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POETRY is to me what fresh air is to breathing. I write, often. Sometimes an idea comes to me that I must write (like a craving that doesn’t go away until it’s satisfied)… others ruminate in my mind, on a piece of scrap paper or in my writing journal until they take shape. A poem is never done, finished or complete– as my experiences change me, so does the way I conceive of the words I’ve written. I noodle them, as my poetry professor Vivian Shipley used to say. Noodle and noodle– walk away, leave it, then think about it and come back again to noodle some more. So this is what I’ve done– I’ve noodled these pieces, today.

[disclaimer. As is true for every writer, something I tell my students frequently, one shouldn’t assume any one piece is autobiographical; although, I will concede that there is a nuance of autobiography in every single thing I write.]

Wondering If the Sun Will Shine Again

Backside on grass,

my legs moved like scissors

and teased the blades.

The sun’s glow

reached out to me.

Beneath my chin,

I twirled a buttercup.

<stanza break>

My heels dig in. A bed

too hard for me.

My arms flail like a fawn’s legs,

hit, on a bruised highway.

He presses into my thighs,

then leaves a fog

of stale blunts and Budweiser.

<space>

If Only

If only I didn’t miss you so,

I could become unstuck

From the memories that seep

Into my most peaceful dreams.

<stanza break>

If only I didn’t love you so,

I’d move on by finding a man

To get lost inside of me

The way I lost myself in you.

<stanza break>

If only I didn’t miss you,

I’d still have every picture, love note and letter

I saved between us

That I broke and ripped and burned.

<stanza break>

If only I didn’t love you

I wouldn’t have found this blade

To drive right through the thick of my vein

So I’d never have to miss you, again.

<space>

Affair of the Heart

I wouldn’t have believed it.

I wouldn’t have even imagined it.

The card reader whispered,

There’s a Romeo still in your heart.

 

She took me back to

winter college nights

school cancelled and we –-

snuggled in blankets

opposite ends of the bed–

read each other’s poetry

softly,  aloud ‘til dawn

(there’s something to be said

about poetry and the night.)

You saw right through my guarded eyes;

 reaching in, you plucked the petals from my heart:

 I opened my secret self to you,

and you touched nothing more

than my hand.

<stanza break>

I didn’t believe your name was Romeo

until you offered up proof like a deed–

one of those old farmhouses you wrote about:

strength of character surpasses abundance.

<stanza break>

And you were surprised,

when I snapped open the shade

(hiding the cracked-open window)

 just to let the waft of your body encompass me

like the smell of hydrangea on aCape Codmorning

there are many rooms in the heart

           

funny, I hadn’t pondered line that until now.

Ten years later, at work –-

filing through a week’s worth of messages.

Suddenly,

the moisture in my eyes goes dry

my breath

        descends…

heart            skips         a beat

<stanza break>

“Mr. Romeo,” it reads, “please call.”

It was then I knew,

I’d kept you locked

in one of those rooms.

<stanza break>

And you wouldn’t have known it was me

(several heartaches since and a name change);

I am different now.

Until you walked through my door,

I could see right through your eyes;

you touched my hand –

smiled a casual good-to-see-ya smile.

<stanza break>

Poetry, left outside the door.

<space>

This is How I Love You

You are warm late morning’s

tangled limbs

You are unsolicited embraces

speaking love notes

You are a day’s work

sweating from your brow

You are a laundry basket

of assorted colors

You are the blanket I rub

against my skin

You are day-old socks

under the sheets

You are footprints

at my front and back doors

You are every room

of my heart

You are the book

I never tire of opening

You are a photograph

developing in my mind

You are the prism

teasing rainbows

You are the evergreen scent

enduring seasons

You are perennials

always returning

You are our initials

carved in the old oak tree

You are the ocean’s waves

rushing to be with me…

<space>

As Sin and Seaweed Tangle

(Summer of ’88)

Seagulls hover low

and glide,

like you, never having to try.

I am white caps in your ocean,

thrashing against you,

against us.

We lay on sand in sun,

warmth sweeps the storm we lived.

Eyes, placid only when they meet

and with the shore behind us, now.

I laugh a breeze,

you’re jealous of my playfulness

as I would secretly change myself

only to become you.

You lean, forcing the mast and I

to trust your zealous confidence

and we do.

When nightfall descends, you blanket me

and heat the shiver of my flesh.

We can no longer see each others eyes,

but they’re always there, comforting

like the stars and the breakwater lights,

we guide one another.

Shifting closer to the water,

sea breeze sprays our bodies,

like holy water

until we are one.

** some of the spacing in the poetry above is not as it should be– user problem– (I’ve inserted <stanza break> or <space> where the white space should be)  just so you know 😦

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