Matins

What thoughts endeavor to pierce the brain

as we keep watch in the darkling night,

the slumbering stillness

of the breath held

until the stars blink and yawn, stretch,

and fade with the lightening sky.

 

While the earth waits and shadows play games,

visions of past wrongs accuse,

demand justice: atonement or forgiveness,

and peace comes on the horizon

by light or by blood.

 

*Had a completely different poem enter my head but I was caught in the middle of something and couldn’t write it down right away. The only line that I kept was “by light or by blood”. I was thinking of a story I heard about the Crusades, how the men would keep watch in the night before battle and other similar stories. I then had a memory of someone telling me long ago that matins was a version of that (to keep evil from coming in the night) and my brain correlated that with depression. Many is the time I have battled my thoughts in the dark and with the dawn sleep came, and a small semblance of peace. But there were times when, in the darkest point of the night, that I thought I wouldn’t make it. By light or by blood; life or death.

Judgment Day

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Run.

White wraiths across the rocky ground

Like foxes to their burrows.

Run from death’s heralds as they watch

From hidden places

Behind barren trees,

Appear up from the soil,

Black clad figures, ragged robes abrading the ground,

They follow

With skeletal hands outstretched

To snatch life away,

Unforgiving predators chasing pale, flightless birds.

 

Run.

Chase the pill with the bottle,

The needle into the vein.

Fly the high to heaven’s gate

Till hell brings you back again.

From hidden places,

Behind dumpsters and cardboard boxes,

Appear ghosts from fevered dreams.

No life everlasting,

Mortal flesh decaying,

We lay on marble thrones,

As the wind whines through our bones.

 

*this is what happens when you begin writing a zombie story while listening to Sia’s Loved Me Back to Life.

And the Rain Still Falls

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Through my tears I hear a sound

Meant for me alone.

Faintly at first,

Then growing nearer.

The darkness that enfolds me

Is but a faint echo

Of the torment my soul hides.

The night closes in on me,

Accepting me,

Sheltering me.

Closer now,

Louder,

The beating of drums.

Or is it my heart,

Long dead inside this shell

Called a body?

 

And still the rain falls

Around this empty soul

And what the rain hides

Remains a mystery.

For who knows

When the sun will shine again

On this darkening land?

Who knows when

The light will fill this beating heart

Just barely alive

Inside this body.

 

And the autumn forest

Hides all with its deadening leaves,

Covering the earth

With a blanket of mist.

And yet, a lone voice can be heard

Through the stillness.

The sweetness of its sound

Wails through the trees

And fills the void.

 

A shadow of what it once was,

The forest comes alive

With the dawning of a new day.

But the soul that hides inside its shell

Folds deeper inside the darkness.

The sound I hear still beats,

And I am still cold,

And the rain still falls.

 

*Throwback Thursday poem: one I wrote when I was 27. I was halfway through my custody battle with my ex-husband at the time and I was also dealing with feelings of jealousy and learning to overcome that battle. I am very pleased to say I did win that war (with jealousy, that is). I still get pangs from time to time depending on the situation and what is otherwise occurring but I remind myself of how small it makes me feel and how alone, and the feeling goes away.

Learning To Dance

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Holding back,

watching them, watching us

fighting to try, to see beyond the pain,

marking the line in between

waiting for the first to make a move

we begin only to stop for the rain.

 

Then they come, demons on the wind,

and we crouch with shields above

as the dead on cold ground are lain.

Thunder roars and we meet them,

blood pounding in our veins,

and so we begin learning how to dance

in the rain.

 

Voices ignored as men drown out,

their Lilliputian minds closed to the sun

we defend them, too,

though cases reversed we’d hang,

but we still have to try to hold back the flood

until our dying breaths say “we’re done”.

 

For freedom means more than miniscule men,

and someday they’ll realize we did this for them,

with nothing more than liberty our gain

we tried to teach them how to dance in the rain.

If Love Grew On Trees

 

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If love grew on trees,

Like flowers in the spring,

Then littered my lawn in fall

I would send you all

Proof that love isn’t in things,

But in the air we breathe.

 

I’d show you love isn’t just one day

But grows the whole year round,

Indigenous everywhere,

But it needs attention and care,

And should never be bound,

Or look in kind to repay

 

Feelings you think one owes.

It’s not in chocolates or a romantic date,

Nor in jewelry that sparkles bright.

Rather, it’s in the heart, that glowing light,

And people whose lives we should celebrate,

Because that’s the way love grows.

 

If love grew on trees

that is what I would send

to everyone I love

not just today but when I think of

them my love would transcend

and fly on the breeze.

 

If love grew on trees…

The Awakening

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Standing her ground above the seas

She feels a change in the breeze.

Still, she stands defiant and forthright,

Hope’s beacon burning bright.

 

And she says:

“Beware the storm you’ve brought to life,

Even the cold can cut like a knife.

Beware those you now forsake.

Now, the lions will wake.

 

Never forget the imprisoned lightning I hold.

I raise my torch, proud and bold.

And still I cry “Send them to me!

I accept all, and their diversity.”

 

Even you, who proudly proclaim

That hate with which you’ve won your fame.

Even you live here in the land of the free,

You, and all the new bourgeoisie.

 

But now the tempest has been unleashed.

Now, you’ve let loose the beast.

Now comes the killing snake.

Now the lions are awake.

 

In Revolution’s fire you will burn,

And those, who you now spurn,

Will find that Justice will shine

And eradicate those orders asinine.

 

Soon, your power will be taken,

Now that the lions have awakened.

Retribution comes like a burning itch.

Karma is such a bitch.

 

And here I’ll stand, tall and sure,

A woman whose like you’ve never seen before.

So, beware my wrath, my teeming shore,

For lions guard Freedom’s door.”

 

*inspired by Katy Perry’s new song Chained to the Rhythm