Feeds:
Posts
Comments

 

 

 

Come quick, said the math teacher,

grabbing me and my daughter by the hand

and rushing us past the school’s edifice

where he pointed east at rainbow

made of ice crystals hung in the air—

an ice rainbow! he exclaimed—

and we applauded with our eyes

until all three of us ran back into the shadows

to pull others to street corner,

sharing in the thrill that we did not

arrive too early, too late,

our breath coming out in misty curls,

silent, visible prayers.

 

 

This is the path of failure. We see that our definition of success is what is not working. What is working is deep, unseen. —Joi Sharp

 

 

Even a small discontent is enough to shut us down,

convince us that the world is cold and indifferent.

Everywhere there’s evidence of this: The slush

 

that falls on your car seat when you open the car door.

The carrion eaters with their great black wings

that linger beside the road. You pray for sun,

 

and it gets darker. Someone asks

you a question, and you see your whole life

fold into one small envelope of failure.

 

Then one day you hit against the same

impassable wall you always hit and this time you fall

to your knees, not because you are weak,

 

but because at last you are ready to be opened.

Oh sweet failure, how it leads us.

Any unhappy ending is only an invitation

 

to crawl into the blank pages

of the next unwritten chapter.

It was never success that transformed us—

 

always the breaking. Not the breaking itself,

but the mystery inside pushing through us

like bindweed through pavement

 

making cracks in everything

we think we know so that the world

can come streaming in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course the angels fall—

perhaps when leaning in closer

to hear our whispers

 

or when trying to keep up with us

as we dance—

 

perhaps because they wish

in that moment for bodies such as ours,

bodies so full of hope and passion,

 

so alive with risk and rush,

that they trip on their hems

 

and forget for a moment

they have wings, forget for a moment

 

they’re supposed to be guarding us,

preferring to watch as we fall, too,

all of us ripe, sweet apples.

One Emergence

 

 

 

no moon in the sky

reaching for it anyway—

a siren wails in the night

Green Glass

 

 

 

When I was a girl, I used to

put messages in soda bottles

and stop them up with cork—

I’d stuff them with the kinds of messages

I would like to find—

you are beautiful

or

you will be happy—

and I would throw them into the lake.

 

I wish I could send one now

to your mirror

so the next time

you found your reflection

and started to frown,

you would see there, bobbing

between your self-critical eyes,

a message surprising enough

to help you know yourself clearly again—

 

sometimes it’s someone else’s eyes

that reteach our eyes to see.

 

 

 

But darn if that scent of lemon

isn’t just so yellow, and though

I meant to write about the squeeze

of fear, there’s that bright perfume

on my fingertips and all I can think

is how full of sunshine it is, that scent,

though the room is dark,

though the last thing I thought

I could write about tonight

was hope.

Perspective

 

 

I’ve got a wide, a wide river to cross.

            —“Wide River to Cross” by Julie Miller, Steven P. Miller

 

 

Perhaps when the river

we must cross is so wide

and the journey

to just to get to the river is so long

that our legs and arms are weary

before we even reach the shore,

perhaps that is when

it helps to remember

that the heart is infinite

in how much it can love,

and dang if that journey

across the river

doesn’t seem all that far

after all and the body

shudders and trembles

finds a way to take

one more step, and

one more step.

%d bloggers like this: