You were mine before you were born. You belonged to me. Before your daddy and I shared a cherry coke at the dollar theater. Before I said yes. To anything. To everything. You were mine. And I held you for the first time at 2:38am. Your face scrunched and red. Still the nurses said:
“She is so beautiful.”
Even before then,
You were mine.
And your pain, your struggles, your burdens would be mine. To carry. To burry. I lift and will lift the world for you, baby girl. Put you to sleep. Hold you as you weep. For that boy who will shatter your heart to pieces. I will pull the hair from your cheeks, wet with your tears. As you cry to me that love, “Mom, love isn’t real.”
And I’ll smile and tell you “one bad apple doesn’t really spoil the bunch.” I’ll smile and I’ll say “I know that much” – because I was there too. Before the flat cherry cokes and your daddy’s corny little jokes. Love is as real and true as I am me and you are you. And it was here. You were here. Before you even existed. You were mine, growing in my heart.
Love was mine, growing in my heart.
And before you fall asleep in your bed, soon after the tears have all been shed. I will tell you this: “I have learned to keep my heart tender. To love wisely; but know when to surrender. The way I surrendered with you. I have learned to claim love as my own. And your love, baby girl, is the best thing I’ve ever known.”
You have always been mine.
I've climbed my world of trees today,
Before they had to go their way.
Before the sunlight met the sea,
Each tree I saw called out to me.
The green green tree with boughs of steel
Was pure and utterly ideal.
And I climbed quick as a whippoorwill
Springing from the window seal.
I climbed it grand, and oh, so high-
Through the thrush's song, and a robin's cry.
Through the deepest green that caught the day,
And promised to steal me away.
And I climbed a Monkey Puzzle Tree
As old as half a tree can be.
And it laughed to see me rustle through
Branches old and branches new.
I sailed through leaves as soft as lent,
Where spiral blossoms lept to play
Fragrant little games of chance
Within the haunt of their bouquet.
When the tall, tall, red tree called my name,
The one with pepper blossoms high,
And since no two trees are the same
I followed this one to the sky.
Up through branches bathed in light,
And down through tunnels in the bark,
I climbed this one with all my might,
Through the gray and winding dark.
Until I found my afternoon
Still waiting for me like the day.
I gave the tree a bit of heart
And watched it as it sailed away.
And there, beyond the Tin Tin Tree,
Where apple roses blossomed grand,
I noticed resting on its knee
The finest tree to ever stand.
A hundred, hundred trees in one,
Would be an awful lot of fun
Just to take a branch today
And rest the afternoon away,
But, Oh, I had to climb it high,
As high as God could make a sky.
I had to see the stars that He
With clever skill hid well from me.
I had to touch the setting sun,
Under my after-evening's shroud,
So up I went, through branches, bows,
Crossing leaves that laughed aloud.
Leaves that seemed to know my name,
That weaved their winding whispers through
That starlit flicker of a flame
I tried but could not look into.
I swung from branches tapped by age,
That creaked and echoed such a sigh-
The feathered leaves that rustled calm,
And I so briefly saw my sky.
There I paused and held my own,
My heart like thunder in my chest.
And I watched the quiet of the day
Paint ribbons in a robin's nest
And scatter shades of blue and red
Like waves upon my quiet sea,
And those threaded vines of dragons head
That weaved in through my Shadow Tree.
The morning bowed to afternoon,
As if to nature's sole command,
And shades and shadows drifted by
That secret place I chose to stand.
There were stars that climbed each peasant branch,
Stars that whispered to the breeze
That beat a hymn of ages past,
Known only to the trees.
Will-O'-The-Wisp's sang through the leaves
And danced about the sapwood sprig,
Darting here and pausing there,
Between each shadowed, lively twig,
Where EverNettles bright as dreams
Climbed deep inside the deadwood bark,
And called their young ones earnestly
To the safety of the dark.
And finally spent I caught my breath,
And peeled the spindly leaves away,
And waved my arms into the breeze
That sang the silvered songs of day.
There was a different world below,
A land of hills and river beds,
Of trees as tiny as the grass,
And roads smaller than the finest threads.
I reached out into the velvet sky
To run my fingers through the day,
Where the sandy silk of autumn brushed
The stardust noon had tossed my way.
And I breathed in all the wonder there -
All I could hear and feel and see,
Whatever wonder dared to share
From the branches of my Shadow Tree.
Copyright © 2013 Richard D. Remler
"There is always Music amongst the trees in
the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet
to hear it."
An Apple a day;
You and I shared this day;
by cutting it half in nude;
From one angle I saw you,
No thirst; No hunger;
at the hanging dried-up breast;
from another angle;
Just like a pale;
Ruined, dead body;
You became the debris
of a divine love
inside your womb;
no more little seed can grow;
And you remain so simple; humble
Beside a sharp knife on the top
of a dining table!
(All poems in this series are, translations from Malayalam, originally written in author’s mother-tongue, “Malayalam’”, the language of Kerala, in South India.)
BY WILLIAMSJI MAVELI
you spread me like strawberry jam,
licking syrupy wrists and chewing on pips.
i will thaw leisurely, until my skin has saturated through
open me like a mango,
slurping, drops of juice upon blemishes,
sprinkling candy through open wounds.
bite through me, an apple hard and
the pits of me will fall, searching for fertile soil,
Its not really hate
i mean its my fault
you dished out some bait
covered it up with plastic worms and
You let me know how easy it was
and how fast and quick i was getting it all
but then i fucked up one time
became associated with a bad apple
i dropped the ball
But i was still there to pick it up...
now its a hostile enviornment
I can feel charlie breathing down my neck!
Are they in the trees,
are you in the walls
is there not enough mayo on the bread:
did they see me make that mistake?
i work at a sandwich shop so i can eat mushrooms on the weekend and still work the next day...
She wants to know what it's like to be young,
Born into a grown up world
where Peter Pan never existed,
Neverland just an insane creation.
Alice is just a long forgotten dream
and the idea of Wonderland is nonsense.
Her hair isn't grey like the hearts surrounding her,
Yet she's lived twice as much as their combined existence.
The Fairy Godmother never gave her a shot
to lose a glass heel that the prince would never even find.
Her dreams are whiter than the purest snow,
Though she was born with a ruby red apple in her mouth.
She will remain a beauty, sleeping for eternity,
a princess locked away forever in a cold, dank dungeon.
This beast is savagely cruel, a truly heartless entity.
Their is no changing it, no saving it, no saving her.
Perfect autumn day
The red leaves
And orange specks
Adam was only ten
Placing the apple carefully
On the top of his head
He stood underneath a tree
"Dont be scared,trust me."
His friend said
And picked up the bow and arrow
Adam squeezed his eyes
And then opened it again
He saw the arrow being pulled
And suddenly all he could see
Were the images of his sister
And the days he spent with his friend
Climbing the fences
The way his mother kissed him on the forehead
Her lavender smell wafting through the house
The report card he got just yesterday
How proud his father would be
Looking down from above
How he never got to kiss Sadie
And dry her tears
How in about 3 days his baby brother
Jordan would be born
And how in that last second
He saw himself next to his father
And gave one last smile
As the world was shut off
From the soulless eyes
The arrow struck
Straight in the middle of his forehead
Once upon a time lived a lovely, fair maid
She was young and naïve and believed in the power of love.
So, when the prince came to save her,
She thought he was her soul mate, thought it was fate,
For the slipper had fit like a glove.
But what happens when the slipper no longer fits?
When the sands of time have taken their toll,
When she is a young beauty no more?
Valleys on her face and inches on her waist,
And life has left scars on her soul.
Will her prince still be there to save her?
Is she the one he will want to kiss?
When all is said and done, will he be there fighting?
Or will he give up the ghost, say, “I guess we made the most,
But our time is up, and I’m sorry, Miss.”
How quick he is to forget her sacrifices.
All those years she patiently waited,
Trapped in her own personal tower, her cage,
Never giving up hope when she was alone, but now that she’s grown,
She can’t help but think love is overrated.
How can he break every promise he made her?
He said that there was nothing on Earth could tear them apart.
She was young, what did she know of reality?
Certainly not that forever could end, that it could just be a trend.
So, stupidly, she gave him her heart.
She thought it would be safe with him.
Now it lies in pieces on the forest floor,
How will she put it back together again?
It’s mangled and marred, it’s bruised and it’s scarred
With a grief that rocks her to her very core.
She had had a life before,
Now everything inside her felt dead.
She had been fun, innocent, she did not know pain.
And she had had dreams that he ripped at the seams
All because he didn’t mean what he said.
She can remember, bitterly, what it was to be loved.
She was once the apple of his eye,
He had made her feel like his own Aphrodite.
But now he has gone, chasing after a new, younger fawn
And all her best years have just drifted by.
Once upon a time lived a broken, sad maid,
She was wise and mature and no longer believed in love.
Once, long ago, a prince had saved her.
She thought she had found her soul mate, thought it was fate.
Now it’s just a time she’s reminiscent of.
The world has cast its spell on me.
I’m caught in her net of loveliness.
Like a fish I gape, open-eyed,
In wonder, forever and ever:
The star-laden cosmos unfolds,
Infinite, endless, with no borders;
How do the planets move in sync?
Exact, perfect, never out of step!
I can barely keep my car in line.
Nothing I see is plain, or mundane.
Dawn shines on saffron-shaded peaks,
Evening sets on the purple rocks.
The sea rushes in and retreats,
Across the white sands, the dark shores
Resounding with deep loneliness;
Seasons change -- the blue waters flow
Past green fields, yellow with mustard,
Apple trees rich with white blossoms --
Till the winter winds shake them down.
Every day, I wake up, somehow,
And find silver strands in my hair,
New wrinkles in my ageing skin…
All things change, one by one, while Time
Playfully lingers, unchanged, timeless.
Wonder comes to me, on certain feet.
How beautiful the world, how diverse.
And here I am, a lost traveler,
Stranded under the swirling stars!
There really isn't that much new,
Since good old nineteen-fifty-two,
Back when I was a much younger bloke,
And it was still ok to smoke.
Way, way back before EBay
Became a homebodies cliche-
Before the dreaded minivan,
When hairspray still came in a can.
They delivered milk and eggs and more,
And they'd set it right outside your door.
Hank Williams crooned enough to show
He was no Fat's Domino.
The Postman was always on time,
Be it snow, wind, rain or shine.
Back when Coke was a soda pop,
And we still had a Whistle Stop.
Minimum Wage was less than a buck,
And we still thought horseshoes brought good luck.
Sony was the first to show
Their new transistor radio.
Mrs. Paul put fish right into sticks,
And hid well the mystery to her tricks.
And I'm sure it took some expertise
When Birdseye started freezing peas.
A gallon of gas cost me twenty cents.
That's when Elizabeth II became the Queen.
And that September found me readin'
Mr. Steinbeck's 'East of Eden'.
The Bickerson's, they were a joy.
Young Cleaver was a Mama's boy.
And Burn's and Allen, smart as wick,
Could get a laugh out of a licorice stick.
They published Anne Frank's Diary,
And opened up the first KFC.
Rocky Marciano became the Champ,
And three cents bought a first class stamp.
Sgt. Joe Friday stood so tall,
Upholding every stringent Law.
And no one would call you lame or fruity
Just for watching Howdy Doody.
And then we had the Whirleybirds,
Flying desperado skies.
And Tonto and his Ranger
Chasing down the black hatted guys.
In good ol' 1952
Polio claimed the lives of quite a few.
They debuted the famous ball point pen.
I think Truman was in Office then.
Ozzie loved his Harriet,
And Father seemed to know what's best.
And What's My Line confuzzled folks,
But I dare say it was all in jest.
I still remember that penny arcade,
Back when apple pies were still homemade.
Before microwaves and Diet Sprite,
Back where the Rockem-Sockem Robots fight.
Back when car seat belts were new,
And Mad Magazine made it's debut.
When Lawdy Miss Clawdy would crow
From almost every AM radio.
It's fair to say I've seen made through,
The good, the bad, the tried and true.
There really isn't all that much new
Since good old nineteen-fifty two.
Copyright © 2013 Richard D. Remler