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JP Oct 18
an old man pulls into the campground
alone
and early, when it's quiet still.
he has a bushy, wild beard and shaggy hair
spilling out
from under his hat.

with bottles cradled in his arms
i quietly point him towards
the recycling bins.
he thanks me and says,
"have a good one."
i reciprocate
the pleasantry - "yeah, you too."
and his eyes flash and shine,
"oh, god yes! another adventure, ha!"

i smile lightly and hobble along
wondering
if i have just encountered
a truly free man.
JP Oct 2
i want to heal,
to become
a gentle friend
to myself.

to let the quiet pressure and
guarded being break away
like the dam bursting
for the river
to
come to life again.

letting life move freely
as it must,
and holding all things so lightly -
in reverence and sorrow -
and always at peace with letting go
as we must.

when i let my father go
he dances in the treetops.
when i let my shame go
i dance across the soft ground beneath him,
and will dance until my feet lift and
leave the ground,
without a trace i was there,
and i join dad in the treetops
and we are the wind.
JP Nov 2019
When this dis-ease flairs
the world is small,
I am in a dark tunnel;
eyes open but not seeing,
moving forward but stumbling,
weary legs shuffling through the motions.
All I know is the cold, gritty stone
that scrapes these searching hands.
All I know is this dis-ease.
In the distance there’s a pin of light;
so little to look forward to.
I’m tempted to lay down
and stay here.

What if I remembered,
accepted,
the whole beauty of my-self?
Would my eyes, once blind,
shine life’s light into the dark tunnel line?
Would my heart pump fiery blood
into my legs
and muscles come alive?
I’m running now.
Hands curl into fists
to pump at my sides,
with purpose now.
Would the pin of light
get bigger and bigger
until I’m standing at the mouth?
The edge of the world
sweeps below me.
I step forward slowly, warm
where my light meets its source.
The sun and earth have been waiting
for me to come home.
Beautiful and alive,
I remember I belong.
JP Aug 2019
Why is it
that I only sit quietly
in the morning?

Am I allowed just
one breath
of wholeness
before the barrage
of the day?

What would happen
if I claimed
all my other breaths
in the name of peace -
of saving a life?

What would the world
do with me?
JP Aug 2019
The old ways
of being afraid
are beaten in and comfortable;
weathered, old leather boots.

Yesterday, unaware,
I put them on when I stepped down from bed.
My stomach burned and rebelled at breakfast -
a desperate attempt at a sensitive SOS
from my omnipotent body too often unheard...
I limped to work alongside my lovely partner
through the cool, verdant summer air
but the cat had my tongue
and I dragged my heavy feet.

Later the fear was exposed naked
as untrue, unnecessary, a farce
- as the spinster its always been -
and what did it?

I showed up imperfect
and vulnerable and present
to the very place I felt an imposter.
I felt power and love - life -
surge through my flowing blood,
my eyes clear to meet those around me,
body light and and leaning on the ***** of my feet,
and the armor around my heart failed
with warm wholeness seeping in,
(that feeling children know, and grandma too)
and I realized
I'd taken those boots off.

This morning I'm taking note.
Today I'll try to walk the world
with bare feet.
07/19
JP Jul 2019
If I am sinking
to where the beams of light
linger pale and thin,
I can't pull her with me -
like a boulder tied to her waist.
She needs to swim freely,
a dancer underwater,
and come up for air
where the sun kisses the glassy shell.

I need her to know -
not to know, but to see -
that I'm on my way up
to kiss the sun, too.
7/19
JP Jul 2019
Where does it hurt?
It may not bleed red and raw
but through that facile smile,
the narrow fear,
I see you.
I see the cost of comfort;
how the pain and privilege
live together in pretty paradox.
How you long to reclaim
your humanity in its fullness,
leaving the warm cocoon
to finally inhabit reality,
this country,
the one you were born to,
in all of its contradictions.

On this path to healing,
to wholeness
like a full moon rising,
there is no rushing.
For so much has been done
by us
to them, you,
to us, too,
that hides
in ignorance
and denial.
We have assigned White
to purity
and yet just beneath those gleaming sheets
is a mattress full of contradictions, of truth
about who we are.
Let's strip the bed.
7/19
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