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)

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.

Searching for home.

Upturning stones,

disentangling dry roots

entrenched in unstable soil.

Where is the place to rest this dream-filled head?

Even wildflowers need a well-tended bed.

Even the phoenix has a soft nest,

when she is not busy dissolving

into the flame of her becoming.

These beings intrinsically reside within a belonging

that comes from knowing 

that they are indivisible from that which makes them.

 

Humans are the only creatures that claim to own bits of Earth,

and the only ones to believe in the existence of homelessness

on this garden planet.

This glowing orb that is all home.

I don’t need to own,

to claim,

none of this precious dirt need to be mine.

But I want to be claimed

by a living temple of wood and stone,

a soft nest of clay and earthbone.

I feel the ache of ancestors ripped from all that was known

forced to flee, to roam.

This greed to own

born of the fear of freedom

and addiction to others’ resources

displacing everyone.

Interfering with our innate connection to our fountain,

our taproot, our true source.

I cry the tears of a thousand people

who have buried dreams and children on the side of the road.

 

I want to go home,  

but it’s a place long lost

and not yet found again,

not yet emerged

from the ashes of a history

of aggressive agriculture and possessive war.

We don’t need to own, to claim,

no place need belong to us.

But we need to belong to place.

Some place with space 

for our seeking roots and tender hearts.

 

I don’t want land to belong to me,

I simply want to belong to Her,

and thus, to get Her, to gather, together.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry