Coffee – a haiku sonnet poem

the smell of morning
wakes me from sleep at her side
grounds for a new day

some days are two cups
sipped slowly in the quiet
beneath still- tired eyes

some begin with four
beating hearts, four pairs of hands
wrapped around warm mugs

some I sip alone
dawn to dusk in my silence
love’s taste lingering

my life — like my cup
brimming full and sweet

—–

POETIC FORM:

Haiku Sonnet – a 14-line poetic form consisting of four 3-line haiku plus a couplet of either five or 7 syllables per line. Similarly, a sonnet is made up of fourteen lines.
VARIATION: write fourteen 1-line haiku

—–

AUDIO FILE:

To My Several Loves

I have a non-exclusive heart and it beats to love more than one. I wouldn’t be surprised to find its voices are several, throbbing in a syncopated harmony.

When certain love songs come on the radio, I feel my chest tighten, my mouth stretches into a smile and I remember. Those memories are of more than one… they overlap and coexist in his oversized standing-room-only heart.

You see I’ve had so many first kisses first dances first make-up-make-out sessions, after first-lover’s-quarrels… I’ve loved in messy, muddy, mixed-up puddles and those who know my love and share it, are happy to celebrate the others. They understand that my love spills out into many cups.

Still, in this heart, oh my lover, are things that only belong to you. There are kisses in my mouth, hidden beneath my tongue, that are yours alone. I don’t touch anyone else the way I touch you — I cannot — because they are not you, and you are not them.

No relationship looks like ours, and that is as it should be. We are the only two who could build these memories and recall them fondly, in years to come.

There are plans, fantasies, wishes, and dreams only we two can share. There are no parts of me you to which you do not have free access — your key to my heart fits all the doors, and there are several keys.

At the same time there are things in me that only you can own, and I cherish them. I protect them like a fiercely monogamous lover — it is a dichotomy I cannot fully explain.

—–

Changed

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

—–

Recently, I spent a week enjoying the family vacation of a lifetime — on the island of Saint Martin — with my Dad, his wife, three siblings, their spouses, and mine. I feel indescribably fortunate for the chance to experience several firsts, thanks to the generosity of my father. I’d never traveled outside of the U.S., and it was a pleasure to find that whatever the language, whatever the culture, people are more similar than we are different. I enjoyed conversations and stories with several really beautiful souls; and I was reminded that the world is truly smaller than it looks. 

I had never been sailing before, and was a little nervous, but ultimately thrilled to share a sunset cruise — on a catamaran — with a delightfully funny and friendly crew, where I got my first taste of salt-spray, racing seagulls, and the rise and fall of gorgeous, blue-green ocean waves. I’d never swam in the ocean, and not only was it incredible, it was exhausting, in the most challenging and wonderful ways! The sand was gorgeous, the water clear, and in order to remember this first, for a very long time, I gathered a tiny handful of sand and bits of rock and shell to bring home with me. I’d never eaten lobster thermidor, or snails, or several of the delicious vegan dishes my brother whipped up during our stay in a luxury, open-air villa — with breathtaking views of the water, the distant volcano, fiery flamboyant trees and other lush vegetation, two gorgeous, wild kestrels nesting in the corner of the dining patio, and a very loud, wild parrot that greeted the day — and all of us, at five a.m. — with a dozen or more hellos.

There were some things I have wanted to do for many years, like having my passport stamped, swimming in the sea, and experiencing island dining at it’s finest. However, there were other opportunities which I’d not imagined I’d ever have: 

I opted out of the extreme sports experience with the water jet propelled boots. I’m not that crazy. But, I did go with my family on a speed boat day trip around the island. We waded through the ocean up to my chest, to eat delicious mahi and drink pina coladas on another beach, and when the option came to get into the water, with fins and a mask, and swim with gorgeous fish and majestic sea turtles, I was nervous. However, there was a wolf’s voice in my head… the same voice that has pushed me and cheered me for nearly a year, to hike and climb, to stretch and challenge myself. She reminded me that I’m stronger than I used to be. I’m braver than I think, and I might never again get the chance to snorkel with my strong and courageous, seventy-one year old father. She wouldn’t let me stay seated and let this opportunity pass me by. So I stepped off the end of the boat into the ocean. I put my feet in flippers, and strapped on a snorkeling mask. I ducked my head into the water and swam.  Within a couple of minutes, I was watching a school of bright blue and perhaps yellow fish, and a few minutes later, three different sea turtles! It was an amazing experience, and one I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life!

The opportunities for courage didn’t end there.  Because I realized it was time for my husband and I to step out on a limb and tell some of my family about my amazing, wonderful, polyamorous world, and specifically the two people who’ve become such a huge part of our daily lives that we’ve become one family living in two homes. I did sit down with my brother who lives in L.A. and share my happiness with him, and then later we spoke both to my dad and step-mom.  They were surprised, and incredibly loving. Mom had a few questions about jealousy, and logistics. Dad wanted to be sure we were happy, and though he doesn’t agree with our choices, he supports our right to make them our own. It was both a scary and wonderful set of conversations. When we returned home, Dad called and invited the four of us to come to dinner this weekend, and I was amazed at how wonderful it felt to share my whole truth with family. I’d never expected to do that, or to really want to as badly as I did. Our little quad is part of the family, and at least two of my parents are welcoming and glad to get to know them. I can’t imagine being happier with the outcome of this chance to take a risk and be vulnerable.

I knew when I boarded the plane to leave the country for the first time, I’d come home a little different. I hoped to have my pale-and-freckled-skin version of a tan, a little more salt in my blood. I expected to come home a lot more relaxed and refreshed, with beach hair and a suitcase full of laundry and souvenirs. What I didn’t expect was to come home changed, stronger for having been vulnerable, for having challenged myself to do things that were scary. This week that I’ve been back has been punctuated by trips to the pool and the creek, in a relentless search for sun and water. It’s also been accented by a growing realization that I am made better, stronger, and happier by the relationships in my life, and the people who make up my family.

This gypsy, wanderer, part island-girl poet is grateful, and that, so very much.

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—–

Dry Spell (a re-post)

I’ve spent the past several days in the hospital with a partner. She is doing well, and we’re narrowing in on what the non-life threatening problem actually is. However, as a result, I will be re-posting a couple of previous poems this week. I hope you enjoy!

From February, 2015

———-

image

I wrap myself in rain soaked sheets,
my skin well drenched in poet’s ink.
Words drip from fingers, lashes, hair,
although the squall line’s past, I think.

A rolling thunder echoes now.
Tempted I am, to seed the sky —
(I feel it in my skin, my bones.)
to dance a prayer against the dry.

To gauge the weather, test the air —
while rushing winds in whispered voice
make promises of darker clouds —
for instruments — I have one choice:

I’ll take my pen, write rhymes in form.
hold back the sun, bring on the storm.

 

—–

Vulnerable Human

 

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human

 

-Christina Perri, Human

robot

I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. To be human is to be in vulnerability.

 

You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.

 

Vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.

 

-Brené Brown, PHD, LMSW

 

I am deeply, madly in love with a strong, smart, generous and breathtaking woman. Her wife is a courageous, giving, welcoming, fun and beautiful soul. She is my dear friend. Like many in my circle of polyamorous life partners, and dearly loved metamours, the three of us are learning every day to communicate well, to make room, to celebrate each other and to pour out generous amounts of trust and love as we enjoy the ecstasy and wonder that is this web of support, value and gratitude we are building for ourselves and each other. In the four months since we began, things have been absolutely, incredibly amazing.

We all work really hard to make space for each other, to flex and bend, to support and share, and to communicate, to talk honestly, to trust. We do a damn fine job, I don’t mind saying. We push ourselves, look for opportunities to grow. We are courageous and vulnerable. We’re purposeful about being good at this life, because we love each other, we honor each other, and we want to do right by those who we are so lucky to love.

I love those connections where I can let down my guard, silence my inner-critic, and be genuine. I’m welcomed with open arms. I don’t have to know all of the answers; I can struggle and laugh at myself, and know that my partners and metamours will meet me with love, and celebrate me in all my messy, morning breath, grouchy, Tuesday morning glory! I am deeply moved and fed by the willingness of lovers and their partners to be real with me, to let down their guard, put on their pajamas (or be naked), laugh about their mistakes and share their fears. It’s the very soul of this life I’m living, and I am so grateful to be met with such beauty, courage and strength.

Still, some days, the hurt comes. And that sucks.

Some days, no matter how good our intentions, no matter how carefully we choose to live, no matter how real and honest and open-hearted we are… we fail. We find ourselves in the middle of a tangled and hurtful miscommunication.  We misunderstand, we stumble, we inadvertently bruise someone else’s heart. I inadvertently bruise someone else’s heart. I did it this week, and that sucks.

No, I wasn’t alone, there were things I could have done and things others could have done to prevent the painful situation that arose — if we’d only seen it coming — but that’s not the point. The point is, I am human, and my partners and metamours are human. No matter how well we do this polyamorous life — no matter how carefully we choose our actions, our reactions, we will spill our messy, difficult-to-swallow humanness all over those we love. It just happens.

That’s a tough pill for me to swallow today.

I am only human, and it breaks my heart to know my choices, no matter how pure my intent, caused others pain. I have cried today. I have apologized, I have spoken words of understanding and love, and meant every one… and today still sucks. Because I don’t want this kind of thing to happen, especially because I messed up.

Thankfully, I’m in this with adults — strong, generous, loving humans — who join me in gathering up the pieces, and healing the hurts. We will get through this. We will learn something about ourselves and each other. We will grow. Tomorrow will be easier, better, than today, and we will celebrate. We will face the days ahead with courage, and vulnerability. We will love, and there will be joy again. In fact, there’s a tiny bit of joy even today, knowing that we are gonna be just fine.

We’re gonna let vulnerability be our magic sauce!

 

 

 

After A Thousand Years — After Christina Perri, A Thousand Years (a golden shovel poem)

holding-hands-couple-black-white

I feel you smiling, when I wake every 
morning. With a single breath,
I see your body shiver. With every 
look across the room — no matter the hour,
your soul stretches — and my soul has 
to stop and  shake its wings. So, come! 
Let’s spend the years (the next thousand) next to 
each other, with our others. Let’s not waste this! 

———-

POETIC FORM

golden shovel – Take a line (or lines) from a poem you like. Use each word as an end word in your poem. Keep the end words in order. Credit the original poet, ie. “-after (poet)”.

POEM A DAY NOVEMBER 2015 – PROMPT:

For today’s prompt, write an “after (blank)” poem.
For more information, check out– http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2015-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-day-12.

Burned Upon Her Skin

writing

I wrote a poem a few weeks ago, about my girlfriend, and her love of the woods. She and I have been enjoying this brief Autumn season, and escaping to the nearby hiking trails as often as the weather and our schedules allow — sometimes together, sometimes separately, chasing light and shadows, solitude and mental health. I posted more recently about how that is affecting my personal journey, in a post titled “The Way of Beauty”.

I’ve been sharing poetry with this amazing woman since we started dating, two months ago. I’ve introduced her to my favorites, like Tyler Knott GregsonBilly Collins, and Rives. She seems to love my addiction to language, and to not mind that I write poetry about my love for her.

In fact, a little over a week ago, she was planning a trip home to visit family (and her tattoo artist) and asked me how I felt about her incorporating some of my poetry into a tattoo. My immediate response was, “Of course! Once I share my poems, they belong to whoever reads them!”  She didn’t tell me which poem; she wanted to keep that a surprise, so no photos or hints until I picked her up from the airport on Sunday.

She’d been gone for four days, and when I met her in the waiting area just outside the terminal, I was breathless, struck by how amazing she looked in my favorite black shirt and some new plaid suspenders. I couldn’t stop  hugging and kissing her — and more than once I caught random strangers smiling at us.

I didn’t see the tattoo on her arm until she was loading her suitcase into my car, and though I expected to love it, I didn’t anticipate the feelings that washed over me. My throat constricted on the word, “Oh!” and my eyes welled up with tears. My words, spilled for her from my own pen, were etched into her beautiful skin, so she could see them for the rest of her life. I couldn’t stop touching them, tracing the letters with my fingers. I’ve been lucky enough to have my work published before, but I don’t think I will ever feel the way I felt standing there, reading her arm.

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The fantastic thing, is that the words are hers. They belong to her — belong on her body. They fit, and always will. That’s what happens when we send our words out into the world. Those who read them make them their own, bring them to life. They are made richer, deeper, and more breathtaking. It’s a thing that always amazes me about writing poetry. What a wild, wonderful privilege it is to witness!

 

The poem in its entirety, is posted below. I hope you find something in it, gentle reader, that speaks to you, and as always, I thank you for doing your part, reading my words, and making them live.

———-

wolvesrunning

THE WOODS ARE WHERE YOU’VE BEEN

The scent of wind is burned upon your skin —
You’ve run with wolves, while howling at the night,
and I can tell the woods are where you’ve been.

I know the weight of life has worn you thin —
Within your eyes a hunger burns so bright,
The scent of wind is burned upon your skin.

I hear the echoes of your howls again —
I hope that you’ve been strengthened by your flight.
and I can tell the woods are where you’ve been.

You look at me, and my head starts to spin —
I find my thoughts are rude and impolite!
The scent of wind is burned upon your skin.

I can’t control this flood I’m holding in —
I ache to break for you, to scream and fight,
and I can tell the woods are where you’ve been.

The smell of you turns all my flesh to sin —
till every touch becomes a sacred rite,
The scent of wind is burned upon your skin,
and I can tell the woods are where you’ve been.

———-

POETIC FORM:

The villanelle is a French form, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain with line lengths of 8-10 syllables. The first and third lines of the first stanza become refrains that repeat throughout the poem.

FORM DIAGRAM:

A(1)
b
A(2)
a
b
A(1)
a
b
A(2)
a
b
A(1)
a
b
A(2)
a
b
A(1)
A(2)

 

 

This Kiss

image

there’s this kiss
lingers on these lips
tugs this smile
clouds this mind
like a jar of fireflies
on this summer night

POETIC FORM: SHARDORMA

Shardorma is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. – See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/poets/shadorma-a-highly-addictive-poetic-form-from-spain#sthash.bn2uFi5o.dpuf

Strength

“A story just isn’t a story without a dragon.”
H.B. Bolton

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I have a dragon who loves me.

He is fierce, protective, and strong, often quiet and brooding. He watched me for months, smiling wryly when I flirted, his gaze sometimes burning, sometimes distant and always thoughtful. He flirted back, and yet has not been easy to read. I have been intrigued by his quiet and patient nature, and the way he captures my attention. He is a mystery, and he looks at me as though I might be magic.

I am.

“I believe in magic. Writing is my magic wand, and through my magic I create my own secret world, away from all these worries and responsibilities. Love, honesty and humanity is essential to enter this beautiful world of magic. I dwell among White magical peacocks, glowing unicorns, fire breathing turquoise dragons, talking trees, flying horses, talking wise jackals and wolves, crystal water falls, secret pathways hidden in urban gardens and books with doorways to secret worlds. You need to believe in magic to experience it.”                              ― Ama H.Vanniarachchy

Our courtship has been unconventional, and that’s fine by me. We’ve chosen to embark on this journey of learning about each other, trusting and celebrating the good things in life. He is family, as are his wife and his son. I am amazed by that depth of love and connection with each of them. In many ways he is simply a solid, strong presence in my world, who makes me laugh, and treats me well, cherishes me, encourages me, believes in me. I feel the dragon heart beating beneath the surface of his tough exterior, and I know that there’s nothing he would not do to see me smile. He has a strong sense of honor, of right and wrong. I admire that about him.

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