20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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


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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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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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


1 Comment

Into the Light, Where You Belong

Smell of mold
and musty leaves
raindrops on the windshield
in the still-dark dawn

linger in the depths
of darkness and desire,
where your spirit most
yearns to be free

where the long-held
confinement has rendered you
listless and lifeless

crazy before the eyes of man
yet pure in your creative depth,

where the Wise Woman,
flowing silver hair,
adorned in robes
of lavender

holds open the door
for you and cries,
“Lay down your arms!

Fight no more,
grieve no more,
die no more.

Walk into the Light,
where you belong.”

©SpiritLed 2014

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