Warm weather whispers
with whimsical, weary words
My soul is a sunflower
blossoming yellow petals
and bittersweet seeds
that crackle under the tongue
or the heat of the sun,
its withering arms of leaves brushing together mindlessly,
like lost memories.
My body is a green stem
that holds my sunflower soul
despite the presence of birds and the danger of breezes
that might pull loose some crackly seeds at any moment,
casting them to the dirt below.
maybe to grow
maybe to grow
maybe to rest for a time in my hollow shadows
we may never know.
This week, Eugi asks us to respond to the following prompt:
‘The soul has words as petals’ – Edmond Jabes
“The swiftest horse cannot overtake a word once spoken”– Chinese Proverb
Be wary what leaves your lips in anger or in passion,
for by fractions those words fashion your reality –
for better or for worse,
for worse or for better.
Not a thing can be unaffected that is touched
by these words once spoken.
Once silence is irreparably broken
it can never be repaired without scars
and you can never unmake words,
Not with the swiftest or surest hand,
Nor the tightest fist,
Nor with the softest kisses
laid across ears that cannot un-hear your words.
The heart heals itself like skin,
suturing along its frayed lines,
each stitch creating new scars
so that even in health there remain traces of brokenness,
stitched together smiles,
a hollow reflection of what was once beautiful
with eyes that will never look at you the same again.
A word once spoken
does not collapse in the desert,
bone tired and sweat drowned,
nor does it cry out,
legs mangled under the weight of racing the universe,
It rises like hot air,
borne from the earth into the clouds
to rain a harsh and toxic rain
over unsuspecting heads
while you sit watching the rain in the distance,
knowing what you have done.
On DVerse, the prompt today is to write a poem that incorporates a proverb in some way. Make certain you state the proverb.
There is always a time of night that is quietest,
whether you are awake to hear sounds absence
or whether you rest tucked beneath a comforting blanket of dreams.
That is the moment when thoughts seem to linger longer
in the spaces between dreams or nightmares or fantasies.
Though when the seas of sound part, for that one moment,
my mind, whether awake or dreaming,
cannot help but drift to you, to us,
to those visions of the future that are too far away to seem real and too close for comfort,
those visions that pause in the space between dreams and memory,
forming a perfect future from the fragments of you, of us,
of the walls we tore down
to let each other in,
and the shadows that stretch from the walls
we are still working to climb.
The quiet is so deafening is that moment
that I cannot help but to seek solace…
but you are my solace and you are not beside me tonight.
When I turn over in bed,
my hands feel empty air
and my eyes see nothing but a blinking green light
with no late night context.
I check my phone and see you wished me a good night four hours ago,
before the quiet and the tossing and turning.
Before I woke,
and temple crumbled.
hearing whispers in my ear in the tune of your voice
and I roll over into a deep sleep,
the subtle sounds of summer returning
with the chirp of crickets
and the soft hum of streetlight bulbs.
We are born
unequipped to ferry us
and eyes drawn everywhere
taking in nothing
and everything –
lost in wonder
and the joys of forgetting.
There were no beginnings and endings then
and yet when
we cannot help but remark at how time
in a flurry of endings
as our legs grew long,
aching under the strain
of pulling us skyward
against the pull of the dirt
we were born from
and will eventually return to.
Our backs slowly cave through our chest cavities
under a gravity
that 10 million years of history
could not grow our spines
strong enough to overcome.
We are born dying
and wondering at meanings,
giving words to feelings
and puzzling at the space between words,
the emptiness between syllables
growing within our chests
until it becomes infinite,
leaving us gasping for breaths,
our backs bending through the soil
and all our willows weeping.
Cherish each step
on your unsteady legs
and love your endings and beginnings,
until you forget them completely
and dwell in the woes and joys
that exist beyond meaning
in the spaces where forgetting and remembering merge,
in the spaces where age and youth lose all meaning,
in the spaces between your toes
where the gravity
presses the dirt against your bare skin,
and you remember everything
you once forgot.
The longest sunset
pours over the world’s edges
like a waterfall.
The horizon tries in vain to wrap its golden-yellow arms around every inch of the globe, dipping its hands in as many oceans and running its hands along the sides of as many mountains as it can reach. Even on this day, the other side of the mountain remains out of reach and the ocean only gives up some of its depths to horizon hands.
The shadows lengthen
under the spectrum sunset
The shadows pace further from their homes on that day than on any other, their feet borne beyond the safety of their usual haunts, as if taunting the sunset at its inability to destroy the darkness. Even the shortest, the weakest, the brightest of nights is announced by the darkest of shadows. While the ground melts into nothingness, the sky is on fire.
Look up at the fire
as though there is nothing else –
to know you’re alive.
At DVerse, we have been asked to write a haibun that alludes to the Solstice.
There is in the air
the risk of rain
that makes me second guess
and turn over my passions
in the palm of my hand
to see what demons lie hidden
find my fingertips
between my umbrella and me
reminding my dry hair
of the way the elements feel
my exposed shoulders
wash me clean
and hold me
in a blanket of sorrow
so that I learn
and not be drowned
Soothe my shoulders so I can risk
raising my lips
to the sky
to drink the rain as it falls
and nourish myself
with the sweetness of the clouds
while they cleanse me
Tonight on DVerse, we are exploring the theme of risk.
There is no contradiction more stark than time,
which points its arrow along a single axis,
bearing us, helpless, into the future
while its timelines are mired with multitudes,
fateful encounters and chance happenings
that abandon axes all together,
operating in the vast expanse between coherence and truth.
How can I explain time without explaining its in-explicability?
Time, in all its linearity, constantly rewrites itself,
for in each moment,
we overwrite the truths of the past
with the truths of the present,
re-crafting the world in our memory
into something inexplicably new.
Memory knows nothing of the past.
It is an invention of the present,
a clever liar,
a wraith passing by our window in the dead of night,
bringing beautiful falsehoods
disguised in the veil of truth,
truths that smile at us with familiar faces
we have never seen before.
We look backward
to look forward,
our necks bending to the past,
straining against the moment,
our eyes inventing the images
that we will share with our children
when we have finally
shaped them into truths.
Those fingers in my hair,
that sly come hither stare
that strips my conscience bare –
– Frank Sinatra, Witchcraft
She must have seen me first
through a thousand years of history,
for when she came to my door
she wore the exact name of my future.
She gazed through me
with eyes a thousand years long,
until I felt I belonged there,
trapped behind her pupils.
Her fingers passed the universe
through my callused palms
while she read my fate
in a calm voice I could not understand.
With molten lead
she cleansed my eyes of all evil
until she became my sight
and I could see nothing but her.
With a thousand spells, she reversed the moon
and became my night sky
and when I tried to question her and I,
she made me forget all of my why’s.
Written based on Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Magic – May 20, 2021:
the night glows lively
I feel the magic don’t you
moments to cherish
By destiny bound,
two men stood side by side,
surrounded by sound
pouring from cheering human tides.
The day was set
for future to dawn,
there on the White House lawn,
under a noon-time sun.
The light was blinding,
the old man finding it hard,
to read the words he wrote,
forced to speak from his heart
a truth at once
brighter, stronger, surer,
than when last he spoke it
when his intentions were purer.
For he came this day,
to join hand in hand,
with the political future
of a much younger man.
They stood and smiled and waved,
til the crowd had gone home,
neither knowing that before long,
they both would be gone.
At DVerse, the prompt today calls for us to write about a famous poet. Your title must include the poet’s name and you should try and employ something of the poet’s style.