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


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. 


Desert of our own making.

Deserted by our own forsaking

of our places within the sacred hoop,

of the dancing that gives the skies tear-filled hope

for the possibility of Earth’s creatures’ beauty.

Desolation as far as the I can see,

deposed from our yearning to be free

by the learning that we have no homes

for which to be brave.

Slaves to a system

built on the illusion that anything can be owned.

Land, soil, oil, minds, bodies, bodies, bodies

these bodies that know only breathing and being,

planting and tending,

loving and dying.

Ripped up from roots like so much tender sapling,

told to wander the dry places seeking shelter,

from the elements that are not intended to be so harsh.

Thirsty for a rightness we hardly remember.

Seeking a garden whispered to our hearts

through the long ages of forgetting,

of raping 

of traipsing over the sacred

and digging far too many unwishing wells.

We are spelled by the sins of our fathers,

with no comprehension of the legacy

that spurs us to strap our be-longings to our backs

and walk until these bodies give out.

In every direction seemingly endless brokenness,

unquenchable parchedness.

Even the wildflowers choke on the dust of our forgetting

of the interdependence of life:

that caring for ourselves includes caring for each other.


And so I pray for rain.

Long for the smell of it reaching this dust over my faith

in the innate goodness of humanity.

I dream of dancing in verdant food forests.

A whole species remembering what it means to receive ripe fruit from trees

who are grateful that we wait beneath them with open palms.

Eating the corn cooked by happy people,

who never have to question where we will sleep that night.


I pray for rain,

as fields lie cracked and fallow,

as we no longer know who to follow,

as generation after generation loose our homes,

as we face the worst droughts in the history of our society.


I pray for rain,

to wash our hearts clean,

to wash clean the eyes of those who see only distortions of green,

to revive fecundity in these bodies, these lands,

to resurrect the garden of eden.


These tears, these tears, these tears

bring water to the desert,

But quickly it fades. 

I cannot wail enough to make up for what has been lost, is being lost.

So I pray for rain,

that our children may know what it means to dance in joy again.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry