I write because
I am a lover of words.
I want to breathe hope
into this joy of being alive.
Give it air to make a sound
then shape and mold
the sound into a word.
Give it meaning, so one day
I will read these words
and remember, why I am here.
But for now, just let me
hold you in silence.
So much hope is shouldered
upon the written word.
I saw in a dream…
That was me standing there in front of the firing squad,
my hands tied behind me, an unlit cigarette dangling from my lips,
reliving the story of a life which truly I did not know I had lived.
Was I the General who lead the people’s revolt on this island
so small it does not appear on a map of the world?
Pondering the possible reasons for being here in this dream
hoping only that whatever my crime, I lived up to my expectations.
I could feel the light breeze cooling the sweat beneath my silk shirt,
still heavy with the perfume of the woman who betrayed me that night.
They could not miss me, I thought, from only twenty feet away
and yet the wall behind me was riddled with holes from stray bullets.
Maybe guilt or a grain of sand blurred the sight of some executioners.
I watch the men get “ready” and shoulder their rifles to take “aim.”
I take one last drag of the still unlit cigarette and prepare myself to die.
Suddenly, I awake from this dream when I hear the word “fire.”
I awaken to your light, your smell, the morning dew.
You are everything I love. My beloved, my life.
You are the thoughts I string into possibilities.
My dreams, the pages of a book.
We fit together, intermingling ourselves
into the words of the other’s sentences.
You are the verbs to my nouns.
Your truth is my metaphor.
I am carried the way the space carries
the next word, or exclamation point.
This story we are writing is created with both our hands.
I exist because of you. You are because of me.
This poem, this dance. It never ends.
The tragedies, the joys, the superlatives.
Each grateful moment fills you with a reflection of me.
And me, I exist only as a unique expression of you.
This is what I was created for.
To experience this love you give to me.
There is one other thing to know…when you have expressed yourself to the fullest, then and only then will it dawn upon you that everything has already been expressed, not in words alone but in deed, and that all you need really do is say Amen! — Henry Miller
I watched as you swirled through space
a molten fragment of a star
and took your place third from the sun.
While you were still an infant wrapped in the
heat of your own creation,
I bathed in your red hot lava flows
pushed upward from your heart’s core.
Using your clouds of steam for stepping stones,
I climbed into your heavens and placed the stars
into the sky to navigate your journey through existence.
From your boiling seas, I watched you transform
from amoeba to fish and then crawl onto the land.
I forced the wind through your gills
and breathed your first breath into your lungs.
I rode on the backs of mastodons and led them
from the icy grotto of their death.
I watched as a proud mother your first erect steps.
When you stumbled, I gave you courage.
When you fell, I gave you hope.
And when you left this world, I gave you wonder.
I am the air you breathe,
the water you drink,
the vegetation which feeds your body.
I am the voice which speaks to you in whispers
and consoles you in your sleep.
I am the doorkeeper of your dreams
and the guardian of your fears.
I am the blood flowing in your veins
and every thought your mind interprets.
I am the love you feel when you don’t know why.
The tears you shed for both sorrow and joy.
I am life itself, and I am everywhere.
I am here, (mind) I am here, (body) I am here (soul).
At a time like this I want to write
about the joy of your life and not my pain.
I want everyone to share your wisdom,
hear your laughter, know your devotion to Jehovah,
but all I feel is sorrow and devastation.
I want to share stories of our closeness,
the things that came between us and kept us apart.
The things that seemed like uncrossable chasms then,
disappear now in the light of your death.
I want everyone to know how hard you worked
to keep a solid roof over our heads, to feed us,
to care for us when no one was there to care for you.
I want the world to read the words you wrote to me
in the time of my deepest grief and despair.
How you helped me when I had no one else to turn to.
About all the times you held me and said to me
“everything will be okay,” and it always was.
Who will write to me now? Who will be there to shoulder
my tears, to bring calm to an aching heart? Who is left
to tell me they love me and mean it, like I know you did?
Who will I call when overwhelming grief and joy
bubbles up in the heart of this life you created?
You taught me from birth I was different from,
but not less than, equal to,
but not better than anyone else.
You raised me to be independent, even from you.
To make it on my own and I did and I will.
There is no one on this earth who can replace you.
There remains only this hollow emptiness in my soul.
If I could master just one art,
it would be the art of letting go:
of people I have known and loved,
of places I’ve traveled to and lived
of sunsets and full moons I’ve witnessed.
I would let go of this moment
as quickly as it appears,
faster if I could.
I would let go of things I wished for and
especially those wishes which came true.
I’d carry nothing from this moment
into the next.
For each moment
would have but one life,
never preceded by a memory
never, ever, followed by a wish.
I have been listening my entire life
First to my mother’s heart beat as
I floated in her mixture of embryonic fluids.
What else was there for me to do, but
listen in amazement to the surroundings of my new self.
To witness sound while my closed eyes waited to open.
I listened to the voices of other children from whom
I was an outcast as their scorn and laughter made
their way to my large, ever perceptive ears
because I spoke with a lazy tongue.
I listened to the untamed sounds making their journey
through the breath, beating, and strings of instruments,
coming out as harmonies and melodies even to untrained ears.
I listened to the grief, tears, sorrows and joys of a changing life,
to the voices of others telling me how to live,
to my own, telling me not to follow their advice.
I listened to the sounds of a thousand crickets from a single
source, echoing off the wind in a room above the ocean bluff.
I listened to the bicycle wheels spinning beneath me
while I peddled hundred of miles in all directions.
I listened to the sea lapping and roaring against the shore
To the pelicans flying overhead, flapping and coasting,
diving into and feasting from the sea’s bounty.
I listened to the silent beauty of sunsets, the rising of full moons,
and the shooting of stars across the black night sky.
I listened to the purrs of kittens and the barking of dogs,
to my own ecstatic breathing after we made love.
I listened to the voice comforting me when I felt troubled,
giving aid and guidance when I was lost.
I listened to my own heart beating and missed it only
once on that day, a year ago, when it stopped.
I have been listening my entire life.
Now I wish to speak.