I raise my voice on the phone
To tell you,
And you say to me,
“I can’t hear you
Over the static.”
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
Words to show, mind to know
I use my words to build a house
with a solid foundation to offer stability.
I utilize orange-red bricks
To build up the walls.
I put a gray, shingled roof over the top
To protect it from the rain.
I leave spaces for doors and windows
So that others may enter or peer inside.
I use my verbs to lay down the concrete driveway,
My nouns to place the sturdy hedges,
My adjectives to grow the flowers in shades
Of magenta and deep violet.
With my sentences, I labor until the landscape is complete,
Until I am sure that the house will not topple over,
Until there are trees and grass
Decorating the space with vibrant green.
I hope you can see this view
In all its imaginary glory.
These descriptions don’t come naturally to me,
But my favorite author paints pictures with her words,
Wondrous, dynamic images,
And I try to copy her.
The truth is when I close my eyes
And think these phrases,
Everything is blank.
I cannot see what I created.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t build a house
with a foundation and walls and a roof,
with doors and windows,
Because even if I don’t have a picture,
I still have my words.
Image by MR1313 from Pixabay
I remember lying on Your bed, waiting for
You to come home from that walk that
You took because You needed
a break from my frustrating
inability to tell you what
I was feeling.
I did my best to muster up the courage to
say what had always been behind
When You entered the room, I just
C R A C K E D.
Tears turned to rivers, rivers turned to oceans,
oceans threatened to drown me.
Because, even then, letting
it all spill out was not
My feelings were a porcupine quill, buried deep
under my skin. I tried to pull out the quill,
slowly, painfully. I made progress, but
I couldn’t get the quill out. I left a
third of it still down inside of
me, and now my skin was
inflamed and bloody
from the whole
I wanted to scream, but I didn’t. I wanted to
stop crying, but I didn’t. I wanted to
write these words out on Your
wall, but I didn’t.
Don’t You know that my thoughts are poems? That
they flow from me best with a pen and paper
or from a keyboard
or as a mural?
But of course You don’t because I’ve never opened
my mouth to say those words
I still keep my feelings underneath the surface. I’ve
always thought that it was just who I was. Until
You, I didn’t recognize that it is a flaw,
something that I need to let go of
in order to show trust and
A relationship is a constant give and take, and I
need to give more of myself over for fairness’
sake and for my sake and more
I do promise that I’ll try harder next time,
but I know that it won’t be with You.
Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels
I realized that I would never be enough
to brighten the whole world.
I thought I wanted
to be the sun,
the source of light,
the source of life,
the thing that beckons in the day
and cannot stand the darkness
so much that it has to leave
when the blackness of night encroaches.
But when I tried to fill
the space with light,
I realized that I would never be enough
to brighten the whole world.
Then, I wanted to be a star,
to twinkle and illuminate
in an otherwise dark sky,
to provide just enough light
to prevent fear,
to prevent stumbling,
to be the thing that wayward travelers
use to guide themselves to safety.
But when I tried to shine
a pinprick of light,
I was easily outshone
by the fellow stars around me.
Then, I wanted to be the moon,
the shiny globe that wanes and waxes,
that has the chance to disappear
but always just waits
and always returns,
to be the reflector of light
and illuminate the night sky
in my own right.
But I wasn’t sure how to reflect the light.
I’m still not sure how to reflect the light.
I hope that one day
I can find a way
to reflect the light.
Photo by Dương Nhân
Not my fault, but it’s my duty
The heel of my hand drags along the page,
smearing inky blackness as it goes.
The words are marred, some blotted out,
and those that remain appear dirty,
marked with the smudges of their brothers.
The offending surface–that skin–
is just as blackened as the page.
I sigh and rise from my seat
to wash off the dark pigment,
knowing full well that much of it
has already seeped beneath the surface,
staining the tissue with gray.
Without that cleanse, though,
I know that I will continue to smear the ink
on everything that I touch,
leaving yet another trail of destruction in my wake.
So I lather with soap, and I scrub as best I can,
determined not to let circumstances that I cannot help–
that I did not choose–
inflict harm on those around me.
Sometimes, that is the only motivation
I can find
to do the cleaning I know
I need to do.
you are an answer
you are a solid foundation
you are the turbulent sea, threatening to pull me under
you are a delicate butterfly wing
you are the ax used to chop down the sturdiest oak
you are a humble disciple
you are the queen of the land
you are a tear streaming down my cheek
you are the laugh bubbling from a baby’s lips
you are a strong, rhythmic pulse of a heartbeat
you are the silent stillness of a pine forest
you are an authority
you are the rule breaker
you are an empty, abandoned house
you are the chalice overflowing with wine
you are the question
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger
They were all made of
orange-blossom scented skin
and eyes like the depths of the ocean
and honeydew lips,
with arms like wings
and a back like a pine trunk.
Told that they were wrong,
they stripped off that skin
and plucked out those eyes
and made up those lips.
They crossed those arms
and covered up their backs.
No one knew
the way they were before.
No one thought to ask.
Photo by Isaque Pereira from Pexels
I want to take a Polaroid of every mole and freckle on my body,
the one on my nose and the ones just above each kneecap
and all the rest,
and lay them out on the carpet
to create a constellation
with a beige, shaggy carpet sky as a background,
just to admire the potential for beauty in my “flaws”
because every square inch of me is gorgeous
and I deserve to appreciate that.
I want to buy a picnic basket
and load it up with sandwiches and grapes
and a whole lot of other stereotypical stuff
but still leave room to pack all the snacks you like,
even though they might not go with the aesthetic
because the look of delight on your face
when you see those Oreos
is my aesthetic
and because you deserve to feel special.
I want to write love notes for strangers,
to leave them little reminders
that they are appreciated,
anonymous love notes hastily scrawled on pale yellow post it notes
and left to be found in the least obvious of places,
like under cafe tables and inside of porcelain vases at Target,
because those strangers are loved
by me and by the universe,
even if they don’t recognize it themselves.
Photo by Linda Eller-Shein from Pexels
Pull me in, nervous friend.
Tell of grey dragons
that obscure the vibrant world–
Murmur of horrid waters
that wash away gorgeous earth–
Please, pull me in.
Image from the app Magnetic Poetry: Word Magnets for Creative Writing from the Google Play Store.
Oh, how the grasses dance,
tickling the legs of those
who pass by on the trail
that scars its way through
the middle of the field.
Oh, how the swallows swoop,
plummeting from up high
and flapping their wings to rise again
into the azure sky
decorated with cottony clouds.
Oh, how the insects hum,
filling the air with their sounds
that hang, just as thick as the humidity,
and allow all to know of their presence
right there, right here, right now.
Photo by Artur Roman from Pexels