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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

Damascus Blade

points

She froze rock-hard to grow a spine,

A spur-spun steel stiletto –

The point is, she’d been out of line,

Her heart the merest echo.

Assumption said she’d never do,

The lies were knives she swallowed –

But once she changed her point of view,

A rugged backbone followed.

 

Resilience Defined

snowflakes

Ripped from a watery womb,

You were sentenced to wander aimless at Evaporation’s whim.

Jostled into raucous crowds of strangers

And rejected by every cloud you ever knew,

You’ve been muddied, stepped on,

Swallowed,

Ejected as waste.

Your compulsion for lower ground has bound you to wander,

Ever wander, homeless,

Crying for the sea.

Cruel winds have driven you, harried –

You have fed hurricanes and blizzards from time’s birth.

Do you hold your memories close

On cold nights

As you wait on this snowbank

For your next reincarnation?

For

No matter how you are pressed,

You rise again,

Reinvent yourself.

Your DNA hasn’t changed

Since Creation

But your relentless pursuit

Of Life

Will outlive us all.