Poetry

Wheel

Wheel Pose, Amsterdam.

Message From Temple:

I began writing when I was 11 years old. I knew that I wanted to write, that I had emotions that needed to be, in my mind, rephrased and written down. I am so grateful to say that whatever force first spoke to me that day at my Grandmother’s kitchen table, my crudely sharpened pencil in hand, has not stopped speaking yet. The voice of inspiration is always a welcome presence in my life.  I hear her speak and I know, even if it’s not in that moment, that soon it will be time to write. These are my favorite days of all.

Below you will find poetry as well as stream of consciousness journaling. I hope you enjoy. Comments and questions are always welcomed:

Aparigraha

You do not belong to me nor I to you

This lover I know so intimately

His curves

Her shape

We are two souls swimming in the same pool and although

I am close to you, so close that sometimes I can hear your heart beat with mine

You are not my possession, nor am I yours.

This body that houses my spirit does not belong to me

Nor I to it

Even though this flesh clings to bone

And these lungs expand with precious breath

In one moment they will all betray me

These emotions, love, hate, anger, joy, they do not belong to me

Nor I to them

We may spend time together during my life

But they are only energy that passes through me

And leaves as quietly as it came in

This land that I live on does not belong to me

Nor I to it

I dwell in its shelter

Cry in its dark corners

Laugh in its light spaces

But it is not my own.

I live with these things

I feel these things

I touch these things

But I am alone on my path

This journey belongs to me

And I to it

It is composed of my actions and sewn

Together with my intentions.

It determines my outcomes

And I gratefully accept them all.

 

Things I Would Like to Do Before I Die

(an impromptu list)
1. Ice Skate at Rockefeller Center before the Christmas show

2. Buy a really nice rainbow umbrella

3. See the Eiffel Tower on the most beautiful spring day at the loveliest time, when I can catch the sun in the corner of my eye

4. Drive a convertible Beetle (and learn to drive stick)

5. Learn to speak French before I do #3 on this list6. Learn to play one song on the guitar: Coconut Skins by Damien Rice

7. Learn to play one song on the piano: Carol of the Bells

8. Have a daughter and name her Gracie Hallelujah

9. Grow my hair really long, and then cut it really short

10. Go camping in a beautiful place and meditate every day

11. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

12. Go back to Antigua

13. Go back to the Shetucket River, where my dad is

14. Visit CA and take a BUNCH of yoga. Stay for a month.

15. Get a 10 minute glimpse of feeling my perfection. Maybe after #10

16. Dance until I fall to the ground in exhaustion, and then cry my eyes out

17. Create a book of yoga poetry

18. Watch ‘Gone With the Wind’

19. Have a dog. Maybe name him (or her) Jasper or Jessica. Walk the dog every day, and understand why people love dogs so much

 

Inside Pretty

Pretty girl

Walking past, instead of with the

Woman you want to be

She’s back there

She’s waving

One foot in front of the other

I hear the thunder

Let her catch up as the

Rain comes down

Rain comes down

Rain comes down

Well, you’ve never been one to slow it down

Or listen to words that are not your own

You wave us away

You’re right, pretty girl

You keep walking

Walking

Walking in the rain

Closing your eyes to feel the sun on your face

We all know what time it is

Time to go inside, pretty

Time to go inside pretty

Time to go inside

//

She.

She.

She

She

She

Comes to me

And I do not see

That she

She

She

Came through the door

Instead I am

I am

I am

In my mind

Walking around the streets of 1974

Feeling less than

She

Tells me

That presence is where it’s at although

I know

She

She

She

Has been known to walk the streets of 1982

Walkman strapped to her hip

Burning ants on the sidewalk

I search for the words to tell her this

But she

She

She keeps talking

I wonder if she knows

And so does not allow the silence to sit

For fear the truth will come out

My language is lazy and so I listen

As she

She

She

Talks for both of us

This is how it will be

For this is how it always was.

Faith.

I was listening to NPR today as I was cleaning out my refrigerator. Sunday afternoon was in full swing as the light came through the picture window in my kitchen. The window is old, and there is condensation in between the two panes of glass, so the curtains are always closed. The sun shone so brightly today that not even my K-Mart curtains could keep out the light.

There was a woman speaking on the radio. She is a left-wing Christian woman (a bad Christian by her own definition) and was talking about a plane ride that she was on. Her story of the delayed start, then not full start, then severe turbulence brought her back to a story of a miracle that she had witnessed in church. A white man, dying of AIDS, was the only person in the congregation who could not stand to sing the hymn that the rest of the church was standing and singing. A black woman from the chorus, whom had always been afraid of this man’s disease, walked down to him and literally picked him up. He was slumped over her, their multi racial faces together, singing and crying. I was brought to tears as I washed out the container of jam that had overstayed it’s welcome in my refrigerator. I stopped. I thought: what is it about this story that speaks to my heart? I am not religious, although I do belong to a Unitarian congregation. I have always struggled with the concept of Jesus, and God, sometimes believing that Jesus was a spiritual man who walked the earth, and sometimes dismissing the entire religion as something for people who are weak, not capable of handling their day to day lives.

And yet, here I was, crying and nodding my head in agreement, imagining those two people coming together in a moment of absolute faith. That was it. Faith in something that is bigger than me, than us. It brought me to tears. It broke me.

I have always been very drawn to gospel music, although I would never have bought any. I’ve said that I love gospel music, but without the God. The sound of the choirs have stopped me in my agnostic shoes to beg the tiny question. Is there something bigger than me?

I know that I don’t believe in a man in the sky, bearing a beard and a list of all of the deeds I have done in my life on Earth. However, I believe in the Earth itself. Herself, perhaps. I have faith in the Earth. I know that I am supported and loved by soil! Soil? Yes, the blood of the Earth. I wonder how it is different than, say, communion at mass. It is, in fact, a representation of the greater whole. Somehow, with the Earth, it’s between her (?) and me.

This brought me to something that’s not my own. Love. I have a faith in love. True, deep, soulful, knock my socks off and let me let you in love. Love, capitalized even. This is coming from a woman who would need the hands of my two closest friends to count the relationships that I have been in. One of them ended in marriage. Then the marriage ended. Many of them ended amicably, in fact, I am still in contact with some of the people that I have been in relationships with.  I have said that I have been fortunate to date some fantastic men. I have also felt that I have been the one for them. The one meaning that I am the one that propels them into being fantastic lovers or husbands for other people. This is not necessarily the truth. I think perhaps I have taken too much credit in the past for the evolution of other people, as I was stuck, and needed something to talk about.

I am not the best at being single. My faith and my desire to have a date on Saturday get mixed up sometimes. I have been known to analogize my own relationships as a trapeze act. Staying on my bar until I know there’s someone there to catch me, and then I jump. Both feet, this one might just be forever, JUMP. Swing, swing, swing…

What? You’re not perfect, always? My eyes race for the next set of hands, and once I see them, I’m gone.

I am single now, and I am feeling my faith in love again. Ironically, it has been strongest when I am not in a relationship.

Someone said to me that perhaps I am used to things ending, and so when I get into a relationship, my lips are saying one thing and my mind is racing to the end. There might be something there.

I want this faith in Love. I want to know that I am love. Sometimes I see it. My friend made a painting for me last Christmas and wrote these words on it: There once was a girl who prayed for true love. Her prayer was answered; she learned to love herself. I opened it on Christmas morning, and my glass shell split up the middle. I dissolved into tears as Dawn smiled at me, to me. I won’t forget that moment.

I have been told that I expect too much. This is true. I have expected everyone who has come after my father to make up for what he has done. He died, and I didn’t have any closure. I have looked for it from the men in my life. They were incapable, and I was not accepting of that.  With faith, I know what I need now.

Please, if you find me, tell me that you’re here for me. Tell me that you’ve come for me. I am not so observant sometimes. Laugh at my impressions, even when they’re not that good. Bill Cosby is not so easy to pull off. Laugh at your own jokes, too, so I know when to laugh if they’re not funny. I promise that I will. Take me to outside places. I’m not so good at getting out on my own. Show me things that I don’t know about. I will be interested if they mean something to you. I will be interested if you are passionate, and being in your passion.  Teach me how to love you back. Tell me what you need, and what you want, and let’s have a discussion about what we can and can’t give each other. Offer to drive sometimes. Take me out for my birthday. Take me out for my half birthday.

Is this too much?

I have faith that it is not, and my faith in love brings me to tears.
And so I cry for the years that I could not ask for what I needed. I cry for the years that I shouldn’t have had to ask for love, not from a parent, and should have gotten it anyway. I cry for the things that I have said to the people I love in order to level the playing field when I was hurt. When my tears soften, I will stand up and open my heart again. I won’t ask you to save me, but I might ask you to hold me up while I sing with you. I promise you, I swear to you, that should our eyes meet and I hear you ask me to hold you up, I will.

//

Sweet Woman.

Sweet woman,

Sweet blue eyes

You and I, we know, don’t we?

We know each other like a favorite winter hat

I know how to make you laugh

I know how to touch your heart

And you know the same in me.

You know that when you make that face it cracks me up

And you know that I hear you when you tell me

That you love me

And I know you hear me.

I will never lose you.

A disease, this disease will never take you from me

My hope for you, for us, is so strong

This cancer doesn’t know who it’s dealing with

The girls in this family don’t back down

We have always been survivors

And this round will be no different

Winter is coming

And I need my favorite hat to keep me warm

Sweet woman,

Sweet blue eyes,

I am afraid for you

I am afraid for us

I cannot lose you

I will not lose you

Even if you go.

Even if you go.

//

Sweet Poppa.

The thrill of the thought

Water rushing by me

The sand pulls away from the soles of my feet

Cold and warm collide as the sun’s gaze shifts

And I wonder

Where you are

Where I am

Where we went

On a chilled autumn day

Bidding farewell

Bidding adieu

And holding on to the possibility of

spring

And now summer next

The thrill of the thought

Of diving under

Swimming with the fishes

But they scare me so

They scare me, so I curl my toes

As the wave recedes

Taking my hope

All but a bit

Brought back to me by the fish

It circles me and I

stand still, wishing for dry land

Is he in there?

I wonder

I am always wondering where you are

Yesterday was your birthday

Were you swimming in the sea,

hardly noticing?

The thrill of the thought of

one more conversation with you

Of one more swim, on this plane or the next

Brings my hope back to me,

sweet Poppa.

//

And Then You’re Gone.

I wonder

Why every poem

Ends up being

About

You

I

Miss

You,

My
Daddy.
I

Wish

I

Could

Hold

Your
Hand.

I

Wish

That
Grandmother

Didn’t

Have

The

Same
Cancer

That

You

Did.

I

Wish

It

Didn’t

Kill

You,

Daddy.

I

Wish

That

I

Wasn’t

Mad

At

You

When

You

Died.

I’ve

Spent

The

Last

8 years

Looking

For

Your

Face

In

Men

I

See

On

The
Street.

I

Think

I

See

You

About

Twice

A

Year

For

About

Three

Seconds

And

Then

You’re

Gone.

//

The Story of My Grammie

I just got off of the telephone with my Grammie. Every time I speak to her, I remember 30 (or so) years that I have had so far with her. She is the bravest woman I know.

My grandmother, Blanche Veronica McCarthy Senna, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. We know that it has spread to the lymph nodes and we will have more information soon. She helped to raise me into the woman I am in this moment, and I am very reflective in this time of quiet crisis in our family. She is the matriarch, and I simply cannot imagine life without her. I am choosing to remember my life with her, and to believe that our time together is not yet up. This is the story of my Grammie and me. My brother, Erik, also plays a large role in my life with Grams, as have all of my friends, and sometimes even their families.

One of my first memories of my grandmother is really more about my grandfather, or as we called him, Grampie. He had broken his ankle, as I recall, and he had a long cast covering his leg. I was perhaps three years old at the time, and I wanted to know where the cast was going, and what it was doing on his leg. I was standing with him, and I was trying to reach up his pant leg to feel the cast. My Grampie had no idea what to do, and started yelling for my Grammie to tell me to stop. He called her by the only name he ever called her by: Tuck. “Tuck, Tuck!” he yelled. I remember my Grammie coming into the room and laughing hysterically as my grandfather tried to shake me off without falling over.

She has always laughed, and made us laugh. She has always made me feel undeniably, inexplicably loved beyond measure. Last night, I was trying to think of a time when she raised her voice to me, and I came up with none. She was only stern when it was absolutely necessary, and she always reminded me that she loved me no matter what.

I have spent a lot of time with my Grammie in my life. As a child, I spent every Saturday at my grandparents’ house, and I grew up living two streets away from them, in my Grandfather’s childhood home. If I were to try and tell you the entire story, I would be writing for as long as I have been alive. I want you to understand how lovely she is, so I will tell you about the moments I remember.

I remember more Peppermint Patties and pickle and pimento loaf than you can imagine. I remember sitting on her lap in the living room recliner as she sang to me: Life is just a bowl of cherries/Don’t take it serious/It’s too mysterious/You work, you play, you worry so, but you can’t take your dough when you go go go. The playground down the street from her house is where she would walk me down to ride the swing set. The drugstore down the street was where we would walk to, and where I would inevitably walk home with a treat of some kind. She would let me stay up until 11:00pm with her when I would sleep over, and we would watch the Merv Griffin show. She would tuck me into a little flip-out bed, or on an old Navy cot that she had,  and I would fall asleep dreaming of the breakfast she would make me in the morning.

She and my Grampie would take my brother and I out to dinner every Christmas Eve so that our parents could smuggle the presents from her closets to their bedroom, so that they would be under the tree in the morning. They bought us the best presents.

She played cards with me for hours.

She so patiently taught me the game of checkers, even though I didn’t understand the rules.  “If this one is here, can I move this one like this?” I would ask. “No, honey,” she would say, and try to explain it all again to me.

She attended every single choir concert that I was a part of, from elementary school through high school, and she always told me how wonderful I was.

She told me that she and Grampie wanted to meet every boy that I dated, and so they did. When they were out of earshot, Grammie would give me her opinion. She was always right in the end.

She has supported me in everything that I have done in this life, even when she was unsure about whatever it was. Unwavering support is not easily come by.

The things I didn’t know about my Grammie until I was older is that she took care of everyone else around her, too. She nursed her own mother, father, mother and father in-law, husband, sister and niece until their deaths.

She has seen many people go before her, and she is afraid now. I am afraid for her. I am childishly afraid for me, too.

But more than afraid, I am present. I am trying with everything that I have, with everything that I have learned from my yoga practice, to not only be in the moment with the truth that she has been diagnosed with this disease, but to actually try to enjoy being in this process with her. I am grateful that I am here, and available to be with her as she moves forward into and through treatment. I have told the Universe in no uncertain terms that I see my Grammie coming through this battle, healthy and learned.

I am telling this story of this beautiful woman because I want you to understand how much she has given back to this world. I hope that through my words, you can imagine the love that she has given out. And if you can imagine this: she has never asked for anything in return. She still pays me $10 to mow her lawn. I protest, and she always says the same thing: “No, no. We all could use the money.” I have it in an envelope with her name on it. It is now going toward her Reiki treatments.

On October 19th at 5:30pm, I am teaching an all levels, 90 minute class of Sun Salutations in her honor, with a suggested donation of $20. All donations will go toward alternative treatments and a cure for her. It’s being held at Sacred Rivers Yoga on 2934 Main Street in Glastonbury, CT. The website is http://www.sacredriversyoga.com.

Please, if you are able to donate, do. Come to class. Join us in Sun Salutations, or simply come to be in the energy of (*hopefully*) a packed room of people as we seek peace through movement in honor of this woman. She is worth the world. If I could give it to her, if I could summon the powers of Sun, Earth and Moon, I would. I’m trying. It’s the least I can do.

Love,

~Temple

//

Inside.

I wondered last night why his new girl seems to be in my circle. I wondered why I have to see her, and why that reminds me of the safety I no longer feel. I spoke this out loud to a woman whom I love and she told me this:
Go inside and find that part of you that felt like she needed the security that she thought she had. Now give her what she really needs. She is the richest part of you.
And I heard that, loud and clear.
Thank you, Natalie.

Strange.

Strange

This finger to my lips
Still welcomed
In this dark corner
In this brightly lit house
After I have spoken 100 too many words
Far past the point of necessity
You put your finger to my lips
To quiet my voice
To quiet my mind
This fingerprint has become my drishti
I find my gaze coming to yours
And I know
That I am done speaking.

Swim.

Last night the rain spoke to me

I woke to the sound on my ceiling
And I lay on my back
Wondering
Pretending
That my house had no roof
And that the rain would fill this room
And soak me to my underpants
And beyond
The carpeting would squish
The bed would begin to float
Bumping from wall to wall
And I would remain motionless
Smiling
Waiting for the answer to come
Lamps would short out
Extra pillows would float away and down the hall
I would open my mouth
And drink in this moment
Long and dark and wet
Waiting for the answer to come
Listening to the drops bounce off the surface
Bounce off of me
This face
These lips
Wash me clean
Wash away these years of sin
of discomfort
of distrust
Cleanse me of the guilt I have
For not believing that I was worthy
For all of the sacrifice
Undue
Undeserved
Rinse away remorse
Rinse away this loss I feel
Deep inside my bones
Deep inside my underpants
I am praying for the answer
as a telephone floats by and
A fallen bar of soap creates a bubble bath
As I begin to lift my head to stay above water
And my smile fades
And my eyes widen
I hear the rain speak
In a gentle voice, kindness radiating
A word.
Swim.

Fading.

I did not think of you

last
night
as the minute hand ticked
toward the end of this year in which
I dedicated my happiness to you
I expected my happiness from you
I prayed for my happiness in you
I did not think of you.
You are fading
And I am grateful.

Almost Nothing.

I awoke before the sun

this morning and
I wondered what She was waiting for and
I realized that
I was speaking of myself
What was She waiting for,
She wondered
Eyes
Open
Wide, and
heart shaking, trembling, undulating
Waiting for Her to come back to She
I have awoken in darkness before, and
it has stayed for days on end, but
today She came to meet Me, and
the trembling subsided
Into
Almost
Nothing
At
All.

Gratefully.

I am sitting in this place of not knowing

What lies ahead of me
It’s the first time that I have been present for the occasion
Usually I am overextending
Examining possibilities
Endlessly
And now
I am sitting in this pool of unfamiliarity
Enjoying the waves as they tickle my
Anterior
Superior
Iliac
Spine
My hand goes there because
in the deepest part of me
I want to catch the tide
And study it
What makes it up
What makes it feel the way it does against my skin
Gratefully,
it escapes my grasp
And I am left to experience
The feeling of water
Moving in and out of me
It is what makes me up
And I invite the inevitable bond that has developed between
myself and it
Are you the wave?
Gratefully,
I do not know.

Inside.

I go inside

Again
and again
Exploration of an unknown land
Although it’s my own front yard
And I’ve played there since I was a baby girl
Always looking in the periphery
So that I couldn’t focus on
What was in front of me
I go inside of this body
With the hand I have
And I ask for forgiveness
For not stopping by sooner
She forgives me
With heart open wide
And we sing

Good Enough.

Boston_021

The things that I want close to me include you

Whoever
You
Are
I am here, and I am open and
I am wondering if you will mind
my run-on sentences or if you
will find them endearing
and I wonder if you will mind that I correct your grammar
even though I have been known to abuse the comma
and conjunctions,
obviously, but
I love you in the deepest part of me and
And
And
it is good enough to keep you warm as the snow falls
Whoever
You
Are
I wonder if you know this and will love me back
and front
and then back again.

Time To Time.

In the dark, early morning

Remembering that I am not a night creature
That I wake before the light
Before the earth can turn all the way around
My body tells me it’s time to write
I lay in bed, defiant, waiting for sleep but
She doesn’t come
I saw her at the end of the bed
Sweet smile upon her face
Apologetic
And so I get up and
I make coffee
Trying to connect the dots in my head before
I sit down to put it down
How long will I know you and
does it even matter?
Is this feeling in my belly the satisfaction of crossing your path
or the desire to walk with you?
I didn’t know that I would ever
Ever
Ever
Be inspired again
And that’s too much for you to hold
Too heavy
Too much
But I can’t take it back
It belongs to you
I am handing it over with the understanding
That you will put it on a shelf
Out of view
And it will be what it is
And I will be fine
From time to time

I Have Been Free.

Freedom

If I don’t ever know you then I will never know if
You are the one I am supposed to dream with
Or if you are the one who will pull my feet to the earth
And I want to fly free
I want to be without restriction
I want to swim on breath
I want to be untouchable and enveloped
With you
By you
In you
For you
For me
I am not alone in this endeavor
But I’m hard pressed to find someone
To take the ride with me
They tell me it’s not safe
It’s not real
I disagree with this heart open wide
I disagree that I am unable to fly
And should I crash to earth
Should the truth be not mine
Then at least my arms have been open
And I have been free
If only for a moment
I have been free

Easier.

My heart and my mind are speaking

In a different language
And I am not clear on
Who it is that I should listen to
My heart has quite a convincing story
But my mind remembers what has happened
Before
Before you
Before this
And my mind is in survival mode
And I don’t know how to let go of that
Because I am bruised and broken
And gorgeous and free
All the time
All the time
If I knew where I was going I might not have boarded the train
If I had any idea that I would be this awake I might have stepped away
If I knew that I was asleep before I might have stayed there
It seems like it might be easier
Than this
Than this will ever be.

Bigger Than You.

What this has become is bigger than you

Even though I thought nothing could possibly
Be bigger than you
Don’t show up where you know I’ll be
It makes it so much more complicated
This place that we’ve created
Is not real
This is not real
No one sees this but you and me
And that does not make the world spin
No one sees this but you and me
And the world has stopped spinning
My feet are still below me
But I am teetering slowly between
What it is and
Where I could be
Where I could be
Where I could be
What this has become is now too heavy to hold
And I don’t know that I can put it down
Without the eyes of the earth watching me break down
And so I hold on
Bearing the pain
No hero in this story
And too many to save

Somewhere.

I am a woman

I am a poet
I am everything I knew I could be
I am no one I thought I would ever know
I feel strength in the curve of my back in wheel
I feel solace in the safety of child’s pose
I love the sunshine when it warms my face
And I miss it when it hides in the shadows of the clouds
I am loving and giving and kind
And kind of afraid to be so
Because I know that not everyone will be open to me
And I accept all outcomes
I am in love
And I hold regret close to my heart
And I hope that won’t always be the case
And I hope that won’t always be the case.
And I know what regret does to a heart
And I know what regret does to a pair of lungs
Choking them up, blackening them like night
Until he was forced to go after them
Into
The
Same
Darkness
And I was left to pick up his pieces
But most of them are like boulders
And my arms are tired
I didn’t sign on for this
You, you, you thought it was all about me
But it was your show
Your cast
And I was just a junkie with the acting bug
And you sat in your chair with your name on the back
The name I loved so much
We knew this was gonna be a masterpiece
But you never gave us the script
So I never knew what I was supposed to say
And I never knew what was coming next
And so I tried to guess what you wanted
And I was never, ever, ever right
You, you, you thought it was all about me
Yet you’re still showing up in these lines that
Are breathed from these pink lungs
And your name is said still when my heart holds a beat
It was always about you
And now it’s about you and me
Because you left me here to decipher your hieroglyphics
Left on the wall
Flashes in my mind
The Final Exit
The disappointment
And I am left to wonder what you expected me to say
In all those times I kept silent
And In all those times I stood in front of your only friend, the TV,
And asked the questions I needed the answers to.
And somehow you managed to not answer them
Even though I asked you
But you looked into my soul and you said,
‘you are too beautiful to know me
you are too precious
your eyes will turn black
and your hair will fall out
it’s better this way
you don’t want to know this man
it’s not worth the time
go, and do wonderful things
but don’t expect me to be there
I won’t go, I won’t go, I won’t go
There is no pain there
And that’s the only comfortable place for me
It’s the only place I know how to breathe’
I never listened to you
I still always sent you an invitation
I wish I could have said the same for you
I know you were ashamed of your new girl
But you needed pain to breathe and she had enough for the both of you
I know you were ashamed of the new man you became
Your hypocrisy leading the way
I never got to stand before your body
And whisper goodbye
Without your self-judgment forcing you to turn away
I have always said it’s better that way
I remember you in the parking lot
And I had to run
I had things to do
I have a secret
I knew you were sick that day
I knew it wouldn’t be long now
I knew that when I was driving away I wouldn’t see you again
but I had given you every moment of my life
and you weren’t getting that one
and I drove
and I whispered goodbye
and I knew I had lost
and I knew you were lost
gone, never to return
never as the man I spent my little years wishing you would be
never as the poppa I wanted
I, I, I said it was all about you
I was so sure I was right
But it was about those who came before you
As it has now been about you
But I’m not going down that road
I am a woman
I am a poet
I am everything I knew I could be
I am no one I thought I would ever know
I feel my hips surrender in pigeon
I feel my heart spread with camel
I am loving and giving and kind
And kind of afraid to be so
But I know there’s no other way to go
I won’t hide from this world
Because you hid from us
I love you because I have to
Because it’s in my contract
Because I wished so much more for you
Because I know you were in there somewhere

Tattoo.

You and your army of tattoos

Breaking into my house
She ain’t no Easter Bunny
She’ll fight for her rights
Soldiers, put your arms at your sides
We’re all friends here
A sugar cube and jelly toast
That’s how sweet you are to me
I know you don’t mean to be
I know you don’t mean to be
I’ll send one out to the Wish King for you
He’s been dropping hints that it’s your turn

Shower.

You said you had been gone for months now

I said Jesus
Bert and Ernie have been keeping me company
I never thought it would end like this
In a quiet room
You came to me
I knew what you would say before you spoke
The boy I fell in love with is gone.
He flew away with Lucifer and
Although it would make for good conversation,
I’ll stay on this side.
I showered for hours after you told me
I never could get you off.

Momma.

My saving grace

After he left you, you fell apart
I saw your heart breaking
You didn’t know which way was up
I tried to tell you
It was because you had been doing tricks for so long
Standing on your head in hopes that he would notice us
I am here singing your praises in hopes that you will notice me
My words fall on deaf ears until I scream
And you scream back
I thought we knew each other
We always had it together, you and meDriving on the line
I am looking for you, Momma.
I am searching for us
We had it all together
Then you went platinum blonde
And I don’t think I could pick you out in a crowd anymoreYou were my saving grace
And I tried to be yours
When you look at me do you see him?
Do I hurt you by being half of him?
It used to be what you liked about me
And now it’s a liabilityI want my momma back

Orion.

Orion hovers above me, his belt a constant reminder that I am not alone

The star in the middle has always been my favorite star
Out of billions
I wonder what draws me to it but then
I am taken in by the strength in his arms
I wonder if my dad is in there somewhere
Looking down
If he always has been
Or if I am trying to comfort myself through this
This deep sense of loss
This punch to the stomach every time I picture his face
In my mind’s eye
That won’t let me forget
That forces me to remember
It’s not all roses when I look back
He was unkind, afraid
And now I am afraid for myself
I wonder if I will become what I always hated in him
His fear of being loved, deeply
I breathe my ujjayi breath
And I wait for this to pass
It always does
Until the next time I see the belt in the sky and I wonder
If he sees me looking at him
Wishing he was next to me on the back porch
Looking up and wondering

Mother Peace.

I heard your voice inside of me where I could not reach it

I knew that you would be the one to change the world
That you would be the one called mother
Your voice will ring out
And they will listen because their
Hearts tell them to
Because it will be time for peace
And it will come in the sound of your song
Mother Earth, Mother Peace
Still contained within the walls
And preparing to leave
They’ll clean you out and
You’ll sing
We’ll all know
And I’ll know it’s time
To let you go
That I cannot contain you to my arms
You’re much bigger than that
Mother Earth, Mother Peace
Your voice will change the world

Raincoat.

Instance I knew you

From a faraway dream
Planes flying overhead and
I thought we were going places
Your feet were firmly on the ground
And my head was in the clouds and
I didn’t even begin to know where to start
So I introduced myself in a manner to which
You were not accustomed
But you said hello back anyway
These were not words I thought we would sayI walked with you and you tried to keep up
With your shoelaces tied, you didn’t stand a chance
I walked ahead, stopping to let you catch up
And when you did you talked about how
Cold it was
I saw the rain coming and tried to tell you to
Wear that raincoat I bought you for Christmas
And you said you couldn’t remember where it was
And that it would all pass
The sun would shine again
Not as brightly as I needed it to
Maybe I brought it on
Maybe I did a rain dance
Either way my hair was soakedYou promised you would talk to the Gods
And ask them to make it shine again
To make the sun warm my face
But you never placed the call
So it rained on and on
And I kept hoping every Tuesday when I opened my eyes
That the sun would be blazing
I would ask you about your promise and you
Would wave me away, your eyes averted in shame
And I would go to work and I would come home
And I would think of brighter days
And I placed the call myself and
Asked the Gods to make it shine
They told me I had to walk to greener pastures
And that you couldn’t come
And I tried to explain that you
But the rain was in your eyes and
You said you couldn’t hear over the splatter on
The sidewalk

Ice Cream.

Creamsicles and ice cream dreams

That’s where you live
Walking through my mind
Tell me
What is it like in there?
Are there cobwebs?
Are there beautiful ideas?
Tell me what to do with them
Eclectic
Electric
Another day with the go away man
I never told you it was okay to leave
I never stood in your way
In my next life I said I’d like to fly
Not an uncommon request
I stood before your box and said it aloud
Not in insolence
I wished it was me in there

Flames Lick Your Neck.

Your spark was evident

As I walked into this room
Tapping toes lightly on the wooden floor
Tattoos of flames creeping up your neck
From collarbone
And I wondered where the source was
What fueled your spark?
Your hair was long
Your hair was brown
Black, blue and a little bit of orange
Right around your crown
As if you were glowing
As if the sun followed your around
Never finding anything more beautiful
To shine upon
And you looked up
You had an album in your hand
I froze on the spot
Tick tock, tick tock
The clock still moved
Although my lungs had stopped expanding
Contracting, but
You hardly noticed.
You brought your fire into our kitchen
Into our bed
Two years
Ten months
Three weeks
Two days
Passed
I thought we passed
Whatever test your past forced me to take
But the spark was extinguished
The room was dark
My heart is empty
And yours beats on
Hardly noticing
I saw your hair today
Walking down Cooper Street
The sun stopped following you and I wonder
What you did to deserve that
My place is now in the shadows
Where I watch the flames

That lick your neck.

Earth is On Her Hands.

Arms up

Reaching for prana
And the Earth is on her hands
Dirty fingernails
And a heart of gold
She is in love
She knows this and she
Tries to hold her heart in her hands
But she hasn’t fully grasped the concept
Of being dirty from the earth versus
Being dirty from someone else’s concept
of her
And she doesn’t want to leave smear marks
on this heart
It just started beating again
So she stands,
Mildly frozen on this warm spring day
The sun on her face tells her
To embrace
Dirty hands and all
That he will still love her
And laugh at the smudge on her heart
And share his own
Standing on Earth
Toes squish into black soil
Filthy and gorgeous

Cool Winds Rising.

Cool winds rising, January brings the snow

I am buried deep and my boots are soaking wetI want to go to Florida where it’s springtime every dayYou died in January
You waited till the day after my birthday to hit the road
And left me here soaking wet
Listening for the sound of your guitar to lull me to sleepI remember you in orange from our faded photographs
Me in your arms and the world at your feet
You pushed them all away
And then me last

When you were here I had a reason to stay
I had to save you from imminent danger
It was my agenda
Now I am lost

Cool winds rising, January brings the snow
And coats the earth
I feel safe but cold
I wanted to go to Florida with you
Where it’s springtime every day and everybody’s warm

Beautiful Boy,

Beautiful Boy I call you out

Why do you hide yourself in your cave
Why do you shield yourself from the sun
You are the only one who can escape
You are the only one who can crucify yourself
You have not done anything wrong
Except deny yourself what we all deserve
I will walk with you
You are a timid soul
And a magnificent heart
And I am not afraid of you (although you want me to be)
Driving on the highway
We talk like friends but I want to touch you
I don’t for fear that you will realize I am there
And ask me to leave
I want to tell you what I know and what I know that you know
That this is more than I thought it was going to be
I didn’t know that it would turn into this
Maybe if we were under the lights of the Eiffel Tower

Tea.

If I am alone then come to me

I always said you were welcome and you
Always know just when to come and I
Told you to come in for a cup of tea
You told me men don’t drink tea and we laughedI dreamed of you
And you appeared
And I am so grateful
And I wonder where my gifts have gone
I wonder if my tortured soul took them and went on vacationMy mind is calmer now than it has ever been
And I wonder where my girls have gone
I don’t want them to think I’ve deserted them
Just because I’ve had it in me a little more
They are still the ones that make my heart beatI wonder if my father is in heaven
Flying around and laughing at me
I wonder if being alone is really what I think it is
Or if he sits on the side of me
And shares a cup of tea

Rusted.

Photo-large

‘Your limbs are like my arms,’ she said

But she didn’t know if he was listening
Swept by wind across vast farmland
Over the houses and Dorothy
It was here that she landed
She heard the howling of the wind
Or maybe it was the Lion summoning his courage up
‘I wish I had those shoes,’ she said
Or maybe the tree said, she couldn’t be sure
And how was she supposed to concentrate
With her hair stinging her eyes?
He had said to her:
I don’t love you
I never did
And she cried a thousand tears for him
She cried for the boy she knew he could be
For the man she could have held to her breast
For the man who could have held her
For the sage that he would have become
Until one day they would sit on the porch
That she could see from this great height
And he would trace the lines around her mouth
And laugh when she became red-faced
And say it was only because they smiled so much
She cried a lake, her breath whipping
The branches from this tree
That had withstood years of storms
But not this one
They would fall like broken butterfly wings
The wind quickly moving on
Having no regard for what they might have become
If he had allowed them to be their most beautiful selves
She cried an ocean of tears
Far past the initial drowning of the trunk
Far past the wings of this great Oak until they stopped fluttering
Her cries bounced from limb to limb in her own body
And in the tree
Dark
Heavy
Thunderous
The waters rose to touch her toes
She cried all of this for him
And one tear for herself
She closed her eyes
She opened her heart
She jumped into her ocean
When she reached the bottom
She saw the Tinman
Rusted.

For Stacey B., on her 45th Birthday.

From the shell she breaks free

from safety, taking her lessons with her
And her eyes squint in the sun
Still, she turns her face up to the sky
Heartspace open
She is free
from the last chapter in her book
And she is writing furiously
Continuing her story
Knowing that she will someday leave this behind
Knowing that it all just is
In this moment
With this heartbeat
Pen in her hand
Space in her spirit for growth
Gratitude fills her body
Drinking in the sun
Releasing the binds of what has held her
In the shell
And sometimes she’ll look back and remember
On cold winter nights
How warm it was within the confines
Of her last house
And, in the next breath, she will take in the crisp air
And it will sting her pink lungs
And she will cry
For the girl she might have been
Had she not broken free and now,
standing on her own two feet
She is gorgeous.

Sing.

97898739_d23778a98a_m

Sadness, I am.

I embrace this; allow it to envelop me
Sit down
Look to the sky and wonder
With wide eyes
With open heart
Will you hear me?
I call out for you
I am lonely
I am enveloped by the night
With soft leaves under my body
Here, in nature
The cycle of life surrounds me
Birth, the journey, death
We are all here
Sitting around the fire
Shiva comes in
Destruction is near; we can all feel it
We wait for the burning to begin
As it does, my root chakra ignites
Body buzzing
Heart pounding
Saliva comes to my mouth
My arms extend to the sides
Taking in what is here
Seeking solace in the light of the flames
And reveling in the eradication
Of energies long since passed of which
I have taken in
And held
So close to this heart
The damped spark
Of that which was this soul
Begins to dry
And I sing

Bellies Breathing

We are all souls swimming around in this world and we are fortunate enough to reap the benefits. We taste the sky on occasion, we swim in the waters that surround us, we talk to one another like we are friends and although it has never been explained to us what a friend is, we just know. It is born into us to know what love is and although I don’t think we ever realize why it is that we are drawn to it, we know in our deepest of hearts that it is the one thing that keeps our hearts beating and allows us to eat cereal for breakfast and swim in the ocean; it makes our arms move and our bellies go in and out when we breathe. I know that we forget sometimes why we breathe, why we swim, why we love and if is something we just made up, if it is something that the human psyche created to help us get through all of this until whatever comes next. And so, we swim on sometimes, not understanding why our arms are moving and why our legs kick against the current, randomly changing directions until we tire and sleep. The thing is this. If we just listened a little harder, if we just paid a little more attention, we could enjoy that swim a whole lot more.

Little Earthquakes

My world is rocked

And I am riding the wave
Grateful for the ebb and flow
For the rise and settling of my seas
For these little earthquakes

I am alive
I am susceptible
I am aware
I am amazed
I am amazing

My world is rocked
And I teeter on the edge
Of another quake
And I remember
My heart beats
My arms rise into warrior
And my breath follows

Autumn

Today I was caught in a rainstorm of leaves

They came down upon me with no discretion
As if they knew it didn’t matter
And I thought, how blessed I am to witness
Their sacrifice so that the cold night of winter
Could have her time?They accept this destiny to end up in a paper bag
In order to experience the joy of summer
With long, warm days
And still warm nights
They are allowed to gently sway in the soft breezes
And hold on against raging winds with thunder blasting against their backs
Turning them inside out
And lightning licking their heels
Sometimes striking them at the rootThey accept this imminent end
As a conclusion to a beautiful story
Of shading children as they play,
Of being trusted with this enormous responsibility
Until it is time for them to play inside
Because winter is on her way
And now the leaves jump at me
And fall lightly to the ground
To make room for her long, dark nights

Community

There is this sense of community among those who practice yoga, or who want to practice yoga. We all come to the mat seeking some sort of solace, some answer to some question that the body is asking. Practicing yoga allows my mind to hear the answer that my body gives. The questions are hard, they are questions of truth, morality and authenticity. I attempt to step away from self-judgment when listening for the answers, and sometimes I succeed. Whenever I am lost, I return to the mat and I am always found. And I am never alone. I am a lucky, lucky girl.
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