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447 · Sep 2019
A pause
Sue Collins Sep 2019
The constant cacophony, the needles in all sensitive places, the rush to get to the end for no reason.
The give and take between strangers, the screaming sirens, the specious silence of the app world.
The rescheduling of schedules, the tweets fast and furious, the world spinning off its axis in disgust.

I sit on the step for a few minutes, watching the multicolored spider weaving like an ancient woman.
A bird of paradise colorfully waves at me. An elderly man bends over to talk to his also elderly dog.
A man tunes his piano from an open window. The waves of sunset begin. I calmly go back inside.
440 · Jun 2019
The soul of a mermaid
Sue Collins Jun 2019
I heard her calling out to me as I was searching for good luck.
At first I was startled, as I thought I was alone in my seeking.
I moved closer to the water to try to see her and ask her the reason.
I finally caught a glimpse of the most joyful  and radiant creature imaginable.

Her hair flowed all around her with a red sheen of fire and ice.
Her luminous skin had a delicacy to it that made me want to cry.
It was her smile, though, that gave me hope. It was a form of freedom unlike I’d ever known. I answered her call, and she beckoned.

Wary at first and full of distrust, I stood rooted in the wet sand.
And then she was gone, submerged in her deep blue home.
I waited and waited but she didn’t reappear. I gathered my shells
Found strewn among the seaweed and started up the closest sand dune.

My dreams that night and the next were as calming as I’ve ever had. A fiery light was off in the distance but evaded my reach until just before I awoke. I had embraced this entity and felt at peace. I knew I had to seek out this watery vision that had so enchanted me.

Back I went the next day to the same spot lodged against the same sand dune. My skin felt oily and my legs were wobbly. My voice barely registered my desire. I saw myself floating toward the sea, hovering over the seaweed and wet sand. I felt her hand grasp mine. Together we entered her world of beauty and serenity.
400 · Nov 2019
Swimming upside down
Sue Collins Nov 2019
Looking through the murky water through mask-like eyes full of soul.
Darkness and mystery devoid of life replete with plastiky detritus.
My limbs askew foiled with the weight of water pinning me in place.
A narcotic to soothe the way. I will be hidden treasure under the sea.

Or looking up at the wondrous day that is clear and bright, with a golden sun.
Limbs as light as feathers feel of cool ocean breezes and expectations of joy.
My mind melts just enough to give me that unknown but dazzling feeling of peace.
I have time. I can float on my back until it is my time to turn over forever.
337 · Nov 2019
Apples and Oranges
Sue Collins Nov 2019
Are they really so different?
334 · Oct 2019
The cat’s out of the bag
Sue Collins Oct 2019
The point man was found sleeping next to the fossil remains and the ash from eons-old fires and brimstone.
That’s the doomsday part of it, that and the enraged clouds full of sound and fury ready to go to battle.

No tolling of bells, no backup troops come to save the day. Just whirlwinds and spiraling leaves as he sleeps.
The man surely had a point, didn’t he? Why bother to stay awake when we all know that it’s a facade?
326 · Dec 2019
A phase of delirium
Sue Collins Dec 2019
Walking on air with that buzzing feeling all around you. Looking at people but not really seeing them.
Someone is talking. I can hear them. I realize it is me. Some odd kind of fevered chatter without approval.
My skin belongs to a stranger. It’s not mine to my touch. I’m turned inside out with no barrier of protection.
I’m a recognized bystander watching me through a kaleidoscope.  I witnessed my falls that came out of nowhere.
A slow good-by and now walking a straight line. But I have fond memories of my phase of delirium. It set me loose.
Sue Collins Aug 2019
Now listen to the truth: You have little to no power.
What happens is by pure chance and the roll of the dice.
There is no karmic response from the universe.
You are ironically sentient for no reason other than to suffer.

So what is the point? The midnight ocean, a tropical
Sunset, vanilla ice cream, words that resonate, a good battle won,
The feel and taste of a lover, the child skipping down the street,
The energy of sunlight and the calm of darkness. And one more day.
282 · Nov 2019
Solitary dancer
Sue Collins Nov 2019
In my dreams I can sing like a bird. Waking up, I just croak trying. It saddens me that I can sing an aria only in my dreams.
I always start on a high note. Why can’t I sustain it? Maybe it is the pollution, the congestion of the air that fails me.

In slumber I am an artist of black and white prints that reveal one mystery after another unfolding before my eyes.
The next day I feel energized to create a masterpiece. Alas, my fingers recoil at the sight of my paltry attempts.

But awake I dance with a light foot and a dizzy head as I circle and swirl to my image’s delight, my heart as my witness.
282 · Oct 2019
See me
Sue Collins Oct 2019
When did I become invisible? When did people almost walk right into me? When did I stop being acknowledged?

I don’t recall the year, the month, the day, or the time. It was as if I entered a different universe full of strangers.

They are young and bustling, a word that would never trip off their immortal tongues, these people of now.

I want to let them in on the secret, but they wouldn’t believe me. Because they don’t see me. See me no more.
208 · Nov 2019
THEM
Sue Collins Nov 2019
People of such presumed benighted nature that we have permission from on high to consider them as one lump, stereotyped to death.

Them

Not individuals, maybe even subhuman: We can slur them, avoid them, exploit them, deny them, punish them, reduce them to nothing.

Them
Sue Collins Sep 2019
Vultures swoop in within seconds of the demise, talons already sharpened and at the ready.
Distant cousins become inconsolable over the loss of their favorite unknown uncle.

The gold and diamond ring was promised to me, said the once-removed daughter.
She always told me that I could have her flat-screen TV, the landlord told anyone who would listen.

Tears are shed at the memorial banquet, where the knives are kept in the cupboard just in case.
A dead man is worth his weight in gold. Everybody’s dream. Where there’s a will…
147 · Nov 2019
From time immemorial
Sue Collins Nov 2019
We have walked with our eyes closed.
We have wreaked havoc as we go.
We have fought  the bad fight.
We have knelt to superstition.

We have thrilled to the human touch.
We have given our lives for our babies
We have found what we call love.
We have considered our posterity.

We have continually reconstructed our definition.
We have repeatedly lost and found our way.
We have never mastered the skill of co-existence.
We have never discovered the reason for our being.

But for all that we are and will ever be, there is one everlasting constant:
Our cells cry out in a shameless and painful attempt to nullify our mortality .
Arts and letters, music and poetry – all yearnings for the grace of eternity.
Cruel irony that we sentient beings are never to receive the blessed key.
139 · Dec 2019
The gift
Sue Collins Dec 2019
Bright eyes that see colors everywhere rather than a drab monochromatic view  of the world

A nose that can appreciate good Scotch and and night-blooming jasmine, at the same time

Ears that can hear Mozart and Queen, a cascading waterfall, and the click-click of a puppy’s paws

A mouth that can open wide to condemn evil but stay tightly shut when when listening to a friend
136 · Dec 2019
My frisson
Sue Collins Dec 2019
That brief but memorable moment that gives you the tingling chills. A biological response to a pleasure-inducing sound or vision.
My frisson today hit me out of the blue. Electrically charged, flying, seeing all the hidden hues, amazed at what I normally miss.

DNA at its finest, but why? To what end does it promote our species to experience such a rare moment of incomparable pleasure?
For those seconds, nothing was more important than the richness of life. I exist for these unpredictable moments of ecstasy.

                                                I am alive.
125 · Jun 2019
Cody the Dog
Sue Collins Jun 2019
She arrived in sunshine, ready to pounce. She flew through the air to anoint her prey.
Her eyes, lined with kohl, told us everything about life. Warm, happy, always on the qui vive.
Attention must be paid, lest you miss the signs. Patches of sunlight, children to protect, and
The everlasting quest for the next journey and the meal that inevitably follows.

But the universe is cruel, cold-hearted matter. It cares nothing about pads on paws
Or ears that go in all directions, or the velvet belly that demands to be nurtured with love.
The signs you want to ignore, the closing in all around you, the doctor’s pinched face.
It will be over soon; it always is. The last kiss will be sweet and to the point. No averted eyes.

Rest in peace, sweet pea.
120 · Oct 2019
Fire Walkers
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Acquired passion is manageable, has a schedule of your own making, and adds a new dimension to life.

Combustible passion takes over every part of you. Nerves exploding. Vision magnified. Touch is painfully exquisite.

Sometimes the line is fine, one melding into the other without your permission. Different colors. Ice and fire.

The fiery passion destroys.  Entry is one way only. Once scorched by the sun, no return but to the  beige life.

No kaleidoscope of colors, no tingly frissons. No flash of brilliance nor ******* heights. Just three meals a day.
114 · Nov 2019
It’s a dog’s life
Sue Collins Nov 2019
The stretch as she wakes up, her nose already smelling her dehydrated breakfast and first laps of water.
Her manic, jubilant rampage around the house before she drops down and naps with one paw on me.
Her luxurious fur glistening in the ray of sunshine like a silver veneer, soft to the touch as pure down.

I often wonder what she sees when she looks at me. Am I just the one that keeps her alive and kicking?
I’d like to think that she has unselfish love for me, that she would save me from some earthly disaster.
What is behind those big, soulful eyes that follow me everywhere? The tail that has its own language?

Does she know love? Memory? Sadness and grief? Can she feel joy and wonder at being alive?
I’ve asked her these questions, and after much consideration, she expressed her feelings about a dog’s life.

                     I’ve translated her barking response --
            
               IT SURE AS HELL BEATS BEING A HUMAN
108 · Oct 2019
An exercise in futility
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Probiotics for the everyman and cardio till his heart breaks. Massage the kale and run the marathon into the night.
Pulse rate by the minute and pressurized blood. Eschew all that you love in favor of abstinence and negation.
Cleanse your mind and your colon in one fell swoop. Be clean, be pure, be as if you’ve never been before. A mere wisp.
Say a prayer and pass the organic peas. Submit to your god and check your Chakras. Breathe in the eternal light of salvation.
The age-old quest for immortality. The Golden Age of Gods and Goddesses. Mythic proportions inscribed on granite.
108 · Oct 2019
Our finale
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Let’s dance through the maze and hope we never find the exit but dance swirly twirly with a fetish-like delight.

Let’s eat a quart of ice cream, one for you and one for me, adorned with chocolate-covered nuts and whipped cream.

Let’s run naked down to the sea in the middle of the night with our hair blowing in the wind and our voices at high pitch.

Let’s have one last warm and affectionate coupling on the sand at the beach before we hold hands and enter the sea.
Sue Collins Nov 2019
I found an old ivory-decorated little box tucked away among her possessions.
The box was locked but easy to foil by a person determined to seek answers.
The old woman had a lived a charmed life full of money, travel, and whiskey.

She had worn her classical beauty as a haughty warning to all who came near.
An acerbic genius at inserting the dagger right into the softest spot with ease.
Her own soft spot was animals, the wilder the better. Her feral streak, I guess.

The box felt empty but it was hiding a small crimped note underneath the velvet.
I hesitated. My face in the above gilded mirror was not the face I depended upon.
Flashes of the old woman blurred my vision. I imagined the old cord between us.

The old cord, discarded continually. Seesawing between venom and disinterest.
No back-up plan, no come-to-Jesus moments, just an invisible border wall.
I can’t seem to breathe, the portentous air enveloping me as I read:
“I did the best I could. Mom.” I shut the box and put it back where it belonged.
100 · Oct 2019
The traveling salesman
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Did you hear the one about? What’s up with [fill in the blank]? So I walked into this bar…  Holds the mic for dear life.

Sweat full of fear and loathing drizzles down the comic’s back as he takes a nip and tries once again to survive.

The cramped flights, the road tours, the buzzing barflys, the cheap Scotch, the dank rooms, the imitation food.

For one laugh. Even a guffaw. Hell, at least smile, you ******* hicks in your shitforsaken towns in Nowhere, USA.
96 · Oct 2019
Standing still
Sue Collins Oct 2019
I have been searching for the perfect tree. It has to reach the sky with limbs that embrace the world.

Its frond-like leaves would protect its master and shade all those who need to hide from the law.

It would be a magnet for vacationing creatures large and small who have lost their way in the world.

My tree would have cunning instincts when it came to survival not of the fittest but of the kindest.

It would turn its magnificent trunk away from those nefarious beasts who have only cruelty in their blood.

My dream tree eludes me still to this day. But I will never stop searching. Mankind’s survival is at stake.
96 · Nov 2019
It is what it is
Sue Collins Nov 2019
Wrong. Only death is immutable.The status quo today is yesterday’s news tomorrow.
Love is in the air this morning, gone by dusk. Your life’s plan rarely pans out.

Shape-forming, turbulence, flashes of lightning, skin grafts everywhere, children growing into tyrants.
The foundation crumbles, the trees felled, the virus mutates, the beliefs dissipate, corners clipped.

Rest assured that constancy exists only on paper, the future is untold, your prospects unknown.
Cross off everything on your list. Throw the list away. Float on air to your next destination.
84 · Oct 2019
The End
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Each chapter so far has been exquisitely detailed and filled with all types of characters in action or rest.

The preface was written before time began, with nods to either the creator or the abyss – take your pick.

The spellbinding stories progress through the ages of war and peace, beauty and hatred, longing and forgetting.

But where’s the afterword? Hell, where’s the conclusion? The book of us mysteriously stops before the grand finale.

I can’t loosen these chains without knowing the ending. For the love of god, please let me know how it all ends.
82 · Nov 2019
Teeter-Totter
Sue Collins Nov 2019
The weight of me has no force, no substance, no ballast.
Inconsistent, pandering, heckling, needful, shorn to the bone.

His is the salt of the earth, steady yet insistent, grounded to the earth.
Any spark of doubt doused without tension. Secure in his strength.

I fly without wings, look down for approval, wait for the storm’s end.
He looks up with eyes that say Don’t be fooled, I need you just as much.
Sue Collins Nov 2019
Moving too many steps at once finds me back where I started. So let’s take it easy. We have an eternity, don’t we?
I look for leads everywhere, a hint as to finding out where I am and where I want to go. Betting on who I might be.

Starting from the sea, my scaly body emerges. Walking upright I enter the city of lights. I broker laws and sense myself.
Flip of the dice lands me here on this page, beseeching your help. My steps should have meaning, a righteous path.

But how to comport myself in this horror show of a world, bodies strewn on tainted land, men returning to the beast mode.
Angry spittle and no reason reasoning. Shifting winds portending doom.  Evil clowns masquerading as human beings.

Resistance at all costs. One step at a time.
79 · Dec 2019
The good fight
Sue Collins Dec 2019
A battle of wills made by difficult by the witless on both sides. Discussions derailed by wild-eye gadflies on fire.
Goalposts travel here and there and then disappear. The crux is lost in the shuffle, replaced by ad hominems galore.

The gavel is coated with sound protection. The recordings are distortions  interspersed with specious conspiracies.
Look around and see the painfully contorted faces on the mouth breathers wrapped up like intricate pretzels.

No good fight in sight. Just power grabs and jostling for attention and 180 degree turns for the almighty dollar.
Where are the heroes, the selfless willing to break the chain of mendacity and vileness even knowing it will boomerang?
79 · Dec 2019
The ties that bind
Sue Collins Dec 2019
The connections weaving in and out recall a past when it was a marvel to be attached.
The pre-birth bliss before the fall, no worries, a perfect swim, a blank slate to be filled.

The chains that held people together tethered to the MAN recall a past and present full of tears.
Enslavement of body, heart, and soul destroys the body, heart, and soul of generations. Our legacy.

The bond between two people, fragile and ephemeral, is electrically charged until the storm comes.
Brothers, lovers, soulmate friends – one key word, one misstep, a torrent of mixed messages.

But the most intimate tie? Our inescapable mortality. We are locked together on that final path.
Oh, that we could circle back to the embrace of our beginnings – no worries, a perfect swim, forever.
78 · Nov 2019
Going off the rails
Sue Collins Nov 2019
Remember the scruffy but lovable traveler with his worn bindle so characterized?
The hobo was a gig guy way back when, hopping on trains to make ends meet.

The romance, the adventure, all on your own, responsible to no one in particular. Now an ingrained myth among our other self myths. The loner, the go-getter. The self-made man, the bootstrap hiker-upper.

We love our John Wayne stories of glory, now etched in granite and hanging over us like a scolding aunt’s repeated finger-wagging.

It’s hell trying to live up to the slogans, bumper sticker thoughts, and flag-waving aficionados.
76 · Nov 2019
A Flash in The Pan
Sue Collins Nov 2019
Cooked on high, a mercurial rise in status, an influencer for the times. If I can make it here, I can make it …well, you know.

I want likes, loves, thumbs up, and a kick in the ***. Love me from afar. My grandiose boobprints in cement for posterity.

Fame becomes me, teaches me to reach for the stars and settle for my own show. I’d sell my soul, if I had one, to be idolized.

Fast forward to a new order.  New stars in a new medium. Go figure. Obsolescence so soon? My hand was this close to the brass ring.
75 · Nov 2019
Death Interruptus
Sue Collins Nov 2019
That’s right. I want to call a halt to death, specifically the death of one person.
Please don’t assume that it is a loved one I want to see once again. Hell, no.
I want to face the evil of a person whom I have just learned was a meek monster.

Family secrets held close to the vest, a Roshomon story imbued with tragedy.
The blithe cruelty that forever tinged an already downward spiraling stage set.
Let me have my final say to the ******* too cowardly to stay alive long enough.

A pause here and then a modicum of calm comes over me. Breathe, breathe.
It’s too easy to get pulled back into the vortex, to relive what should never have been.
It’s all right now. And it’s all right now. The dead are deaf, and I’m alive. RIP, my rage.
72 · Oct 2019
There is no there
Sue Collins Oct 2019
It’s the old horizon trick. Spot a spot,  vanishes upon arrival. The plus is that you cannot be late. Get there not getting there.

The minus is you’re never there. You are stuck in a infinite loop not of your own making. No shaming here. Not here or there.

Better to stay rooted where you have planted your oaks, built your library, and cultivated the art of being here, right now.
69 · Dec 2019
Where do I go from here?
Sue Collins Dec 2019
The amazing maze constructed out of old ideas and rotty themes has its grip on me.
My feet in still wet cement have to get some direction from the top, the Man in charge.
I’m going to cut in line to tell him that this is a metaphorical matter of life or death.
I hope and pray that he will anoint me with his special touch and show me a new way.

Fortuitously my appeal would be heard. Some winged figures issued me into his chamber.
But all I could hear was a growly old man behind a green curtain that was suddenly invisible.
And the wiggly “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Man or god, I now have
The courage, the brain, and the heart to find my own way. It’s an old path, to my home.
66 · Nov 2019
Fields
Sue Collins Nov 2019
They connect and divide us. Players and watchers with their separate symbols.
It’s game time every time, with winners and losers, no room for sometimes.
Blood action defines the fields. It’s a poetry of action and muscle in glorious hues.

Sport as war and war as sport. Boundaries, walls, bodies, and trophies define battle.
Rules of engagement written on wet cement. Crossing the line is pure showmanship.
Targets seen though myopic lenses that reduce them to pinpoints on the fields.
63 · Sep 2019
Time was
Sue Collins Sep 2019
It’s dark now, so it must be night. That was the rule by which we all played. We were faithful to time.
We could set our clocks on what we knew to be true. We had alarms to wake us up at the right time.
Time was on our side, if you look at it that way. It was clear and honest, and unmistakable. Unequivocal.

As time has gone by, we’re losing the old goalposts. We’re benighted by the loss of what held us together.
Big Ben silently weeps for what was. Watchmakers have no more time. We’re spinning out of control.
Frenzied by no schedule, no boundaries, we bump viciously into one another in a stupefied dance.

Lovers without time, friends untested by time, no time for resolutions of peace and good will, no time at all.
Time was our truth, not yielding to whims, never fake or malicious. It existed outside the realm of deceit.
But dark forces destroyed time and bent it to their will. Will we ever have time again?
63 · Oct 2019
The boy in the road
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Paying attention no more just wandering aimlessly as my car interpreted the road. And there he was.

A shock of blond hair and and torn jacket just standing in the road with a tragic feral aura that hit me.

A sign? A human talisman? This scruffy little urchin stared right through me with keening eyes half closed.

Winds and jarring rain arrived unannounced so the trees began to genuflect and birds became suddenly shy.

I felt rooted to place, my car some type of shelter. This child reminded me of old songs and distant memories.

A little waltz that comes to an end too soon. Music that makes me feel alive until it doesn’t. Too much.

I maneuvered around the obstacle picked up speed and never looked back, driving in dizzying circles for miles.

Home is a luxury I can’t afford so searching for my lost life through the cavalcade of memories sharpened now.

A youth looked for me. He watched me. I left him. Just another in the list of memories to haunt my days.
62 · Dec 2019
It’s about time
Sue Collins Dec 2019
Wonder a world without time. A pleasure to skate through at your own speed, beholden to no ticking.
No midnight, no daytime, just a current passing through and picking us up on the way to no ticking.
No straight line, rather a sensuous curvilinear ride free of anxiety and stress, on the way to no ticking.
No time to worry about death. No time to degrade our spirit. Just here and not here, no ticking time.
62 · Sep 2019
Free Fall
Sue Collins Sep 2019
Seeing everything as if on bleary film, speed of lightning, no depth perception, just limbs akimbo.
Life parts full of monstrous deeds and impossible beauty as if on equal footing, no judgment required.
Spiraling streams headed for passive rivers that hold the secrets of old bones and remnants of dreams.

Words and deeds flow in and out as if celebrating this moment in time. The cringe-worthy vie for space
And overtake the selfless and noteworthy, as if in competition for my soul, watching comfortably from afar.
The reel to reel trajectory is determinedly straight and on time as my body now glides back to earth.
62 · Oct 2019
Chrysalis
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Chrysalis

Keep in control. Step here, not there. Repeat the words. Obey the fetal position for maximum safety.
Keep very still or rhythmically bounce. Speak in hushed tones if at all. No explanation allowed. Shush.

Step out of bounds and risk mortification, deep wounds, pain that reverberates in every part of you.
Wrapped in the cocoon of my own making, I am at peace and safe from the destruction of my soul.

The inevitable footsteps come closer with malevolent intent inscribed  in blood on her overly painted lips.
I’m here, I’m protected, I’m safe. Until. I discover. The shell. Is fallible. Porous. Protection, a mythical balm.

A choice between annihilation or metamorphosis. Die a lifelong death or live armor-less and vulnerable.
I shed my shell. I take a deep breath, dip my toes into the water. I reach up to touch the sky’s the limit.
62 · Oct 2019
The Elephant in the Room
Sue Collins Oct 2019
We chat about the weather, the high price of gas, the big win last night, who’s doing what to whom.
We don’t chat about our failing children, our oversized debt, our crushing depression and panic attacks.

We answer our phones, e-mails, our texts. We bring in the junk mail, the groceries, the dogs and cats.
We ignore the surrounding decay, the the worried looks, the angry chatter, the trigger-happy sensitivity.

Mirror images writ large on the landscape. Slithery snakes in boorish human clothing. Eyes glazed with evil.
We’ve become inured to the banal desecration of all that we held dear, forever and ever amen. God help us all.
61 · Jul 2019
The Ocean
Sue Collins Jul 2019
The tides give me structure.
The waves delight and frighten.

The water both cools me and gives me warmth.
The sand between my toes is childhood.

Its qualities and inhabitants preserve my life and humanity.
Swimming at dawn exercises my  body and mind.

I will lovingly walk into the deep when it’s time.
The ocean will be my eternal pillow.
56 · Sep 2019
From dawn to dusk
Sue Collins Sep 2019
Heavy heaving with weights on my ankles, I battle to keep moving, but it’s all in slow motion.
Used to be I could skip sprightly in every direction open to me. A spirit helpfully pushed from behind.
I could climb to high tree limbs, walk for miles, run and jump and dance with abandonment.
But now it’s as if I’m mimicking the journey through bramble and against the river’s current.

Every step, every thought, every plan seems to melt against me, keeping my body and brain still.
Sometimes the effort is so debilitating, the random thoughts so destructible, that stasis takes over.
I am the actor in a film slowed to reveal the motion of running arms and legs, music to match.
Drugs, *****, new agey solutions are no match for the all-consuming paralysis of my soul, my will.  

I want to feel as if I’ve come up for air. I want to feel as if I am of purpose and meaning in this world.
I want to wake up each morning without that brick sitting on my chest and restraints on my will.
I want to feel the steady and true motion of my body and soul, with my heart hanging on for good measure.
I want to laugh without irony, pure and full. I want to reclaim my dawn and appreciate the coming dusk.
56 · Oct 2019
Little boxes everywhere
Sue Collins Oct 2019
Words come tumbling out of them. I sit surrounded by empty satin-wrapped wordy boxes purged of their contents.
I have my whole language hemming me in with too many choices. I want my words to matter, to rage, to howl.

I want to entrance and ****** with my words. I want to expand my horizon and that of my patient readers.
It should be musical with complementary chords. It should be a comfort or a kick in the *** or a tragedy unfolding.

Random words? I wonder whether there is such a thing,  given our inclination to make meaning out of nothing.
Throw  the words out in a circle. Feel their touch. Taste each morsel. Try it on for size in front of a full-length mirror.

Some are like velvet cocoons; others, like razor blade weapons.  Some can stand alone, while others are dependent.
All I can do rearrange the puzzle until my words take on a life of their own, until they are no longer mine.
56 · Dec 2019
Lost and Found
Sue Collins Dec 2019
That nagging feeling that something is missing. All limbs accounted for. I’m at a loss. Searching high and low.
I felt increasingly as if someone was watching me as I ran around in a panic looking for this unknown piece.
It must be either a necessity or a beloved something. It’s bound to be in the last place I would think to look.

I couldn’t find good suspects inside so wandered about my property. There was an old tree I loved as a child.
It has a hollow that sparked something in me, a glimpse backwards to a young girl very frightened and disturbed.
I reached in and found a small, pristine kitchen knife, an obscene relic never used that gave comfort just being.

Ghosts surround me now. They torture me, dancing their devil steps toward me as I remember. I remember. I remember.
I have found what I what I was searching for. The unknown piece has fought its way from oblivion, refusing to stay quiet.
I  shout the unspeakable, the tree my witness and my solace. With tears of strength, I say “R.I.P.” to the little girl lost but found.
54 · Jun 2019
The Betrayal
Sue Collins Jun 2019
The old land, rich with loam and memories, full nights under the moon.
The shading trees bending to the will of the day in fulfillment of the deal.
The calf figuring out the direction dictated by years of habit and will.
Was this paradise or some ethereal landscape of humorous beauty?

The new land is a marvel of ingenuity borne of boredom and greed.
Ease of delivery in so many unanticipated ways that confuse the spirit.
Time. Time. Time. To devise more ways to have more time, time, time.
Time to gut the land, trees, and animals. We have so much time now.

We have so little time now. We play the fiddle and obfuscate. The
Monstrous new land is our new history: the future foretold by the
Look in the hungry wolf’s eyes, the decimated forest, and the rising sea.

The joke of infinity, the curse of fatalism, the big yawn signaling no matter.
Another use for those blinders. Starvation, pestilence, brutality only rumored.
A cosmic joke from the Comedian. A reversal of fortune that was written on
The old land, the trees, and the calf in a language unknown and ignored.
52 · Jul 2019
The instrument
Sue Collins Jul 2019
One note repeated. You hear the same note but not the same note. Time takes its toll.
Your mind seeks diversity and finds it everywhere. What sounded tinny can suddenly sound like lightning.

But it is chords that echo our regrets, our failures,  our moments of joy. Chords spell out love and loss and death.
The music cries for us when we can no longer muster the strength and consoles us at night when we fear the dark.
51 · Oct 2019
The house of my dreams
Sue Collins Oct 2019
In my dream. Ivy, stone, and spit. A rock garden at the end of a mile-long entry. A pond for the birds and wildlife.
Solace in the wood structure that meets the eye head-on, never making any excuses for its existence. It lives.
A kitchen that is sturdy and smells like everything good under the sun. An extended trestle table for the family.
Lights and shadows in the library, a roaring fire in the living room, bedrooms infused with comfort and sanity.

In my dream. Wonderful people and pets that behave. No gloom or dust would invade, nor bad spirits or demons.
Mirrors in every room in the house, all calibrated to reflect the best of me, the image that’s in my head and heart.
And the music, oh my the chords of peace and tranquility with a sly note of the devil for good measure as always.
Fragrance of herbal flowers and old cedar chests waft through every corner of as if the old and the new are here.

In my dream. The end never comes. It’s one day after another of the joy unattainable on the rocky sphere I left behind.
49 · Sep 2019
Fission
Sue Collins Sep 2019
The coordinates seemed invincible. They would forever remain constant and steadfast.
Everything worked in its favor to keep me cocooned for life, the raft on a calm sea of peace.
Tragedy was for everyone else, I could count on that. Always grateful it didn’t affect me.
Surely I was the chosen one, sympathetic but without empathy. I would always survive.

In a flash of an energetic eye, I was split apart. My soul crushed, my heart no where to be seen.
The explosion fueled my impotent rage at the gods whose impudence was in colorful display.
Trying to knit the pieces of me back together became an inscrutable puzzle impossible to solve.

Was this a lesson in humility or a neutral reaction without judgment that fractured my being?
It matters. Matter matters.  What once was will never again exist in the same form or appearance.
The pieces will fuse, melt by heat, and rearrange themselves. I look forward to that new person.
47 · Jul 2019
It can't happen here
Sue Collins Jul 2019
I sit in disbelief every day now. My body has contorted into a fight or flight stance that drains me.
I try to shield myself from the outside world, but it continues to seep in like slow-moving sludge.

First I was certain that I was in good company: Others would make sure that this was a temporary state.
But dragging on and on, many have become inured to the gravity; we hide in the trivia of our lives.

Meanwhile we devolve slowly but surely into brutality on an imaginable scale. We only blink at
Cruelty and the trashing of all that we hold dear, at moving the clock back to ruthless social Darwinism, at

Disdain for all who are marginalized, at words and actions full of crass hatred, at mockery of the intelligent,
And at the chest-beating militarism by those who know nothing about the history and toll of war.

It can’t happen here, we repeat as if that will make it true. But my friends, it is happening right now.
45 · Jan 2
Dark clouds
Sue Collins Jan 2
My mama always told me that brooding clouds meant that God was angry with his flock.
Portentous, gloomy, and downright depressing – they take over the sky as if they owned it.
Simply skipping rocks as I went, I kept trying to figure out a way to ward off their evil spell.

But growing up has its own unique benefits. No longer need I depend upon another’s superstition.
I’m a gloom lover, forever waiting for those dark clouds to wrap me up like a swaddling blanket.
A refugee from from the blinding clarity and judgmental vision of the sun that takes no prisoners.
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