Just Writing

Taper

taper

in the window of a cottage
burns a taper
bright and dancing
the flame never dies

breezes blow across the floor
drafts threaten the flame
but it burns on
the taper never dies

it shines through the glass
and down the dirt road
for miles it shines
it never dies

across the valley it can be seen
a lone flame
in the upstairs window
it never dies

through dark and light
summer and winter
it burns
the flame never dies

the taper is burning
the light is flickering
casting shadows and dancers
they are alive

they tell a story
the orange dancers
illuminating shadows
they are alive

they dance into corners
and back again
laughing they gesture
brilliantly alive

the dancers talk about the flame
and all it means
what it represents
how it is alive

the flame is love
and life and grief
it is eternity
it is alive

the flame is happiness
and joy and sadness
it is life
it will never die

the flame will never die
sitting in the window
shining over the valley
it is love

Just Writing

Sparks

sparks

the land was barren
covered in blankets of snow
frozen desolate

temperatures rose
very slowly and secret
the land still frozen

sparks

the thaw was sudden
the grass brilliantly green
underneath the ice

sunshine brilliant
made fire from desolation
it was ignited

sparks

sparks flew and grew bright
created glowing orange flames
sparks popping brightly

the fire was life force
giving breath to the once dead
the sparks rescued it

sparks

unexpected rain
a flood enveloped the land
everything was drowned

hopelessness and ice
inevitably return
the sparks are vanished

sparks

somehow they’re glowing
the sparks survived the deluge
they are still glowing

sometimes they fizzle
breathe upon the sparks, give life
reignite the fire

sparks

Just Writing

Stone Stories

I.

When I saw Piccadilly
the light was August gold
dancers moved to music
surrounded by crowds with stories
in courtyards of stone

I stood on the bridge
just one among many
I leaned against the stones
and asked the city,
“Please tell me your stories.”

A boat on the Thames
carried me to Westminster
back again to the Tower
under bridges of stone
that whispered stories passing by

I visited the abbey
saying prayers in a circle
checkered floors held stories
monarchs who live and die
oaths, stones, sacred chapels

I read sonnets on trains
stories in patterned lines
beside people who lived normally
stones lined tube walls
painted with the underground names

Raspberry pastries in museums
tea rooms, stores, and David
stone streets guided me
towards Oxford street and stories
it was lightly raining

Beside the river, writing poems
a man and typewriter
a desk on the stones
I will never know
the stories written about him

London showed me things
whispering stories I couldn’t understand
I walked over stones
trying to touch the things
I could only feel

At Buckingham palace stone statues
and others looking on
a sunset and discussing stories
the clock tower glowed
I had to whisper farewells

When I left London
a piece stayed behind me
in the grey stones
stories disappearing from my view
I haven’t found them

II.

there was a pile of stone
which formed an old cathedral
it was surrounded by green graves
sat beside a tall tower
stories were hanging in the air

the druids were there once
and monks in the stone tower
a stream was running nearby
a forest with moss covered trees
I wondered about their stories

half of the sky was storming
sunshine blazed in the other
everything was green, even in death
graves of stone were crumbling
the stories on them had faded

it is surrounded in mystery
this glen with its ancient stones
the stories long since gone
an old spirit still lives there
it alone remembers what happened

the tower stretched high toward heaven
the cathedral serenely beside it
gaelic stories swam before my eyes
I could not read them
the stones wouldn’t tell me anything

I sat beside the stream
and closed my eyes to listen
my back against the stones
there was depth all around me
but the stories wouldn’t speak

I brushed the stones with fingertips
in the cathedral’s open air
wondering about the stories they held
I looked towards the alter
standing where others had once stood

druids placed stones in grass
we hoped to release their magic
but the stories stayed trapped
inside the circle surrounded by green
the glen forever a mystery

III.

stone walls led us to Haworth
where a family wrote stories and lived
surrounded by moors with purple heather
the village spilled over a wild land
a road led to the apothecary

a small book store beckoned us inside
and showed me an old Burns
it sat beside a copy of Cymbeline
we could not leave them behind
we carried the stories over stone streets

a cemetery sits beside the house
the stones are all covered in moss
they tell stories of sadder times
when the village was shrouded in death
somehow held together by the literature

a path leads from place to place
atop the hill beside the moors
we followed the stones that led forward
understanding the stories they had written
we wished we could understand the process

a village made of old stones
Haworth lives in a sea of green
a sadness does live there still
it stays behind to remember the stories
there are so many to remember

the beauty that lives there is palpable
it serves as a powerful reminder
joy and sorrow go hand in hand
the stones seemed to whisper this
when I asked them about their stories

in a moment beside the house
I sat in the shadow of stones
there was rain in the air
and too many stories to be absorbed
I kept wishing I’d remember everything

as I walked through that beautiful village
it seemed to me a dream
and looking back now I can see
that world of stones and green
the beauty belongs solely to the stories

Just Writing

New Frontier

New Frontier

all of the memories keep rushing by
like the movies we watched on Tuesday nights
this is a new frontier
there are no maps for way out here

there are empty shelves and a broken path
your favorite book inside of the trash
welcome to the new frontier
I can’t see you from way down here

you always told me that you wouldn’t leave
and I believed you but we did not see
the army
descending

please tell me you miss me, I see it all
the life we planned before we lost it all
the army
descending

we weren’t prepared to have to fight it off
and that is just exactly why we lost
this is a new frontier
you’re not here to dry my tears

something happens when you’re blazing trails
it’s harder than you think and then it fails
that is just the new frontier
I wish you were still right here

I wish it didn’t have to be this way
whatever happened we couldn’t explain
the army
attacking

I’m not blaming you for things that came
I only wish we’d tried to ride the wave
of the army
attacking

something whispers that you’ve been spending time
all shut away, did you finally cry?
that would be a new frontier
I can’t imagine you in tears

did you put up walls to everyone else?
is it only me who’s been through hell?
this is a new frontier
so this is how that feels

remember moments when I heard your heart
pounding so fast, we couldn’t bear to part
the army
surrounding

maybe if I write it all out in lines
my heart won’t burst each time you cross my mind
the army
is surrounding

I get the feeling that you’re feeling lost
and drowning guilty from the times we talked
welcome to the new frontier
you can’t see me or even hear

but maybe you’re fine and your heart’s all healed
and you’ve forgotten what we both could feel
this is the new frontier
where do we go to from here?

there was a moment when I saw your eyes
couldn’t believe you really were all mine
the army
defeating

do you remember how the pieces fell?
I can’t believe we had to say farewell
the army
defeating

I’m learning new things and taking some steps
but I can’t believe the words that you said
welcome to the new frontier
there are no maps for way out here

remember the night you were scared and called
I told you to walk away from the wall
that was a new frontier
you trusted me, I was in tears

was it that wall that suddenly went up?
so many questions but the answers none
the army
is winning

it seemed to me you were being a shield
for things you felt you had to keep concealed
the army
just winning

whatever it is that you’re feeling now
please know that I am on your side somehow
this is just a new frontier
day by day it gets more clear

I know you better that most people do
hard, believing it could really be true
welcome to the new frontier
learn how to be alone, my dear

I think I’m done with counting syllables
It’s time to make it understandable
the army
retreating

I’ll keep on walking for another day
and keep on wishing when I do not pray
the army
retreating

welcome to the new frontier

Just Writing

9 Wishes

9 Wishes

I wish this wasn’t a chance that I missed
I wish that life wasn’t full of learning
I wish there was a way to tell you this
I’m sure the words I sent left you burning

I wish I had not used my words to bruise
And that my healing was going faster
That I’d remembered all I know of you
Before I turned myself to attacker

I wish you knew that you are forgiven
I know you never wanted to hurt me
I wish you’d read these new words I’ve written
I wish you would remember the good things

Here I am, writing sonnets of wishing
Wishing wishes, ever slowly healing

Just Writing

Running Backwards

Running Backwards

you’re a person who’s running
running so fast
from the demons you left behind you
from a past you told me
a little bit about
a few of your darker truths

you live with the fear
that you’re still that person
the one from your darkest chapters
I knew differently
because I saw your soul
but you were running backwards

you run from the past
and the things that you did
but you never get past attackers
no matter where you run
or who you meet
you are still just running backwards

it’s a cycle, you see,
this thing that you do
where you love then run far away
you sabotage what’s right
and you think too much
you’re alone at the end of the day

you asked me to jump
so jump I did
I took your hand and we fell
further and faster
so in love I was dizzy
but I hit the bottom by myself

there were moments of sun
too bright to bear
when all was clear as the sky
now I can’t stop thinking
of every single kiss
no matter how hard I try

I was happy then
happier than ever
in a world of dreams come true
we danced in the light
of love and future
you told me you felt it, too

for a moment I saw
the man you could be
if you would only let it happen
but you ran far away
like you said you never would
plunging it all into blackness

there were moments when
I was very, very scared
but it was the only thing that mattered
so I had faith in us
we’d do it together
I didn’t know you were running backwards

you live with this fear
that you’re still that person
the one from your darkest chapters
and the saddest part
is that you still are
until you stop running backwards

if you ever come back
and I pray that you do,
for this they tell me I’m insane,
I wish it would be
sometime soon
before it’s much too late

it wouldn’t be easy
to fix it all
this heartbreak is oceans deep
but I truly believe
that love conquers all
these are the dreams not letting me sleep

but no matter what
and whatever does come
remember the things that matter
you were too cruel
and much too distant
I watched you running backwards

there is a man inside you
with a heart of pure gold
I love you even though I’ve tried
embrace that gold
I’m begging you to
please leave all of that behind

you asked me to jump
so jump I did
I took your hand and we fell
but you looked back
I watched you do it
and now we’re both by ourselves

you live with this fear
that you’re still that person
the one from your darkest chapters
at this point, my love,
you can only save yourself
you’ve got to stop running backwards

Just Writing

Heartbeat Part 3

A broken heart is a funny thing.

It is the worst in the morning. After you’ve woken from a fitful sleep. As exhausted as you are, body and soul, you can never sleep for long. You’re plagued by dreams that wake you up and jerk you into reality. Sometimes you can go back to sleep, after you’ve taken something or said a hundred prayers or watched videos until your eyes bleed.

It is the worst in the morning. When there are no texts to wake up to. When you’re faced with the reality of another day. So you have to choose between curling up there in the pain and getting up and burying it in something else. These are your two options, and you don’t want to do either of them. Because each one hurts equally. So after a while you get up. Each step is a painful heartbeat.

Outside the sun is shining.

And in the brief moments during the day when you can immerse yourself in living, a very small part of you that is still intact surfaces. And it says a lot of things. It tries to help. It tries to encourage. It even teases you a little bit for being so completely cliche in your heartbreak. Look at you, being just like everybody else. Karma hasn’t been very kind recently.

You’re going through phases. It is strange what grief does to a person. And how we all grieve differently. You were never going to be like this, you told yourself. You were never going to let somebody in this far so that they’d have this much power to destroy you. But you grew up, and you learned things. And your heart changed. And you did let them in, and you fell head over heels in love. Madly and unabashedly in love. And you told them everything, all the little secret parts and pieces you’d kept hidden so deeply. Most importantly, you trusted them. They felt more like home than any house ever had. No matter what, with them you were always, always safe.

That’s why it hurts so badly now. And why none of it makes any sense.

It made so much sense, even to you. Your brain doesn’t really work in parts and pieces that fit together neatly. It works with grand ideas that move about existentially. But even to you, it fit together. Even to you, it made more sense than anything in the world. That’s why it hurts so badly now. That’s why the confusion is the worst part. Or maybe it isn’t the confusion, but the hope. Because you’re ridiculous, even to yourself. Because you keep hoping, and you keep praying. And you move from one moment to the next, held together in a patchwork of pain and hope.

Because with them it was different. You both said so. There had been others, in times past. Others that made your heart flutter, who knew how to make you laugh. Others you could’ve seen yourself with. And when they didn’t work out you had your periods of sadness. But it was never like this. Nothing was ever like this. This one was different.

These are the things you remember in the morning.

And somehow your heart keeps beating.