Sparked by Words

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

What Do I Do Now?

Speak even when you are speechless.

Bellow when you are crying.

Whisper when you are lost.

Open your palms when words fail.

Pray when you are harrowed.

If nothing grows, plant weeds.

 

Reach out when there’s nothing left to do.

Hold others tight during a quake.

Take the hands of those who stand apart.

Give when your account is empty.

Share everything when nothing remains.

If fish die, water the oceans.

 

Imagine while you dream.

Rock while the baby sleeps.

Cradle when the aged weep.

Plan the future on the last page of the calendar.

Climb atop the barricades.

If you waver, stand on quicksand.

 

Awaken on the cusp of the new day.

Cross over as the piers collapse.

March on two broken feet.

Dance on your knees and elbows.

Crawl on the flesh around your ribs.

If you wear rags, scour the mud.

 

Avoid flight when evil approaches.

Listen to those who will not hear.

Sign for those who are made silent.

Thump your chest when your breath catches.

Pierce your heart when you shiver.

If the bees depart, bring honey.

 

Translate pain into self portraits.

Wail when words are not enough.

Write when words are all you have.

Etch in blood when your pencil breaks.

There’s always something you can do.

If not for you, for someone else.

 

 

Just a thought 44

 

 

Painting: Mother and Child, 1914, by Julius Paulsen

 

 

 

 

 

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I Will Tell

 

An old barn is a bane to a farmer but a boon to an artist

A dilapidated shack an eyesore for neighbors but refuge for the poor

A ruined mortal a quarry for accusers but forage for the poet

No matter the cunning snake that wallows in his deceit,

no matter the smirking ghoul who destroys a career,

the gossip who barters a confidence like cheap candy,

or the trusted friend for whom betrayal is a conquest

Even the repentant face in my mirror seeks amends

 

We hold a dance in the old barn for the lovelorn,

pretending we are not the target of the fiddle’s song

We thrust our hand into the poor box, denying our hunger

for the taste of human comfort, of slaking the thirst for touch

We witness the breaking of bonds, the loss of redemption

No matter the ink dripping red and thick as blood,

beating a drum’s dirge so close to the heart

The heat of fever spreads across the dampened cloth

 

Here in the shack lit by the flame within my marrow,

nerve endings steal my breath, fright scores my flesh

All the sorrows of life and demise, of hope and regret

Just this side of one being’s view of all’s fair,

another’s sight of conflict shrieking grievance,

each begging for sympathy and a sacred verse

To me, the ash heap of sorrow and confession,

Remains the mewling rasp of story, and I will tell it

 

 

Just a thought 43

 

 

Old barn photo courtesy Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Eden

Words might inspire but

no value befalls without action, nor

nor do all the hovering words in

all the languages of the world

speak nearly as well as

digging the shovel into the ground

that seeds can be planted,

for inspiration lasts only as long as

one shower, water enhancing

the sensation imagined,

yet imagination lasts only as long as

one stands under the trickling drops,

wondering when to turn off the water,

exit the shower to recall the

thoughts made brilliant by heat,

echoes, and dampness,

then to tease out the single line

worthy of writing to begin

to plant story, that in time

the bounty can be harvested,

a table set for celebration, and

seeds poured left hand to right,

right hand to left, and back again,

water trickling down and down,

prodigal with promise of food, drink,

ideas to discuss, to plot, to invest,

and dreams to nurture,

vowing more words to rise

before the season of bounty ends,

then to consider from where

the seeds first had come,

who the first planter,

who the gardener, and who the one

who labored long to harvest,

and would seeds appear once more

or take flight forever,

or in a moment of serendipity

bequeath the legacy of

a passion for inventing,

a trove of readers,

a yield of love,

that you and I might one day

decide to grow our garden

and plant our seeds and pray

for rainfall, sunshine, fortune,

then welcome all to the feast

of words gathered from Eden,

hoping to leave the miraculous

breath of curiosity that might inspire

you and you and you and you

with words that tell a story

amen yes amen

 

Just a Thought 37

 

Wheat Field by Vincent Van Gogh, courtesy CCO Creative Commons

Forgiveness

Thou shalt forgive, because one day you will need to be forgiven – the forgotten Eleventh Commandment.

This one was written for me.

I will stop cursing you if you stop killing innocent people.

I will remember those who died as they fled. The ones chewing bubble gum, the ones in their letterman jackets, the ones wearing braces, the ones studying for a test, the ones who stuttered when answering, the ones practicing dance steps.

The ones who were always late, the ones who were always on time, the ones with new haircuts, the ones learning code, the ones who played soccer, the ones who cheered, the ones learning Spanish, the ones learning English, the ones painting in art class.

The ones who forgot their homework, the ones writing an essay, the ones practicing flute, the ones struggling with algebra, the ones struggling with verb tenses, the ones who aced chemistry, the ones who nearly graduated. Oh my God, the ones who nearly graduated.

The ones who were crying and frightened.

The ones who died as they hid.

The ones who will never be twenty.

Who will never be twenty.

I will remember their names.

I will not remember your name.

I will forgive.

But sometimes you bastards make it pretty damned hard to forgive.

We’ve all had enough.

Enough already.

 

 

In memory of the students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

 

Just a thought 33

 

Photo courtesy Pixabay.com

Open Heart

End the argument with a slammed door, the house will crumble

Turn away with a shrug, we will speak again

Face disappointment with clenched fists, the fury will resume

Share thoughts with open palms, we will be friends again

Stitch a broken heart with regret, the wound will fester

Mend it with self-examination, we will love again

Because

Our wedding certificate was sealed with fading ink

But our hearts beat like the first time we saw each other

Our journey canted through unknown territories

Though we planned on traveling together always

We spoke in rage, acted from frustration, stomped with fear

Please meet me for coffee, I want to give it another chance

I know your name as it is also mine

 

Just a thought 29

 

Painting The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

 

The Greater Humanity

 

We know who we are by the silence around us

We know who we aspire to become by the pulse within us

We know the sound of footsteps by the memory of those who came before

Listening immerses us in the universal mass

Keeping quiet allows us to hear everyone else

Remaining still informs us that we are not alone, thank God, we are not alone

 

Common choir makes all languages one word

Dance corpus combines all movement into a single motion

Every tongue longs to taste a sip of water gathered from the ancestral spring

Closed eyes reveal stock dreams of flight and sanctuary

Thoughts of love blend every sense into a solitary embrace

Holding hands reminds us that we are not alone, thank God, we are not alone

 

We remember who we are by the footprints of the billions and billions

The ones who hunkered in the trees, the ones who crouched in the caves

The ones who paddled across the seas, the ones who climbed the peaks

The ones who trudged across the deserts, the ones who tramped the jungles

All of them with the single wish to give all children the future we cannot see

Bowing our heads teaches us that we are not alone, thank God, we are not alone

 

Just a thought 28

 

Drawing of Vitruvian Man courtesy of Leonardo da Vinci, around 1490

Resolution

The human species has evolved so far that we no longer live in trees or walk on all fours. Still we hurt each other like primitive savages with words and blows and turning away.

I bellow. You sob. I slash. You fall.

I try but I fail all the time.

I try but I fail all the time.

I regret. I am ashamed. Please forgive me.

It is up to me to make the one individual change that will impact all of you in the best way possible.

My New Year’s resolution is to make a sincere effort.

It’s time for me to walk upright, to open my fist, to forgive everyone, to let you speak, to hear your heart.

I must amend. To amend is a singular characteristic that identifies a human being.

I kneel.

Still, I am naught but one small part.

 

 

Just a thought 24

 

Galaxy image courtesy Pixabay.com