About A Door

Tears slip behind doors. Slammed. Sorrow’s shelter from Storm.

Love reigns behind doors. Quiet, stone still. A soft head against a shoulder.

Doors close. Locked. Listen as our footsteps flee.

Doors whisper, tell the stories of a life.

 

I’ve fallen hard for old doors. Chippy paint, cracked glass,

hand-hewned architecture . Bespoke.

~ A Sunday Moment

• Photographed  by my sister x

Fathers and Daughters

 

I’ll cradle you in my arms like a small child sleeping

Holding fast to your lost flesh

Your once muscular body, feather- weight, gone

Your heart beat, silent

As I carry your ashes home

Where is home?

An island, Vancouver, Toronto, Australia?

It is anywhere we were, anywhere we are.

 

It is time to set you free

To know with certainty, you’ll return

In a child’s gentle touch or a stranger’s crooked smile

In a fairy tale mention of an ever- after land

In a scotch and water moment.

 

I am resolute; I’ll find the perfect spot

To lay you down to rest

A place where first light surprises darkness

On the razor edge of time

When Moon kissed Sun.

 

A sturdy tree your marker, a shelter from the wind

Yes, I remember. You sailed through storms.

A tree trunk to support me

As I collapse into the folds

The strength I seek, not found

I loved this man who died.

 

My charm, a ruthless hunter

I wish you back to life

My arms an anchor hitch to hold your heart

I beg you, “Say it.”

Speak the words you kept from me

In turn I’ll share a moment

Of a time you slept unaware

I whispered in your ear,”You are a good man.”

I kissed your forehead

Walked into our good-bye.

 

You say, “Hush.”

Rain mixes with our tears; I bow my head and crumble

And tell you, the years have been long

That I miss us; I’m sorry and know that you are, too

I speak love over and over

Love. Love. Love.

Until we believe it

Until you show it

 

You’re not here.

 

My fingers claw the earth

To find each broken bit that was once you

I’ll assemble you from pieces, return you to the day

Hold on closer than before

I ask you, wait for me.

 

Time has made me wiser

Aware of all I’ve lost

So I’ll tuck you in a pocket

Make you of myself.

 

And when it’s hard to sleep

I’ll offer you back to the night

Toss you to the sky

Sing a lullaby to the stars: this man with the gentle soul,

bless his broken heart.

 

My words form our story

Tender lyrics soothe your soul

A song of mercy

Sung from the book of grace

And I won’t forget to finish that which you could not:

to remember to hold each other up.

 

You must leave

I hear the rustle of wings, marvel at your strength

You glance back, see me wave

Soar heavenward.

 

The eyes of the deer watch me

I close my eyes to pray

Lift my palms skyward and whisper,

“This is the holding of a father and his daughter.”

 

It is time to leave you

See. I am walking away with all of my strength

I am almost there.

 

I am singing. If you listen you will hear me.

x

 

~ Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Light

Kissed by autumn’s softened light

I sit at my desk

Writing, wondering

The moment simple, quiet

Surrounded by words and thoughts

Tucked away memories

A gentle sadness, softened by time

Rustles

As I cast a spell of silence and peace

 

The wind whispers your name

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Siren’s sing you home

Rock a bye, rock a bye

To a land suspended in time

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Hush your weary mind

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Do not fear the journey

The stars, your compass

 

Memories flutter like cranes

Lifted higher upon the wind

Your love is true

Rock a bye, rock a bye

Our souls shall meet again

On the other side of time

Rock a bye, rock a bye

 

 

 

Midnight

You were born beneath an ireful star, launched into a destiny predetermined by a past. So, it is fitting that I wait for your arrival at the darkest hour of night.

In dreams, I am certain you return.

It is winter’s cusp, a time of confusion and crossover. Hail mixes with sunshine. Green shoots wither with frost. A time of sorrows passing and joy’s celebratory re-birth.

I wait on a barren beach, protected by crisscrossed driftwood, tucked in and sheltered from raging winds. Even the gulls have left.

In the distance, the thundering rollers call. Waves tumble and break to slip upon the shore. A heavenly mess, the water’s advance and retreat orchestrated with military precision.

From a safe vantage point, I see only unending swaths of gloom. The sky beyond is thickly brushed with inky, blue-black strokes. My eyes glance up toward the heavens. There waits the moon, full and ripe as a melon. Flickers of starlight sparkle through darkness.

A grey drop cloth of cloud obscures the distance. A split begins to form. Winds rip asunder the gauzy veil. A moon beam illuminates the watery path ahead. In the distance a red rowboat approaches. A man holds an oar.

Slowly, the shroud rises, carried off, held by the beaks of forty-eight diamond doves. Their wings rustle and heave as the curtain rises. You return in peace.

Lost at sea, a drift with one oar, the tides have brought you home. I leave my wind worn shelter and stand at the water’s edge.

Sailing closer to land, you fix your gaze upon mine. The ocean’s song rocks the rowboat with a final push to settle upon sand. My hand reaches out to steady you. Once on solid ground you straighten and pause. Reaching into your pocket, you pull out a stone. “This is for you.” You look away and lower your head.

“Thank you,” I reply.

Cool to first touch, the stone becomes warmer; a talisman nestled in my palm. I turn it and note the imperfections, see the flaws beneath a smooth surface. The passage of time has softened its form. The stone is actually glass. Once fragile and abandoned, its story has shaped over time. It ends in the form of a heart.

“Don’t cast it,” you say.

My fingers reach for a stick that rests upon the sand. Words whisper through wind, “This is for you.”

I press letters at the ocean’s edge.

D-I-G-N-I-T-Y

That is all I seek. It is the gift you gave back to me.

 

 

 

 

 

For Him

For Him

 

Every haunted autumn, Grace recalled a particularly beautiful moment in time. Stepping from the car to behold the glorious splendor of the colorful landscape that surrounded her, she paused to survey the unfolding scene. The sun cast a low light; the shadows ominous, darker, stretched longer, slightly sinister across the manicured lawn. Grace glanced up; a canopy of leaves, resplendent in dresses of crimson, orange, and green covered over the sky, a shelter. Golden beams sparkled and peeked through the limbs of the tree, far-reaching. She recalled it was autumn when he finally left them behind. All is not as it appears.

 

The light exposed a tiny bushy-tailed squirrel. Nimble, fleet feet scurried up, scaled the Maple’s trunk, the scritch scratch barely audible in ascent. Grace willed herself strength; just enough to enter the brick building that loomed ahead. She imagined herself confident, sure- footed, as she navigated through the raw emotions and truths that swirled around inside a frantic mind. For it was true, she loved him and it was truth; he broke a heart. Why didn’t they see each other’s pain? All is not as it appears.

 

Leaves crunched; tiny sticks snapped under slow footsteps. It was the scattered acorns that caught her focus. Their auburn perfection, swollen to a taper, some adorned with matte caps still attached. Grace paused, clutched a handful from the earthen ground and tucked them into her sweater’s woolen pocket. The seeds with their tops in place, she gently wrapped within a soft tissue, and tucked them safely into her purse pocket. Autumn gifts a magical performance; she possessed a talisman of sorts, an agent to ward off the inevitable glances, the forthcoming storm of vicious words; for now she clutched a shield of beauty to front her heart. The door of the institution automatically opened. She stepped inside.

 

He is gone now. Those same acorns remain today, nestled together within a crystal bowl, placed center upon an oak sideboard. They remind her of him, his impossible quest for perfection, his strength mixed up in a fragile, tumbled mind, his broken heart and the shadowed path he chose to walk along.

 

Every autumn Grace recalled that moment in time; memory held the beauty that unfolded into a perfect autumn scene. Now, she imagines him standing beside her. She places the acorns into the palm of his outstretched hand and whispers, “I love you. Always.” A tear brims and slowly rolls down to rest upon his cheek. “Always,” he replies.

 

Autumn’s looming shadow shivers; questions remain unanswered; a heart broken. Still, every season nature repeats the glorious show, adorned in resplendent, golden beauty. Grace smiles. She has come to accept, all is not as it appears.

 

 

To Walk Away

To walk away from where you came from is a frightening action. So much of your being, unbeknownst to you, tied to DNA, blood lines, loyal ancestor’s toils, stories shared, the memories, beautiful and bitter-sweet. The alluring moments linger, testing strength and will. They coax and bind you to your past. The bittersweet ones? The answers you search for, never come. This is your family; your clan, your protective circle.

Grace always knew. The child held the images, the words, locked them away for a time far, far ahead in the future. Imagine. Born into a life, sensing from an early age that life is fresh yet fleeting. She discovered the bluest of eggs, dropped from the arms of the cherry tree, tucked within tufts of grass. She cupped the coveted treasure into a fist, gingerly wrapped the thin membrane within a blanket of tissue. Later, she discovered the shattered bits of shell. Life’s fragile nature, beginning with the innocence of childhood; the necessary lessons we all must learn.

Long ago, Grace began the process of learning to leave. An eye on the future, a foot firmly planted in the past, a tender child’s heart tied to tattered scraps of love, bits of hope. The remnants of a wish. What did she wish for? Simply love. Enduring love.

 

 

Memories

Breathe. Just breathe; this will pass. That shivery sensation again, secreted memories unwrapped, tangled over her heart. Left shaken, emotionally disheveled, abandoned and dismissed.

Memories, elusive, dark, stealthy fairies, suddenly pop up, resurfacing on a whim. Beguiling tricksters snag a heart off guard. Thump, thump– stomping glee filled feet as they encircle.

“You didn’t matter,” they screech.

Imagine a perfect day, diamond lit skies, kitten white clouds and joyous moments suddenly met with gloomy storm. You wonder why these demons surface? You’re just stopped at a red light, an ordinary moment in life.

Love’s betrayal is their life- blood, their sustenance. Waiting in a ruby jewel box, carefully wrapped within life’s layers, to suddenly emerge kicking, thumping, merciless.

“You are weak,” she screams.

The cowards scamper away. They have left her alone to find beauty in another day. There will be another day; she will find it glorious, waiting not yet discovered. Beautiful moments: Look there in a child’s precious smile, see the late summer bloom of the single last rose, be in the quiet silence of reflection.

There is a purposeful plan. This is her given life complete with struggles and overwhelming joys; the path she is placed on. There is intentional strength and courage at her core. She learned compassion.

“You will never rule,” she shouts to the blustering wind.

These brave words, carried forth on a gust, travel far and wide until coming to rest upon a doorstep. Truth.