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Juhlhaus Nov 18
One step in the soft concrete
and the direction you turn from there
will shape decades.
You may find the very place,
step there again, walk over it;
turn again.
It is the same pavement noticeably
worn by micro erosion, cracked
by the hard ice of twenty winters.
The place is the same,
the space is changed—
shaped as it is now
by twenty years of urban development.
Some buildings provide
familiar shelter,
others drip stormwater on your head
from strange appendages.
Stand there
if you can spare a moment.
Turn again.
No pavement lasts forever;
concrete is liquid
and can take decades to dry.
Juhlhaus Nov 2022
I take the same and different ways
returning to these streets I thought I knew.
Scent memories come in warm layers,
comforting until they cling, and I think
too long about the shadows
stretching behind, before
the city lights became so familiar, but
clarity depends on distance, on when
in motion the lines converge
and the shapes fade to almost nothing,
only to merge and re-emerge
with each step forward, back to you.
Juhlhaus Mar 2022
Let the dead carry the weight of you
when the road is long,
the climb too steep

—worn treads, bare threads—

out of time,
in place.

A bereaved mother's touch to guide you,
an empty hand to hold

when you're on the brink
of a faltering jump to the sidewalk
she is right there with you
to lift you
over the deep mud, the oily puddles.

In that dark mirror
let her show you the shattered faces
of the ones taken

but still here with you,

still here
in a world seen through her eyes
for what it was

and for all it can be.
These words came to me after a visit to the apartment that was the historic home of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley in Chicago.
Juhlhaus Jun 2021
Walk with me beyond the sunset
and let's sip the sweet ferment of the day,
the pungent lung nectar of Summer's first night.
In her beautiful darkness the world contracts
and expands like June fireworks, heard unseen
behind the measureless shadow trees.
Walk with me here while time rests his tread
leaving the sky to stars and dreams.
Juhlhaus Jun 2021
Somewhere beyond the sea
In the Square for you and me
A Lady stands for liberty
While the tanks come rolling

Somewhere beyond the sea
She's there for you and me
Standing tall with light held high
And all to her side she's calling

It's far beyond the stars
It's near beyond the moon
I know beyond a doubt
Brave hearts will lead us there soon

We'll meet beyond the shore
We'll stand proud as before
Safe and free beyond the sea
And never again those tanks go rolling

We'll meet—I know we'll meet—beyond the shore
We'll stand proud as before
Safe and free beyond the sea
And never again those tanks go rolling
A spin on "Beyond the Sea" by Jack Lawrence, in memory of June 4, 1989 and in honor of the Goddess of Democracy, Lady Liberty Hong Kong, and all who take a stand for human rights and freedom.
Juhlhaus May 2021
This dry Spring
the parched earth drinks quickly,
every cool droplet precious
as the tears of the bereaved.

The rain furrows the dusty creek banks
like sunken, careworn cheeks.
the timid water hurries
past sandbars and gravel spits,
around balding rocks crowned
with rotting riverweed.
and in the green places that remain
to be sought and found between
the highway noise and the factories,
there the shy ones grieve with us
for all those lost to disease and violence,
miscarriage and mischance.

We round the bend;
the yearlings start and bolt
through the tangled underbrush—
an exercise in their own fragility.
The mother does not run.
she moves warily
a few paces away
and meets our gaze: measured, assessing.
She takes us in, then bows
her graceful neck to the tender shoots
that break the hardened clay,
the gesture her benediction of peace.
Juhlhaus Apr 2021
Behind the sky the Weaver knits
All beautiful and ugly things
Together as with perfect wit
She severs and she stings.
Each and every little soul
Safe to her downy back she brings
While their forgotten lullabies
She strums on silver strings.
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