the illusion

your turban wrapped tight on your head

staying off the cold air you were newly exposed

bringing weakness to frail hands and slight bird bones

yet

you were majestic in your presence

as an Arab king in the heat of his desert land

you were queen of peaceful paths

accepting your time in its limited form

knowing that was all illusion

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pretty ponies

fastened to this reality

I clung to the surreal

hoping I could pull it close

enough to jump

from here to there

bridging the gap of madness

but never stepping in it

landing in the dreamland

of hopes and wishes

and pretty pretty ponies

I didn’t have the strength

the resolve to draw it near

so I let go and found

I was a mighty mare

all along

raising love

she loved them all

the best she knew

one day they would leave

her table emptied of rice

she would sit alone

no pepper to pass

no spat to diffuse

no laughter to echo

just her own half eaten plate

for now

she huddled them close

nourishing their bellies

as much as their souls

so they would be strong and kind

secure and gentle

confident in compassion

ready and able

to travel this grand world

she held at the tips of her fingers

her palms always open

for their return

grace of tomorrow

there is a given grace in tomorrow

in the granting of more hours

more heartbeats

more heaved breaths

the handing over of our old eyes

to new dawning light

where the pink horizon spells out

your page has turned

into a new chapter of you

where you can turn any turn

walk any walk

talk any talk

you can keep writing the same story

over and over

or

you can forgive the you of used to be,

embracing the you of wish to be,

and just be the you

of right now

free your flowers

slip in the back door –

midnight back stage –

lights down in shadow.

the thoughts wait

for you to come inside,

sit,

among the sullen swallows –

bowed in black feathers,

sticky with strap molasses.

soak in the bitter bite

with the sweetest after

as ability to acknowledge

weights strapped around ankles

were wrapped with help

of our own clamping hands

we can also release them

allowing the velvet curtain

to fly with ivory wings

from our own condemnation

pressed like wildflowers

in the books of our soul