Ode to Mary Oliver

Mary-

 I am calling out to you in the dead of night

But my voice is only a whisper compared to yours

I am breathing your truths into my bones

Until I am convinced they are my truths

How easy it is to convince myself of our lineage

When the sounds of the pines echo back at me,

Your language.

Everything around me,

Echoes back your language.

Pointing at me and hissing,

And claiming I do not belong here like you do.

These are my words,

These are the words of the achingly innocent

Convinced they are drowning.

Convinced that every strand of lyricism

Is another breath to their tired bodies

Convinced that Mary was right when she said,

“You do not have to be perfect.

You only have to be good.”

And so, I settle the four corners of my feet

Like cardinal directions in the grassy earth

Pointing me to not one way but all ways-

Pointing me to not one truth but all truths-

Pointing me to every corner with every strand of hope I will cling to

Like the human I am,

Anchoring down through my soles.

Unraveling

You came to me in a dream

I saw a light and followed it like a moth without a reason

Other than it’s light. And this might

Be the sun from which I radiate

I unraveled my skin and bones to let you in

But you quickly realized blood is thicker than water

And you can’t even swim

And within this likelihood of finding hope and finding home

I lost my voice by failing to scream when I needed to the most

There are objects that felt my rage passion and desire stronger than you did.

Now my dreams are flooded with other men.

I wake up in a sweat and cry in the darkness.

No one really knows how much I am-

Unraveling

Unraveling

Unraveling

For you. To give myself to the light and not the moon. To tell myself that constellations connect stars that are millions of miles apart and there is a reason I was drawn to you. Even if I forgot it.

And there’s a reason for everything right?

And why do I feel like this, why do I charge myself with crimes I didn’t commit why am I not committed

How does one be committed

How do I keep a promise I never made?

To you. Because truly it’s true I made every single promise to me and not you because I am just that incredibly unsure of my words when I am around you. and I hold them in until I am away and can let my mind run free and play and proclaim myself a sunflower, a shining star in the night sky on her own, in her own poetry, in her own galaxy, in her own darkness. Lost in her own darkness.

And I am sorry if I didn’t spin on my head for you or turn the world upside down.

Magic does not come from me when I am numb, you took my words from me and escape was the only method of liberation. With you I feel tied down like you are my only obligation. Like I cannot even fall off the face of the earth without dealing with some sort of repercussion. Because there is a whole branch of you that is me, and to me you are leaves.

And I am devoid of hope and there isn’t a fire in me now because I tried to clear my mind out to love you. I folded in my limbs and made myself compact so if you ran me over I wouldn’t be crushed, I could still walk again. Remember I gave my spine to you. there is nothing to break. Don’t try there’s no use

And is it wrong to say I could never protect you?

And if there was a bullet I wouldn’t let you

Save me. There is no saving a woman who is her own hero, her own lifeblood, who breathes fire, and can expand and contract herself when needed. I contracted myself but you never see it

Your eyes are pointed downwards and you are encumbered with yourself. I am a world to you, but I am not your world. Love comes in waves, but is no ocean. When I found the source I thought it was never-ending, but it really was just accumulation from a storm. There isn’t enough clean drinking water for all of us

Each day I bend my back over to look at the world, burn holes in my eyes to withstand the collective pain of humanity. I ache for others, and repair myself-

You ache for yourself and I will never be able to accept your lack of investment in the living of others. I carry their weight on my back.

But I do not want to carry yours much longer. I am weary from the long winding road and I have much time ahead.

This vision had prospects but lost itself midway. Neither of us wanted to get wet we just dipped our toes in and I wanted to be fearless but I don’t think that you are ready to release yourself like I have

You cling to your bones like your name is engraved in them

I lost my skin years ago

d.n.

Each day the sun draws the curtain and brings the shade.

The clouds roll back until they are wanted again.

The sky deepens.

It’s the daylight that taunts us.

Night is calm.

Night is a waterfall of sureness.

But day always breaks and we always wake to our unknowing minds.

We always greet our unknowing face in the mirror and move our unknowing limbs out the door.

We can’t escape the daylight.

We can’t forget that time is going going going and we have an endless array of puzzles to solve and ways to evolve.

The sun always sets, even if you think it’s only 2pm but it’s really 9.

Even if you think you’ve only lived a little but you’ve lived a lot.

You forget, but the sun remembers.

The sun knows what time it departs.

Every hour it sends us a reminder.

Deeper.

Darker.

Daylight is breaking;

Night is coming.

But like fools we romanticize the night and let the day run out of sight

Like fools we let the day go right before our very eyes.

8/5/16

home

It came to me like in a dream

It woke me gently with a whisper

A soft spoken slur of words-

Something is different about you

Your walk has a groove

And your thoughts are riotously joyful

What is it?

It’s like you’re infected or something

It’s like something has changed within you

Your internal chemistry is-

More aligned. More defined.

It’s like every move you make is a celebratory dance.

It’s like all of your poetry has a certain tinge of romance.

It’s like your puppy dog eyes are gone, and this is a deeper kind of love.

It’s like-

Everything you eat tastes better and everything you dream seems realer

And everything you read reminds you of a person and a place

And one face.

And you’re on the face of the earth, but the surface of the moon when it’s you two.

When it’s you, too.

You gaze at the sky in a different way

You think maybe God didn’t create a perfect world

Maybe he left it incomplete so you could fill it

Maybe he etched the lands and left a crater the size of two bodies.

So you could fit just right.

It’s like-

Nothing will ever be ordinary again

It’s a strange feeling being so high up in the universe

But it’s something more satisfying than certainty

It’s home.

8/1/16

If you’re going to love me

I do not want to exist for you

I exist for myself

I exist because my body

Is rooted deep in the soil of this earth

I am fertile and I am dark and dense

I branch out in many directions

I encompass every dimension

I cannot be contained

I cannot be refrained

From singing songs all night and day

From frolicking in fields, from happy play

From embracing my freedom, every minute

From seeking my peace

And losing myself in it

I am on my own journey

I walk miles every day

Constantly moving forward

Achieving and beginning new

The truth is the more I discover

How to serve the world

And make the most of my given flesh

I discover

It is less about me

And less about you

And more about all this time

And all these things to do

And all this work to complete

And all this life to live

And all this care to provide

And all this love to give

And all this joy to bring

And all this peace to promote

And all the light inside

And all the efforts to bring it out

And so I cannot apologize

For the absence I generate

By being constantly on the move

Constantly creating myself

Etching out my path

With each foot that touches the grass

I am on my own journey

And it is rooted deep

My soul is the anchor

The roots are my feet

Tied to my purpose

With passion I confess

If you’re going to love me

You’ll have to love the rest.

May 2016