Category Archives: poetry

Discomfuddled

I’m feeling a bit unsettled today,

Like there’s something I must do;

the storm inside me rages, so

I’ll write my way to you.

brainstorm

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Leather-bound

I dreamed I had a library book. It was
old and leather-bound. The pages
were thick, maybe vellum, and
it was beautiful.
When I opened it, the pages
were full of holes. All the beautiful lettering
pocked and obscured. The gold edges
flaking.
In my sleep, I was annoyed
I wouldn’t get to read the book.
It made me sad. Who would destroy something
so magnificent?
Dreams fade; this one didn’t. Hours after
going back to sleep, getting up,
having breakfast and doing chores and
writing some, I still see the book the
holes, the ruin. I still feel annoyed, and sad
so clearly, I clicked out of my manuscript to
write it out here. Maybe get it 
out of my head.

He’s gone nearly four years. My beautiful book.

His story full of holes, unreadable,
but beautiful.

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Momentary Glimpse Forward

I saw myself–clearly, so clearly–as
an old woman, sitting
in a chair. In
the sunshine. My hair white. My face
to the sun. I was tired,
exhausted really, of life, in that way
one has after a tremendous effort. Over
and done. Energy spent. No regrets.
The good and
the bad. The joy and
the sorrow. I was smiling.
“You are such a joyful spirit,” a stranger recently stopped me to say.
“Truly, a joyful spirit.” How is that so
when I heft the singularity of
a black hole in my core?
A beloved friend, true and seldom seen, told me
I shine. Of all the compliments paid, the insults made, that
has stuck with me the most. The beach, friends that would become
sisters, words and words and so many words.
“You shine, honey! You shine!” spoken at that exclamation point in
my life, the week of weeks when I broke free of
everything that ever held me back. When I became
the me I’ve always been, have always wanted to be.
I shine.
I’m a joyful spirit who carries inside
a black hole of more sorrows than the obvious ones. Sorrows
that will never dim my light.
I was an old woman, looking back. The
only way to look when one is old. Always
past. Looking forward to the fading years is
the same as it has always been.
Exciting.
Frightening.
The way is shadow and light. Back
I looked, the sun in my face, on my
hair still touched with long-ago pink
abandoned to the white.

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Some Days

Memory tumbles me
down.
Gnaws at my pit.
Chews me up from the
inside.
Grinds me into indigestible bits
spits me out, an owl pellet.
Bones and hair and teeth.
A mass of nothing useful.
Tangled moments and
disjointed pieces of
days and months and
years no longer viable in singular
Only as a continuous every.
*
I want to go where
the wild things are, where
memories get parceled out,
tied with red ribbon and
S.W.A.K.
Wherever it is the bad doesn’t
rob the good, doesn’t
taint everything it touches,
a splash of ink, of blood, in water.
TLD

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Future, Tense

Churning, something’s churning. Is that you,

Future, come to call? Knocking

at my door? Tickling

the glass? Let me in, let

me in. I’ve no hair on my chinny, chin, chin to

deny you entrance. You frighten me.

You’ve brought good, and

not so good. Horrendous, really.

That churning feels excited. It promises

something new, something

grand. But you’ve tricked me before,

fool me twice, and all that jazz.

You’ll get in, one way or another. I can

open the door, welcoming, give you

a plate of pasta, or some broccoli rabe.

I could try to bar the way, kick you and beat you back

but you’ll get in. You will, and then you’ll be vexed.

Are you set in stone? Or do I have some power

over you? A question Ages old, unanswerable. And yet–

eternally asked.

*

There is only Future. Present already

has one foot in the grave the moment

it comes to be, and there it goes,

Already gone, that present at the start of this page. In

the Past, past, always the past. Memorable, not

relivable. Gone. Out of reach. So, come on at me

I open the door. Welcome! Welcome!

Have some pasta!

Give it all you got. Maybe we’ll even be friends. And

if we’re not, it’s on you; I tried.

I even made you broccoli rabe.

jester

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This Makes Sense Only to Me

Their worlds and words are a part

of my days and my nights and my

in-betweens. They talk to me while

I cook,

watch TV,

drive, and sleep. They give me

scenes and dialog and dilemmas; joy and sorrow and

horror. They give me

the impossible, and task me to make it plausible. At least

enjoyable.

There’s Aggie and her mason jar, and

Rosemary’s wish, the one she won’t

take back. Then there’s

the woman who runs over the not-quite-a-man, in a town

on the edge

of forever. And crusty Queenie, who

never did much right, who

never thought it quite necessary, who

might manage to do some good.

There’s Yvonne and Jacob, back in 1949,

Bonnie-Jane and Hannelore, in 1985. And still,

in stories written and always calling, Nell and Ledanora,

Mabel and Frankie and Tracy. Back and back, to

Ethen and Zihariel, Linhare and Wait. There are

warriors and queens who knock on my skull–Remember us?

I do. I do. How can I forget? You were once

my everything. The foundation of

my everything. The beginning of

Everything.

If not another book gets published, I will

write and write and write. There will be

mutiny, otherwise. Inside my head. In

dreams and waking. I’ll walk about like a character

from Wonderland, quite mad and rather glad to be so. Better

than the knowing, the abandoning, the void of a well

left to dry.

I prefer the parade never end, a continuous loop, of

characters and places already known, and those

slipping the red-ropes to join in, unannounced but

always welcome, to dance their dances and sing their songs, to

tell their tales and ask for my assistance in

ditching the parade for

broader horizons.

 

 

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Pockets

It happened just yesterday, in

a box store, I

whisked through the aisles, wanting

to be out of there quickly, and

slipped into a time pocket.

It only lasted a moment, long

enough to steal my breath, to

make my eyes water, to

send me back in time. Smoked salmon,

of all things. I’d

buy it for him, even though it was

expensive, and

he’d eat it all in one sitting, because…

just because. I

slipped into that time pocket, I

reached for it, my

hand snagged on a thread that

pulled me back, out of the pocket, to

the now where he’s not here to

eat the whole package

in one sitting, while

I watch indulgently on.

 

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Fishing

There’s a fishing pole in the rafters
out on the front porch of this house on the river
He bought it one day, convinced it would quiet the chaos
Give him some zen
A fly rod, dancing the line out over the water
Enticing bass
He tied a few flies. I wouldn’t know
If they’re any good. But he was proud of
Those lures.
He only went a couple of times. The zen didn’t happen
The calm didn’t come
But he had one perfect day on the water
With his dad, casting the line
Casting, dancing, searching
One day is something, at least
The rod stays with the house.
It’s where it belongs. Here in this haven that was his cage
His safety net
His noose.

flyfishing

TLD

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Friday the 13th

“It’s marked as deceased. No one can do anything with it.”

Those words, overheard just now, they

hurt. Sorrow welled up and

out of my throat.

I covered my face so

my husband wouldn’t hear, wouldn’t

know, because those words hadn’t hit him

The way they hit me.

 

Two nights ago, a phone call from Texas:

“I’m calling for Christofer J. DeFino,

About a car he just asked about online.”

“He’s gone three years now. It couldn’t have been him.”

“I’m sorry, so sorry.”

My husband said it was our boy pulling a prank, letting us know

he’s still around to do so. I feared someone using

his name,

his identity.

That’s where we are, now. Him and me,

He and I,

Us.

“It’s marked as deceased. No one can do anything with it.”

Social Security, moments ago, assured my husband on the phone.

Upstairs, writing at my computer, I broke

into silent tears. He’ll read this and

He’ll know, silent will no longer

be silent.

They’re here, on this page, screaming.

~TLD

images

 

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Less

It doesn’t happen as often now,

those moments rolling

into tidal waves.

When they do, they hit harder

knock me

to my knees

hands clutching at my throat

trying

to keep air in my lungs.

*

It doesn’t happen as often now

those dreams of visiting

in familiar places.

When they do, I know

you’re not

really there

just the wishing in my head

flying

free as you are.

*

It’ll never not happen,

I’ve tried

to fit those moments

those dreams

into memories of who you were

in your best times

even in your worst.

I’ve tried being grateful

for the time I had,

that your pain is done,

about your next adventure.

I try and I try, and sometimes

succeed, and yet,

there are those moments.

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