Away

I’ve been away a while. More than a year and a half. What have I been doing all this time? Well, not writing or painting, and during this time is when I probably needed to write the most.

I once told myself that writing was going to save my life, so here I am. This post is a bookmark of sorts…where I left off…ready to begin the rest. I’ll start by revisiting what I was writing almost two years ago to see who that person was. To see what, if anything, my past self was trying to tell me that perhaps I wasn’t ready to hear.

If you are a writer, a poet, a musician, a creator…keep going. Be yourself. Don’t give up.

after

i once walked
through graves,
tracing names
on tombstones
faded from sight.
i imagined
bones in boxes,
separated from
their souls, left
to wait for some
kind of return –
to ash? to dust?
or is there only
the shedding
of skin so spirits
can finally soar
somewhere
among the stars?

storm

the weight crushes
almost everything
except the dull ache
which swells slowly
to a roaring blast.
it rips the hinges
from the storm cellar,
winds its way deeper
down and finds you
in your darkness
searching for light.

** I have dealt with depression, and there is no shame if you have felt the same. Writing poetry is one way that has helped me navigate those feelings, but I also reached out to family, friends, a good counselor, and yes, medication has been a big help. Please reach out if you feel you are losing hope. Help is there. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

the baseball bat

as a child i can remember him
slipping away from the house
into the shed, then reappearing
with a hand-made baseball bat,

one of the many he crafted long
ago for a forgotten ozark team.
they all shattered or cracked
from wear, and we believed

all were lost. but after he died
we found a bag inside the shed
under years of dirt and dust,
twelve baseball bats remained.

i keep one near my desk, still
smooth with the brand burned
deep in the wood like the many
memories of him upon our minds.

flight 365

the year is half-gone into eternity,
and time’s black hole does not relent.

what is this place where we believe
we can acquire anything, but always

leave empty-handed and alone?
we live in a slumber where dreams

seem like reality while existence spills
from our bodies like jet fuel behind

a damaged aircraft in mid-flight.

imperfections

under the surface
we are free. all spirit
and essence waiting

for brokenness,
for the slightest flaw,
for an opening

where the true self
emerges as light,
escapes into being.

 

 

* Written last year in response to Robert Okaji’s beautifully haunting poem “His Softness”. After reading it several times, the phrase “somewhere, under the surface, / unattached” stayed with me and prompted this poem.