The water had fallen. And then it rose. And finally, it was green again.

And it was as I descended into the river bed,
through the streams and bramble,
beneath the lush green canopy,
that my peace came back.

It was wild and alive.
And it would fill my soul to be there.

The rich smell of the soil, like something primordial and sweet,
set my memories into motion.
With each step I followed my history backwards,
eager for the lessons that the rain and wind would bring.
And I thought about what was and what is now.
And I recalled so many who had once wandered these wild ways with me before.
Those that have begun to tend their own gradens.
Rows of flowers, orchards, roses, and ivy (trained to grow along ivory latice, like castle walls).
Each thing in its place.

Watered. Nurtured.
Painstakingly cared for and thriving.

But not you.

You are still the winding creek, filled with life and lined with secrets. Ready to rush with fury and beauty at a moments notice.

You are the tall cane and alder making a canopy thick enough to halt the light.

You are the seep willow and the cottonwoods drinking the river bottom directly in to your soul.

You are the raven caw. The calling falcon. The cooing dove. The scream of the hawk. The sound of the sky in every brush stroke note of your voice.

You are the thick brush that touches each bank, powerful and unruly, like bookends to sacred wisdom.

You are the mighty things. The ring of mountians encapsulating the horizon. The clouds that lay with silent fury. The crashing lighting and the echoing thunder. The deep and silent woods.

You are not the garden.

And I prefer you wild.

Sean Critchfield Mar 2016

And these things that we speak of shall be written on walls in our minds. Our graffiti. Terms that only we understand. For it is prophecy. A prediction of what is to come and a promise that it will be good. Good like revolution. And leaflets. And protest signs. Good like fires and flags. Good like anthems and marches. Good like songs on our palms. The sheet music on mine. The lyrics on yours. And music when they touch. So, shall we go? Hand in hand into the subway tunnels to the rest of this? We'll have the truth to keep us busy as we fumble for the next word and step. Awkward like children, dancing around fires. Foot before foot, until we match rhythm and run from it all. Because running away is as much my blood as poetry and red wine. And you are not only the journey but, sometimes, the destination as well. Listen to my hand on yours as I pray for peace while you sleep. The walls of the tunnel passing behind us as we forget who we are for what we will become. This will evolve. This will evolve.

Sean Critchfield Sep 2015

She is descended from strong women.
Bronze women. Stone matriarchs.
Pioneers. Immigrants. Fighters.
Hand in the earth, sun on the brow,
salt in the sweat, beautiful strong women.
Her ancestors rode ships to new horizons.
Forging destiny for their children's children
by riding waves to new lands.
Her grandparents tilled earth.
Beat back the scorching sun
and grew life in rows.
They sowed a future like seeds
for their children.
Her mother provided.
Giving hands full with
life wielding cast iron pots like
weapons. Fighting back
hunger and want.
She kept full bellies so her daughter
might have a full future.
She has given her life to loving her family.
And has been lifelong devoted to that endeavor.
Never failing a step.
She has walked through foreign shores,
trailer parks, brand new hearts, and broken cycles.
She has cobbled together Christmases,
shattered hopes, family meals, lunch money, and hope.

She is tested.
She has walked the path of her ancestors.
She is a Pioneer.
A tiller.
A provider.
A fighter.
A warrior.

She is my mother.

And she will beat cancer.

I figured I'd let you all know why I have been gone for so long. This is why. She is doing fine. Thank you for reading.
Sean Critchfield Dec 2014


Settle yourself.

Try to understand.

We were meant to love.

And if we can not love, then we were meant to try to love.

And failing that we were made to breathe.

And try again.

-Sean Critchfield

This is the product of an exercise. I was instructed to grab the 7th book on my shelf, turn to page 7, and use the 7th line as my first line. The poem was restricted to seven lines.
Sean Critchfield Sep 2014

I now view my mortality as a foe.
And I think I can win.

I know. I know.
The title is as long as the poem...
Sean Critchfield Aug 2014

Place your hand upon my chest.
It reminds me how it feels when it's mended.
Then use it to cradle your head while you rest.
The worst of it, like the day, has ended.

Sean Critchfield May 2014

You know in the late afternoon when the light turns gold and bronze? And it seeps into windows in striking shafts that look like oil paint? And thousands of little points of light flutter and dance in it like tiny angels? Yeah... That... That is how you make me feel.

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