Grass and Gravel

 

I’m barefoot in an emerald sea

stained with rain. Tiny prisms of water –

holy font – baptize my toes and I

don’t remember anyone telling me

that your soul grows

when your soles soak up grass whispers.

My feet swish soft and it all breathes life,

this nakedness, this intimacy with the impossible

green. It is a marked moment, a heartbeat of time

made holy in the offering of simplicity,

of simply being. But I forget so

soon. Distracted, my soul loses

its footing and I am cringing on gravel, bits sharp

on tender flesh. I long for grass, for softer times,

places where the tread of living is easy, where every step

does not set jaws on edge with discomfort. But who can say

whether the sharp awareness of gravel

is not the truest gift?

Ferocious, this biting – but many steps in gravel

build resilience. And is that not holy, too?

Toughened skin, stepping firm despite pain, may

not this be a place of intimacy, of

connection with a life larger than grass?

And I think,

I don’t remember anyone telling me that

gravel blesses the grass with deep benedictions.

I’m barefoot, and I hesitate, deliberate.

I choose the gravel path.

 

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Undisclosed

peach daylily

She envies those with clear complexion,

Bolder lines or styled perfection,

Longs for leaves with different shape,

Curly locks instead of crepe;

She notices when other flowers

Spread their scent in evening hours,

Wishes she could clone the rose,

Or wear the Lady Slipper’s clothes.

She doesn’t see as her eyes wander

Yearning for whatever’s yonder,

She’s been painted, leaf to stem,

In beauty that could rival them.

 

 

Today She’s Finally Letting Go

Today she’s finally letting go,

She’ll give her past the slip;

Regrets like raindrops gently flow

From empty fingertips.

naked branch.jpg

Hefty while she clutched them tight,

These burdens, weightless, slide;

Regarded from her newfound height,

She fancies they were lies.

Foot Fetish

autumn resting place

Rest, the road exacts its Toll,

Take a load off wearied sole;

Close your eyes and breathe Life in,

Reflect on where your feet have been.

Confident, they marched with ease;

Terrified, ‘neath shaking knees

They stumbled on when doubtful days

Blocked e’en hope’s most brilliant rays.

Pause, let wand’ring feet sit still,

Exhale deep, let lungs refill;

Slow your pace, take time to stroll,

Rest is good for every sole.

Stand

dreamy tree

You’ve watched them fade, these fragile dreams you sowed

when innocence was freshly minted, the shade

of spring meadows. Just when they felt full-grown,

they yellowed, curled, leaves from an ancient and

shabby book. You lost your grip;

now they lie scattered at your feet, crisp in their

brokenness. You could have died with them – no one

would have blamed you if you had joined your fallen

comrades in all their ashen stillness. Yet here you

stand, head high, arms outstretched,

hands open, expectant. You are an oak,

sinewy and solid. Storms have toughened your skin,

stiffened more than your upper lip,

rooted you in profound places. And I think,

perhaps,

that if you can stand tall after all you’ve lost,

I could stand, too.

I, Rapunzel

Rapunzel

I, Rapunzel, clutched the tighter to my golden mane;

You, the wooer, prince and fighter, struggled to unchain

All those strands that held me captive to the distant past;

Strangled hopes and maladaptive dreams I had amassed

Like treasure chests with broken stocks, reduced by time to rust;

Death had killed my golden locks, and crumbled them to dust.

‘Let down your hair!’ your battle cry resounded in the dark;

But tendons tightened, terrified of barren branches; stark

My thoughts, unclothed my heart, as hope dared warm my blood;

One by one upon the start, and then a torrent flood

Descended in a golden cloud, until I stood unveiled –

Beneath my feet, a golden shroud, where former visions paled.

And now I wait, a bare-skinned maid, my Prince has won me fair;

For with the spring, I’ll grow new braids, fresh dreams will crown my hair.

In the Middle of the Mud

mud

I spent years at the edge.

I paraded with my picket sign

to demonstrate my disdain for the dregs,

lobbied for others to clean up their act,

slung my share of dirt

in the hopes that none of it would come home to me.

I washed my hands of it.

But you –

you put on your rubber boots

and slogged into the middle of your mess

and made mud pies.

You got up to your elbows in it

and your laughter sang

and your eyes widened at the wonder of it all

and I dared to hope

that maybe here,

in the middle of the mud,

there might be something real.

Something that smelled of soil

and germination,

rain and sunshine woven

into a thing of beauty.

Your laughter is gone, now –

but I bought a new pair of boots

and I’m hungry.

I’m hungry for

mud pies…