nest

downy feathers weave themselves into the nest
holding ever closer 
the needy hatchlings
tended with devotion 
their unquestioned cries answered again and again
until the day comes
when the dream bears fruit

the heart beats dreams into existence

the hatchling loves herself enough
to noisily demand sustenance
and knows love inevitably speaks to that demand
she aspires, bolder every day, without doubt,
to her wholeness

but what of unanswered cries?
what of the lone and tired shadow
gathering food in a barren terrain?
wandering in a dreamless pause
searching with the hatchling’s faith
when dreams refuse to come
the heart pleads

knowing dreams are born in love

###

fugitive

he walks out of the darkness, hands in the air, to be met with either a spray of bullets or handcuffs. does one mean life and the other doesn’t? imprisonment began long before the moment of guilt. when the gavel comes down, that cell door slams, or voltage snuffs the breath, then hands are washed but stains persist. mankind asks what kind of man but neglects to query kindness. the fugitive, the walking amalgam, just like other animals, born and constructed, shaped along the months and years of his life, carrying the weight of generations and the stamp of his place and times, finally becomes just a reviled memory, but still and always forgotten, another flawed discard on the manufacturing floor.

###

nature

the trees call out to me
grasses sing their siren call
birds warble their invitation
butterflies whisper theirs
the river murmurs its low, insistent plea
the spanning sky holds out its arms to me
as all the growing things hail entreaty
i hear the many voices of the chorus 
and cannot help but run to them
instinct pulls me toward the mothering font
i am hers and she is mine.

###

So grateful to Eugi’s Causerie for this beautiful prompt!

as yourself

A photo showing a portion of a stained glass window.

churches dot the corners of all
cities and towns, big and small,
spires reach up to the heavenly gates
even as community disintegrates,
saying love your neighbor as yourself.

the skies are scattered with satellites
tracking life in bits and bytes
up to Mars and beyond we go
so much knowledge, we think we know,
best love your neighbor as yourself.

better armed than all the foes
donate dollars to fix the woes
technology will save the planet
the discordant voice, go ahead, just ban it,
but love your neighbor as yourself.

for all we learn and all we see
life remains a mystery
there could be a reason though
for hearts that somehow feel and know
to love your neighbor as yourself.

###

yeah, might be the soil

this place
isn’t dark
it’s just empty
completely barren
every now and then
i do see
some bright thing
way over there
on the edge of things
but it’s always fleeting
like a falling star on the far, low horizon
i keep planting things
so that something will grow
in this endless empty space
but nothing takes
maybe it’s the soil
or just not enough sunshine
i get tired of trying
i suppose i could try
painting things again
at least maybe that would help
this space 
look occupied

###

JB

he seems just a mere whisper in the night
a ghostly wraith
i could put my hand right through,
but no,
he’s really there, breathing,
standing unsteadily in the dark cool,
the light of the streetlamp
glinting off his head where hair used to be.

how long, how long will we have you?
days? hours? or perhaps just minutes.
you are barely there
i would put my arms around you
but for fear of breaking you.
you laugh and you smile
as if you are not in the act of disappearing
as if you are not in pain.

look at this long bold man
who forged his path
his own way
doggedly gripping this life even as he
ebbs into a world beyond —
what is it that we are? how is it that we stand
in this place of in-between together?
why must we suffer this collision?

even now,
look at you in the bright heat of the oven, 
hammering, crafting on the anvil
the only thing that means anything
at all.
and just look at this beautiful and cherished thing
you make in the midst of the
incomprehensible.

###

seen

in that desperate state of erasure
to be seen,
to have all the precious contours
of both body and mind
seemingly espied
by an undistracted gaze,
suddenly feeling the breath
of the horizonless moment,
curiosity prickling open throttle,
at last, at last allows
the igniting of the pulse
to beat itself to life once more 

###

Thank you so much, Eugenia, at Eugi’s Causerie, for the much-needed inspiration I found in your prompt, “magic.”

oceans

i feel the would-be tears
of sadness, or is that joy,
or, wait, could that be love?
i am an ocean of feelings until i see
beyond the puzzled grief to the
the mute, immovable anger

a massive piece of iron
settled in the floor of that ocean,
it takes up space
where life would be,
buried there to serve no purpose
a tether of leviathan detritus

time has done nothing
to this original sin 
forged unthinkingly by the hand of man
ugly, silent, seething
smugly altering the course
of the waters and life itself

but the oceans are so much bigger
than this,
couldn’t i just swim away into the blue
of the seas, the sky, on to endless spaces
where other worlds await? but, oh,
look! a wind breathes softly there.

###

remains

my brother is gone

that well of moments shared
from the earliest of our days
tracing the paths of life 
we traveled together
but oh so alone
remains
remains

i knew you all of my life
until today
and knew you
not at all
a spinning planet
eclipsed by the unspeakable mysteries
that tear lives asunder

still you will be there in those photos
with your tender gifts
your laughter and pride
that boy
the almost frail one
the genius that would not find a home
the husband the father

unseen among them are
those closed doors
the terrible sorrows
the infinitely unanswered questions
making another epistle in the scripture
i pore over the verses
clearly written for a reason

the stilted scribble of your hand
lingers among my papers
while the passing of your life
is somehow
reduced to a text
my heart is full with you
but empty

the boy i thought i knew
the man of whom i knew only the periphery
go, strew yourself across the darkness
a constellation
there always on a clear night
for anyone who might look up
and wonder

my brother is gone

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