Becoming an us.

So long held in the strength of self,

warrior, mystic

all lone things.

Tempered with age.

Swan takes long in her becoming,

and wolf, after an era as lone, mates for life,

and births a pack, a tribe

from the union of two fiercely independent beings 

willing to practice togetherness.

 

Boar tusks interlock with goat horns 

and worlds are ripped apart in our stubbornness.

Then hooves move in tandem

stirring the compost,

aligning the rocks,

preparing the bed.

Learning how to hold the obsidian mirror,

to shine on each other’s darkness;

and the crystal,

to magnify each other’s light,

How to not lose one another

in the long shadows 

we ourselves cast.

How to build a love that lasts

through storms of fire

and the falling of empires,

the poisoning of oak

and the raging of what is broken, 

sweetbitter, 

the tender tinder 

within us

that would fuel a phoenix flame.

 

Your body perfectly fits mine.

Inner sanctum of my heart 

unlocks to the impression of your hand on my breastbone.

Harmony is born of very different voices

coming together in one song,

and though the tune at first seems strange,

our souls have known it all along.

Our crowns forged in the fire

we feed every time we turn towards each other:

the journey from co-dependence to independence to interdependence.

 

Unique pillars hold the temple roof

but they are hewn of the same stone;

the story of us written on every shared breath,

lips lost to the illusion of separateness;

the trees’ roots and branches intertwine,

two trunk hearts carved with one name:

mine, yet also yours,

alone, all one, together.

 

Loving is not the sum of wishes brought to fruition.

No book can fully convey the nuances of longing,

or how wishing continues long after it has come true,

how the pain of seeing weeds and wounds can unravel dreams.

 

I dreamed of you

but all my imaginings

were leaves in the wind

insubstantial, 

and beholden to the elements and seasons.

Only living as long as they are connected to roots,

fed by dedicated cultivation,

and given room to grow.

 

I prepared for you

But no amount of study could ready me 

for the reality of living with you.

each tired morning

each night of fighting

    the pervasiveness of loneliness;

each perception check against my projections:

disappointments stacking like bricks in the wall

we never thought we’d build in the middle of love’s garden.

 

I am not what you wished for.

Could not, will never be.

And you are not what I hoped.

Wishes live not in this complicated world.

Hopes are only for those too conditioned to act

and too afraid to actually change.

But we are still, again and again choosing to be here

even as the coating wears off

and the cracks show.

We might have to dig up the foundation

to build a house that will last,

one careful moment of tenderness

at a time.

We might have to let go of what we think we want

or deserve

to meet each other on the solid ground,

in the real world.

To plant seeds we will have to carefully tend through the season of darkness

that precedes each revelation

and thus, be delighted by the beauty of Spring,

as the saplings push through

the cracks in the thawing wall

wearing it away until it becomes a frame:

a foundation for the new life to come. 

 

 

Love is not what we imagine.

Not born of a thousand wishes,

or a million full-breathed sighs.

Not a prize

to be won,

when we finally get it right,

and blaze like a well-placed Sun.

There are no happily-ever-afters

on the path of true lovers.

Happiness is a fleeting, gracious visitor,

who does not wait for the bed to be made to stop by,

nor choose to come just because a perfect meal has been laid

and the house is finally clean.

 

No one can take away our longing.

 

Nothing in love, in life, in these precious lives is guaranteed,

other than surprise.

 

Longing is humanity’s greatest gift,

and perhaps our heaviest burden.

 

Years of yearning

and careful study

cannot prepare us for the reality

of another breathing, hurting, needing, opening, human being beside us;

for the capacity to long for someone

even when he is seven inches away;

for the necessity to be willing, again,

like children, to fail, to fall, to make awful mistakes,

to try and try and try harder and fail better and try again 

until we learn the art of loving well.

No fairytale could touch the immense truth that is learning how to love,

or the knowing that forever is lived

one tearful prayer

one anguished fight

one remembered detail,

one. breath. of forgiveness,

one day,

one kiss

at a time.

 

 

(hear this piece on soundcloud)

where breath meets
and light explodes inside.
Sentences become questions
and the quest inexorably changes.
We are changed by this loving.
We are known by our seeing.

 

Loosing history
sand falling through healing fingers
enabling the dexterity necessary
to weave a blanket 
from our unthreaded tapestries.
We cast a new clay vessel
from the shards of every heartbreak
from childhood hence.
Pull down each post from the fence
around our garden hearts,
to become firewood 
that burns with our love,
to fire the pots 
that will hold our future food.

 

This love is not for the feint,
though sometimes the fey.
Not for any part that clings 
to our illusions of separation,
or clutches the familiar wretchedness 
our wounds would bind us in.
We are learning that the only bounds around us
are the ones we've built.
And this bond of love
a tight rope over the jagged sharpness of our jadedness.
We let go
we hold on
we breathe into our weakness 
to remember we are strong.
We practice togetherness
through each tremulous unearthing
of what is sacred inside us.

 


This sapling,
This tree of love we are growing,
watered by tears, prayers, orgasms, and gratitude,
enlivened by our pulling the weeds and rocks from the soil.

Spirit touches this body 
through his hands,
through his lips caressing my brow.


I am a little girl lost in the woods,
and he plants a sign post.
I am a homeless priestess
and he shelters me,
while offering that we rebuild the temple
through our living.
I am simply and fully, finally, a woman 
praying for freedom,
and he smiles and says, "come on, let's learn to be humans, being."

This desire is beyond me.

Though it stems from my essence

it is a vast ocean of longing 

that drowns any who would dare peer into the deep.

 

Mystics know that only such an unstoppable force can create life.

I trust the heart that made this wish.

I trust the thrust of evolution,

the wild unwinding of this tightly coiled yearning.

This illustrious hiss of serpent stirring my soil.

 

I want him. 

 

Though I know he's only a metaphor.

A mirror melting and molten

an image of perfect absolution

in the arms of the Beloved.

   who could only ever be inside me.

Though my skill at projection 

defeats my remembrance of origination.

And I long for the comfort of sight and touch.

 

All I want is love. We seem to think it's all we need.

As Juliet whispered to the moonlit face of her other

"The more I give to thee, the more I have,"

But that story haunts us with its tragedy,

not the reminding of love's infinitude.

Like this drama of self pulling against self,

set against the backdrop of memory,

past or future, 

of one perfect night.

That one perfect night when I got my wish.

That has not yet been, and yet always lives in that realm

just outside of our field of vision.

And though life can give us what is asked,

it never guarantees duration

or satiation.

Or that it will match the magnificence

of our imagination.

 

Can I love myself enough?

Can I sit in deserving fully enough,

to taste the nectar of adoration?

Or will I clasp the poisonous asp to my breast 

like the unrequited lover of old?

I can only ever hold either of those insubstantial alliances for a moment

before the longed-for embrace takes the life it gives.

Like the shadowed serpent,

what I think I want has been cast so far away by the very fear of not having,

which is only ecliped by the fear of actually having,

that I am left alone with my wanting,

rather than risking the letting go that quickly follows such ecstasy.

It must be so,

else I would not have known bliss and agony in such rapid succession

with such relentless repetition.

 

In the still, soft dark of the quiet night.

Longing for a specter of a memory,

a wafting intangibility,

that for a moment let me taste the fruit of wholeness.

And yet was but a shade of what could be.

 

Desire

     is beyond me.

 

I cannot fight it, fear giving into it, 

feel dead when I turn away from it.

and lost when I look its way.

No power of choice,

no carefulness of voice,

no force of will,

can make the fallen a Queen again.

 

But perhaps I can choose the manner of sacrifice

or rather,

that which is given.

The spell has been cast,

the fate sealed,

the fire inevitable,

the thirst unquenchable.

But perhaps the gift is in the intractable inevitability

of this human frailty.

The fulfillment wiser than the plan.

And offering all the broken pieces,

in all their imperfect glory,

will bring me to the edge of history.

And give me what I truly wanted,

under the face of the longing,

 and beyond any inessential wish.

Please reload

© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry