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Sep 15 · 82
CarolineSD Sep 15

Toss clothes like fluttered wings
In this bag.
Throw just one ******* my shoulder and

Roll the windows down and amp up the music so loud I drown
Out the static of sadness that never ends.

Find the narrow path that no one takes
In the valley by the headwaters of the lake

Won’t even scan the brushland for snakes,

Just walk


Can’t make it right anyway
Can’t make anyone stay
Can’t fill up their world with what they deserve
Tried to play every role but I’m really


Wonder what it would feel like to find the serrated edges of the rock on the top of the highest cliffs and just

Step off

Wonder what it would feel like to tell the world to *******?

Wonder if I can walk high enough to leave half of myself
Underneath the glory of the ridgeline
Stamp her shadow down with these boots and

Rise lighter

Less encumbered by the pitiful way she cries
Walk the rough trail that cuts straight up the rocks
Stand on the top
And let the sun
Burn the guilt off
Melt my heart right there on the mountain

Let it go

In the currents across the river washed rocks
Carried away to the nadirs of the sea
Where there is no special place for tears

And the whales leap up and breach the waves

And everything that ever mattered lifts in the arching spray and


But I am just a girl
Knees in the cool dirt
By the forest’s edge
And I’m not dumb enough to give it all up

And there isn’t really any blade to this hurt
Just a dull ache
That falls away the further I follow the river
Through the quaking aspens
Along the pine framed cliffs
Into the sky.

I can leave it all behind
For a little while
Toss this canvas bag onto the rough ground
Turn around

And walk into your waiting arms.
is it ok that you've been my safe space for so long?
CarolineSD Sep 2
So many voices yelling and echoing and cluttering up
Every heartbeat with dissonant commands;
Discordant rhythms
That give chase, pulse racing wildly ahead,
But I can never escape because the speaker is


Who taught me these monologues of doubt?

I’m trying to find some dark corner to crawl into
And hide
From all of the should be’s
And didn’t you’s
And what if’s
And why aren’t you good enough to
And why can’t you just fix everything
And why aren’t you strong enough
To just live
And not break at every streak of light
Surmounting the dregs of night when the morning returns again
And still there is a feeling of falling
And not knowing if you should reach out and hold onto something,
Or not?

And so you just grip your coffee cup as if it were
A solitary rock
In the middle of
A storm-whipped sea
And I really just need to wrap myself around
Something that is made of clay
And dirt,

Drag my spirit through the veins of the earth,
Where the cut-banked canyons rise into a
Reddened western sky  
And release the broad-winged birds to flight.

And everything is quiet

And I know my worth:

No more or less than the brush along the shore.
No more or less than the darting shapes across the river’s floor.
No more or less than the dusk,
Than a gentle touch across my face,

Than love;

No more or less than love

And how it spills like water over rocks
And moves like music through the blood

And how the morning becomes quiet
And I am
Singing softly to my children,

I won’t give up.
Jul 8 · 246
Weightless Space
CarolineSD Jul 8
I like to still my heart in the lake,

Turn my face to the turquoise sky
And let each mountain rise along the shorelines and I am

Suspended in weightless space;
A resting place between sunlight and a blacker deep.

I turn my cheek to the caress of the water's
Firm hands that
Permeate my heart with love.  

A wild, alpine forest rises above


You are the only one

Whose arms

Around my soul

Will ever  be

Jun 29 · 169
Child Soldier
CarolineSD Jun 29
The truth is that, sometimes,
I can barely remember your face,
But I always recall happiness lightly skirting pain;
A smile like a masked animal of prey,
Every interaction,
Laying heavy like a thick shroud of strain,
Pulling the corners of your eyes into near total exhaustion,
Like one who guards the boundary lines of a village at war
And the shifts never change.

You were a child soldier
Innocence obliterated
Soul stolen at birth
A tiny form placed at the frontlines,
Armed with nothing,
Not even a choice.

And they made you fight without mercy
And you took more than your allotment of bruises
Standing there in front of your little sisters with your fists
Forever clenched
I remember you said you conjured your strongest self
When they came to **** the babies.

You tried so hard to be the savior
But you were a child soldier
Fighting giants with monstrous darkness in their hearts
And how they ripped through your tiny body and tore
All of your selves apart.

Yet, still you loved me,
From somewhere good that lay untouched
Beyond the broken mirrors of formative years
Fragmented in your blood
And how they would suddenly reflect a memory
And cut,

And how I tried to heal you with my
Child’s arms around your neck
And how it was never enough
And how I wore your blood,

How it lays now upon my skin,
And how it feels like pain

And how it feels like love.  

I will carry it like armor
And I don’t blame you for giving up.
For my mom, whose childhood was a war zone. I love and miss you :(
Jun 20 · 648
To give up.
CarolineSD Jun 20
The great arms of the cottonwoods release fragments of
Themselves across the evening sky,
As if the edges of clouds could
Lift from the flutter of leaves
And drift out and away,
As if giving up fragments of oneself
Is soft and easy,
Like the bend of the river
Around the greening banks
On a gentle summer day.

Like giving up is not brutal
Or bones cracked on the cold tile of the
Bathroom floor
When you can’t even do this anymore
And there are tears laid around you like bright
Flowers of pain
Spilled and wilted and dried up again
And you curl into yourself
And simply wait for
The end.

There is a giving up in that roughness and there is a giving up in
The radiance of the sun
Emanating from the warm rocks at the edge of the cliffs,
Lifted off the backs of the verdant hills,
And there is a giving up that is a gift
And not an acquiescence.

And thus it is,
Like the river’s edge,
I give up this familiar space
To the flooding of the rains;

Take the banks of all I know
And allow their swift erosion
Down to the vulnerability
Of my soul.

I give up the strongholds
Of dread
And cast these crafted layers to the edges of the stars

And I won’t give up the openness of my heart,

Or the way I can see so far
Across this wild, limitless wilderness
Of hope,

Or how it grows
Within the shelter of your hands.
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
Well, I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Jun 6 · 75
To ask why.
CarolineSD Jun 6
I'm so tired of being afraid
Of trying to control the world so that
No one that I love gets hurt.

I can't do it anymore.
God didn't bless my hands
And people die even though I whisper a command:

"Please, don't."

Don't take them. Please don't take them.

But my voice is mute.

I relinquish it all, creator of all things. I'm nothing but a speck of
Dirt upon a distant shore.

What more, what more, what more?

You take all you can imbibe and we
Are nothing but an aside to your
Great appetite.

Take me.

Take it all.

I'm done being afraid. Come at me and I'll hide in these

Great hills

And everyone will forget me

Like it is our destiny to do.

And I'm done trying to save a world
You discard still, and still we are nothing,

But ash within the dirt
And the birds come first
To watch us die.

And it is the sky that claims us.

And I will not dare to presume that I am important enough to ask,

May 25 · 293
CarolineSD May 25
Chaos permeates
And there are too many voices
Lamenting and screaming,
And there is fear like a great machine churning
And there is death and an eerie
Grinding of gears that feels
Somehow driven
And managed,
And I feel pushed upon it and carried to where
I don't want to go.

But, yet

Out in these canyons, beneath the rough granite that rises
And the great pines that ****** their arms into the sky,

There is peace by the river, still.

Walk along beside it
Through the thick brush that hides us
From everything beyond just

This moment and

The current pushes onwards
Speaking only in healing tones
As it spirals around the rocks
And over hidden waterfalls, flows
Down, down, down.

And there is shelter here in the
Deafening sound of the wild water rushing

And there is peace by the river, still.

Out here, it is life or death,
And you don't always get to decide which, so

Lay your body at the temple of the mountains
And give up all of your questions.

Just free fall into the wind beneath the cliffs,

Into nothing and everything and

I love you, still.
May 22 · 142
CarolineSD May 22
What purity is rendered from the wreckage of these days?
Hearts torn asunder and splayed across a dying world;
A world that falls like dreams do
When the light hits hard across the room.

And I want to hold something heavy and cold,

Like the smooth stones at the base of the current’s flow,

But I am grasping air

And my breath weaves a river that dissipates
Like the memory of snow
Across the western peaks
Before the harsh rays of late spring
Melt these sculpted constructs down to nothing but
Granite and bone,

And the scintillating potential of the soul,

Like a wound that festers,
Or is rendered,
Into something mercilessly scarred
But somehow, more beautiful,
And whole.  

In the breaking, there is death,

And I question whether that is all there is.

Sometimes, the breaking never ends and all I see is a failure to save her. The darkness claims her over and over again in my mind and
There is the sharp absence of a savior,

Anywhere, here on earth,
Or later,

And it certainly wasn’t me.

So, is that what this life will be?
Or can we render light from the wreckage of these days,
If we were to drop down and crawl on bended knees
To some higher place

Where there is redemption in defeat

And a new life
Fresh and green
Sprouting from the remnants of our own humility
In which we must now anchor

I don't want people to break and die. I didn't want to lose my mom and not in the way that we did. I'm sorry for all of this suffering. It seems, sometimes, that we will be broken of our arrogance one way or another, even the arrogance that we have some kind of right to live. And I wonder if there will be something better born or rendered in humility, or if there is nothing at all.
Apr 26 · 579
CarolineSD Apr 26
Where will I ever lay this love down
Like the mist above the mountains
That gathers and suspends within the waking sky
Until at once
The sun rises
And it falls
Like a child into her mother’s arms?

And the valleys
They rest
Quiet and calm
Sheltered within the soft fingers of a curling fog

And my heart
Is just like that

Heavy with the condensation of love

Held aloft by a darkness that refuses to rise
Thirsty for the first faint tendrils of light

That I may then, finally,
Release this love
And let it lie


Thick and soft and warm,
Curled around the valleys

Of a heart
Like my own.
Apr 5 · 225
Fade in Place
CarolineSD Apr 5
Three children and I am
Their only hope.
Closed borders have cut us off from every relation of blood
They have ever known.

Shelter in place
Ripping apart the supports we once relied on.
There is no world now
But us.

There are these walls,
This patch of ground,
And me,
Between them
And the chaos outside.
I am the barrier
And I am also the provider
The teacher
The soother
The only pillar that didn't fall.

And I am holding it all,
Piecing it all together
With tired hands.
I stand alone
Broken and strong
Taking one more step
One more breath
One more minute
In a life that has become
Very small;
So small that I feel it might just

I fade in place
And still conjure one more day
From an infinite emptiness.
Mar 27 · 151
A Sinister Wind
CarolineSD Mar 27
There is a sinister wind


Like a rippling black sheet,
It slinks beneath the currents of the air

And wants in.

It wants in my lungs.

It wants in my heart.

It wants in the very molecules that bind us together

And tear us apart

And it will consume the soul of the world
And it will destroy the spirit of the poet
And render our warm palms


A frigid wind that inflames and then


That whips the corners of the earth
And rips apart
The hands that pray.

I want to cast it out like a bad omen
I want to burn this sage and scream

Leave us alone!

Leave us alone!

Leave us alone!

Surely we are bad and we have sinned
And there are those who live in greed and let arrogance win,
But these ones with the kind eyes
And a lifetime of good deeds left behind,

What have they done?

What have we done?

We are just trying to love
We are just trying to live.

Forgive us and be done with this


Be done with this black wind!
Let the darkest recesses of the universe breathe and draw it back from whence it came

Never to exhale again.

Please, God,


Let us live
Let us redeem

Mar 19 · 151
Scaffolding Made of Sand
CarolineSD Mar 19
As the normalcies of life splinter and fall away like ice
Brushed from a window pane,
There is no place left to look
But in,
And there is nowhere to run.

There is no sea of peace
Except that which we return to
Inside, within.

I lay my body down beneath an imagined sun
And feel the textured sand against my skin
And pretend that
This darkness outside will end

And in this way, I can hold their little hands and claim that
The life we knew before will begin again,

But the truth is,
It may get so much worse,
And we may be called to carry far heavier loads before these
Tides reverse.

So, cling tightly to the inner worlds;

The rest is as scaffolding made of sand,
How quickly it fractured and fell to the ground.
Mar 6 · 160
Pieces of the Morning
CarolineSD Mar 6
Just a simple girl with a simple heart
Trying to hold the pieces of the morning together
So that they do not fall apart.

The way the ocher light filters through
The bare limbs of early spring
And casts a faint glow upon the hardwood floor
Where my cat curls into herself and sleeps
And the steam lifts from my coffee cup
And the distant highway purrs.

Ridges thick with pines line the horizon
And somewhere a northern train trundles the endless tracks,
Sings into the wide, Dakota sky
And calls the dwindling stars out to die against the light of dawn.

I hold my own
Here in this western valley where these reckless dreams are reborn,
Laptop open, words upon the page,
Three little children not yet awake.

Will I keep them safe

If I speak these truths into the emergence of the sun,

If I spill this simple love across a blank slate?
Feb 28 · 127
CarolineSD Feb 28
Like the banks of the Colorado River eroded by the wind and the water and the whipping rain of the western skies,

All temporal things slip


We hold what we can.
Resolute boulders break the flow,
Try to arrest the water as it goes
Rushing on towards the eternity

Of the sea

Only temporarily are these tangible things owned
Bodies clutched close
As if we could hold back the wind with our fingers,
But as the storm gathers and lifts the sand from the cliffs

Only the memories linger

The sunset falls outside my window
And all that was
Is left to dwindle to a trickle of a feeling
Of a ghost against the redness of the sky.

One must learn to look inwards

Because these outward landscapes of mothers and fathers and sons and daughters

They fly

And these moments are like the shadows of birds
Across the waters of the western plains;

Here, while the dying sun remains,

And gone.
Feb 25 · 204
Slip beneath the sheets
CarolineSD Feb 25
Slip beneath the sheets of all that is a façade
Layered on to reinforce the thickness of the skin
So that wounds within
Are not brushed by
Light or wind.

There is pain in the airing out of spaces unchained
Within the heart;
Yet, there is an aching for just that,

Like a lost soul out on some wild and dusty road

Craves the stars

Lead me to soft hands
In the dark
That deftly release the buttons of my shirt
And slip inside
To pull me into a breaking
That shatters and unites

The soul with God.
That is the true power of love.
Feb 4 · 1.6k
CarolineSD Feb 4
I am deciduous
Verdant and tender
Alive in the resonance
Of your voice.

I will tremble in the winds of summer
When the night’s cool edges
Ripple the leaves against the sky

And I

Am awash in a hallowed rhythm.

I crave a sacred touch
Like wilderness
Like music
Like pulsing rivers of blood
Flooding my veins,
Like the greening of forests
In spring.

My leaves sing
When skimmed by the rough edges of your fingertips
Dipped now into the crevices of my hips and
I will bend like a sapling in your palms
And I will lick the sun

Until the gray of winter falls
And there is the inevitable return to earthly things
Trapped a deciduous being
Always longing for
Realms that are evergreen.
Jan 19 · 133
The Grace to See
CarolineSD Jan 19
The night is a broad canvas
And the mountains emerge along the edges
In serrated silhouettes.

A black ribbon highway lies ahead
Splitting the snow-brushed open spaces that
Glow faintly white
Under a yellow moon.

And here, I will forget

All that rests behind.

I will give up these thoughts of
Not being enough
And let
The great painter brush
My soul into the very center
Of this wild
And forest-laden place.

I will rush along the snow-touched pavement
To the darkened bodies
Of the hills

And a love that
I can feel
In the atoms of the air.

It is born of wilderness
And winds
That tumble from the high rocks
And bend the grasses only to rise
And begin again.

It is born of narrow roads
At higher elevations
And hidden, rushing streams in places
Where I walked along the banks
And held your hand.

It is born of my children’s laughter in the
Orange-red sunrise of the morning

And it is born of forgiveness;

Forgiveness for what is forming on the canvas of a life
I have washed clean

And it is born of finally allowing myself the grace to see

The beauty of it.
Jan 17 · 364
What It Is
CarolineSD Jan 17
It is 2am, the way you reach for me in your sleep
And I can curl into your core and my legs don’t even reach
Your ankles.

It is the way I can’t quite wrap my arms all the way around
Your chest,
But I try anyway,
On my tippy toes with
My face turned up,
Asking you to kiss me

Because three hundred thousand kisses

Is never enough.

It is this love
That does not capture or possess

Or give up.

And in the morning, the way I smile when my phone rings and I
See your name.

It is laughter and silly voices
And when you toss my children end over end on the bed
Until you’re close to dead but
They’re screaming "one more time!"

And the way you can see the magic in their eyes when
The rest of the world
Looks away.  

And the way
I can break

All snot-nosed and crying,
Throwing things down and
You just fold yourself around me

And just like that,

Inside my heart there is

Only love.
Darling you're with me, always around me.
Only love, only love.
Darling I feel you, under my body.
Only love, only love.
Give me shelter, or show me heart
Come on love, come on love.
Watch me fall apart, watch me fall apart.

And I'll be yours to keep.
A wind in the shadow, a whale song in the deep.
A wind in the shadow, a whale song in the deep
Dec 2019 · 220
Smoke Screen
CarolineSD Dec 2019
He stormed into the room and a smoke screen descended
Across the paper thin surface of
His eyes,
Thick burgeoning clouds
Hiding every vulnerable thing,
Concealing the knots of pain
That he unties
And whips across my face
In anger.
Little son, why?
You are too small to suffer such possession,
Such a blank canvas stare,
As if you were no longer there.

There have been cataclysmic shifts inside your world,
And perhaps you feel as if you have no control,
But this darkness,
It is feeding off the edges of your soul
And I am practically on my knees
Begging you to curl
Back into me,
Like you did in the days before

You were born.

Please let me love you out of this sadness.

I would sacrifice each of my limbs,
And more,
Just to know the right way to guide
Your little spirit
Into the light,
And far away from the lingering threat  
Of storm clouds
Across your eyes,
And their depths,
That should be only
For my little son. I don't like it when you're not ok, but I will love you through each and any storm.
Dec 2019 · 297
Fields of Fire
CarolineSD Dec 2019
Fields of fire rage behind the veil,
A love so wild
It breaks across the rocks
Like water and falls
Away from my hands.

Always seeking that other rough land,
So beautiful
The skies glint like the edges of knives
And cut through my ribs like music,
Like chords that come alive
And bleed

Every time I breathe
Drawing in the crisp air by the gurgling creek,
Footsteps rhythmic on the snow-laden leaves,
Not quite cold enough to freeze.

It is such torture to feel

It is such torture to feel

It is such torture to feel

To always feel,


There is beauty here but it is like a mirrored image encased in dust.

There is a kingdom of love in your eyes,
Inside the voice of
The river wild
And when the sunrise alights
The bodies of the pines against the sky,
And when your fingertips trace the contours of my spine,

I am sinking
Down in fields of fire;
And I would gladly drown in the incandescence,
Ripped apart by the knife edges
Of such a beautiful truth.

Something rages beyond the veil,
Like fire inside the mountain;

There is something holy here,
If only I knew how to find it,

Or is it
In death
That we do?
"Now I see fire, inside the mountain
I see fire, burning the trees
And I see fire, hollowing souls
And I see fire, blood in the breeze
And I hope that you'll remember me"
Dec 2019 · 166
I wear false armor.
CarolineSD Dec 2019
I wear false armor against a darkness that I profess to have pushed into a whimpering corner
Where it coils into itself and dies,
But really waits,
Yellow eyes muted in temporary resignation,
For chinks to appear in the illusion of hardened steel
That is actually feather light webbing around my heart
Painted swiftly in the silver
Haze of hope.

I call upon a greater light to solder these strands into something Fearless that can
Take flight
And never again be caught by the claws of a black night,
But every time
This armor shows a hidden *****,
A careless gap,
And like the weakness near a dragon’s heart
Depression finds the space to shoot that all too familiar

Once again,
Curled up against the door,
Megaphones of violence, screaming,
“Don’t you know you’ll never be more than a false warrior in false Armor,
Destroyed on the bathroom floor?!”

And I just don’t give a **** anymore
And I almost give up, every time.

But this is not a poem about dying.

Beautiful soul, pick up your armor,
Paint it as steel,
Paint it as gold,
And breathe into it your pure, unadulterated inner light that
Every time
Can make fragmented things

I wear this fragile armor with pride. It is not as strong as I sometimes pretend it to be, but each time I Sew the pieces back together with my own light
it becomes more beautiful to me.
You are all more beautiful to me.

Stitch along the seams of your brokenness and heal.
Dec 2019 · 296
Like the tears of angels
CarolineSD Dec 2019
Funny how the gift of one soft moment is only recognized
In the sharpness of its disappearance;
In the harshness of the void
When the insignificant details
That were nothing but edges to a forgotten minute
Take on the weight
Of the world,

And suddenly, that small moment
Swells with the power to curl
Inside your heart and burst it
At the seams,

And in your mind,
Flash images of all of those things you never
Appreciated nearly enough;
Never savored like you would,
Had you known that
In the blackness of the night
They would disappear

Like dust.

Every trickle of morning rain into the rushing of the creek
Every solid step I can still take along the banks

Every breath

Every breath

Every breath

And every time I caress my son’s cheek
And every time I can still feel his tiny arms
Wrapped around my waist
And every time

I should drop to my knees in thanks.

My daughter’s face alight because she can spell her name
And how their footsteps echo on the stairs
Like rain

Caught in a moment in time.

And, I can see now that

It will change.

So, let me hold them
Like gravity
Holds the stars
And let me clutch you now in these small moments that are still ours.

And in gratitude
Let me hold these fleeting minutes in my palms,

Like the tears of angels

Like holy water

That rains upon desert

And is gone.
Let me try gratitude before it is too late.
CarolineSD Nov 2019
A blinding desert sun and the sky like a looking glass, fractured.
Light streaming through the tops of Baobab trees
And red, sub-Saharan dirt kicked up
Like a dry mist.

There is a broad vista,
Some kind of savanna and
I am standing,
Face raised to the wind
Straining to see the horizon,
And in that quiet moment,
They come riding.

Atop the lumbering, gray bodies of Mastodons
They are dressed in cloths
Of red and orange and black.
There is an ancient, robed shepherd
Sitting astride a great, trudging beast,
And in his right hand
He holds a staff.
Solemnly, he pushes his behemoth mount on
Faster until the ground
Might split within the tremulous thunder of it.

And I must not run.
I hear a quiet voice urging me to walk on,
Walk out,
Walk up to it.
Face this thing.
And so, I do not cry out or hide
Or even step from one side to the other.

I walk a straight line
As swiftly the rider approaches,
Sand flying like fire,
And soon they tower above me,

But the eye,
The eye of the beast is kind, and it stops within inches of my face,
And peers down like some
Great, all-knowing thing.

Above him,
The rider leans sideways and extends the staff towards my neck.
Gently, there is a touch against my skin
And in that moment
There is a transference
An instance of knowing
Something given from Him.

I remember, it felt just like,
“Your soul is never alone”
And I fell to my knees with the relief of it.
A dream from long ago that appeared at the right time in a difficult year.
Nov 2019 · 620
Warm front
CarolineSD Nov 2019
In higher elevations
Herald a sea-change in the sky.

A warm front slides over the frigid edges of autumn
And pushes the cold away.

In these few hours
The atmosphere rolls
And turns over
Drawing the warmth down to the tree lines of the hills
And to these streets
Where we feel
A gentler hand upon the skin.

Like the permeating of a warm front
Through the cold

I am drawn to you.

I turn over in these sheets
And push the winter away.
With every movement, I
Pull your body to me.

For this small space of time
I rest in broad shoulders protecting mine,
And I am hiding in you.

I will strip off these layers
And leave all of these barriers
Strewn across the floor.

I am not afraid of the cold.

Pressed into you
Skin to skin
There is only warmth.
Nov 2019 · 146
Fires of the heart
CarolineSD Nov 2019
All of these fires of the heart
Burning on the surface like the last remnants of
Of a civilization nearly gone;

Huddled forms tending flames that
Beat back the dark
Through short hours
Stretched along a dying road.

Ever since I was a little girl
I knew
We would all leave here,

Are we really anything more than scattered bones
Across the open undulation of the plains?
The scavengers stretch their wings into the sky and dive
To sift through the fragments of life we
Leave behind,
No more significant than fallen leaves along the forest floor
Before the snow comes;

Yet, there is warmth in my skin so strong
It wants to burst forth and form a new star out of love;
Something that hangs above this pain
And calls rivers out to run
Across the dust of nothingness
Before the sun dies, at last.

And yet, it is not enough

To halt the trains of time.
My children and I
Sit outside a hollow station by the iron tracks
And keep these flames alight;

Their laughter,
How it
Colors the sky
Red and orange
And their souls hold back the night.

Still, beyond the shadows of our bodies at the edges of the fire,

The darkness is a tide.

What words should we speak into the void so that it does not

“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

“You have to carry the fire."
I don't know how to."
Yes, you do."
Is the fire real? The fire?"
Yes it is."
Where is it? I don't know where it is."
Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it.”

Cormac McCarthy, The Road
CarolineSD Nov 2019
“Til the rocks melt with the sun;”
Is that how long love goes on,
Beyond the trappings of time and the outer contours of the mind?

I learned of love within the cadence of Celtic songs.
Daddy played them on an old piano
And mommy sang along.
The walls they rang with something that wasn’t
Really so hard to understand;

The aching of one heart for another,
Always swept apart by the sea
And the way a lifetime
Can make it too far to reach
The other, distant shore.

But the sorrow at the core of Highland songs,
I understand better now;  
Now that every tangible thing from those years
Is gone,
Their voices silenced and a home knocked down,
Lullabies buried in the ground.
The piano sold and gravestones too far away for me to hold,

But love, love is the Moorland in my soul

And it is wide and open
And the purple heather grows
Forever and descends to a churning sea,
And melodies, on the wind, they whip between the rocks and disappear.

And though I can no more grasp voices from the air
Than hold love here,
I will stand on this shore and I will sing these

Forgotten refrains

And though they drift across the sea,
This love has been worth it all the while,
Even if time carries it away,

Like music,

And it never comes back to me,
"Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run."
-Robert Burns
Oct 2019 · 229
Yet, Somehow I
CarolineSD Oct 2019
You had the strength to survive the devastation of war;
The height to overcome, to surpass;

Yet, somehow I, so small, on my tippy toes,
Chest to your core,

Still hold you like the most breakable glass.

CarolineSD Oct 2019
Wounded and bleeding internally
On the side of the road.
Trying so hard to breathe
Trying so hard to live
In a body that is inevitably dying.

He does not expect help.
There is no way out.
Blood is staining the markings on his legs.
Blood is staining the pavement around his broken shape.
Blood is falling, falling, falling
And there is no end
But pain.
There is no solace in this suffering
And no savior came.

We drive on by.
He must have jumped the fence at the wrong time.
Though meant to scan the wild grasslands,
His eyes
They were simply

Sometimes there is no one that can help you.

I remember when they pulled the lines
From the back of my father’s hands.
All of those medicines of hope
No more potent than sand.
No other alternative
No other possible plan
Than to accept this death
Like a lone animal
Crumpled by the side of the road
Eyes fixated on wild lands
He will never, again roam.

And it is similar with the soul.

Bleeding out from secret wounds
That bore into the insides of our bones.

And no one knows.

And no one sees.

And so we sit in silence
And so we hold our grief
With the resignation and the glazed eyes of broken, dying beasts
Out on some empty road.

Until someone kneels
Down beside you
And finally, finally


Cupping your face in his hands,
He says,

Look at how you bleed

And though he cannot completely, ever
Stem the flow
And though no one can completely
Save you now.
It is like a burden lifted because


Someone sees.


Someone knows.

You are no longer simply abandoned at the edges of the road.

Someone hit their knees beside you
In the pools of your own blood
And reached through this impenetrable emptiness

With only love.


I couldn't save a dying Pronghorn on a highway through the prairie today. I couldn't save my mother or my father, but sometimes, we can save each other. Sometimes, we can open our eyes and see each other, and maybe, that is the same thing.
Oct 2019 · 150
CarolineSD Oct 2019
I’ve been to such depths

(with you)

That the shallows are forever ruined.
The sand is covered in shells that crack underfoot
And do not sing.

I hold them gently to my ear
But the whales are crying in the trenches of the sea
And their songs cannot find me here.

Melodies weep through the mantles of the earth;

Liturgy seeps through the dirt.

I’ve been to such depths


Falling backwards into the stars
From the rock strewn ridges of Medicine Bow Peak,

Forever haunted in the shallows,
I am pulled to the deep.

Let me sleep beneath the blood moon tides.
The starlight glints off the crashing seas,

And there are fathoms in your eyes.
CarolineSD Oct 2019
And when the butterflies returned,
They fluttered down from
Hidden caverns draped in verdant moss.
Trailing dark tendrils of apocalyptic dusk,
They settled on the fragrant grass,
And like recessed memories,


And when the butterflies returned,
They flapped their harlequin wings,
Like Ashanti dancers in the wind,
Clothed in Kente cloth,
Alighting on graveyard moss,
And like the faded wording on a wooden cross,


And when the butterflies returned, they skimmed like vibrant gems
Across the sea,
And gathered like scattered drops of multicolored rain  
Across the fallowed fields,
And rivers that had healed,
And where man’s touch had once disfigured,

Now all forgot.

And so it is in life and death.

All that was once fire and depth
Breaks from the body

Like falling wings and

We are left

Forgotten things,

Each new day reborn
In glorious colors

Like a swarm of Monarchs across
The yellow of the dawn


Forever on

Without us.
Oct 2019 · 304
Reach for me.
CarolineSD Oct 2019
You are sitting alone by the tallest trees of the forest,
Perched quietly on that stone that was turned over by the erosion of silted banks;
The wild river, a little ways off,
But still the roar of it fills the air.
Your hands are clasped in front of you
And your backpack is slung to the side.
Above your quiet form,
The mountains rise like citadels
And their alpine slopes abound with pines
Like sentinels, watching,
Hiding the yellow eyed wolves
That dart within.
But they will not approach you.
They also attend the dusk,
And the secrets it brings.
The singing of the coyotes
Calls the stars out
One by one,
Emerging in a deepening blue,
While the fire of the sun’s descent
Subsides too,
Into blackness.

The night birds call.

I am here, my love.
Can you see my silhouette against the moon?
The darkness between us thickens
Like blood from a wound.

Reach for me

High above you, a white owl alights,
Beating its ragged wings against the thickness
Of the wilderness;
The dark shadows of the pines, motionless,
Yet, I shake.

Reach for me

You shift your weight and turn to face
The space where I stand.
You lift your hand as if
To gently place my hair
Behind my ear,

Remember how you always loved to do that
When I was here?

You touch me, almost!
We are so **** close!

You are crying now, alone,

The night birds sing to a ghost.
Oct 2019 · 211
CarolineSD Oct 2019
These secret gardens are watered by tributaries of pain
That cut through the wild meadows that fall from the edges of the mountains,

The waters run deep in the fertile dirt
And though they slice hard with the knife-edges of agony,
They nourish the most beautiful

Fields of the rarest wildflowers and thick forests of enchanted aspen and pines.

The pain.

It grows terrible things in the darkness
But look,
Look how beautiful your wilderness is
In the light.

I place my hands on your heart.
Inside, there is a small child,

Shattered by violence

And I am just trying to say
That all of your secret gardens of pain,
Those hidden corners in which I played,

Never, ever, held any shame.

The depths of your brokenness and the strength of your love for me
Felt just the same.

I grew in your meadows of sorrow and your tears they watered my spirit

Like rain.
Mom, you endured more than most people could survive, and all of it, even your agony, even your brokenness, it was always beautiful to me. I miss you.
Oct 2019 · 854
A Moment Worth Waiting In
CarolineSD Oct 2019
Don’t you even close your eyes
Lest you miss how bright
This morning is.

Even the ice will fall in
A masterpiece of light
And though it cuts hard
Through the warmth of the night
I will lay my palms outside
And clutch it.

Reach with me now
Into the crackling cold
And feel something there
So pure
There are crystals dripping down
The insides of my soul.

Don’t you even close your eyes.
There will be diamonds drifting from the skies
From clouds so thick
And so white
This stabbing pain
Will be shredded into
Wild kaleidoscopes of light,

Similar to the ones in your eyes.

Let us not miss this moment.
Strip the blankets of summer
And feel the sting of truth,
A biting wind along my skin;
It sings


Don’t you even close your eyes
And if you should
Be it only in the circle of my arms
Where our hearts
Move in a quiet beating
And the rest is silence
And rest is peace and

A bright moment worth waiting,

"Well the night's forlorn and the morning's born and the morning shines with the lights of love. And you'll miss sunrise if you close your eyes and that would break my heart in two"
Oct 2019 · 226
Just trying to make it.
CarolineSD Oct 2019
Every day, I'm just trying to make it.

Things fall apart constantly.
Cracks appear in solid walls and
The wolves wait at the door
For a weak moment to pounce
And demand
What I don't have to give.

I'm holding us together by the skin of my teeth
I'm holding them up
With broken limbs
And the whole thing is shaking
Like some snow globe
Whose glass is too **** thin
And on the inside is the most beautiful scene.

I can easily see what it would look like
Painted across the firmament.
I can easily see what it will look like
In pieces on the pavement
Snow flakes and
Little hopeful stars
Smashed into the dirt

When the thing is tossed like trash
Because fate doesn't really give a ****
And it is all up to us
To walk that road
And make it
Or don't.

My little one is fevered and laying across my knees
And I remember the time he was hooked to machines
And the medical industry never blinked
When the bill was more than our income for a year.

The powers that be really don't care.

All of these little ones deserve a hero.

How easy it would be to talk myself up,

But the honest to God truth is,

I don't know if I can be one.
Yet, for my babies,
I'll die trying.

Dedicated to all of the mommies and daddies who fight to keep the wolves away from the hearts of little ones. They see you fighting for them, and in that, they know they're loved <3
Oct 2019 · 163
A gravity of love
CarolineSD Oct 2019
There is a little man
Staring at me,
Cradled in my arms,
With eyes so wide
It is as if
They could hold
All my stars.

And yet, to him,
I am the universe;
All the darkness
Folding gently
Around his innocence.

And in this galaxy
I will hold
His hands forever,
Cloaking these tiny fingers
In the astral winds
Of memory.

Always, my little man,
Clutched to the shores
Of my skin,
Forever sheltered by
The indestructible force that
Once born,
Cannot be undone;
A gravity of love between
A mother and her son.
Written for my son when he was a tiny baby. How he has grown; yet, I feel the same <3
Oct 2019 · 70
Straight for me
CarolineSD Oct 2019
Come straight for me
Hold me up
Tear me down
It feels so **** good to
Truly feel
That I don't care.

The sun is stronger than it has ever been
And the cold cuts deeper than a knife
I turn my bones outside
And fly down the highway
With you
There’s nothing like the truth
There’s nothing like the way you move
Towards me in the night
Cut the lights
Push me back
Into the void
Of blackness
And you’re still there
Behind me.

I lean into you
Before I ever fall
These stairs descend to hell
And I’m not going.

Set yourself to burning

With me

"You only need a roof when it's raining
You only need a fire when it's cold
You only need a drink when the whiskey
Is the only thing that you have left to hold
Sun comes up and goes back down
And falling feels like flying till you hit the ground
Say the word and I'll be there for you
Baby, I will be your parachute"
Oct 2019 · 233
CarolineSD Oct 2019
Like the blue hues of a summer sky
Stretched above the trees.
When the warmth of the evening
Rests heavy on the skin,
There are just some things that
Cut valleys through the heart in their absence.

Yes, only when the cold
Seeps in across a whitening October sky
And the red-winged blackbirds cease to fly
Do I sit with the spaces
Where they used to sing
And feel the emptiness that comes
With the absence of wings
Somewhere inside the pieces of me
That can only ascend

When you are here.

See, I can never let go
Because then the mountains disappear
From the horizon.

I need to feel them rising against the pale
Brightening of the morning.
Every time, it brings me hope and somewhere firm to
Lay my hands.

Hold me here.

In your presence, I can stand
Without shaking
And absence is silence and the aching of a
Winter sky without wings.
"Oh if I was the one
You chose to be your only one
Oh baby can't you hear me now, can't you hear me now?
Will I see you tonight
On a downtown train?
Every night it's just the same
You leave me lonely, now
I know your window and I know it's late
I know your stairs and your doorway
I walk down your street and past your gate
I stand by the light at the four-way
You watch them as the fall"
Sep 2019 · 582
A little boy
CarolineSD Sep 2019
There is a little boy who plays at the edges of my yard.
He flips rocks into the dirt and then pushes them around like cars;
He draws lines with sticks and occasionally raises them to eye level,
Whispering “bang, bang,”
Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians
But always all alone
With no one but the birds to play the other roles.
He is a sweet little thing
With a mass of tussled hair and ***** knees,
And the brutal truth is
That I can feel his hunger
When he looks at me.
It isn’t that he is thin,
But that he is starving for something that I freely give
To my own kids.
I can’t even put a name to what it is.
Something about being seen.
Something about mattering
When the rest of the world seems so big
And you are still so incredibly
Yesterday, he startled me when he called me “mom,”
Just like that
Because I smiled.
How lost must be a little child who so easily claims such a bond
With a stranger!
I cannot be your mom, little boy,
But I see you, and I see your little spirit that has been, perhaps,
Pushed aside for too long.
I will always offer you a smile and small piece of time
Before you run off home and I can only hope
That the ones who open the door
Might see what kind of chance they have been given in the beautiful
Form of a child.
Inspired by so many little ones I've met in my life and across this country with a hunger to be seen and to be loved, playing all alone in a world that doesn't hear.
Sep 2019 · 214
Good Waters
CarolineSD Sep 2019
Could it be that the rivers of my heart run with good waters?
Could that really, ever be?
The fragile banks erode and
Crumble into sorrow,
But the sun glints off the surface still each morning
And there is solace in the shining.

Could that brightness really be mine,
After everything I should have done
That might have changed the arc of time?
Like words I could have said
That would have left
Certain hearts alive.

I haven’t fought all the right fights
And some beautiful things have died
Right here in my hands,

But I think there is a chance
That these waters still run true;
The mountains stand unmoved,
After all.

And the rivers of the heart rush and fall.

They rush and fall down the rocks and

They are still pure.
Sep 2019 · 236
CarolineSD Sep 2019
Can we ever win this war, baby?

The front lines explode and they are closing in,
Riddled with bullet holes and rough with the wreckage of darkness.
Each blast makes me jump out of my skin
And maybe I should run,
But the sun is dripping tendrils of fire
And the only place I can ever really hide
Is somewhere in the depths between us.

It is a dangerous game and there are enemies outside and within;
Galaxies colliding
In the spaces where you end and I begin.

I like how it feels to break apart in your hands,
Limb by limb, vein by vein,
Spreading out like the fires of battle that can’t be tamed.

I don’t know if I can withstand the flames that

Gently lick my neck.

Lie down beside me in these dark trenches.
I’m not ready to surrender yet.
So we'll run into the open
Keep your hand inside of mine
And then when everything is over
I hope to think of this as better times
The sky got red and swollen
I guess I never see the signs
There can't be songs for every soldier
It can't be solace every time you cry
Sep 2019 · 426
Do you watch over me?
CarolineSD Sep 2019
Mommy, daddy, you left me to the ragged and violent
Winds of winter.

Do you watch over me in these storms that
Venture on and on and on?
Am I fool to think that there are arms
Within the endless fractals of the sky that might
Reach down?

I can’t feel them
I don’t see you in my dreams

Is there a moment when the spirit turns from the edges of
This life’s shore
And simply
Walks away,
Disintegrating into nothingness and leaving us here below to


Into a void that doesn’t hear?

The sky is white today like blank paper that might await some
Prophecy or simply drift across the hills into the sea
Where the lonely petrels and the albatross
Skim their wings on the surface and pronounce

There is no message there for me.
Sep 2019 · 128
A place of emptiness.
CarolineSD Sep 2019
There is a darkness,
No, a place of emptiness,
Where everything is nothing but mist
And fog and it stretches forever with no beginning and no end
And I can see it when I close my eyes.
And all of the color of life
Even the chatter of my children through the house
Is drowned by
The thickness of this dense shroud
Laying heavy between the broken fragments of my mind.
Neurons and synapses are scattered like ruined monuments to some other country and I can’t
Recall its name.
My country fell and I can’t stand.
I’m cold tonight and thinking of snow;
The way it could fall upon my face and deafen all of these rough voices.

I would just let go.
I'm ok, but this is what depression feels like. I've been there and I survived and sometimes I still have to fight the pull of that darkness inside, even though I'm always smiling. If you've been there, too, you are not alone <3
Aug 2019 · 219
Winds of restoration
CarolineSD Aug 2019
These winds of restoration
Rise above the rocks of prominence
And drift down the valleys of the Rockies
Like the gentle Chinook in early summer.

These winds herald the coming of the cold,
But in my heart they drift warm
Like shallow waters that carry the sun
To the shadowed inlets of
Hidden rivers.

I will let you in
Breath of rushing things that ends and then in reckless flurries,
Begins again.
I will throw my head back
With my mouth open wide
And I will draw you down to the hollows of my bones
Where you can find the marrow
Of my soul
And carry from it the bitter dusts of regret.

I don’t want them anymore.
I have walked with these sands heavy in my core for too long
And I am done.
I ask these winds to restore this weathered ground to something more;
This wasteland is dying.
Let these winds lift the surface and expose the verdant roots within.
Aug 2019 · 244
CarolineSD Aug 2019
Yes, it is true.
Sometimes, I am eight.

I stand by the mantelpiece and watch the clock tick upon the wall.
Each second seems excruciatingly extended.
Is there really a purpose to these endless days that stretch into years
That stretch into meaninglessness?
She rests in bed again.
Depression shifts itself into the corners of her room and her smile
Does not reach her eyes.
Mom is very tired.
My father gently guides me from the room,
But she draws me back to say you know I'll love you
Even when I’m gone,
And then I run outside and throw a vibrant red ball into the sky as
If to stubbornly defy her


I so want her to see that there are bright things yet.

I dig them from the ground with my hands
And find them in the remote groves of pines
That stand in harsh wilds outside the boundary lines of
The sadness drawn across her eyes.

I wanted to shatter them with light;

Yet, now it is I who has to fight the darkness in my veins,
Using all my strength to push it away
From my children,
So they do not have to do the same.
Aug 2019 · 287
The Poet
CarolineSD Aug 2019
My heart is a smoldering ember
That too easily ignites,
Melting this skin of innocence  
Releasing feral things to flight.

But oh how they are beautiful,
Like solitary wolves, slinking from the hollows of my heart
All glistening and yellow-eyed,
Gliding through the midnight forests
On the inside portion of my soul;
The part that only others like us ever know.

Yes, I can see the untamed wilds that make you whole,
And I release the ravens from my heart each time I walk with you.

And sometimes they are beautiful
And sometimes they are dark
And sometimes they cry as their wings beat a breathless pattern to the stars.

With this pen, I trace the elegance of their arcs across the
Uncharted corners of our skies.
Aug 2019 · 324
Family Tree.
CarolineSD Aug 2019
The vague shadow of an ancient oak pulsing
Like an image through static
Through drifting fog
So thick that only the wind
Can lift it and let slip
The outlines of
Where I began.

My ancestry is incompletely buried.
The sharp rocks of drunken nights
Slice upon the roots
Disfiguring, pummeling, smashing,
Rendering mute the stories their craggy hollows could tell
Dissolving in that same fear
My grandmother must have known so well.

I don’t know how to find her,
To reconstruct a broken form
From all of these pieces,
These fallen leaves that
Drift like secrets,
Like the ones my mother
Whispered to me in the dark
When I was nine and old enough
To hold them, to hold her,
When she fell apart.

Because they took them, you know.
My mother, her sisters, her brothers,
The county clipping the roots like
Plucking flowers,
Like it was nothing at all to scatter
Children in the wind,
Like fallen leaves upon the shallows
Of some lonely pond,
Like broken branches
Overpowered by a system that
Only wanted them

So, you see,
It wasn't just the wind that ***** the tree,
But a system that decided
Whose voice to wipe away and
What to keep.

My ancestry is incompletely buried.
Sometimes, I'm sure I can hear her sobbing,
A broken, fragile song, emerging from the earth
Just where the roots, interlocking, stop
the dirt from completely blocking
The story of a battered woman
Buried for too long.

The vague shadow of an ancient oak pulsing
Like an image through static
Through drifting fog
So thick that only the wind
Can lift it and let slip
The outlines of
Where I began.

What if I run my hands along the bark,
The broken pieces, the empty spaces,
Where her voice might be?

Grandma, speak to me.
Aug 2019 · 564
Between Us.
CarolineSD Aug 2019
Something indiscernible and gentle
Rests between us,
Like the caverns behind the rushing of the falls.

It lives in the hidden spaces
Beneath language and gesture
And the deafening chatter of

Deep within the rivers of the spirit and the oceans of the soul.

I can feel it in the quiet places;
In the silent pauses when you are
Only breathing,

My face tucked in your neck and
Our hands entangled.

Come here.
Every time,

Fall into a love so sweet

Your sharp edges will fade away
And I will melt into your skin.

It is like drowning and I don’t want to find the shallows again.

Hold me here in the shadows, far below the harshness of light.
Hold me here within the harbors of your body and the indifference of the night.

Hold me here and never, ever,

Let me
Break the bright surface
Of waters
In a world
Without you.
Always true <3
CarolineSD Aug 2019
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

- Emily Dickinson

Waiting for the angry sky to spread across the mountains,
Shifting its vehemence from the high plains
To the undulation of dark pines
And valleys
That meet at the wild boundary lines
Of the Dakotas.  

The distant sound of thunder shakes the ground
And does not rumble like a gentle summer storm,
But implodes within the atoms of the air
Like somewhere in the night
Exists the frontlines of a war.

It draws ever near.

And it is enough to scare this little bird away;
Yet, she sings into the dying of the day,
And bravely turns to face the
Driving wind,
Wings extended out and in
To the torrent of the rain.

She is accustomed to the pain
Of singing all alone
Abandoned in the darkness of a soul
That has almost given up.

But as each storm approaches, I am beginning to trust
That she is always there.

Her bright wings flutter in the deepest hollows of despair.
Her colors light the air between the clashing of the clouds
And when the lightening flares
I can see her
Suspended there

I reach out to grab her.
Surely, she cannot survive a storm of this magnitude,
Not this time.

But you take my hand in yours and tell me,
“She will be fine,”
And even though the sky is falling
I believe you.
Is there any greater gift than the restoration of hope?
CarolineSD Aug 2019
Sometimes I send my spirit to the hills
And then down to the rippling creek
Now raging from the permeating spring rains.

I have always done this,
Perhaps to let my spirit rest within some other element
That is not myself.

I just exhale her away into the rock, the ridges, the river,
As easy as a breath into the winds of early summer.

And there she lies down, gently,
And becomes these other things;

Things that are not fear, or self-doubt, or a
Racing heart at night wondering if I am,
Perhaps, doing it all wrong.

No, she is now like the fawn that knows only
The scent of fresh grass and the ever-rising prairie sun.

She is like the fluttering of the aspen leaves on the
Highest edges of the cliffs,
Loose and wild,
Careless in the wind, since when they fall, they decompose,
Simply to begin again.

There is a space between my ribs through which she leaves
And the tears on my cheeks then wait to cease as she settles within

The rock, the ridges, the river,

And when I am beat down, hurt, scared,

I look up to the hills and tell myself,

Send your spirit

Written a few months ago, but true, always.
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