Hour Twenty-Four: Traveling outside my window

Travel with me

 

Through the slits in my blinds

My ever-growing evergreen buries the mailbox

kisses the windowpane

every time the wind blows

 

To the right of the walk

An ancient maple that attacked my roof last spring

When it lost one of its arms

Leaving a hole that dripped with rain

And left a staining mark on the ceiling over my head

 

My sad lawn a spotted green

Holes where the squirrels bury their nuts through fall

And dig up when the trees die

Hanging planter incongruously in the center

A gift from a friend

who chose the spot without my permission

Nothing lives inside

Broken solar lights along the path

 

When winter comes, you’ll find more beauty

In the peaceful snow glowing under the moonlight

 

Exit through the tired and broken

no-longer-gated

no-longer-white

picket fence

 

Look past the dragon house across the street

(The name over the front porch: Dragon Flyte)

The dragon lover that named it has died

But her spirit lingers in the name

 

Beyond, pointing to the heavens

world famous concrete silos that friendly geese call home

 

Look up!

Look up!

Ah!

Joy in the morning sky!

Hour Twenty-Three: Anticipating Betrayal

With my sister, I anticipated betrayal.

She never was what she said

 

When we were young, she was god.

I adored her,

worshiped her,

feared her,

and yearned to be in her image

 

Every time I thought she would

be my savior

she left me bereft of hope

with broken covenant

and unfulfilled promises

 

I adored my sister for her strong persona

but never was able to fit myself in her image.

She burned hot and spontaneously

I simmered slowly,

duly deliberately.

She was quick to see an advantage

and take it.

I was the advantage she took.

 

Because she was god, her cruelest acts were proof

of her awesome power

her fearsome wrath

her benevolent generosity.

 

Even in my pain

which she caused

I thanked her for taking time for me.

Mostly, she forgot I existed.

 

Sometimes in the twilight gods fade into oblivion

But they do not die

Even her death betrayed me

For she left me incomplete

 

I think now that I betrayed her

With my adulation

 

If only I could bring her back

To replace my obsequious adoration

With love

Hour Twenty-Two: That Black Dress

Who painted you into that black dress

Cleaving you to the tips of your alabaster breasts

Leaving your arms and shoulders bare

 

Do your ears blush in shame

Or pain

 

Are you looking toward your escape

Is that your exit

Do you look away to hide your plan

 

I see your fists clutched

One to snatch away the painted dress

One to snatch a way out

 

Who poured you into that black dress

When will you paint your revenge

 

Hour Twenty-One: Dying for Love

I just about died

When I saw my man

All wrapped up in that stone-cold bitch

Uglier than sin

 

He was the love of my life

There is no other like him

When he left me

My world shattered

And I vowed to never love again

 

And there he is with her

I should just kill them both

Hour Twenty: Sacred Spaces

Prompted to envision their sacred spaces

Where heaven touches the world, the thin places

Where you can nearly touch God’s face

 

Others saw themselves on mountain tops and valley bases,

with ocean views, where antelopes pace,

Or riding the seas to watch whales racing

 

I saw me in the midst of teeming masses — all the races

Gathered to embrace

The Mother of Exiles’ tempest tossed, facing

Their fears, all of us yearning, for mercy and grace

Standing in the hate-effacing

Rain; my hand raised

To praise

The God of solace

And holy places

Hour Nineteen: Homegoing

While everyone turned to see

The lonely dot of Earth waving good-bye

Sol shimmering in sorrow

 

I kept my eyes on Alpha Centauri

Winking a welcome

And all the stars!

In joyful splendor

Singing me home

Hour Eighteen: At the Circus

With a clown for ringmaster

The wild animals unfettered to wreak havoc

The lesser acts at the top of the marquee

The petulant children given free rein

 

The circus has stepped out of the three rings

We’re living 1984 and ’48

all over again

It’s happening now because

we did forget

 

No need to shut this carnival down

Believe in the magic.

Instead of watching the show

Jump in and buckle up for a bumpy ride

 

 

Hour Seventeen: Lost Between

Sometime between now and then

I fell out of midnight to a different day

 

Laughing water kept me company

As I shaped a snowman under a smiling sun rich sky

Flowers danced to life under my heels

Every when and every where were rainbows

Straddling the horizon

 

Maidenhair and magnolia bowed down

As I passed

Raindrops kissed my skin and refreshed my soul

 

Sometime between now and then

I lost midnight

 

And so I drove the demons out

 

And imagined myself

To possibility

 

 

Hour Sixteen: Rue of the Hunger Games

I was twelve when they called my name

To be a tribute for eleven

My willow body whispered “weak”

My swimming eyes spoke “fear”

My velvet voce screamed “nothing much”

 

But that keen Kat saw me

With her knowing eyes

She was not deceived

She saw me

Holding in the laughter

Hiding in the rafter

She knew I had stolen upon them

Unseen

And taken what I needed

From them

 

She kept me secret

And then she needed me

We were allies

For a while

We traded

We shared

Food for life

 

I could read the trees and she the land

I was memory of her why

She was hope that kept me alive

 

I came prepared to die

But not then

Not then

Not that way

Then

A bolt from the blue

 

Pushed me quickly

From joy to pain

to fear

to resignation

 

She sang me into a deep sleep

And I died on her song

She buried me in her tears

And covered me with living delights

So I would not drown in her despair

She left me with honor

And a sign of salvation to come

 

I should not have surprised you

Remember me

My name is sorrow and regret

Hour Fifteen: Fire and gods

Winter weeps dangerous daggers,

A hawk hurls down howling with talons out,

piercing me to the core

Or maybe they’re ravens,

just missing my eyes,

 

Thinking I was Prometheus

Bringing tongues of fire

Down

From the gods

Sharing the sacred mysteries

That save and destroy

Burning off the frigid winds

And choking back the night

 

Or maybe Daedalus

Flying on the wings of morning

Aiming for the sun

A babbling tower

Pointed towards paradise

 

At the center of hell, I have read,

Satan sits in a block of ice,

his wings whipping up a chilling breeze.

 

Children should not face paradoxes so young

How can they understand

The truth of fire

that Lucifer is a morning star

that looking too long at light can blind.

 

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