Last Poem (For a Time)

Looking back, I do not know how I kept breathing

But from the grace of kind hands that held me up

I had lost all reasons to invest in believing

Except for the faith of those who saw what I could not see.

Dear soul, this is the full circle, my moment of gratitude

When I realize the miracles encapsulated in a handful of years

That healed a battered, bleeding, desperately fighting heart

With the illumination of little grains of hope through my tears.

I will not forget what brought me here

To this place of overwhelming gratitude

The way my soul was pulled by a greater power

In the dark, cold hours of sheer survival

To this warm, welcoming, healing space

That offered me the compassion of grace,

And I’ll leave a lantern shining here in the dark

In case you wander near, in case you feel lost

For souls have a way of remembering light

Even when time has passed, even when our eyes lose sight.

Unspooked

The cold is settling in, but I am not afraid

Frost and swirling snow may attempt to spook this heart

But my feet are locked into the frozen ground,

I may startle, I may flinch, but I am not going anywhere.

The bitterness of this lingering chill cannot shake me

Now that I understand my ability to withstand a jump scare.

The passing of the seasons of life will continually derail

Attempting to convince my determined soul to finally give in,

But dear soul, I cannot allow myself to disintegrate

I will not give heed to the need to freeze

I will remain unspooked time after time, again and again.

My heart is warm, my soul is an open, welcoming door

Melting away the lingering chill before it takes its toll,

Trusting that light will always find a way through fear

I will face the bitter cold with resolved, unspooked tears.

Numb

Numb senses nothing and everything at once

An acknowledgement of emotional flooding

When the brain unconsciously shuts down

To help us survive through the unbearable.

In our emptiness, we make room for illumination

Tending to our wounds before the truth sets in

Yearning for the ability to feel the missing pieces

While accepting the relief of repression.

In the nothingness, we recognize what we need

Where we have stumbled, our next brave steps,

What makes our souls thrive, what we must release

So that when our hearts finally begin to thaw,

We will no longer feel trapped in our own minds

But able to move cautiously through the resistance

Into the healing that our feeling truly brings.

The Source that Knows

When the world is cold and gray

When my lens is cloudy from the heaviness of rain

When it feels as if I am floating and not living at all

I find myself pausing in the mindless flow

To reconnect with what I innately feel

To tap into that trustworthy source that knows

To remember what it is that I keep fighting for

The peace that steadies my restless, agonized soul.

I cannot see where I am going

I walk forward without a defined destination

I trust in the source that knows the outcome

Before I give up, before I give in, before I fall.

We are lost in the tempest of melancholy and strife

We are wandering travelers without a map for our lives

We step forward only half-aware of where we will go

Tapped into the source that always knows.

The Road that Bends

At the crossroads, we pause.

Not because we cannot see the way forward

(We were never blind to what lies ahead),

But because once we step around the bend,

There is no way to wistfully peer over our shoulders

For that fleeting trace of what could have been.

Oh, dear soul, there is pain in the road that bends,

A reason why we pause when paths begin to separate,

Looking back again and again and again and again,

Hoping, ever hoping, that it is not too late,

To go back to the warmth of familiarity

When our eyes were not yet fully awake.

Symphony Falling

The sky is falling like a symphony

I can whisper my words into the rain–

The ones I have told no one

Tumbling out like a soft lament,

Grieving the things I could never say

Feelings so close but never quite conveyed

For fear of losing, for fear of receiving,

Held back only by my worried, apprehensive mind

Waiting, waiting, waiting, for an obvious sign

Missing the thousands I passed along the way.

Now the rain hears my secrets

Knowing, as I know, that I was my own barricade.

Hiding

She is a bashful, smiling enigma

Courteous to others, harsh on herself

With only the slightest trace of melancholy

Flickering almost imperceptively

Across her face.

Only a rare few ever see beyond the pleasantness

She gladly defers to others to avoid herself

Deflecting questions like a super power

She will listen for ages about anything

But the depths of herself.

Deep down she yearns to be understood

To share her dark chapters as if to unleash

The rise of insecurities born from her mistakes

But her past feels to her like anvils

Carried too far, too long,

Instead of letting them go,

She hides.

Acceptance

Unraveled but still standing,

Off-kilter but determined,

We pull ourselves from the depths

Like warriors with one last breath,

Truth illuminating our shadowed minds

With both the sting and the promise of one more day.

We can no longer remain stagnant

Now that we see, now that we know

No avoiding realities in broad daylight

Now that our souls have kept the score.

Dear soul, what will we find when we climb

Out of the mire of our heartbreak?

What path will present itself to us

When we surrender to what we have ignored?

There is liberation in no longer avoiding

What our hearts have always known.

Little Jars of Joy

What if we could bottle up joy into little jars?

Placing them carefully on our cupboard shelves

Where they would glow in patient anticipation

Of our inevitable need for a burst of felicity.

In the darker hours, days, months, years,

We would, with gratitude, unseal a jar of joy

Watching as it illuminates our shadowed places

Sending sparks into the dark of our broken hearts

A balm for the wearied soul to carry us through

The heaviness of our melancholy days.

Receiving

For so long, I lurked on the outside of human experience

Observing but never stepping inside, a bystander looking in

So afraid the good would never last, I could not welcome its light

Without the fear of losing joy before it even materialized.

Now, after a slow recovery from the depths of self-deprivation,

Whether an act of rebellion or a desperate race with time,

My gaze is lingering on the magnificence of late summer evenings

When the sun drenches the trees with golden, encompassing light

Autumn so close, I can sense it in the air in cooler undertones

Apples speckled through the orchards where I love to wander

Sunflowers bobbing along a background of mountains and blue sky,

And I feel it, in small waves, this awakening of heart and soul

A beckoning call to enjoy the moments so fleeting, so small,

Before they fade into melancholy over what could have been.