Thursday, September 15, 2016

Something out of Nothin'

90 pounds wet
is what my mother is
five foot two
eyes of blue
bicepts made of stone
muscle and sinew and bone
which looks like almost nothin'
The space she takes up
while she is alive
will be nothin'
compared to the space that will be left behind
when she is gone
She can't get enough oxygen
the air fighting voraciously for space
in her emphysema scarred lungs
just as the air will vacuously leave mine
when she is gone
She doesn't have enough estrogen
to hold the woman that she is
in within her skin
Her energy
always emanating creativity
asserting a lifetime of maternity
She doesn't have enough teeth anymore
to fill her empty to the core
nourishment to sooth the ailments
that hold her body at 90 pounds wet
Never taught to think of herself as enough
she grew up with almost nothin'
Didn't have enough of a father
so she was her own
Protecting herself
90 pounds wet
she wasn't scared of nothin'
Standing up to any kind of threat
fighting as fiercely as the air in her lungs
with anyone
who dared come between she
and her 6 brothers and sisters
Didn't have enough of a mother
so she was her own  
cooking and cleaning for her siblings
and in turn
learning to do nothin' 
for herself
Then she grew up
and finally had enough
left the nothin'
made a family
built a home
five foot two
eyes of blue
bicepts made of stone
muscle and sinew and bone
made something 
out of nothin'
She is always making something
growing something
baking something
painting something
crocheting something
sculpting something
singing something
smoking something 
She has made herself into so many somethings

I'm so tired
of people telling each other
that they are nothin'
when we are all so much more than even just one thing
We have 10 fingers
yet we claw at each other
because we are told 
from the beginning 
that we aint worth nothin'
We have 10 toes 
yet we run from each other
because we couldnt possibly believe 
that we might mean more to each other than nothin'
We have eyes that can see
but our minds have been filled with visions of nothin'
We have ears that can hear
but efforts made to soften the tone of our own voice
are next to nothin'
We have hearts
that constantly bench press
the multiplied heavy weight
of all these piles of nothin'
because our brains are Jonesin'
on the lie that is lack
on the lie that is limitation
all the while forgetting that 
we have a choice
that even when we feel like we are only
90 pounds wet
and our 'nothin' says its too late
because we have run ourselves 
into the ground
for all of our lives
Every single 
numbered, 
borrowed
gift of a day 
that we wake up 
with another chance to breathe
is another chance 
to make a choice
we can stop listening to the
gut wrenching
self shattering
teeth grinding
mind altering
screams of nothin'
and choose instead
to fill the space 
within our lungs, our homes, our jobs, our hearts, 
within our minds, our childrens minds, our friends minds,
within our parents minds, our lovers minds, 
complete strangers minds
with all the somethings we can muster
and we must
for it is time
to fuckin' make something
out of all
this 
nothin'

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Next Time

My goodbyes are not graceful 
As hard as I try 
I can't seem to eliminate the awkward
It's probably because I hate them
goodbyes 
How can one be skillful
at something one does not want to do
Once again
I am trying too hard
I want my send offs 
and leaves taken
to be full
of a love and gratitude 
that envelopes you 
like a grandfathers bear hug
Lights your way 
like the beams of a new friends smile
But instead 
most of the time 
it feels like desperate grasping 
from the sudden realization 
of all I will miss
Stuttering, stammering, searching 
for words of reassurance 
that there will be a next time
No matter how much time
may come to pass
My heart struggles 
to figure out how to say
I want you to know  
that I want there to be a next time
The littlest ones
with the fewest words
seem to sum it up
better than any appropriate 
a grown up could present 
A gigantic smile 
and an unabashed gaze
Arms and legs wrapped tightly
around your knee 
Or little fists gripping
face buried in moms pant leg 
refusal to even acknowledge 
the end of this time 
So be forewarned 
someday in the future
I may follow their lead
Don't be surprised 
if I sink to the floor
Wrap my arms and legs around your knee
bury my face in your pant leg 
shamelessly
Grin up at you
and cry
all at the same time
I will do my damnedest
to drape my love around you 
during the time we are together
Give my best grandfather bear hugs
and when it is the presented time
take your face in my hands 
Because I must
To make sure you can see
my yearning for next time
before we have even parted
I won't try to hide the awkward
I won't try to force the graceful
I won't try to quiet the tenderhearted
I won't try to be happy about goodbye 
I won't try
I will just be 
So you will know 
that there will always be
a next time

Monday, February 1, 2016

rose garden

Love left a potted rose plant 
at my door today
as a house warming gift
The note attached 
my first welcome home
Small delicate flowers
gossamer pink
surrounded by intense veridian 
Slowly the leaves have died
brown creeping up the stems
the blossoms have dried 
and fallen
The light from my windows is not strong enough 
my winter sun not warm enough 
The water and soil supplied
isn't nurturing enough
I sing to her
but it must not be in the language she speaks 
for she is unresponsive
I cannot 
locate 
her heartbeat
I don't know what she needs
I wish I knew what to feed her
The blossoms on my friends cheeks
were surrounded by veridian bruises 
back in highschool
Backwards backwoods teaching
about what happens when you speak your mind
or dare to be who you are
She dared to come out first
Bravely payed the price for the rest of us
but I still carry the punching bags around in my mind
Southpaws of cynicism 
stealing idealism
from the possibilities
of delicacy 
soft pink that could blossom 
within my thoughts instead
I keep trying to
bob and weave 
my way out of that jaded corner
My hands up at all times
Trying to anticipate 
the knockout clock
that keeps me in wait
I am in the midst 
of my match
I am trying so hard to 
turn over those veridian leaves
Inspect the anatomy of the tender underbelly
within those exposed veins is the new language to be learned
Soft cillia that whisper sweet nothings 
and nothing is sweeter than gentle fingertips
but pretty hard to handle such fragile foliage
with boxing mitts on
Golden gloves are revered with pride
but they are heavy
A weight that taints
the sugar bowl
which was full to begin with
but what do I do with soured sugar
I am tired of drinking lemonade
It doesn't make the roses bloom
I am tired of fighting with my mind
It doesn't make my house a home
I am tired of having blood on my knuckles
I would rather push them into the dirt
How do I switch from defense to offense 
Must I swing my way out 
Sound the bell
Round is over 
Please Let me exit the ring
This greenthumb is meant for more than just 
bringing back the dead
Sweet rose plant is still alive
and this champ 
wants to plant 
a rose garden

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sway

I can feel the sway
within the search for my center
I maintain the tenuous balance  
through my toes
Plant my feet
Flex my knees
Arch my back 
Fill my lungs with air
Lift my chin
and look upward
But it is hard to sustain
that posture
for more than a moment
Even though I want to stay
more than anything
I begin to feel the sway
Shifting my balance from one side 
to the other
Giving each leg a turn to carry 
all the weight at once
Seems unfair and unnecessary 
when there are two
made to hold the load together
In my reach for the center
The pendulum swings to one side
I feel the tempo of my mother
A frantic metronome
of anxiety
buzzing within me
Worker bee activity
filling the comb with honey
so there are no empty spaces
the sweet is quick
and the flight of bumble
catches up with me
bee wings are beautiful
but tiny
the weight of the pollen 
I have gathered
starts to burden
so flying becomes
difficult 
I see how far from the hive
I have strayed
and my leg starts to burn
So I shift my stance
I begin to feel the sway
the pendulum counters
momentum becomes speed
and before I can catch the middle
I have swung to the other side
Opposite contrapposto
My fathers slow low melody
lullabies me to a snails pace
His voice is rich and deep 
His volume is full and lovely 
The vibration resonates 
down in the souls of my feet
and drowns the seat of my soul 
with melancholy knumbness 
I could sleep there
for hours
days 
weeks
In that apathetic bed of depression
until the whole world 
just disappeared
An intoxicating hibernation
that holds the sweet kiss of death
which doesn't take very long 
Only one lifetime 
But then that leg starts to tingle
with pins and needles 
I begin to feel the sway
back the other way
This peg leg business 
does not make for a savvy sailor 
only a bitter pirate
A one eyed perspective 
with which to read the map
cheats you out of your rightful treasure 
How am I supposed to navigate
the polar codependent sea charts 
that have been unrolled
in this captains quarters
Which ropes do I pull
What knots should be undone
So I can raise sail 
Catch the wind 
Find my sea legs
the tenuous balance  
is in the curl of my toes
It uproots my feet
Flexes my knees
Arches my back 
Fills my lungs with salty air
Lifts my chin
and I look upward
For that is where I will find the center
submerged within each moment
It rests abreast the cutting edges of the wind
Nestled and protected In between the restless crests of waves
Cradled in the rolling reconstruction of the clouds
Inhaled between the exhales of serenaded notes
It is the still inside the honey spaces

It lies within the feeling of the sway