Late Summer

Summers heat lingers

leaves turn rusty brown

mere wisps of their selves

once alive and green

now hanging limply

no bright colors to be seen

we have made sure of that

with toxic air that withers

so that the trees are unsure

whether they should live

or go down to the dust

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Early Morning

There are a thousand stories to be told before they are lost in the wind. Each story contains a glimmer of the true self, the one hidden by the scars accrued over a lifetime. The bitterness that comes from a lost love, lost dreams, lost desire, the losses we wear to cover our hearts true nature. In the early hours, before the sun has risen and the world is quiet, if we take a moment to sit in silence we may hear that small voice calling us to strip away those layers, to lay naked once again before God.

Birth of a Poem

Turn off the noise

settle back

listen to the quiet,

there it is,

that poem,

so long buried

one I’ve overlooked

now I write

not perfect,

it has lain dormant

buried deep

that I know

it is messy

but in this silence

sipping my coffee

words

burst forth

my fingers type

and this natal poem

takes it’s first

breath

The Watch

Watching, waiting

it’s what we do

watch and wait

Listening for footfall,

across the shiny hall

Whispers loud

Shoes squeaking

elevator doors

swoosh

open,

then close

no one gets out

silence

solid as a wall

our dreams

broken like waves

upon the rocky shore

watching, waiting

it’s what we do

listening for that footfall

waiting.

Reflections on Mary Oliver

Today is a sad day, Mary Oliver has died. I only recently discovered her poetry in the past couple of years, I admired the way she could evoke a feeling in the way she used words. For her poetry was in everything, even in the smallest of creatures she could see a poem. I am not even a blip on the screen of poetry writing compared to Mary Oliver, my poems struggle to break free from the confines of my heart and to see the light of day. I try, I really try, to write something, anything that tells the truth of what I see and feel. Mary’s poetry, did just that, when I read one of her poems I cannot help but get a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Maybe because whatever I write cannot hold a candle up to what she has said and done. I know that I shouldn’t compare myself to her, after all, she was a poet long before I even knew what poetry was all about, but when you’ve sat at the feet of greatness and tried with everything you had to learn and absorb, you soon discover that isn’t enough. To write a poem is to enter into the world at a slant, to see in even the smallest grain of sand on a wide beach, a poem. That single blade of grass, that defies the concrete and darkness imposed upon it, breaks forth through even the tiniest crack to stretch itself out to the sun. No matter what happens, no matter how often it is cut back, poisoned, or pulled, it still somehow, defies all of those efforts and breaks through the layers of earth and concrete, as if to say to the world, “Here I am, here I will show the world that life is the final answer, not death”. That is the poets world, their vocation, to show the world that whatever darkness there is that seeks to bury the poetry, it still springs anew in the hearts of those who are broken. Our world, our society, our families, we need the poets, all of the poets, even those of us who struggle with our own poetry. Mary Oliver gave me hope, even in my darkest of days when I couldn’t even find that crack in the pavement, her words were my light and my life. Like her, I don’t simply want to end up just having visited this world, I want to end up having lived and experienced this world. I want to have seen the great oak as it bends in the summer breeze, and watch the flight of geese in perfect order, fly to the horizon, to know that even I, a small grain of sand on a long stretch of beach, am able to find the words to write and the poem to sing