Ground is white.

from snow or salt I cannot tell.

How we compensate for weather 

without considering the causes 

 

and blessings

 of climate.

 

Sky shifts.

one shade of grey to another,

even the layers of glass cannot keep the bleak out.

 

For a reason, the world sleeps.

for a season, color vacates

and warmth is a dream remembered,

of easier times.

A thing saved for tropical climes.

Nothing can live forever.

Even the Sun rests.

In our myths,

   the Sun always dies.

as all heroes, curious of what the Underworld knows.

 

Pluto, the keeper of that cavernous place

 laughs at attachments,

mocks our silly attempts to hold onto life

like something tangible.

Winter reminds us that life is a circle,

Color is ephemeral,

and Fire knows when to go out.

And when to stay in.

 

As babes in wombs dream of the children they will become,

as seeds in ground envision their eventual blossom and fruit,

so we dream our awakening,

so we hang on to promise.

Through deep layers and long shadows.

Through haze of grey on grey,

white on white,

day on day.

Through the illusion of nothing

and the great numbing waste.

 

Don’t pour salt on your roads.

Let the snow slow you down.

Let the ice remind you

how precious each step,

how precarious each moment.

Move just enough aside

to prepare the soil

for the new life to come.

 

the depths of the Fall.

Some leaves still green,

some brown,

some a radiant red,

defying death for a moment

of blazing, illustrious relishment

before succumbing to the inevitable insensitivity

 

of time to beauty.

The long nights 

punctuated by bright crescent moon

and crisp air,

and the inexorable charging

towards release into darkness.

We can never accomplish

all that we hope

in a season, a year,

a life.

That is the nature of the meeting

of our cyclical universe

with the linearity of desire.

Flow exists because of ebb.

And letting go is the art of a lifetime;

though incremental, increasingly essential the longer we live.

 

So we fall.

 

like finally dried leaves,

still damp with the memory

of a Spring seemingly barely gone.

We wrap our uncertainty and impermanence around us

like so much wool.

Somehow surprised, again, 

that not even Summer lasts forever.

And the height of bright days’ blossoming

returns, in time,

both from and to

the depths of Autumn’s falling.

 

 

Listen to Niema share this poem on soundcloud

patience

paving the road,

one unclenching at a time

placed like stones in a line,

unsteadily yet assuredly

inching towards full presence.

Prescience

of a way of being together

beyond fantasies of forever,

past the tense 

gripping

of the past’s tension,

provides ballast

through outrageous storms.

Outed, this rage,

reveling in unconsciousness

unmasked in its impatience

its inordinate reaction sense.

Rage, born of every wrong,

every misspelled song;

sometimes buried

yet always burning,

 casting blame in widening arcs

charring the hope for healing when hidden,

now brought to the surface

unwieldy,

unwilling,

yet also forgiven,

thus revealing its true form:

the fear, the sadness, waiting

all along

to be seen in its true face,

to be given its proper place

in the open air,

where there is light,

and space,

and room to breathe.

Where, wisely spread,

everything can serve its purpose.

And the love that is our essence,

the beginning and end of all things,

is found again, 

through patience.

waiting for you to be what follows

when the lump in my throat dissolves.

When I finally check off everything on my to-do list,

for you to be 

there with hand outstretched,

inviting me on an adventure.

Wishing that your presence 

on my contacts list,

the last words we sent across the web

still visible,

frozen in time like your pixelated smile,

meant that I need only push a button

and wait for your response.

 

The ache of emptiness is its vastness.

the unquenchable yearning for it to be filled by something remembered,

something treasured.

Feeling the value

of what cannot be held.

Finding the fullness

hidden in every breath,

wisdom whispering at the edges,

like the echo of your laugh.

Abiding in the patient expectancy

of a life beholden

to cycles and seasons,

comings and leavings,

birthings and dyings,

I cannot help but look for you

when the spin stops

and my eyes turn to sky.

when my heart wonders who to call

to remind me of what is true.

But as wind can only be seen

by the way it dances the trees,

you only appear

in the salty warmth of my cheeks,

my poignant smile of gratitude

my pen on paper, witnessing

the unburdening of a heart 

that is bereft, and full, and following,

dissolving,

offering to life through art.

I am that rock on the river bottom,

rendered rotund by countless days of rushing water.

 

I was not always smooth.

Once I had crags and crevices.

Gnarly places,

where things got stuck.

Debris of old lives

hiding in my skin.

Became more than I could bare,

carrying all the broken bits,

rubbing myself raw with my own roughness,

overwhelmed by my own heaviness.

No one was brave enough to risk the scratches and rendings

of holding my sharp edges.

So I fell to the bottom.

Where there was nothing but darkness and moistness.

Water, ceaselessly rushing over me.

Tumbling me just enough to reach all of my places,

but mostly just letting me be in it.

I lost track of time, shape, or anything else seemingly certain.

 

Vanity melted in the gently relentless reshaping.

Who knew I was so attached to my untouchability.

no more

no more

I am not identifiable by any obvious means,

indistinguishable from the other stones polished by patience. 

I am just that rock on the river bottom,

 

sitting at the ground of being as it all rushes by above me.

Curious enough to watch it go by, 

let it rouse me enough to travel a bit further downstream,

but mostly just let it be.

Though it will take more time than I care to count,

eventually, eventually,

there will be no more substance here.

Just as there are no longer edges on my cool grey skin,

there will be no leaves or logs or bits of bird's nests,

and there will be no stone.

Just the water, 

carrying it all away.

Should is the sledgehammer of shame,

wielded against the marrow of our souls.

 

“You should have known better.

You should do what you’re told.

You should let go of what’s old.

You should already be evolved…”

 

Robbing us of our spontaneity,

humanity,

vulnerability,

and any sense of worth.

It tells us that frailty is inexcusable.

Omnipotence and omniscience requirements for acceptance.

That somehow our futures can inform the past

in concrete and solid ways.

We do not know what we do not know.

 

This weapon of mass destruction,

the torturous instruction

to be something other than we are.

To conform, follow the norm, or be ever informed.

This pounding shattering soul-crushing illusion

that holds us in heart-aching confusion,

that hides so close to the desire for greatness,

stealing words from our higher selves’ edicts,

and twisting them into whips

with which we scar our own backs.

 

 

Stop. Shoulding. on yourself.

Put down the hammer you have used

to punish yourself for being human.

Listen, yes, for the wellspring of discernment.

The wisdom to make life-giving choices.

The knowing of when a misstep needs atonement.

But do not contort to the whims

of a half-awake world.

Do not cast yourself out

from the circle of your own love,

for any of the ways weakness, failure,

or especially authenticity find you.

Let not your mind bind you.

Speak words that unwind you.

Allow intention to define you.

And hold up your open hand.

The power of being loved as we are.

Radiantly spinning around our own stars

born from the willingness to writhe and rise in mutual burning.

This effulgent elegance, this single branch

of a dream-tree long understood as essential to the unfolding

of a heart’s prismatic holding.

 

I am made partially of him, now.

Cells rubbed open by an unquenchable desire for knowing

of what we are truly made.

The words whispered in the depths of our mornings, mournings, moorings,

but a brush painting vague shapes across the ocean upon which we sail.

This boat made bit by bit,

each breath taken together a well-laid plank,

the lavish tears a lacquer against the inevitable demise of our preconceptions

into something that will wear our finish, but never break our bough.

This ship, made of every wish ever made to know the marrow of love

rocks on the uncertain certainty that we can never be more or less than our wildest imaginings:

that we can never be all we hope, yet that is all.

 

The undiscovered country looms before crystal-colored eyes,

and for a moment nothing is known

but the feeling of this heartbeat under my ear as home,

and the ground quaking to reassemble into an Earth where my island has been obliterated

and in its place stands a bridge;

backdrop to an unfailingly open palm. 

 

Receiving the unending acceptance and unblinking reflection

that transforms shame into celebration,

that makes art of every fat roll, every wrinkle, every disappointment

and dribble of well-crafted cynicism,

that calls and entices and awakens me into the fullness of the shape love would invite me to fill.

Which is exactly as I am, 

precisely imperfectly fully the me that sings,

minus the surrender of my brokenness,

and with the silhouette of tandem wings.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry