Whispered In The Wind

Whispered In The Wind
Just a fairy blowing in the wind, singing tales to the west wind

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Moon Shell

Stepping stone year
buttoned down hatches
cleaned windows and heart scrubbing
not brilliant
but flicker fire, gentle ember
tired, tired, bone tired nights

future planning and head picking
digging up dead roots, trying to appreciate
worn edges and scuffed shoes
"Solitude, says the Moonshell."

And I'm learning rose pucker and blaze dreams
will never leave my cheeks
but my dry baby hands
work better with raw dirt and a shovel
my heart better with time against a pillow and spring breaths

strength has strong kin with silence
loudest voices rarely say the most

 gathering inner solitude
and facing loneliness to call its bluff

And I've spent much of this year in shells
drawing maps for my next oceans
and I thought I'd store some regrets in clench canisters
but I've run out of  room

 I've turned my voice down to the outside
to hear my ocean roar inside

 simply grateful
for this flawed, fragile, stepping stone year
with its crooked path into the next
ocean tears and sunset, sunrises

And as this new year places its porcelain feet across my crooked track
I find I'm ready to sort what I've found inside
and maybe even a little of what lies ahead

Thank the good Lord that roads are made to curve
Because Lord knows I don't walk straight

Sunrise this morning 12/31/2013

"Solitude says the Moon Shell"-Gift From The Sea by Anne Lindbergh

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ocean Children

Dear cityscape children,
note that I will never be as bright or as blaze as you
I know ocean better than I know concrete
sand better than I know gravel
Does it surprise you?
Does it surprise you that the fog here is natural
an extra cloud, a wet blanket
What surprises you bright lights?
I'm much quieter, you see
Do you see me?
Yes, right
Between all the stardust in your eyes
I guess your music is just a little louder than mine
But I'm not afraid
of your jagged edges and neon ways
heart beat tunes and metal trees
just right now
I find my fingertips do better with sand
and my ears hear better with waves

                        Bolinas Beach 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Owl Eyes

She used to be louder. She used to be full of costume jewelry and bright clothing. She used fill her lungs with notes, push laughter out a little too high, a little too hard, red cheeks.

But she's grown. She's grown quieter, softer. She's afraid of being lonely, but knows her solitude is not the same as being alone. She has a world inside herself, shelves of other world's, word worlds, for the times her head is silent. She knows her own heart beat, she knows the strength of her eyes. Big eyes, owl eyes. Always watching. And sometimes she's afraid.

She's afraid of those big eyes and that heavy heartbeat. She is afraid of her own quiet strength. She is afraid of what she knows. She knows her sensitivity, her all encompassing sensitivity, is her greatest strength. Her ability to feel everything in all its sun sharp blaze, that is what makes her strong.

But what if, that isn't enough? What if it turns out in the long run, the sensitive artists never win? What if the loud, if the flashy, if the brilliant beauties are the ones who make the real impact?

She doesn't belong in high school, she never did. She is afraid that her quiet strength, her deep soul, that does not belong in these adolescent walls will never belong. What if she's always a bit lost, always too strong, always this?

She worries she will always be seen as a stone flower, instead of a vital living precious being. When does the time come when she will stop being labeled as confidant and seen for her flaws, the ones she thinks are beautiful in their own right. Do the quiet ones become heard, is there a real place for them? It's not that she doesn't speak up, she always does. But she isn't a blaze, she's a thinker.  When will she be able to bloom in a garden instead of being watered in a classroom?

And what if she is always lovable, everyone's friend, but never really loved?

 So she's afraid of her own quiet strength, of her own silent battles. She's afraid they keep her from being heard as she really is, seen for anything besides her quiet resilience, her owl eyes.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Last Time We Were Human

Written this summer in Prague, in Pinkas synagogue, part of the Jewish quarters. Pinkas is a memorial to all that were lost from Prague lost in the Holocaust. The names of all the dead are written in red along the walls, while a voice plays on the speaker chanting the name as if they are the words of a Hebrew prayer. The Jewish quarter in Prague was preserved by Hitler, he planned to make it a museum of the extinct race of Jews.
But instead, I'm still standing right here.

When was the last time we were human?
These red names across the wall,
Don't you know
these are my people
and they're asking when was the last time we were human
when was the last time we were people
Today, today, my people are human
these names on a wall
no, so much more
my history, our history
our tears

And I'm not the first to sit crosslegged on our synagogue's floor
Wondering can you hear me?
I'm trying to hear you through
this memorial to life, this memorial to death, your names playing through my ears
Lord, these are the names of my people

And they preserved this synagogue to be a museum for an
extinct race
those Jews of long ago
But no.

I will take these names, write them on my arms
Lowenberger, Lowenbein
for Josef and Janeta, for Pavel
the Lowenbergs the Lowensterns
For the Marburgs and Gerta
The names of my people,
the people I stand among
The ones I stand for

There is no apology, no explanation
for the darkness inside a human soul
But my name isn't on these walls
and sometimes I think it's only because of
a on a twist of fate
as simple as a lock turn
or the tower's time hand

But this isn't simple
I can not consecrate this pain
make ravaged souls holy
Because all I know is how to hold a pen
That I write for you, that I write of you

Because we can not forget, we do not forget
we will not forget
the death, but more importantly the life
of my people
the names inside this synagogue
I will not forget my people

And I know that these words on a wall, these words on my page
they aren't enough
But they're something
Life after fire
growth within ash

And these words aren't human
but a promise of our humanity
Because they ask me when was the last time we were human?
And all I can respond is
today, today,
today my people are human.
Today, I'm human  

(artwork by Janis Yerington, my mother, for my bat mitzvah)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Backyard

My backyard consists
of fishing ships and gold shoes
the way waves tumble over the sand
desperate to feel the press of land
a little white and orange dog
that yawns like a wookie and sleeps like a teddy bear
rocks warmed by moss
pebble shapes holes in the beach
a city scape outlined by fog
blackberries tied to bushes
and dewey spider webs
My backyard is full of cliffs and scruffy hair
little brothers with soft tummies
Where I walk the concrete is a little uneven
and step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back
Heron's tip toe by and seals stare at you from
inside the sea
There's sea glass here and out of tune guitars
Hooded sweatshirts lean against the spray painted sea wall
fog rolling out of their mouths
playing scratchy tunes out of blown speakers
Seagulls drag their ankles through tides
and shoes fall in discarded pairs
girls grow up sad and strong
rocked to sleep by crashing waves
and babies breath salted air
In my back yard,
jungles are made of library drop boxes, abandoned blue chairs and hiking gear
people tumble out of buses and into seaweed
Gardeners aren't hard to find
in my back yard
ones without weed wackers and shears
just strings and brushes and dried up pens
Ones who always let the dandelions grow
and walk along the edges of the sea

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dear Grandma Oma

Dear Grandma Oma,
It wasn't till after you left that I realized the name I gave you meant Grandma Grandma. I just thought Oma was your name. The last time I saw you, you were in the hospital bed, oxygen tubes, slow beeps and white sheets, your hair soft, almost translucent. I read you Dr. Suess. Did you hear me? Could you hear the words? I saw my letter on the wall, my mom said you liked it. Did you like it? Could you read the words?

Did you know that I'm a writer now, Grandma? Did you know that I have a box of your costume jewelry and I wear your silver chain around my neck everyday with a little penchant that says 'Inkspinner.' I think of it as my writing mezuzah. Before I got my ears pierced I used to wear your costume earrings, the pearl ones were my favorite.

I didn't cry when you died. I was too young to understand death, too far to understand you. And now you're so far and I hate myself for being so young and caring more about the parakeet in your rest home than your stories.

It's only now that you're gone that you've become my hero. I don't ask about you a lot, but I think about you a lot. I know all the facts, the ones that have been mythologized by time, leaving Germany two months, one month, before Hitler gained control, the linzer tortes and the bunions on your feet.
But I don't even know if you were happy. And I live each day conscious of the fact that you had to leave everything you had, the smells, sights, family you loved, breathed. What was it like, how did you cope? Did you cope? Grandma, I'm trying to be Jewish, to discover all you had to leave behind in suitcases, hold the prayers you carried through Ellis Island in your hands. But Grandma, when the holocaust came did you expect it? Is that why you left? Can you talk about it? I can't.

And would you hate me if I said I believe in Jesus but I still consider myself a Jew? What do you think of that, Grandma Oma? What do you think of me?

My mom still makes your linzer torte. In our house, we have a sculpture she made of you, a painting too. She misses you so much. I miss you too, but I miss someone I never knew. My dad sometimes impersonates your voice. “Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?” Did you really used to say that?

Sometimes I'm afraid that you were not the woman I think you were, at all, this woman with strong legs, crossing seas, tending a family in the dark jungles of New York City, teaching your mouth new foreign phrases in a one room apartment of generations. Generations all crammed into this little space, babies, a father, a husband who would die before your feet fully settled. I think of you as a matriarch of my soul, the one who paved the way for my heels, sacrificed so that your children, and your children's children, and your children's children's children, me, would never have to know what it's like. We will never have to know what it's like to our roots ripped from our soles, the dignity lifted from our heads, to walk through the human herds of a strange new city searching for your humanity.

You fought for your humanity and now I never have to. But how could you find humanity, how could you find freedom in the face of such great change, of such great tragedy happening behind you? Did you you find it, Grandma? Where did you find it?

Grandma Oma, did you read the letter I wrote for you, the one on your hospital wall? Are you reading this one? Are you even who I think you are? Does it even matter?

Sometimes when I think of you, I cry. I guess I cry for all the times I should have cried then? I'm mad I never thanked you for the sacrifices you made. I'm mad that I remember you best by the way your candy glass beads look strung around your neck and the scent in your bathroom. Isn't it horrible, Grandma, that I remember the chocolate you gave me and the oxygen tanks better than I remember the sound of your voice?

I hate this, I hate that I never actually knew you, that you don't know me. Can you see me, can you read this? Thank you Grandma, thank you. Thank you for protecting your soul, so that I'd always have mine. Thank you for leaving, for starting over nre so that later on my feet could keep their roots. Thank you. Thank you, Grandma Oma. Thank you. And I don't know if you could read the first letter I wrote you so maybe you can read this one. I love you and I miss what I know of you and all of you that I'll never know.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cut out words

Today my friend Josh came out to my little beach town with a film canister filled with cut out words. He helped me glue and secure lots of little poems all around, created from the words. They are now sprinkled all through town, the post office, sea walls, church, library, graveyard etc. Here are just a couple of my favorites.

(sea wall)
The cry that
old hand-carved

(newspaper box)
She began
her experience
golden sands
howling peak
I thought
remained silent
A proper girl
eyeing the
(graveyard bench)
The chaos had failed
all these choices
or dying
the other speak sleep
try to

any sensible

shifted out of pocket

 (church arch)
A small town
turbulent waves

Friday, August 16, 2013

To Be An Artist

Monologue written from the perspective of Adi,a character in a novel I'm working on.

I'm not shy. Everyone thinks I'm shy, but I'm not. I'm just quiet, I think a lot. But I'm not sure people see that. I want them to see me as this quiet person worth getting to know, worth drawing out. You know, like I'm butterfly in a cocoon and if you just have some patience, I'll emerge. Gosh, that sounds stupid. I was trying to sound literary and stuff, but that never works. You're the writer, not me.

You always say that everyone is an artist. I don't really think that's true but I'd like to think that. It would be nice if people look at me, me who doesn't say much and just assume I'm deep in artsy brilliant thoughts. I bet Van Gogh didn't talk much either. He spent a lot of his time in his room, too. And then think of Michelangelo, he spent years painting way up high in that Sistine Chapel. He probably wasn't social either. Maybe I'm like that, maybe I just need a lot of time alone so that I can get to my masterpieces. I guess it's wishful thinking, but it's sure nice to think maybe I can seem brilliant, or I don't know just special.

You know how I collect stuff? Like that bottle collection and all those random sticks? You call me a pack rat, but have you ever actually those sticks in my room? And then there's all the sea shells and sea glass I pick up. But none of it's sitting in my room. You once asked me about that. I didn't answer you. Well the truth is, well part of the truth is, I use it. I use it for art projects. It makes me feel like maybe I could be an artist. I know I'm not, but I could be.

I don't want to tell you what kind of art projects, it's a secret. That's another thing I collect, secrets. Remember when we used to share secrets, before I started collected, before I stopped sharing mine with you? But I guess I owe you at least one secret. I'll tell you one of mine but I can't show you it. I'll tell you what I use those things I collect for.

I'm building a village under my bed. I've been building it since I was 9. That's six years ago. I didn't even tell you about it back then. I've built little houses out of sticks and bark and broken tea cups, turned thimbles into buckets, glued moss to parts of the carpet. I make little yarn figures, place them on popsicle stick chairs. I even have twine hammocks hanging from the bed frame. There's a little pumpkin patch of orange marbles and fake plants. I've even painted the back of my wall with a sky of swirls and clouds and colors. My mom would kill me if she knew. I have a small clay gnome, you know I love gnomes. The village is my secret. No one has ever seen it.

I keep a lot of secrets. They make me feel safe, I don't know, maybe they give me power. I spend a lot of my time alone collecting them or building them. I don't bring you to the Spirt House with me because you wouldn't understand. You'd think I was snooping. I guess I am. But you snoop too, what do you think all your gossip is? I know you're going to judge me for this, but I guess I just like stories. And secrets are stories you know.

You'd be amazed what I've figured out. But I can't tell you. I just want you to know. Know that I have secrets. Then maybe I'll seem important. Maybe you will actually need me. I just want you to know I know things.

Because when people know you have secrets, they know you're important. And you know who have the most secrets? Artists. They steal them and they write them down. They don't just collect secrets, they paint them, they hide them in strokes and in the curves of sculptures. I want to do that. I want to be an artist. There I said it. I want to be an artist. Now, don't gloat.

But I don't know how. I know what you say, that everyone is an artist. But they're not. I'm not. I'm not an artist. Unless the village under my bed, the secrets I collect make me one. But it doesn't. It doesn't make me an artist. Because an artist has to be brilliant, to make beautiful things. Artists are people like you, people who can write amazing things and make people cry and still be elegant. That's what an artist is. And I'm not that. I'm just this quiet little girl with a head full of secrets. That's not an artist.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Dove

 She sits on the scratched wood floor, her back resting against the slanted wall. It's dark in the room, he knows he shouldn't have picked this room for filming. He adjust the tripod, she plays with a string of her sandy brown hair. Leo looks at the two of them. He tries to ease the tension. “Well look at us, bonding in the storage room, how sweet.” Zara fakes a smile, Patrick refocuses his camera.
“Yeah so, Patrick wanted me to ask the interview questions, while he's doing artsy crap with the camera.” explains Leo.
Zara nods. Patrick blushes, looks to Zara, but not at Zara. “I just want to do a lot of close ups of your face, if that's cool, I mean.” Zara pushes a strand of hair behind her ear. “Um, why?”
Patrick doesn't respond, so Leo answers for him. “Because he's not all that good with like, you know, social stuff, so he's trying to hit on you by zooming in on your eyeballs and up your nostrils.” Patrick turns the color of a cherry tomato, Leo slaps him on the back. Zara reaches for the silver chain around her neck, rubs the silver dove pendant uncomfortably. “Don't listen to him. This is just for the school assignment.” Patrick rushes in, dropping the words at the end of his sentence.
Zara shrugs.
“Okay, enough of this crap.” begins Leo. “First question?”
Zara Nods. Patrick, with evident relief, presses the record button.
“Name, Age, Interest?” Leo asks.
“Um, Zara. Zara Schwartz. I'm 16 and I, well I'm a clown, well, training to be one.” Her eyes flit about. Patrick moves the camera closer to her, he kneels, holding the camera a couple feet away from her.
“How did you get involved in clowning?'
“Um.” she tugs at her necklace. Patrick leans forward, zooms in on her face, the prominent cheeks bones, long lashes. He can smell her, a sweet, soft rose scent, contrasted against the dusty, damp smell of the storage room. Zara tries to ignore him, she stares down at her hands.
“I mean, it's going to sound strange..but..well..I don't really to talk about it. But when I was in middle school, my stomach ruptured.”
Leo shakes his head, “What, why?!”
“I just well, I don't really want to talk about why, just well, I ended up in the hospital then and..”
Patrick scoots closer to her, holding the camera inches away from her face. Through the lens he's starring into her green eyes with gold speckles, long blond eyelashes blinking, he can see the little freckles dotting her nose. She flinches.
“Uh, Patrick?”
He moves the camera down, towards the nape of her neck, to her collarbone, farther.
She quickly crosses her arms across her chest. “Uh, Patrick?”
Leo looks at his friend. “Dude?!”
Patrick focuses the camera on her silver pendant, the dove with an olive branch in its mouth. Before she can respond, he reaches out,grabs the pendant with one hand and with one deft turn, snaps the bird off its chain. The chain falls to the ground. Patrick holds the pendant. All three look at the small silver dove nested in his palm.
Zara begins to cry.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Body Systems

I thought by now, I would have found the chart in a textbook
right and left atrium
left and right ventricle
blood flows in the heart from the vena cava to the right atrium
storyboarded out
Girl grows up--->Girl learns stuff-->Girl figures out heart-->heart beats independently of nervous system and pericardium always protects, anchors and covers the heart
But apparently emotions don't stick to body systems
and physiology has not been the answer to all my heart palpitations
It's not like I'm in love, It's not like I've ever been in love
and I don't write poems about particular guys
And least not ones I show
It's just maybe sometimes blood doesn't flow through my heart like it's supposed to
It rushes to my ears, plays at my finger tips
heart hijacks nervous system, sends messages to brain
Muse over this
Re-evaluate this
translate that
And my brain, my poor little brain
which wants nothing more than to be a sensible, intelligent creature can't deal with my heart
her bold assertions, cardiac cycle of contractions, oxygenated/deoxygenated blood
and simply sits split between its four cerebrum lobes
hoping for higher functioning, sitting like a useless flower pot
swaying from right side to left side to heart
Or maybe, maybe this has nothing to do with hearts, because hearts don't control your emotions
maybe this poem is more about hormones
I don't know, I'm confused
Physiology textbooks really aren't all that great at explaining hearts
but maybe it's just that I haven't found the right chart yet, maybe the explanation is in the index
maybe they forget to write this all in
I'm just not finding any answers
Where's the footnote, where's the paragraph on why
emotions don't stick to body systems?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Lovely People

Sometimes I like listening to my heartbeat
wondering how long it would take to look in the mirror till I can see myself as beautiful
how many poems I would need to write to cover my indecencies and backside

Maybe lovely people are the ones full of light
or maybe the lonely ones
I'm not quite sure.
Because I find ripped quilts and sandy toes quite lovely too 
and people don't usually have the attributes of porcelain teacups or foamy waves

I think my giggle is a note off for the lovely ones
It's a little squeaky, but I like how it sounds.
Sitting in a church pew, choking back laughter
oh, isn't religion funny?
aren't people droll?
and doesn't this ocean breeze make you want to run your hand through your hair and sing
I'll tell you a secret/I've got them sugar water blues/where everything's real sweet/But I can't help but think about you?

I'll tell you another secret
Sometimes I want to stand out in this wind naked
with a notebook pressed against my stomach
and a pen in my hand
It has something to do with feeling innocent, 
knowing nothing but this wind, my goosebumps and flesh
The sensation of shivers with the association of emotion

Sometimes, I think I care too much about my clothes
maybe that's how they decide if I am one of those people,
one of those lovely people
or maybe it's the curvature of my cheeks and hips
maybe the closer one's curves are to a circle
the closer one is to complete

It's not like loveliness has a definition or perfection has a form
Just sometimes, I want to know if I am one of those
the lovely people
without knowing what that means

I said I love the broken people
the slightly askew noses and shoes
misplaced clocks and wind blown hair
mismatched patterns, word snippets, ink spills

And I think waves are the ocean's lovely ones
and the clouds are the sky's pride
But I've never seen anyone who looks like the sky
or cries like the sea

Just sometimes I wonder if I looked long enough in the mirror
could I figure it out?
Could I figure out if I am one of those people,
the lovely ones?

But then again, sometimes I just stare out at this beach
listening to my heart beat
and I don't know if I look like one of those people
but I feel like one of them
a lovely, broken, sand sculpted being that can always touch the first wave of the sea
But I'm not sure if I'm one of those people
the lovely ones

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Run Ons/Fragments

I've lost track of the number of times someone's told me "You're going to be a writer." This definite statement I've come to inherit, Mrs. Gibson, 7th grade "Have you ever considered being an author?"

My family, this rolling novella, part saga, part drama-a story of 5 people stuck in a house too small and hearts too wide, brains filled with entire libraries of books, postcards from Grandma, religious debates and sandy forests.

You have so many stories. I know, I know. You're going to be a writer. I know, I know.
I don't know.

I don't know what being a writer entails, if there is a certain cloth I need to wear, if I should use black or blue ink. I'm good at writing because I know my rules, but I'm not bound to them. I like being strategic, but I hate strategies. I know I'm going to be a writer, lived the course of a couple books-13 schools, 7 or so moves, bobcats, raccoons, 30 chickens, a VW bus, some miracles, nail polish/flaking paint hands, bright colors, patchwork people and a 5 3' frame against the backdrop of taller mirrors.

I've always felt marked, known some kind of buzz that comes with a pen, ink dancer, bzzzz. I never was good at ballet, but have you ever watched my pen twirl? You're going to be a writer. I know, I know. 

But I'm not afraid of that, I just know the feeling of a pen against my throat. Pens with arrows attached to them, "This way, this way!" And on the other end, I can't find my way back. I don't know what exactly I'm afraid of-maybe it's myself, maybe it isn't living up to all those voices, the ones that can't see the legitimacy in what I've become. All those be-rationals, be-sensibles, why would you go to college to scribble in your notebook, find a plan B, you'll never make money doing that, you'll never be successful doing that. 

The scariest thing is that most of the voices from me. This cracked creature, my deepest confidant and midnight whisperer. Today I thought, I'm grateful for the ability to love myself, this ability I haven't employed all year-not good enough, not good enough. 

And maybe this is why I entrust so much of myself to page, a page can't judge. It's not like I'm any different from anyone else, rather I seem to have found some find of loophole into an extension of myself that let's me look at my crookedness without hiding. And without that paper perspective, I come to loathe myself. And it's about that, sometimes. You're going to be a writer. I know. I know.

I reply. I hope so. I know so. But I think, I have to be. Not a stone, but rather if I don't write, I'll hate myself. I'll hate the curvature of this earth and its vertical lines. It isn't all about that, but it is sometimes. I just know that at some point writing became the one thing my life lacks-a definite structure, a structure that always knows my weight. Yes, structure, but the one thing I've come to most respect, a free willed freedom to rearrange, clean house, dust or throw glitter. A place for wet and dirty dogs, big black sweatshirts, little hands and grey high heel shoes.

It's a part of me I can't control, and I'm constantly letting go of. They say opposites attract. I've never known who exactly they are but maybe it's ironic. The control freak fell in love with a free spirited pen. I don't know. I don't know. It scares me.

You're going to be a writer. I know. I know. But it scares me. Like I've been branded. Like I've been branded with a recipe for success or a filing cabinet for disaster. Because Lord knows, I don't go for in-betweens.

 I'm a hit the pavement running/bloodied knees/orsmoothsailing/brokenwings/orhighflying/marked with adjectives

exceptional-just a know it all
self aware-just plain oblivious
Lord knows, I don't go for in-betweens.

You're going to be a writer. I know. I know. It just scares me. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toe Gratitude

I like to make lists of the things I'm grateful for; yellow flowers and books, warm beds and warm words. But there are the kind of days, my lists are listless. I'm sad over accumulated little things, tired from endless homework assignments and emotional rolling pins, my fingers itch and the architecture of my face is not pleasing me in the least. And it's those kind of days, these kind of days, I'm grateful for my toes.

I always hate when girls say they hate their feet because they're ugly. How on earth can you possibly hate your feet? By definition, feet are feet. There really aren't beautiful feet and ugly feet and mediocre feet and plain feet. Feet don't wear makeup and you can't have botox or liposuction on your feet. Feet are just feet. They don't follow an attractiveness scale. No dude is going to say “I think most attractive thing about such and such is her feet. Her feet are so hot!” So why on earth would you hate you feet?

I love my feet. I love my toes. I'm grateful for my toes, because they are just toes. They aren't something I can beautify or think of ways they would look better. Unlike my face, from which I can pick out a million ways for it to improve, my toes are adorable. They are little, they are toe-like and what more could I ask from them? They are uncomplicated. They exist to help me balance, to help me walk. And I could certainly use some help with balance.

My toes are adventures, they are wanderers. And they aren't great at waltzing, but they can keep me walking on tippy toe for a very long period of time. My toes haven't grown since 6th grade and they don't like toe rings. All in all, they are just toes.

So on days when I find myself struggling to remain grateful for all the great things in my life, when I'm upset about things I'll laugh at later and confused about life in general, those days I'm grateful for my toes. They are just toes. They aren't ugly or beautiful, they don't ever confuse me, they aren't emotional or nostalgic, they don't have anything to do with poetry and they don't ever wonder about meaning.

They're simple. They are just toes. They are my toes. And I'm grateful for them.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trick Candle

April 10th, 2013
Inspired by "You Can't Have It All" By Barbara Ras (absolutely amazing poem)

You can't have it all
But you can have middle school notebooks filled with your first poems and the smell of worn leather
And when Spring comes, you can have all of Spring, with her soft horned bucks and sunshine flowers 
bees buzzing with an intensity your washing machine will never know
Spring, with her warm mornings, brisk afternoons
fog tantrums and quiet rain beckonings
Such a wily  child and she's all yours
You can walk in her beauty, hold her lupine and wet grass
take your old notebook to her fields 
and fill all those pages you always meant to fill
lose your dog and lose yourself in her bright yellows
and royal purples
feel sun beating on the nape of your neck and 
against that one beauty mark your grandma's look at with suspicion
"make sure you wear sunscreen, make sure you cover that up."
that one mark you've just begun to love
And you can have the bird songs, tribbles, screbbles, and twipples
push wet hair off your forehead
You can keep the dog barks and chicken clucks
all those spring tea parties you had
pink dresses and rose embroidery
And today, you can have all 17 Springs you've known, the red shoes, dirt stained fingernails and bouquets for momma
You can have all of Spring,
her wild flowers and wild ways, her earth awakenings and vibrant voices
You can't have it all
But today
 You can have all of this

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why I Am Taking Back My Apology To That Gnome Table

There's this little table, this little table in our old living room. It's a little red and green gnome with a long white beard and rosy cheeks holding up the top of a tree stump. I always thought it was a dwarf, though I have recently come to realize that dwarfs are not as jolly creatures as this being appeared to be. The little tree stump the gnome holds is made of plastic, serves as the table's top and was often covered with books or coffee cups.

 My mom gave it to my dad for his birthday and yet I've always considered it mine. No one in my family is agrees with this, but I know it's mine. See, I always thought the table was real. 

And because it was real and yet never moved, it was obviously enchanted. So once when no one was looking, I kissed its cheeks and then its little red lips. It did not stir. 

But then I became very afraid, very, very afraid. My kiss hadn't been enough, and such made sense. I didn't truly expect it to come to life by my kiss, it had been very unlikely I was the gnome table's true love. I had just kissed it in case there was any chance I could save it. 

But now I became afraid, afraid and very very ashamed. I had wasted my kiss on a gnome, a gnome I did not love. And so my young heart was thrown into guilt. Why would I kiss that which I did not love?

And for a long time I felt very guilty. I felt guilty that I had so carelessly thrown a kiss away. I finally confessed my sin to my mother. She held me as I cried. I doubt she remembers it now and if she does, it probably amuses her.

  Today, I dropped a little gnome I have and broke his hat. My immediate impulse was to apologize to him and kiss both of his cheeks. And so I remembered this. And I laughed.

But now that I think back, I really don't think I've changed much from that girl. I'm impulsive, I always have been. I always feel guilty. I've tripped over my own heartstrings too many times to count, but I never tell till I crack. I don't believe in breaking my own heart and I guess I still believe in kisses bringing enchanted beings back to life.

Sometimes I wonder, I wonder, how long I plan to feel guilty for feeling, for feeling a little too much. How long am I going to feel the need to confess that I cared too much? It's been almost seventeen years and I constantly tell myself to stop throwing my emotions around. Why can't I just feel and not feel guilty for feeling so much?

I've always been the one who cried at little things, who picked up bugs stuck in buildings, and apologized when no apology was needed. I've always been the one who promised not to write poems about that one person but did anyways. And I've always been the one who's felt guilty for being that one. I've always felt guilty for feeling so much sadness, so much happiness, so much compassion, so much infatuation, so much mortification. So much emotion. 

So I'm taking back that apology to myself, to my mother, to that gnome table. I'm not sorry for kissing that gnome. I'm not sorry for feeling and acting upon compassion. I'm not sorry.

I don't want to apologize for my heart anymore. I don't want to tell myself that tears and goosebumps and blushing cheeks and butterflies and sighs and flashing eyes are all wrong.

One day I just want to feel everything, everything but my guilt. And that day may not be today, but I hope it's coming. So today, I'm starting by taking back that apology to that gnome table.

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "
"When asked not to make waves, I just smiled and said, don't worry this is just a ripple"