Foreshadow

wisps and whispers

One day, there will be nothing more

than reflections and smoke–

wisps of what is and what was

and nothing there to foreshadow

what will be.

No evidence of the inevitable,

though inevitable it is,

for even when it seems impossible,

there always will be.


Photo by Miriam Espacio from Pexels

Wishing

anyway

coffee on table.

empty mug that rests on a coaster.

beside it sits calendar,

the top of a stack that also contains journal and notebook.

rubber band next to that,

its first purpose no longer necessary,

now awaiting a new one.

there is also speaker

and laptop

and hand writing this message

in pencil on creamy white paper

in yet another notebook.

Anyway, I hope you’re doing well.


Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels

Citrus

on growth and beauty

A tree starts young as just a seed

to grows its roots and trunk, it needs

water, air, and light from Sol,

so with a wish, I dig a hole,

and place the seed down deep inside,

cover with dirt and hopes, then I

walk away. The seed stays in the ground.

In days or weeks, it is bound

to poke its green head from the earth

soon to fill mankind with mirth

for all who gather surely know

the tree will grow and grow and grow

and one day offer fruit to eat.

They’ll taste the citrus, tart and sweet.

But interest lost–it takes too long

to germinate, grow big and strong

enough for branches to hold the fruit

the impatient one had once pursued.

Still slowly, carefully, it grows tall.

It’s remembered to have started small,

but now I barely can believe

the growth it made since I did leave

it all alone there in the soil.

The tree itself did yearn and toil

knowing that one day it could be

a beautiful flowering, fruiting tree.

So there it stands when I come back

with growing branches, hues brown and black

when it is darkened by the rain,

the wet that helped it to remain

Strong and healthy while I was gone

through all those dusks and all those dawns.

It’s not quite ready to flower yet,

But one day soon, I can bet

’cause the world has thus far taken care

of the seed I’d planted there.

So I’ll trust nature to run its course–

that beautiful self-sufficient force.

This tree right here to me has shown

that noticed or not we all have grown

and more than that, we’ll one day see

ourselves with branches flowering.

Though trees and man will surely die,

the citrus will bloom, and (maybe, just maybe) so will I.


Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

The Two Lovers

I still choose to write of them.

The sunrise is unviewable from this position.

The sunset, too.

Too much crowding of buildings and trees

to witness Sol complete his daily routine.

I don’t often spy Luna either,

with her choosing to cross the sky

after all the blinds have been closed.

This whole dance between star-crossed lovers

hidden from my view,

partially by my choice

and partially by my circumstance.

I don’t know why I choose to still write of them

when I can’t see them.

Maybe it’s because I know they’re still there.

Maybe it’s because I want them to be.


Photo by Ninette June from Pexels

Summer Lifts Her Head

on change

Summer lifts her head

revealing flushed cheeks and bruised lips.

She’s slowly falling apart to be replaced

by a much colder, duller version of herself–

her vibrant greens being replaced

by reds and oranges, the dying evidence of her fiery, passionate sparks,

but mostly by browns, evidence of the light and life

fading from her eyes.

Time says that it is long past time

to tell her goodbye,

rest well,

see you next year.


Photo by rikka ameboshi from Pexels

It’s the Journey

a destination, a question

He spreads out a map between them on the table of the diner, then smooths it with a flat palm. He hovers his pointer finger of the map, moving it around in circles, the gestural equivalent of a filler word. Finally, he presses his finger onto the paper. A destination. He raises an eyebrow. A question.

Staring at his eyes rather than the map, she sips her black coffee, just as bitter as she is inside.

Where on this map was he a year ago, a month ago, a week ago? He was with her yesterday, but even then, his mind was far away.

His eyes intensify. The question has remained unanswered for too long.

She drops her gaze and looks at the paper for the first time. At the tip of his nail is a tiny town a few hours’ trek away, just off the highway–a place she had never once considered going.

She has never been much of a follower, and she’s never been much of a risk-taker either, preferring to forge her own path exactly where she is. The oxymoron of that has never been lost on her, but she likes it that way. He was always a wrench in that oxymoron, one that was usually at a far enough distance that she could ignore it.

But not right now. Not while he is right here.

He is going to that destination at the end of his pointer finger no matter what she does. She knows that. Among all the choices she has, making him stay is not one of them. She’ll have to choose something else, make a compromise that she doesn’t want to make.

She raises her head so that her eyes meet his again as she gives a forced smile and nods.


Photo by Negative Space from Pexels

A Full-Bodied Red

I did not.

You say that I turned city tap

into Carbernet Sauvignon

while you were drinking well water

from a dirty faucet.

I assure you that you have this story wrong.

I am not magical,

I am not gifted,

and I am not divine.

The real story is that I got drunk

on a glass of the unfiltered Adam’s ale

that was placed in the fridge

to get cold.

Maybe you’ll say that’s still too different,

that’s missing the grit

that hardens hearts.

Maybe you’re right.

But there’s still a mistake in your metaphor,

in your heavy-handed, heavy-hearted oeuvre (opus? ode?).

I am not a fountain.

I am not the Truth.

I am not justice and I am not love,

and neither are you.

But you, woman at the well,

you once offered me a drink

when you didn’t even know me.

I will forever be trying

to pay that back.


Photo by Dmitriy Ganin from Pexels

Pen Pal Letter #3

on beauty and happiness

To Whom It May Concern:

I don’t know if I have something to say so much as I just wanted an excuse to show that featured image.

The website Pexels has become my favorite free-to-use image site, possibly because of its front page. (Side note: I also like Pixabay and Unsplash if I can’t find what I’m looking for on Pexels.).

On that front page of Pexels, some number of curators have selected several images that users have uploaded to the site and ordered those pictures so that the page appears to be like a color gradient. As I scroll through, I admire that pretty gradient, and I save any of the pictures that really speak to me by clicking on the little heart icons. Which is to say that I save most of the pictures I see there because I am truly in awe of the job that they do curating as well as the level of talent of people who upload images to the site.

When I write, I usually start with an idea, then write the poem or piece of prose, and then choose a featured image based on that writing, but sometimes I am in a writing mood but find myself fresh out of ideas. In cases like those, I scroll through my collection of likes on Pexels to see if anything triggers my creativity. It was on one of those occasions that I saw the picture you can see at the top of this post for the second time, and by saw, I mean really saw.

On my first glance when I liked and saved the picture, I admired the aesthetic of it: the hues of brown, the way the sunlight falls across the objects in slats. It fit into that gradient of curated images beautifully.

On my second glance, I realized what the objects were. What is an egg doing on top of a brush? And what’s with the other egg beside the brush? Why is there also a flower and a thistle? In what world would this pile of objects just naturally occur?

I love the image more and not less after this realization. It’s such an odd collection of things, but it is still incredibly aesthetically appealing.

I care about aesthetics. I care about the arrangement of things. I care about the colors. I even care about the visual textures that things have.

There is a certain stigma to aesthetic for aesthetic’s sake. Some parts of society will say that a pursuit of beauty is vapid and silly (even while other parts of society demand it).

I don’t buy that argument. There is something so natural in craving to surround oneself in visual beauty. There is no wonder that humans started plucking flowers and bringing them into our own homes to gradually wilt in vases of water however long ago that started happening. And while it’s true that time spent seeking out pretty things can be allocated to other tasks, it is difficult to rank these tasks on value, especially when considering the delight that visually appealing things bring. Going out of our way to do something that makes us happy is itself beautiful and human.

More than all of that, I just like aesthetic visuals, okay. I like pretty dresses, I like shiny jewelry, and I like that random collection of beige items that are shown in the image.

There is almost no way that I will just happen to write something where that image is the perfect fit, so yes, as I said at the beginning, I wrote this letter to no one in particular just to have a place to feature it. I hope no one in particular likes it as much as I do.

Wishing you all the best.

Sincerely,

Joy


Photo by Valera Evane from Pexels

Passersby

on our hurried way

We pass by

slowly,

daily,

on our hurried way

to here or to there

or to everywhere.

Eyes rise and meet

lingering,

longing,

then flitting back

to the ground

to gaze at the sidewalk.

Voices speak

muttering,

mumbling

a cautious “Hello”

to which we do not expect

a response.

Strangers at midday,

stuck inside our own minds

as we pass by

and never think

to stop.


Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels