Tender,
Earth calls
asking us to pay attention.
Will we remember
how precious our breath
if, even if,
the fires calm down and the viruses pass?

Tonight I will be warm,
safely entangled with only my cat creature, knowing I will have food in the morning and ways to make art all the days I choose.
I recognize the immensity of this gift, that should be a right, that should be so normal as to need remembering only in the daily prayers of gratitude,
not the prayers we make when something is missing, when desperation the only food we know, that makes only more of itself.
Can we let every relatively easy breath be a doorway to truth?
Can we hold the paradox of preparation free of panic, the complexity of trust free of complacency,
remember sacredness without scarcity,
and preciousness without possessiveness?
Oh, these precarious, perilous times.

Tender,
I wash these hands
I touch warm fur
I hold color and keys
I dream of skin that will not transmit illness,
and the warm embrace of shared breath,
for now, I find it in the skin of drum
the breath of sky,
the pixels of a beloved face brought into focus across miles and quarantines,
the fire held safely in wax and wick and distance

Tender,
I will keep yearning for you,
across the space that protects us,
reaching for you beyond the stories that wound us,
loving this life beyond the fears that haunt us,
treasuring the future memory of your warm arms,
even as I carefully wash my hands.

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.

Trust the gentle joy.

Open to the moments of grace

when ease is enough,

and the smile of your heart

finds its way to your face.

Notice your addiction to grandiosity.

The flash and pomp of the high-flying banner

of triumph or despair.

How you glamorize suffering

and attach to intensity.

Adrenaline’s normality

makes us miss the beauty

 

of our own quiet suchness.

One. fully. breathed. breath

is worth a thousand gasps.

The soft, contented “yes”

more powerful than any yelp.

A whispered, heartfelt “Thank you,”

humanity’s greatest prayer.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry