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.

 

Surprise

frosty-fence

frost feeds on fear

freezes future fortunes

dishes up death on a silver platter

wouldn’t it be shocked to know

when we are flash-frozen

we grow glorious?

You Are Sky

vortex-sunset

You are sky,

canvas kaleidoscope

mysterious and dangerous.

I stare fascinated,

drawn by your glory,

terrified of your ferocity,

your untamed wild.

You are sunrise and rainbow,

hurricane and eye –

unpredictable and beautiful,

Beauty and Beast.

Your face reflects my own,

scrapes at places long-buried,

calls forth daybreak

from the ashes of darkness.

You smile and I dance.

You groan and I tremble,

labour beneath your tears and sighs.

You are sky,

too grand to be boxed,

too magnificent to be tamed,

and I love you.