20 Lines A Day

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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


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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


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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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The Healing Parts

The healing parts are mighty and wild,
careening through the dark mind,
simultaneously passive and angry,
they take you over, consume your soul.

They hunger for affection, else they grow
a life of their own, they thrive on tenderness,
else they join together to conquer
their demons with your pain.

The healing parts want to survive,
as the soul writhing in the night.
They are displaced and dissociated,
and only love returns them home,
validation of their realness,
so they may quench their fires,
no longer reduce you to ashes from the
inside out.

The healing parts are us,
and we, them. We are the parts
we buried deep so long ago, the voice
silenced and the voice raging, the broken, fragile,
lonely, fearful, hurting, hating parts.  We are healing
and we are real.

©SpiritLed 2014


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Regeneration

2014-03-21 13.59.20-1

Though spring has not yet blessed the trees with blossom, passing through
the woods this day, the sullen bareness of the dead tree among the living
draws my eye, its branches, like a skeleton, support the life nearby,
a chorus of creatures sing their dirges, oblivious that I have
trespassed in their woods, while the tree stands at attention and the world
goes on around, and through, exchanges its own life for hollow emptiness

No shame in being dead, for once you were alive,
and now you still bring grace and beauty,
no need for those around you to forget, to bury you or
avert their eyes from your emptiness

No, the world goes on, life goes on, better than perhaps before,
trickling rain, singing wind, crackling of your deathly limbs,
ruddy run-off water meandering across the path,
these create the harmonies that push life forward

©SpiritLed 2014


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Heart of the Matter

Just one more day
in the grind, in the bind,
and the voice in your mind
seems to whisper,
“Never let go”

Try as you may,
you can’t rest in one place,
your heart seems to wander
no matter how still your
feet stay

Late, late at night
the process unfolds,
it flows and it grows
through fingers and toes
‘til it reaches the heart
of the matter

The blank page inside you
longs to be written
your heart spills its ink
on the landscape
of life

Through all of your foibles,
your fallacies and farces,
the path in your heart is still
inky and wet

Freshly drawn, slightly smudged,
but still good as new
patiently, quietly nudging you
home

©SpiritLed 2014


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Sound of No Sound

Lost in thought, her mind
wanders to a younger day, when she
expertly walked the tightrope over joy and
pain, a misstep here and there, but
never completely losing herself in that
cauldron of self-awareness bubbling
below

Pain – it was not feared then, but
admired, on the weathered faces of
the elders, noting their wisdom and
grace, the simple way they brushed
her hair from her face, and kissed
her forehead, assuring her with their own
worry that there was none for her

But now she wonders where that
elder-wisdom has gone, and will it ever
find her, or if it’s even hers to long for,
the kiss of peace long ago washed from
her furrowed brow.

When did she stop trusting herself?
Was it the first time she rolled over in her
lover’s bed only to find he wasn’t there?
When she felt the sharp sensation of betrayal
from one she considered a friend?
When the sting of loss pierced her heart so
deeply she thought she would drown in the tears
she never cried?

In the stillness that is left she listens,
listens for anything that will convince her
she’s alive, and in that empty place, darkness
reverberates like a thousand universes swirling
around their suns, like the hum of angel wings,
like the breath of creation in her ears

Like all those who came before her
Like all who will ever come

The sound of no sound
bringing life, bringing light
resting in the goodness that rests
inside the stillness of her mind,
where she is whole

©SpiritLed 2014


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Thirty-Nine

Today I turn 39.  My last year in my 30’s.  If I had my nearly 4 decades to do over, I’d stay home with my kids, which is a total contradiction because I hated staying at home when they were very young.  Now I’d do it all over again and for longer, just for more time with them.  I’d go to graduate school the first time I had the chance.  I’d go back to that first relationship in high school, and I’d say no to that boy.  Yes, it would change the course of my life, but I’d avoid the pain of losing a friend.  I’d make and keep better connections with friends of my parents and my extended family.  I had no idea how much I would wish I knew them better as I got older.   I’d demand more of myself.  The status quo and self pity would never be in my coping toolbox.  I’d learn about self care early on and make it a priority.  I’d stop myself from picking up terrible interpersonal habits that negatively affect my relationships.  My poor husband really has to deal with a lot of baggage.  I’d let people get close to me, I’d be more vulnerable.  And I’d expect it of other people too.  I’d take back every mean word I ever said to my sister.  Maybe we were just kids, but I’m sure it affected her, and she’s the only sibling I have.  I’d set better boundaries for myself, and I wouldn’t be afraid to say no.  I wouldn’t find a sick comfort in relationships that make me feel bad.  I’d talk to my mom about her illness, I’d share my fears about living a life without her.  I’d snuggle up next to her that night when she asked me to.   I’d understand that in order to feel great joy and compassion, you also, at times, have to allow yourself to feel great pain.  I’d never stop writing.  Or dancing.  Or letting the world know how smart I am.  Or crying.  I’d cry a LOT more.  And I’d pray more.  I’d figure out early what makes me passionate and pursue that.  Or not stop pursuing that.  I’d have a job that I love, that fulfills me, that I can’t wait to get up and do every morning.  I’d force my foot into that Cinderella slipper and never let it fall off my foot.

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Happy 39.  It’s going to be a great year.

©SpiritLed 2014


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Collection of Words

One collection of words breaks
the camel’s back, upsets the order
of things, rocks the proverbial
boat and sets it sailing in a new
direction, not to foreign lands, but
waters well traveled and often
overlooked for what seems
to be finer things, a path that
appears to offer more, but actually
conceals darkness, a façade
parading as a savior, and because
you are so vulnerable, you hardly
feel the sting of the thousand tiny
cuts, until that one collection of
words causes you to bleed out

©SpritLed 2014


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Trespasser

The well was cool and nourishing
and deep, but years ago
in an act of courage and
defiance, you moved the heavy
stone across the opening, allowed
the thorny branches to grow over
and around it, so that no one
could disturb your tomb, or drink
its healing waters, and you turned
your back, confident that the thorns
would do their job to keep the trespassers
out, but what you could not see in your
rage and self-hatred, was that the thorns
and brambles  shadowed you in your
exile,  shrouded you in your attempt to be
invisible, shrunk at your valiant effort
to fight them back, grew thicker and
stronger, shielding you from the world
of your creation, until that day when
the thorns pressed deep into your
flesh and you finally tasted the sting
in the back of your throat, and it was then
that you knew the only respite left was to
return to source, and there in that ancient
place, you tore back the branches and
brambles, bleeding and broken, but it was
too late to care, and you uncovered the patient
stone,  waiting for your return, and there
as you wildly plunged yourself into the waters,
as if returning to your mother’s womb,
there you realized that the thorns you fled had grown
out from the belly of your pain, and that you,
you are the trespasser, bathing in your own
well of salvation

©SpiritLed 2014


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Birth Day

In a parlor plain and
solemn, a small crowd huddles
Tomorrow I celebrate
one more year, today
I attend my friend’s
final life celebration

Funerals produce in me
a subtle sense of asphyxiation
and I sit in the quiet chapel,
in this room full of acquaintances
and strangers, barely breathing
for fear I might explode
into unending tears

But the moon rising in my heart
speaks of fullness and cycles,
and creates in me a curious juxtaposition

and a shift happens, a veil lifts to reveal
awareness that death is life anew,
that as one celebrates birth
another now possesses a freedom
that earthly souls can only imagine

Rest in Peace, my friend,
and also my yesterday self,
for today we both start anew
and tomorrow as well,

fulfilled in the knowledge
that neither death nor birth
signify an end or a beginning

but rather each day is a new path
in our personal eternity,
one more step in the journey
of Divine life

© SpiritLed 2014

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