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This weekend, my city was hit by an EF-4 tornado.  I'll never forget the sirens at midnight or holding my kids' hands tightly in a small closet as the news warned to brace for impact in 3 minutes.  There was the unforgettable sound of hail and well over 170mph winds and then, the eerie calm that followed. But mostly, I'll never forget driving the roads before dawn to see enormous trees yanked from the ground by the roots, limbs snarled around power lines, and roof flashing and furniture littering the ground. The devastation took only 22 seconds, but its ferocity didn't shut down the resolve of our people.  I am reminded that hardship and tragedies teach us gratitude, inner strength, and generosity.  I am reminded that people are inherently compassionate and selfless as we help each other rebuild. ❤️
Love.
write your soul's depths
belief in truth's concepts
for you elicit a precious voice
resonant to raw strength
instinctive courage
press forward through unclear days
in the gloom of unknowing
you reconcile love with hate
propagating belief beyond
sight or sound
where speech is sacred
as dying breath
make haste - your echoes
reside within blistering canyons
for others' hope to hear
Keep writing your truths
"Get immersed in your writing process until the world is gone."         -Stephen King

Writing starts out as an unforgiving act with a rude listener whose back is perpetually turned.  You feel his disinterest as your unconfined mind spews ideas into warped silence, trying to capture airy words still wet with flighted feeling, to strip them down, distort them into a surreal collage of unrehearsed meaning.  

It's a crusade against the self, really, where you push reality beyond the scope of eyes or ears until only your heart is listening.  Then, and only then, do the words materialize in your head, rapidly filling the mind's empty stadium. You become the spectator, the speaker, and the space. Poetic lines are the paste as ideas collaborate; you learn to stand in the cyclone, feeling a poem's tremendous energy, permitting the words to dictate their own dignity.  

They rush faster and faster as you press their loops and curves to the parchment witnessing their enchantment, the dizzying display of language tumbling under and over and through until you are left exhilarated, breathless, and undefeated again . . .
    that is until tomorrow comes.
This piece describes my writing process.  what is yours?
I imagine . . .

a room draped
in muted lighting
the scene of a recent
gathering,      now departed,
nostalgia clings
to a hazy Chardonnay glass
stained by cinnamon-tinted
lips, one sip remains;
                              I indulge

across the room,
      conversation erupts
into liberated laughter,
echoing spirits    l o o s e n e d
in moonlit tongues
beneath a winding staircase;
my shadow caresses
the wooden banister,
              eaves
                     dropping  

by floor-length windows,
majestic fingers cloak
a bohemian blush
as ardent eyes lean in
without inhibition; my lips
burn from their amorous
        exchange

then haunting notes
drift upon midnight air,
the room blurs,
disintegrating into
shimmering confetti,
      spilling down
              back steps
that sting an untamed night
with distant memories,
bewitched in peonies,
fragranced by a piano's
final resonant
key
At some point we all confront
physical pain so profoundly intense
it feels we will be consumed by its overwhelming conflagration.
The deeper the burn, the steeper the journey,
the greater these life lessons become etched within the slick skin of our hearts.  

Our life's true purpose is stored
within those hours, weeks,
years of desperation, of sweat,
and introspection.  When we finally awaken
to witness our acts of courage along
with every dip of failure, we feel blessed
for having survived the ravages
of a tremendous storm that bent our faith
and altered the trajectory of our lives' paths.

We are not defined by the worst events
that have happened to us; still, the long alienating nights spent dissecting thoughts, confronting fears, acknowledging
our weaknesses can bring us into this moment
of extraordinary hope as we truly begin
to imagine our lives beyond
their conventional value; instead,
we value the years our lives extend to us.  

Experiencing pain, loss, and uncertainty
can liberate us to live a bigger lives
than we had ever originally planned,
to become all we were destined to be
from our inception.
On pondering physical pain, hurt, loss
Your life is ripe for love, and it shall come
to you so unexpectantly, kissing your
soft lips when you thought you'd never
taste the sensation of passion; love shall
find you and replenish your soul
of all you thought valueless. You are
deserving of late nights diminishing
into rapturous dawns and tomorrows
more sumptuous than todays.
You deserve, and love shall come.
Only dream and believe of better days,
my love.   ♥️
The desert sky's sand is stuck
under your fingernails and in my hair
your kisses are like the coast's sharp winds
and we're lightheaded from the sun
I walk barefooted
through white airport halls
looking back a thousand times
so often, feels like I'm twirling
and I never see your face
you're intertwined with the land
that is so different to you than to me
our travels are scratched knees and spice
but
our love feels as empty
as the forgotten streets
of european capitals now
and our home in my head is blank
like a page in a notebook
that has never been filled
we locked memories in amulets
and threw them out to sea
from ferries
that we fled from ourselves with
never once looked into your eyes,
really looked
all I see is the black pavement of the streets
you're summer that lasts all through winter
betraying me of snow
you're a diary lost
in Central Station
that I will never find again
I'll jump the train 
and I'll look back a thousand times
not finding your face
my mind spinning,
off again.
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