.

 

Come to the Forest to Visit Me

“Westonbirt Arboretum – Avenue of trees” Stuz (CC A-S A 3.0)

 

Come to the forest to visit me

Down by the roots of a tree

Waste not your tears on cold stone graves

Water a flower for me

 

Give me to the earth when my winter comes

Bury me deep in the ground

Mark not my place with statues or caves

Find me where life can be found

 

Come to the woods when autumn leaves turn

Golden and copper and red

Rustle up memories, seeds of joy stored

Kick up the leaves in my stead

 

Visit a garden on warm, summer days

Keep company with blossoms and bees

Remember my heart blooms forever in yours

Take comfort from shushing shade trees

 

Let springtime surround you with life and the living

Birdsong and budding green leaves

Look up at the sky, give thanks for sun and rain

When you think of me, smile more than grieve

 

Come to the forest to visit me

Down by the roots of a tree

Live every day that is given to you

Water a new flower for me

If You’re Looking

Public Domain. Zygmunt Gloger, circa 1900-1903.

 

most of my tattoos are on the inside

engravings of childhood stories, deep as a well

etchings of songs that crackle with each echo

impressions of memories, prettier as they fade

and of course

the scars

 

I used to decorate myself

with notions and intentions, superstitions and pretentions

then truth came, burning

 

I look rather plain now

all the beauty got buried

it’s not skin-deep anymore, you know?

 

but the marks that tell my story are still here

you can see them

if you’re looking in the right place

Projections

Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

 

Looking through internal bus window reflections

trees falling away, the highway catches up, reverie

drawn to a single stump in a tall grove

abruptly I am arrived, uprooted from musings on whether my side table

because stranger things have happened

could be made from that displaced tree and then

aren’t we all connected in a vast network of unseen coincidences

lonely me and lonely tree

 

Standing in a tomb in Egypt

itchy sweaty coconut sunscreened cipro-hazy college class becomes suddenly

the newest audience of mirrors casting

sunlight in dark tunnels, it cannot be

thousands of years since

my feet where the artist stood

my body memory enacting the brushstrokes

and I am with the hieroglyphics still

as if they were my own

 

Taking the pearl earrings from her shaky hands

because no one else wants them and she will be dying in a couple of days

white hair, white sheets, white pearls

if I mention the snow outside I can bring in the brown and gray of parking lot slush

there I sat, with in-laws soon to be out once the papers are signed

her own daughter hasn’t talked to her in forty years of widowhood

and we both know these fake pearl earrings are

all I’ll have to remember her by

but I will

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