20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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Where Green Meets Blue

2014-07-13 10.14.43

There is no such thing as too much time by the sea
for she’s my closest friend
sometimes enrapturing me with laughter
sometimes pounding discontent
sometimes kissing my feet with salty tears

Long spaces of time may transpire between visits
but we start again right where we left off
marvel at the changes in each other
laugh together at the shorebirds
gobbling tiny morsels of gossip

We sit together, my sea-friend and I
pick up pink-striped shells, broken slivers of sand dollars
and throw them back into the welcoming waves

She cannot resist one more caress on the shore
and I, one more glance across the horizon
where green meets blue in perfect union

It may be true that I could share this love
with any other shore
nourish the same quiet friendship
but there is a secret here in the crystal sands
there is a solitude that spreads like religion
no matter how many people circle ‘round
there is healing like a baptism
in every splash upon the shore

SpiritLed 2014


Heartsong

Bedroom with moonlight and smoke

Twilight sparkles in violet eyes
that gaze upon a star-filled night
ponder the vastness of the world in view
questions if there is any more in this lifetime or the next

Moonbeams shower illustrious glory
a worried mind with hopes for tomorrow
soaks in the rays, feels the loving arms
of those gone before,
soothing lullabies for an ancient generation
raise laughter to the sky

Through thick and thin
disaster and delight
she takes the moon to be her partner,
her loving mistress of the night
who fuels her warrior spirit
and fills her with the courage to face each day
to know and recognize
that the pounding,  fleshy organ in her chest
brings life not from its incessant beating
but from its unending capacity
to hold us all within its crimson chamber

©SpiritLed 2014


Divinity Entombed

Entrance to Sousse catacombs flooded with light

In the morning you look like every other
sinner, makeup smeared, hair unkempt,
heart heavy with the bloody dawn of forgiveness

For last you went to Sunday School
the preacher warned, “Remember,
everyone’s a sinner”, even 10-year-old
girls with pigtails and lofty dreams,

and you swallowed hard again the accusation
cloaked in kindness, accepting the wafer with a
clutching sense of panic that hell
might befall you if you do partake, and
most especially if you don’t

Heaven became a destination,
a sought-after paradise unobtainable
amidst your sureness that there is no
eternal story, your suspicion that even you
might not be real

And in this darkness welled a great sorrow,
a longing which cried to fling itself to freedom,
in this solitude laid a song, mimicking
the mournful wail of birds at dawn

Beneath skin stretched translucent,
intertwined with bone and sinew,
muscles, fat, and pulsing organs
deep within the essence of you, lies the
realness that you seek, the ghostly ghastly
spirit soul, your divinity entombed

Go now, and wrestle free from your human skin,
allow the light of your eternal being to permeate
the darkness of your soul

©SpiritLed 2014


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Sentinel

Weekend hair falls in tendrils
     around your face as you relax in the sun
     I brush it back, not knowing when I’ll
     have this chance again

For when you go
     you run away so fast, that I barely
     feel a breeze, and, laughing,
     you don’t look back,
     not even for a moment,
     though I never take my eyes off you

I see you from a deeper place
     I feel your joy and sorrow,
     I know your anguish
     that life isn’t what you had hoped

     I know these things
     and I think you realize it too

I can help you heal, but you are
     stubborn and playful,
     the wind in your hair
     feels too freeing in this moment

     I patiently hold you in my gaze,
     knowing sometimes
     that can be healing enough

©SpiritLed 2014


Tiny Cracks

Wet wall

Memories seep through tiny cracks
like a bird building a nest
you gather up all you can find
twigs, feathers, bits of trash
yet even concrete cannot seal you off completely
nothing stops the seeping

dripping in like
         the water leaking into a metal bowl
         from the pipe beneath the sink

slithering in like
         the venomous snake who seeks refuge
         in an unseen crevice in my garage wall

tiptoeing in like
         the cat who moves through darkness
         to appear where she wasn’t before

©SpiritLed 2014


Lakshmi’s Hope

Lakshmi

Lakshmi’s outstretched arms
promise wealth, love, liberation,
and the life that brings great meaning

This hope, engendered from the core of
ancient connection, gives rise to
swirling rooftop fantasies
that four arms provide a proper parachute,
a prescription against aspiration landing –
splat
on the concrete below

©SpiritLed 2014


Tidal Wave

Woman in water

There is the path that cleanses all
inequity, yet I just sit here
staring into space, epitomizing this
headache that started even before
I was fully awake, setting sail to
pity parties in my bathtub ocean,
confined by solid walls, no tide
to refresh impurities, a fish tank
in the background the only
indication of moving water,
stirring spirit

©SpiritLed 2014


Into the Open

colombe

Birds sound in the birch tree outside my window,
squawks and caws of blue jays and ravens,
the familiar “birdie birdie” of the cardinal,
a “tut tut” from a robin, and the occasional
“hoo hoo” of the turtle dove

They go about their days
never making note of my coming
and going, buildiing their nests,
laying their eggs, hatching helpless
babies with no announcement
of their arrival

Kids find a baby bird on the
sidewalk, hairless, eyes still closed,
too soon outside the protection of
its egg.  They try in vain to save it,
pour water over its tiny body,
baking in the afternoon sun, feed
worms into its gaping mouth, gasping
for its final breath.  They place its body
into last year’s fallen nest and forget
about it, on to enjoy their next adventure

The turtle dove sits on my windowsill
for at least an hour, peering nervously yet
never offering to depart, dark eyes piercing,
she stares, unblinking, and I stare at her,
and together we ponder what to do,
remain here on this ledge contemplating
each other and the world beyond,
or take flight, entrust the wind to carry us
on its back, permit the ground
to soften falls along the way, when,
startled, I break our gaze to look
behind me, and turning back
to my companion outside the screen,
I find that she is gone

©SpiritLed 2014


April Fool

I’m no April fool, but I thought
I heard you say, a hundred years
ago, that life would be easy,
the games we play would be more
sophisticated, but they would still be
fun, that the little cracks that form
as we navigate the boundaries ,
would not transform into gaping,
boundless caverns, but instead creep
clouds of light into every moment
and remind us that we are who
we’re supposed to be

no, that was just imagined, for
so many times this seems to be
the definitive experience of
guileless courage, a hazy fog of hapless
misunderstandings, lethargic
ramblings of a maddened soul

even if the words don’t make sense,
leak out all the roiling emotion you keep
so tidy on the shelf of self-control,
dump the contents in a scattered and
untidy heap in a way such that only you
can sort through and make any logic
from the chaos, organized and classified
from appropriate to downright crazy,
go ahead and dive right in,
flounder in the helpless overwhelm that
cleanses the creative palate

even if the madman in your mind
claims that you will never heal
the wounds that reside inside,
sleeping just beneath the surface,
reaching up to reveal the tender parts,
then retreating to leave doubt and
revelation in their wake

even as the walls begin to tumble
down, as you sink, rising and falling
soaring and tumbling through
the cycles that bring you near
perfection then catapult you
out into the shadows where
the grey gloom hovers, seeps inside,
fills the cavernous holes

even there in the most violent and
torrential path, truth is revealed,
sears the heart like streaks of dust
across the cloudy window pane
from which you peer with silent
anticipation and lonely longing
to see the light and rise up
to your rightful place
at the throne of your own life

©SpiritLed 2014


The Ocean Within

Ebbing and flowing,
cleansing and nourishing,
from the tiniest fish that swim
in your veins, to the largest whales
of your soul, rely on the life-giving
water from within, nourished by the sun through day,
directed by the tides at night, touched by
the hand of God and bestowed the power
to create and sustain life, to raise up
great storms and inspire the heart of man,
to love with great fury and tear down walls
built long ago by another people’s war

The water that makes you
is ordained with holy wings,
harness the power of the great ocean inside,
use it not for devastation of the unruly and
sinful parts, but as a sacred trough from which
all may drink and find the blessings of life

©SpiritLed 2014


Truth and Lies

A lie is really not a lie
when it comes from
someone else’s truth,

for then it is so real
one can no longer tell
the difference,  unless

of course, it becomes the Truth,
and overpowers other truths,
for then those truths become

the lies, and the Truth proliferates
and grows, while lies take refuge
underground and Truth abounds

throughout the land, until the day
that lies again become the truth
and liberate the holy earth

©SpiritLed 2014


Nana with Rose Petal Tears

2014-04-09 07.42.25

Rose petals, like teardrops,
fall softly to my kitchen counter,
surround the vase where the wilted flowers
droop their heads in reverence to the
stooping, plucking, pruning

of Nana tending to her roses
crouching in her gardening shorts,
as I play in the field behind her house,
searching for rabbits’ nests and pulling out
my dollhouse to set up in the quiet patio shade,

of Nana sweet and fragrant as the roses
that she tended, bare legs exposed, a rebel
of a time when women wore only skirts and hosiery,
bustling about in her slippers and shorts,
cultivating an escape from everyday life

of Nana’s hair, soft between my fingertips,
like rose petals, as she lies in bed, life gradually
slipping through grasping hands, ice chips, greeting
cards, and tear-soaked tissues encircling roses
on the bedside table

of my Nana who never cried, at least not that I
can remember, but if she had, I know her tears would be
rose petals, cascading between dreams and
backyard memories, sweetly-scented and multi-hued,
formed together into one final bloom

©SpiritLed 2014


Shiny Things

The newness wore off
like an old penny you put
in your pocket and forgot
about, chasing the next
shiny thing.  You didn’t
mean to lose interest, but
there was so much to see and do,
how could you be expected
to stay in one place, to hold
this moment in your gaze for
any longer than you did?  The time
you had was long enough,
enough to create beautiful
moments, explore cities and
beaches, soak up the excitement
and agony of being alive, until
you weren’t, until the plane
on which you flew was no longer
part of the world the rest of us
call home, and the shiny things no
longer distracted you, for
everything was glimmering and
whole, like you

©SpiritLed 2014


Invisible

The well runs dry and, parched with fear,
I agonize that I, myself, may shrivel up,
run dry of heart-felt words, that in the end,
the new will once again be old, dwindling
on the page where the worn out and overused
go to seek their final solace, exhausted
from their time of service to the higher cause
of originating expressions of light,
inspiration, and heart-pouring sentiment,
the depth of inner being
spilled forth on public pages

I write my words for you,
my life laid platter-bare,
but what if, after all the words dry up,
there’s nothing there?  What if
I really was invisible?

©SpiritLed 2014

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