Jigsaw

I.

I open the lid

and my breath speeds ragged,

seas stormed by discontent. So many

pieces – why so many pieces? – and

why so many shades of blue? No one needs

that much sky, I think as I start to sort.

 

Everyone knows you find the edge pieces first

and build in, first the skin and then the heart,

but I can’t find them all in the tangle

of chaos heaped discordant, their absence loud

in the landscape.

 

II.

The box boasts Italian villas, a Mediterranean

masterpiece of  idyllic days. It hurts, this beauty.  It

scorns the doctors, scorns those tired

eyes which peer over masks to discern who

of the twenty will benefit

most from the single ventilator that can be

spared tonight.

 

The bits of colour on my table

are lost in that steady rush of feet and again I wonder,

why so much sky? My hands tremble

and I lose hope – I cannot make this

make sense.

 

III.

Tears brim and wash images clean.

I blink. Is that

a pattern in the stones, a barely perceptible

shift from dark to light just there, in

the bottom left corner? Pieces find shelter in

limestone.  A new thought forms in

the shadows  –

perhaps this much sky is necessary to breathe

in a world full of rocks.

 

Perhaps my eyes are too small,

too human to see the bigger picture;

I step back and

close them in prayer

and my lungs are filled with blue. I breathe,

in and out, slow and big;  I hear

what the jigsaw has to say in the silence.

 

IV.

The construction of a life

is always messy; a chaos of constant

attention to details that

puzzle and elude. There will always be too many

pieces, and so much awful sky – but the blue

is meant to be inhaled deep in faith,

exhaled in mystical prayer over Italian villas

while eyes remain fixed on the box lid. I need to memorize

the villas in all their glory: they will be beautiful

again after the ventilators forget how to

hum.

 

V.

I am alone in the quiet. I search;

there, a smudge of the right kind of blue – bright,

not muted or mixed with gray or green. I smile

and set the piece into place,

a prayer in itself.  Now I can breathe;

I work steadily from the edge in,

first the skin and then the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

The Great Unravelling

egyptian-mummy

Here lies 2018,

behind her glass barrier,

shrouded in mystery. The hand I stretch out

cannot quite hide its tremor. What will I encounter beneath

her folds? Curses or capital, fortune or

fright? Nothing is certain

but the compulsion to peel back

that first layer. Exhilaration battles anxiety. Where to start? There is the smell of death –

but also the tang of adventure and promise of new knowledge about her. And so

it begins.

Each moment, each day, each

month unravels more of her riddles until at last every

secret cavity has been divested of its contents. Some turns of the wrist

will reveal treasures,

things hidden from days of old, joyous to untie. Others

horrify, fill the nostrils with the stench of decay and loss –

even then she demands to be set free of her wrappings

layer by layer, day by day. Until she is free of her casement

the baubles and bones seem disjointed, unrelated,

entries in the catalog to be studied by greater minds. But

after her 365 day burial,

her treasures and triumphs, grievances and gloom

will be placed with care in the display cases of my heart. They are messy,

these artifacts. Random bits of broken pottery,

gems – uncut and unrecognizable,

scarabs encased in amber. When studied,

wrestled with,

polished to reveal their glory,

then and only then will she divulge her beauty. Taken as a

collection,

the years lined up in their coffins give context to my past,

enable me to excavate the Truth of who I am.

Whatever this year hides, this wrapped enigma,

for good or for ill

she is mine to enearth.

My fingers find the tattered fabric

and pull…

Image Copyrighted by Historylink101.com & found at Egyptian Picture Gallery.

Transformation

frosty spruce

Just as frost makes pearls from pain and covers plain with glory,

So your faith can glean the grain within your painful story;

When you feel the pinch of frost, the sting of cold rejection,

Know one day when it has lost, you’ll be a grace confection.

Accession

dangler

Death becomes her, highlights power

In this final golden hour;

It takes strength to grant demise

To Less, that More would be the prize.

Solemn spill, these dreams that fall,

Graveyard draped in leafy pall;

Wail she will, while pain is fresh –

But soon, her bones will gain new flesh.

 

 

 

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.