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Ah, once more a day in vacant rays
A webbed window, cracked gently to let the breeze by.
a minute an hour,
a bee lands on a flower
succumbing to desire,
a move with a purpose
It’s assuredness I admit breaks a chunk from my confidence

What is what isn’t what could what couldn’t
Is of no concern to a bee, imagine how free that would be
A beetle crawling up the bark of a tree,
Oh, just for an instant
I wish I could see the life that you see!
Nick Stiltner May 21
The wind felt different on my neck today,
Slightly colder, unfamiliar,
It was not a feeling I was used to.

But this breeze hasn’t changed at all
There was a spark on the nerves of the cuticles where hair stands ensnaired there had sounds of foundation rock breaking and cracking a lump of clay stepping out of the mold under its own power it’s own fruition at first its unseemly bordering on crude then your curiosity strikes like what will this lump of clay do? will he crash off the table damp too much water tear himself in two brand new asunder asunder asunder I see a rock we have to peek under I have to keep searching but my search has all been for naught but then again looking on those days in the rays I couldn’t wait to find shade is this really the only way yes she says with a sigh so I position my head so my eyes meet sky i guess it’s time to retry so here I go again and again and again and again and again so many times I’ve tried to take flight and sometimes I can’t be but filled with spite but I know The Wheel she spins goes back and goes forth
So it’s on to the next and the next and the next this life is only a quest but that is only a guess
When is when is when is
The next moment I will stand on this shore, looking out into the bay?
Who will I be and how will I see this same scene then?

How will I see again, the morning rising illuminating the tide, it’s misted glow refracting in all directions?

How will I hear again, the gull’s cry, a higher song hovering over the soft sway of the water, it’s lapping connection to the shore, gone now but always on its reverberating journey back?

How will the water feel on my feet, in early spring and then in ebbing twilight? Will I stand strong and blooming, or will I hunch and wither in decay, in memories of a long forgotten brighter day?

Will the salt spray still fill my nose, will its memory be etched in me always?

There is no sure way to know, no sure path we can follow, I say to myself.
When I return I will be him and he will have came from me, formed in the bubbling foam of my memories of this swaying sea.
But in my melancholy daze upon departure,
a vision appears to me as if a dream:

“Be gone!”
A mirage of the goddess Brizo comes to me, sitting alone in a galley bobbing along with the waves.
“Be gone! Hold not your journey in contempt, be scared not of the changing tides!
You have your vessel as I have mine, the sea is strong but not impassible!
Adjust your sails, redirect your mind, the wisdom of the sea follows, to any height you can climb!
The power is you, shed light on what you know to be true, look in the water and be calmed, know that you are you!

Be gone! Go from me, away from this fading part of your journey,
There is still much of the world to see!
Do not linger, do not hesitate,
Do not be contented, with a hazy view of the sea from your seat on the shore!”
Dance on wind,
Elope with sky.
Breathe in mind,
Unfold, open
as the gulls fly.

Coastal breeze,
I close my eyes
Feel the cool on my face,
Untether, let it take me where it may
With a smile sprouting upon each gust.
Nick Stiltner Nov 2020
I circle around a seething pit,
rimmed in despair,
as a vulture hungrily around it’s edge.
Vainly I look up, to the sun
And some days it’s there,
My reasons to be seem firm,
I can smile into the light
But on others it hides and I grow unsure.

On dreary days I can’t help but glance,
A quick sideways shoot, into the pit.
Another look, this time longer,
And I see it’s familiar form beckoning to me.
I see the swirls
Of Tartarus, the awing black,
And now it grabs my full attention.

Ward it off, I say to myself,
Be strong!
Some days this works, much to my delight
On Others the words ring hollow and I am pulled in,
A rope tied in my chest
To the side of the pit,
and I sit, head down in defeat,
on its edge.

It takes everything in me not to go slack,
Relax and fall, fall, fall
Deeper into the apathetic darkness,
Into the grips of senselessness,
The liberation of nothing meaning anything
Of life being a tortured, laborious dream.
Nick Stiltner Oct 2020
Whose to say that the dreams
I have just roused from,
Are any less real
Then the waking dream
I find myself in now?
Nick Stiltner Oct 2020
Mother Nature grabbed my hand,
And Guided me when I did not have a path myself.
I followed my nose, the scents of honey suckle dragged at me
I followed my eyes, watched the damselflies glide
I reached my hand out and brushed the bark of a grizzled oak,
I learned what it meant to be strong.
My ears caught the soft reverberations of the babbling brook,
When I caught myself dreading a new dawn.

Oh sweet and awing mother,
You brought the rain and lightning
When I had a storm raging inside of me.
You crashed a tree in my way,
When I needed to learn to climb.

Snakes and spiders may scare some others,
But they remind me that we all have our places in your world.
You made the clouds move west,
When I needed a sign to move on.

When the path forked and diverged
And a queasy indecision rose into my spirit
You sent a single bee,
Who hovered in front of me
And lead the way through the forest.
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