Without Water

Be unmoved,
cold,

an angel in a graveyard

of a hamlet.

Don’t breathe emotion,

corrosive empathetic nature,

don’t react,

explosive anger, and outrage,

unacceptable.

Only live in the present moment,

stone.

There is no right and wrong,

scales cast aside

from Judgement’s civil torment,

tore Philosophy’s robes

until the fabric gave way.

Enlightenment,

in form of selfishness,

hedonism,

as a lifestyle:

they will not draw

any lines,

with pens or swords,

immovable hands,

bent arrows.

They seek to absolve guilt

by ignoring it,

but are imperfect

in their practice,

questioning water for its tides

pulled by a heavy moon.

Mersault knocked on the

door of unhappiness

four times,

but they seek to find

a way in,

willing others to

take them there.

Woolf killed her angel,

I seek to do the same.

I will love, and hate,

and suffer,

because it is natural

to me.

Perspective

All anger aside, I tend not to put stock in

an opposing view 

when it has been expressed to me

ad nauseam, and with little

evidence to support, against my claim. 

It’s like having a severe

allergy to something odd, like apples,

and someone keeps pushing that you

aren’t really allergic, they try to trick 

you by sneaking it in your meal, randomly,

hoping to get the reaction of

“Wow, I really loved this,” so they

can confess they put

the allergen into your food, 

and be right.

The reality of your throat closing,

swelling, as you gasp for air,

and they hover above you helplessly,

asking you what’s wrong, is a strong one.

The poisoner can’t understand the allergy

since they don’t experience it as you,

don’t feel sick when they eat apples,

don’t think past what their own experience

allows them to.

Whereas the poisonee is so aware

of the allergy, they keep vigilant

of labels in supermarkets, checking

jams, jellies, juices, candies, and 

baked goods, before they buy the product.

Likewise, when arguing with someone,

who has taken the cardboard cutout

of their specific argument,

and they get mad because you

“won’t hear their opinion,”

remember to listen to yourself,

and only you: not newscasters,

public opinion, nor thought professed

by higher minds. 

You are not less than adult for

backing out of a heated argument when

insults have been cast, nor are you

bitter for your pain, but wise.

Trust your experiences, and your

intuition. Love, if you can manage it,

trust if you dare,

and wrong no one, not even

in a most passionate moment.

Anima

Dark, and headed to what I then called

my apartment, I barely noticed

a flicker of movement,

and tip-toed my brakes,

staring face-to-face with a surprised fox.

I had just spoken to my father’s girlfriend,

at the time, and was deciding if I

should run, or stay with a man

who tampered with my birth control,

and locked himself in a room

filled with my possessions,

to keep me his.

I’m not sure what transpired in the 

thirty seconds fox and I held gaze,

soul meeting soul,

but when it decidedly turned 

to slip into the brush,

I realized what I would do.

Grey muzzle, and a dark stripe

down its back, a tint of

dusty orange, and yellow eyes,

I wasn’t even sure what

I was looking at, at first.

And when I needed to move

from my toxic in-laws,

vulpes vulpes blazed across

the field between our house and 

the woods behind it,

a red-orange comet telling

me to make my own way.

Again, after my baby, 

my three-day-old daughter

died in my arms, 

within six months I was pregnant

with her sister, and afraid

of suffering the same fate.

Days before delivery, a grey

fox darted in front of me,

and somehow I knew that

everything would be okay.

So, when I saw the silhouette, 

creeping through the unlit parts

on campus, after a free lecture

I attended,

I paused. I waited. 

The animal looked at me, eyes lit 

eerily, look of wild magic 

and ancient knowing,

filled with more questions than my own

mouth could think to breathe,

it stilled my heart.

It was right after someone I love

had shut the door on me,

and my care. Was it strength, 

or curiosity that held its gaze 

to mine?

Now, I have accepted my own feelings,

and have slowly begun to mend,

but just yesterday, I saw again

my trickster of a friend,

who didn’t even pause to look back.

Each spotting seemed so significant,

a connection of spirit, animal within,

and I put reason aside on belief 

that held a message for me,

every meeting.

There is no affirmation in 

its sighting, no answer in his

lanky gait, nor knowing stare

to pierce my heart and make me

decide at that moment.

Perhaps I must wait to meet

my advisor again,

or perhaps this time, it wants me

to figure it out for myself.

Roused 

Five hours of fitful sleep, and pouring

over texts of words that escape

my memory, moments after

reading them.

There is no Shelley who spins

tales in my head, only images

that do not follow, and phrases

that do not explain.

In earnest, I have seen the sleepy

artist’s palette, her brush dropping

from her fingertips as she dozes,

wakes in a quiet panic, and

tries to recall her vision

that becomes a dream.

There are shades of blue and aubergine

that hint of dusk becoming a

surreal depiction of a sky,

and shades of soft-yellow, quick brush

strokes, unfinished, only groundwork

she will lay to give a seamless glow.

The paint drips together,

swirling without mixing,

firm, linear shapes that

end in a small globe, and

does she see?

Slipping in and out of consciousness,

she might reflect on painting

ahead of her, but she does

and does not see it,

a mirage of collective soul,

dribbled out through bouts of

wakeful tendency, and

hue.

Response to the Minute Poet

Love never failed you.

You keep living in this place,

I’ve seen the pictures, but 

it doesn’t exist anymore,

a mere fantasy of past, convoluted

by memory and interspersed with

with weeds of your exclusive perception.

A girl with a shy smile, t-shirt

and jeans, she walks in your

shared space, and the colors fit her.

Loose pony tail, hurriedly done,

no make-up, no jewelry,

as if you’d surprised her with the

camera. 

She wasn’t someone

I would have taken for you, but her

eyes conveyed a simple message,

and for what you missed, I cannot say.

This ended. You and I both know.

And you thought I was like her,

felt the same energy of storm, 

and a heartbroken vibration that

echoes from the depths of our eyes.

Whatever failed you was

not love. No fault in a person

who is not her, no

reconciliation through your agony.

You ignore the state you are in,

but sooner or later, 

it will catch you, cornered and alone,

and consume you whole.

What is This Dream

So vivid, but the sky is muted, again

my childhood home I do reside,

and with my sisters and my mother.

There were the lace curtains, but 

brighter than what I remembered,

pristine, and even the wooden floors

seem newly stained.

I am surprised! A guest has arrived,

beloved and still stranger.

Dissapointed, he becomes,

with my appearance

or with my hypervigilant, spacial -fondness.

Still, my sister pulls me aside, 

whispering words of encouragement,

telling me not to count out 

the stars in my favorite constellation.

The scene shifts to a future unknown,

a place of laughter and play,

and I overhear about the loose

crocodile before I see it;

my child points him out.

Dark green, and at least six feet,

the scaled beast spies my daughter,

and in a moment sized her for his

great grim appetite.

I called for the help of my mirrored psyche, 

and as if a game, he lifted her above 

and bounced her away from reptilian fate,

empty jaws left snapping.

Ecstatic from this victory, I shamelessly

celebrated, and laughed with mirthful

tones, mocking the croc from afar.

Again, forward I go into the land

of overcast skies, a different time,

but not too distant.

A girl I knew, but was not friends with,

a person I secretly envied,

tells me of a proposition, a non-traditional

relationship. And though I am outraged,

I help her.

Dark-grey stones blaze from the sky

as if the weather has allowed

the storm at last, and they singe 

bright yellow, orange, and blue

banners that hang above the shops,

leaving smoking holes where they fell through,

but I am not harmed.

I worry instead for the girl,

and we weave between the 

firey shower. She blames volcanoes,

but there are none here, I know.

We enter an exhibit, some zoo,

climb the fence into this verdant world

that seems detached from judgement.

I find the supplies, and hear her scream,

this girl. I run to where I think she is, 

find her bloodied, her leg is ripped, 

but the animal flees upon sensing me,

Jaguar and I in a cage.

We scale the fence, away to the transport,

a van of moderate size.

I find a seat and three come to sit

with me. I greet the one closest,

and he remarks that I confuse him

for someone else, and must think them

all to look alike. I study them,

and find differences in the faces,

and the small, pointed ears they each own.

Unworthy Ambition

Be still, and listen to the

sounds of earth:

whispers of wind through the grass,

swaying of the branches in its dance,

how timorous the flight of

each set of segmented wings

separates time and space,

creating flight for instances

of insect peril.

How feathered beasts quell

thirsty beaks that pull back soil,

tree bark, and unroot small, 

wriggling worms or larvae in

their sleepy hovels, unearth 

small secrets hiding in plain sight,

their eyes fixed on baubles and trinkets

for their woven homes in trees.

To take flight in a moment, 

the hind’s plight, the hart’s great

test against predator and play alike.

Listen for the brook untended,

the signs of life without souls,

but not without spirit, something 

overlooked in assessing the worth

of water and rock.

It is the essence of man to take from

seemingly useless and create use,

but for this age it is a burden 

that has been cast to better men.

It is in the stillness of a meadow,

the life of what is living with us,

alongside of us, without aid,

nor merchant purpose.

That is not the fate to what we 

were given to care for, allow

the earth to rest, grow fallow,

yet industry and trade barter

better than the fields of earth,

unturned by spade or shovel, 

untouched by man’s presence

or plan. 

Where stars align under no moral,

and moon guides no purpose greater

than what it is, this is where I urge

you to listen, and speak when you

have heard me.

Proposal of the Nymph to the Woodsman

Your stare is more keen 

than the blade

in your hand,

has cut me down, 

struck true

against my structure,

felled against my nature.

You have not touched me,

yet I skid across the damp

earth, and my boughs tangle against 

old fallen leaves, half-decomposed.

I implore you, if you must

take my of flesh 

to make something,

let it be a book.

Let my pages be filled with 

ink detailing your life’s story,

hopes and dreams unfulfilled,

secrets you wouldn’t bear

to another soul.

Let me rest against

my sisters’ spines,

in a library of your designing,

a codex of enigma,

a leather-bound tome

that breathes upon opening.

May I live in a forest of words

unending, instead of this

silenced-hollowed grove.

A hundred years may pass

alone, and I am rooted in this

place, so far from my 

mother’s glen. 

Come, displace my memories,

and fill me with your own.