Beneath The Cherry Tree

She found and sold her soul
in Osaka while watching the
Geisha obi tied tight
Miles of fabric
Draping the ground
Beneath the cherry tree
Just a short distance from
The tea house
Pouring heat into the hearts
Of men
With dashing eyes
flitting from breast to neck
noting the jasmine of her hair
gathered in Tsuyoshi Shimada
A flirt of a smile, a gift
In return.
He whispers to her over
a steaming cup
Begging to meet
beneath the cherry tree.
Intellect-a stimulation that
Goes beyond the eyes
And lingers in the mind
pours into the soul
and drinks with lusty fervor.
Quick wit and lofty charm
Pour over leaves
The scent of vanilla and rose
Lingering beneath
Mustached noses
That whisper forever
With bearded lips against
The flesh of neck
Beneath the cherry tree
Where they meet
In secret
And talk of new beginnings
With he as her Dan’na
The man that chooses the wife
Not one chosen for
The sake of duty, name, and fortune.
A perfect match begins in the heart
And for geisha, they aren’t to have one
Separated through the mask of white
Of charcoal lines about the eyes
And red as cupid’s arrow
Shot upon the colored lips-
She falls in a love forbidden
As suitors line her pocket
The okiya brandishes a debt
To clear-nenki
for making her who she’d become
To love geisha is to admire beauty
An artwork in motion
One cannot keep the other true
Forever
despite her new beginning
and his love professed
their lives of duty come first
And sadly, he’d be her last
Beneath the cherry tree.

When I Said No

Sneaking out with my friends
To meet a middle-aged man
With intent on stealing my virtue
Talking of red wings, things I
Knew absolutely nothing of
Other than it was vile
Friends with plans to steal away with me
Telling me I shouldn’t wait
And that I didn’t need love
I needed the experience
And what better way to learn
Than from a pedophile
Drunk at the wheel.
I remember crawling out the window
Slipping upon the ice
In springtime’s blushing pinks
Scourging my exposed skin
As they wanted me exposed
To their sin.
Fifteen years old
With innocence intact
I wanted love first
And my love my last
But not this burly drunkard
Dusty mop of blonde hair
Splattered against a
Sweaty forehead, hat askew
Mumbles under breath
But they promised it was alright
That I was going to be okay
I was safe
Within his arms and
Cold hands clutching the steering wheel.
“You need to do this.
I’ve been there before.
He could make you feel so good.
He’s done it all before.”
I couldn’t keep the pressure from
Pulsing in my head
But in my heart, I knew
What felt right
And what was
Most certainly wrong.
I turned and ran,
Followed my own footsteps
Back home
through my open window
And waited anxiously for one friend
To return.
As irony had it,
They had nowhere else to go.
Stuck on glare ice
In front of my house
Burning rubber
Screeching tires
As they went fast to nowhere
For hours
They sat, pushed, pulled, revved
Passed out from the booze
While one came back and the other
Tied the noose
With her own hair
And my stepdad in bed
One eye open
And a mirthful smirk.
Honesty served me the next day
A plate of nods of approval
For having the strength to say no-
Not this one
Not this time
Never again-
And it was then I also learned
Who I could trust-
Who was my friend
And who was out to try and make me-
More like them
and less myself.

The Language of Music

I replay melodies
Over and over
Until my mind
Takes over them
And memorizes keys
Signatures
And the elegant way
It trickles like
Raindrops upon a windowsill.
Through my veins
Stirring within me
Emotions I never realized
Hiding within.
It scurries me away
Into daydreams
Inspires my senses
And drives me to write-
It finds the words
That eludes me
Yet none
In the language, I speak
Other than song
Even when my voice
Cracks like a snapping whip
My vocal cords resound
Within the chamber of my lungs
Each note held
Like my breath
Waiting to feel it catching
Snagging on diction
Hollow tones haunting
Luring me into
Yet another set of lyrics
that makes me weep
laugh
and elicits wistful dreams
of things or those out of reach.
Music does not tell me to quiet down
And sometimes when no one listens
or when they do-
Music understands
And doesn’t adjust the volume.

If I Am With You

If I am with you
I’m completely yours
Every breath
Every heartbeat
And every heartbreak
Until my last breath.
I am the forever girl
The once-in-a-lifetime girl
The one who would dedicate herself
To support you
Lift you up
Be your shoulder
Have your back
Rub you down and
Love you right
And allow you to be the man
You are-
Not a Hallmark fantasy
Or to change you into
Something you’re not
and never will be

If I am with you,
No one else could tear us apart
rip me away
Shelter me
Dissuade me
And no flattery could fool me
Into the risk of losing your heart.
I am yours and yours alone
I don’t share and neither would you
As my love, I see you as
The once-in-a-lifetime man
A man who would dedicate himself
To love me
Step up for me
Be faithful to me
And love me right-
slowly with intensity and passion
With honor to cherish
And unrelenting loyalty

If I am with you,
Rest assured that I have thought
Of every reason not to be
Of every reason I should be
Of every possible way that
We’d complement each other
And every possible way that
We could drive each other crazy
But with you-
Through the fires that burn
The world down around us-
We’d have each other
And our love would snuff it out
And I could keep going-
No matter what lies ahead
Through what life has in store
I’ll enjoy every moment
Through tears and grins
But only if I’m with you
And you are completely mine.

Catch-22

If you hate yourself
Give your love to someone else
Ignore the temple housing your soul
And trade for something shallow.

A pocketful of coins
Won’t buy a whole lot these days
But put them in a wishing well
And wish for the rest of your days.

Sharing your emotions
Might leave you feeling free
But if you’re not too careful
Those secrets are all they’ll see

It all winds around about your soul
A marionette with strings they hold
So what do you do if you don’t think through
And learn to respect, love, and cherish yourself.

Letting Go

I open my hand
Allowing the world to spill out
Onto the ground
In shards of brokenness
And heartache
Bitterness
And self-deprecating antics-

Some say there’s always hope
But some things aren’t worth hoping for
So,I carry on.

I open the other hand
And welcome the beauty of life
It spills over and I cup my hand
Under the faucet
Running fast before it slips down the drain
Of love
And a future.

I can say there’s always hope
But some things aren’t worth hoping for
So, I carry on
And continue hoping anyway.

Thread

Caught upon the sewing
A thread is found as I stitch together
My heart-
Not knowing I had pieced away
As you hurried off
Soap bubble of rainbow illusion
Popped
Leaving behind only traces
As it dampens my skin
a circular film of what it was
All this time-
Banking on a ‘what if’
How I pulled at that string
Unraveling myself
Trying to uncover what it was
That repelled you so-
My love is simple-
It just wants to be loved back
Is it really that difficult
Or so much to want?
I hold tight to that thread
I feel it twirl between my fingertips
And wonder if it was all worth it-
If all these years spent loving you
Meant anything at all
Or were you just the sponge that soaked it up
and then watered it down
While I clung forever to ‘what if’
But all of me is too much for you-
Of this now I know…
I had followed sodden breadcrumbs
That dried upon my lips
wondering had you kept it up
and just where I would be.
I keep pulling that thread at the hem
Tugging like a child, for attention
Anything-
To keep this soul running-
To keep the illusion going.
The dynamic has changed but
I can’t let go, no matter how hard I’ve tried
Thus I braid the thread into my hair
Admire the watercolors as it blends
Hiding, within those blues
I suffocate myself from lack of breath
as you had taken it with you when you left
But I pour my water over
The fires to extinguish
Ribbons of black soot rising
From my heart’s eruption
Splitting the earth-
Falling into the crevice
And spiraling down until I hit another world
Where you’re not so afraid
To feel. Anything.
Until then, I weave the thread and tuck it in
Beside the orchid behind my ear
And show the world that maybe
Someday
There might be
A what-if
And I would hear.

Water And Earth

I am the river
you are the earth
steely grey waters
bubbling over rocks
collecting in the crevices
speeding with the current
taking me along.
I hold tight to your sides
as you guide me with gentle hands
palm pressed against the small of my back
dropping your colored leaves
to improve the density of my tannin
Life fills me and swims along between us
Flitting fins silver scales
Play wind instruments with their melody.
I listen to the delicate trickle
That narrows me as your embrace
Holds me tighter with the strength
Of arms of trees outstretched
Bending over my waters
Looking in the mirrored glass
That perhaps you could see in you
What I do and what I have witnessed
And when I look below I notice
As I glide upon the sandy bottom
You are there as well-
In each grain
Surrounded by invisible life
And are stirred with a flick
Blending together in a dancing swirl
Where I am you and you are me
Together, always we.
As I continue on
Though I may narrow till I’m but a trickle
Where I end is where you begin
But beneath you, I still keep flowing
forever with you.

INFJ

I keep to myself, shut out the world, revealing my true nature in verse.
Neither sense nor rationality can explain my gut feeling, my curse.
For me, my emotions ride deep within the growth of the shepherd’s purse.
Judge me not for I require stability and sensibility dispersed.

Along For The Ride

Buckle up, bitches
And get ready to ride
You just might need stitches
You best say goodbye.

From what life has taught me
Through my ins and my outs
Jutting through the expanse to see
To witness what it’s all about

One minute I’m jovial
Burning brighter than a solar flare
My jokes are quite colloquial
Seriousness you can find elsewhere

But then my mood darkens
It’s weight heavy in my chest
It shrivels the life within my gardens
Yet save flowers if they’re pressed.

And then it shifts to where I’m stressed
Overthinking, cartwheeling to conclusions
The tides of woe leave me unimpressed
Negativity a soul’s murky pollution.

I hold my wisdom as my tongue
And murmur my knowledge in kind
Here I thought I knew too much young
Back then I was unimaginably blind

But then I remember how I love
The magnification of desire
Consumes all like a blaze thereof
Leaving my heart roasting on a pyre

And then find reason to smile again
Its the thought of you
Daydreams, how I can’t abstain
Hanging upon your every word till true

So I shake away uncertainty
That swallows my entire head
What I let go remains uncertain
Intentions oft misread.

And then back to fatalistic ideals
There’s nothing that can be changed
So accept that I am the raw deal
Back and forth, there I go- I’m really not that deranged.