Where Beauty Sprouts

broken poppy.jpg

You hate the cracks, the places where the pain has split you through;

You don the mask, and paint the scars, and smile when spoken to –

And yet, the Dark that pinned you down, that swore you’d never win,

Forgot that all the holes, when healed, will let the Light shine in…

Set down the script, rewrite the lines, take up your truest role;

What tried to kill and steal and lie cannot destroy your soul.

Those cracks, those scars, those broken bones, those spots where pain leaked out

When warmed by sun, and earth, and rain – they’re where your beauty sprouts.

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The Offer

lavender clematis

Delicate her solemn smile,

Lavender her dreams;

Beneath her skin she hides the pain

That tears apart her seams.

So when you judge her every move

And criticize her ways,

Keep in mind how far she’s come,

And offer her your grace.

Like Candy

taffy

He pours his voice like taffy.

Creamy folds undulate, smooth to silk in her

hungry ears. But when he pulls his words, stretches

the truth out of shape she, generously buttered, finds there is

nothing she can hold on to. Communication – hardened

and brittle –

shatters in the stillness; she is left with only her bitter

memories of how easily those empty calories

used to go down.

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.

A Leaf to Turn

burnt edge

Life has hurt you; I can see

The scars from where you’ve burned –

If you’ll let go, that frailty

Could be a leaf to turn.

For something new to grow again

Where only wounds have bloomed,

The old must drop; there, space obtained,

Spring’s vigor can resume.

So say good-bye to autumn’s jaws,

To fronds aglow with strife;

For after Winter’s healing pause,

Your soul will burst to life.