The worst demons

are the ones within.
Let me wrestle you, foe,
until you see mud
taste the dirt from the earth
and know your place;
tremble, to behold
that misshapen side
the gnarled fist
as one image merges
into another
and I perceive
myself –
panting, fearsome,
hiding from my Beowulf
as I search
for one,
solid, shaft of light.

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Alpha Ursae Minoris

Again you call to me:
“Begin from where you are,”
Heard the little bird
from the big, bright star;
And now when I am sinking
Like one of yours
who did too much thinking
When he walked on water
to you, but fell short,
Surrounded by friends
on boat and at port
Who could do
but naught;
I feel the weight of under
sinking, quickly, asunder
Loud waves beside me,
crashing,
night, strangely, unending –
Yet, lo, the star,
spoke with gravity from afar,
“Now then, take patience
And do not mar;
Your home is with me
And it’s not far.”

A Moment on the Quest

Today, then,

Let my prayer be,

“He increase

as I decrease,”

That the whole

of the Hole

grows dimmer;

That the hugeness

of the Hunger

shrinks;

That the pain

of the Why

fades

into light –

So,

As sunlight

Sifting through

The forest floor,

There,

there I find

My peace.

The Persistence of Memory

Bring me back to 1993

When it was just you and me

Singing together in the night

Though you couldn’t hear me then it was alright

‘Cos you touched thousands, and I was

Just one

Blessed enough to know you.

Now, with beauty faded

I still recognise your coy lipstick stains

Strewn remnants,

Crumbs,

To find that missing part of me;

And before I let

The strangers engulf

I look back and wonder

At what I’ve gained

And what I’ve lost

And what I never even had

All this while.

Null Hypothesis

There’s a girl I know

(who doesn’t know me)

That’s a friend of a friend

(distance, that’s key)

Who has a smile so wide

(for sure full of glee)

And a heart so big

(as big as the sea)

Take it she’s with him

(Let RS stand for thee)

Then I’m happy for her

(but no, love does not come free)

That girl’s not me

It’s a friend’s friend, you see

And hypothetically…

Is all,

all that I can see.

Just Say No

A timely reminder to affirm the writer in the self, even through the fog of naysaying murmurs that try to prove the unprofitable nature of writing.

Live to Write - Write to Live

1just-say-no             Even though I write full time, I still don’t have enough hours in a day. When I worked at other jobs, when my kids were small and when I had even less time to write than I do know, that’s when I still believed I had all the time in the world to do everything I wanted.

Now I know better. And because I don’t have enough time – not enough time in the wall_clock_threeday, this month, this year – even if I live to be ninety (which no longer seems so, so far away), I’ll probably never have enough time to do everything I want to. So I’ve learned how to say No.

I say no to serving on boards, even boards of organizations I believe in. Actually, I say No, thank you. Maybe there’s some other way I can help.

I say No to organizing…

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One Word

One word

From you

Would be all I need

To be free

From these chains;

One word

To cast out the demons:

An exoneration

Long wished for.

One word

From you

Would be enough

To soothe these sores

The remaining bastions of

An empire built in dust;

One word

To set the peons free

Who, up til now, still roam

The grasslands,

Scavenging for rubrics

To measure themselves, by the by.

One word

From you

My balm, my solace,

Would remind me of who I am

Not who I should have been

Not where I’ve fallen;

One word

To put my aching heart

To rest.

One word

From you

And these walls would fly

That mountain move

And walk into the sea –

but one word

you say

in gentleness,

in 

unfathomable

love,

in knowing a time

not yet come,

in seeing my goodness,

my all:

“Stay.”

My Michaelmas Room

My Michaelmas room is a battlefield

Where I put up resistance

Every morning

Roll call comes late at eleven

When, giddy with yesterday’s smog, I rise

Only to fall back in line

With the skeleton crew, those roaming pirates

Who hail no good thing master.

Slowly, my legs shrink with atrophy

And my ASOS jeans fit…

Clang!

Goes the metal motor

Our crew zips away

Off, off, into the high seas,

Only this time the danger is clear:

Beware the jabberwocky, my dear,

Whose craven mouth

Awaits the slothful, the banal,

And claws out hearts of fear.

While they do great things

While they do great things

I wash the linen, white and pure

So that their garments may be spotless, evermore

While they do great things

I iron out the creases, tease out shadows from past rinses

So that these vestments shine, like a new comet named mine

While they do great things

I hang them by the fire to dry

So that they prove beyond the dye

While they do great things

I fold them close to me

So that one day, soon, they’ll truly see