Tag Archives: hope

Sound and Thunder

Caroline lays upon the couch, eyes closed,

the wall of warm noise in her headphones.

It’s night, and the stars and the city shines.

Alone, the music embraces, soothes, quiets her.

Overlapping guitars and that angel voice,

that mournful woman, haunted and holy.

A cocoon of sound and thunder, the words

half heard and wholly felt, taking her to the sky.

The night is warm, her heart is full of love,

and she dreams again, for the first time in so long.

That mournful woman, calling back something lost,

but maybe in calling it back, it can be made whole again.

Maybe Caroline can be whole again.

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All The Boisterous Day

Ice crusted snow crunching underfoot, sickly yellow light of streetlamps.
The buildings are dark, the campus empty, all the boisterous day gone now.
My lungs ache as they are filled with cold air, condensed breaths signal the stars.
I want to be in her arms, cuddled up together in bed, safe behind the door, in the dark.
Trudging alone, no earbuds or music, just the quiet night so I can here The Devil coming.
The winter is his season, and the one I know so well, so comfortable burning in.
The quiet, when the worst voices come, relentless and bitter, with sharp faces.
A clink of a cloven hoof, a swish of a pointed tale, but I won’t hurry or show fear.
She is waiting in our apartment, with some soup and bread and unsweetened tea.
She will welcome me in. She loves me. We’ve both slain demons to make it this far.
The Devil will not win. Spring will be here soon.

Angel and the Ashes


Bitter Tea Of The Days Of Youth

A soldier’s cap, maybe a SWAT cop, but on a slim

little elf of a Canadian Liberal, in Jackson Pollock

sweat shirt and ripped black jeans, de rigueur Converse

high tops.

She is the peaceful angel, tender prophet, wings all too

visible to my tired eyes as I dream of burning this world.

I cannot let go. I never knew how to forgive. Windfall rotten

and I cannot be like her, loving, embracing, A Child of Light!

She sits next to me at the airport bar, buys a club soda,

offers to buy a beer. She repeats back to me the words

in my notebook about the woman I loved, who was A

Shard of Eden, tells me they are so beautiful.

No touches. Angel cannot embrace humans. Touch in spirit

and dreams and minds and that place where we are all innocent.

She whispers in my ear, “You can make beautiful things. You can beat

that demon.” And then she pays the tab.

In red clay soil, in a place so thirsty for tears or kisses or blood,

something stirs up, an orchid at it’s mercurial best, made blue

and green, and it’s tea is bitter and warm, like days of youth.

The Angel Who Came And Stayed With Me

It’s the middle of the night, awake in the dark,

               Staring out the window and the sleeping world.

 

               I heard the whisper of something, something good,

               Long ago, and I can’t seem to hear it now, in the dark.

 

               Exhausted, tears don’t come, and the fear strangles

               All the light, all the hope, all the better dreams to come.

 

               You reach out to me, pull me back into bed, kiss me,

               “There is love still. There is us still. There is light still.”

 

               I fall into your arms, listening to your heart, wild, free.

               Because you love me, because you are love, I go on.

 

               Holding onto hope and the cleansing tenderness,

               The dream that it can all be beautiful and light again.

 

               I dream your dream my love, I dream your dream.

               I dream of the angel who came, and stayed with me.

Pinpricks of Angels

She is lithe, with dishwater blonde hair, and a distant look in her eyes.

               A black and white beanie, and dark loose clothes, and the ghost of a smile.

               An ember of some past joy, some long ago dream come true, flickers alight

               And for a moment, her feet raise off the ground, and life feels sweet again.

 

               As she walks home, she stops, and looks up at the sky, rarely clear and clean.

               The city lights chases away the heavens, but a few pinpricks of the angels light

               Still get to her here, on this cold and bitter night, and they are sweet manna.

               Still light in this darkness, in this city, in this world it’s so easy to believe God forgot.

 

               In her little apartment, with the plants she nurtures, and the place she can hope

               Or cry or just simply be, try for the quiet as the traffic and shouts come through

               Thin walls,  she starts to make her evening meal, and somewhere in the darkness,

                A quasar beats the rhythm, a code from the distance: “It can still be well.”

No Promise of Outer Space

Black leather and denim hoodie, the hood drawn over her face.

               An old ‘70s Yamaha motorbike, a faded and flecked blue.

               Drizzly rain, clouds a crown on a starry night,

               No promise of outer space.

 

               Death and life in the smell of gasoline, the fire of damnation

               And fuel of the frontier, the scream of speed into darkness.

               I got on the motorbike behind her, press myself to her,

               No promise of heaven, only escape.

 

               One jammed open eye showing light on the empty highways,

               From the bleak valleys of these Appalachian Mountains,

               To the arid plains, on our way to the Sea of Cortez,

               No promise of love, only of sweetness.

 

               Asleep beneath the sky, the air chill and the stars endless,

               My head on her shoulder, watching her breathe, at peace.

               Sleeping bag snug for two, as if her skin could swallow me.

               No promise of dreams, only hope.

Stars and Sanctuary

I

 

I can see the sky burning, the stars pulled down

               By the tail of the Red Dragon, down to the sea.

              

               I can see the child a woman carries, with her

               Crown of stars, running away from the flames.

 

               I can’t see tomorrow, or if in the desert there is

               Sanctuary and care, a place to rest, give birth.

 

              

               II

 

               I dream of a woman, sweet and kind, surely an angel,

               With a heart open to the world, even those in the dark.

 

               I remember us drinking wine on her roof, talking all night,

               Of god and angels and all that was ever meant to be.

 

               I remember her hugging me goodbye at first light,

               And feeling devoured by her tenderness and devotion.

 

 

               III

 

               The Red Dragon breathes fire in the night, and even saints

               Can burn the wicks of his cruelty, to keep themselves warm.

 

               But they say there is a place in the desert, where the mother

               Will be kept safe and hope will be born again, for all time now.

 

               If there is love, there is hope, and I know one who loves me,

               And whom I love, a star born in hearts to light the empty sky.

              

Heaven’s Tattered Ways

I believed, when I was a girl, that a mermaid lived in the little grotto that formed in the bend of the dark, slow river that ran behind my house. The hill past the little back yard dropped severly, and was covered in verdant trees and mossy rocks and tall, wild grass. The little grotto was shaded and secret.

               I always swam there in the humid heat of an East Tennessee summer. The cold water made me shiver even in the hot season. I always sang to her, knowing that mermaids sang to people to keep them to come to them. I called out to her that I meant her no harm and I was her friend. She never came, though I always knew it was because she was shy.

               My bedroom was in the back of the house, my bed right against the window. We had no air conditioning so in summer I always slept with my window open, hoping for a cool breeze to ward off how stuffy and sticky the air felt. And in those summer months, as I drifted to sleep looking up at the sky full of stars and shepherded by Mother Moon, I’d talk to the mermaid, down in the little grotto. I could tell her anything, for she loved me and used her magic to protect me. I always knew she was there for me.

 

               I am a grown woman now. My daughter is asleep, curled up in a little ball of pink and bows on the couch, cartoons running mindlessly on the TV, though mercifully muted. She holds the stuffed mermaid I gave her close, her best and truest friend. I didn’t even realize what I was giving her when I bought it for her. A mermaid protected me; a mermaid would protect her.

               All the windows are open in the living room, but the air is still and the day is hot and even just sitting still on the couch I am sticky with sweat and finding it hard to breathe, like I need gills to breath this wet air.

               I decide to go for a walk.

               I leave my daughter sleeping and walk to the back of the house and down the wild, unkempt hill to the little grotto. It’s not as dark and hidden now, as blight and insects have killed several of the trees that shaded it. There are still patches of shade, and they are soothing.

               I walk to the very stone edge of the grotto and sit down. The stone is cool and I feel it on my skin beneath the seat of my jeans. I feel overwhelmed now, back in the secret place that nurtured me as a child, through all the hard times and wanting to escape and hiding everything inside and smiling brightly like a good girl should. This was my Eden, Neverland and Narnia, my place beyond the world.

               I sing. I sing to call the mermaid up from the dark cold waters. I sing to call back something I’ve lost and that was precious to me. The sense that there was magic in the world, and I could slip between the cracks into something wonderous, and that my mermaid really did watch out for me. That someone was watching out for me.

              

               “Over dark seas and endless days,

               over starless dark and devil’s ways,

               over lost moon and the hope of sunrays,

               to know at last heaven’s tattered ways.”

              

               I sing those words, that mantra that called her into my mind, that let me know she was there and that her magic kept me alive and safe when everything went all too shambles. I sing them and I don’t see her and my heart crushes into itself and I hang my head and my hands start to weep. After everything that’s happened not this too!

               I start to get up again, and walk back to the house, and I hope compose myself before my little girl wakes up because I will not let her so me cry, when something in the water catches my eye.

               It’s her! My mermaid! Her golden hair a halo and crown, her beautiful aquamarine face looking up from the depths. And she smiles at me.