Poem – Fragments from Absentia 19

(1)

In this dream I watched
your silhouette dress.

Sounds of the streets below
carried by the autumn wind.

We had a place to be
but I do not remember where.

I caught a glance of your eyes
in the mirror and the soft blue

with a hint of smile told
me this was not real.

(2)

I wandered the streets
of mirrors for days
and weeks searching for the
one last person I knew.

(3)

I stood at the corner
beneath buildings of
concrete and glass.

Rain fell everywhere but
upon me and I walked

dry and untouched down
empty streets and empty lives.

(4)

I stood at the corner
and waited for the last bus.

Its doors opened but no one exited.
I boarded and there was no driver.

The inside was dark and wet.
I stumbled around trying to

find anything and after
hours of a fruitless search

I sat down and fell asleep
while the bus left the station.


Downtown Streets, by Twisted Root Studios – http://www.twistedrootstudios.com

Downtown Streets

Downtown Streets, by Twisted Root Studios – http://www.twistedrootstudios.com

Essay – Judgment

Why do we continue to judge ourselves and our actions against a written word and faceless God when the only entity we should measure against is life around us, how we impact them, and the face in the mirror?

When you wake, can you think back, reflect on the previous day, your actions, your impact, and be ok? Do you feel you tried to be the best person you could, but know you have tomorrow to try again?

What can we do for ourselves, people, non-humans, that will better today, tomorrow and years from now when we have passed and our children follow the footsteps we have implanted in the black earth?

Pine needles fall upon my head. The sweet pungent earth mixes with the summer rain. Each step leaves a mark of the way I took, a path for others to follow. I carefully choose where I go and the destruction I may leave in my wake. I turn-around and learn what I can, soak in the experience, and move forward as the ravens follow.

Birds gather across the open sky and we join hands across borders and across cultures because we are human and we are in this together.

weekend-Common-Raven

Poem – How Many

Each day rolls into the next
nothing has changed except
the distance between the
smile and the struggle within
the person becoming more of a
shell…

How many more days can
I keep this going? Inside
I am me, but fear it
has to be repressed, kept
quiet and hidden, exposed
through what others want
me to be.

Poem Snippets

#1

I looked to the sunset.
I saw your face in the
orange tinged clouds and
now I know what to do.

#2

In the silence I watch the dog
watching with wonder the dragonfly.

Perched on the chair back
translucent wings and red body

conjure images of life before life
when we were single-celled organisms.

#3

I swim the vast sea for days
seeking something I cannot name.

Fueled by hope for tomorrow
to be better than today.

Peace – Robin Williams

What demons  did you finally succumb to?

Did you give so much to the world, to people, that there was nothing left for yourself?

May you finally rest in peace and look down upon the earth and see the tears and hear the laughter and voices speak of the impact you had on all of us.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Poem – When the Tree Speaks My Name

Weeks have passed since my last visit.

Jack pine needles blanket the pole barn’s roof

a painting of solid green and brown slivers.

The front porch is covered with maple and oak leaves,

spider webs and left-over wood that was cut for fires.

What used to be a driveway is now in the beginning stages

of returning to prairie grasses with spotted wild flowers.

Dragonflies, damselflies, and other winged creatures

casually float 20 to 30 feet overhead and beneath

afternoon blue sky, growing darker as the sun

is sinking below the treeline.

With what little light is left I choose the pruning

shears and work my way to the trail I have the past 3-years

cleaning, clearing, and moving deeper into the forest

of countless trees, creatures, and tall guardians.

My goal is to cut branches below 8 feet and leave

a tunnel, allowing more light through and the

path to take on murky, moving shadows.

At the third tree, I stopped, still, silent

and listened as the tree in front of me,

a white birch, spoke my name.

I touched its trunk, felt its heart and energy

and decided that was enough for the evening.

Where we are going, what have we done

I tend to be a private person when it comes to political, economic, and social issues, but the state of the world now is too much to keep inside, to keep from spilling like blood into sands. As a person and part of humanity, with a connection to each living being, I feel sadness and loss when tragedy befalls innocent people. Regardless of a state of war, what sense, what purpose is there to take the lives of women, children, and men as passengers on a plane? What purpose is there to take the life of four children playing on a beach?

These wars have been raging for thousands and thousands of years, and peace or a truce are nowhere to be seen. No matter the cost, the lives lost, any misguided direction, any god complex, wars continue to roll through communities, cities, countries, and take on a life of their own. The war takes over the people and grows its own purpose and this monster has no care, has no feelings or empathy for those that get in the way. In many ways it becomes the sum of each person involved in starting the machine and we lose any chance of controlling or stopping what we have created, what is essentially an extension of our self.

Wars… a battle for power, ideology, resources, respect, and survival. If the causes are addressed before they become a battle cry, can we prevent the war? At the end of day, what do we really want? Safety, food, water, opportunities for us and children, and respect. I believe something. You believe something. As long as it does not interfere with the basic needs of others, has a moral framework, I have no issues and have respect for your beliefs. Wars over religious beliefs, and those demeaning to others, make no sense. If your deity is loving and caring, died for you, do you really think it makes sense to kill over an interpretation of words, arbitrary boundaries, or the thought “my belief is better than yours”? That seems to fly in the face of what you think you are fighting for. Either communities need step up or governments need to step down to find a balance between the people’s basic needs and the government providing a framework for those needs.

Retaliation to an act causes a reaction to the retaliation, and each response escalates. It only ends when nothing is left and neither side “wins”. We will throw out words of peace, balance, and truce. But that will not come about until we understand the people’s needs, the root cause, and sometimes have to swallow pride in the short-term to find a solution for the long-term, to find stability, to find a balance between people, communities, and governments.

There will always be those who want more, how are not satisfied, and will take from others. If the community as a whole is in peace and working together, we can deal we these situations before they become a local and then global war.

There will be no children left to pick up the pieces of a shattered world and move forward, to rebuild, to come together.


Poem – The War-Child’s Innocence


Standing among the ruins.
He looks out over to the west, as the sun sets upon the land
And the smoke billows from the ruins.
Many thoughts at once run through his mind and collide.

He stands alone, afraid to look.
Afraid to ask.
In his arms, he holds all that is left of his life.
The life sniffs the air and hides his eyes under his paws.
He knows what has happened as he howls at the blood red, war torn sky.

A tear falls from both of their eyes.

Poem – Welcome

Tears fall upon the lotus
growing near the red water.

A robed figure walks the
dirt path from the bay

carrying a full bucket
not one drop is spilled

as they descend a hill
leading to the monastery.

~

Trees give up their leaves
to the earth, the earth

gives the leaves to animals,
what is left goes to the

insects and back to the earth.

~

In the evening the doors close
while they prepare an offering

for the forest and a meal for
themselves and guests.

~

Travellers pass the simple iron gates daily
while a few will enter.

The road leads through a pine forest,
an empty field, before passing the gardens.

~

Many people are hunched over
or carrying vegetables to wagons.

The sun is hot and the sky is clear
the wind is calm and the tress are tall.

I stop and watch a woman leading a child
toward a field of carrots or potatoes.

A man went and joined them and together
they pulled food from the earth.

~

I continued past the gardens until
I reached the front of a large

building surrounded by white magnolias
and purple flowers I did not recognize.

The doors opened with no hesitations and
no questions asked of my bare feet,

scars across my back and holes in my hands.

Poem – To No One

I sat down to write what’s consuming
my mind day in and day out.

I thought on the state of the world
the wars, the drought, the famine -

the social and environmental
issues that continue to plague all beings.

I thought about what can we do
I thought about what can I do.

What is the root cause?

I know someone who talks
and preaches about a shift,

the coming end of what we think
we know and what we should know.

Existing or not existing
in that darkness, in that space

of nothing from which words
of proceeding masters are

twisted and malformed into a
new philosophy for a new age.

That age I move away from into
my own space, an inclusive space.

For how can we bring about change
by condemning another’s thoughts

another’s beliefs – peace comes
from understanding and respect

not guilt, shame, or hatred.

Poem – Absentia #20

I remember the music filling
the room and the flickering
lights across the throng
of dancing people as we
walked through the crowd
embracing while the bombs
fell around us.

We did not know until they
came in and shutdown the music
and the strobes and announced
that we could not leave
that we must stay here
until they tell us it is safe.

Who are they?

I looked around for an escape
looked for each exit but
they were blocked.

1

Poem – Eyes

“Your eyes are closed”.

“I’m not sleeping”.

That I cannot see through light
reflection and absorption
I see and imagine through
sound and subtle interpretations.

I hear the wind through the forest
and imagine birds feet clamped down,
swaying with each breath.

I hear ducks cannonball into the pond
counting each of their children.

I hear a low flying helicopter and
imagine people being ferried away from
ground-zero.

Loss of Words

Days spent watching and
listening to the news.

Anxiety creeps in with
each headline with
each story and tragedy.

Step after step toward the cliff
little time remains to salvage

fragents of humanity
the fractured souls becoming all of us.

~

I want to express the extreme
sadness that consumes my being
and the futile tears that only
I can see and feel.

Fists clenched the anger
disconnects reason from thought.

What goes through another’s mind?
What is left in their eyes?

~

I stand on the ridge line
both sides swept into fog.

The path ahead lined with
extended arms and hands

of those who passed before
those who gave this life.

There is only one way.