Tag: time

Eventide

Riding passenger side snapping right,
I’m down in front stealing long exposures.
From the back seat our youth sits
Mocking us with instant polaroids.
Destroyed pictures of minutes and memory
Precious and precarious slip a stone
At once here and at once gone.
Right under the driver breaks hard and higher
Up another mile, silently stealing all we pass.
As if it meant nothing, had no value.
Yet we never stop to salute the flowers –
All wilds and yellows and purples.
The foothills’ shoulders grow peonies
Upon sunshine golden with military ranks.

How jagged time?
We spend ours climbing again as
Eventide approaches us.
Stealing the light
Squinting and teasing Every photographer’s eye.
The lens escapes the fight as fists fly
Above us rung the first punch
Headliners: the over-real versus the unbelievable.
Then we drop down tearing around
The Summit dragging the day with us.
With us flat then right over on the side.
Buckshot sprays whitetail from
Underneath the wheels,
My skin and bones chill fast underneath
Blankets just a quarter mile thin –
Count the microclimates in a 14 mile exposure.
My imagined assignment, anyway.

Inertia now driving our ascension
Finally dousing my focus.
Yet I am pacified by
Deep coastal royal blue velvet,
And by the courtly cape
Of dense silver fog.
Trees, reach in and take my attention
Lost in the sky and yet at home.
Away with the little brick foxes
Already started by the drooling hounds,
Running in distant golden broken lines
Shrinking to a pointed index
Finger of bent redwood lumber.
Penciled between the knotted trees
Escaping our eyes
They write letters to us
To one another, to anyone.
I imagine the trees alone love themselves.
Writing in dead languages those
Modern towers of Babylon
Without oral tradition
No monks or followers to take dictation
The mighty ones tie rings around
Paper and papyrus of their own making.
They, like me, can write their own stories.

Distant deamons dance to the music of the eventide,
Whose eardrums thump and pop from slight descents.
Mercies clear the stares and the macabre glances.
And up ahead the night hides just around
The voluptuous Earth’s curves.
Yet she shakes off the road upon her hip
Langushing and lounging
Laughing at all the forsaken highways.

You snap me awake.
My hypnotic state undone
By our quick duel and I, only me –
I roll one window down
With enough sense to know
The party orange of evening presents
A moment for exposure
Showing the night undone
By the simplest flash
As we find a space and stall the motor,
King and queen of the hills
Announced by snare drums and trumpets.
Goodbye, twisted bruised skin of eventide.
Eventide, goodbye.

Present Perfect

Ashen long shadow-colored faces stare back from my past.
Time sits in my lap a small child, hands raw and worried, consoled
Comforted by stories of never lands and ever mores.
Today, my words rendered illegible, erased nervously.
All the while
Darting back
Shoulder
To shoulder –
left right
left right.

Somewhere a darkened classroom with every wall covered
By blackboards waiting, vacant for me.
Now, turning deserted like a Western town,
With chalk wisps ghosts, picture the sentences
So long ago hung on a nail struck by an invisible hammer.
Tonight’s erasers let out old chalky coughs, like a smoker’s
Thick with phlegm and gravel. Cleaning the felt gills free
From years of numbers and letters,
I beat
Them
Together
Hard
And fast.
The remaining clouds too thin to grab hold
By the sky, shimmer, unlined heavy lids shutter eyes
So weightlessly, lashes feathery, they move too easily,
Then blow past us, like a divorce.
Folding myself in to bend at the cracked window,
Seeing a reflection in the mirror panes,
I shiver first at the draft, and as the stars give way to the day,
I see everything.

I find all the sunshine ever shined,
Filtered through my forests, my pin pupil eyes.
And I, without permission,
Acting out against all advice –
Finally stare into the sun.

Overcome by warmth in my extremities,
My silhouette against the wallpapers,
In a still house framed by night.
Looking over the unnatural hills a flutter appears.
No birds yet, not a song, no flights, no song.
Though late enough for a gray mourning dove.
Listing up over the trees, on currents along moves
The flightless wings floating delicately, white.
At my feet: paper with a single seam
Addressed to only me,
Retun to a boy named Eternally
I unfold but once, then read.

“Make one promise if you please: only now and for you,
if for want of love to capture the clouds,
snapped still like a photograph,
take just enough and give your heart to listening alone.
Talking creates your deafness of thought
and silences your laughter.”

Playing the Cat

Scene 1: Enter Stage Right, Cat

This year Cat knocked Mary down.
Mother of Jesus, Carpets, Jews.
Last year, Cat ran off with the Husband—
Taking Joseph’s coat, too.
Not seen since the incident,
Neither man, nor carpet, nor cape.
Cat, exit stage.
Three years now since,
Cat, spuriously,
Dragged down a turkey.
Bigger than his head, feasts Cat,
Dinner of greasy fowl, used and
Orphaned. All shiny fat prickly sinews
Cold kitchen floor decor.
We retired in living color,
Cat waits on sock rugs,
Chasing bugs and saints.

Eyes devour the Lollipop Guild,
Feasting on colorful Witches brews
Enter Wizard. Sleep in straw
The tin cans sending queues
Heads with curlers, spitting nails—
Shake and roar, black as night.
White pictures of spoiled babies.
“My,” gasping grandmother
Hungry, yet we search the air.
Relief, at long last,
A manger all in tact,
Still missing:
Carpentry’s first common
Union worker.
Cat stole him three years past.
In stretches morning, you gripe
“Such an imprint for a wife.”
(I am the knife.)
Cat, please take leave —
Please leave, leave the coffee.
Four years back, for I
Then me. We sighed, “no cat.”
Dreams of dances on tippy toes,
A vision of homes built round,
All trees and ornaments and we’s.
Petting slowly, backhanded
Head to tail.

Cat purrs waltzing,
Jesus asleep now, Joseph
Warmly herd sheep sows, Mary
Wailed and cried still.
Windows shuttered,
Elbows under chins, on sills.
We keep all the straw for a manger.
We each pull out one for luck:
I forgot to count the flock tonight —
Up to number 10 to silence
My weeping, I shivered.
The Egyptian visions,
The escaping slaves —
The sundown desert —
They eyed green knaves.
The riddle the answer the
Four Footed beastly things.
The long tail sweeping
Dust up on wings.

Nestled pyramids, soldiers of sand,
No servants hand, no strangers.
No one died today, no saints
Made. Cat wore the Ankh,
Carried the dog headed staff,
Drawing along the sea crooked to
And fro on the sand, wand dragging
Wagging a tail — Happy in now,
Yet name him Memento.
Cat, built it all alone, he meant
To say, “I made that,” in peace
Aligning November’s
Surrendering sun.
Cat dreams of Cat things:
Play, sleep, sun, warm, eat.

Return to your lines, to track back
Over three years, to four.
In scene two: sorrow and worry,
Cat pictures Mary, Joe, and the baby boy.
Rejoice, back in the trunk
Running for the fifth term monks.
Cat: teeth glitter with hope
Of centurions and scarabs run.
Cat, to you surrendered or given
From your own meaty dinner,
pulled. Drowned asunder
All in a Dead Sea, deep
Asleep, dreaming wonder.

Swaying, overhead wire flying
Cat awake and wicked green
Snipped, he nips at grass.
His game — Cricket.
Slow, moribund, drying spice scent.
Boring holes, hearing voices.
Charming. Then crack —
A bat. Eyes followed us
On western war bliss.
Then rob the sun, beaming
Warm like a kiss.
The Queens pearls go dark.
Yet to remember:
Do not face
Anything larger than you
May forget
To enter: open this moment.
Exit the Cat.

Film Noir Femme

Energy unbound,
An unsound love.
They called the inspector,
Who wrote his directives.
Sign my motion in your hands,
Look towards the night forget the plans,
Finally release the rabbits and scare,
A negative release, a positive flare.
The night stood arm in arm with such charm!
Giggling, she sweeps the ground burying the bones,
She looks down at his pigeon toes,
Mamma with a pursed lip bit red, not those,
Please. Not those.

Without a tear did the universe ever hear,
Her lips or the purple arm complaints.
The vast morass now drinks, thirsty for misery.
In motels taped off rooms, bordering next door
Arguments. After a secret reveals the time,
Slip into dark circles and sweep away at the flashing LED, 12:01.
At last the key to our lover’s madness, her slight wrists pump arteries under glass turreted copters..
Everything once, now again somewhere.
Nothing gained or ever lost –
While you spent your time wiping tears.
That black spot came with a particularly indecent cost –
And the prize for discovering light,
Two days adrift.

Yep, it’s all in a night, miss,
All in a night. In my pupils’ books I register dawn’s coriander,
Walk in dragging this dead philanderer,
Up a plank and cutting by laughs, the ropes.
Free now! Swan dives, then she elopes.
Winded the joke ended and punched her mind,
Funny with twisted hands in lines maligned
And the black hole answered her in kind,
With laughter as sinister as the noise of the predawn Tom,
Clowns in dark studios made up, dust and white paint,
The pain in your veins, heat aghast, you faint.
The hole swallows her body and soul.

Younger and infinite, a girl, knee high to the universe we know,
Shows us her freak show worthy flaw. In awe, we forget to check the clock. Hurry, please.
My love never reigned us in, you must feel something, still.
(In relative terms, this time narrowly missing our drop point.)
If we pretend to see, to know, to bite a fruit and fall.
Algorithmic syncopated circus acts,
And drums tight as a father’s facts beat out the rhythm:
gone gone gone gone gone.

Maps and Legends

My epic signed by blue,
Pencils edited, erased.
Pages loosened and flew,
White winged birds sung,
Tightened claws bound to lines,
Snap and fly to inner space.

Shortened pagination,
Politely taken wayward
A palace ‘tross seaward.
My imagination skips,
Hissing gently, a light kiss,
Skip the lights aquatic,
Swan dive into the record.
Hole round against,
Metal and rusted center,
End over a feather,
A light in a jet stream.

Dripping ink and rain,
The last page set,
Down in a spring,
Slowly changing everything.
My books marked still,
On page one. Your laughter,
Soaked and heavy with disaster,
Sitting in the oak’s shade,
You kiss my nose and mark,
With cooled breasts. Wonderful
Of you. A park and your hand,
Reaches to shade your face,
As we read from the book
Of the dead and avoided,
The looks of their eyes,
Ashsmed and exploited.
Slaves and a haurcut.

You forgot.
Cash piles stashes,
Ashtrays and snug graves.
We all fall down.
The ground grows smaller,
As I pass the tree line,
Bangs on the Earth,
Becoming her daughter.
Funny to stand today,
Eclipsing the sun,
Looking down?
Avoiding blind faith,
Pin hole in a box,
Gentle and round.
Protect the last epoch,
Hidden in a rainstorm.
Injustice of ghost town.
What substance, space
She left us, just as wraith.

Eclipse

Birth so luminous!
Each soul’s page,
Covers the last.
Closed together,

Bound by death.

I can’t trace time…

As the miraculously sentient creatures of earth with the gift of forethought and planning, sometimes, our little giddinness producing miracles go sideways. New plans must take the place of a road not taken. Make some adjustments to life, or in other words, change.

Change happens regardless of those Steinbeckian mice and men and their ne’er do well notorious plans. Change cannot be adjusted to adapt to our busy day, or to a more pleasing time. Even if you can accept and understand how the new changes will fit into your future narrative, we must reconfigure too many other important things that we are rushing around to get to even acceptance for life altering style shifts in our lives. Yet we’re stuck waiting for “never” it would seem, when you can accept and integrate it seamlessly, not when a moment of  “nothing much to do” happens.  Change, accept it or not, happens at the worst times of your life. How large the richter scale measures the shaking, like change in a life, the worse the earthquake shifts the ground under your feet. Changes become your entire self when the diagnosis of cancer creates tectonic shifts in identity, spirituality, sexuality…all our -ity’s.

Change comes in no particular size, no unit of time, no structural blueprints – nothing measurable to understand how far the shift will take you – a foot or thousands of miles. For instance, there’s little sureties that must change during chemotherapy, such as your toothpaste for periodontal sensitivity and dry mouth from medications and opiate pain therapies.  Then you face the omni-encompassing, life circumventing tectonic shifts. A soul wrapped in a physical body begins to change because of the corpus crisis cancer creates.

The identifications of a  person’s life, defined by what they DO to make a monetary living means less than before, even ending in a firey, screeching crash for some of us. Then what are we? Take our careers away and what does cancer leave as our identities in its wake?  Our souls feel alone since in order to interact as part of a network of people who identify with us, now are those who barely remember our names anymore. We worked on projects once, but cancer took those projects and made them impossible for us to remain on the “team.” Our souls become alone again.

Change to our identities from cancer, especially metastatic cancer, comes from a scarcity of funds and the unkmown quantity of life in human years. The equation for how much for how long when both =x and divided by zero doesn’t exist.

It’s more important to love what you do than making piles of money. The difference between living and making a living, is love. So make love, so to speak. Love what you do all day and love those with whom you choose to spend time with each day. The love you give to your living and to the people who help you make it deserve your best self. On the days when my best self looks something like the sock sorter in hell for the devil himself, I still wear the best possible face I can find inside myself, and get on sorting those damned socks.

By the way, I absolutely abhor sorting socks, and if by some bizarre quirk in the space time continuum hell exists, then hell is not other people as Jean Paul Sartre said, it’s sorting socks! Shut-y. We all have our quirks,so do not be so judge-y. Existentialism aside, stay clear of anything that feels wrong to you, feels ugly, feels hurtful, feels boring. Walk out of a bad movie, put down a dreadfully written book! Consume only content that pleases your aesthetic sensibilities. Once you’ve chosen your next intellectual feast for your mind and with your integrity in tact, pour yourself a steaming cup of Pleasure tea, grab a honkin’ slab o’ Happy Pie, and relax blissfully in the arms of a loving chair. Your flavor. Your way. You’ll love each sip and every bite, and in return have more love for your living and the people with whom you live.

Change your selections in your jukebox to music you can dance to, because no one knows exactly how long they have. I mean really, you could get hit by a bus or something!

David Bowie – Changes

Cantcer

I can’t sir. I am not prone tonight to eat heaving and
Sounding out sloppy syllabic English.
Sisyphus gave blood I heard yesterday
Helping out our cause at the five and dime.
When outnumbered run faster, he remarked
Wiping his brow and tossing aside a bead from his neck.

Colors streaking and bleeding while
Ten Red Crossing Guards walked down hill
To deliver us to a corner. Each and every cell
Even at the  coroners. Then cohorts we went ringing
All their bells dying to laugh at elderly crooks.
Well, dear, didn’t we?
Of Main, 1st, Acme, Arapaho.
Why do you even know – tell me –
What neighborhood streets fired off,
Sizzled by before the funerals
Our ages ranged then arranged from
Dead red four two beats and too, too orange ade.
Sleepless? Well, sleep less.

Circadian arcane rhythms in the nacht muzhik*
Dreamless drum beat Heartland 3-1. Who cares
Anyway, tonight its core cooled just enough
Down to the touch networked our fingers enraptured
Engraved in graves for the book of the year  of the  dead
Picture us happy with Sisyphus’ Stoney strain
Upwards, shooting from frozen dreams
Bodies consumed by frequencies
And waves of electronic singing 180 degree miles away.
Off handedly I followed the paths of railway miles yet
So far only the shofar sings in the deserted diner.
I traded a philosopher’s stone for water sieved
Through the mazes etched in the lime of aquifer stones.
100 year contract for signing away, singing and astray
Your dearest routes and longest Rights of way.

*a Russian peasant

Want vs. Need – to be human is to need

My hope: someone else reads this and realizes others besides themselves feel the heaviness of the life they’ve led and the weight of what the future holds and finds they’re not alone… Reads this with the comfort that if there is just one person who feels this way means others, too, share their pain. After reading this they go on through the day knowing other people who “get it.” Or perhaps the fact deepens the wellspring of hope out of your physical reach. But it’s okay for the “strong.” The ones who people depend on not those who depend on others, our shoulders broaden with time like the trunk of a tree. Ah, it’s all that, and not simple.

Sometimes fear rules over love. Living in fear brings a darkness. The kind of dark without any light at all. The darkness of the universe. Living with love in your soul brings light, and the light brings peace to your soul.

Light and love bring peace and knowledge. Knowledge of many kinds – of the self, of others, and a broader wisdom beyond temporal time – yesterday, the here and now, tomorrow. Light illuminates Spiritual knowledge. As overwhelming as it may seem, actually it’s quite peaceful. It’s knowledge of the fleeting nature of suffering. Knowledge of our short, blink of an eye length of time here we only experience a few moments to deeply interact with other human consciousnesses, with their own crosses to bear, their own fears, and shadows cast by their souls between light and darkness.  It’s therefore incumbent upon those who found peace in the light to bear a torch or at least light a candle for those who cannot find the way due to unwillingness or in this case death. Whether temporarily or because it’s been so long that they can remember what happiness is like, bringing them strength to pull themselves into the light so they can find love, is necessarily our task.

As an aside, last Friday night at sundown on the Jewish sabbath, I lit six candles – one for each of the good souls responsible for my existence and passing on the responsibility of bringing love into this world. The six candles were for my parents, both of whom I lost very recently, and my four grandparents. Leah Kaminsky nee Fox, my paternal grandmother, died in 1969 of metastatic breast cancer. She died before any of my miraculous and poisonous treatments became available for her. Who knows what my life would have been with her in this world. But one cannot speculate. The universe works always as it should.

I realized after lighting those six yertzheit candles at sundown last Friday, how my Jewish heritage celebrated life, not with food of which so many of us joke, but with light. (They fought us, we won, let’s eat.)

I learnt recently that the Jews view the flame of candles to represent the human body, mind, and spirit. Those are the three colors around the wick of a candle: the blue light closest to the wick that burns the hottest, represents the physical body that requires energy (or food – candles were made from bees wax in long past days); the white light next, representing the mind that’s fueled by the body; and the outer red flame represents the soul’s connection to the body and mind and also the light that creates brightness and connects to everything we know and the unknowable universe.

Remembering that life brings love and fear shrouds us in darkness, I looked through tears at my husband who suffers from depression. He refuses treatment. In my tears I tell him that my struggle with cancer becomes much more difficult when he cannot be with me if he refuses help. He believes it’s not authentic if he gets outside help, yet it’s now been two full years. By doing so I feel like he denies me the joy that would help to keep me alive in good health longer. It’s no secret that stress and unhealthy relationship cause illness.  By withholding treatment he’s withholding love from himself, and from me. I believe in some ways perhaps I am selfish, and that I should depend on myself for joy.

But as human beings we need others. He remarked, “I want you,” – that’s a perception of me as object. We want a car, we want a computer. We need other humans – and that is the definition of love to me. Giving of yourself of love – not only the romantic kind of love, but the love we give of ourselves even when things seem the darkest. I told him I need you – in response.

Another aside (please excuse my ADHD). About six years ago, I had $10 in my pocket, and was living through a very ugly chapter in my life that effected me to the degree of experiencing PSTD. My stepson, then nine years old, tagged along as he always did when he stayed the weekends. There sat a man outside of Whole Foods. He was suffering from bone cancer and could not afford his treatments. He wasn’t lying. You could see his eyes and his body and his shame for needing help from strangers. I gave him the last of the money I had to my name that day. My stepson asked why I gave him that money, and my answer was simply, there is always someone who has life way worse than me.

There but for the grace of god go I.

Live in love and light although today may seem so full of pain. Live knowing that you can be the light for another today when things seem so dark and hopeless to them right now. And know you’re not alone, you are amongst a world of people who will bring light today along with you. My birthday is June 21st – the longest day of the year. Was the universe giving me a big responsibility that day? I must assume if I believe in the human spirit that indeed my task is such. But it’s heavy, my shoulders hurt, and my knees are swollen from the weight. But here I stand, while others cannot even get out of bed today.

No chance at all I’d leave my love in his time of darkness. I’ll help light the hidden path until he takes it.

Fuck cancer. I’m stronger than anything that can be handed this physical self. My tenacity and my humor carry me from test to test. Some I pass, others I fail; yet my life’s biggest test is as long as I can stand here and reach out to others and say, “I need you.”

I Judge Myself through Love

 

Every morning, in peace and with the new day upon me, I am thankful for receiving all the love in my life. For even the most radical scientists at the end of their physical lives among  us, individually agreed that love makes us human and matters above all else. God, however  you may define the hand that moves the universe, the great architect as my husband calls god, moves us through love. So I share with you my daily prayer, mantra, ritual sayings, reading, or whatever you would choose to call such a thing. It’s words that represent who I am through my strong belief in forgiveness an through forgiveness, love.

Do not measure self worth in the sum of your mistakes,
Nor in the total of your accomplishments.
Do not allow the weight of the past to drag you back,
Choose forgiveness and receive the gift of the present.
You are the sum of all the love you feel,
And love can only exist where there is faith.
To allow forgiveness is to allow love,
The universe’s light and gift to you.

Your spirit gains no interest by receiving material gifts,
Nor by the amount of currency spent on expendable tangibles.
Inflation of the ego does not measure your self value,
Through receiving something artificially expensive.
Become humble through the joy of giving,
And accept immeasurable gifts from the heart with radiant humility.

Do not cause fear in others through shame,
Fear turns the soul into an empty well.
If you look for truth in fear, the enemy of faith,
You then become your own enemy.
Fear extinguishes love,
Forgiveness enlightens the spirit to love.

Fear shrouds insight and blinds you from truth.
The light of forgiveness shines brightly on love.
Sin lives in darkness wedded to fear,
But insight and forgiveness absolve us from sin.
Search for truth in love and spirit in divine giving,
Give way to the immeasurable light of love,
Allow faith to guide you in lightness and in peace,
All gifts of the knowable present radiate,
And then you fear nothing, not even tomorrow.