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Jul 2018 · 815
Coastal Redwood
since i was small,
i wanted to live forever.

every dawn is a hit of reality
and i’m eager for another.
and another.
and another.

i exhale, my cool breath hitting the air -
flavored with desperation;
is it so wrong to want more?

i wilt, only slightly, thinking about the end.

when i slouch in my chair,
i feel my heart shift closer to the soil at my feet

and i do not sink in the midst
of the flood -
i do not lose myself in the rainwater
pooling at my ankles -
i do not clench my eyes shut,
fearing where i will go
when i do

i need this more than you,
i swear.

and when i feel the back of the chair
digging into my spine
or the quiet, creeping ache of age
tugging on strands of my hair,
i resist; i deny it

the adrenaline of dawn’s kiss
is my defense against the rot,
but the night reminds me
of being small with skinned knees and a medicated wish.

i surrender, subject to the infestation of memory -
yet, my oldest prayer continues to echo
in every inch of this room:

sempervirens, sempervirens
(always green, always green)
first draft
Jun 2018 · 8.3k
Eastern White Pine
i wonder, at what age
you became out of my reach;
i wonder, if i even
tried reaching for you

i know that history leaves its mark on everyone
(but not many have been hurt by the tracks
left behind in the dirt
like you have)

you can sit there for days, weeks, months
while we contemplate your fate,
tossing the choices in our hands
like dice

you hear the word expendable
mumbled in countless conversations
and wonder, at what age
you became in our reach

you think of the family you left behind
and hope they will find their way to tennessee
to a better life that is  
quiet. peaceful.

will they miss your selflessness;
your keen, incisive way with words;
the bumps and hills of your rough skin;
the smell of your perfume?

i miss your evergreen smile;
your poetry;
your skin against mine;
the wonder in your eyes
First Draft
Jun 2018 · 1.2k
Northern Red Oak
the jersey breeze
cultivates her curls,
as they bounce in the crisp air.

she’s the reason you can’t sleep at night.

the day breaks
into song when you meet her gaze;
she hums along, her voice
soft - like red velvet.

against the green
wallpaper in her room
she looks so beautiful

you wonder if she can sleep at night.

the night falls, and
in your rest she grows a foot taller,
becoming wise, like the book of poetry
you leave by your nightstand.

her friends know
that is she the one
who spreads herself thin to block the sun when it’s too hot.

she sleeps without closing her eyes.

her moments blend into the next ones:
she is so refreshing - even when she is thirsty;
and the acorns fall from her pockets;
and the deer come running;

and we all sleep soundly.
Jun 2018 · 210
The Robin
she has so much to tell the world,
and she does so through song.
an early riser, she wakes for her tune,
she waits for her moment, and begins.

if you were to ask her friends, in their delight,
what they think of their friend the robin,
they would tell you
that she’s never speechless when the sun is up.
they would tell you
that her passion overflows like a new england river in april.
they would tell you
that she’s hurting, but they don’t know why.

if you were to ask her, in her sorrow,
what she makes of herself,
she would tell you
that she refuses to be expendable
she always shares what she is thinking.
she would tell you
that the river is much too low -
pray for rainfall, she suggests.
she would tell you
that her pain is nothing but genuine. nothing but love.
Jun 2018 · 165
The Shape of Trees
the stage is set;
the day is still;
the grass is fresh,
coated lightly by the drops of dew.
the curtain hides the scene from all,
until the right hour is among us;
soon, it is pulled back by the sight of Earth’s lover.
the days are as long as we think they are,
for as long as we can count
we will assume the answers, and stop looking for them
in the rings of trees.
but still, we will confront the rings of trees
as we make the cut – so clean –
and later, when the show has ended,
the stage has been swept,
you return to your house,
and you slip into your bed,
you will think of the shapes of the trees in the darkness
but they will no longer stand.
and the shadow is not yours
but it will follow you, all the days of your life.
in the darkness, i wish i could be somewhere else.
for now, however, i put the pen down as the music begins. i lay here. gone
the weight of the night falls on my shoulders, and i
curl up, and embrace myself, as if i am holding myself together
afraid i might get up and go away
and suddenly i am standing

lost in a symphony of nostalgia about that final line, a standing
i am not pleased with. but, what else?
at night, my doubt whisks me away
and i am gone
into the air; rhythmically, i think of when we were together
you and i

and now, just i.
with my arms to my sides and my hands clasped together
knowing that you are with someone new. someone else
where have i gone?
i tuck myself in bed, resting with every reason why you went away.

and i wish i could be away,
too. it’s somewhere i
wish we could’ve gone
together. we dreamt of standing
still at the hearts of forests, of deserts, of everywhere else

(was my favorite place to be, but i don’t know what that means anymore: together.)
it trembles off my tongue, my mouth desperately sending it away
to haunt someone else
so it does, it departs. yet i can feel the weight of the loss, and i
am no longer standing.
i lay back down. i put the pen down, not knowing that i picked it up. i am gone

gone, but never forgotten; forgotten, but never gone
what breaks me is the distance that keeps us from being together
and, then, a melodic voice (my own): “why are you standing?”
is it because your breath has been taken away?
have nothing but these words. I KNOW NOTHING ELSE

LIKE POETRY KNEW ME. now gone, the darkness won’t stay away.
we are frozen in time, together, and i
am standing. again. i go somewhere else.
Jun 2018 · 140
Sea of Anxiety
the water’s edge:
i find my peace.
for here, i pledge
will i release.

the way i walk
speaks odes to me;
for when i talk,
i trudge my feet.

my voice, a ghost;
my heart, a race;
i guard my post
and hide my face.

but at the sea,
i slow my mind.
i wish, for me,
i could be kind.

taboo, is this -
pain spews within
(society’s bliss
a secret sin)

so in Her light,
i dream of peace -
for here, i might
find a release.
Jun 2018 · 256
"Never Dies" They Say
the white lace dress hugs Her slender body
on this special day. welcome, all guests, to
this morning’s ceremony. we are so
thrilled you could join us. we are here today
to celebrate you. your contributions,
your impact. your footprint. do you know that
you are here to proclaim your affection
and commitment to Her? are you willing
to confess your love and protection to
Her? your hands begin to tremble, like when She
strikes the ground. you scoff, “yuck, ***”, not
knowing the truth. She woke in the hum of
june, broke a sweat, but felt a haunting chill
swim down Her spine, a crashing - a total
consumption of life. in the morning light,
can you see it? can you see the shape of
Her belly? can you see the shape of Her
pain, as she clings to Her life, scared, so scared.
holding Her stomach, cursing the wind on
a windless day. you will commit to a
lifetime of puffy eyes, fevers, meltdowns;
waking in a sweat, (but not your own) you
will hold Her hair as she coughs up the
most apologetic garden of words;
you will rub Her back as She weeps, calling
out, asking why bad things happen to good
people. no. She is so much more than you
or i. She has constant evergreen love –
“never dies” they will say, until they find
themselves digging Her grave. Everyone’s grave.
will we pile in together, like a
landfill? we’re wasteful, weren’t these things made
for waste? isn’t that what we are? a waste?
she exhales, and quickly whispers, “no”
She wipes Her eyes. She clears Her throat to share
how happy She is to have you. happy.

“do you take them to be yours, forever?”

(forever: until i die. until i
die for them.)

confidently, Her: “i do.”

“do you take Her to be yours, forever?”

(forever: until you **** Her. until
you **** Her. aware of your impact, your
footprint, you know what happens.)

You: “i do.”

“you may now kiss the bride!” – as the sun shines,
you close your eyes and lean in, and then you

wake up. break a sweat in the bitter cold
of december. this is quite far from a
celebration. it’s a nightmare, and your
hands tremble. uncontrollably. but this,
Her wellbeing, Her safety, Her life, this
you can control. what made you believe you
couldn’t? celebrate Her. apologize.
hug Her like the white dress. sincerely.
Jun 2018 · 236
The Bee
waltzing into life
the bee is
one of many.
their heart yearns
for sweet nectar,
or maybe love,
or just time.
but honestly, it’s
a short life
and the days
stretch as thin
as the webs
that hide in
the smallest corners.
is it so much
to ask for
a little more
Jun 2018 · 357
i shift
farther from freedom
when fueled by these flames.
i laugh
frightened by the fiction
that is a fabrication
of my favorite friday afternoon.
i grin
but it falters; it fades -
faster than my fears
on a quiet morning.
i freeze
A solemn inferno is crafted, and not shortly after
My bones are chapped, my blood shaking, my organs cracking;
Have I got it wrong? I laugh.
I follow the path of the pointed droppings from the trees
The crunch at my feet, how cliché! I hesitate.
The chill slips away in the night, and the fire
Wraps around our hands – like gloves – a perfect fit.
Life is too grim to live without a flame
I never want to face a season without this.
I have seen the moon dance and decline;
Seen it
Finish its routine.
I applaud.

Start again.
Again, again, again,

Huddled around my ball of light, bonding;
Oversharing. I cry.
When I was still able to count my age on my fingers,
This sun could never come undone;
I never imagined her ******* her soul for me,
slowly, like a neatly wrapped present on Christmas morning;
I never imagined learning how to burn my memories.

I can finally let you go.

Your kisses never showed me this admiration
But I wish you well. I sigh.
I will see you again, in the candlelight –
Only an imitation of the evenings
where the fireflies would tuck me into bed
and the stars would tell me a story.
Goodnight, good riddance. I lie.
Jun 2018 · 206
To The Sun
daylight, inflamed from your touch, fell softly;
she is the Mistress of the Universe.
rejoicing in Her own spirit, She inspires,
despite the dissonance between man-kind
and the land, filling their lungs blissfully.
in the beginning, Her shadow seemed still,
high and quiet, mocking the hands of time
(not yet understood, ‘til enlightenment
of knowledge.) She would sit up on Her throne,
peering down, gazing, envious of Us,
as She guards her post obediently
under Nature’s inevitable spell,
wishing that she could end Her troubled thoughts.
She knows she must wake and rise each morning,
She knows Her penance is everlasting.
it doesn’t make it any easier,
being aware of the cross She must bear;
by love, however, She always complies –
sometimes with sweaty palms, quivering lips,
unsteady balance, a crack in her voice –
(regardless, She washes over Our skin)
and cleanses Us of darkness and loneliness.
Her light: a skewed version of teardrops,
perhaps dried by Her heart, as She weeps flames
down her cheeks, a permanent and bold blush
extinguished of purest sin and shyness.
Her intentions have always been Good. Right.
when She hides Her face, She does so gently
searching for a moment to catch Her breath,
for a break from Her continual chore,
as She is worn more than any pair of shoes –
been to more places, been to all places,
She has cried in every small corner of
Nature’s bedroom. She is fearful, but strong
even as She yells, screams, pleads Us to stop,
wishing that we could end Our troubled actions.
i say to Her, i’m sorry for the damage.
i cover her eyes, and kiss Her skin
despite the distance that lies between Us.
i know she is tired. wallowing in
exhaustion. Her days pass. humbly. swiftly.
i also know She is determined to
pull herself from the dark and into the
light. She inspires. She lifts herself up.
a work in progress.
Jun 2018 · 214
To The Fog
Nature – with impeccable force – blows the air around Her,
Her breath dancing on a mirror
like a ghost in the evening.
i cannot see Her face – She never
looks me in the eye, but still – the fog
skews my sight and hides the
blades of the grass and bark of the
tree. i am struck by these wonders,
like the bloom in early march; my
grief leaves me as easy as sight
did in this condition. now, in the
morning, i can only offer my navigation
to a certain extent. i still stumble,
and the anger bubbles like the early
stages of boiling. i rub my eyes
hoping this dream will leave me soon,
knowing that the only way to break the spell is to reach out and wipe the mirror
with my hands
Jun 2018 · 342
The Sunset I Will Never See
you, an ever-changing evergreen – are
lovelier than yesterday’s morning rain, and
more curious than tomorrow’s budding lilacs.
lost, i find myself in your lively touch.
my pain, the mirror i peer into when i pick up a pen;
i smooth my hair, wipe the snow dust from the corners of my eyes, say a prayer.
am i a vessel of love and devotion?
or simply, am i a constant sea of fault
left bruised – bruised like rotten fruit that has fell from the tree.
if i could meet your gaze, instead of
dreaming in verses,
i would press my fingers to yours
and all but flinch at your needles
as they ***** my skin.
i envy nothing about your days – dim, even when the sun dresses in her sunday best –
except, that your immortal wisdom
is a sunset i will never see:
like a clockmaker with no sense of time,
like a bodyguard with no inner strength.
my hobby – collecting comparisons:
lining up metaphors like calendar days.
words cannot mend your pain like they mend mine

poetry moves my mountains, but will never move yours

you, an ever-constant evergreen – are
lovelier than tomorrow’s starry sky, but
trapped. if i could meet your gaze,
i would close my eyes
Jun 2018 · 248
Nature's Silent Cry
She reaches out Her severed, bleeding hand –
so vulnerable, She’s down to skin and bones;
Her lungs collapse – a castle in the sand,
consumed in pain and so utterly alone.
since Her early days, She’s remained quiet;
Her pain towers over Her dying oaks.
these heavy clouds seem like cause for riot,
and yet, we are convinced they are a hoax.
through years of change, we’ve used Her to no end –
a crime that sees no sight of sane justice.
the grave keeps growing, now a proven trend,
the shovel is ruined by the rust, it’s
frightening. to think we might be too late.
i only wish i could prevent Her fate.

— The End —