In the Water

There’s a ghost in the water
She’s waiting for me
There’s a ghost in the water
I thought she would leave
Here eyes are as white
As the rest of her skin
She is wispy as though
She was poured in like ink
Her hands are opened
And waiting for me

There’s a ghost in the water
She’s calling my name
Her arms are inviting
No matter how cold
There’s a wildness about her
Like a swarm of white blood
She flutters in the water
Waiting for me
Whenever she sees me
She holds out her hands

There’s a ghost in the water
She’s stealing my breath
Her hair swirls around her in
Silk-strand tentacles
Her blind eyes won’t blink
Her white lips won’t part
She waits for me, always
And smiles when I speak
She welcomes me the way
All graves welcome guests

My soul aches some days, and I don’t know how to stop it.

I remember when we first met. The world was shiny and new like a penny.
We were well suited and our hearts shared the same beat.
The sky was baby blue and your arms were always warm.
Everything was simple and the world spun freely and without ill-intent.

Then we grew older.
The world grew a face.
We learned all each others flaws and worse their strengths.
Pennies tarnish sometimes, or they change their name.
The world lost its rhyme and our hearts parted rhythm.
Soon we were always competing again.
The last vestiges of our simple friendship became “dismissive” and “apathetic”… because simple doesn’t stay simple for long.

Now were spinning at the edges of the planet we once shared.
Here at the edge of aphelia we pass: forgotten dizzy echoes of each others orbit.
And you still miss the baby blue, and I still miss the sun.

Unfair Weather Friend

When the weather changes, please tell it to rain.
I do not want to owe the sky.
If Ukko should ask you, please tell him to let me freeze.
I do not want to owe a god a kindness to repay.
I will not be a problem, I will not be in the way.
I refuse to be the debtor to an act of God.
So when the weather changes, tell the wind to blow.
Tell the snow to fall, the hail to crush, the torrents to destroy.
I’ll stand before them proudly, and accept the clouds’ attack.
But do not give me sunny skies: I’ll save my fortunes up.
I do not want to waste what little gentleness fate has.
So hoard your blue skies and your sunbeams
I dont want them, please.
I see no reason why I should be grateful for the breeze.
The cool of spring, the warmth of sun, are too costly for me.
No, I have no desire to applaud their soft respite.
Why should I give my thanks and beg the gods for all these tender things?
No, do not be tender if you want thanks from me.
Tenderness and mercy are not at the souls command.
They are not here for gratitude, not meant to be seen.
They show up in the rainstorms, and the sing amidst the storm.
They shine like sunbeams when the sun itself is dark,
And offer their frail arms to warm the frozen in the snow.
So if the weather changes, tell it
“I dont need your sun
Your warmth is too costly and
Your gold costs silver coins”.
Instead let weather do its worst.
Let gods mock my frail strength.
I’d rather have a rain drenched life
– a stand-tall, fevered, hail-struck life –
And know that I dont owe it to the golden blue-skyed fate.
I will stand in the downpour
I will fall in the snow
And will kneel in the downpour
And wait for for grace which I can know
Will find me in the rain.

Brenda’s Rainbow

Beyond the grey headstones your colors
Reach across the sky, arching like a banner
Each hue is lifted out of the grey, salvaged from a wreckage sky.
Now I remember what a rainbow means
Dim pigments in the sky which promise it will be
All right now, and that rain is not the end, saying
‘See: it will be easier starting today’

Rebirth can be found in the greyest skies
All around me your colors shine, reminding me that
I am more than grieving: I am healing
No matter the depth of the crater you left
Behind, your colors fill and overflow the hollow of loss
On and on they go, spilling over the edges of the grey stones
Where there should be only death, I learn the color of hope

Damp and Cool – The Humid Night

I waited in the damp and cool
A tiny bug of some kind landed on my hand
I could smell the moss smell of a late summer evening
As the humidity went from hot to cool
The lights were distant, and the world smelled like
Rain and mushrooms and renewal
I waited there for you

I knew you weren’t coming,
I knew you hadnt stayed
But I recalled the promises
You’d said that you had made
Not made to me directly
You didn’t know I’d heard
But the promises you told the others
You had made to me
Which is absurd.
In my mind I know that you wont
Find me in this half forgotten corner
Underneath this tree
So near the waterfall
Logically I’m sure you wouldnt dream of coming here
But here you are: in my heart
It feels like you’ll be here
Like I’m just waiting casually for my
Other to appear
And they can keep their feasts and dancing
They can keep their fires
They can keep their sweet smoked meats
And hot roots on the embers
They can have their summers wine
And they can eat the lambs
I wait for you beneath the tree
Where life is damp and cool

The time has passed so slowly
Yet so readily
The light has dwindled near the others
So I can see better now.
It is starting to get light near the horizon
What a relief
I can give up on you then
And know you wont meet me here
Soon, very soon, I will rise and stretch my limbs
I’ll shake the mossy feeling from my tired muscles and
Pick up the wine I brought just in case
Just in case
And I won’t think of just in case because it’s not
Because I’ve learned
And I won’t wait for you again
Where it is damp and cool

Your Colored Sky

Your colors arch across the sky
Not far from the place where your body was laid
Near where your husband’s relatives lie
They’ll bury him there beside you someday
The trees look so green, the sky so grey
Reflecting the stones where the clouds have cried
I see it, though I wasnt there that day
When your colors arched across the sky

As I Search Your Face

There is something about you I remember
Something I saw as a child
Something beautiful
Something fond
And the way you looked at me with wonder
As though no matter what I did it was new
And dazzling: like the sky after rain
I remember that feeling so clearly
And I search for it to this day
Because that’s what I thought a parent was
So I search your face for my parent’s face

There’s something about you I forget
Something I saw as a child
Something happy
And in love with me
Something that lit you up and made you you
And it haunts me as though it will show up again
I forget it as best I can
And I try to pretend I don’t search for it
Because I’ve learned that people aren’t actually like that
So I try not to think it as I search your face

There’s something about you that recurs
Something familiar
Something I’d forgotten I was missing
Something unthreatened by me
And the way you look seems so grounded
And not like you wonder where you went wrong
And how you’ll make ends meet
And are you owed more by me
I remember this feeling so clearly
Because it’s how my parents used to be
And I see it again as I helplessly search your face

And it confuses you when I run into your arms
As though you’ve been gone
Though you say you never left
And you blink and you smile
As though I’m someone you like
As much as you like children
Who are small and unthreatening
And you hug me as though you don’t know
How many years I’ve searched your face

And I cry and cry, because tomorrow
When I search your face again
It will be furrowed with anxious expectations
That you didn’t have when I was young
Waiting for me to say the right or wrong thing
Wondering how we’ll make ends meet
And seeming unsure why I changed as I grew up
And I won’t see this you –
The fearless, compassionate, parental you –
Any more than the last times
When I searched your face

There is something I almost remember
Something I beautiful I only saw as a child
Something fearless and loving
Something like ‘mama’ ‘papa’
A way you looked at me with wonder
A way you saw me – shiny, new –
An endless horizon of happy and excited in your eyes
I don’t remember that feeling too clearly
And I recall it less and less each day
Because that’s only what a parent is for a while
I forget
And let go
And I don’t search your face

I remember when I was young, and I looked up at the stars
I saw my future scars
My future losses
Unasked crosses I’d be forced to bear
Be forced to bare my soul
To the unending winds of time
Which take
And take
Stealing reason
Stealing rhyme
I’d squint up at those far-off lights
And wish that I could still make light
Of the world people thought I was too young
To understand:
The underhanded
Fate that
Fate has
In hand
I remember wondering how I could stand
That poorly dealt hand
How do you handle
Passing of time
The cruelty of goodbye
So I’d look at the sky
And wonder if it would be reflected differently
Older eyes
And would I lose myself
When I lost everything else

Touching your skin is like
light coming through the trees.
It is tender, and alive.
It is bright and warm and hopeful.
It makes me curious,
as though it is leading me someplace magical.
Your skin is like light through the trees:
golden, soft, a sign of restlessness and religion.
Something which brushes against me with
celestial kisses and makes me feel clean.

Your touch is like light,
which breaks through the green boughs overhead.
It settles on me like a halo.
It revives me when I didn’t know I was tired.
I feel it like nature, like a calling, like a faraway song.
It burns a bit on my skin when it rests for too long.
Brimming with promise;
edged in molten sun;
life-giving and life altering,
like it will guide the way.

Touching your skin is like
light coming through the trees.
It feels more right than the noise of other company.
The gentle susurrus of moving limbs in gleaming light,
the soft moan of the wind…
it gives me life, and reminds me of adventure and peace.
I am at once inspired to move ever forward…
and to be washed away in the simplicity of this moment,
and the joy of where I am.

Touching you
Is like the sunlight
In the trees